Want to know a secret?

I have a total love affair with Paris, and I think it may be getting more serious.

I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes, because, let’s face it, almost everyone falls in love with the magic of “The City of Lights.

But shockingly, it wasn’t love at first sight for Paris and me.

In fact, the first time I went with my dad about a decade ago, we both were a bit underwhelmed by it.

We did have a fabulous 24 hours in Paris sightseeing, but it was too chaotic that trip to really embrace what makes the city special.

Luckily, over the last decade, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend an insane amount of time in Paris.

I’ve gotten to know her on a more personal level, and trip by trip, I fell more and more in love with her.

If you add it all up, I’ve spent about four months of my life living there.

Over that time, I’ve been built beautiful memories not only with family and friends, but also solo, and with lovers.

I think it’s safe to say I’ve experienced “The City of Lights” in a way most people could only ever dream of.

Through those experiences, I’ve seen some of the best (and worst) Paris offers.

Lucky for you, I’m putting all those memories to good use, and giving you the ultimate cheat sheet to the very best things to do in Paris.

So, pour yourself a glass of champagne, maybe grab a few macarons to embrace the Parisian vibes, then grab a pen, so that you don’t miss out on any of the magic while you’re in one of my favorite cities in the world.

Must-See Iconic Paris Landmarks

Eiffel Tower

Ally in front of the Eiffel Tower in winter

It’s funny, on my first trip to Paris I never got to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night.

I’m convinced it’s one reason my dad and I didn’t fall more head over heels for the city on our first visit.

So whatever you do, prioritize seeing this icon shimmer in all its glory at the top of the hour.

Even after almost a dozen trips in, it’s still a sight that never loses its magic.

Obviously, if you’re not on a tight budget, you should absolutely go to the top of the tower, ideally at sunset.

I’ve been to the top twice now, and it’s infinitely more magical at night.

You’ll definitely want to reserve your spot early, as the standby line can get crazy.

Bonus points if you make a dinner reservation on the tower, or take time to grab a drink at the cafe on the lower level.

If you’re in Paris on a budget, grab a nice bottle of vino or bubbles, and some cheese and baguette and make yourself a picnic along the portion of the Seine across of the tower.

It’s a magical cheap and chic date night!

Here’s what you need to know for planning. The light show takes place from dusk to 1 am. It goes up during the first five minutes of every hour, and the night closes with the lengthiest display of lights which lasts 10 minutes.

Local’s Tip: Dessert lovers need to swing by the Pierre Herme inside the tower to try their special macarons that are only sold there. One is raspberry chocolate (my favorite), and the other is mint chocolate.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc-de-Triomphe-Paris-France

The Arc de Triomphe is another iconic landmark in Paris that you shouldn’t miss.

They built this monument to honor the soldiers who fought and died for France during the Napoleonic Wars.

It’s also home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

You can climb to the top of the arch and enjoy stunning views of the city. It’s about 20 euro per person to enter.

Or, another popular free thing to do is to take photos across the street with the arc in the background.

Local’s Tip: Don’t cross the roundabout to get to the arc, instead use the underground walkway.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame-Paris-vs-new-York

Chances are you remember the horrific day Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris went up in flames.

It was truly a miracle this iconic place didn’t collapse that day.

I can’t believe how incredibly lucky I am to say I saw the original on my first trip to Paris.

My only regret is that we didn’t take the full tour because of a lack of time.

Since then, I’ve watched over the years as it’s slowly risen from the ashes.

During my last visit to Paris in October 2023, I observed the beginning of the installation of new wooden beams.

I’m sure some of you are thinking why would they put wooden beams back in, since that’s part of why it burned so quickly in 2019.

Well, the city decided it was important to rebuild using building materials and methods as close to the original as possible.

The city has announced that the cathedral will be partially reopened by December of this year to tourists.

Until then, you can stroll around the outside to watch the progress of the rebuild. There’s also some bleachers out front, where you can sit and enjoy the beauty of Notre Dame.

Fun Fact: Did you know Notre Dame de Paris fell into disrepair during the French Revolution?

The city deemed it a hazard and was ready to tear it down until Parisians protested to save it because the recently released novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” instantly made it iconic.

Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte Chappelle, Paris, france

I’ve seen a lot of religious places over the years, and truthfully, Sainte-Chapelle is one of the few that have truly left me speechless.

This place is absolutely next level stunning, and a must visit for anyone interested in history or architecture.

Here’s what you need to know about it.

Sainte-Chapelle was built in c.1241-48 for St Louis of France.

He spent a fortune having it built to house religious relics and serve as a palace chapel for the French royal family.

It’s home to two chapels: a lower chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and an upper chapel, formerly known as the palace chapel.

This is the one that truly blew me away with its beauty.

It’s famous for its series of intricate stained glass windows of depicting scenes from the Old Testament and the Passion of Christ.

Fun Fact: Back in the day, one relic in residence was the relic of Jesus Christ’s Crown of Thorns, which Louis IX had purchased for a fortune in 1239.


If you’re really interested in history, I highly suggest signing up for Walks’ Île de la Cité tour. It’s one of my favorite tours in Paris!

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Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde paris

Place de la Concorde is one of the largest public squares in Paris.

Anyone who’s watched the last leg of the Tour de France will recognize the famous obelisk that the cyclists race around before hitting the final finish line.

The square also has a bit of a bloody history thanks to the French Revolution. It’s where Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette (and countless others) got their heads chopped off.

It’s a great spot for photos, though dangerous if crossing the street during rush hour.

Fun Fact: Egypt gifted the Luxor Obelisk to France in the 19th century.

Sacré-Cœur

Montmartre

Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a stunning basilica on the top of Montmartre hill, that’s famous for its stunning white façade and beautiful mosaics.

The hill itself also has a reputation, as it’s a ton of steps to the top unless you splurge for a ride on the funicular.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can climb to the top of the 19th century basilica to enjoy stunning views of the city.

Though fair warning, it’s a lot of steps and the top is quite narrow.

I climbed to the top while I was in Paris during the summer of 2021, and remember being very grateful I did my climb while tourism was at a low.

With just a dozen people at the top, it felt a bit crowded, so I can only imagine how claustrophobic it might feel on a truly busy day post-COVID.

You can also go inside the basilica to admire the architecture and light a candle for a loved one. My grandma was thrilled to hear there was a candle burning in her honor the day I went.

Local’s Tip: When I reached the top, I was so grateful I had macarons and some water in my purse. It was lovely snagging a small bench to rest and take in the incredible view while reviving myself with a sugary treat. I highly recommend you do the same, bonus points if you go at sunset!

Paris’ World-Renowned Museums

Louvre Museum

What to wear in paris in summer

Let’s be honest, pretty much everyone who comes to Paris has The Louvre at the top of their to-do list.

Not only is it one of the most famous museums in the world, but it’s also home to the iconic Mona Lisa.

Fair warning, this place is enormous, and I hate to say it—she’s not that impressive.

Luckily, the museum is home to about 35,000 works of art, including a lot of gorgeous royal jewels, and my favorite statue, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, which were a real highlights!

When I went during COVID, the crowd wasn’t as big as usual, so I consider myself very lucky I got to relax and really enjoy the art in a somewhat tranquil setting.

These days, it’s back to being totally packed. You’ll absolutely want to arrive early and book your tickets well in advance.

Oh, and be ready to spend all day wandering around. I think I was there about six, maybe seven hours total. The good news is there’s a cafe, with outdoor seating that overlooks the courtyard.

Fun Fact: The museum is in a former royal palace and is one of the largest museums in the world.

Musée d’Orsay

Musee-dOrsay-Paris-France-2

The Musée d’Orsay is easily my favorite museum in Paris.

I love that it’s inside a former railway station, which makes it extra romantic.

Not that it needs any help, since it’s home to an impressive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art.

You’ll see masterpieces by famous artists including Van Gogh, Monet, and Renoir, plus tons of cool sculptures.

Local’s Tip: Don’t miss the rooftop access via their cafe. The view is one of my all-time favorites in Paris!

Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is a modern art museum that is known for its unique architecture.

The museum is home to an impressive collection of contemporary art, including works by Picasso and Matisse.

It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in modern and contemporary art.

Local’s Tip: The rooftop has an incredible view of the city and is a must-see while at the museum!

Important Information: The museum will be closed for construction from 2025 to 2030 so don’t miss checking it out before it’s too late!

Petit Palais

Petit Palais

The Petit Palais is one of the less iconic museums, but is absolutely stunning.

My favorite thing about having this museum on my itinerary is that it’s free entry for the permanent exhibits!

With works by iconic artists as Cézanne, Monet, Pissarro, Rodin, Gauguin, and Courbet, it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in art and history.

Local’s Tip: Don’t miss checking out the garden, especially if you’re visiting during the warmer months.

Bourse de Commerce

Bourse de Commerce

The Bourse de Commerce is home to an impressive collection of contemporary art.

Or at least that’s what I’ve heard. A friend who runs an art gallery in NYC recently recommended this museum the last time I was in town, saying it was his favorite gallery.

Unfortunately, it was during Paris+ (basically Paris Art Basel), so I wasn’t able to score a same day entry to check it out.

But you better bet it’s at the top of my Paris bucket list for when I return later this year.

Fun Fact: The Bourse de Commerce was originally used as a place to negotiate the trade of grain and other commodities.

Musée de l’Orangerie

Ally at L'Orangerie in Paris - Feb 2023

We’ve all seen photos of Monet’s famous waterlilies, but it wasn’t until I was chatting with a friend recently that I realized many people don’t know where to go to actually see them.

Just head to L’Orangerie at the corner of Jardin des Tuileries.

It’s a fairly small museum that gets crowded quickly, so book your entry early!

The first time I went the line was huge for people without tickets, so I ended up coming back right when the museum opened the next day to get same day entry since tickets were already sold out online.

Besides Monet, you’ll also see works by Cézanne, and Renoir.

It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in impressionist art. You’ll want to plan to spend at least two hours wandering around the galleries.

Outdoor Activities in Paris

Seine River Cruises

Ally-in-front-of-the-Eiffel-Tower-at-night-in-Paris-wearing-Sezane

One of the most magical ways to experience Paris is on a Seine River cruise.

I can’t believe it took me almost eight visits to the city to end up finally on one of these iconic boats.

To be fair, it’s something I was saving as a romantic date night option, but when Walks Tours sent me on a tour of Île de la Cité, which comes with a cruise ticket, I knew it was the universe telling me to quit waiting for a man.

And thank god I went, because it was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done in Paris. It was totally magical seeing the city on the Seine at night. They even timed it so we passed the Eiffel Tower as it sparkled!

You can choose from a variety of options, including daytime or nighttime cruises, dinner cruises, and even champagne-tasting cruises (which is next on my bucket list!).

Along the way, you will see some of Paris’s most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre.

Local’s Tip: This should be common sense, but if you’re visiting during a colder month, pick an option that has indoor seating to keep cozy.

Public Parks and Gardens

Ally-in-Paris-Jardin-des-Tuileries

Paris has some of the most beautiful public parks and gardens in the world. Complete with some of the best people watching!

So if you’re there when the weather is nice, it’s basically a crime not to at least stroll through them.

The Jardin des Tuileries is probably the most popular for locals and tourists.

It’s between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde and offers stunning views, amazing people watching, and plenty of seating to relax in.

I always spend at least one morning or afternoon there enjoying a book and indulging in macrons, with either champagne and hot chocolate from nearby Angelina, depending on the season.

Another popular park is the Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th. It’s got a large pond, beautiful fountains, and plenty of green space to take a break from the chaos of city life.

City Viewpoints and Terraces

Paris Movies Ally in Paris 2017

We all want to see the sweeping landscape of Paris, and most of us also want a killer Instagram photo to go along with it.

Lucky for you, after spending a ton of time exploring the city over the years, I know some of the best viewpoints in Paris.

These are the spots you should put on your list:

  • The terrace at the top of the Arc de Triomphe offers panoramic views of the city, including the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower.
  • Another great option is the rooftop terrace at the Galeries Lafayette department store, which offers stunning views of the Opera Garnier and the city skyline.
  • Trocadero is another classic. It’ll give you that epic view of the Eiffel Tower you see in my photo above. Fair warning though, this plaza gets super crowded, especially at sunset!
  • The Eiffel Tower is another pretty obvious choice, however you’ll obviously be missing the most iconic building in the skyline since you’ll be inside it. For a similar view with the tower included, head to the Montparnasse Tower.
  • The rooftop of Pompidou Center is another classic, though fair warning it’s only going to be around until construction starts in 2025.
  • Musee d’Orsay is another museum that’s got an iconic view of the Seine, Jardin Tuileries, and The Louvre.

Unique Experiences in Paris

Devour Food Tours

devour-food-tours-le-marais-paris-france-

As a total foodie, one of my favorite things to do is checking out local food tours when I travel.

Lucky for me, one of my favorite tour companies, Devour, offers some incredible options in Paris.

Over the last year, I got to hop on their tour of their ultimate Paris food tour in the Marais and their tour of the Latin Quarter focused on apéritif and wine.

Needless to say, both were absolutely delicious!

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a few hours in Paris, I cannot recommend them enough!

Every tour I’ve been on always has an amazing and knowledgeable guide, plus plenty of local gems.

And if you’re traveling solo, don’t be afraid to go alone. I always go solo and leave their tours with at least a one or two new friends!

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I was shocked by how many hidden gems I was introduced to while on Devour Tour's food tour. I can't recommend this enough for tourists and even locals!

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Palais Garnier

Garnier-Opera-House-Paris-2

I’d dreamed of seeing the famous Opera Garnier since I first saw The Phantom of the Opera at six years old.

So obviously, it was the first place I was heading when I finally made it to Paris.

Sure, there’ isn’t actually a Phantom in residence (that we know of…), but it’s still absolutely magical.

In fact, it’s my very favorite theater in the world. Besides the history, it’s grand and ornate, and an absolute must-see for anyone who loves theater or amazing architecture.

You can either sign up for an informational tour, which I’ve heard can be dense, or take a self-guided tour (highly recommend).

Though my absolute favorite way to experience the Garnier is during a performance.

Last Valentine’s Day I was on my own and decided to treat myself to a night at the ballet — after all, why should people in relationships be the only ones to celebrate love that day?

It was without a doubt, the most amazing night of my life getting to dress up and attend a Balanchine ballet.

And it was even better, because I got a partial view last minute ticket for only 10 euro by going to the box office that morning.

Plus, I made friends with another solo traveler from India.

We ended up having the best girls’ night taking photos and sneaking into a nicer box, before eventually continuing our night with Champagne along the Seine as we took cute photos with the Eiffel tower.

Seriously, if you go to Paris, don’t miss this magical landmark!

Local’s Tip: The Opera House, along with most iconic places in Paris, is currently getting a facelift for the 2024 summer Olympics, so fair warning the outside isn’t as charming as it normally is. Luckily, the inside is gorgeous as ever!

Moulin Rouge

Moulin-Rouge-Paris.-France-2

For a night of entertainment, head to the iconic Moulin Rouge.

This legendary cabaret has been entertaining audiences since 1889, and it’s still going strong today.

You’ll be treated to a spectacular show featuring dancers, acrobats, and singers, all set to the music of the Belle Époque.

Full disclaimer, still waiting for a friend or date to go to this with since it’s kind of like a dinner theater experience, and not something I’m dying to do solo.

Good news is, the friends I know who have done it, all rave about how even though it’s touristy, it’s super fun!

La Galerie Dior

As a total fashion girlie, you better bet I booked my tickets to the iconic Dior Museum moments after I had my flight set.

This is absolutely a place you need to plan on booking at least a month out!

Despite the crowd, I went in the middle of the day and could easily enjoy all the exhibits.

I bet I spent about 5-6 hours wandering around this magical museum.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to take a photo on the iconic steps and in the magical gown room!

Local’s Tip: For a super fashionable day, book a table at L’Avenue, one of the chicest cafes in town that’s just across the street!

Père Lachaise Graveyard

Pere Lachaise Graveyard

For a truly unique experience, visit the Père Lachaise Graveyard.

This is the last resting place of many famous people, including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Edith Piaf.

It’s certainly a slightly less touristy experience, and it’s quite peaceful walking through the quiet paths and admiring the beautiful sculptures and mausoleums.

Catacombs

Paris Catacombs - Feb 2023

The Paris Catacombs have been on my bucket list for ages, so I was absolutely thrilled last year when Walks Tours invited me to join them on an excursion below the city.

First of all, it was a lot colder down there than I expected, so even in the summer, bring a sweater!

But wow, learning about the history of the catacombs and seeing some of the artistic ways they have displayed the remains over the years was fascinating.

This macabre experience absolutely isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’ll be one you’ll never forget!

Take a Tour with Walks

Paris Street Signs

I went on my first tour with Walks about a year ago in Paris.

They were kind enough to invite me on their tour of the Catacombs, which was fabulous.

Since then, I’ve also joined their Île de la Cité, which is easily my favorite tour of Paris that I’ve ever done.

Our guide was super knowledgeable, and we got to see so many cool historic spots around the island.

Plus, it ended with passes to hop on one of the Seine River boats!

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59 Rivoli

59 Rivoli

Wandering around 59 Rivoli is one of my favorite free activities in Paris.

If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s because it’s still a bit of a hidden gem amongst tourists, and even some locals!

Basically, it’s an epic multilevel art gallery that’s housed in a building where Parisian artists used to live as squatters.

These days, you’ can spend at least an hour or more wandering though the rooms, checking out artists as they create some gorgeous pieces, all while shopping a selection of their finished products.

Hidden Passages and Courtyards

Hidden Passages and Courtyards in Paris

The city is full of charming passages and courtyards that are filled with cute cafes and shops.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular passageways to check out.

Listen to Some Jazz

jazz-Club-

Okay, this is another one that’s been on the top of my Paris wish list for a while.

The city has a rich jazz history, and there are still plenty of clubs where you can hear live music.

I’ve been putting off going because I have this image in my mind of having a sexy Parisian date night at one of these jazz clubs, and so far, the right man hasn’t come along.

One of my Parsian besties, Erin, told me that Duc des Lombards or Sunset/Sunside are the ultimate for a romantic night on the town.

Side Note: If anyone reading this has a sexy French man (also open to other hot accents) to set me up with who adores jazz, and loves leggy American blondes who travel a ton, please let me know!

Go Shopping in Paris

Vintage Shopping

Best-Designer-Thrift-Stores-in-Paris-vintage-shopping-in-paris-2

If you’re looking for unique and one-of-a-kind pieces, vintage shopping is the way to go.

Everyone loves French fashion, so it’s only right you treat yourself to one or two special pieces while in Paris.

For amazing vintage finds, head to the Marais neighborhood. They’ve got some of the best spots in the city.

Check out Free’P’Star and Kilo Shop for a wide selection of vintage clothing at affordable prices.

If you’ve got a larger budget, don’t miss Thanx God I’m A VIP for high-end vintage pieces.

Brocante

brocante vintage flea market in France

The term “brocante” refers to flea markets in France, and Paris has some of the best.

The most famous one is the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, which has over 2,500 vendors selling everything from antique furniture to vintage clothing.

If you’re looking for something smaller, head to the Marché aux Puces de Vanves for a more intimate experience.

Brands to Buy in Paris

People shopping in Paris at Polene

Paris is basically one of the fashion capitals of the world, so it’s no surprise tourists love to shop here.

A lot of people go straight to icnonic brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès.

If you’re looking for something more affordable, check out French brands like Sandro, Maje, Sezanne, Polene, and Claudie Pierlot.

French Girl Pharmacy Buys

French-Skin-Care-NUXE-Paris

French pharmacies are famous for their skincare products, and for good reason.

French brands like Nuxe, La Roche-Posay, Bioderma, and Avène have gained a reputation for their high-quality and affordable skincare products.

I always pick up some Avène sunscreen, Nuxe body oil, and A313 ointment whenever I’m in France.

There skincare is so good!

Head to a pharmacy like Citypharma or Pharmacie Monge for a wide selection of French skincare brands.

Districts to Explore in Paris

Montmartre

Le Maison Rose Montmartre Paris Aug 2021

Montmartre is a historic district on the city’s right bank, that’s famous for its bohemian atmosphere, stunning views, and artistic heritage.

This district was once home to many famous artists, including Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.

These days, you’ll see still see lots of artists in parts of Montmartre, but let’s be honest, they don’t live there, because it’s expensive and a tad touristy now.

Despite that, take time to explore the winding streets of this charming neighborhood.

Don’t miss visiting the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica, which offers breathtaking views of the city, especially if you climb to the top.

Or, for a romantic date night, grab some chocolates, macarons, cheese and baguette, and champagne to enjoy on the hill next to the basilica near sunset.

Truthfully, I wasn’t blown away by the sunset I saw, but the vibes were amazing!

Local’s Tip: If an artist approaches you and talks about how gorgeous you are and that they want to draw you, but not charge you. Don’t trust them because it’s a scam, but do believe the compliment that you’re gorgeous, because you are!

Le Marais

Le-Marais-Paris-neighborhoods

Le Marais is a historic district that is famous for its beautiful architecture, trendy boutiques, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife.

There’s also lots of historical building and landmarks, including the Place des Vosges, Pompidou Centre, and the Musée Carnavalet.

Plus, it’s home to iconic Les Enfants-Rouges, an epic 17th-century covered market. During the afternoon, you’ll see stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

Plus lots of delicious food stalls!

In the evening, it becomes quite the dining scene. It’s a popular spot to grab an apéritif before an evening out (there are lots of fun bars in the neighborhood), or a low-key dinner.

My favorite stall is this amazing Moroccan one for lunch that I was introduced to during an epic Devour Food Tour.

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I was shocked by how many hidden gems I was introduced to while on Devour Tour's food tour. I can't recommend this enough for tourists and even locals!

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There’s also a popular falafel spot called L’As du Fallafel (you’ll see the line). Though it disappointed me when I tried it, as the spicy sauce was very salty and not spicy.

I love spending a morning at one of the museums or an art gallery, before an afternoon exploring Le Marais’ many shops. Then ending the day by heading to Les Enfants-Rouges for a delicious dinner and drinks.

Local’s Tip: In case you can’t tell already, this is a fabulous neighborhood to eat in! If that’s your vibe, I highly suggest you check out Devour’s Food Tour. You can check out highlights in my video below!

Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter in Paris France French bistro

Head to the Latin Quarter to check out iconic spots like Sorbonne and the Panthéon.

Check out Devour’s Sunset Apéritif tour for a well-rounded neighborhood experience.

I went as a solo traveler and made so many new friends. Most of us ended up having a pretty epic evening after the tour chilling at a bistro sharing bottles of wine and travel stories.

Since it was a local spot introduced to us by our guide, the vino and food we enjoyed were top-notch!

Île de la Cité

Ile de la Cite Paris France 2

If you haven’t heard of Île de la Cité, here’s what you need to know.

Basically, it’s a historic island that’s home to Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle.

There’s also lots of cute shops and restaurants to check out.

Oh, and don’t miss taking a stroll along the banks of the Seine River. It’s my favorite free Parisian activity.

Local’s Tip: Walks Tours does an amazing tour of Île de la Cité. I learned so much about the history of France and left so excited to read up on more!

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Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Saint Germain des Pres Cafe fe Flore Paris France

Thanks to Café de Flore and the Musée d’Orsay, Saint-Germain-des-Prés is one of the most popular historic districts in Paris.

Musée Delacroix is also another popular choice if you want something less touristy.

And don’t miss out on the shopping. I always check out my favorite French store, Sézane, and hit up Pierre Herme for some macarons to enjoy along the Seine later on.

Fun Fact: This district was once home to many famous writers and artists, including Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Take a Day Trip

Lille

Until my friend Erin moved to Lille, I had never heard of it.

Luckily, when I went to visit, it quickly won me over with it’s charm, history, and gorgeous archecture.

It’s known for its Flemish influence, which is reflected in the city’s art, culture, and cuisine.

While you’re there, explore the Old Town, visit the Palais des Beaux-Arts museum, and try some local specialties like waffles, beer, and cheese.

If you have extra time, this is a great city to spend a few days enjoying!

As you can tell from my vlog above, I had a marvelous time during my weekend in Lille.

Versailles

Ally-at-Versailles-Hall-of-MirroRs-in-Paris

The Palace of Versailles is one of the most popular day trip destinations from Paris.

You’ll easily spend an entire day exploring the palace and its extensive gardens.

If you’re into history, take a guided tour of the palace and gardens, learn about the history of the French monarchy, and see the famous Hall of Mirrors.

Oh, and don’t miss checking out the town of Versailles itself is also worth exploring, with its charming streets, markets, and restaurants.

Deauville

Deauville France 2

For a taste of the French Riviera, much closer to Paris, head to the elegant seaside town of Deauville.

Take a sunny summer day to go stroll along the boardwalk, enjoy some fresh seafood, and spend a bit of time gambling at the casino.

Loire Valley

Loire Valley France Chateau

The Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning chateaux, vineyards, and gardens.

This is the perfect area for a relaxed weekend away from the city, or a quick day trip.

After all who doesn’t want to drink delicious wine and wander around some of the most beautiful castles in Europe?

Giverny

Giverny France

Art lovers will enjoy a visit to Giverny, the home of Impressionist painter Claude Monet.

You can tour his house and gardens, which inspired many of his famous paintings, including his iconic Waterlilies, and learn about his life and work.

If you hop on the high-speed train, you’ll be there in under and hour from Paris.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux Vineyards France

Wine enthusiasts should consider a day trip to Bordeaux, one of the world’s most famous wine regions.

You can take a guided tour of some of the best vineyards, taste some of the region’s best wines, and learn about the history and culture of wine making in France.

I hear it’s quite romantic, as it’s another trip I’m hoping to take with a partner one day soon.

I hear that part of the French countryside is quite stunning and especially romantic after a couple of glasses of Bordeaux’s finest.

Reims

Reims France

I’m a lady who loves a good glass of bubbles, especially when it’s Champagne.

So naturally, Reims, the capital of the Champagne region, is at the top of my Paris day trip bucket list.

You can tour some of the most famous champagne houses, such as Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot, and one of my favorites, Ruinart. It’s the perfect place to taste some of the world’s best bubbly!

I’m hopefully going to be crossing it off later this year, on a trip with friends, because let’s face it, it’s not fun to drink alone.

So stay tuned, and hopefully you’ll be seeing a Reims Champagne tour vlog and guide before the end of 2024!

Fun Fact: Only bubbles made in France’s famous Champagne region can claim the iconic title of being “Champagne”. Anything crafted outside of that is simply sparkling wine.

Disney Paris

Disney Paris

For a fun family day out, consider a trip to Disneyland Paris.

I’ve never gotten the obsession people have with Disney, but am sure anyone with kids will love taking a day to go enjoy the park.

You can meet your favorite Disney characters, ride roller coasters, and watch spectacular shows and parades.

Normandy

Normandy France

Visiting Normandy is a day trip that’s been on my bucket list for a while now.

If you’re not into history, what you need to know is Normandy was the site the D-Day landings during World War II.

My history buff friends who’ve gone say it’s a memorable experience seeing the beaches, museums, and memorials in this small town.

Paris’ Culinary Delights

Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Dining-at-a-Michelin-Starred-Restaurant

Fine dining lovers are sure to love the food scene in Paris, thanks to their many Michelin-starred restaurants.

If you’re not a foodie, what you need to know is that recognized by Michelin Guide recognizes restaurants with exceptional quality and consistency in their food and service.

It’s one of the highest distinctions to earn in the restaurant world.

I haven’t had the budget to check out many of these spots yet, because let’s be honest, most Michelin spots are expensive, but here’s what’s at the top of my must-try list:

Traditional French Cafés

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Cafés in Paris are the perfect place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee glass of wine while soaking up the Parisian atmosphere.

Some of my favorite cafes to hang out in are:

Eat Macarons

Pierre-Herme-Macarons-2

One of my all-time favorite things to do in Paris is to indulge in as many macarons as possible.

These little cookies are absolute heaven, especially if you get them at the right place.

My go-to macarons are Pierre Herme, but there are a bunch of other delicious spots in Paris.

Check out the article below to see where I’ve had the best macarons around the city.

Marché des Enfants Rouges

Marche-Enfants-Rouge-Le-Marais-Paris

Head to Marché des Enfants Rouges to indulge in some delicious eats.

Here you’ll find a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and more. It’s the perfect place to pick up ingredients for a picnic or to try some local delicacies.

There’s a superb Moroccan spot that’s got amazing food and mint tea.

And don’t miss out on grabbing apéritif there in the evenings. It’s a brilliant spot to hang with friends or meet a date.

Fun Fact: The market holds the title of being the oldest covered market in the city, and it appeared in the first season of Emily in Paris, when Emily, Camille, and Gabriele hang out for the first time.

Sample Croissants

Food to Try in Paris: 24 Must-Taste French Delicacies

No trip to Paris is complete without trying a croissant.

In fact, it’s a crime to leave the country without trying at least of their flaky, buttery croissants.

If you’re looking for the absolute best croissants in Paris, don’t worry. I’ve done all the taste-testing for you.

Just check out the article below to find out which croissants live up to the hype.

Try Local Delicacies

Escargot-Devour-Food-Tour-Paris

Paris is famous for its wide variety of delicious foods and wines.

From escargot to foie gras, there’s something for every taste.

I love hopping on a Devour Food tour anytime I’m in the city. I always end up discovering a cool new spot, or a new food I’ve never tried before.

Be sure to try some of my favorite local delicacies during your stay in Paris including:

  • Pain au chocolat
  • Mousse au chocolat
  • Escargot
  • Foie Crème Brûlée
  • Steak Frites
  • Macarons

Cocktail Bars

Copper-Bay-Bar-in-Paris

Paris is home to some of the world’s best cocktail bars.

Lucky for you, I’ve checked out a lot of them over my almost dozen visits to Paris over the years.

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable drinking experience, be sure to check out one of my favorite cocktail bars in Paris:

FAQs

What are the top attractions to visit for couples in the city?

Pont Alexander in Paris at night seine picnic

Paris is one of my favorite places for romance.

If I had to plan the perfect trip with my partner, I’d make sure to include a nighttime boat ride down the Seine, making sure it goes past the Eiffel Tower as it sparkles.

During the summer, a picnic along the Seine is also a must. It’s one of my all-time favorite things to do anytime I’m in Paris.

How can families with children spend a day in the city?

Paris has plenty of family-friendly activities to keep kids entertained.

The Jardin des Plantes is a beautiful botanical garden with a zoo and a natural history museum.

The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is an enormous park with a lake, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

You can should hit up the Cité des Enfants, an interactive science museum for kids.

What are the best neighborhoods to stay in for first-time visitors?

Ally-winter-in-Paris

For first-time visitors, the best neighborhoods to stay in are central and have easy access to popular attractions.

I always tell friends to check out Le Marais, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the Latin Quarter.

Can you list some free activities to do in the city?

Jardin des Tuileries Paris France

My favorite free thing to do in Paris is walking along the Seine.

You can also walk along the Champs-Élysées, checking out the gorgeous architecture, explore the Père Lachaise Cemetery, or hang in one of the parks, like popular Jardin des Tuileries.

What are the must-see landmarks one shouldn’t miss?

Ally-in-Paris-Winter-2023

Paris is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Arc de Triomphe are some of the ,most popular.

You should also take time to check out the Palace of Versailles, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and the Panthéon.

What unique nighttime activities are available in the city?

Ally-at-the-Paris-Opera-House

Paris has a vibrant nightlife scene.

Some of my favorite things to do are hitting up one of the many cocktail bars or cafes, or catching a dreamy nighttime boat ride on the Seine.

If you’re searching for entertainment,check out the cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge, or one of the city’s many jazz bars.

Final Thoughts on Paris

Ally-out-walking-in-Paris-France

I hope you’ve found the perfect list of things to do in Paris for your trip.

Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to checking out!

 

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