1.) Eiffel Tower: This is a no-brainer and probably the most obvious ‘first’ thing to do in Paris. It doesn’t matter if you go up on it, eat in the restaurant(located about mid-way through it), dance around it – just make sure you go and see it. It’s an obvious must do and probably one of the first things you’ll be asked about if you even remotely mention Paris to people who haven’t been.
2.) Notre Dame Cathedral: Impressive and rightly so, this is the next most obvious thing to do in Paris. It helps that it’s free as well (for the most part) so you have no excuse for not visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral and taking in all the amazing sights inside.
3.) Sacré-Cœur Basilica: If you’re hanging around the more central sights in Paris, you will probably need to take the metro to this one (it’s only a short ride!) but this is worth taking that diversion to. Sacré-Cœur is an amazing Parisian landmark located in the highest point of the city. The views over Paris are amazing from here so it might be worth visiting at night/dusk to get a lovely photo of Paris glimmering with the city lights.
4.) The Louvre: Arguably the most visited art museum in the world, The Louvre is famed for having some of the most impressive and famous pieces of art in the world (think – Mona Lisa). You could shell out a ‘few’ cents to see said art but I’ll give you a free pass if you don’t and just arrive to take in the sight of the Louvre and it’s impressive surroundings. Speaking of free passes, one of our amazing readers (Katrine) has nicely pointed out that if you meet certain requirements (e.g. Under 18, 18 – 25 and an EU citizen…etc) you can get free entry to The Louvre so do check the list here before you go in to see if you qualify for that free entry! 🙂 Don’t forget to exit (or enter) via Jardin Des Tuileries.
5.) Pont des Arts: The love-lock/padlock bridge. Famed for lovers writing their names on a padlock and then attaching it to the bridge, the bridge is so much more than that. It has a lovely view over Paris and is fantastic for taking in all the sights (and sounds) of Paris. Love is not limited to romantic love so you can go on the bridge and leave a padlock with your friends, family or that special someone. (FYI, sorry to break it to you but the padlocks will eventually get cleared out and thrown away as if they didn’t the bridge would probably collage under the weight of them all! Still it’s a nice gesture I guess…)
UPDATE: Since posting this, the part of the bridge has actually collapsed under the weight so it’s probably best not to put padlocks up on it.
6.) Jardin du Luxembourg: Beautiful palatial gardens set around the Luxembourg Palace, the Jardin (i.e. Garden) is absolutely stunning and full of colour. It is one of the largest public parks in Paris and dare I say, once of the nicest.
7.) Arc de Triomphe: Walk down the Champs-Élysées and make you way down to the Arc de Triomphe, taking a break in between the walk for a little spot of shopping.
8.) Try Some Parisian Cuisine (in other words – Eat Food!): Doesn’t matter what food or even where (okay it does but you taste buds and preference should decide that for you, not me or any guide) but just make sure you try some authentic Parisian food. Paris is world renowned for having some of the best food and this is a reputation that is rightly so! I’m a bit hap-hazard when it comes to planning for food and I like to venture out and stop at places where the menu/vibe/decor appeals to me. Part of the fun of being in a different city is a sense of wonder and adventure and ‘winging it’ when it comes to deciding where to eat add to that. Plus, everywhere we went in Paris had delicious food and we didn’t go wrong once, despite winging it so you’ll more than likely be fine.
9.) Experience the nightlife: The night life is amazing in Paris so ensure you take in some part of it. You may not be up to a full club night but try to stop for a glass or wine (or two or three…) The cocktails I would approach with caution as they’re not always great everywhere but you can usually find a good bottle of wine in most places. And if you’re not a wine drinker, you’ll also find a decent bottle of beer so in any case, you have no excuse not to take in some nightlife.
10.) Centre Georges Pompidou: The centre hosts a library, a modern art museum and many other facilities and as such provides a nice location to get lost in a variety of different interests. It’s also worth taking in thew view of Paris from the top of the stairs (though you’re behind glass so picture taking might prove tricky).
And there you have it! Is there anything else you would rather have on this list?