Choosing what to do on your Paris vacation can be difficult as the City of Lights has some of Europe’s most amazing attractions. To make the most of your time in the city, decide what you want to see ahead of time.
The Eiffel Tower
You cannot visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. This landmark is especially remarkable at sunset, when the floodlights come on. The lights sparkle for the first five minutes of every hour---truly a spectacular sight.
The Museums…at Night
Paris is known for its outstanding art collections. The Louvre, which is the largest museum in the world, stays open late until 9:45pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. The Musee d’Orsay is open late on Thursday nights. So, go do something else during the day and head over to a museum in the evening before or after dinner. Most likely, they will be less crowded.
Parc Rives de Seine
This new green space on the riverbank of the Seine opened in 2017. The former tarmac has been replaced with grass, trees, and plants. You can now relax and enjoy the river or shop at the environmentally friendly food outposts and stores selling sustainable products. While the weather is cold in Paris in the winter, you can still enjoy the outdoors if you are dressed warmly. While in the area, grab a bite to eat at Faust.
Jardin du Luxembourg
The Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the most popular parks in the city. You can find everything from toy boating to beekeeping in this beautiful space, but what it is really famous for is its chess competitions. In the northwest corner of the park, there are 12 chess tables and people lined up to play.
This eclectic neighborhood is a maze of shops, restaurants, and bars. Try the Falafel Special Sandwich from L’As du Fallafel. There’s usually a line around the block, but don’t worry, it moves fast. It’s so good, you might be tempted to wait on the line again…. for seconds!
Just outside the city in the 18th arrondissement, Montmarte is a hilly village with steep streets, filled with boutiques, museums and cafes. Here you will find the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, which also offers amazing views of the city of Paris. The interior of the basilica is adorned in gold mosaics and stained-glass windows. Take some time to eat at Grenouilles, a café and deli in the center of the tourist area. Sandwiches are made from fresh bread and ingredients sourced locally.
While the interior of the cathedral was devasted in a fire in April and remains closed to tourists, Notre Dame can still be admired from the outside. Stroll along the river and take in the exterior, which is damaged, but still beautiful.
A trip to Paris without some shopping simply would not be complete. Head to Galeries Lafayette, the department store of Paris on Monday or Friday at 3pm for a free fashion show, but make sure to reserve a seat by phone or email ahead of time. Best of all, it’s free!
Paris is full of so many things to do, but make sure you check these eight off for the full Parisian experience.