paris things to do
Europe,  Travel

4 Best Things To Do In Paris

Paris can be overwhelming for visitors with its myriad of attractions, museums and streetside cafes. Here’s how to get the best of the city – from the main attractions to hidden gems. 

Paris draws in millions of tourists every year with its chic cafes and the Eiffel Tower synonymous with romance.

But it can easily get overwhelming. There are enough landmarks to easily fill up days of sightseeing, massive museums and tempting sidestreets with cozy restaurants.

Here’s my guide to Paris to experience all the must-sees – and get a feel of the city’s authentic, everyday life.

4 things to do in Paris:

1. Find a unique hotel with personality

paris hotel

A small, cozy hotel with an original aesthetic and personable service can make your Paris experience feel unique. Because nobody wants to get lost in the tourist crowd.

2. Take time to wander

slow travel in paris

Nothing helps you get to know a city as quickly and closely as a long and loosely planned wander.

Set aside an afternoon to just wander – whether that’s the neighbourhood around your hotel, your favorite district or Montmartre.

The city is much more than a collection of iconic landmarks. The more you explore the narrow sidestreets, the more you’ll long to return for another slow travel Paris experience.

3. Linger over dinner

paris cafe

Walking for hours will leave you exhausted. And since you can’t do much sightseeing when it’s dark, the evenings are perfect for slowing down and people-watching while taking in local cuisine.

4. Save time with a bus tour

paris bus

The BigBus Paris sightseeing tour (about EUR 30) gets you an all-day ticket for a double-decker bus that goes to all the major landmarks with recorded commentary. You hop on and off anytime, exploring at your own pace.

Touristy? Yes – but also extremely convenient.

The bus doesn’t really make you feel like a tourist. French rap plays on your earphones as you wait on the top deck for the bus to start. During your ride down the Champs Elysees, the recorded guide gives funny anecdotes about French personalities and politics, and snippets from daily life.

61 Comments

  • kagould17

    Excellent post. We were in Paris for 2 1/2 days this past May. It was our 4th trip and while we did some things again, we did a lot of new things. Walking to the top of L’Arc de Triomphe is a highlight for us. Watching the traffic chaos below is like watching waves or a fireplace. We went on line our last morning to see if we could get on a tour of Palais Garnier and were rewarded with the last 2 tickets for the English speaking tour. We walked and walked and did not go into many of the tourist stops. Instead of the Louvre, we went to Musee d’Orsay. We were staying in the Marais this time and we need to go back to wander this area some more.

    • Dee

      Thank you! I’ve heard such great things about the Marais, and it sounds like a beautiful neighbourhood to wander around.. There’s always so much to see in Paris, no matter how many times you go! The Louvre definitely needs a full day on its own.

  • Photo Richard Canada

    Love your Paris post Dee. I have been there numerous times and there is always something new to see and/or photograph . . . or some same things in a different light and time of day. Looking forward to reading more!

  • 1944april

    Thank you – you brought back all my memories of Paris, I think we must have had the same inner guide :- ) at least when we did it only rained once, but even in the rain, particularly in Paris there is magic.

  • Sita

    Loved your post on Paris… The Montmartre area, with the beautiful Sacre Couer is a lovely place to stroll around & people watch while sipping coffee in one of the roadside cafes. Another area I love walking around is Saint Germain & nearby St. Sulpice. Loads of lovely cafes and patisseries, with the Jardin du Luxembourg just round the corner.

    • Dee

      Thank you, Sita! It’s a beautiful city, and the cafe life in all of those neighborhoods is wonderful to experience too and really makes you feel like you’re part of everyday Paris life.

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