Things to do in Paris

Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for its wealth of historical attractions, landmarks and monuments. From the Louvre to Notre Dame Cathedral, there’s art to architecture to be discovered, and everything in between with these top things to do in Paris.

The travel experts at The Paris Pass have chosen the best things to do in Paris during your visit. The Paris Pass includes free entry to over 60 popular attractions and experiences, as well as exclusive Fast Track Entry at the busy sites.

Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum is the most iconic and recognised art gallery in Paris for its miles of priceless art and world-famous collections, including the enigmatic Mona Lisa and the Liberty Leading the People. Don’t miss its stunning 12th century architecture and the contemporary glass pyramid in the courtyard, either.

Orsay Museum

Orsay Museum

On the left bank of the River Seine, the Orsay Museum was once a busy train station until the turn of the 20th century. Now visitors can admire art from some of France’s most prolific painters such as Cezanne, Monet, Renoir and Manet – and still see the original hanging station clock!

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

Napoleon commissioned this triumphal arch in the early 1800s however he never lived to see it finished. Standing in the centre of the Etoile it’s now one of the most photographed landmarks on the city’s horizon. Climb to the top to watch the sunset and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, below the arch.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

This 13th century French Gothic cathedral is famed for its gargoyles, chimera and stained glass windows, so a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral is guaranteed to leave you in awe. Did you know that the bell that rings on the hour, every hour is called Emmanuele and weighs 13 tonnes!

Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou is one of the most important modern art galleries and exhibition spaces in Europe.  Noted for its 50,000 works of art featuring Picasso, Ernst and Miro, the gallery promises to open your mind to the abstract and showcase the very best in modern art. 

Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles

Once the lavish home of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the Palace of Versailles is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in the world. Its opulence is unmatched and the rococo and Renaissance styles throughout make it one of the most impressive Paris sights. Make a day of it and explores the vast gardens and estate, too.

Paris Opera House

Paris Opera House

The Paris Opera House is one of the best examples of Beaux Arts architecture in Paris. Its stunning façade, marble staircase and decadent décor make it one of the most impressive buildings in central Paris. It even inspired Gaston Leroux’s hit Phantom of the Opera. 

Orangerie Museum

Orangerie Museum

If you like impressionist and post-impressionist art then this is the place to visit. The Orangerie Museum is set in the picturesque Tuileries Garden and filled with masterpieces by Monet, Renoir and Matisse. Did you know it was Monet who founded the museum by donating paintings in a celebration of the end to WWII? 

Panthéon

Panthéon

A national monument-come-necropolis, the Pantheon is one of Paris’ most important historic buildings as it contains the tombs of France’s most famous and illustrious figures. This neoclassical landmark dates back to the 18th century, from an idea by King Louis XV.

La Conciergerie

La Conciergerie

Paris’ powerhouse, the Conciergerie is the seat of justice and has been for over 1000 years.  The site dates back to an old Roman fortress and was an impressive palace in the Middle Ages. This is why its also known as the Palais de le Cite as it’s the oldest royal palace in Paris.

Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

Paris’ second most famous church after Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle is in fact the older of the two. It’s famed for the world’s largest collection of original stained glass windows, dating back to the 13th century, but also for its religious relics. It was once the resting place of Christ’s Crown of Thorns.

Paris Bus Tour

Paris Bus Tour

See the Paris sights the easy way – a Paris Bus tour is a great way to experience Paris and familiarise yourself with the city. Sit on the top deck and pass the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe and hop on and off as you choose.

Bateaux River Cruise

Bateaux River Cruise

Experiencing Paris by river is a magical experience and a river cruise along the Seine will open your eyes to a side of Paris you won’t have seen. See the Notre Dame, pass under the love lock bridge and past the Orsay Museum clock.

Wine Tasting Experience

Wine Tasting Experience

At O Chateau, you can enjoy an introductory wine tasting experience from the experts! Be taught by trained sommeliers, sample different French wines and even learn to pair them with the right cheese. There’s no better place to learn about wine than in Paris!

Paris Story 

Paris Story

Brush up on your French history and learn about the civilization of Paris as a city at Paris Story, an interactive museum that will teach you about the history of Paris from the Roman times up to the present day.

Grevin Wax Museum 

Grevin Wax Museum

Meet your music idol, shake hands with your sporting icon – at Grevin Wax Museum you’ll be shocked at these life-like waxwork creations. From Madonna to Michael Jackson, see historical figures and celebrities brought to life.

Montparnasse Tower

Montparnasse Tower

Montparnasse Tower is Paris’ only skyscraper so you’re guaranteed the best uninterrupted panoramas over Paris. Up on the 53rd viewing platform you can enjoy 360 degree views across the city – and up to 40kms away on a clear day!

Petit Train de Montmartre

Petit Train de Montmartre

Montmartre is one of Paris’ most quirky districts and was once home to the bohemian artists of the early 1900s. Explore this unique area with the Petit Train de Montmartre, and climb to the summit of the hill for views over Paris before winding your way back down the old cobbled streets.

Dali Exhibition

Dali Exhibition

The Dali Exhibition is one of the lesser-known galleries in Paris, but it is home to the a large body of sketches and sculptures. If you’re a fan of this eccentric 19th century artist then the Dali Exhibition is worth a visit – plus it’s the only exhibition dedicated solely to Dali in France!

House of Auguste Rodin at Meudon

House of Auguste Rodin at Meudon

Just outside Paris, the House of August Rodin is a true testament to Auguste Rodin’s artistic achievements. Once his own home, a stunning Louis XVIII style mansion, the museum now features many of his neoclassical works, including The Kiss and The Thinker.

Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis

Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis

Perhaps one of the most important historic buildings in Paris, the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis is a necropolis of French royalty. Here you’ll find beautiful sculptures, tombs and mausoleums – as well as the desiccated heart of Louis XVIII.

Archaeological Crypt of Notre-Dame

Archaeological Crypt of Notre-Dame

Underneath the Notre Dame Cathedral are the archeological crypt where you’ll find artefacts dating back to the Gallo-Roman times and old Paris settlements. It’s a small exhibition highlighting the original civilizations of Paris, over 2000 years ago.

Paris Science Museum

Paris Science Museum

Boasting the title of the biggest science museum in Europe, the Cite des Sciences will keep you entertained for hours in all manner of science, industry, space and technology - it even has a planetarium and IMAX, too

From this long list of top Paris sights and different things to do in Paris it’s clear that it’s a city with so much to offer, historically and culturally. There are art galleries, landmarks and monuments to be explored – making Paris one of the most exciting cities to visit!

To make it even easier, we've created some itineraries to help you on your way, read on to make the most of your time.

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