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Paris Bucket List: 15 Best Things To Do In Paris

Situated in the north-central region of France, the capital city of Paris lies along the river Seine.

Covering just over 40 square miles, compared to London’s 600 square miles, Paris is not a massive city. However, it is an incredibly popular tourist destination, attracting 30 million visitors every year.

Famous for being a global hub for arts, fashion, food and culture, Paris is also home to some world renowned landmarks. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe to name just a few. 

This beautiful city also definitely has a romantic vibe and is not called the ‘city of love’ for nothing. It has featured as the backdrop for many romantic films, books and songs.

So, if you’re looking for things to do in Paris and want to visit all of the iconic spots, then here is a Paris bucket list guide.

1. Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic monuments in the whole world, and in our opinion the best time to see it is at sunrise.

We popped over on the Eurostar from London and spent a couple of days exploring the French capital.

We even went on the hunt for the best Eiffel Tower Photo Spots In Paris.

To reach the Eiffel Tower we recommend catching the metro to Trocadero station, which drops you just metres away from the viewing platform, and you will walk out to the most incredible view!

From our experience, we recommend hitting the Trocadero Steps at around 6am.

It will make a great start to your trip and put a huge tick on your things to do in Paris bucket list.

It was a sunrise moment that we’ll never forget and a must on your Paris itinerary.

There is also of course the option to climb to the summit or the second level of the Eiffel Tower.

You can do this either of two ways:

With a guide: Eiffel Tower Guided Summit or 2nd Floor Priority Access Tour.

Or alone: Eiffel Tower Second Floor Priority Access.

Either way we recommend booking your tickets in advance to skip the queue. These options save precious time at the Eiffel Tower with a priority-access ticket and there is always a queue to visit!

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren UK Travel Couple - Two Days In Paris Itinerary - Trocadero Steps Eiffel Tower Paris
Eiffel Tower at sunrise was a memory we’ll never forget!
Trocadero Eiffel Tower Paris Two Days In Paris Itinerary

2. Arc De Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is another of the most famous monuments in Paris.

Standing at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, the Arc De Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

It has the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces.

You will need tickets to visit the Arc De Triomphe rooftop, which we recommend booking in advance Skip-the-Line Arc de Triomphe Rooftop Tickets.

Tickets cost £11 per person, and allow you to skip the lines to reach the top of the Champs-Élysées and feast your eyes on breathtaking panoramas of the world-renowned City of Love.

Easy to reach from anywhere in the centre of Paris, this is an absolute must on your things to do in Paris bucket list!

Quick tip: If you head there early enough, there will be less traffic on the roundabout and hardly any tourists.

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren UK Travel Couple - Two Days In Paris Itinerary - Arc De Triomphe Paris
Big lifts at the Arc De Triomphe

3. Sacre-Coeur

After the Eiffel Tower, the Sacre-Coeur is actually the second highest point in the city!

Standing at the top of Montmartre Hill, you’ll have to climb the many steps to reach the famous Roman Catholic Church. However, attracting around 10 million visitors per year, the view from the top is worth the walk.

The option is there again to take a tour with a local guide, around not only the Sacre-Coeur, but the whole Montmartre area.

Or alternatively, if you like to explore at your own pace, you can book a Sacré-Cœur and Its Surroundings Audioguide.

Looking over the whole of Paris, the Sacre-Coeur itself is like no other religious building we’ve ever seen.

So add it to your things to do in Paris bucket list and take your time exploring its history, before heading down for lunch.

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How could we not include the Sacre-Coeur on our Paris bucket list

4. Louvre

The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument/central landmark of the city.

Although we didn’t have time to venture inside, it’s most widely recognised as being home to the most famous painting in the world – the Mona Lisa.

Tickets for the Louvre are €15 per adult if bought at the entrance, however the queues can be huge for the this attraction. So we recommend the Louvre Museum Timed-Entrance Ticket.

With this ticket you will be given a time that you must enter, allowing you to skip the queues and spend as much time as you like inside the museum to explore at your own pace.

Alternatively one of the top rated tours in Paris is the Ultimate Louvre: Fast-Track Guided Tour With Ticket.

This tour allows you to head in faster and see art from an expert guide’s perspective, whilst following a smart route through the Louvre to get up close to “Mona Lisa”.

The Louvre buildings comprise two former royal palaces – the Louvre and the Tuileries. It began life as a 12th-century fort, but was massively expanded, and rebuilt, by a succession of French kings. All of which were huge fans of arts.

In short, King Francois I persuaded Leonardo da Vinci to move to France in 1517. He of course brought the Mona Lisa with him, and eventually died in the arms of the king in 1519.

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren UK Travel Couple - Two Days In Paris Itinerary - Louvre Museum Paris
The famous glass pyramids of the Louvre

5. Cathedral Notre Dame

Okay, so being huge Disney fans, we couldn’t visit the city of love without adding Quasimodo’s home to our Paris bucket list!

From the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral is just a 15 minute walk along the canal.

Apart from being featured in a Disney movie though, this medieval Catholic cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture to date.

Sadly, on April 15, 2019, the spire and the oak room collapsed after a fire destroyed a large part of Notre Dame. The fire burned for several hours, and it took more than 400 firefighters to contain it.

With over €800 million raised in two days that followed, there are current plans to renovate and rebuild the church. However for now, there still lies a hole in the heart of the French capital.

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren UK Travel Couple - Two Days In Paris Itinerary - Notre Dame Cathedral Paris
We stopped for our own Disney moment, to tick off the Notre Dame from our Paris bucket list

6. Sinking House Of Montmartre

The Sinking House Of Montmartre has become a bit of a Paris Instagram spots in recent years, and we can see why.

This spot located right next door to the Sacre-Coeur makes for a great postcard photo.

This photographic illusion seems as though the grand old block of flats is falling to it’s death. However of course it’s a simple tilt of the camera and WE are in fact supporting ourselves from rolling down the hill!

Within certain dates you are allowed to sit on the grass to the right of the Sacre-Coeur as you face it, and you’ll see immediately why they call it the ‘Sinking House Of Montmartre’.

If you take a Montmartre 2-Hour Walking Tour, I’m sure you’re guide will point this photographic illusion out to you from the base of the Sacre-Coeur.

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren UK Travel Couple - Two Days In Paris Itinerary - Sinking House Paris
And here we have…the sinking house!

7. Montmartre

One of the quirkiest and most tourist friendly places in Paris.

The streets of Montmartre are old, cobbled lanes and some of the cutest you will find. 

Filled with famous cafes such as Le Consulat or La Mansion Rose, you can spend all afternoon cruising around, admiring the Parisian feel.

Another great spot is Place du Tertre, a cute square full of artist and lively cabaret culture.

With so much to see and taste if you’d prefer to have everything organised for you, there is the highly rated Montmartre 2-Hour Walking Tour available to book in advance. 

We spent a couple of hours trawling the narrow streets and picking up snacks and souvenirs. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes! 

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren UK Travel Couple - Two Days In Paris Itinerary - Montmartre Streets Paris
Montmartre is an absolute Paris dream

8. Moulin Rouge

If you have the time, you must add a show at the famous Moulin Rouge to your Paris bucket list.

This world-famous cabaret, performed in a 19th-century windmill, has been exciting audiences since 1900.

There are two shows each night at 9.00pm and 11.00pm, both lasting 1 hour 30 minutes each. 

Tickets must be booked in advance, and the best place to get them is here Moulin Rouge Show with Champagne.

We didn’t manage to get tickets, however if you plan ahead, those that have seen the performance only have great things to say about the fiery can-can show.

So if this sounds like your kind of thing, then a cabaret show and fancy dinner could end your Paris bucket list perfectly!

Another fancy option, maybe for those celebrating in Paris, is the Eiffel Tower, Dinner, Cruise, & Champagne at Moulin Rouge Package.

Enjoy breathtaking views of the capital from the Eiffel Tower, then cruise along the Seine River. Have dinner either at the tower or on a dinner cruise. Finish with a revue show at the iconic Moulin Rouge.

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Posing it out at the Moulin Rouge

9. Galeries Lafayette Shopping Mall

Situated in the centre of Paris, the beautiful architecture that houses this shopping mall has made it a popular tourist attraction.

Completed in 1912, it has stunning Art Nouveau staircases and, the absolute jewel in the crown, a massive, beautiful glass and steel dome. Making this building one of the most iconic architectural monuments in Paris.

Spread over 5 floors, this is an absolute shoppers paradise, selling a massive range of goods. Including top of the range designer clothing, jewellery, cosmetics, homewares, food, electronics and more.

Galeries Lafayette Shopping Mall also hosts a popular weekly fashion show for visitors. To book a ticket in advance go to Fashion Show at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.

In addition, you can go up to the roof top terrace on the 7th floor where you will find the Cube Bar as well as lots of open space.

From here you get the most spectacular views across the city of Paris, especially at sunset.

Galeries Lafayette Paris Best Things To Do In Paris
The incredible dome in Galeries Lafayette.
Galeries Lafayette Paris Best Things To Do In Paris
The tiers of shops at Galeries Lafayette.
Galeries Lafayette Rooftop Paris Best Things To Do In Paris
People gathering on the rooftop for sunset.
Galeries Lafayette Rooftop Paris Best Things To Do In Paris
An incredible spot to watch sunset over Paris.

10. Les Enfants Du Marche

For somewhere a little different to eat, I can recommend putting Les Enfants du Marche on your Paris bucket list.

Located in one of the oldest food markets in Paris, Marché des Enfants Rouges, in Le Marais neighbourhood of Paris, it offers a fine dining experience with a difference.

This popular eatery is tucked away amongst the various market stalls and consists of bar stools at a counter, behind which the cooking takes place.

However, don’t be fooled, although Les Enfants du Marche gives off a street food vibe, it offers the most delicious, high-end cuisine.

Using only fresh seasonal produce, the creative chefs serve up a variety of first class, seafood, meat and vegetable dishes.

Probably not the cheapest of eating places, but if you like to enjoy really good food in casual and relaxed surroundings, then this is perfect.

Open from lunch through to the evening, (no reservations) and the stools at the counter in high demand, you definitely feel lucky if you manage to get a seat!

If you like a tour, a popular one in this area is the Food Tour in Le Marais with Tastings.

Les Enfants Du Marche Things To Do In Paris

11. Philippe Conticini 7eme

If you’re out and about in Paris and want to grab a tasty sweet treat, Philippe Conticini 7eme on Rue de Varenne will hit the spot.

This acclaimed patisserie, run by the famous French pastry chef Philippe Conticini, sells the most amazing pastries you could imagine.

With a vast choice of visually beautiful and tempting delicacies, from tarts to tiramisus, your mouth will be watering. Especially if you have a sweet tooth.

Surprisingly, I decided to go for the humble French favourite, the buttery croissant. Although mine was not quite so humble!

Coming in at ten times the size of a normal croissant and measuring approximately 45cm in length, this enormous pastry undoubtedly puts an end to any hunger pangs.

I wouldn’t advise one for breakfast everyday though. They contain a massive whole days worth of calories in one hit!

However, for the fun factor and an iconically French photo opportunity, a giant croissant from Philippe Conticini 7eme has to be on the Paris bucket list.

Philipe Conticini 7eme Things To Do In Paris
Philipe Conticini 7eme Things To Do In Paris
Philipe Conticini 7eme Things To Do In Paris

12. Musee d’Orsay

For a taste of French history, Musee d’Orsay on the left bank of the River Seine, has to be on the bucket list of things to do in Paris, especially if you are an art lover.

This impressive museum is housed in a large, architecturally stunning, former railway station that was built between 1898 and 1900 in the Beaux Arts style.

Opened as a museum in 1986, it now holds approximately 3000 pieces of mainly French art from the period 1848 to 1914. Including work by well known artists such as Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Gaugin, Van Gogh and many more.

Top tip – don’t miss the 1:100 scale, aerial view of Paris Opera and surrounding area, all laid out under a glass flooring as you proceed through the museum.

To see so many stunning and famous pieces of art, all within such a beautiful setting is pretty breathtaking and definitely worth a visit.

Open from 9.30am – 6.00pm Tuesday to Sunday, entry tickets start at €16.

If you would prefer a tour to get all the info, Musée d’Orsay Guided Tour with Options is very popular or for tickets only Musée d’Orsay Ticket with Reserved Access is a good option.

Musee d'Orsay Things To Do In Paris
Musee d'Orsay Things To Do In Paris

13. Dine At An Outside Cafe

Walking through the city of Paris you can’t miss the popular and traditional French custom of dining at an outside cafe. So, for a true French experience, this has to be on the Paris bucket list.

A couple of my favourites are:

Maison Hecht, located on the Rue de Rocher, is very popular with locals and the lunch crowd. Therefore, you know you are onto a winner!

Serving beautifully fresh and warm croissants, pain au chocolat, brioche, baguettes, salads, quiches and more, this is a great place for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

La Terrasse du 7eme, on the corner of Place de l’École Militaire, is close to the Eiffel Tower. Housing a large restaurant, it also has a beautiful outside seating area that curves around the corner of the street.

Open from breakfast through to the evening, the choice of delicious food available is endless. Offering delicious French cuisine, you won’t be disappointed, whether you are looking for a full-on, three course meal or just a coffee and croissant.

Sitting at one of the outside dining areas in Paris is a great way to immerse yourself in the French culture as well as relax and enjoy some people watching.

Maison Hecht Things To Do In Paris
Maison Hecht Things To Do In Paris
La Terrasse du 7eme Things To Do In Paris

14. Eat Local

One of my favourite things to do when travelling is to try the local food and being in one of the culinary capitals of the world it was a ‘must’ on the Paris bucket list.

Here’s some of my French favourites –

Croissants

What is not to like about this buttery, flaky, crescent shaped pastry? Using French yeast-leavened, laminated dough, these delicacies melt in your mouth. A firm favourite for breakfast in France but delicious at any time of the day.

Cheese

Well known for their love affair with cheese, there are hundreds of different types of French cheese.  

Camembert and, my favourite, Brie are probably a couple of the most well known French cheeses but why not try some you haven’t heard of during your visit to Paris.

French Onion Soup

As the name says, this is a soup of onions, gently fried and then cooked in meat stock or water. Usually served with croutons, this tasty, warming soup is real comfort food.

Baguette

Meaning baton or stick, this loaf of bread is a delicious French classic that is always served freshly baked.

Usually eaten at breakfast with butter or as an accompaniment to any meal, baguettes have a lovely light and airy texture.

Crepe

For a delicious sweet treat, you can’t beat a crepe and Paris is full of creperies. Resembling a pancake, they are usually served with a variety of sweet toppings like fresh fruits and cream.

Macaron

Another tasty sweet treat is the macaron. These colourful, meringue based cookies have a delicate crunchy shell, made from sugar and almond, and a smooth, creamy filling, and are very moreish!

If you are a real foodie, there are plenty of food tours to choose from like the Walking Food Tour with Cheese, Wine and Delicacies.

Champ De Mars Things To Do In Paris
La Terrasse du 7eme Things To Do In Paris

15. Picnic At Champ De Mars

To end our Paris bucket list, we grabbed a picnic and headed to the southern side of the Eiffel Tower, known as Champ De Mars.

The huge grassy park area is packed out with locals and tourists come sunset. All laying out their blankets in hope of a pink sky and an incredible end to their stay in the city of love.

We recommend grabbing a bottle of wine or some macarons before you get there. As there are no shops nearby and the locals walking around selling items are extremely over priced.

We got lucky on our final night and spent it laughing away with friends. As the natural light disappeared it called a magical close and a huge tick on our things to do in Paris bucket list!

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren UK Travel Couple - Two Days In Paris Itinerary - Eiffel Tower Paris
Big shout out to Gautier and Alex for helping us with our ultimate Paris bucket list.

Where To Stay In Paris

Luxury

Brach Paris

Brach Paris is set in the 16th arr. of Paris within easy reach of the Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro.

This Parisian 5-star hotel features a fitness club with pools, sauna, hammam and massage rooms. As well as a barber shop. 

The bright and spacious rooms and suites come with a high quality sound system and soundproofing.

They feature tailor-made toiletries, high quality bedding, a dressing room and an elegant desk.

Some rooms and suites offer a terrace and views over Paris and Haussmanian facades.

Mid-Budget

Generator Paris

Generator Paris is a designer hostel located in the lively 10th district in Paris.

Free WiFi access is available and it features a stylish lounge area with games room.

You can enjoy locally inspired dishes at the on-site Café Fabienand listen to DJs music while having a drink from the bar. 

Each of the contemporary rooms here provide air conditioning, bed linen and a private bathroom with a shower. Some rooms also offer a private terrace.

Budget

ibis budget Paris Porte De Montmartre

Located in the north of Paris near Boulevard Périphérique, ibis Budget Paris Porte De Montmartre is just a 10-minute walk from Porte de Saint-Ouen Metro Station.

Stade de France Stadium is 2.5 miles away. 

Decorated in soft pastel colours, the rooms are contemporary in style and offer an LCD TV.

Each also has a private bathroom with a shower and a separate toilet.

For more places to stay in Paris, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. 

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile. 

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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