Toying with the idea of visiting Paris some time soon? Well, get ready to fall head over heels in love with the city - it's allure is simply irresistible! Sure, we all know about the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and all those iconic Parisian attractions. But how about those magical little corners, tucked away from the bustling city streets, just waiting to be discovered? That's why we've scoured every nook and cranny of the city to create this ultimate Paris Bucket List. It's packed with the usual suspects, of course, but also those extraordinary, off-the-beaten-path experiences that are sure to make your trip unforgettable. Read on to add these unique places to your bucket list!
The Paris Bucket List - Make the Best of Your Experience
1. Climb atop the Eiffel Tower
Begin your Parisian adventure with a visit to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Whether you choose to climb its stairs or take the elevator, the sight of Paris from this vantage point is worth the effort. You can also indulge in a fine dine at the restaurants built inside the Eiffel Tower for a memorable dining experience. Don't miss out on the dazzling light show at night!
2. Admire the Mona Lisa and beyond at the Louvre
The Louvre Museum is the world's largest & most visited museum. Housing masterpieces from different eras and civilizations, this is a treasure trove for all art lovers. Wander through its vast corridors to discover works from artists like da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Vermeer.
3. Spend a magical day at Disneyland Paris
Unleash your inner child with a day full of magic and fun at Disneyland Paris. With its enchanting fairy-tale castles, thrilling rides, and iconic Disney characters to meet, this amusement park offers an unforgettable experience for both children and adults alike.
4. Explore the best of Paris on foot!
Immerse yourself in the vibrant life of Paris by exploring the city on foot. Walk through the historic districts of Montmartre and Le Marais, or wander along the Seine River. Take a stroll down the famous Champs-Elysées, from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. Don't forget to stop by charming bakeries for a taste of Parisian pastries!
5. Go on a Seine River cruise
Going on a Seine Cruise is a very popular way to experience Paris. The cruise covers the most famous attractions of Paris like the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral and many more! You can opt for cruises with bars & restaurants, where you can enjoy the views with a glass of wine, paired with the best of French cuisine.
6. Walk up to the Basilica du Sacré-Cœur
Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a beautiful Roman Catholic Church built atop Montmartre Hill. This church has existed since 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 for some of the best views of the city! While you’re here, take some time to explore the Montmartre neighbourhood.
7. Pay your respects at the Arc de Triomphe
Pay a visit to the Arc de Triomphe, an iconic symbol of French national identity and history. Standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, it’s an architectural marvel that honors those who fought and died for France during the French Revolution and Napoleon Wars. The eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a solemn reminder of the cost of war. Witness the twilight ceremony, held every evening to rekindle the flame, a tradition that's been ongoing since 1923.
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. Take a half-day trip to the Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles or Chateau Versailles demonstrates the city's royal power & influence in the past. Marvel at the architectural grandeur of the château and wander through the stunning Hall of Mirrors. Explore the lush, geometric French gardens designed by André Le Nôtre, adorned with fountains, sculptures, and a grand canal.
10. 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. You name it, Galeries Lafayette has it!
11. Indulge in a buttery croissant & decadent hot chocolate
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 confectioneries. Make the bookings in advance since it's often full! Additionally, For more than 120 years, Angelina has been delighting sweet tooths from all over the world. You go for the hot chocolate by stay for the signature Mont-Blanc and Belle Époque décor. They also have divine Millefeuille, Chocolate Eclairs and Lemon Tarts.
12. 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. During the war, more than 2000 people were prisoners here, including the famous Marie Antoinette!
13. Buy a book from Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company is a small bookstore located in the 5th arrondissement. Regarded as one of the best bookstores in the world, 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!
14. Watch world class opera at Palais Garnier
Whether you enjoy a good opera, ballet, classical music or just want to indulge in some sightseeing, Palais Garnier is the place to be! It is one of the most beautiful historical buildings in France, and presents some of the best operas in Europe. One of the most impressive attractions in the opera house is the Grand Foyer, featuring large gold leaf designs & intricate mosaics.
15. Catch a puppet show at the Jardin du Luxembourg
The Jardin du Luxembourg covers 23 hectares and is open all year to the public. With historic statues scattered throughout, and beautifully manicured gardens, Théâtre des Marionnettes du Jardin du Luxembourg is the largest theatre of its kind with 275 seats. It holds various shows like Pinocchio, Little Red Riding Hood, & several originals for all ages.
16. Picnic at Canal Saint-Martin
Picnicking at Canal Saint-Martin would be prove to be an absolute Parisian delight! With views of cobblestone banks and picturesque bridges over tranquil waterway, having a picnic here at sunset is one of our must-dos in Paris.
17. Join a street-art tour
Aside from your usual sightseeing of the landmarks in Paris, something worth exploring is the street-art scene in Paris. There are a number of walls in Paris, beautifully painted with vibrant colours & thoughtful designs that reflect upon the lives of the people from the past & the present. From the colorful streets of Belleville to the quirky art pieces in Le Marais, each corner of Paris is a canvas waiting to be discovered.
18. Brave the bone-chilling Paris Catacombs
This labyrinth of tunnels, located 20 meters below the bustling streets of the city, is home to the remains of more than six million Parisians. With walls lined with neatly stacked skulls and bones, a venture into the Catacombs is a grim but captivating journey into Paris's past. No matter how spooky this sounds, you don't want to miss the Paris Catacombs!
19. Experience nightlife in Latin Quarter
With plenty of bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs, free movies, operas and light shows Paris at night, especially in the Latin Quarter is something else. With hidden bars, speakeasy bars and street parties too, the Latin Quarter at night is where you go for the magic of Paris!
20. Get yourself a souvenir from a 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.
21. Experience the glamour of the Moulin Rouge
Step into the world of glitz, glamour, and high-kicking cancan dancers at the iconic Moulin Rouge. Famous for its red windmill on the roof, the Moulin Rouge is synonymous with a bygone era of bohemian Paris. Not just a photo op, it’s also home to one of the best cabaret dance shows in the world.
22. Sign up for a Parisian food tour with a local!
The two 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!
23. Check out the balcony of Paris Pantheon
Be it inside or from the outside, Paris Pantheon's façade is a great photo opp. The towering neoclassical edifice is pleasingly symmetrical, with high arches, magnificent murals, and columns galore. It's built on the 5th arrondissement's highest point, it gives you a wonderful view of the city. Hence the name, Balcony of Paris!
24. 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 favorite 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.
25. 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. Since its inauguration in 1977, this museum has solidified itself in the art world, and is best known for its exhibitions, dance performances, cinemas and artifacts.
26. Pose away in front of The Wall of Love
If you love, love or just some beautiful pictures, stroll past the famous Wall of Love, which has 'I love you' written on it in 250 different languages. If you’re all about the Rom-Coms, this is a great place for a proposal. Or finding the one you might propose to some day!
27. Catch a football match at Parc Des Princes
Home of Paris Saint-Germain FC, Parc des Princes is an all-seater football stadium located in the 16th arrondissement of the French capital. If you’re a lover of football, the energy is contagious, and with talent like Marquinhos and Kylian Mbappé on the roster, it’s a match to catch. If you’re here on a non-match day, they have tours of the iconic stadium open to the public.
28. Soak in stellar views of Paris from the Montparnasse Tower
The Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck, located in the heart of the city, offers stunning 360-degree views of the city by day and night. You can see The Louvre, Les Invalides, the Sacré-Cœur, Notre-Dame cathedral, Montmartre, and the Panthéon, among others. Entry to tickets can be purchased for access to the 56th Floor and Roof Terrace.
29. Go ice skating at Hotel de Ville during 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. 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!
30. 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, made up of tea shops, restaurants, cafes, and gift shops. Here, Passage Brady, known as Little India, as it has numerous Indian, Pakistani, Mauritius and Reunion shops. Passage des Panoramas, Galerie Vivienne and Passage Verdeau, are among the famous passages in this area.
31. Take a quick walk around Rue Crémieux
Once a humble workers' lane, Rue Cremieux in Paris's 12th arrondissement got a proper glow-up! Renamed after a WWII hero, it's now a kaleidoscope of colors and quirky buildings. This Insta-famous street is perfect for photographers. But it also home to locals too, so don't be a paparazzo, be polite!
32. Eat salted caramel macarons from Ladurée
Ladureé undeniably has the best French cookies. Established in 1862, Pâtisserie E. Ladurée, known simply as Ladurée, this pastry palace is the macaron mecca. They whip up a jaw-dropping 15,000 of these sweet beauties daily! Fun fact: Ladurée's macarons even had a star turn in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette".
33. Visit Musee du Chocolat if you're a chocoholic
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 displays 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.
34. 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 on the Seine. With cinema-style bouquets and single roses, pastel lilies and more exotic flowers on offer, it also offers views of the Sainte Chapelle and the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral which are both located at a walking distance from the market.
35. 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. Even Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Pablo Picasso! It's in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the 6th arrondissement, on the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Saint-Benoît. Still a hangout for celebrities, Café de Flore embodies the quintessential Parisian café experience. With outdoor seating, iconic red awnings, and a cozy interior, it is the perfect place for people-watching and enjoying coffee, pastries, or a meal.
36. Sign up for a perfume-making workshop
Chanel, Dior, Paco Rabanne. Just a few things that define Paris! You can join in too and discover the art of fragrance like a true connoisseur! Join a perfume creation class, where you'll uncover the scented history, explore the essence of key ingredients. Then, guided by experts, you'll concoct a fragrance that's uniquely yours, then bottle it up to take home.
37. 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 is for all of you who love to dance. The open-air "La Guinguette" dance floor offers a picturesque setting with views of the river and Notre-Dame. Come here and learn diverse dance styles while soaking up the lively atmosphere. It's a seasonal delight from spring to autumn, with live music, of course!
38. 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.
39. 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!
40. Visit the filming locations of 'Emily in Paris'
Follow in the footsteps of your favorite Emily in Paris characters by visiting the real-life locations featured in the popular Netflix series. Café de Flore, Palace of Versailles, The Place de l’Estrapade, Jardin du Palais Royal and many other locations across France. Take a day out and tick them all off.
41. Experience the grandeur of the Loire Valley
Immerse yourself in the timeless charm of the Loire Valley, a region rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Known for its magnificent châteaux, sprawling vineyards, and quaint towns, the Loire Valley is often referred to as the "Garden of France."
42. Explore the time-honored beauty of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont
Saint-Étienne-du-Mont is a gem of Gothic architecture. The church stands out with its unique rood loft, an architectural feature rarely seen in other Parisian churches. Inside, marvel at the stunning stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and the celebrated shrine of St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris.
43. Explore Le Petite Ceinture - Paris’ abandoned railway
Experience the quiet allure of Le Petite Ceinture, a hidden treasure in Paris. Once a bustling railway encircling the city during the late 19th century, it's now an abandoned green belt offering a serene escape from city life. Though not fully open to the public, sections of it are accessible for walks offering you a unique, offbeat way to explore Paris.
44. Uncover the legacy of Serge Gainsbourg at Maison Gainsbourg
Embrace the world of one of France's most iconic music figures, Serge Gainsbourg, at Maison Gainsbourg. You can take a stroll through the rooms where Gainsbourg composed some of his most famous songs, and witness the evidence of his eclectic artistic pursuits.
45. Dive into the world of languages at Mundolingua
Venture into the realm of linguistics at Mundolingua, a unique museum dedicated to the study of language and communication. Situated in the Latin Quarter of Paris, this interactive museum is filled with audio-visual exhibits, games, and quizzes that engage and challenge visitors of all ages.
46. Visit Napolean’s Tomb in Les Invalides
Step into the grandeur of French history as you visit Napoleon's Tomb. Housed within the magnificent Les Invalides in Paris, this resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte is a must-visit. The intricately designed crypt, set under a soaring dome, holds the emperor's sarcophagus made from red quartzite and resting on a green granite pedestal.