Explore Paris: Top 10 Things to Do in the City of Light


Welcome to the heart of France, where the essence of romance, history, and unparalleled beauty blend seamlessly into the cityscape. Paris, the City of Light, beckons travelers with its iconic landmarks, exquisite cuisine, and artistic treasures. Whether you’re strolling along the Seine, admiring the masterpieces in the Louvre, or savoring a croissant in a quaint café, Paris promises an unforgettable experience. In this guide, we’ll explore the top 10 things to do in Paris, ensuring you capture the essence of this magnificent city. From the majestic Eiffel Tower to the enchanting streets of Montmartre, prepare to be captivated by the charm and elegance of Paris. Embrace the adventure, indulge in the culture, and let the magic of Paris transform your journey into a timeless memory.

Eiffel Tower at Paris, France

1. Discovering the Eiffel Tower: A Must-See in Paris 2021

The Eiffel Tower, an emblem of Paris and a symbol of France’s ingenuity, stands as an unmissable sight for anyone visiting the city. Erected in 1889 for the World’s Fair, this iron lattice tower has captivated millions with its imposing structure and breathtaking views of the Parisian skyline. Whether you’re visiting during the day to witness its grandeur against the blue sky or at night to see it spectacularly illuminated, the experience is unforgettable. For a truly memorable visit in 2021, consider dining at one of the tower’s restaurants or taking the lift to the top for a panoramic view of the city. The Eiffel Tower not only remains a must-see for its historical significance but also for the romantic experiences it offers, making it a cornerstone of any Paris trip.

people gathering near Louvre Museum during daytime

2. Unveiling the Louvre: Important Things to See in Paris

The Louvre Museum, once a royal palace, now stands as the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris. It’s a treasure trove of human history, housing thousands of works from civilizations around the globe. Among its most celebrated pieces are the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. A visit to the Louvre is not just about seeing these iconic works; it’s about walking through the corridors of history and experiencing the evolution of art and culture. The glass pyramid entrance itself has become an iconic part of Parisian landscape, making the Louvre an indispensable visit for anyone looking to grasp the artistic and historical richness of Paris.

notre dame paris

3. The Charm of Notre-Dame Cathedral: A Historical Marvel

The Notre-Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, stands on the Île de la Cité as a monumental symbol of Paris. Its construction, which began in the 12th century, showcases the remarkable craftsmanship of the era with its flying buttresses, gargoyles, and stunning rose windows. Despite suffering damage from a fire in 2019, the spirit of Notre-Dame remains undiminished, captivating visitors with its resilience and beauty. Walking through its grand doors, one is transported into a realm of historical and religious significance, making it a must-visit for those seeking to immerse themselves in the deep-rooted history of Paris. The ongoing restoration efforts also serve as a testament to the city’s dedication to preserving its cultural heritage.


4. Strolling Along the Champs-Élysées: Iconic Parisian Experiences

A walk along the Champs-Élysées is quintessential to the Parisian experience. Stretching from Place de la Concorde to the majestic Arc de Triomphe, this grand boulevard is lined with trees, luxury shops, and historic monuments. The avenue is not just a shopper’s paradise but also a cultural heartbeat of Paris, hosting parades and celebrations. Whether you’re indulging in a shopping spree at high-end boutiques, enjoying a meal at one of the chic cafes, or simply soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, the Champs-Élysées offers a glimpse into the luxurious side of Parisian life. During the evening, the avenue lights up, transforming into one of the most enchanting places in the city, perfect for romantic strolls and unforgettable memories.

5. Ascending the Arc de Triomphe: Panoramic Views Await

The Arc de Triomphe, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, is more than just a monument; it’s a symbol of French national pride. Commissioned by Napoleon after his victory at Austerlitz, it honors those who fought and died for France. Climbing the 284 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe rewards visitors with one of the most breathtaking panoramic views of Paris. From this vantage point, the meticulously planned layout of the city unfolds in all directions, with avenues radiating out like spokes on a wheel. The experience of watching the sunset from the top, as the city lights begin to twinkle, is truly unparalleled. This ascent offers not just a stunning view, but a moment of reflection on the history and beauty of Paris.

6. Exploring the Latin Quarter: Best Alternative Things to Do in Paris

The Latin Quarter, with its bohemian charm and intellectual history, offers a delightful escape from Paris’s more frequented tourist destinations. Nestled on the left bank of the Seine, this historic area is renowned for its vibrant street life, quaint bookshops, and eclectic cafes. Home to the Sorbonne University, the Quarter buzzes with a youthful energy, making it a hub for culture and lively discussions. Strolling through its narrow lanes, you’ll discover hidden gardens, charming squares, and relics of Roman Paris. The Latin Quarter also boasts some of the city’s most beloved eateries, where you can savor authentic French cuisine or international dishes. For those seeking an alternative Parisian experience, the Latin Quarter’s rich cultural tapestry and laid-back atmosphere make it a must-visit.

7. Romantic Experiences in Paris: Seine River Cruises

Paris, the city of love, offers countless romantic experiences, but a cruise along the Seine River is truly unparalleled. Gliding under historic bridges and past iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral, these cruises provide a serene and intimate setting for couples. Whether you choose a daytime voyage to admire the city’s splendid architecture or a nighttime excursion to witness Paris illuminated, the experience is magical. Many cruises offer gourmet meals, adding a layer of indulgence to the journey. Sipping champagne as the lights of Paris reflect off the water is a quintessential romantic moment, making Seine River cruises a must-do for couples seeking to capture the essence of romance in Paris.

8. The Mystique of Montmartre: Artists and Cafés

Montmartre, perched on a hill overlooking Paris, is a neighborhood wrapped in artistic history and bohemian charm. Once the haunt of artists like Picasso and Van Gogh, its cobbled streets and squares still buzz with the energy of aspiring painters and street performers. The area’s artistic legacy is most palpable at Place du Tertre, where artists set up their easels each day. Montmartre’s cafes, such as the famed Café des Deux Moulins, offer cozy spots to enjoy a coffee while soaking in the ambiance that inspired some of the world’s greatest art. The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur, with its white domes gleaming against the Paris skyline, offers a serene refuge and stunning city views. A visit to Montmartre is a journey into the heart of Paris’s bohemian past, filled with moments of inspiration and artistic discovery.

9. La Défense: Modernity Meets Tradition

La Défense, a major business district located on the outskirts of Paris, represents the city’s step into modernity, contrasting sharply with its historic core. Known for its futuristic architecture, La Défense is home to the Grande Arche, a monumental building that mirrors the Arc de Triomphe, yet with a contemporary twist. This area is not only a hub for international business but also a cultural venue, boasting an open-air museum with sculptures and artworks by renowned artists. Visitors can explore a different side of Paris here, one that showcases the city’s ability to blend tradition with innovation. The district’s elevated esplanade offers unique perspectives of Paris, merging the city’s iconic past with its dynamic present. La Défense’s modern skyscrapers and artistic endeavors make it a must-visit for those looking to experience the full spectrum of Parisian life.

10. Day Trips from Paris: Versailles and Beyond

The allure of Paris extends beyond its city limits, with breathtaking day trips inviting exploration. The Palace of Versailles, with its opulent halls, lush gardens, and the mesmerizing Hall of Mirrors, stands as a testament to the grandeur of French royalty. Beyond Versailles, the charming town of Giverny, home to Claude Monet’s house and gardens, offers a picturesque retreat into the world that inspired Impressionism. For history enthusiasts, the beaches of Normandy, site of the D-Day landings, provide a poignant journey through time. Each destination, easily accessible from Paris, presents a unique facet of French culture, history, and natural beauty. Embarking on these day trips enriches the Parisian experience, revealing the diverse tapestry of France’s heritage.

11. The Opulence of Opéra Garnier: A Cultural Feast

The Opéra Garnier, or Palais Garnier, is not just an opera house but a symbol of Parisian elegance and extravagance. Designed by Charles Garnier in the late 19th century, this architectural marvel dazzles visitors with its grandiose facade, opulent marble staircase, and the magnificent auditorium adorned with a stunning chandelier and Marc Chagall’s ceiling painting. Beyond its architectural beauty, the Opéra Garnier stands as a beacon of cultural richness, hosting world-class ballet and opera performances. A visit here offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Parisian society during the Second Empire. Whether attending a performance or exploring the public areas on a guided tour, the Opéra Garnier promises an unforgettable cultural feast, enveloping visitors in the grandeur of Parisian arts.

12. The Serenity of Jardin des Tuileries: Nature in the City

Nestled between the Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde, the Jardin des Tuileries offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city streets of Paris. This historic garden, designed in the French formal style, invites visitors to wander through its meticulously manicured paths, past statues, ponds, and perfectly trimmed hedges. Whether you’re seeking a quiet spot to read, a scenic route for a leisurely stroll, or simply a place to enjoy nature’s beauty amidst the urban landscape, the Jardin des Tuileries provides a serene backdrop. Seasonal flowers add bursts of color, while the garden’s chairs invite you to sit and soak in the tranquil atmosphere. This verdant oasis in the heart of Paris is a testament to the city’s dedication to preserving natural spaces for all to enjoy.

13. The Gothic Beauty of Sainte-Chapelle: Weird Things to Do in Paris

Among the myriad of enchanting sights in Paris, Sainte-Chapelle stands out as a hidden gem that captivates with its gothic beauty and remarkable history. Nestled within the medieval Palais de la Cité, this chapel is renowned for its stunning stained-glass windows that illustrate biblical stories with vibrant colors and intricate details. Constructed in the 13th century, Sainte-Chapelle was intended to house precious Christian relics, including Christ’s Crown of Thorns. Today, visitors can marvel at the chapel’s celestial atmosphere and the way light dances through the glass, casting kaleidoscopic patterns. Exploring this lesser-known monument offers a unique glimpse into Paris’s rich religious heritage and gothic architecture, making it a wonderfully weird addition to any Paris itinerary.

Paris, with its blend of historical grandeur, artistic brilliance, and romantic allure, offers an endless array of experiences that cater to every traveler’s desires. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the serene Jardin des Tuileries and the gothic splendor of Sainte-Chapelle, the City of Light dazzles with its cultural richness and architectural beauty. Whether you’re seeking romantic experiences, cultural exploration, or simply the joy of discovering the hidden gems of Paris, this guide has laid out the top sights and activities to ensure your visit is unforgettable. Embrace the charm of Paris and let the city’s magic unfold around you.

Ready to embark on your Parisian adventure? Visit SkySonar to plan your journey, book flights, and find the best deals for your unforgettable trip to Paris. Let the City of Light captivate your heart and create memories that will last a lifetime.

FAQ: Exploring Paris

What is the best time to visit Paris?

Paris is enchanting year-round, but spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) offer pleasant weather and fewer tourists, making it ideal for exploring the city’s outdoor attractions.

Purchasing skip-the-line tickets or Paris museum passes in advance can save you time. Additionally, visiting early in the morning or during late hours can also mean shorter queues.

Is Paris a walkable city?

Yes, Paris is highly walkable, with many of its major attractions located within walking distance of each other. Exploring on foot also allows you to discover the city’s hidden gems.

What should I do if I only have one day in Paris?

If you have just one day, focus on the city’s iconic landmarks: start with the Louvre, then visit Notre-Dame Cathedral, stroll through the Latin Quarter, and end your day at the Eiffel Tower.

Can I see the Eiffel Tower without going up?

Absolutely. The Trocadéro Gardens offer one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower, perfect for photos, especially at sunrise or sunset.

Are there any hidden costs I should be aware of?

While many of Paris’s attractions are free to enjoy from the outside, entrance fees, dining, and souvenirs can add up. It’s also wise to check if tips are included in your dining bills.

What’s the best way to experience Parisian culture?

Engage with the city by trying local cuisine in bistros, visiting markets, exploring neighborhoods like Montmartre, and simply taking the time to sit in a café and watch the world go by.

You May Also Like
the little girl new york glasses 2115617

The Best Places To Visit With Kids In New York

New York is a great place for kids. There are many museums, historical sites and attractions that are perfect for children of all ages. Check out our list of the best places to visit in New York with kids and start planning your next family vacation today!