TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN PARIS, FRANCE

Paris is a beautiful city full of museums and famous landmarks. It is hard to see everything in just a few days but here is our top to things to do in Paris.

If you don’t have too much time in Paris, try using the Paris Big Bus tour. This gets you around quickly and efficiently and allows you to see landmarks from the open top bus if you aren’t fussed about exploring it by foot.

1) Eiffel Tower

Open 9.30am – 11pm every day, with the Tower staying open until midnight in the summer. Lift entrance ticket costs €17 for an adult and €14.50 for those 12-24 years old. Those wishing to take the stairs (good luck!) can pay €7 for an adult ticket, €5 for 12-24 year olds and €3 for 4 -11 year olds. Metro line 6 to Bir-Hakeim and line 9 to Trocadero will take you just a short walk from the Tower or the RER line C to Champs de Marts – Tour Eiffel is just a short walk as well. Batobus boats are available for those wishing to get to the Eiffel Tower via the river.

No trip to the Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Get there for opening time to avoid standing in long queues and make sure you are queuing at the correct leg of the tower depending on whether you want to take the lift or to climb the many, many stairs.

Save money by purchasing a Paris Pass. This includes entrance to most of the famous landmarks and attractions around the city and includes the Big bus tour.

2) The Louvre

The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, open 9am – 6pm during the week apart from Wednesday and Friday when it is open from 9am – 9.45pm. Tickets cost €15 and entrance is free if you are 18-25 years old and residents of the EU or a visitor under the age of 18. The first Sunday of every month is also free. Catch the metro to Palais-Royal-Musee Du Louvre Station (line 1) or get the Batobus to the Louvre stop; Quad Francois Mitterrand.

This famous art museum is home of the world famous Mona Lisa along with incredible masterpieces such as the Venus de Milo, the Liberty leading the people and the Code of Hammurabi; a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia. It is worth a visit just for the beautiful architecture and museum design. Admission fee is included in the Paris Pass with fast track entrance.

3) Notre Dame de Paris

Open 7.30am – 7.30 pm in the winter months and 7am – 9pm in the Summer. Entrance is free though you may wish to contribute a donation for the church. RER lines B and C take you to Saint’Michel-Notre Dame station for the most efficient route.

This is one of my favourite places in Paris because of its vivid connection to a favourite childhood movie of mine; The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This is a stunning Gothic Cathedral with such intricate sculptures and gorgeous stained glass windows, a must when in Paris.

4) Arc De Triomphe

Open 10am to 11pm from April to September then 10am to 10.30pm from October to March. Entrance costs €8 for adults and €5 for those 18 -25 years old. The RER line A to Charles-de-Gaulle-toile is the best route to get there. One of the most famous monuments in Paris and replicated across the world, Arc De Triomphe is a popular choice for tourists. You can even climb to the top of the Arc for a great view but be aware the steps are steep and spiral upwards. Admission fee is included in the Paris Pass.

5) Champs-Elysées

Leading up to the Arc De Triomphe is the Champs-Elysées; a collection of high end shops, always good even for some window shopping.

6) Sacre-Coeur

Open from 6am to 10.30pm, entrance is free. The nearest metro stop is Anvers serviced by Metro Line 2. Sacre-Coeur is a popular choice for tourists, offering beautiful architecture along with some stunning views of Paris.

7) Disneyland Paris

Disneyland is open 10am to 8pm with the Walt Disney Studios Park open from 10am to 6pm. A ‘1 day, 2 park’ ticket prices start at €70. The Eurostar offers direct trains from London St Pancras, Ebbsfleet International or Ashford International straight to the park. The regional RER train is available to Marne-la-Vallee Chessy, just a 5 minute walk from the parks.

For all those who wish to discover the big kid inside them, Disneyland Paris is a slightly quieter but just as magical version of its American double.

8) Musee d’Orsay

Open 9.30am to 6pm costing €11 and free for 18 – 25 year old, EU citizens. Metro line 12 to Solferino or RER line C to Musee d’Orsay are the quickest and most efficient ways to get to the museum. Musee d’Orsay offers French art dating from 1848 to 1915, ideal for art lovers. Admission fee is included in the Paris Pass.

9) Catacombs of Paris

Open from 9am to 5pm and costing €8; tickets need to be booked on the website in advance. RER line B to Denfert-Rochereau is an easy route to the Catacombs. Visit the maze of remains under the grounds of Paris. Remember to bring a light sweater as it can get chilly underground and use the bathroom before heading underground.

10) Montparnasse Tower

Open from 9.30am to 11.30pm April to September, then 9.30am to 10.30pm from October to March. Tickets cost €15 for an adult or €11.70 for those aged 16 to 20 or students. Catch Metro Lines 4,6,12 or 13 to Montparnasse-Bienvenue Station. Admission fee is included in the Paris Pass.

What is your favourite thing to do in Paris? To plan your perfect itinerary, read The Great Wide Somewhere’s post.

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Showing 22 comments
  • justine
    Reply

    I remember being in Paris! Haha of course no one should missed out on the iconic Iron Lady! I haven’t been to Sacre Coeur but I really wanted to go! Sigh, maybe next time!

  • Rachel Drinkard
    Reply

    So far my only experience with Paris has been the airport…which was so confusing! This really helps narrow the focus down to a “best of” list for a really overwhelming place. Thanks!

  • Naomi
    Reply

    Disneyland Paris? I have only been to Disneyland in California! You say it is much quieter – is it not as busy as the parks in the U.S.?

    • Katie
      Reply

      As long as you don’t go in schools holidays or at Christmas it is quieter and slightly smaller 🙂

  • Mercae
    Reply

    I’ve been to most of these in Paris, I’m thrilled to have had that experience. I think the Eiffel tower – while beautiful, isn’t the first place I’d go when I go back though. The d’Orsay was my favorite museum, aside from the Louvre.

  • Ketki Sharangpani
    Reply

    Great list. I didn’t know much beyond the Eiffel tower, Louvre and he cathedral. The catacombs look like a wonderful place to explore.

  • Christie
    Reply

    I always love to read posts about Paris! There are so many different things to do there – it’s always hard for me to decide on. Have you been to Disneyland Paris? I’ve always been curious how it compares to the Disneyland in Anaheim which I LOVE! Thanks for sharing

    • Katie
      Reply

      It is just as magical but quite a bit smaller! But avoid the European school holidays!!

  • jin
    Reply

    having been to paris quite a few times myself, this is a very good must-see and must-do paris list! you’ve listed all the great iconic landmarks that one must see at least once in their lifetimes. good job!

    • Katie
      Reply

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Kyntra Strickland
    Reply

    I will finally get to go to Disneyland Paris in a week!! I’m so excited. Great list! These are some of my favorite places in France.

  • Rahul Khurana
    Reply

    Paris is on top of my bucket list. Your list of must visit places has made me more eager to visit it. I didn’t knew about Montparnasse Tower, Arc De Triomphe among few others. Eifel Tower and Disneyland are my favourites. There is so much to see in this city that I am wondering how many days should one plan for to visit?

  • yukti
    Reply

    Your blog revived my vacation in Paris. I missed the 9th and 10th attraction. Catacombs and Montparnasse I was not knowing of it. Very beautiful guide for people who are going for first time.

  • Natasha
    Reply

    I loved Disneyland Paris though it did rain the full day! I would love to try the catacombs tour sometime. I love your top 10, for sure some awesome places to check out

  • Kim @ Those Who Wandr
    Reply

    I LOVE your expandable tips! Still haven’t been to Paris, but the majority of these places have been on my list for a while now! Thanks for this useful guide and providing times and costs for each attraction.

  • Christina
    Reply

    That’s pretty much the itinerary I had for my short stay in Paris last year, and can totally agree with it 🙂 Even if many of those sights are run over by tourists, if seasonally smartly timed – and mostly even if not – they’re definitely worth it. One thing I’m dying to go to though is Disneyland… my persisting childhood dream. Probably I’m just gonna take my own little ones along in ten years or so haha.

  • Sonia
    Reply

    I am off to Paris in Aug and your post seems perfect. The Eiffel Tower is surely there on my list:l. Will try and cover as much as I can!

  • Rashmi and Chalukya
    Reply

    Your post just refreshed our memory of our visit to Paris. The sparkling Iron Lady and the cruise on The Seine were all a wonderful experience. Though we missed Disney and Montparnasse we would definitely love to do it on our next visit.

  • Aisha
    Reply

    I still haven’t done #6-8, adding them to my list for my day-trip to Paris in November! Thanks!

  • Margaret Webster
    Reply

    Thanks for writing this. I was happy to discover that I hit most of the highlights of Paris during my trip there. Now I have something to go back to. Had I known about the Catacombs I probably would have put that on the top of my list. It gives me something to look forward to when I go back.

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