100 things to do in Paris

 

Street Cats Paris

Some ideas for wonderful things to do in Paris, whether you’re here for a weekend, a week, or longer…

OK I’m not quite at 100 yet, but I intend to get there and will update regularly with new discoveries and ideas!

  1. Be at the Trocadero on the hour, any hour between sunset and 1am, and watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle for 5 minutes – it’s amazingly beautiful.
  2. Buy a couple of  macaroons (more than 3 in one go is too many, believe me!) at Pierre Hermé on rue Cambon and take them into the Tuileries gardens to enjoy on one of the chairs in the sunshine.
  3. Visit the Louvre on a Wednesday or Friday evening when it’s open late (until 9.30pm) – away from the crowds you might just get the Mona Lisa all to yourself.
  4. On a chilly day, enjoy some of the best hot chocolate in Paris at Angelina on the rue de Rivoli. I’ve never tasted better, in Paris or anywhere else.
  5. Climb the towers of Notre Dame for one of the best views over the city, accompanied of course by the gargoyles!
  6. Pop into the Opera Garnier and admire the spectacular ceiling painted by Chagall.
  7. Take a picnic to the Place des Vosges in the Marais.
  8. Choose a café with an outside terrace, take a book, order a coffee and sit and watch the world go by.
  9. Visit the Orangerie Museum and marvel at Monet’s beautiful water lily paintings.
  10.  If you enjoy food shopping (or just looking!) take a stroll down the rue des Martyrs in the 9th arrondissement, it’s a food lovers paradise. If all the food is making you hungry stop off at Rose Bakery for lunch or drop into the wonderful patisseries of Sebastien Gaudard or Arnaud Delmontel.
  11. Take a stroll through the Marais on a Sunday, all the shops are open, and stop for takeaway falafel at L’As du Fallafel on the rue des Rosiers, reputedly the best in Paris.
  12. Escape the crowds – slip into the gardens of the Palais Royal and enjoy a sandwich or a coffee on a quiet bench amongst the roses.
  13. Find a designer bargain at the Mouton à Cinq Pattes on the rue St Placide in the 6ème, samples and last year’s stock at great prices from designers such as Alberta Feretti, Gauthier, Moschino and more.
  14. Go to the Ile St Louis and try an ice cream or a sorbet from Berthillon. Generally acknowledged to be the best in Paris, the list of flavours is amazing and even non ice cream fans will be coming back for more.
  15. Hop on one of the city buses for the cheapest sightseeing tours around. My two favourites are numbers 42 and 69.
  16. Visit the flea markets on a weekend morning. The Porte de Vanves is great for picking up a bargain, and the Puces de St Ouen at the Porte de Clignancort is a wonderful place for eyeing up antiques or iconic designer pieces, and then enjoying a great brunch or lunch at one of the many cafés inside the market.
  17. Visit the small and gorgeous Rodin Museum, even if you’re not in the mood for a museum visit, 2€ will get you entrance to the beautiful gardens, where you can sit and relax whilst admiring Le Penseur (The Thinker).
  18. Go to Versailles and follow in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette to the Petit Trianon in the gardens. Her refuge away from the crowds at the time, it’s still peaceful, much less crowded and incredibly beautiful. Better still, take a picnic.
  19. For the best views of Notre Dame, go to the top of the Institut du Monde Arabe. It’s free and they have a wonderful terrace with spectacular views over the river and the back of the cathedral.
  20. Visit the Musée d’Orsay. Home to the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world, this amazing museum is not to be missed. Book your tickets in advance on the internet though, the queues can be pretty astounding! Or try Thursday evenings when it’s open until 21:45.
  21. Spend the day doing a walking tour of the various covered passages in the city. Many of these tiny gems are located within walking distance of each other. They are incredibly beautiful, and you can shop the gorgeous boutiques, have lunch or a coffee, or just stroll through and admire how pretty they are.
  22. Head to Shakespeare & Company, buy a book and take it to their wonderful new literary café next door.
  23. On a sunny day, take the train to Versailles Rive Droite. From here it’s a 5 minute walk to a wonderful and very typical French farmer’s market – the Marché Notre Dame. This market was created more than 300 years ago by Louis XIV, and the covered sections were built in 1841. Buy a picnic and then walk another 10 minutes to the park of the Chateau de Versailles, where you can have your picnic in the splendor of the gardens by the Grand Canal as the nobles of the court once did.
  24. If you’re here in the summer months, extend your afternoon in Versailles into the evening, and buy a ticket for the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes. An enchanting evening wandering through the gardens lit up in the darkness, listening to music, is a very special way to visit. Make sure you buy your ticket in advance.
  25. Take a walk around Pere Lachaise Cemetery. More than just a graveyard for famous people, it’s a beautiful and tranquil place to spend an afternoon. Most of the tombs are works of art, and you’ll find Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Chopin, Proust, Edith Piaf and of course Jim Morrison.
  26. Go up to the 9th floor of the Printemps department store, in the ‘Beauté et Maison’ building, and enjoy spectacular views across the city from the rooftop terrace café. You don’t need to eat here to access the terrace, and you have 360° views complete with gold domes galore!
  27. Visit the Picasso Museum in the heart of the Marais. Housing an amazing collection of his work, this newly refurbished museum is outstanding. Afterwards pop into the Swedish Institute café for lunch or coffee and cakes.
  28. Have your morning coffee and croissant on the tiny and beautiful Place Dauphine.
  29. Pay hommage to French legend and cult hero Serge Gainsbourg outside his house on the rue de Verneuil.
  30. Stroll along the Seine and browse the books and posters at the iconic bouquinistes.
  31. Lose yourself in the charm of the Butte aux Cailles. Or head up there for an evening and enjoy the relaxed and lively atmosphere in the bars and restaurants.
  32. Download the Flash Invaders app and hunt for space invaders whilst you explore the city.
  33. Explore the real Montmartre, away from the tourists it feels like it has hardly changed since Picasso and his friends hung out there.
  34. Dress like a Parisienne, pick up some vintage chic at the Salon du Vintage.
  35. Buy a picnic at Du Pain et des Idées or Myrthe and enjoy a picnic by the fashionable Canal St Martin.
  36. Visit Deyrolle, an incredible and beautiful 185 year old shop in St Germain des Près filled to the brim with the most amazing taxidermy. Trust me, even if you’re not a fan of stuffed animals this shop is worth a visit.

13 thoughts on “100 things to do in Paris

  1. Take a stroll along the Allée des Cygnes on an artificial island in the middle of the Seine below the Viaduc de Passy. Enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower at one end and of the miniature Statue of Liberty at the other. There’s a great panorama of the controversial Front de Seine tower block development in the 15th arrondissement, and if you are lucky, you may just catch a glimpse of the fabulous Peregrine falcons that live at the top of the cooling tower.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a great guide 🙂 Will be back in Paris soon and will check what from your list I haven’t done yet and needs to be discovered. My fav museum btw is Rodin 😉 I was happy seeing it on your list! It’s a shame I cant speak french since I love paris so much

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