@SEE Best Paris Bucket List: 45 @Must-Have Experiences in Paris
Paris is a big city and rich with activities. How can you know what to do first? It’s your first visit to Paris and you want to make sure not to miss any of the best sites in the city? We have gathered them for you.
1) The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the emblem of Paris, and it would be an absolute sacrilege to not at least go by and take some pictures. Looking down on Paris from its 325 meters (1066 ft) in height, the Eiffel Tower was built for the Paris World Exhibition of 1889 by Gustave Eiffel.
It held the world’s highest building record until 1930 when the Chrysler Building was built in New York City.
Today it is the second most visited building in France, right after the Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral.
Endure the queue and the height and climb to the top; you won’t be disappointed by the view of Paris and the Champ de Mars!
The Eiffel Tower hosts several restaurants, so you can enjoy a meal with a spectacular view, though you will have to book your table a few months in advance to be able to eat there.
Schedule: Every day from 9:30 AM to 11:45 PM (last rise to the top at 10:30 PM by elevator).
Prices: Their are different tickets to go up the Eiffel Tower, some of them only give you access to the 2nd floor and some others only allow you to take the stairs. The price will vary according to your choice.
Last-floor access by elevator
Adult rate: €25.50
Teenage & Young Adult rate(12 to 24 years old): €12.70
Children rate(4 to 11 years old): €6.40
Rate for children under 4 years old: Free
Access: metro Trocadéro (line 9), Ecole Militaire (line 8), Bir Hakeim (line 6) or RER C station Champ de Mars.
>> Book a “no queueing ticket” for the 2nd and 3rd floors <<
2) Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées
As a symbol France’s national power, the Arc de Triomphe was requested by Napoleon Bonaparte in order to commemorate the victory during the Battle of Austerlitz in 1806.
Today it commemorates the First World War and hosts the Flame of the Unknown Soldier.
The Arc de Triomphe overlooks Paris in general, and the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in particular, which is known to be the most beautiful street in the whole world.
The Champs-Elysées is also a great place for shopping because it gathers the biggest French and international brands.
Schedule: Every day from 10 AM to 10:30 PM (last access 45 minutes before closure).
Full price: 12€
knock-off rate: 10€ (young people from 18 to 25 years old, tourism professionnal, and foreign teachers)
Free for people under 18 years old and for people between 18 and 25 years old from European Union countries as well as for disabled people and their helpers
Arc de Triomphe: Metro Charles de Gaulle-Etoile (lines 1, 2, 6, RER A)
Champs-Elysées: Franklin Roosevelt (line 1), George V (line 1) or Champs-Elysées — Clémenceau (lines 1 and 13)
For more information about the Arc de Triomphe, you can check its official website.
The palace of Versailles is an absolute masterpiece of French architecture. It’s the symbol of French monarchy and used to be the home of Louis XIV, the Sun King as well as his descendants Louis XV and Louis XVI.
While it was initially a mere hunting pavilion for King Louis XIII, it was transformed into the marvel it is today under Louis XIV’s decree as a means to establish dominance over the nobles and to leave his mark in history.
Spend a day in another time while visiting the Château de Versailles, as well as its Gardens, the Petit Trianon, the Grand Trianon, and the Hameau de la Reine.
Schedule: Every day — except on Monday — from 9 AM to 5:30 PM.
The Trianons and the Hameau only open at noon.
Simple full-price ticket for the Castle: 18€
Free entrance people under 26 years old and are residents of the European Union.
Access: Versailles Château Rive Gauche station (RER C) or Versailles Rive Droite station (Transilien L, access by the Paris Saint-Lazare station)
After having 300 years of history as a royal residence, the Palais du Louvre has been hosting the Louvre Museum ever since 1793.
Through gathering thousands of pieces of art from Ancient Egypt to the Romantic Period, the Louvre is the symbol of France’s history.
Many classic pieces such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace or even Antioche’s Venus de Milo are on permanent exhibit for anyone to see.
Schedule: Every day — except on Tuesdays — from 9 AM to 6 PM. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the museum closes at 9:45 PM.
Full price ticket: 15€ on the spot and 17€ online with a visit time slot and guaranteed access in 30 minutes (prices can change)
Free entrance for people under 25 years old living in the European Union and for all young people between 18 and 25 years old for nocturnal visits.
Moreover, free for everyone on each first Sunday of the month.
Access: Metro Palais Royal — Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7)
>> Book your visit to the Louvre Museum <<
Located on the Ile de la Cité, the Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral was, the main symbol of Paris until the Eiffel Tower was built.
It is the core subject of Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris. Among other things, it was the location of Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation in 1804.
Update February 19, 2020: Due to it being rebuilt, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is currently closed to the public. You can still walk up to -and around- it in order to savor its still resplendent architecture which still qualifies it as one of Paris’ iconic monuments.
Schedule: Every day from 7:45 AM to 6:45 PM (7:15 PM on Saturday and Sunday)
Price: The entrance is free.
Access: RER B and C, Saint-Michel — Notre-Dame station, metro Saint-Michel (line 4), Cité (line 4) or Cluny — La Sorbonne (line 10).
For more information about the cathedral, you can check its official website (website in French)
Built after the Franco-German war in 1870, the Sacré-Coeur basilica was dedicated to the Heart of the Christ.
Its purpose was to expiate the sins committed by the French people during the war.
Located at the top of the Montmartre Hill, the Sacré-Coeur is the second most visited religious monument in Paris, right behind the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Not only is the interior absolutely stunning, with its white stones and the painting of the the Christ’s Holy Heart, but the view from the top of Montmartre is breathtaking!
Schedule: Every day, from 6 AM to 10:30 PM
Prices: Free entrance
Access: Metro Anvers (line 2) or Abbesses (line 12) then take the funicular or the stairs.
For more information on the Sacré-Coeur, you can check its official website
The biggest cemetery of Paris, the Père Lachaise cemetery is also one of the most famous in the world.
Many celebrities are buried here such as Edith Piaf, Eugène Delacroix, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Jean de la Fontaine or Molière.
You will be able to pay your respects to these famous figures.
Scheduls: From Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 5:30 PM (the hours may vary), Saturday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM and Sunday and holidays from 9 AM to 5:30 PM
Prices: Free entrance
Access: 16, rue du Repos, 75020 Paris. Metro Philippe Auguste (line 2)
For more information on the opening hours of the Père Lachaise cemetery, you can check the official website
Holding the qualification of a monument in and of itself, the department stores of the Boulevard Haussmann gather the Galeries Lafayette and the Printemps Haussmann and is considered Europe’s number one shopping center.
Every major brand is for sale, whether it be clothes, shoes, leather goods, perfumes, jewelry or otherwise
Whatever you’re looking for, you are sure to find it here.
You will also have the opportunity to witness the building’s architecture, and you even be able to go to the roof of the Galeries Lafayette to enjoy a beautiful view of Paris.
Schedules: From Monday to Saturday from 9:30 AM to 8:30 PM and on Sunday from 11 AM to 8 PM (the schedules may change depending on the shops).
Access: Boulevard Haussmann, metro Chaussée d’Antin — La Fayette (lines 7 and 9), Opéra (lines 3, 7 or 8) or Trinité (line 12), Auber (RER A) or Haussmann — Saint-Lazare (RER E)
For more information on the Galeries Lafayette, the Printemps and their opening hours, you can check their official websites.
Located in the North-East region of Paris, the Buttes Chaumont Park is one of the largest parks in Paris.
Its position on top of a quarry lets you enjoy dome of the most beautiful views of the city, especially the Montmartre neighbourhood.
With its caves and cascades, it might make you forget that you’re still in Paris!
You can easily organize a picnic in the park with your family or friends.
Prices: Free entrance
Schedules: Every day from 7 AM to 10 PM in summer and from 7 AM to 8 PM in winter.
Access: Metro station Buttes Chaumont (line 7 bis)
Known for the presence of the Sacré Cœur, Montmartre is one of Paris’ most iconic districts.
As it is a historic and vibrant quarter, you can find anything here — bars and restaurants, but also many museums, and even the Moulin Rouge!
It’s also the area that Dalida’s heart belonged to — she lived there during the 60s until her death. You will also be able to admire the carved chest made in order to pay tribute to her, but also her house — which now has been sold.
Access: Metro 12 — Station Abbesses
Inaugurated in 1889 (the same year as the Eiffel Tower), the Moulin Rouge has always been defined as a symbol of music, artistic and body liberty.
A true definition of joy, nowadays the Moulin Rouge is still one of Paris’ emblems thanks to its shows, including its famous dancers and their stunning outfits.
Many celebrities have performed there, such as the famous Edith Piaf who sang there.
The show’s schedules: Everyday at 9PM and 11PM
You can also attend a dinner-show everyday at 7PM
Shows from 87€
Dinner-show from 185€ (the prices may change)
Access: Metro 2 — Station Blanche
>> Book your event at the Moulin Rouge <<
(note that bookings are mandatory)