Things To Do In Paris: Beyond the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Must-Sees

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Paris—the city of lights, love, and endless possibilities. But what exactly do you do when you find yourself wandering its charming streets, croissant in hand? Well, mon ami, let me tell you, there are a lot of things to do in Paris that go far beyond the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie extraordinaire, or a bohemian soul searching for inspiration, Paris has something to sweep you off your feet.

Fountain surrounded by statues in a garden with visitors walking around.
Fountain surrounded by statues in a garden with visitors walking around. Photo credit: Zuzana Paar.

Must-See Landmarks: Parisian Icons

No trip to Paris would be complete without experiencing the awe-inspiring sights that define the city’s skyline and history. Here are some of the most iconic landmarks, each a testament to the city’s rich history and architectural prowess.

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Eiffel Tower

You can’t talk about Paris without mentioning the Eiffel Tower, can you? This wrought-iron marvel is a must-see, not just for the panoramic views (breathtaking, by the way) but also to appreciate the engineering marvel that it is. Take a picnic lunch to the Champ de Mars park below, or splurge on a fancy dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant on the second floor — the choice is yours!

Louvre Museum

Home to Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile and countless other artistic treasures, the Louvre is a feast for the eyes. But with its sheer size, it can be overwhelming. Here’s a tip: pick a couple of exhibits that pique your interest — maybe Egyptian mummies or Renaissance masterpieces — and focus on those. Your experience will be much richer.

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe at the western end of the Champs-Élysées commemorates French victories. Climb to the top for stunning views of the city, especially impressive at night when the avenue is all lit up. Imagine the grand processions that must have passed beneath it throughout history!

Bonus: For a historical deep-dive, dive into the crypts of the Panthéon, where France’s most distinguished citizens rest, or visit the Hôtel National des Invalides, a complex housing a museum dedicated to military history and the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, showing its iconic spire and twin towers.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, showing its iconic spire and twin towers.

Embrace Your Inner Flaneur: Wandering and Wondering

Paris is a city best explored on foot. One of the best things to do is simply to wander along the Seine River, soaking in the atmosphere. Stroll across the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, or take a leisurely boat ride and admire the city from a different perspective.

Le Marais

Get lost in the charming labyrinthine streets of Le Marais, once the fashionable haunt of Parisian aristocracy. Today, it’s a trendy neighborhood with a mix of art galleries, boutiques, and hidden courtyards. Fuel up with a coffee and pastry at a sidewalk cafe and watch the world go by.


Climb the hill to Montmartre, the historic heart of Paris, and visit the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, offering breathtaking views of the city. This bohemian enclave is overflowing with artists, street performers, and a distinct character all its own. Afterward, explore the charming vineyards tucked away in the backstreets — yes, vineyards in Paris!

Latin Quarter

Steeped in history, the Latin Quarter is a treasure trove of medieval streets, the iconic Sorbonne University, and the Panthéon. It’s a great place to browse bookstores overflowing with French literature and grab a bite to eat at a cozy student cafe.

Bonus: Feeling hungry? Go to the gourmet food shops of the rue Montorgueil, a pedestrian street overflowing with fresh produce, cheese shops, and bakeries.

A large glass pyramid stands at the entrance of the Louvre Museum in Paris.
A large glass pyramid stands at the entrance of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Parisian Pastimes: A Taste of the Good Life

Paris is a city that elevates everyday experiences into an art form. Here’s how to truly live the Parisian life:

Picnic in the Park

Grab a baguette, some cheese, wine, and fruit, and find a patch of grass in the Luxembourg Gardens or the Jardin du Palais Royal. Parisians love picnicking, and it’s a delightful way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Dine Like a Local

Skip the tourist traps and seek out a traditional bistro or a lively brasserie. These neighborhood gems offer delicious French fare, from steak frites to decadent pastries, all at a reasonable price. Don’t be afraid to order in broken French — the locals will appreciate the effort!

Wine and Cheese Tasting

Immerse yourself in French wine culture with a wine tasting session. Many wine bars offer guided tastings where you can learn about different grape varieties and regions. Pair your wine with a selection of cheeses from a local fromagerie for the ultimate French culinary experience.

Bonus: Catch a late-night movie in an independent cinema or attend a concert at a historic venue like the Philharmonie de Paris. Parisians love their cultural outings, and it’s a great way to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Off the Beaten Path: Adventures for the Curious Traveler

While the well-trodden tourist trail offers undeniable charm, Paris holds a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered by those willing to venture a little further.

Catacombs of Paris

Descend into the city’s underbelly and explore the eerie network of tunnels that house the remains of millions of Parisians. This unique and somewhat macabre experience offers a glimpse into the city’s hidden history. Be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart!

Musée Picasso

Immerse yourself in the artistic genius of Pablo Picasso at the Musée Picasso, housed in a grand 17th-century mansion. This comprehensive collection showcases his work from various periods, offering a fascinating journey through his artistic evolution.

Palace of Versailles

Take a day trip to the opulent Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the extravagant staterooms, wander through the sprawling gardens adorned with fountains and sculptures, and imagine the grandeur of French royalty.

Bonus: Catch a glimpse of Parisian life beyond the tourist hotspots. Head to a local market like Marché d’Aligre in the Bastille neighborhood, where vendors hawk fresh produce, cheese, and flowers. Strike up a conversation with the stall owners and get a taste of authentic Parisian culture.

Garden with a well-manicured lawn, flower beds, and a central fountain, surrounded by statues and hedges.
Garden with a well-manicured lawn, flower beds, and a central fountain, surrounded by statues and hedges.

Parisian Experiences: A Touch of Magic

Paris is a city that ignites the imagination. Here are some ways to experience its magic:

Shakespeare and Company Bookstore

Step into a literary haven at Shakespeare and Company, a bookstore steeped in history. Browse the shelves overflowing with English-language books, soak in the bohemian atmosphere, and perhaps even attend a poetry reading or book launch.

Musée Carnavalet

Dive into the fascinating history of Paris at the Musée Carnavalet. This museum houses a collection of artifacts that tell the story of the city from the Middle Ages to the present day. Explore reconstructed rooms from different eras, see iconic paintings and sculptures, and gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s rich tapestry.

Take a Parisian Cooking Class

Learn the secrets of French cuisine by taking a cooking class. You’ll not only master the art of making a classic French dish like coq au vin or a decadent dessert, but you’ll also gain insights into French culture and traditions. Many cooking classes culminate in a delicious meal shared with your fellow classmates — the perfect way to end a day of culinary exploration.

Bonus: Catch a performance at the iconic Moulin Rouge. This legendary cabaret is a Parisian institution, famous for its can-can dancers and extravagant shows. Splurge on a night of glitz, glamour, and a touch of Parisian naughtiness.

Final Thoughts

From iconic landmarks to hidden treasures, Paris is a city that never fails to captivate and inspire. Whether you’re exploring its world-famous museums, savoring its delicious cuisine, or simply strolling through its charming streets, every moment in the City of Love is sure to be unforgettable. Book your ticket, and get ready to fall head over heels for the magic of Paris. Bon voyage.

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Explore Paris: Best Things To Do.
Explore Paris: Best Things To Do.

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About the author
Zuzana Paar
Zuzana, the adventurer at the helm of Amazing Travel Life. As a globetrotter, storyteller, and explorer, she wear many hats – from capturing breathtaking moments to unraveling the beauty of diverse cultures. Join her on this journey, where her goal is to share travel tales and inspire you to embark on your own incredible adventures.

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