As I’m writing this, I’m asking myself how in the world I could possibly narrow my list down to only a top five. There are COUNTLESS things to see and do in Paris and it is definitely one of my favourite places to explore!
Here are my top 5 things to visit in Paris.
Château de Versailles — If you’re in Paris, and have time for a day trip, I DEFINITELY recommend going to the Palace of Versailles. This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge and was eventually given a huge upgrade by his son Louis XIV, who expanded it and moved the French court and government to the palace in the late 17th century. The kings who live here until the French Revolution all added their own touch to the jaw-dropping palace. I visited the palace in January, so unfortunately I did not get to see the gardens in their full glory, but I can only imagine that, on a warm, sunny day, it must feel like paradise.
Musée du Louvre — This is probably my favourite museum ever. Not only does it house Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa, it also houses an amazing Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities collection, and a great Egyptian Antiquities collection. Being that it is the most visited museum in the world, expect long lines and crowds during peak tourist season. I was lucky enough to visit the Louvre in May during La nuit des musées, and not only did I avoid a line up this way, I also had free entrance to the museum (including free audio guides!!).
Eiffel Tower — Obviously, you can’t go to Paris and not go see the city’s tallest structure (324 meters!). Built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World Fair, it was first criticized by many Parisians, but has now become the city’s most iconic landmark. I highly recommend either a picnic on Champs de Mars or going to see the tower at sunset from Trocadero, so you also get to see it lit up! After all, Paris is known for being the city of light.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris — This Cathedral started my obsession with the beauty of churches. I’m not exactly a religious person, so for me, churches are about history and art more than anything else. This cathedral is often said to represent Gothic architecture at its finest and it should, without a doubt, be on your Paris bucket list.
Champs Élysées & Arc de Triomphe — You can’t go to Paris and not go shopping (or at least go for a stroll) aux Champs Élysées. If you like macarons, I suggest a stop at the original Ladurée, although be warned, it can get quite crowded! And of course, while you’re in the area, go take a look at l’Arc de Triomphe. This Parisian landmark was built in the early 19th century and is meant to honour those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Following WWI, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added beneath the arc and is meant to represent all french soldiers killed in any war.
Noteworthy Places — I’ve been told by many people that the Paris Catacombs are a must, but every time I try to go, they’re either closed or have an obscenely long wait time. They are definitely on my list for my next trip to Paris. Another place worth mentioning is Basilique du Sacré Coeur in Montmartre which is honestly such a cute area to explore! The view of Paris from the basilica is breathtaking and the basilica itself is astonishingly beautiful. Last, but not least, I mentioned in this post that the Louvre Museum was my favourite, and it is, but Paris is home to SO MANY great museums, make sure to check out a couple more (Hôtel des Invalides, Musée Rodin, Musée d’Orsay… just to name a few)!