The Best Things to do in Paris, France

The 10 Best Things to Do in Paris, France

Home to the iconic Eiffel Tower, the fascinating Louvre art gallery, and some of the most delicious food you could ever hope to eat in your life, Paris is an amazing city to visit. Nestled along the banks of the River Seine, this enchanting vacation destination beckons with the promise of romance, countless cultural experiences, and French joie de vivre! 

Whatever type of vacation you’re dreaming of, you’ll never be stuck for what to do in Paris. You can start your day with freshly-baked buttery croissants and enjoy a morning stroll through beautifully manicured parks. Spend your afternoon gazing at artwork almost too gorgeous to be true before heading to the viewing platform and admiring the sparkling lights of the city on an evening.

With so many amazing things to see and do, you may have no idea where to begin. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best things to do in Paris for you. Add these activities and attractions to your Paris bucket list, and you’re sure to have an amazing time exploring the City of Lights.

The 10 Best Things to Do in Paris, France

1. See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre

Best Things to do in Paris, France: Mona Lisa at Louvre

Even if you’re not really into artwork, gazing into the eyes of the Mona Lisa is one of the must-do things in Paris. This world-famous work of art is located inside the Louvre, and while most people head straight for the painting, there are loads of other amazing artworks to see here, too.

The Louvre is the most-visited museum in the world and is home to more than 35,000 pieces of art and artifacts that span from prehistory to the 21st century. There’s no chance you’ll see it all in one day, but some highlights to seek out include the “Raft of Medusa,” the “Venus de Milo,” and “Psyche Revived By Cupid’s Kiss” By Antonio Canova.


2. Sip Wine at Le Grand Tasting

Cool Things to do in Paris, France: Le Grand Tasting

Planning on visiting the city in December? Then you’re just in time for one of the best Paris activities – Le Grand Tasting. This spectacular 2-day event takes place in Le Carrousel du Louvre, an underground shopping mall on Rue de Rivoli, and is considered to be the greatest wine festival in France.

The event sees more than 400 oenologists, producers, and winemakers come together to get involved in everything to do with wine. You can sign up for wine-tasting courses, sample new varieties at tasting workshops, and learn how to properly pair wine and food together. 

You’ve got to buy a ticket to enter (hint: they’re cheaper online than on the day), and the price includes wine tasting from 300+ estates!


3. Go to the Top of the Eiffel Tower

Unique Things to do in Paris, France: Eiffel Tower

For some of the best sights in Paris, head to the top of the Eiffel Tower and prepare to be amazed. The instantly recognizable building has three viewing platforms – the first floor at 187 feet, the second floor at 377 feet, and the third floor at a staggering 906 feet above the ground.

From the top of the tower, Paris lies at your feet. The noise from the streets is non-existent and the beauty stretches on for miles. There are indoor and outdoor sections at the top, so you can admire the view whatever the weather, as well as a replica of Gustave Eiffel’s office and a tempting champagne bar.


4. Explore the Jardin du Luxembourg

Fun Things to do in Paris, France: Jardin du Luxembourg

When you need a break from all the typical Paris sightseeing, spend a few laid-back hours at the Jardin du Luxembourg. Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city in the sixth arrondissement, this popular garden provides a green oasis in an urban jungle.

The garden features a formal French style, with eye-catching geometric shapes, beautifully trimmed hedges, colorful flower beds, and delicately carved statues. You’ll also spot several French and English landscape gardens dotted throughout.

Some of the highlights of the garden include the Orangerie, where you’ll find a collection of fragrant orange trees in the winter months, the Medici Fountain, built in the 17th century, and the Musée du Luxembourg, which houses temporary art exhibitions throughout the year.


5. Eat All the Pastries

Paris, France Bucket List: French Breakfast

Starting your morning with an authentic French breakfast is always one of the best things to do in Paris. The rich, buttery, flaky pastries are so popular throughout the capital that you’ll find them in pretty much every bakery, cafe, and grocery store you’ll come across in the city.

Sain Boulangerie stands out from the rest by making their croissants with their very own starter. The result is a light and flaky texture that’s absolutely bursting with decadent flavor. 

Boris Lumé Boulangerie is another excellent place for the morning classic. This pastry shop serves sweet treats that are almost too beautiful to eat, including some of the most heavenly croissants you’ll ever taste in your life! 


6. Go to the Centre Pompidou

Must do things in Paris, France: Centre Pompidou

One of the top Paris attractions, the Centre Pompidou is home to an astounding art collection made up of more than 100,000 pieces that date back from 1905 to the modern day. A great place to visit if you haven’t quite made your mind up about art, here you can admire a huge range of styles, from Picasso’s surrealist paintings to cutting-edge video installations. 

Don’t have time to go inside? The art gallery is still worth visiting, even if just for the chance to gaze at its bizarre façade. Hugely controversial when it was first built, the Centre Pompidou features a dazzling glass exterior wall peppered with industrial pipes that many locals thought didn’t belong in the city. 


7. Hike to the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur 

What to do in Paris, France: Basilique du Sacré-Coeur 

When you’re feeling energetic, one of the most fun things to do in Paris is to hike to the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre. This spectacular building sits on top of the tallest hill in Paris, making it the second-highest attraction in the city after the Eiffel Tower. 

The building looks remarkably different from any other you’ll see here. It has a white limestone façade and a phenomenal Romano-Byzantine structure, making it look like it would be more at home in Rome or Istanbul. 

For amazing views, go inside and head up to the dome. From here, you can gaze at stunning panoramas that stretch all across Paris. Just keep in mind that the dome is only open from 2 pm to 5:30 pm. Be sure to save time to explore the charming and historic Montmartre area before or after your visit! 


8. Visit the Oldest Department Store in Paris

Paris, France Things to do: Le Bon Marche

If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, one of the coolest things to do in Paris is to go shopping at Le Bon Marché. The oldest department store in the city, this landmark dates back to the 1850s and is located on the elegant shores of the Left Bank.

You won’t find any cute souvenirs or gifts for friends and family back home here. Instead, you’ll find elegant and sophisticated boutiques selling high-end fashion from the world’s best designers. Even if you’re just planning on window-shopping, it’s still a fun place to go.

When you’re finished shopping, head on over to La Grande Épicerie. This is the department store’s upmarket food court, where you’ll discover all kinds of fancy eats.


9. Take in a Show at the Moulin Rouge

Best Things to do in Paris, France: Moulin Rouge

There are some incredible evening shows in the city, but for a night you’ll never forget, get tickets for a performance at the Moulin Rouge. One of the top things to do in Paris after nightfall, a show at the Moulin Rouge transports you to a bygone era of opulence and extravagance, where the spirit of bohemian Paris comes to life.

You’ll be mesmerized by elaborate costumes, vibrant music, phenomenal can-can dancing, and theatrical performances during an unforgettable night of sophistication and allure. Amidst the iconic red windmill and the rich history of Montmartre, this show encapsulates the essence of Parisian nightlife and will leave you with memories you’ll be talking about for years to come.


10. Try Escargots

Best Things to do in Paris, France: Escargots

One of the truly unique things to do in Paris is to try food that’s a little more adventurous than you’re used to. If you’ve never tried them before, this city is the best place to order escargots – snails. A traditional dish that has appeared on menus across Paris for centuries, escargot can make a surprisingly delicious appetizer.

Typically, the snails are cooked with copious amounts of butter, garlic, and parsley before they’re served sizzling hot in their shells and ready to be eaten with a tiny fork. Benoit is an incredible place to try escargot. This Michelin-starred restaurant is definitely on the pricey side, but the delicious food and high-end experience are worth it.

There you have it! The 15 best things to do in Paris. What’s your favorite thing to do in Paris? 


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Author

  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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