Best Things to Do in Paris
PARIS CITY GUIDE – SIGHTSEEING AND THINGS TO DO
Paris is one of the most amazing cities in Europe and most people dream about the day they get to walk down the Champs-Élysées and see the sights of this amazing city. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting the wonderful city of Paris, you may be wondering what all the important sightseeing stops are, which is why we have put together a guide for some of the best things to do in the City of Love!
Here at InterrailingPackages, Paris is one of our most popular cities. The history, culture and Parisian lifestyle will give you a new perspective on life. The Parisians are revolutionary people and this shows through the many popular tourist attractions of the city!
Start your sightseeing at the iconic symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the iconic symbol of the city of Paris. Erected in 1889, the tower has a very interesting backstory. The design was innovative and different from the architecture of the time, and it wasn’t even supposed to remain standing. It was initially a temporary construction that was only to say 20 years and was built to celebrate the French Revolution’s centennial year during the Exposition Universelle at the Champs de Mars. The purpose was to demonstrate the power and industrial abilities of France!
Now, a trip to Paris must include catching a glimpse of the Iron Lady at the very least! If you want a great view of the city, you can climb to the top of the tower or the second-floor summit. From 300 meters up, you can see all of Paris passing below and can even spot some of the other city’s monuments. But if that’s not your thing, you can still enjoy the tower by having a picnic on the Champ de Mars and watch the Eiffel Tower light show.
The world’s largest and most visited art museum can be found in Paris, it has more than enough material for an article of its own. The Louvre Palace started as a medieval fortress, before becoming a gallery for artists. It would take you weeks to fully appreciate everything in the museum! There are antiquities from scores of world cultures and a collection of Renaissance and Baroque art that puts every other museum in the world to shame.
The Notre Dame is hands-down the famous and beloved Gothic monument in the world. The unmistakeable towers rise from the eastern point of the Île de la Cité in the Seine. In Paris’s medieval core, the cathedral began in 1163 and was completed just under 200 years later. In April 2019, Parisians and the world watched the Norte Dame in go up in flames. However, you can still experience the magic of the cathedral as you get closer. Despite the fire, it still is one of the most outstanding cathedrals in France, thanks to the gothic architecture.
See Paris from a completely different perspective at the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur.
One of Paris’s top attractions is the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, and it’s easy to see why. Feel like you’re climbing the stairs to heaven when you visit the Sacred Heart Basilica, the white castle perched atop Montmarte. The French government commissioned it in 1873 to symbolise the return of self-confidence after the years of the Commune and Franco-Prussian War. The views of the city from the grounds of the Basilica are second to none!
Arc de Triomphe
Located on the Place de l’Etoile, the western end of the Champs-Elysées sits the monumental astylar that was erected to celebrate the victories and remember the war dead of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The Arc de Triomphe is also at the centre point of the Axe Historique, a long, straight line linking monuments from La Défense in the west to the Louvre in the east. The arc is carved with reliefs of key episodes of the 1790s and 1800s. On the pillars are sculptural groups, include the Marsellaise, and finally, the military leaders of the day are etched in the pillars with those who died in battle underlined. Another one of many popular tourist attractions in Paris that offers great views of the city!
Stroll along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Strolling along the most famous avenue in Paris is by far one of the best things to do here. The Champs-Élysées is to Paris what Times Square is to New York, a mecca for travellers and locals alike! Many people criticise the Champs-Élysées saying that big fast-food chains and stores have cheapened it, but others see that there is something here for all types of people. At one end you’ll find the Arc de Triomphe, and at the other, find the exquisitely restored Grand Palais!
Le Marais = The trendiest neighbourhood in Paris
Looking for some of the best places to visit when in Paris? Le Marais needs to be on your list, this Parisian neighbourhood is located in the third and fourth arrondissements. Marais, when translated into English means, swamp, the neighbourhood got its name from its geographic location which used to be an arm of the Seine river and the area was very swampy.
The Marais is historically the Jewish Quarter of Paris, and the culture here lives on today. You can try some traditional Jewish cuisine at the Marais bakeries, and if you like falafel, you need to visit l’As du Falafel. This is the place to find the best falafels in Paris! It also makes for a great night out on the town.
Galeries Lafayette – The 10-floor department store
AKA a shopper’s paradise! This department store needs to be on your list of things to do in Paris, purely for the fact that it has 10 floors! With a mix of high end and high street brands, there is something for everyone here. Even if you’re not planning on doing any shopping on your trip, you need to come and see it for yourself! During the month of December, it becomes one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris due to the giant Christmas tree put up in the glass-domed central atrium. The tree has a different theme every year and is a couple of stories tall, so it’s worth a stop if you love Christmas!
If you’re looking for something a little bit different to do on your trip to Paris, you should visit the creepy and eerie, yet interesting Catacombs. The history of the Catacombs is truly amazing, the bones of six million Parisians were moved to the underground tunnels of Paris. If you want to know more about the catacombs and the spine chilling experience, click here.
Château de Versailles
Due to the centuries of makeovers, it’s safe to say that the Château de Versailles claims the title of the most resplendent pad in Paris. Once, it was a modest hunting lodge and the building has grown with each resident, the 2300 rooms have housed various French royalty over the years. The majority of the work was commissioned by Louis XIV in 1678, who added the wondrous Hall of Mirrors and the elegant grounds. During the summer there are magnificent fountain shows at night.
While we only have 10 of the best things to do in Paris on our list, there are a multitude of amazing things that you can do in Paris!
Paris is one of our most popular interrailing destinations and is included as a stop on our most of our pre-designed packages! Book your interrailing adventure today or get in touch with us to put together your dream trip around Europe!