30 Things to Do in Paris – Part 1

The most visited city in the world, Paris, or as it’s more affectionately know, The City of Lights, is passionately loved by so many people all over the world. People who’ve been there once, twice or more, and people who dream of one day stepping foot in this intoxicating city.

It’s a city with many opposite faces. You’ll find total grandeur as you walk down the main thoroughfares, but as soon as you duck down a side street, you’re in a quaint village completely sheltered from the loud bustling city beyond.

In this two-part series discover my list of the top 30 amazing things to do in Paris. Here are the first 15 and you can check out part two at the bottom of this post.


Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

What better place to start a visit in Paris than at what is quite possibly the worlds most iconic attraction, the Eiffel Tower.

Built in 1889 for the World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower was never meant to be a permanent structure and was strongly opposed by the contemporary artist community at the time.

Despite this, today it is the icon of the City of Lights and can be seen rising high above Paris from just about every corner of the city.

The best views of the tower can be found at the opposite end of the Champs de Mars or at the Trocodero. The tower is also nice viewed from the river and the top of Montparnasse Tower.

Queues to take a lift up the tower to the second and third levels can be long. If this is something you really want to do, I suggest booking ahead (details of that below). You can also take the stairs to levels one and two for a more energetic visit.

There is also a restaurant on the first floor which is very popular and reservations need to be made months in advance, especially during peak season in summer.

Address: Champ de Mars, 7th Arrondissement

Cost: Tickets start from €10 for adults

Hours: 09:00-00:45 21 June to 2 September | 09:30-23:45 rest of the year

More Informationhttp://www.toureiffel.paris/

Eiffel Tower Experiences
Eiffel Tower Second Floor – priority access to the second-floor with a host to answer all you questions.

Dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel – enjoy a 3 or 4 course meal, complimentary drink and priority lift access at this spectacular Eiffel Tower restaurant.

Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Summit Tour – join your guide on a tour to the summit of the Eiffel Tower without the queues.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, The Arc de Triomphe was built to honour those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars.

On the inner and outer surfaces of the Arc you’ll find the names of all French victories and generals inscribed. Beneath the Arc in the vault is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

You can climb the steps to the top for nice views over Paris and down the avenues that run off the centre of the Arc.

Address: Place Charles-de-Gaulle, 8th Arrondissement

Cost: Adult €12.00, Concession €9.00, Free for under 18 with a paying adult and for 18-25 EU residents

Hours: 10:00-23:00 April to September | 10:00-22:30 rest of the year

More Informationhttp://arc-de-triomphe.monuments-nationaux.fr/

Arc de Triomphe Tickets
Skip-the-Line Ard de Triomphe Ticket – skip the queues at this popular Paris monument with this priority access ticket.

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin Des Tuilleries - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

This popular public garden, located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, became a public park after the French Revolution.

It’s a lovely spot for a stroll along the central gravel path or to take a wander off into the smaller gardens along the sides for some peace.

The central pond, surrounded by chairs with people relaxing, makes for an excellent spot to do a little people watching while you rest your feet.

Address: 1st Arrondissement

Cost: Free

Hours: From the last Sunday in March to 31 May, and from 1 September to the last Saturday in September: 07:00-21:00. From 1 June to 31 August: 07:00-23:00. From the last Sunday in September to the last Saturday in March: 07:30-19:30.

Read More
The Best Areas to Stay in Paris -on Frugal First Class Travel.

The Louvre Museum

The glass pyramid at the Louvre - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

The world’s largest and most visited museum, The Louvre attracts nearly 10 million visitors each year. The museum is spread across three wings with eight different departments and over 35,000 works of art and artifacts on display.

One visit is most certainly not enough to take it all in, so a little forward planning about what you want to see is a must.

The most popular piece in the museum is of course Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa which you’ll find crowded with people anytime the museum is open.

The main and most popular entrance to the museum is via the glass pyramid, however if you want to avoid the queues try another entrance.

Buying an advance ticket allows you direct access through the glass pyramid without queuing.

Address: 1st Arrondissement

Cost: Permanent Collection €17.00, separate tickets need to be purchased for temporary exhibitions | Free for under 18 and residents of the EU aged between 18-25, people with disabilities and the person accompanying them and people on income support.

Hours: Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 09:00-18:00 | Wednesday, Friday 09:00-21:45 | Closed on Tuesdays

More Informationhttp://www.louvre.fr/

Louvre Entrance Tickets
Skip-the-Line Louvre Entrance Tickets – don’t wait time in queues with this timed entry ticket to the world’s most popular art gallery.

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

This popular basilica is located on the highest ground of an area called Montmartre in the 18th arrodissement.

Sacre Coeur is a fully functional Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and holds multiple daily services open to locals and visitors as well as being open to all at other times throughout the day.

Inside its best feature is the mosaics which are some of the nicest you’ll find in Europe. Visitors can walk the 300 plus steps to the top of the dome for panoramic views over Paris or descend into the crypts (temporarily closed as at July 2018) to see tombs and interesting artifacts from the basilicas history.

For something really special, visit during Sunday mass at 11:00, 18:00 or 22:00 to hear the Grand Organ play. I visited by accident at this time and it was one of my most memorable travel moments.

The area in front of the basilica also affords spectacular views looking out over the city but unfortunately because of its popularity, it attracts pick-pockets and scammers, so watch your belongings and keep your wits about you while enjoying the views.

Address: Esplanade of the Basilica, 18th Arrondissement

Cost: Free

Hours: Basilica 06:00-22:30 daily | Dome 08:30-20:00 May to September and 09:00-17:00 October to April

More Informationhttp://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/

Montmartre

Montmartre - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Montmartre is a popular district of Paris that has for a long time attracted artists to set up workshops and build a community. The likes of Dalí, Monet, Picasso and van Gogh have all worked in or around the Montmartre area at some point during their lives.

Today the area still attracts artists but mostly the ones with a lot of money as prices in the area have shot up with its popularity.

During the day get lost wandering the steep cobblestone streets and at night come back for the nightlife, authentic Parisian cuisine and interesting characters.

Address: 18th Arrondissement

Montmartre Tour
Sacre Coeur and Montmartre Tour – explore this interesting bohemia area of Paris with an expert guide. Includes a tour of Sacre Coeur.

Champs-Élysées

Champs Elysees - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

This almost 2 km avenue runs from the Place de la Concorde all the way up to the Arc du Triomphe and is lined with important buildings, stores and cafes.

The avenue is used each year on July 14 for the Bastille Day parade and as the end to the last leg of the Tour de France.

If you don’t happen to be in town for either of those events then I can assure you there is still plenty to see along the avenue.

On the lower part of the Champs-Élysées you’ll find the Grand and Petit Palais surrounded by some pretty gardens in the Jardin des Champs-Élysées.

As you start to head up the hill to the Arc, you’ll find retail stores from some of the worlds biggest brands with both high street prices and luxury goods.

There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants with pavement seating, perfect for people watching, although a tad pricey and touristy.

Address: 8th Arrondissement

More Paris Tours
Paris City Pass – included admission to 60 museums, sights, and attractions in Paris plus free metro, bus and train travel.

Paris Highlights Bike Tour – see the highlights of Pairs on a 3-hour bike tour of Paris.

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour – choose from 1, 2, or 3 day tickets to see it all from the top of an open top bus.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Notre Dame is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world and is one of the top five most popular sights in Paris.

The cathedral is famous for its incredible stained glass windows, with the most impressive being the Rose window, and for the gargoyles that guard the cathedral from above.

Inside it is simply breathtaking and anyone who loves visiting churches and religious buildings around the world won’t be disappointed.

Once you’ve enjoyed the inside you can then climb the 387 steps to the top to get a closer look at those gargoyles, the roof and spires of the cathedral and for lovely views over the city.

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Place, 4th Arrondissement

Cost: Cathedral entry is free | Tower Adults €8.50, Concession €6.50, free for under 18s and EU residents aged between 18-25.

Hours: Catherdral 06:00-18:45 daily | Tower April to September 10:00-18:30, July and August, Fridays, Saturdays until 23:00, October to March 10:00-17:30

More Informationhttp://www.notredamedeparis.fr/

Notre Dame Experiences
Notre Dame Cathedral Guided Tour – with a guide, explore the cathedral and learn more about its history.

Montparnasse Tower

The view from Montparnasse Tower - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

So you’ve been up the Eiffel Tower already and gotten a great view of the city, so why should you waste your money going up another tower? To get the view of the Eiffel Tower of course!

From the top of the 59 storey open air Montparnasse Tower you can get 360º views of Paris including the city’s famous tower.

My suggestion is to go at night and experience the hourly show that the Eiffel Tower puts on, sparkling like a million diamonds. But if you do visit during the day and its clear, you’ll be able to see for over 40 km.

Address: 33 Avenue du Maine, 15th Arrondissement

Cost: Adults €18.00, student €15.00, 4-11 years €9.50, disabled €8.50, under 4 years free

Hours: 09:30-23:30 all year

More Informationhttp://www.tourmontparnasse56.com/

Montparnasse Tower Tickets
Montparnasse Tickets – access to the 56th floor and roof terrace without the queues.

Walking Tour of The Marais

A hidden courtyard in the Marais - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

The Marais is one of the most charming areas of Paris. Crammed into one small area down small crooked medieval lanes you’ll find bars and restaurants alive with patrons, trendy fashion boutiques, old-fashioned bread shops and patisseries, fashionable art galleries and museums.

The best way to get a feel for the area and learn about its history is on a walking tour. There are a few on offer depending on what you are interested in learning more about.

Guides are local and really know their stuff. What I love about these tours are that they focus less on tourist landmarks and more on authentic details of the area.

Marais Walking Tours
2-Hour Walking Tour of Le Marais – learn about the history and culture of this interesting area.

Gourmet Marais 3-Hour Food Tour – taste the best of what the Marais has to offer.

Opera Garnier

Paris Opera House - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

The home of Paris Opera, the Opera Garnier, is known for its opulent interiors and grand exterior but mostly for being the home of The Phantom of the Opera.

In 1910 Gaston Leroux used rumours of a ghost that haunted the Opera Garnier to write the gothic love story that has since been shown on stage and screen.

There are two ways you can take peek inside. Buy a ticket to the theatre which will set you back a small fortune or your can visit on a tour. With general entry you are free to roam the public areas at your leisure or you can take a tour an learn more about its history.

Address: Corner of Rues Scribe and Auber, 9th Arrondissement

Cost: General Entry (includes audio guide) Adult €12.00, 12-25 years €8.00 | Tours (includes entry and tour) Adult €15.50, Student under 26 €11.00, Child under 10 €8.50

Hours: 10:00-17:00 daily, check the website for specific closures

More Informationhttp://visitepalaisgarnier.fr/

Opera Garnier Experiences
Opera Garnier Tour with Expert Guide – join an expert guide on a tour of the Opera Garnier.

Palace of Versailles

Versailles - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

This grand chateau on the outskirts of Paris was the center of political power in France from 1682 until the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 when Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were taken back to the centre of Paris and guillotined.

The most famous palace in France is simply spectacular inside and out. You’ll find grand rooms filled with priceless works of art, furniture and antiquities on the inside and sprawling perfectly manicured gardens on the outside. A visit to Versailles makes a worthy half day trip from the centre of the city.

Even if you’re not into palaces and their over the top interiors, its worth the effort just to wander the grounds.

Address: Place d’Armes, Versailles

Cost: Passport tickets include access to everything – Adults €20.00, free for under 18 with accompanying adult and EU residents aged between 18-25. Tickets are also available for each attraction within the grounds.

Hours: Closed Monday’s year round | April to October 09:00-18:30 | November to March 09:00-17:30

More Informationhttp://en.chateauversailles.fr/

Palace of Versailles Tickets
Palace of Versailles and Gardens – skip-the-lines with this full access ticket to one of the most opulent palaces in the world.

Les Invalides

Les Invalides - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

This complex of buildings houses museums and monuments on the military history of France with its most popular being the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The main buildings gold dome can be seen throughout Paris and is one of the most recognisable buildings in the city’s skyline.

Apart from visiting the tomb of Napoleon you can find out more about him and the French army by visiting Musée de l’Armée, a military museum dedicated to the Army of France. Also in the grounds is the Musée des Plans-Reliefs and the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine.

Address: 129 rue de Grenelle, 7th Arrondissement

Cost: One ticket for all Museums (permanent exhibits only) and Napoleons Tomb – €12.00

Hours: Check the website for opening times.

More Informationhttp://www.musee-armee.fr/

Les Invalides Tickets
Les Invalides – priority entry to Napoleon’s Tomb and the Army Museum.

Cruise the Seine

Cruising the Seine - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Any city built on a waterway should be seen from the water and Paris is no exception especially because more of the city’s best architecture and landmarks line the Seine River.

There are lots of different types of cruises you can do like lunch or dinner cruises, private charter, sightseeing tours, night tours etc.

I’ve cruised the Seine both day and night and can’t split them for which experience was better. If you have time, I recommend doing both. All cruises will take you under all the city’s famous bridges and past its famous sites.

Seine River Cruise Options
Batobus River Seine Shuttle Boat – hop-on hop-off style cruise.

Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise – cruise while enjoying dinner.

Bateaux Parisiens 2-Hour Lunch Cruise – cruise with lunch included.

Where to Stay in Paris

Here are three accommodation options in Paris to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Hotel Marignan

Mid-Range – Hotel Le Relais des Halles

Luxury – Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris

Or why not book an Airbnb stay. Use this link to get up to $45AUD off.

PIN IT FOR LATER

Les Invalides - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller
The Eiffel Tower - 30 Things to Do in Paris - The Trusted Traveller

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Over to you!

What’s your top pick of things to do in Paris?

Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

15 thoughts on “30 Things to Do in Paris – Part 1”

  1. Wow. Its very nice post. Thanks for sharing it. Also I want to add some other things to do in Paris –

    – The Medici Fountain or La fontaine Médicis

    – Rodin Museum

    – Pont Neuf

    – Hotel De Ville

    – The Catacombs Of Paris

    – The Palais Royal

    – Ile Saint-louis

    Reply
  2. You can’t go wrong with any of those. Sainte Chapelle should be on any list. Beyond the monuments, I would recommend getting a ham and cheese crepe from a street vendor and eating it while walking, preferably around Odeon in the 6th. Let the butter from the crepe pan drip down your wrists. It’s sexy here. Also, take the bus instead of the metro…you see more! And go see one of the world’s great grocery stores, La Grande Epicerie de Paris. Unforgettable.

    Reply
  3. Definitely pinning this for future reference! I”m heading to Paris next spring, and I don’t want to miss any of these must-sees! (Oh and by the way your pictures are beautiful!)

    Reply
  4. Don’t go where they all go. You’ll only pay an arm and a leg in admission fees in order to waste your time in tremendously long queues! This goes for all tourist destinations, but for Paris especially IMO. For instance, don’t visit the Louvres, and if you do, don’t at least try to get a glimpse of Mona Lisa, because you won’t manage to see her properly anyway. Visit the “uprunner” attractions, instead, and you’ll have them nearly for yourself.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your point of view Peter. I believe its good to see and do what interests you, not anyone else, when you travel. If that so happens to be the most popular attractions, then I say go for it.

      Reply
  5. Hello
    Great article i really like the way you organise your article using very simple lines, direct words and talented photo that give use easy to use Paris travel guide that tell us about things to do and places to visit in Paris.
    Keep on writing, Am waiting your next article.

    Reply

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