25 Best Things to Do in Paris

Best things to do in Paris

There are few cities in the world that mean so many different things to so many people. The capital city of France attracts millions of visitors annually, all looking for the best things to do in Paris, according to what the city means to them personally.

Perhaps you want to visit the ‘City of Lights‘ to experience the 50,000 plus lights illuminating the city during darkness, or see the 33 out of 37 bridges crossing the River Seine that are lit at night.

Maybe your Paris is the ‘City of Romance‘, invoking thoughts of spring mornings and arm-in-arm strolls along the banks of the Seine. 

Or perhaps romantic lunches or dinners in the many boulevard cafes and bistros. Or maybe a fun bawdy evening taking in a cabaret at the Moulin Rouge, the Crazy Horse or Nouvelle Eve.

If Paris, the ‘City of Culture and Architecture’ is more your preference, the city boasts over 250 museums and galleries, various shows, festivals and expositions throughout the year, and some of the most magnificent architecture in the world.

Or perhaps Paris, the ‘City of Gastronomy‘, is more to your taste. French cuisine is renowned worldwide, and with a total of 118 one, two and three-starred Michelin restaurants around the city, you’ll never be short of somewhere to enjoy a little fine dining.

Whatever thoughts the words – Paris, France – conjures up in your mind, I’ve put together this list of 25 best things to do in Paris, to give you a taste of what you can look forward to on a visit to this most magnificent of European cities.

Table of Contents

25 Best Things to do in Paris

1. The Eiffel Tower – probably the world’s most famous landmark

Visit the Eiffel Tower one of the best things to do in Paris

Construction of the Eiffel Tower began in 1887 and was completed in 1889 for the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900. At that time, the 1063 feet tall structure was the tallest man-made building in the world, overtaken in 1930 by New York City’s Chrysler Building.

Designed and built by Gustave Eiffel, the tower houses shops on the first floor and two restaurants, one a Michelin-starred eatery, on the second floor. A 360° observation deck on the third floor provides spectacular views across the Paris skyline.

You can choose to climb over 700 steps to the second floor and catch the lift to the top, or save the leg work and use hydraulic power from the bottom to the observation deck.

If you want to avoid the long queues throughout the day, consider queue-buster tickets, which are available online. Buy ticket

Full details are available at: https://www.toureiffel.paris/en

Recommended tour: Eiffel Tower Summit or Second Floor Access

2. The Champs-Élysées – considered the world’s most beautiful avenue

The Champs-Élysées – considered the world's most beautiful avenue

Dating back to the 17th century, the Champs-Élysées stretches over two kilometres from the Place de la Concorde at the one end, to the Arc de Triomphe at the other.

Ranked among the most beautiful streets in the world, it is lined by London Planetrees on both sides. 

You can stroll the boulevard and do a little window shopping at the various high-end French and International fashion and accessory stores. Book into one of the numerous luxury 5-star hotels, or relax with a coffee at one of the many terraced cafes.

With over 300,000 people passing along the Champs-Élysées every day, you will find plenty of restaurants. And theatres such as the Théâtre du Rond-Point, Théâtre Marigny, the Espace Pierre Cardin and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

The Champs-Élysées is also a popular night time venue. To match its luxury hotels, the avenue is full of high-end and Michelin restaurants, trendy cocktail bars and chic wine bars.

Young, well-to-do Parisians can be found in the upmarket nightclubs of Planches, Duplex, Raspoutine and Baron. Or Paris’s only casino, the Paris Elysées Club.

It is also the starting or finishing place of many annual festivals such as the Bastille Day parade on the 14th of July, seeing in the New Year, and sporting events like the Paris Marathon and the end of the Tour de France.

3. Arc de Triomphe – one of the world’s biggest arches

Arc de Triomphe – one of the world's biggest arches

Located on the Avenue Charles de Gaulle, on the Champs-Elysée at the Place de l’Etoile, the Arc de Triomphe is another must see in Paris.

Commissioned by Napoleon, it was designed by Jean Francois Chalgrin and built in 1806. In 1836 it was inaugurated by King Louis-Philippe and dedicated to the fallen of the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution.

After WW1, in 1921, the unknown soldier was laid to rest at the base of the Arch. Under continual guard, every day at 18.30 the eternal flame is lit in an act of remembrance. 

At forty-five metres long, fifty metres high and twenty-two metres wide, it is one of the largest arches in the world.

Around the Arch are reliefs of French soldiers, while the inner walls are covered with the names of those who paid the ultimate price.

Your visit isn’t complete without exploring inside the Arc. You can climb to the top for some stunning photographic opportunities of the surrounding area and peruse the museum for a comprehensive history of the Arc.

Full details and opening times can be found here: https://www.paris-arc-de-triomphe.fr/en/#

Entry Ticket: Arc de Triomphe Rooftop Tickets

4. The Louvre Museum – one of the most popular attractions to see in Paris

The Louvre Museum – one of the most popular attractions to see in Paris

Originally designed as a defensive castle in the late 12th century, in the 1500s, the Louvre was rebuilt as a palace for French royalty. 

With rebuilds and extensions, it remained a palace until 1682, when King Louis XIV decided to move his residence to Versailles, to escape an increasingly dangerous Paris.

From then on, the Louvre was taken over by numerous art academies and used for displays of art by various painters of the time.

In 1793 it was opened by the National Assembly as a full-blown museum exhibiting 537 paintings, but the venture was short-lived. In 1796 the building was closed due to structural problems.

With problems resolved, the museum was reopened by Napoleon in 1801 and, in 1802, renamed the Musée Napoléon. The Napoleon Museum was filled with precious artworks plundered during his numerous military campaigns.

In 1815, with the abdication of Napoleon and the signing of the Treaty of Fontainebleau, nearly 5,000 artworks were returned to their various countries of origin.

Nonetheless, the museum was allowed to retain a number of other treasures, which formed the basis of the Louvre as we know it today. 

The Louvre covers over 60,500 square metres of floor space, and is home to some of the world’s most famous works of art.

Over 35,000 sculptures and artworks are regularly displayed, which include antiquities from the Near East, Egypt, Greece, Etruria and Rome. Add to this Islamic Art, Sculptures, Prints, 

Drawings and paintings such as the Mona Lisa, and sculptures such as the Venus de Milo, and you can view one of the most comprehensive collections of art worldwide.

With over 25,000 visitors a day queuing up to visit the Louvre, you need to arrive early, and purchasing your tickets online is highly recommended.

Further details can be found at: ticketlouvre

Recommended tour: Skip-the-Line Louvre Museum Masterpieces Guided Tour

5. The Louvre Pyramid – modern art alongside classic French Renaissance

The Louvre Pyramid – modern art alongside classic French Renaissance

Even if the crowds put you off venturing inside the museum, visiting the Louvre Pyramid should be on your list of things to do in Paris, especially at night when it is lit up.

The Grand Louvre Project was part of the plan to increase the museum’s exhibition space. It included the removal of the French Finance Ministry and additional space being made available below ground.

A glass and steel structure, it was designed by I.M.Pei, an American/Chinese architect, as the center-piece of the project, and the completed works were opened to the public in 1989.

The Pyramid is the main entrance to the various museum sections and contains the ticket office, shops, cafes and the Carrousel du Louvre shopping center. 

The Pyramid stands over 20 meters tall and covers an area of more than 1,000 square meters.

6. Île de la Cité – City Island, the centre of old Paris

Île de la Cité – City Island, the centre of old Paris

Considered the historical centre of Paris, and the oldest area of the city, Île de la Cité is a pretty, quaint little area of cobbled streets and charming shop fronts.

It is also where you will find Notre Dame, Pont Neuf, Pont de l’Archevêché and the Conciergerie, where Marie-Antionette awaited execution in 1793. 

Stretching from Châtelet in the north to Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the south, it formed a crossroads from where the city began to expand.

When you have finished exploring the area, you can make your way to Pont Neuf Bridge, the oldest bridge in Paris, and joining the left and right banks. 

In the evening, the bridge is lit up, and you can enjoy a romantic stroll along the Seine, serenaded by the numerous street musicians who frequent the area.

7. Notre Dame Cathedral – one of the best things to do in Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral – one of the best things to do in Paris

This breathtaking Cathedral is a must-see on your Paris trip. It’s one of the world’s oldest and grandest Gothic cathedrals (built between 1163 and 1245) and one of Paris’s most well-known icons.

Walk around the cathedral to admire its architecture and famous gargoyles. Construction of the building began in the mid-14th century and took nearly 200 years to complete.

An international star of stage and screen, Notre Dame Cathedral has also played a significant part in French history. It was the chosen venue for the marriage of Henry IV of France to Marguerite de Valois in 1572, and the coronation ceremony of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804.

8. Army Museum – the Hotel des Invalides

Army Museum – the Hotel des Invalides

Located at 129 rue de Grenelle, the Army Museum started life in the 1600s, when King Louis XIV built the Hotel des Invalides for wounded, disabled and homeless troops returning from his many campaigns.

Topped off with an impressive gold dome, the building is one of the most prestigious monuments in Paris. 

Although now an armaments museum, the Hotel des Invalides retains its original function as a hospice and hospital for French veterans. It is also the final resting place of Napoleon I and his son Napoleon II.

In the mid-20th century, the site was opened to the public, and in 1981 a major refurbishment was undertaken to return the building to its original splendour. 

The Army Museum houses over 500,000 military items from the very beginnings of the French army to the present day.

Opening hours and ticket options can be found here: musee-armee.fr

9. Enjoy a Paris Fashion Tour – in the capital of Haute Couture

As the international capital of fashion for many years, a visit to Paris isn’t complete without a few hours seeking out the history of Paris fashion – especially if you’re a trendy fashionista.

You can visit fashion museums, window-shop some of the many high-end fashion stores, explore the boutiques of upcoming French fashion designers, or seek out that retro skirt to add to your wardrobe.

The three main fashion museums to see in Paris are:

  • Palais Galliera – 10 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, Paris 16e, 75116 Paris
  • The Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design – 34 quai d’Austerlitz 75013 Paris
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs – 107-111, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

Along with several temporary fashion exhibitions throughout the year and of course, Paris Fashion Week, numerous guided fashion tours are available online, where you can book tours involving all aspects of the fashion industry.

10. Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre

Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre

Commissioned by the French National Assembly in 1873 to commemorate the fallen of the Franco-Prussian war, the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur sits on the 130-metre-high Hill of Montmartre.

As one of Paris’s most emblematic structures, built in a Romanesque/Byzantine style, the building has four smaller domes dominated by a central dome sitting 83 metres high.

The bell, housed in the highest tower, weighs more then 18 tons, one of the heaviest bells in the world.

Inside the church, you will find a 480 square metre mosaic and an attractive crypt. You can also climb the highest dome in the Basilica and enjoy the stunning views across Paris.

Opening times and entrance fees can be found at: sacre-coeur-montmartre.com

11. The Panthéon – the final resting place of some of France’s most famous

Located in the 5th district of Paris, the Panthéon was constructed in a neoclassical and Gothic style between 1764 and 1790, from an idea by King Louis XV. He wanted a church dedicated to the patron Saint of Paris, Saint Geneviève.

With the French Revolution of 1789, all that changed, and the new rulers of France decided it would be a temple or Panthéon, to honour those who fell during the revolution.

Eventually, it was decided it would be a ‘Temple for Great Men‘. As a result, many of France’s most prominent writers, scientists, politicians, churchmen and generals were laid to rest in the Panthéon’s vaults.

It wasn’t until 1995, that the first woman was interred in the Panthéon. She was Marie Curie, along with her husband Pierre, for their contribution to science.

One of the most majestic monuments to see in Paris, the Panthéon is not just steeped in French history but holds an impressive collection of frescoes, mosaics and paintings depicting key periods of the time.

If you have the energy to climb to the top of the large dome, you’ll be rewarded with some fantastic views across the city rooftops.

Further details, opening times and ticket options can be found at: Paris-museum

12. The Palace of Versailles – Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France

Visit The Palace of Versailles one of the best things to do in Paris

Although this world-famous palace sits 20 kilometres outside the city, a visit should be high on your list of things to do in Paris. 

You can wander the palace grounds free of charge, but if you want to view some of the most historical things to see in Paris, you’ll have to part with a few euros.

Built in 1634 and sitting in 800 hectares of landscaped gardens, Versailles was the official residence of three French kings, King Louis XIV, King Louis XV and King Louis XVI. 

The palace remained a royal residence until the start of the French revolution of 1789, when all aristocrats had to flee for their lives.

The palace tour will take you through the following:

  • The King’s State Apartments
  • The Hall of Mirrors
  • The Queen State Apartments
  • And the Gallery of Battles

The interior and furnishings are, as you would expect, fit for a king, and you can visit the royal chapel. 

The spectacular gardens, with fountains, sculptures and landscaped beds and borders, are a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch break.

Opening times and the range of ticket options available can be found here: chateauversailles.fr

Recommended tour: Versailles: Skip-the-Line Tour of Palace with Gardens Access

13. The Centre Pompidou – one of the best things to do in Paris for those interested in the arts

The brainchild of French Prime Minister and President Georges Jean Pompidou, the Centre Pompidou was inaugurated in 1977 as a major centre for the arts.

Futuristic in design, the Centre has a clear glass façade looking out to the piazza. The use of bright blue, yellow, green and red pipework to denote the various external services, and escalators on the outside of the building, prompted much discussion and consternation, as this contemporary centre began to come together in one of the oldest areas of Paris.

Now accepted by all sections of Parisian culture, the Centre stands six storeys tall and 50 metres high, with 7,500 square metres of floor space on each level.

The Centre Pompidou contains the National Museum of Modern Art over two floors, a massive Public Information Library and the Institute for Acoustic and Musical Research. As well as temporary exhibition halls, a book shop, a design shop, café and restaurant.

Information on programs, opening hours and ticket prices can be found at: centrepompidou.fr/en/

14. Montmartre – Paris’s personal Bohemia

Montmartre – Paris's personal Bohemia

A small hilly village up to the 19th century, life revolved around agriculture, and the dozen or more windmills that kept the agricultural cogs turning. A couple of which remain to this day.

It also became a haven for many of France’s most famous painters. Géricault, Renoir, Van Gogh, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Modigliani and Miro all chose to live there over the centuries. 

You will find a couple of artists museums and studios you can visit, and you are close to the Moulin Rouge Cabaret Club.

If you fancy a portrait or drawing to take home, head for Place du Tertre just behind Sacré-Cœur, where professional quick-draw artists and cartoonists will be happy to oblige.

Through the years, Montmartre has managed to retain its village vibe, and you can rest tired feet at one of the many chic terraced cafes and bistros for a genuine taste of French cuisine.

The district of Montmartre is hilly, but if you have mobility issues, all is not lost. Consider booking The Little Train of Montmartre. The 40-minute tour loops around Place Blanche and covers all the major sites with commentary in English.

Recommended tour: Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre Tour with Expert Guide

15. Take a boat cruise on the River Seine

The River Seine is considered one of the most romantic waterways in the world. So much so that in 1991, the banks of the River Seine between Pont de Sully and Pont d’léna, were declared a World Heritage Site.

A boat cruise along the Seine is one of the most popular things to do in Paris to give your feet and legs a rest for a few hours. 

You can relax with your fellow passengers away from the tourist crowds, while your boat glides past many of the city’s most iconic monuments.

There are numerous different types of cruises available.

  • Shorter to longer day-time cruises between certain points
  • Cruises offering a light lunch or afternoon tea
  • Cruises where you can disembark for fixed periods then board your boat for the journey back
  • Cruises where your party can book the whole boat for one of those special occasions
  • And evening dinner cruises where you can enjoy the lights of Paris while you drink and dine

Both daytime and night time cruises are top-rated best things to do in Paris, and I suggest pre-booking online or as soon as you arrive at your hotel.

Most sold river cruise: 1-Hour River Seine Cruise

16. The Grand Palais – Avenue Winston Churchill – 8th district

Grand Palais one of the largest exhibition centres in France

Originally built for the 1900 World’s Fair, the Grand Palais sits on Avenue Winston Churchill – 8th district, on the Champs-Elysées. With over 72,000 square metres of exhibition space, the Palace is one of the largest exhibition centres in France.

The centre-piece of this impressive building is its 45-metre-high all-glass roof. The architecture is typical of that from the late 18 to early 1900s, and 6,000 tonnes of steel, 200,000 tonnes of stone and 60 tonnes of green paint were used in its construction.

A more modern addition to the palace are the beehives placed on the glass roof to improve the pollination of nearby parks and gardens.

The Grand Palais was classified as a Historic Monument in 2000 and holds more than 40 events every year, attracting over two million people.

Full details of tickets, opening times and current events can be found at https://www.grandpalais.fr

17. The Bourse de Commerce – Collection Pinault, 2 rue de Viarmes, Paris

One of the latest attractions to see in Paris, the Collection Pinault, is a massive collection of privately owned modern art by French billionaire and collector François Pinault.

The collection is housed in the Bourse de Commerce, a one-time corn exchange built between 1763 and 1767. 

A grand, circular building in its own right, the Bourse was wholly renovated over three years and completed in 2020, specifically for use as the Pinault exhibition centre.

The centre opened its doors in 2021. It includes a bookshop; and a high-class restaurant serving lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. 

Coupled with its 19th-century décor, the Bourse de Commerce offers an insight into contemporary art through collections, exhibitions, conferences, screenings, performances and concerts

You may, or may not, like what you see, but by the end of the tour you will definitely have an opinion.

Full details of upcoming programmes and opening hours can be found at: visitparisregion.com/en/bourse-de-commerce-pinault-collection

18. The Musée d’Orsay – 1, rue de la Légion d’Honneur – 7th district

The Musée d’Orsay in Paris

The building was initially constructed as a rail terminus to help cope with the expected increase in international visitors for the 1900 Paris World Fair, and known as the Orsay Station.

During the early days of WW2, it was used to send food parcels to prisoners of war. After the allies liberated the country, it became a reception and repatriation hub for prisoners from both sides.

With the station declining in use during the 1970s, in 1977, President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing decided to convert it into a museum, and in 1986 the Musée d’Orsay was opened to the public.

Specialising in Western art, the museum houses collections of paintings, photographs, sculptures, and decorative arts from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century.

Many impressionist works are on show, from such notables as Edouard Manet, Gustave Courbet, Vincent Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas and Rodin.

The museum also holds temporary exhibitions from specific artists throughout the year, and includes an auditorium for concerts, shows and cinematic screenings covering a range of genres.

Full details of opening hours, current and future exhibitions and ticketing can be found at_ https://www.musee-orsay.fr/en

Entry ticket: Musée d’Orsay 1-Day Ticket with Reserved Access

19. The Paris Botanical Garden – a great thing to do in Paris with the kids

The history of the Jardin des Plantes dates back to 1626, when it was used to house medicinal plants for King Louis XIII.

In 1793, the Jardin des Plantes was amalgamated with the newly founded National Museum of Natural History. One year later, in 1794, the Menagerie (Zoo) du Jardin des Plantes was established using many exotic animals that belonged to French nobility before the French revolution.

Through the years, the gardens continued to expand with exotic flora from around the world. Today, they contain over 10,000 species housed inside large greenhouses and outside in beds.

A small arboretum is included, housing a number of older trees including a false acacia planted in 1636 and a cedar circa 1734.

The gardens now total over 65 acres in area. And the zoo is home to over 1,000 animals, including monkeys, big cats, rhinos, kangaroos, panthers, red pandas and many exotic birds in natural aviaries.

Opening hours and the various ticket options can be found here: jardindesplantesdeparis

20. Les Catacombs – a gruesome tour loved by 550,000 visitors annually

Back in the 1700s, Paris had two problems. Over 3,000 km of tunnels that ran under the city began collapsing due to an increasing population.

Secondly, Paris cemeteries were filled to overflowing. After centuries of use, bodies were piled on top of bodies in any bit of space that could be found.

The solution. Use the bones of the long-deceased to shore up the walls of the tunnels. It is estimated that, in the dead of night to avoid any civil unrest, the bones of over six million people were removed from a number of Paris cemeteries.

Initially thrown into a quarry just outside the city boundary; eventually they were moved to line the catacombs. 

Although the job stopped and started numerous times over the years, the catacombs, as it was now known, were consecrated in 1786, and public access by appointment only,  began in 1809.

Today, the catacombs are visited by an estimated 550,000 people every year. The tour through the tunnels is 1.5km long and averages 45 minutes.

Recommended tour: Catacombs Skip-the-Ticket-Line Ticket and Audio Guide

21. Place de la Concorde – the biggest roundabout in Paris

Place de la Concorde,                       the biggest roundabout in Paris

More octagonal than square, the Place de la Concorde is a roundabout that joins the Champs-Elysées to Jardin des Tuileries and Eglise de la Madeleine to the Palais Bourbon over the River Seine, and covers an area of over 21 acres.

In the mid-1700s, most of this area of Paris was swamp, until Louis XV decided he wanted the land reclaimed and a plinth of himself on horseback erected on the site.

In 1757 the new ‘Place Louis XV’ square was completed, and his statue duly put in place. Unfortunately (for Louis), in less than 20 years the revolution began gathering pace. 

The statue was pulled down and replaced by France’s infamous guillotine. In early 1793 the name was changed to the ‘Place de la Revolution‘. 

Over 1,000 people, including King Louis XVI, and some months later his wife, Marie Antoinette and activist Maximilien de Robespierre, were executed on the square.

In 1795, after the Reign of Terror, which lasted for 13 months, the square was renamed the Place de la Concorde, loosely translated to the square of harmony and peace.

On the square, you will also find the Obelisk of Luxor. Standing in the centre of the plaza, the obelisk is 75ft high, and at over 3,000 years old, the oldest monument in Paris. The obelisk comes from the Temple of Luxor, built in the 13th century BC.

You will also find groups of fountains around the square representing different areas of France, a luxury hotel and the American Embassy nearby.

22. Marche de la Bastille – Bastille Market, boulevard Richard Lenoir

If there is one way to learn about a foreign city’s culture, it must be by visiting a local market. Even more so if the area you are visiting is highly multicultural.

The Bastille Market is one of the oldest and largest markets in the city, and one of the best things to do in Paris for visitors who have a love of French cuisine and local culture. 

Markets the world over seem to exude a certain atmosphere you won’t find wandering around the local supermarket, and this market has it by the bucket full.

Open on Thursdays and Sundays from 8am to 3pm; the over 100 stalls are packed with local fresh produce such as fruit and veg, cured meats, cheese, and spices from north Africa.

You will also find bric-a-brac, African masks, jewellery, clothing and souvenirs for friends and family. 

Many stallholders are dressed in national costume, and shout out their wares in various French dialects.

There are also several live cooking stalls, where you can linger and sample the various tastes of France and numerous African cuisines.

If you can’t get to the Marche de la Bastille, almost every city district will have its local market on different days of the week, and an enquiry at the hotel desk should point you in the right direction.

23. Find a Rooftop Bar – and enjoy some of the best views to see in Paris

Engagement, honeymoon, wedding anniversary or special occasion. The City of Romance offers endless opportunities for starry-eyed lovers (or happy families) to make the most of the romantic things to do in Paris while on a short break.

You could enjoy a shared bottle of wine on the Boulevard Saint-Michel, or a meal on the terrace of a restaurant on the banks of the Seine. 

However, to make the most of the City of Lights, an evening cocktail or dining al fresco at one of the many fabulous rooftop bars around the city is the way to go.

Here are a few of the best rooftop bars to do in Paris for views and intimacy.

  • ROOF by Madame Rêve – 43 Rue Étienne Marcel: Open 5pm to 1am. Cosy, intimate bar to enjoy a cocktail in comfortable surroundings. Views of: Saint-Eustache Church, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.
  • Perchoir Gare de l’Est – Place du 11 Novembre 1918: Open Tues to Friday 6pm to 1.30am, Sat 4pm to 1.30am. Popular with those on a budget and serving cocktails, beers, occasional tapas and light music. General views across the Paris rooftops.
  • Skybar Paris – 19 Rue du Commandant René Mouchotte: Open Wednesday and Sunday, 5pm to 1am, Thursday to Saturday, 5pm to 2am. Views of: the Eiffel Tower, Panthéon, Tour Montparnasse. Originating in the US, the Skybar concept reached Paris in 2021, 32 floors high in the Hotel Pullman. Serving snacks, tapas, cocktails and beers with a DJ in residence at the weekend. Dress smart casual.
  • Peninsula Rooftop Bar – 19 avenue Kléber: Open Thursday to Saturday, 4pm to 1.30am, Sunday to Wednesday, 4pm to 0.30am. Views of: the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Arc de Triomphe and Paris rooftops. In the Hotel Peninsula on the 6th floor, serving snacks, meals and a selection of cocktails, wines and beers.
  • Hotel Raphael Paris Rooftop Bar – 17 avenue Kléber: Open from April through September, Sunday to Wednesday, 4pm to 12.30am, Thursday to Saturday, 4pm to 1.30am. Best views of: the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, Arche de Triomphe and the Montparnasse Tower. Serving snacks and light meals, cocktails, wines and beers.
  • Mama Shelter Paris Rooftop Bar – 109 rue de Bagnolet. Open Monday to Wednesday, 12pm to 11pm, Thursday to Sunday, 12pm to 12am. Not a rooftop bar with a view, but if you have kids they will love it. They have ping-pong tables, mattresses and hammocks to keep the kids happy while you can enjoy a fruity cocktail, glass of wine or selection of beers and soft drinks.

I could go on – and on. Suffice to say, wherever you stay in Paris, there will be a rooftop bar to meet your needs.

24. Garnier Opera House – made famous by the Phantom of the Opera

Garnier Opera House, famous by the Phantom of the Opera

Built between 1861 to 1875 as an opera house to hold the Paris Opera on Boulevard des Capucines, the Opera Garnier gained international prominence in the novel ‘The Phantom of the Opera‘, by Gaston Leroux in 1911.

Later, in 1986, there was a resurgence of interest, with the opening of the musical ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

A magnificently spectacular building both inside and out, the interior is full of sparkling marble columns and grand double stairways that lead visitors to the various levels.

The bronze and crystal chandelier holds 340 lights and weighs eight tons. The décor includes a painted ceiling depicting plants and dancing bacchantes, mosaics and a bust of the architect Charles Garnier can be seen in the foyer.

With the construction of the Bastille Opera House in 1989, opera moved away from the Garnier Opera House, and it now concentrates on productions of ballet and dance. 

A definite must see in Paris for lovers of grand theatres as they used to be.

More info can be found at: https://www.operadeparis.fr

Entry Ticket: Opera Garnier Entry Ticket

25. The Statue of Liberty – in Paris France

As you gaze down from the dizzy heights of the top of the Eiffel Tower, the last thing you expect to see is The Statue of Liberty. Yet there it is, in all its glory, sitting in the centre of an artificial island in the middle of the Seine.

Back in the late 18th century, both France and America had been through a turbulent period in their histories, fighting to establish republican states. 

With ties far closer than they are today, in 1876, the French decided to build and gift America a statue to celebrate its victorious fight for independence.

The complete statue, named ‘Liberty Enlightening the World‘, became known universally as The Statue of Liberty. 

Built in sections, it was shipped by sea to America, arriving in 1885, where the plinth was being constructed on Bedloe’s Island at the entrance to New York harbour.

In a reciprocal gesture, America gifted a monument to France in 1889, to commemorate the end of the French Revolution

The monument was a quarter-size statue of the Statue of Liberty. In actual fact, one that was created as a test piece by France prior to the construction of the full-size Liberty.

It was officially inaugurated by the Americans on the Fourth of July, rather than Bastille Day, which is the 14th of July.

So, if you want some travel bragging rights about getting up-close and personal with the Statue of Liberty, you know where to go. Access to the island and statue is free.

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