10 Best Paris Attractions and Activities For Your Bucket List

Paige Donner

By , Local Expert, Paris
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Paris embraces visitors from the moment they land in the City of Light. Iconic places like the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Cœur, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and Père Lachaise cemetery, all evoke feelings of familiarity and timelessness. These are images we’ve grown up with, in movies, magazines and luxury ads. And no matter where we’re from, Paris is a dream destination.

When you’re here, you’ll find that the French excel in adding doses of modernity to a city steeped in history. The glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre, for example, was scandalous when first built but now is as emblematic of the museum as is the Mona...  Read more »

  • 1

    La Tour Eiffel

    The Eiffel Tower is one of the top ten most recognized landmarks in the world. It was originally built as a temporary structure.

    Local Expert Tip: "Visiting the Eiffel Tower with friends or your significant other? Make it even more memorable by toasting with a glass of champagne at the Champagne Bar at the very top. You can also take in this impressive site from Trocadéro, just across the River Seine. When there, be sure to have a look at the statue of Benjamin Franklin that sits on the Place du Trocadéro where this first US Ambassador to France surveys in perpetuity the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower. "

     
  • 2

    Batobus Louvre Stop

    Paris when seen from the river Seine is even more beautiful.

    Local Expert Tip: "Hop on and hop off all day long. Or buy the 3-day pass and make the River Seine your main method of transportation to see many of Paris's landmark sights. From the beginning of September to start of April they run about every 25 minutes from 10a.m. to 7pm; April to beginning September from 10 am to 9 :30 pm with pickups every 20 minutes. Day passes are currently set at €15euro or €7euro for kids under 16."

     
  • 3

    Musée du Louvre

    The Louvre is one of humankind's most impressive tributes to our artistic endeavors, past, present and future.

    Local Expert Tip: "When visiting the Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre, make sure to walk across the room, keeping your eyes on Mona Lisa's eyes - they follow you. To rest your weary feet after the Louvre, head to the Tuileries, the vast gardens just next to the museum where you can have a picnic, read a book or just sit in quiet contemplation."

     
  • 4

    Sainte-Chapelle

    Built by King Louis IX, the exquisite structural architecture with its stained glass imparts the feeling of being enveloped by light and color.

    Local Expert Tip: "Check the website for evening concert schedules. They are even sometimes free. "

     
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    Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

    Built 800 years ago the Notre Dame anchors the oldest part of Paris. It's also a gateway to the fabulous Ile St. Louis.

    Local Expert Tip: "Small masses are held daily in the mornings in the choir section - you may have to let a cathedral worker know you want to attend mass in order to be let into the cordoned off area. Evening mass is also offered in the main altar every night. "

     
  • 6

    Jardin du Luxembourg

    Good people-watching and plenty of space for quiet-time with your favorite book, that's what the Jardin du Luxembourg offers.

    Local Expert Tip: "Picnics here are enjoyed while sitting on the many chairs and benches you'll find scattered throughout these vast gardens in the heart of Saint Germain. A favorite spot to just sit and read a book, too. "

     
  • 7

    Basilique du Sacré-Coeur

    The Sacré-Coeur sits like a majestic white lady, regal and pure, at the top of the Montmartre Hill, otherwise called the butte Montmartre.

    Local Expert Tip: "The steps are great for sitting on with a loved one or friends. Music performers are often playing and you'll have an impressive view of the city spreading out below."

     
  • 8

    Panthéon

    Up until 2014, of the 73 people buried at the Panthéon, 71 were men; there are now two additional women, thanks to President Hollande.

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't forget to look for "Foucault's Pendulum" hanging from the dome. You can even walk from the Panthéon to Place de la Contrescarpe in an easy 15 minutes."

     
  • 9

    Champs-Elysees

    It's fun to imagine what the Champs-Elysées looked like in the days of horse-drawn carriages, when it was first built.

    Local Expert Tip: "Be sure to stop at #92 on the Champs-Elysées. There you will see a plaque commemorating where Thomas Jefferson once lived."

     
  • 10

    Musée du Parfum

    Perfume is not just an integral part of French civilization, but world civilization, too.

    Local Expert Tip: "The museum offers guided tours and also self-guided tours. And it's free entry. Groups can book perfume-making workshops on Saturdays."

     

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