This Paris travel guide covers the must-see things to do in Paris, France along with some travel tips to help you get started with the essentials for an amazing Paris vacation.
With a city so charming, but also a bit overwhelming, I know it can be hard to decide how to plan for Paris. I hope this list of the top things to see in Paris helps you whether you’re planning for two days in Paris or more.
Paris Travel Guide: 8 Must-See Sites
Climb the Eiffel Tower
Every list of things to do in Paris will include the Eiffel Tower (or Tour Eiffel) and for good reason. It’s worth two visits really, once in the daytime and once at night so you can see it lit up in the sky.
My Eiffel Tower travel tip is to take the stairs! Get in the security line on Avenue Gustave Eiffel. This is the side opposite from the carousel. The line for us was extremely short and after entering through security we went to the left to get our ticket to take the stairs.
There are a total of 3 floors on the tower. You are only able to take the stairs to the first two, however, the views on the first and second floor are amazing and I don’t think you miss out by skipping the top, top floor. Plus, the lines for taking the elevator up are crazy long. You’ll save loads of time taking the stairs even if you go slowly. And the ticket for the stairs is just a few euros. You are also able to take the elevator down so you don’t have to kill your knees walking down that many flights of stairs.
Visit Notre Dame
Paris has so many stunning cathedral and the Notre Dame did not disappoint. The architecture is just stunning! We stood in the regular line for this site and didn’t wait any longer than 20~ minutes.
Explore the Paris Catacombs
The Catacombs may not be on the average Paris travel list, but I personally loved exploring them. The secret is to get skip-the-line tickets. They only pass out so many for the tour companies in the city so you’ll need to order them as soon as you can leading up to your trip. There are lots of stairs down and then up agains so wear the comfortable shoes. Our tickets were for right at opening time and we waited maybe 3 minutes before getting inside while the actual line was around the corner. Again we used an audio guide which allowed us to go at our own pace while learning about the history.
Read my Full Guide to Exploring the Paris Catacombs for more details.
Paris Travel Guide: Tour the Louvre
Get here early! We ordered tickets beforehand, but had to pick them up the day of along with our self-guided audio kits. Here’s more information about the self-guided tour we used.
It truly is a gorgeous museum with so much to see that you could visit every time you’re in Paris and find something new. If you can’t make it here before opening, I would recommend arriving ~90 minutes before closing when the crowds will be dying down.
Relax in the Luxembourg Gardens
When in Paris, do as the Parisians do and spend an afternoon enjoying the gardens. Luxembourg Gardens were incredibly stunning during our visit since fall was just beginning and the leaves were turning. There are plenty of chairs and green grass to sit and relax in and enjoy the people watching.
See the Views Montparnasse Tower
The Montparnasse Tower offers one of the best views of the city. We stopped here on our first day and it really helped us situate ourselves in the city. You can get a view of EVERYTHING. Click here for my guide to getting the best views in Paris.
Paris Travel Guide: Enjoy the Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur is beautiful and the walk to get there, whatever route you take, wanders through small streets and past local businesses and shops. If you haven’t noticed there is theme which continues here: lots of stairs and steps! You can take the funicular located at the left at the bottom of the hill. The cost will be one regular metro ticket but can save your feet some pain.
Walk along Champs Elysée
If you’re ready to shop then head down Champs Elysée. While we were there the street was blocked off for Paris Fashion Week, but the sidewalks were still open. It was nice to walk through without street traffic. The Arc de Triomphe, also located right here, offers another amazing view of the Eiffel Tower and the city.