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The Best Things to Do in Paris, France

Our trip to Paris last summer left us mesmerized and overwhelmed by the many Paris things to do. It’s a place where pre-planning your trip is absolutely recommended. Paris, the City of Lights, is a destination that many dream of visiting, and I was lucky to visit with my boys. From the historical landmarks to the vibrant streets, it offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication. With all the exciting things to see, how do you decide what to do in Paris while visiting? To help you map out your itinerary, here are some of the best things to do in Paris.

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Fun Things to Do in Paris: Must-Know Info

Best Things to Do in Paris

Understanding the City Layout

Before exploring the fun things to do in Paris, it’s essential to understand the city’s layout. Paris is divided into various districts known as arrondissements. These spiral out from the center of the city, much like a snail’s shell. 20 arrondissements are located on the left and right banks of the Seine River.

Each arrondissement in Paris has its own unique flavor and attractions, offering endless fun for all ages. The first district, right at the heart of the city, is home to the iconic Louvre Museum—a must-visit for every tourist. This is where we stayed.

For families, the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in the 19th arrondissement is a top pick, with so many interactive exhibits that make learning fun for kids. Another favorite area is the Luxembourg Gardens in the 6th arrondissement, the perfect place for picnics and leisurely strolls. Of course, a trip to Paris would be incomplete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement. 

Pack an Umbrella

Best Things to Do in Paris

Parisian weather can be unpredictable. Even if the forecast doesn’t predict rain, it’s always a good idea to carry a compact umbrella with you.

When exploring Paris things to do, you’ll want to be prepared for all eventualities. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and the glistening Seine are all enchanting even under a drizzle, but you’d rather not get soaked. We had a good day when we visited, but as soon as we got inside, it started raining. Yes, it turns out rain is very common in summer in Paris. That’s why keeping a compact umbrella at hand ensures that your adventure doesn’t get dampened by sudden showers. 

Strolling through the charming bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre or enjoying a leisurely lunch at an outdoor cafe in Saint-Germain-des-Prés can be far more enjoyable when you’re not worried about getting wet. So, no matter what the skies may bring, your Parisian expedition won’t lose any of its charm if you’re well-prepared.

Cash or Card?

While most places and things to do in Paris accept credit cards, it’s always handy to have some euros with you for smaller transactions. This is especially useful if you want to grab a quick cup of coffee or a croissant from a local bakery. However, to be honest, we didn’t use cash at all.

Choose a Central Hotel

When choosing a hotel in Paris, opt for one that’s centrally located. This will allow you easy access to the main attractions and help reduce travel time. If you are traveling with kids, you will want to check out these areas to stay here.

Advice for First-Timers

First: don’t rush! If this is your first visit to Paris, you might feel the pressure to see and do everything. However, it’s important to take your time and not rush through the sights. After a long flight, you might be hit with jet lag. Make sure to rest, hydrate, and acclimate yourself to the new time zone. Start off your journey by picking a destination within walking distance of your hotel and exploring the surrounding area. This is more important than you think!

Best Things to Do in Paris

Where to start? I could go on and on, but I am listing my favorite Paris things to do below.

Visit Montmartre

Best Things to Do in Paris

Montmartre, located in the 18th arrondissement, is one of the most famous neighborhoods in Paris. It’s home to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and offers stunning views of the city. A must-see! Spend an afternoon exploring this area and grab lunch at a local café. Visit the bustling Place du Tertre where local artists showcase their work and might even sketch your portrait. Don’t miss out on exploring the iconic Moulin Rouge, a symbol of Parisian nightlife since the Belle Époque. Also here, you can browse through stacks of second-hand books at bouquinistes stalls or simply enjoy watching life go by. We love grabbing an ice cream and seat, and people-watch.

Skip the Eiffel Tower in Favor of a Picnic 

Best Things to Do in Paris

Yes, you read that right. While the Eiffel Tower is considered one of the best things to do in Paris, you might want to skip it. The lines can be long if you haven’t booked long in advance, and once you’re up, you won’t be able to see the Eiffel Tower in your city views. Instead, enjoy the view of the sparkling Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe or other vantage points in the city. We had a picnic in Champ de Mars and watched the tower’s nightly twinkling lights.

is a must-experience when looking for things to do in Paris. It’s not just a trip along the river but a voyage through the heart of Parisian history and culture. As you glide along the water, you’ll encounter stunning views of iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral. The tour also includes insightful commentary about the city’s rich past and vibrant present, making it an educational adventure as well.

Moreover, it’s an excellent way to see Paris from a unique perspective without dealing with crowded streets or metro lines. Whether daytime or night-time, each offers a different yet equally mesmerizing view of the city. In addition, most tours offer dining options, allowing you to enjoy delicious French cuisine while cruising. This is one of the most fun things to do in Paris to explore the City of Love.

Visit Notre Dame Cathedral

Best Things to Do in Paris

This is in reconstruction, but it is possible to see it and stroll around surrounding streets, we saw it during our It is a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, and you should try to add it to your things to do in Paris for sure. 

Visit the Louvre 

Best Things to Do in Paris

Do not miss the Louvre—we love exploring it and all the amazing pieces of art. Go early, as this is home to thousands of works of art including the Mona Lisa. You won’t regret it, but visiting at the right time is crucial for a better experience. 

Go Museum Hopping

Paris is home to some of the world’s most renowned museums. Get a Paris Pass for discounted access to multiple museums and tourist attractions, including the Louvre, Sainte Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe, and even the Palace of Versailles.

Get a Taste of Paris

Best Things to Do in Paris

No trip to Paris would be complete without trying their pastries. Visit a local bakery or patisserie and indulge in some French macarons, pain au chocolat, or croissants.

Try Ice Cream on Île St Louis

, located on Île St Louis, is known for its exquisite ice cream and sorbets. It’s a must-visit spot for all sweet-toothed travelers.

Quick Tip: View my full Europe packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Europe Essentials shopping list here.

Spend Time in The Marais

Best Things to Do in Paris

The Marais is a trendy, vibrant area that’s buzzing with activity, especially on Sundays. Visit the Picasso Museum, explore local shops, and enjoy a falafel at L’as Au Fallafel on Rue des Rosiers. 

Take a Cooking Class

Best Things to Do in Paris

For a fun and educational experience, take a cooking class. You can learn to make traditional French dishes and pastries or even take a market tour to learn about local ingredients. We did a cooking class in Galey Lafayette making macarons was fun!

If you are traveling with a teenager, check out the best things to do in Paris with teens here.

Discover the Left and Right Banks

Both the Left and Right Banks of Paris have their unique charm. The Left Bank is home to the Latin Quarter and the Musée d’Orsay, while the Right Bank boasts the iconic Louvre Museum. Spend a day exploring both banks to get a full Parisian experience.

Retreat to Paris Gardens

Are you wondering what to do in Paris to escape the bustling city streets? Retreat to one of Paris’s beautiful gardens. The on the Left Bank and The Tuileries Garden on the Right Bank are both worth a visit.

One of the best things to do in Paris is to have a picnic along the Seine River. Grab a bottle of wine, some cheese, and a baguette, and enjoy a leisurely meal while soaking in the beautiful views.

Visit a Local Boulangerie

Another of my top Paris things to do is a visit to a local boulangerie. Try different French pastries and bread, and don’t forget to try the escargot croissants at .

Wondering where to stay? Check out these options!

La Maison de Léa
My Home For You Luxury B&B
Eden Lodge Paris

Dine at a Classic French Bistro

Experience authentic French cuisine at a local bistro. Try a classic dish like Steak Frites at

Visit a Local Market

Exploring a local market is a great way to immerse yourself in Parisian culture. Visit the early in the morning and pick up fresh produce for a picnic.

Visit a French Pharmacy

French pharmacies are treasure troves of high-quality skincare products. Brands like Caudalie, Klorane, Nuxe, and Avène are readily available, and the staff is usually knowledgeable and helpful.

Enjoy Jazz Music

Paris has a rich jazz culture. Spend an evening at a jazz club like or Café Laurent to experience the city’s vibrant music scene. This is one of the most fun things to do in Paris after dark!

How to Experience the Most Fun Things to Do in Paris


This is a fun option to explore the top Paris things to do. The city has numerous Vélib stations where you can rent a bike. This is an excellent way to cover more ground and see different parts of the city.


One of the best things to do in Paris is explore the city on foot. Despite its size, you can walk from one end to the other in about an hour. This gives you the opportunity to wander into quaint neighborhoods, stumble upon hidden gems, and truly soak in the Parisian atmosphere.

Best Things to Do in Paris: Final Thoughts

Remember, there’s no ‘right’ way to experience Paris. Take your time, soak in the sights, and most importantly, enjoy the journey. After all, as Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.” I hope this guide to the best things to do in Paris inspires your next adventure!

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Paris Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Paris?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Paris which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Paris on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Paris?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Paris?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here.

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using either Airhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia. They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack.

Author’s Bio

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Rocio is an adventure mom behind the blog and the account @realworldmami. She is based in California and shares adventures by the beach and international travels. She is passionate about the outdoors, experiencing new cultures, and building meaningful relationships.

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