Paris Bucket List : Top Best Things To Do in Paris

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Paris is always a good idea.” said the fashion icon Audrey Hepburn. Paris is a city of love, the home of famous artworks, foodie’s paradise and beautiful architecture.

I visited Paris for the first time last month and I immediately fell in love with this city. There’s so much to see and to do in Paris so I list down the top things to do in Paris and the things to be tick off your Paris bucket list when you plan for your Paris trip!

Visit Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower
Rue de'l Universite is one of the famous photo spot !

No trip to Paris is complete without visiting this spectacular monument.

There are many ways to experience the Eiffel Tower. One of the most popular ways is to visit the observation deck to see the incredible views of Paris.

We did not go up to the top as the queue was very long. So if you plan to go up there, it is better to purchase the ticket in advance online.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel tower view from Trocadero

So , we just strolled around and found the perfect spots to photograph the Eiffel Tower.

One of the best spots is Rue de l’Université, which is a residential street that runs directly into the lawns around the Eiffel Tower. This street is fairly wide and quiet, making it a great spot to photograph the Eiffel Tower. However, do come early before 10am to take a good shot, otherwise it will start to get crowded after 10 am.

Is there a Statue Of Liberty next to Eiffel Tower?

The answer is YES. This replica of the Statue of Liberty is not what I expected to see in Paris. And yet, there it is, directly to the south, in the middle of the Seine. The quarter-scale replica was given to emphasise France’s historically close relationship with the United States. In fact, there are several the Statue of Liberty in Paris, each at Musée d’Orsay ,the Musée des Arts et Métiers and Jardin du Luxembourg. However, out of these locations, the one and first located at the Ile aux Cygnes is definitely the most unique. You can get the view of both the statue and the Eiffel Tower from here which is amazing!

Paris statue of liberty and eiffel tower
Statue of Liberty in Paris.

Take A Day Trip to Montmartre

Montmartre is the prettiest area in all of Paris. What was once a tiny village on the hill, separated from the city, now forms the 18th district of Paris.

It is about an 18-minute drive from our stay at Champs-Élysées. I pinned the location at this famous pink house cafe La Maison Rose which was filmed in the TV show Emily in Paris.  

Before this show, it was also used to be visited by renowned writers, artists and poets. It is on this most beautiful street in Paris : Rue de l’Abreuvoir.

Paris : Montmartre
La Maison Rose in Montmartre

Visiting Montmartre is definitely the top things to do in Paris. While wandering around this town, I found that it has strong art influences.

When we were having breakfast on the street, there was a “bazaar” where people were selling their artworks, antiques collections and books. The passions of the artists selling selling their artworks to the passerby really impressed me a lot.

Montmartre is only about 20 minutes drive away from the central of Paris. Montmartre has a lovely atmosphere, making it a must-see location in Paris and should be on everyone’s  Paris bucket list.

Montmartre is best to be explored on foot. If this is your first visit, taking a tour can help you learn more about this historical town. I highly recommend the Montmartre Walking tour from GetYourGuide.

Admire World Class Masterpieces in Louvre Museum

The Louvre is the world’s largest museum and houses one of the most impressive art collections in history.

There is always a massive queue outside the museum at the famous glass pyramid so I highly recommend you to purchase the ticket in advance online.

The museum is a former palace and the interior had been maintained very well on the architecture.Be sure to spend some time glancing at the Louvre from the beautiful outside and don’t forget to take your eyes off the paintings once in a while and appreciate the building you’re in!

Paris Louvre Museum
The glass pyramid at Louvre Museum.

Opening Hour: Wednesday to Monday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Tuesday closed)

Louvre museum is very crowded especially on peak season. You can get skip-the-line ticket in advance from Klook.

Walk along the banks of River Seine

One of the most wonderful things about Paris is its two sides separated by the beautiful River Seine.

Paris is a city that is walkable. Take a day to walk along both sides of River Seine at this perfect place to get lost on foot and watch Parisian life pass by.

Browse the Bouquinistes’ Stalls along the Seine

Book vendors along bank of River Seine selling drawings and books
Book vendors on the left bank of River Seine.

On the Left Bank which is refer to as La Rive Gauce has long been linked to famous artists and writers like Hemingway, Picasso and Matisse.

While on the Right Bank which is called La Rive Droite has many of Paris’ iconic attractions like Louvre Museum and Arc de Triomphe.

When I strolled along the sides, I encountered a charming feature where the book vendors were selling old books, magazines and arts from the iconic green metal boxes. It  is a very special scene and you may also find some unique souvenirs along. I think it’s one of the nicest things to do in Paris, and I’ll never grow tired of strolling down the Seine!

Postcard from the book vendors at Left bank of river Seine Paris
Magazine, books, postcards by the vendors on the left bank.

Get a stamped book from Shakespeare And Company Bookstore

This bookstore first caught my eyes a few years ago when it appeared in the romance movie “Before Sunset”.

It looked exactly like how I have always imagined a real bookstore should look like. Books are piled up from floor to ceiling, and with beautiful reading chair in every corner. SO, on my first trip to Paris, this bookstore was on the top of the must-visit list.

Shakespeare and Company Bookstore is a famous place, so we had to queue for a while outside the bookstore. But the queue was fast, we only queued for 15 minutes to get in. It might not look like much from the outside, but enter, and you’ll find a world of hidden treasures!

Shakespeare and company bookstore
Shakespeare And Company Bookstore

There are 2 storeys, the first floor has all the books for sale while the second floor is a reading corner and you can either bring your own book here to read or grab one from the shelf. I bought 2 books here and they will stamp on your book a “Shakespeare and Company Bookstore” sign! I love it!

Reading Corner in Shakespeare and company bookstore
The cozy reading corner on the second floor.

If you’re a book lover like me, this is a must-do on your trip to Paris.

Eat Amazing Food

It’s no doubt that Paris is a city of love, lights and Amazing FOOD! So, one of the best things to do in Paris is to enjoy the amazing food !

I was astonished by the exquisiteness of the food offered when I visited Paris. True to its reputation for having the greatest croissants in the world, Paris is known for its cafe culture. You will find yourself savouring the treats when you enter any random cafe.

There are many Michelin star restaurants as well as famous iconic restaurants (from the movie etc) to try out in the city and they are always fully house. If you are planning to visit these restaurants, make sure to make reservations in advance.

If you have no idea on which restaurants to go to , you will not be let down. When I was in Paris, I stopped into a few cafes and restaurants at random, and they were all absolutely heavenly.

Paris delicacies
One of the best food I had in Paris.

Treat yourself to a hotel with views of the Eiffel Tower.

For most of the travellers, waking up to the view of Eiffel Tower is one of the top things to do when in Paris. It is like a magical dream comes true moment when you check in one of the best hotels with Eiffel Tower view in Paris.

There are a handful of great hotels with the amazing Eiffel Tower views in Paris including Shangri-La’s, Plaza Anthenee, Pullman Paris and many more.

Take A Day Trip To Versailles

People will undoubtedly reserve a day for Versailles when they schedule their vacation to Paris! 

Just less than one hour train ride from the city centre of Paris, Versailles is a World Heritage castle located at the Paris outskirts. Prior to the French Revolution, the royal family had lived there for more than a century.

And now, the royal castle has become a major sightseeing sites in Paris. Visit the inside of the Palace of Versailles and explore the splendid interior. Also, not to forget the magnificent Versailles Gardens outside of the Palace. Across the garden, visit the Petit Trianon which was once the quarters of Queen Marie-Antionette.

Palace of Versailles
Paris Bucket List: Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles
Paris Bucket List: Palace of Versailles

Explore the Luxembourg Gardens

The Luxembourg Gardens, or locally known as “Jardin du Luxembourg”, has more than 400 years of history in Paris. 

The garden was once a prison, and now it has become the most iconic garden in Paris for the locals as well as travellers. 

Luxembourg Gardens is huge , with splendid fountain, Grand Bassin, statues and sculptures and overflowed with trees and flowers.  Visitors can either sit on the green lawns or on the remarkable green chairs. Grab a coffee and sit for a while to observe the life of the French capital or read a book under the great weather. 

Luxembourg Garden
Paris Bucket List:Luxembourg Garden

...And Other Gardens in Paris

Paris has the most beautiful gardens in the world, and it is not an exaggeration to say that Paris’ parks and gardens contribute to the reasons to visit the city.

Apart from the popular Luxembourg Gardens, there are several beautiful gardens and parks in Paris worth visiting. Spare a day to visit these parks when you are in Paris : 

  • Jardin des Tuileries : The oldest and largest in Paris designed and built in the 16th century.
  • Jardins du Palais Royal : Unlike other public parks in Paris, this garden is enclosed within the complex of Palais-Royal.It is particularly lovely during the months of May and June, when the roses are in bloom.
  • Parc du Champ-der-Mars : Champ-der-Mars might be the best photo spot for Eiffel Tower but it is also a green park with the great view of the Iron Lady. This park is also a famous place for picnic so bring a basket of snacks when you visit!
  • Parc Monceau : An interesting park with follies and randomly placed sculptures. 

Find The Perfect Eiffel Tower Photo Spots

It is no doubt that Eiffel tower is the most photographed landmark in Paris. 

When strolling around Paris, I always notice how the Eiffel tower can pop up between streets, behind cafes , offering the most amazing views in Paris. And every time I see the Eiffel Tower from an unexpected angle, I can’t help but pull out my camera to capture the perfect Eiffel Tower shot.

Paris Eiffel Tower
Paris Bucket List:Eiffel Tower

Walk Along Champs-Elysees

Champs-Elysees is the most recognised street in the world. Located at the 8th arrondissement of Paris, this street spans about 2-kilometres long. The popular retail stores and high-street fashion store are located along the Champs-Elysees.

Take a stroll down the street and stop by Laduree for some traditional Parisian dessert macaroons.

Visit Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe Paris
Paris Bucket List: Arc de Triomphe

Standing at the end of the Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe is one of the most popular monuments in Paris.

Visitors can admire the monument from the street or go up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to get one of the best views of Paris. As Arc de Triomphe is one of the major sights in Paris, do expect a busy crowd at the monument lining up to get to the top. The best way to visit the monument is to get a skip-a-line ticket in advance.

Another great way to admire the Arc de Triomphe is to rent a hotel room at Hotel Splendid Etoile and wake up to the amazing view of the monument!

Admire Impressionist's Art at Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay is a must visit museum for any art lover. This museum houses the greatest collections of the Impressionist’s art in the world. Here you can find the works of Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Renoir, Monet, Gaugin and many more.

The building of the museum itself is also an art piece. It is formerly a train station and was transformed into a museum in 1986.

Opening hours : Tuesday – Sunday 9.30am – 6.00 pm

Entrance Fee : Euro 16

The fast track ticket to enter to the museum can be bought in advance through Klook. You can also get free access to Musée d’Orsay if you have Paris Museum Pass.

Musee d'Orsay Paris Bucket List
Paris Bucket List: Musee d'Orsay

Getting Around Paris

Paris is a city where it is accessible by various ways of transportation.

One of the world’s oldest metro systems, the Paris system comprises more than 300 stops. If you use Google Maps, getting around the city is really simple. And it’s true that Paris is a very walkable city especially when you visit in May and June, September and October.

To get around in the city, you can take the single ride subway which costs you EUR 1.90 per ride or take day tickets for 1-day, 2-day, 3-day or 5-day pass.

There are so many interesting things to do in Paris. From sightseeing and appreciating art pieces to wine tasting and shopping, these are the top things to do in this city especially if it is your first time to Paris. I hope you enjoyed this article and able to cross something off your bucket list with this list while in Paris.