Paris doesn’t need much of an introduction. It’s world-famous for a reason: filled with gorgeous architecture, brimming with world-class food, and absolutely jam-packed with culture and history. I lived there for a year and I feel like I barely scratched the surface.
Before we dive into the list of the things you must see in Paris, here a few tips to ensure you enjoy your stay:
These are the places you absolutely must see in Paris. Most everyone knows about the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, l’Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre. If you’ve never been to Paris, you pretty much need to see all four.
Personally, however, my favorites are:
Musée d’Orsay – Used to be a train station, and full of some of the best 20th century Impressionist paintings in the world.
Sacre Coeur – At the top of Montmartre, the highest point in the city. A calf-burner on your way up, but the views are amazing.
Sainte Chapelle – Notre Dame is massive and glorious, but the much smaller Saint Chapelle is even more beautiful. Long lines are common, but go early and wait if you have to – it’s worth it.
A few quick notes about French dining:
Relais de l’Entrecote – This place is something special. They don’t take reservations and only serve one meal: walnut salad, steak and endless fries. Get there early or you’ll be waiting for a while.
Au P’tit Grec – A Greek Crêpe place on Rue Mouffetard, a busy, winding street in the 5th arrondissement full of delicious food. A must see in Paris!
Tape – Check out this awesomely grungy bar on the Rue de la Roquette, in the 11th. The walls are covered in graffiti and the speakers are usually bumpin’ the likes of Wu-Tang & Gang Starr.
La Seine – Drinking along the Seine is always a good time! Small bars pop during the summer, or you can BYOB and go where the crowds are. Just don’t fall in the river.
Concrete – Head here when the sun’s coming up and everywhere else is closed. Parties all day and all night.
Go into any park in Paris on a warm day and you’ll wonder if anyone in this city has a job. Everyone seems to be just lounging about. But with parks this beautiful, you’d probably play hookie too.
Jardin du Luxembourg – Down the street from the Pantheon, this garden is classic Paris. Grab chairs while they’re open, or lounge in the grass (some of the lawns are off-limits).
Parc des Buttes Chaumont – A delightful oddity. Explore this park and you’ll find small cliffs, waterfalls, a lake with a temple-topped island, and magnificent views of the city.