Paris has been on my bucket list since I was a kid. A dreamy and romantic city with a rich history and is more than one can ask for.
I had the opportunity to visit Paris by myself for a week and loved it. Here are my top picks for the best things to do in Paris and some tips to make the best of your travel.
See Mona Lisa at the Louvre
I always wanted to see the Mona Lisa, so the Louvre museum was where I first headed.
The Louvre is an iconic Paris attraction, housing one of the most impressive art collections in history. In addition to the Mona Lisa painting, there are several unique artworks that you shouldn’t miss there.
When you visit de Louvre at night, the whole structure lights up, presenting an absolute new charm to the place.
Tips: If you don’t want to be crowded, head to the museum early in the morning and don’t forget to enter directly, skipping the long queues.
Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Opening hours: 9 am – 6 pm
How to get there: Metro to Louvre-Rivoli station or Palais Royal -Musee du Louvre station
After visiting the Louvre, we wandered through the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries, admiring the statues and the flowers.
The center is a fantastic fountain with many seats where you can relax and unwind in this beautiful environment. Also, there are food stands sprinkled throughout the area.
Walk across Arc de Triomphe
One of the most iconic sites in French history is the Arc de Triomphe. This monument was built to honor the victory of the French army in the early 1800s.
You will need an admission ticket to walk across the Arc de Triomphe and up to the roof. I climbed up a twisty flight of stairs, and it was very rewarding when I arrived at the top.
The view was incredible, and I could see all of the beautiful attractions in Paris.
Stroll the Champs-Elysees Avenue
After the Arc de Triomphe, I headed to Champs-Elysees Avenue. It runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located.
I walked up and down Champs-Elysees several times. It is a wide avenue, and it must be one of the most attractive streets anywhere. There are trees along the road, and the architecture is also beautiful.
A walk along Champs-Elysees Avenue avenue offers an excellent opportunity to browse products from many renowned French brands.
Visit Musée d’Orsay
Visiting the Musee d’Orsay was a great experience. Although it’s not as big as Louvre, I love its compactness.
Musee d’Orsay is a former railway station converted into an art gallery. It houses an incredible collection of Impressionist art.
Visiting the museum, you can find many beautiful works of art, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, pieces of furniture, and other items.
Also, you shouldn’t miss iconic masterworks by French artists from 1848 to 1914: Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Courbet, Renoir, Seurat, Degas, and Millet.
Tips: You should book your ticket in advance, so you don’t have to wait for a long time.
Experience Parisian Opera Culture at the Palais Garnier
Visiting Palis Garnier was a memorable experience. Whether to see the opera, the ballet or take a tour, Palis Garnier is an absolute must.
Commissioned by Napoleon III in the year 1861, the Paris Opera is an architectural jewel in Paris. It’s awe-inspiring on the outside, and inside it is truly gorgeous.
If you don’t have much time for a play, book your ticket in advance and go for a tour here. You will have the opportunity to discover the scene, the magnificent architecture of this grandeur building, and its history.
Try the bakery
From eclectic macaron flavors to freshly baked pastries, Paris has been the world’s favorite destination for luscious baked goods since forever. I love wandering around the streets of Paris and sample different pastries.
Here are some bakeries you should visit
Du Pain et des Idées
La Maison d’Isabelle: A must-go for all bread and pastry lovers. They also won an award for best croissants in Paris.
Sitting at outdoor cafes
Sitting in outdoor cafes and people-watching is also my favorite thing to do in Paris. From cobbled streets and deck-chairs to fancy French courtyards, unless it’s raining, there will always be an excuse to sit outside and watch the world go by.
There are several cafes and restaurants to choose from, and here are some of my favorite.
Loulou (90 Boulevard Saint-Germain)
Café Blanc (10 Rue Croix des Petits Champs)
Neighbours (89 Boulevard Beaumarchais)
Take a day trip to Versailles Palace
Although not precisely located in Paris, the Palace of Versailles is well worth a day trip. Exploring the glorious palace with ornate halls and picturesque gardens is a fantastic experience.
Tip: You can avoid queuing at the entrance by booking your ticket online.
Address: Guidatours office is located outside the Palace of Versailles, 10 Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 78000 Versailles.
How to get there: Take RER Line C from Paris in the direction of Versailles Château Rive Gauche. Get off at Versailles Château Rive Gauche station. The Guidatours office is across the street from the station.
Climb the Eiffel Tower
A visit to Paris is incomplete without Eiffel Tower. It’s one of the wonders of the world, and you will know why when you arrive here.
It is truly one of the most impressive landmarks I have seen. I love the view of the bridge across the Seine and Eiffel tower.
Also, walking around the Champs de Mars and the Trocadero is a treat.
During the high season, the line of tourists climbing the Eiffel Tower can last for hours. Of course, you can decide for yourself whether to go up or not, but indeed seeing Paris from the Eiffel Tower will be a unique experience.
Take a cruise along the Seine River
The Seine River is one of the jewels of Paris, offering a picturesque view of beautiful bridges and architecture.
Feel the cool monsoon breeze blowing by while strolling along the river or sitting on a cruise on the Seine while looking at the bridges.
I took a boat ride down the River Seine, and it was a wonderful experience. During the boat ride, they explained very well the history behind this river and the city. Also, I spot some of the most romantic and beautiful sights in Paris during the trip.
See the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
I was fortunate to visit this famous landmark before the tragic fire. Located on a small island in the middle of the Seine River, the Cathedral is nearly 900 years old.
The architecture of Notre Dame is breathtaking and picturesque. It has beautiful stained glass and rose windows. The exterior design is also gorgeous, with gargoyles and decorations.
Note: It is still undergoing reconstruction works after the devastating fire of April 2019. Surrounding the building are now boards showing photos of the fire damage and the history of the Cathedral.