Get in touch:

Must-see places in Paris

Discover Paris beyond the typical tourist path with our guide to must-see places in the city. From the artistic alleys of Montmartre to the multicultural streets of Belleville, experience the unique soul of Paris through its historic sites, vibrant markets, and serene hidden gardens. Uncover the heart of Parisian life and culture with this curated list of destinations…

Montmartre and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica: start your journey in the artistic heart of Paris. Wander the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, explore the artists’ square (Place du Tertre), and enjoy the panoramic view of Paris from the steps of the Sacré-Cœur.
Suggested itinerary: starting metro Anvers, ending metro Blanche.
See A walk in Montmartre…

The Covered Passages (Passages Couverts): explore the historic covered passages of Paris, like Galerie Vivienne or Passage des Panoramas, to discover unique shops and cafes in a quaint, old-world setting.
Suggested itinerary: starting metro Pyramides or Palais-Royal, ending metro Grands Boulevards.

The Eiffel Tower: of course, that’s a very classic experience, even though the view is beautiful but without the Eiffel tower since you’re on it ;-). Do that first thing in the morning to avoid the crowd (it opens at 9.30). If you feel like some sport, use the stairs! (it’s cheaper as well)
Buy your tickets here and choose your visit time.
To get there: metro Bir-Hakeim and follow the signs (metro Trocadero is another option : more walk but the view from Palais de Chaillot is wonderful).

Rue Montorgueil: experience the local Parisian life on this lively pedestrian street, known for its fish markets, cheese shops, bakeries, and flower stands. It’s a bustling slice of Parisian culture.
Stop for a drink, a meal or a pastry… anywhere !
Stop at G.Detou (58 rue Tiquetonne), the emblematic shop for food known by all French people who love cooking and buy delicious vanilla, saffron, almonds, pistachios, mushroom powder, almond flavour and other key ingredients with one of the bests price-for-value in Paris. A good present idea for a food-lover. Look out for all cooking tools shops around, this is the place for cooking gadgets and tools in Paris.
Suggested itinerary: starting metro Sentier, ending metro Les Halles.

The Rooftop of Galeries Lafayette: for a unique view of the city, head to the rooftop terrace of the Galeries Lafayette department store. It offers a stunning vista of Paris, including the Opera Garnier and the Eiffel Tower. You can have lunch or dinner there for a nice experience, especially at night on the terrace, when the weather is warm enough.
To get there: metro Havre-Caumartin or RER Auber.

Marché des Enfants Rouges (in Le Marais area): visit Paris’s oldest covered market for a taste of local life. It’s a great place to sample a variety of cuisines and witness the daily bustle of Parisians.
Go there around 11 in the morning and visit till lunch time.
To get there: metro Temple or Filles du Calvaire.

Sainte-Chapelle: while Notre-Dame is a must-visit, Sainte-Chapelle is a hidden gem with stunning stained-glass windows that tell the story of the Bible in vibrant colors. Go there when the weather is sunny for a marvelous brightly coloured atmosphere. Sheer magic!
To get there: metro Cité.

Palais-Royal Gardens: escape the crowds and relax in the tranquil gardens of Palais-Royal. Surrounded by elegant arcades, it’s a perfect spot for contemplation and leisure. A must-do after visiting the Louvre museum or for a nice walk before dinner.
To get there: metro Palais-Royal.

Palais Garnier (Opera House): an architectural masterpiece of the 19th century, known for its opulent interiors and grandeur. Even if you don’t attend a performance, the building itself is worth a visit. Book your ticket in advance.
To get there: metro Opera or RER Auber.

Le Marais: a historic district known for its preserved pre-revolutionary architecture, vibrant nightlife, and the bustling Jewish quarter. It’s a great place for shopping, dining, and exploring art galleries. Pay a visit to BHV Marais (Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville), a wonderful department store, maybe the last one (with Bon Marché) to have more Parisian customers than tourists.
Suggested itinerary: starting metro Temple, ending metro Hotel de Ville.

Belleville area: dive into one of Paris’s most vibrant and multicultural districts. Enjoy the street art, diverse culinary offerings, and visit Parc de Belleville for one of the best views of the city. Have lunch at one of the small restaurants in front of the entrance on top of the park (Moncoeur Belleville or Les bols d’Antoine).
At night, walk 10 min from the bottom of the park and go for a drink or a meal in the very lively rue Oberkampf, one of the most authentic nighlife spots in PAris.
Suggested itinerary: starting metro Couronnes, ending metro Pyrénées (or the reverse, if you want to go to rue Oberkampf after).

If you’re here for at least a week, here are a few more Parisian gems…

Buttes Chaumont -  photo credit: Yannis Sommera on Unsplash

Canal Saint-Martin: take a leisurely stroll along this picturesque canal lined with charming boutiques and cafes. It’s a favorite spot among locals for picnics and relaxed afternoons. A good idea before visiting Buttes Chaumont park.
Have a nice meal at one of the colorful small restaurants near the canal.
Suggested itinerary: starting metro République, ending metro Jaurès.

Buttes Chaumont Park: a beautiful park in the 19th arrondissement, known for its dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and Temple de la Sibylle, which offers panoramic views of the city.
A great idea is to picnic there, for lunch or dinner, since in Summer, it closes at 10pm. Running is a good option too in Summer, since opening time is 7 am. There are also very good small restaurants inside the park : Rosa Bonheur or Les chic types.
If you want to get a wonderful view over Paris, pay a visit to the beautiful Butte Bergeyre (look for rue Georges Lardennois), which is very close to the park.
To get there: metro Buttes-Chaumont or Botzaris.

Atelier des Lumières: nestled in the heart of Paris, the Atelier des Lumières offers a mesmerizing experience that art lovers and tech enthusiasts alike will cherish. This unique digital art museum, set in a former 19th-century foundry, represents a harmonious blend of history, technology, and art. As you step inside, you are immersed in a world where art comes to life through floor-to-ceiling digital projections. The Atelier des Lumières takes you on a sensory journey, showcasing the works of renowned artists in an entirely new light. Imagine being surrounded by the vibrant swirls of Van Gogh’s Starry Night or walking through the luminous gardens depicted in Monet’s masterpieces.
The exhibitions here are not just viewed; they are experienced, making you feel as though you are stepping into the paintings themselves. This innovative approach to art appreciation makes the Atelier des Lumières a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique cultural experience in Paris. Whether you are an art connoisseur or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of merging art with cutting-edge technology, the Atelier des Lumières promises an unforgettable adventure in the world of art.

Check the program and buy your tickets here…

Place des Vosges: the oldest planned square in Paris, located in the Marais district. It’s renowned for its beautiful symmetrical architecture and the historic home of Victor Hugo.
At the border or Le Marais area, so make sure to go there before or after visiting it.
A favourite for a morning walk while eating a croissant or pain au chocolat (many nice bakeries in this area).
To get there: metro Saint-Paul or Bastille.

Père Lachaise Cemetery: you might thing visiting a cemetery is a strange idea… But it’s more a park or a museum with manay famous people buried there. Walk through the serene paths of this famous cemetery, the resting place of notable figures like Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Édith Piaf. It’s a peaceful retreat with beautiful statuary and poignant history. Many trees, so many birds live there. A great pause when you’re tired of the city’s frenzy.
Suggested itinerary: starting metro Gambetta, ending metro Père-Lachaise or Philippe-Auguste. If you prefer the hard version (from bottom to top), do the reverse, enter through the main entrance and go up.

Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute): a cultural institute in the 5th arrondissement, known for its unique architecture and exhibitions on Arab culture and art. Beautiful luminous ambiance. The Rooftop offers one of the most spectacular views of Notre-Dame and the Seine, a less-known spot for breathtaking panoramas of Paris.
As usual, better book your tickets in advance.
To get there: metro Sully-Morland and just cross the river when out of the metro. And on the way, you can go for a wonderful ice cream on Saint-Louis Island, at a Berthillon selling place (those are among the best ice creams in the world from my experience).

Château de Versailles (Versailles castle and gardens): not exactly inside Paris, but worth a visit to have a good overview of France’s peak moment of influence in history (Louis XIV took France at its best in 1661, because his father Louis XIII had done a great job with the help of Richelieu who was a genius in politics and organization, but Louis XIV spent a lot of money in castles and wars and his work was not so good to France’s future). Versailles castle and gardens are the best of France’s genius at this time and are really worth the (small) trip. It’s not far, just about 30 min through RER C, or through trains from Gare Montparnasse, then another 15 to 20 min walk (Versailles city is beautiful in itself).

Option 1 : you’re there at opening in the morning and you can be more relaxed and appreciate the gardens in the afternoon (my favourite option).
Option 2 : you enjoy the gardens in the morning and you visit the buildings in the late afternon (from 3 or 4 pm) when there are usually less people (but that’ a bet !).

For more info and tickets, check the official website here…

If you don’t have much time in Paris and want to see a maximum of things, i’d suggest picking 2 places among those above and 1 restaurant nearby. Another option is having a Paris guided tour on a 2CV, the small French vintage car. Lovely! More info here on 2CV tours…

If you’re visiting Paris as a family, with kids or teenagers, check this page “Paris with kids or teenagers”…

And you cannot miss the best boulangeries (bakeries) and patisseries in Paris!