Paris is the most beautiful city in the entirety of France with so much magic to offer that you could travel the city for months & still be left with things to be done. There’s so much to do in Paris, that a lifetime can fall short. Here’s a crisp and concise Paris Bucket List of 46 unmissable things for you to save your time & make the trip worth a lifetime.
The Paris Bucket List - Make the Best of Your Experience
#1 Climb atop the Eiffel Tower
A trip to Paris is incomplete without visiting the Eiffel Tower. Seeing the Eiffel Tower is one thing but climbing atop the Eiffel tower is a whole other world. Take an elevator or climb up this 300m tall wonder & witness the spectacular vista of the city. Also, you can indulge in a fine dine at the restaurants built inside the Eiffel Tower for a memorable dining experience. If you have some extra time on your hands, do catch the light show at night - it's spectacular!
#2 Louvre Museum: The Art Repository
The Louvre Museum is the world's largest & most visited museum. It houses the best paintings & artworks from around the globe including Mona Lisa by Leonard Da Vinci, the Winged Victory & many more. They said it can can take more than a week to cover entire museum, so it’s practically impossible for your to cover all of it. However, here are the top paintings and artworks you must see at the Louvre Museums.
#3 Wander aimlessly around Montmartre
Want to wander aimlessly for some time leaving the world aside? Visit Montmartre Hill & get lost in its cobblestone streets, cosy cafes, art by local artisans,amazing views of the city, and local delicacies Montmartre is the most famous Parisian district perched on the top of a hill in the 18th arrondissement. It's famous for its museums, vineyards, vineyards & of course, the Sacre Coeur!
#4 Talk a long walk along Champs-Élysées
Champs-Elysees is French for Elysian Fields, a Greek word that means "the resting place of the heroes". The Champ Elysees is a 2km long avenue that has the names of the military heroes, battles, & historic victories engraved on the street as a reverence to the brave hearts. Moreover, it connects the two most iconic Parisian attractions, Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. Walk the avenue & witness the perspective it offers.
#5 The Seine Cruise: A soothing ride
The Seine River is the most famous in Paris and stretches about 776km across the country. The banks of the Seine river were declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991 for its sheer magnificence. Going on a Seine Cruise is a very prominent way to discover Paris. This short cruise ride covers the most famous attractions of Paris like the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, etc. You can opt for cruises with bars & restaurants where you can sit amid the calmness of the flowing water with a glass of wine and take in the gorgeous sights of Paris.
#6 Walk up to the Basilica du Sacré-Cœur
Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a beautiful Roman Catholic Church built atop Montmartre Hill. The name Sacre Coeur is French for the 'sacred heart of Jesus'. This church has existed since the times of the French Revolution & is of both historical and political importance.You'll have to climb 300 stairs to reach the Church & then you can even climb the dome which is the 2nd highest elevation in Paris after the Eiffel Tower. It offers a panoramic of the city that is worth the hype.
#7 Soak in some Parisian history at the Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe stands proud as it represents the glorious victories of the country from the times of the French Revolution & Napoleon Wars. The names of all of France's war wins, as well as the generals in charge, are engraved on the inner and outer sides of the Arc and took 30 long years to build this. The Tour De France bicycle race ends near this monument every year. Also, if you are flying to Paris in July you can attend the annual military parade at the Arc, marked on 14th July on the French National day. You can climb atop the arch with Arc de Triomphe Skip the Line Tickets and soak in the breathtaking view of Paris. There’s an ongoing debate whether Arc De Triomphe or Eiffel Tower offers the best view of the city.
#8 Marvel at the intricate glass paintings at Sainte-Chapelle
The Sainte-Chapelle is a gothic-style royal chapel & is considered one of the best expressions of Gothic Architecture in all of France. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings & is famous for its weightlessness & strong vertical emphasis. It has the world's best display of extensive stained glass, crafted tombs & shimmering walls of light. Once inside, lookup, you'll thank us later!
#9 Check out hip boutiques, galleries, and gay bars at Le Marais
Le Marais is arguably the hippest district in Paris and is famous for the multitude of gay bars and trendy boutiques that lends modernity to the medieval buildings. The streets are full of exotic delicacies, vintage bars, art galleries, international fashion stores, hippest gay clubs & friendly people - getting lost here can soon become a pleasure. Once the city's Jewish Quarter, the area still hosts innumerable kosher restaurants. If you ever feel tired of Paris's beautiful but overcrowding avenues, visit this place for some time quirky fun and good clothes. You can go for a guided walking tour of the area if you want to hit all the best spots!
#10 Take a day trip to the Palace of Versailles
Palais de Versailles or Chateau Versailles demonstrates the city's royal power & influence in the past. Visiting the palace gives you an insight into French history, showing the lavish lifestyle of the monarchs that once lived there. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an enchanting combination of art & nature, created by King Louis XIV as a symbol of his wealth and power. Make sure to spend some time walking around the Versailles Garden.
#11 Go Museum Hopping in Paris
There are around 136 museums in Paris that display artworks, fashion & cosmetics, architecture, sports, science and mathematics, & every other thing you can think of from all walks of life. Some of the famous museums in Paris are The Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Musée Picasso Paris, Grand Palais, Musée des Arts Décoratifs etc. If you are someone who feels intrigued about history, fashion, architecture and evolution, or just collections, museums are a must-do thing on your Paris bucket list.
#12 Shop till you drop at Galeries Lafayette
What is the one place in Paris that will let you shop, eat, and take in everything the city has to offer all in one day? We say it's the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann! There is nothing better than entering this historic departmental store — a symbol of Parisian luxury with its Art-Deco style façade – in the heart of Paris. This store includes eateries, wine shops, fashion retails, gaming lounges, art exhibitions & whatnot. Moreover, you can participate in baking workshops, cookery & gaming competitions, and watch fashion shows. It's located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.
#13 Indulge in a Croissant from Boulangerie Poilane
Rule of thumb: In Paris, you never say no to croissants! And Boulangerie Poilane is one of the best bakeries to taste all sorts of confectionaries . As they say, there is no better way to start a morning in Paris than with a breakfast visit to Poilane. It's located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris & hosts tours for the tourists. You should make the bookings in advance since it's often full.
#14 Go Back in Time at La Conciergerie
La Conciergerie, a stunning piece of architecture on the banks of Seine is a former courthouse & prison of royal times.When you get to La Conciergerie, take a moment to appreciate the structure's exterior. The four towers are its most distinguishing characteristic, with The Tour Bonbec, the oldest, which was built in 1250 and served as prison. During the war, more than 2000 people were prisoners here, including the famous Marie Antoinette.
#15 Stroll along the Seine
River Seine is a glittering vein that passes through the heart of Paris. If you’re not much of a “touristy” cruise person, taking a long walk on the banks of Seine will give you glimpse of the real Paris. Make multiple stops at Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and so on. There are several bakeries in Paris, so you grab yourself a croissant to keep you company. There is nothing more is quintessentially Paris than watching the sundown with a glass of wine to the banks of Seine.
#16 Buy a book from Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company is a small bookstore located in the 5th arrondissement and is one of the most visited. It is regarded as one of the best bookstores in the world. Since its inception in 1919, it has been visited by famous writers like Hemingway, Ezra Pound etc. For the love of books in you or for good pictures make sure to pay a visit to witness what this 100-year book store has for you!
#17 Have a Magical Day at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is a huge park built upon the Disney castle theme. The Sleeping Beauty's Castle and the Phantom Manor are two of its highlights. There are rides and roller coasters suitable for people of all ages. You'll also get to witness the unique events and parades of the day, Disney-inspired snacks, shop for Disney souvenirs, and meet many of your favourite Disney characters. Also, consider staying at a Disney castle inspired Hotel for a night to get the rounded Disney experience!
#18 Witness world class Opera at Palais Garnier
If you enjoy opera, ballet, classical music or just want to have a shimmery night? Palais Garnier will satiate your fantasies. It is one of the most beautiful historical masterpieces in France to date located in the 18th arrondissement. It can seat around 2000 people and presents some of the best operas in EuropeOne of the most impressive attractions in the opera house is the Grand Foyer. It features large gold leaf designs & intricate mosaics. While visiting, sign up for a 90 minutes tour to explore the huge opera house. Make sure to book your tickets in advance as the seats sell out quickly.
#19 Catch a puppet show at the Jardin du Luxembourg
The Jardin du Luxembourg gardens cover 23 hectares and are open all year to the public. There are 106 historic statues to discover scattered throughout, in addition to the beautifully manicured gardens. Théâtre des Marionnettes du Jardin du Luxembourg is the largest theatre of its kind with 275 seats and impressive cinema work. It holds various shows like Pinocchio, Little Red Riding Hood, & several originals for all ages. If you just want to relax or have a picnic with kids, this is the place to go.
#20 Picnic at Canal Saint-Martin
The Canal Saint-Martin, located in the heart of Paris is in the 20th arrondissement. It has the most soothing, romantic and attractive vibe. This historic river offers a distinct and impressive ambience in the morning, during the day, and in the evening. During your visit to the city of magic, take a stroll down the banks and have a picnic in the sun with your beloved ones.
#21 Join a street-art tour in Paris
The city of light is famous for its magnificent museums but another treasure is imprinted on the walls of the city itself. There are a number of walls in the city, beautifully painted with vibrant colours & thoughtful designs that reflect upon the lives of the people from the past & the present. You can book a street art tour and they'll walk you through the city explaining the story behind every graffiti! It's certainly one of the great adventures to cover in this magical city.
#22 Have some spooky fun at the Paris Catacombs
Paris is synonymous with glitz, glamour, romance, and true love. But have you ever wondered what lies underneath the busy Parisian streets? Around the 18th century, when the Parisian cemeteries started to overflow, the authorities decided to transfer remains to an underground quarry, just outside of what was then central Paris. Twenty metres beneath what today are the busy streets of Paris, you will find 200 miles of a winding maze, containing the remains of more than six million Parisians. The bones are neatly stacked into the wall, some even arranged into patterns. No matter how spooky this sounds, you certainly wouldn't want to miss the Paris Catacombs!
#23 Experience Paris’ nightlife in a Latin Quarter pub crawl
Paris, unlike all other countries, has another worldly magic running in the streets at night. With plenty of bars, restaurants, pubs & clubs, free movies & operas, light shows, exotic weather & friendly people, it's wrapped in the fun you'd certainly not get to witness anywhere in the world. Latin Quarter has 3 amazing pubs that are worth a visit! As you travel the Latin Quarter at night, you'll be able to attend some of the best parties in Paris and have the night of your life!
#24 Grab a cup of hot chocolate from Angelina
A cup full of hot chocolate from Angelina is true to its hype! It has a rich and thick consistency with whipped cream to stir in for added sweetness – heavily indulgent but entirely worth the calorie spike!
#25 Get yourself a souvenir from one of the Bouquinistes
How about bringing home some precious age-old books that narrate the stories of a timeless Paris? The Bouquinistes of Paris, on the banks of the Seine River, sell secondhand books, vintage postcards, and posters. Keep an eye out for historic street-side book kiosks as you stroll around the Quai Voltaire. These bookstalls are one of the city's UNESCO World Heritage sites. This is a must-visit for any budget traveller looking for souvenirs.
#26 Visit the city's biggest nightclub, Moulin Rouge
The Moulin Rouge Cabaret’s red windmill on the roof and flashy neon sign board that reads Moulin Rouge is an iconic sign, to say the least. Not so surprisingly, the show is as iconic as this signboard! It is the city's biggest nightclub and has the best cabaret dance shows. The Moulin Rouge is a must-visit if you have never witnessed a cabaret show ever to soak in the hype!
#27 Sign up for a Parisian food tour with a local!
The 2 best pieces of evidence of great history and culture are architecture and food! And Paris is abundantly rich with both. You can book the food tours that'll walk you through the best cuisines in the city including the chocolatier, croissants, the world-famous french pastries, crepes, macarons & fine meat. Enjoy a trip and culinary journey through French heritage and cuisine, it's worth every extra calorie!
#28 Check out the Balcony of Paris - Pantheon
Even if you don't want to spend the money on a ticket to go inside, viewing the Pantheon's façade is a great photo opp. The towering neoclassical edifice is pleasingly symmetrical. Inside, the Pantheon resembles a church: high arches, magnificent murals, and columns galore. When viewed from inside, illuminated by the sunshine, the dome looks exceptionally gorgeous. It's built on the 5th arrondissement's highest point & gives a wonderful view of the city, thus, it is called the Balcony of Paris! You can book an audio guide available in several languages including English. They also provide a free activity book for kids to help them learn in an interactive way.
#29 Spend a macabre afternoon at Pere Lachaise
Pere Lachaise is the world's most famous garden cemetery that contains the graves of many prominent people. The gardens pay homage to your favourite celebrities, war heroes, renowned artists or the memorials of unnamed victims of mass killings. To name a few it includes the graves of JRD Tata, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Chopin etc. Some of the graves are in the form of chapels, while others resemble telephone booths adorned with flowers. It is advisable to book a guide or carry a map if you wish to see preferred cemeteries.
#30 Take another day trip to Mont. St Michel
Paris to Mont Saint-Michel is a four hour trip to a tidal island located 1km away from the city at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. It has held a strategic & cultural importance since the 11th century for France. Take a guided tour to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed island and its renowned Gothic castle. You can learn about the site's intriguing history and legends, with a glass of mulled wine on the breezy shores. Before returning to Paris, take some time to explore the island, taste the traditional dishes and soak in the views of the surrounding bay.
#31 Enjoy Contemporary Art at Centre Pompidou
A new-age architectural masterpiece which houses over 100,000 pieces of art, Centre Pompidou is often considered to be a shrine dedicated to modern art. Ever since its inauguration in 1977, this museum has solidified itself in the art world, and is best known famous for its exhibitions, dance performances, cinemas and artifacts. Whether you’re into the world or not, this museum is a place you have to visit, simply because of its high-tech architecture and incredible visual appeal.
#32 Pose away in front of The Wall of Love
If you love, love or just some beautiful pictures, do take a stroll at the famous Wall of Love! The wall symbolises love as it has the words 'I love you' written around it in 250 different languages. This wall in Montmartre Hill is popular with couples. You can walk around with your special one or who knows you may bump into one.
#33 Catch a football match at Parc Des Princes
The Parc des Princes is an all-seater football stadium in Paris, France, located in the 16th arrondissement of the French capital. It has been the home of the football club, Pari Saint-Germain, since 1974. Outside of match times, this iconic stadium is open to the public.
#34 Soak in stellar views of Paris from the Montparnasse Tower
The Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck, located in the heart of the city, offers a one-of-a-kind, stunning vista of the city by day and night. 200 metres above the city of Paris, the deck offers a 360-degree birds-eye view of the city’s most beautiful structures including The Louvre, Les Invalides, the Sacré-Cœur, Notre-Dame cathedral, Montmartre, and the Panthéon. Entry to tickets can be purchased for access to the 56th Floor and Roof Terrace
#35 Go ice skating at Hotel de Ville in Winter
The former Place de Grève, which hosted public executions in the past, is now a hotel, Place de l'Hôtel de Ville. It hosts public entertainment such as an artificial beach during the "Paris Plages" event, a massive ice rink during the winter festivities, trade fairs, and a giant screen for large sporting events. Ice skating festival takes place in the 4th arrondissement of the city in front of the main town hall. There are also market stalls, carousels, and even a rock-climbing event that takes place. If you get lucky enough to visit Paris in the winters, this crazy adventure has to be added to your Paris bucket list!
#36 Wander through Les Passages Couverts
The Parisian arcades are time-warp alleys of old stores and brasseries strewn around the French metropolis. There are around 20 passages located in the vicinity of Grands Boulevards, where most of them have tea shops, restaurants, cafes, and gift shops. There is also one famous lane, Passage Brady, known as Little India, as it has numerous Indian, Pakistani, Mauritian and Reunion shops. Passage des Panoramas, Galerie Vivienne, Passage Verdeau etc, are among the famous passages in this area.
#37 Take a quick walk around Rue Crémieux
The former Rue Millaud is a one-block pedestrian street that was originally developed in 1857 for the workers. It was later renamed Rue Cremieux, after a lawyer who fought for the rights of the Jewish people during World War II.. It is a beautiful lane located in the 12th arrondissement, covered in vibrant colours & unique building designs. This charming cobbled backstreet is the most Instagrammable street in Paris, but is a residential lane, so make sure you respect the residents.
#38 Eat salted caramel macarons from Ladurée
Ladureé arguably serves these French cookies in the best way! Pâtisserie E. Ladurée, or simply Ladurée, is a high-end pastry and confectionery company founded in 1862. It is one of the most well-known double-decker macaron sellers in the world, selling almost 15,000 every day. Ladurée provided the sweets for Sofia Coppola's film, Marie Antoinette, and its famous macarons appear in a scene between the French queen and Ambassador Mercy.
#39 Musee du Chocolat is a must for chocoholics
Museé de Chocolat is a museum solely dedicated to chocolates, be it in the form of Eiffel Tower, or a famous personality carved out of some of the world’s best chocolate, The museum walks the visitors through the 4000 years old history of cocoa and its journey ever since. The chocolate-making demonstrations carried out every 30 minutes allow you to experience the heavenly taste of the rich authentic chocolates, surely an unforgettable experience.
#40 Buy yourself some flowers from the Île de la Cité Flower Market
Île de la Cité Flower Market is the prettiest one in the entire city, located on a quaint island in the Seine. You can get pretty flowers, bouquets, small plants & cute green bonsai easily in a few euros. Situated in the heart of Paris, visiting the market also offers views of the Sainte Chapelle and the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral which are both located at a walking distance from the market.
#41 Sip on French Press and people watch at Café de Flore
The Café de Flore is one of Paris's oldest coffeehouses, known for its prominent visitors like high-profile writers and philosophers in the past. It's in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the 6th arrondissement, on the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Saint-Benoît. The café is still a famous hangout area for celebrities that draws a large number of tourists. Sit by this cute small cafe, Cafe de Flore by yourself & watch people. Sip on the French press & have buttery, flaky French pastries!
#42 Go Château hopping at Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is an enchanting French valley noted for its many visitable chateaux, dispersed among a few towns and lovely waterways. Due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, artichoke, and asparagus fields that border the river's banks, it is called the "Cradle of the French" and the "Garden of France". The valley has been populated since the Middle Palaeolithic period and is known for its mediaeval architecture and wines. The Loire River valley was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 2000. The beauty of small-town France is combined with the jaw-dropping architecture of some of the country's most iconic castles, the Loire Valley is a wonderland!
#43 Sign up for a perfume-making workshop!
During a perfume creation class in Paris, you will have the opportunity to create your own particular fragrance with special assistance from an expert. Attendees can learn about the history of perfume, get a whiff of the main ingredients, create their own perfume formula based on their unique preferences, and then mix and bottle it. You'll find plenty of workshops in the city that help you with making perfumes. It’s advised to book the slots in advance!
#44 Dance the night away on a summer evening at the Jardin Tino Rossi
Along the banks of the Seine river, the Jardin Tino Rossi gardens present an amazing opportunity for dance night. Try out the outdoor dance sessions by the Jardin, since there are several small amphitheatres along the river. You can learn or at least try various dance styles like the Tango, cha-cha, hip-hop or even ballet with the help of instructors.
#45 Watch a free outdoor movie at Parc la Villette
Relax on the lush lawns of the Parc de la Villette in the 19th district of Paris's north-east. As twilight falls, the Open Air Cinema Festival (Cinéma en Plein air) begins. Every summer, with varied themes & concepts, the festival welcomes thousands of film aficionados with a programme of French and international films, both new releases and cult classics.
#46 Take an Instagram worthy shot of the “sinking house” in Montmartre
The Sinking House is adjacent to Sacré-Coeur. Before you go looking for the sinking house in Montmartre, you should know that the "sinking house" is not actually sinking. It's just a clever camera trick. Simply tilt your camera to the left until the hill has been flattened. If you go early in the morning, you'll likely beat the crowds and be able to spend more time exploring the Sacre-Coeur. However, if you go in the evening, you'll get some spectacular views of the city against the sunset!
The Paris Bucket List - FAQs
- French people do not use cards with magnetic strips. Make sure you have cards that use a chip & pin.
- Book your tickets in advance for almost all the tourist attractions, because Paris is beautiful but not at the thought of standing in lines for hours.
- Steer clear of bracelets & other tourist scams.
Paris is a city rich with history, so you can roam in the streets for months exploring the city but still be left with things. If you plan to go by our list then it'll take you 4-5 days to enjoy these experiences!.
While there is something to be discovered throughout the year, June to September is the best time to visit the city in its most beautiful form with spring around the corner.
Paris is a city that has much to offer through its winding streets filled with history, to extremely modern structures that dot the city. The best thing to do would be to simply stroll down the streets and explore any places of interest that catch your eye!
Some of the off-beat things to do in Paris is to visit the various confectionaries the city has to offer. Desserts, pastries, you name it! There are also some non-touristy neighbourhoods to explore, like St. Martin's Canal, Rue Montorgueil or Sentier.
Definitely visit the Eiffel Tower. A trip to Paris is incomplete. The Louvre, the Palais Garnier, Museé d'Orsay, St. Chapelle, the Catacombs, at least one cabaret show, visit the Palace of Versailles, experience the neighbourhood of Montmartre and at least one cruise down the Seine!
Meet Zombies at Manoir de Paris.
Thrilling roller coaster rides at Disneyland Paris.
See Paris by helicopter, it's simply another world!
Water ski on the Seine.
Fly over Paris in air balloons to witness the spectacular wonder it is.
Have a virtual reality cinema experience.
Paris has something for everyone! With kids, a must is Disneyland of course. You can also visit the Lindt Chocolatier Shop if the kids have a sweet tooth! A hilltop amusement park, Jardin d'Acclimatation would also be a good choice, as well as the Place des Vosges.