The Eiffel Tower, the irrevocable part of the Parisian skyline, is one of the top things to see in Paris. Would you believe that when it first saw the light of day, Parisians hated? The tower was designed and constructed solely for the purposes of the World’s Fair (Exposition Universelle) in 1889. What’s even more curious, it was supposed to be temporary. However, it managed to skirt the demolition talks not once, but twice. The first time the tower avoided impending doom was in the 1900s; Thanks to its ability to manage wireless transmissions, Eiffel Tower proved to be an asset during WWI. It intercepted enemy communications and relay intel to ground troops. The second time the tower came close to being demolished was during WWI. Destroying it was on Hitler's agenda but, thankfully, he never got around to it. Today, the Eiffel Tower stands proud as the most visited landmark in the whole world.
Given its incredible historical heritage and aptitude for art, Paris is riddled with museums that will blow your mind. For instance, to dive into the world of Impressionist masterpieces by the likes of Cézanne, Monet, Manet and Van Gogh head to Musée d'Orsay. On the other hand, Musée Rodin located in an 18th-century mansion treats you to over 6000 of Rodin's sculptures. If you are a fan of Picasso’s abstract cubism, Musée Picasso will let you explore the world's largest public collection of his artworks. Though, it wouldn’t be a complete trip to Paris without visiting the Louvre, the most iconic of Parisian symbols after the Eiffel Tower as well as the largest art museum in the world. Had enough of history? Go straight to Centre Pompidou residing in a colorful post-modern building and treats you to a great collection of modern art. If you enjoy art, you won’t be in doubt about what to do in Paris!
Similarly to the Tour Eiffel and Louvre, the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris is another Parisian icon. Sitting on the banks of the River Seine, it’s one of the most famous masterpieces of French Gothic architecture in the world. The construction launched off in the late 10th century and took around two centuries to complete; Once you see it, you will understand. Its architectural details are breathtaking in their intricacy. The main highlights of the cathedral are the three exemplary rose windows as well as its treasury and bell towers. If you manage to climb over 400 spiral steps to the top of the North Tower, you’ll find yourself facing the frightening gargoyles as well as an extraordinary view of Paris. The cathedral is such an irrevocable part Paris, it stars in one of Victor Hugo’s literary masterpieces “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” which saw countless film adaptations including the animated version by Disney.
Every season in Paris brings its own perks. Being situated in Western Europe, Paris enjoys a maritime climate with reasonably cold winters and pleasantly warm summers. The neutralizing effect of the Atlantic Ocean helps to moderate the temperature and keep it from extremes typical for western Europe including the majority of France. Even during January and February, the coldest months, temperatures nearly never go below freezing point averaging around 6°C (43°F). Though snow is not that common, when it does snow in Paris, it’s a sight to behold. Spring and summer wake up the city with color and sunshine while autumn brings about fiery nostalgia. Snow is not common in Paris, although it will fall a few times a year. Most of Paris' precipitation comes in the form of light rain year-round.
Pronounced la Ville Lumièr (the City of Lights) as well as the Capital of Fashion, the city houses some the world's finest fashion designers and cosmetics the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint-Laurent, Lancôme, Guerlain, L'Oréal, and many more. Fashion is so prevalent in Paris that the word “Parisian” is ubiquitously synonymous with style. With the city sitting on the forefront of international trends, classic and new designer brands as well as the haute couture houses, shopping in Paris borders on sightseeing experience.
Though design and shopping in Paris are not just about clothes. You will come across hip homewares and concept shops; chic art nouveau department stores; an array of vintage shops and flea markets; clandestine bookshops and bouquiniste stalls; lovable children’s wear and toy stores, art and antique dealers, culinary establishments selling professional cookware, and, naturally, a plethora of gourmet food and wine shops.
Since Paris has been at the center of social and political life for centuries, a notable part of the city, River Seine included, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features architectural staples such as Notre-Dame de Paris with its spooky gargoyles; grand Arc de Triomphe encircled in the mad traffic of daily life; stylish avenue des Champs-Élysées. Art nouveau cafes and terraces with lingering smell of coffee and freshly-baked croissants, homy patisseries and stylish bars don’t clash with the history. On the contrary, they highlight the atmosphere of greatness and nonchalance.
Though Paris is not just about the old and ancient. The city’s heart beats strong and healthy, keeping up the race with time. Modern and contemporary architecture and art sprouts around the city creating a unique equilibrium between past and present. The magnificently industrial-style Centre Pompidou, the clear-cut pyramid of Louvre are or the egg-shaped La Seine Musicale concert venue bring life to the cityscape. The incredible controversy makes Paris sightseeing a rare experience.
Did you know that Paris, after Tokyo, has the second highest number of Michelin restaurants on earth? France, as a country, has an unprecedented reputation for its cuisine; And Paris is where this passion for food culminates in an explosion of culinary delights. Whether you found yourself in a cozy bistro or a triple-Michelin-starred restaurant, you'll notice that every single establishment prides itself mastery of preparation, presentation as well as the quality of ingredients. Paris is a city to leave your diet behind. Instead, throw yourself into the realm of patisseries, fromageries(cheese shops), boulangeries (bakeries), street markets, picnics and 3-course gastronomic experiences.
Paris is a sight to behold and a delight to taste. Browse the page for ideas for more fun and interesting things to do in Paris.