Things to do in Paris

Booking.com
Eifel Tower Paris

The top things to do in Paris are sightseeing and shopping. That's the two main reasons the city is the number one tourist city in the world. Add to it the famous French food and restaurants, some of the best art museums in the world, the many concert venues, top sport events such as Roland Garros, Tour de France and the Marathon, Disneyland and Parc Asterix amusement parks. There are so many things to do in the City of Lights it is hard to choose. The top seven things to do.

First thing to do: visit places

You have one day. For convenience, take a half a day or a one day Paris bus tour to see the essentials of the city.

If you have more time, focus each day on a district: Ile de la Cite, Le Marais, Montmartre, the Left Bank, the Champs Elysees and the Seine River Banks are some of the best places for sightseeing. Spend a day outside of the city in Versailles Palace or another famous place in France.

Places to visit in Paris

Second thing to do: shop

Shopping is a top reason why people come to the city. Stores in Paris are everywhere, from specialty stores to Shopping Malls. Champs Elysees shops are open on Sundays. This is the same in Le Marais shopping district.

A few fancy streets specialize in high end fashion with specialty stores of the top brands: Champs Elysees, Rue Saint Honore, Avenue Montaigne, Rue de Sevres.

Paris stores

Third thing to do: eat French

Food is one of the pleasures in the city. The croissant and baguette are famous. The grocery stores have diversified products from all over France regions. Open-air markets are famous for fresh products. Excellent French wine is easily found at affordable prices. Check our page on food in Paris.

There are 13 000 French and international restaurants in the city, the right place to taste world famous French cuisine. We have selected 30 top French restaurants that we know well and consider the best against four criteria: restaurants with a view, nouvelle cuisine restaurants, Art nouveau and Art Deco restaurants, cheap restaurants. Check our page.

The Mollard Brasserie
Mollard combines great food and Art Nouveau

Fourth thing to do: admire art

The Louvre Museum, Musee d'Orsay, Picasso Museum and Centre Pompidou are world famous museums of art.

One of the world's top art museum, the Louvre is the most visited with 9.2 million visitors every year. It exhibits the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and many other first class paintings from Italy, France, Flanders, Netherlands, England.

Housed in spectacular 1900 Orsay train station, the Orsay Museum is the 19th century art museum in the city. Its impressionist painting collections are worth the trip.

The top twelve Paris Museums

Fifth thing to do: enjoy music

Attending a concert or a ballet performance is a top thing to do. There are plenty of concerts of all kinds everyday.

The most famous venues are Theatre des Champs Elysees, the Philarmonie, Opera Garnier, Opera Bastille for classical music, the Zenith, AccorHotels Arena for popular music. There are also performances in the many churches.

Check list of classical, jazz, pop music best concert venues

Sixth thing to do: attend sports

The top sport events in Paris are the Roland Garros Tennis Tournament in June and the final stage of Tour de France cycling race on Champs Elysees Avenue end of July.

Paris Marathon in April is a great marathon. Paris Masters (also called Paris Tennis Open) in November are a top ATP competition. Horseraces in Bois de Boulogne are famous.

Sports in Paris

Seventh thing to do: have fun

Visiting Disneyland Paris is of course a top thing to do in Paris. It is a must for families with children and entertains all ages. Disneyland is connected to downtown by metro. To best visit both, stay in Paris. Book a convenient Disneyland Paris one day coach tour from Paris with tickets included (102 euros). Information. Parc Asterix is the second and alternative great amusement parc near the City of Lights.

Paris for kids

Disneyland Paris
Disneyland is the second top sight in Paris

Itinerary of a trip

You have one day: board a Paris tour to see the essentials of the city. You have two days: take a tour the first day. Organize the second day combining shopping and sightseeing. Enjoy Paris nightlife. You have up to a week: focus each day on a district: Ile de la Cite, Le Marais, Montmartre, the left bank, the Champs Elysees. Spend a day outside of the city in Versailles Palace or another famous place in France.

Places to visit in Paris | Paris for kids

Trip to Paris: Paris Plage
Paris Plage in the summer along the river in Paris

Choose your season

Come in fall or winter as there are more things to do. December adds to city life the magical illuminations on Champs Elysees and the Christmas shop windows of the Department Stores. Details on Christmas and New Year's Eve in Paris. The sales take place in January and June.

For sightseeing, the weather is normally best in May, June and September, although this is not at all guaranteed.

In the summer, the weather is warm and traffic less intense. But the top attractions are crowded and life in the city is at a minimum, specially between August 1st and 15th. Roland Garros takes place in June, the Tour de France end of July.

Champs Elysees in winter
Champs Elysees are illuminated in winter

Passports and visas

For nationals of the European Union, a national identity card is enough. Travelers from other countries must carry a valid national passport and one other identification document.

Visas are not required for visitors staying less than 90 days who are U.S. citizens, European Union nationals, citizens of Canada or New Zealand.

Check official website of French government for more information on visa requirements to enter France.

Best food stores in Paris
Fauchon is the fanciest food store in Paris

Customs

European Union nationals have no limit on purchases of goods for personal use, except for new vehicles and purchases by mail. There is a recommended limit of 800 cigarettes, 10 liters of spirits and 90 liters of wine.

Citizens of other countries may be subject to duties when bringing goods back to their country. Check with local customs regulations before leaving.

Business in Paris

You plan a business trip. Make the most of your trip on the business and leisure sides. Book a hotel or apartment. Organize in advance your Charles de Gaulle Paris Airport transport and transport in Paris.

Check Doing business in Paris web site to get advice on how to do business in the capital city of France. Check Jobs in Paris web site to find a job in English.

More information over Paris business and business trips.

restaurants in Paris
We love Cafe Louis Philippe in Le Marais