Paris is such a beautiful city. The architecture is gorgeous, the food is terrific, and there are people in love everywhere. It is true, Paris is the city of love.
I spent ten days in Paris, which has allowed me to discover most of its arrondissements. I had a travel guide called Paris À Petits Prix, which included a map of all the districts of Paris and the main attractions in each of them. Each day, my friend and I would select a few arrondissements of Paris that we wanted to explore and spend the day there. For ten days, here’s what it looked lit:
Day 1: Tour Eiffel, Invalides, musée d’Orsay area
Day 2: Champs-Élysées, Concorde + Moulin Rouge + Montparnasse
Day 3: Montmartre et Pigalle
Day 4: Louvre, Opéra, Grands-Boulevards
Day 5: Day trip to Strasbourg
Day 6: Bercy et Place d’Italie
Day 7: Versailles
Day 8: Euro Disney
Day 9: Quartier latin, Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Day 10: Canal St-Martin, Ménilmontant et la Villette
So in all the beautiful things that we did and discovered, here are 10 of my favorites, and that you should definetly put on your list if you go to Paris. Enjoy!
1- Eiffel Tower
OF COURSE, the Eiffel Tower is top 1 on my list! It is simply so beautiful, and the feeling when you see it for the first time or for the 10th time remains the same. The people I talked with agreed on this. Whether it was their first time in Paris or if they were living there for a while, seeing the Eiffel Tower is always a magical experience. Moreover, the tower shines every hour for about 2 minutes when it gets dark. It is something not to miss!
It is also possible to go inside the tower by purchasing tickets in advance on the following website: https://www.toureiffel.paris/en
Where to take pictures :
- Pont d’Inea
- 228 rue de l’Université
- Avenue New York
2- Restaurants at the top of Le Printemps
Le Printemps Paris Haussmann is a gigantic department store that sells luxury products and clothes. The store has 27 floors, which are divided into three buildings. On the top of this department store, a few restaurants offer a beautiful view of Paris. So if you are looking for a place to watch the sunset with a drink, view on Paris (Emily in Paris vibes here), Le Printemps is the place to go. We went to La Reine Mer, a restaurant on the 8th floor, and the food was truly amazing.
3- Pont d’Orsay
The Pont d’Orsay is located in the 7th arrondissements of Paris, close to the Champs Élysées and Place de la Concorde. It is a beautiful bridge covered in gold that offers a beautiful view of the Eiffel tower. You can also take a walk under the bridge and live your Parisian life, by the Seine. It is also right next to the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. which are both beautiful museums. Note that the Grand Palais is temporarily closed for renovations.
4- Le Louvre
Another classic here! But again, a must-do in Paris. It is the biggest building I have seen in my life. The total area of the Louvre is 652,300 square feet, so make sure you are wearing a good pair of shoes! Even if you are not an art expert, Le Louvre is a fantastic place. You can pay for an audio guide to learn more about all the different works of art. Here is where you can purchase your tickets for your visit: https://www.louvre.fr/en/visit/hours-admission
You will see famous works of art such as the Venus de Milo in the Ancient Greece exposition, the Mona Lisa in the Italian painters’ section, and even a mummy in the Egyptian antiquities. There are so many things to see, and you can literally spend an entire day at the museum. Make sure to take a picture with the famous glass pyramid at the entrance!
Montmartre is one of my favorite places in Paris. There is something so romantic and poetic in this place that no words can describe. At the top of the hill, there is the famous Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. There are a lot of steps to get there, but it is worth it. The view at the top is again amazing. You can go inside the Basilica for free, and it is awe-inspiring. This place is so serene.
Then you can walk in the streets of Montmartre. There are cute little stores and restaurants everywhere, and there is also Le Mur des Je t’aime, where you can see the words I love you written in many different languages. For macarons, make a stop at Christophe Roussel. Simply amazing!
The Palace of Versailles is 35 minutes away from the center of Paris. It is the perfect day trip if you want to learn more about the crazy life of Louis XIV. I strongly suggest paying a little extra for an audio guide when purchasing your tickets for your visit. Life at the Palace was fascinating, mainly because of its opulence and the numerous demands of the king… Make sure also to take a look at The Hall of Mirrors, which has precisely 357 mirrors.
I was also amazed by how big it was from the outside. Finally, you can also visit the gardens, which are sublime with their many different statues, big lakes, and fountains.
7- Euro Disney
If you are a Disney fan, you need to go to Euro Disney. To get there, you have to take the RER A train, which is a 35-40 minutes trip. You get out at Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station, which is right at the park entrance. There are two parks: Parc Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios. I thought I might be a bit too old for Disney things, but to be honest, I had so much fun, even in the kid’s attractions. The Tower of Terror is also definitely a must-do, as well as visiting the Sleeping Beauty Castle or enjoying a Mickey Mouse treat. And don’t miss the parade at the end of the day!
Traveling during low season: pros and cons
I visited Paris in January, which means I was in the low season of tourism. It was a significant advantage for attractions like Euro Disney because there were almost no waiting lines for the rides (5-10 minutes of waiting no more). Of course, there are also some cons such as the weather (you need to wear warm clothes) and some attractions may be closed for maintenance.
Other cons would be that for other tourist attractions, such as The Palace of Versailles or Jardins du Luxembourg, the cons of visiting in January are that the gardens are not flowery and as beautiful as they would be during spring/summer. However, from my experience, there were more positive aspects than negative ones for traveling during the low season. If traveling during the low season is a topic you would like to know more about, let me know in the comments!
8- Les Berges de la Seine
Another activity I enjoyed in Paris was simply walking by the Seine at Saint-Germain-des-Prés and admiring the architecture and the many different bridges. Did you know that there are 37 bridges in total that pass over La Seine? Make sure to go to Pont Neuf, which is the oldest! Then, continue your walk and take a look at the beautiful Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris. It is still in reconstruction because of the fire in 2015, but it is still worth the detour.
9- Cimetière du Père Lachaise
The Père Lachaise cemetery is the most visited cemetery in the world. Why so popular? First, because it is the largest cemetery in Paris, but mainly because many celebrities were buried there. You can find the grave of Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Frederic Chopin, Molière, Jean de la Fontaine, and much more. For the complete list of the famous graves, click here: https://www.parisdiscoveryguide.com/famous-graves-in-pere-lachaise.html.
The cemetery is so big I had to use Google Map to get out of it. Make sure you get out before the bell rings at 17h30, when the doors close if you do not want to spend a night with the deads;)
10- Les Catacombes
And finally…the Catacombs! So what are the Catacombs? Les Catacombes were originally rock quarries under the city. However, those rock quarries made the city unstable, and some parts started to collapse. Houses and buildings were collapsing. So to fix the problem, the city needed to do significant reparations to assure stability.
However, during the same period, the city also had problems with…its deads. Indeed, the cemeteries were full, which led to critical sanitary problems. The food was poisoned, and people were sick. So to fix those two problems, they decided to transfer the content of those cemeteries under the ground. Then, no more sanitary problems, and the underground tunnels from the abandoned rock quarries were now stable enough to prevent the city from collapsing.
Since 1809, it is now possible to visit those tunnels and see the bones displayed in a gruesome and romantic way. It is quite an experience! I strongly suggest paying for the audio guide for this attraction too.
Here’s where I purchased my tickets: https://www.headout.com/paris-catacombs-tour/paris-catacombs-entrance-tickets-with-audioguide-e-2920/
This is it for 10 things to do in Paris! I hope you enjoyed it and if you are planning a trip, it helped you. Stay tuned for more posts about Paris and travel tips!