For many, like you and me, visiting Paris is a lifetime dream come true. After all, this is one of the top cities in the world and a popular travel destination. From visiting the Eiffel Tour to touring the Arc de Triomphe, there’s an abundance of wonderful things to do and see in the City of Light. Fortunately, the road to Paris is well travelled. Here are the top five ultimate things to do in Paris.
Look at the Art at the Centre Pompidou
When most travellers to Paris think of art museums they think of the Louvre, but there is another art museum in town that reigns supreme according to many art lovers. The Centre Pompidou holds the country’s best collection of modern art from around 1910 to the present.
The museum houses over 65,000 works of art, though only a fraction of these pieces are ever on display at one time. Visitors to the Centre Pompidou can see works from artists including Matisse, Picasso, Duchamp, Dali, Kandinsky, and Pollock.
The highlight of a visit to the Centre Pompidou is the rooftop. Here you can see panoramic views of Paris and grab a bite to eat at the rooftop restaurant, Le Georges.
Explore the Palais-Royal Gardens
Many travellers to Paris will be looking for amazing things to do off the beaten path and one option is a visit to the Palais-Royal Gardens. These formal gardens are located away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist heavy areas of Paris. This gives visitors a quiet oasis to get away from the crowds.
The Palais-Royal Gardens also offers an area for shops and dining. There are a number of chic shops, including designer names like Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, and Maison Fabre. You will also find charming cafes, perfumers and the, world class restaurant, Grand Véfour.
Become a Parisian for the Day
You may have heard the phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Many travellers take those wise words to heart as they explore the world. Paris is no exception and the ultimate way to see how Parisians live their lives is to become a Parisian for the day with Parisian D’un Jour. This is a volunteer run organization where Parisians will meet with visitors to the city and show them all of the secret hideaways the locals love.
The walking tours are free of charge, and they encompass many of the neighbourhoods and suburbs most tourists never see. These tours can accommodate up to six people, and you can choose the tour you are interested in from historic sites or daily life to a tour of markets or the best of the Parisian fashion scene.
Tour Les Catacombs
Many visitors to Paris do not realise there is a network of tunnels running under the city containing the skeletal remains of over six million people. Some find these catacombs a bit creepy, others find them fascinating. Tours are available and last about 45 minutes, so this can easily fit your itinerary.
Walk down a narrow staircase into underground galleries, walking past an ancient aqueduct and sculptures before entering the ossuary. Here, skulls and several bones are on display as are tombs of various well known explorers and prisoners. There are over 3,000 km of tunnels but only a small percentage of them can be toured.
Keep in mind that you might get chills when in the catacombs, but it may be because it can get cold underground. It is a good idea to bring a jacket when you visit.
Shop on the Rue des Martyrs
Paris and shopping tend to go hand in hand, but the shopping available on the Rue des Martyrs is not what designer-seeking shoppers will be looking for in most cases. Instead, you will see an area of Paris rare, unique, and not something most tourists will ever have a chance to see. Here you will find an authentic Parisian market filled with boulangeries, fromageries, and boucheries. Fresh fruit, meats, wine, and chocolate are displayed at stalls between high-end pastry shops and quaint cafes which make this area of Paris a charming and lively stop when in the City of Love.
Paris is a place that you could spend a lifetime exploring, but most of us only have a few days to see what this city has to offer. Though you should certainly take in the main attractions when you visit Paris, we highly recommend you also try to fit a few of the above into your itinerary as well.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Paris?