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Trip List by JenC-7

Top 20 things to see and do in Paris

26 Mar 2008  
4.0 of 5 stars based on 23 votes

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Paris, Versailles
  • Category: Best of
  • 1. Vedettes du Pont-Neuf
    http://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/

    This is my number one thing to do in Paris if you have limited time. This river cruise leaves from Pont Neuf bridge and goes up and down the Seine for great views of the famous sights such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. We took the cruise around 10:00 PM and it was just beautiful, especially stopping right beneath the Eiffel Tower when it was all lit up at night. If you book your ticket online ahead of time there is a discount of four euros.

  • 2. Musee d'Orsay
    Musee d'Orsay, Paris, Ile-de-France

    I like this museum better than the Louvre. It picks up where the Louvre leaves off, it houses art (mostly French) from 1848 to 1914. That basically means most of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings are here. There are tons of paintings by Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, etc... The building itself is beautiful as well, it is a renovated old train station.

  • 3. Musee Rodin
    Musee Rodin, Paris, Ile-de-France

    This is a very underrated museum in Paris. The sculptures are housed both in a lovely 18th century private palace where Rodin lived for awhile, and also outside in a simply breathtaking garden. Among his many famous sculptures here is "The Thinker".

  • 4. Arc de Triomphe
    Arc de Triomphe, Paris, Ile-de-France

    I prefer the view from the top here to the Eiffel Tower, you get a much better idea of the layout of Paris. The perfect end to a stroll along the Champs-Elysees!

  • 5. Les Deux Magots

    This gets my vote for the place in Paris to while away an afternoon. This historic cafe on Place St Germain des Pres has been around since 1914 and was a favorite of the likes of Picasso and Hemingway. Sit at one of the outside tables and order a Croque Madame and a glass of rose wine... You won't regret it!

  • 6. Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise)
    Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise), Paris, Ile-de-France

    One of the most famous cemeteries in the world. Many famous people are buried here, among them the novelist Oscar Wilde, the artist Delacroix, the composer Chopin, and of course "The Lizard King" himself Jim Morrison! But really, this is a lovely place to spend a couple of hours and wander, even aside from its famous "residents".

  • 7. Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
    Eiffel Tower, Paris, Ile-de-France

    I think the Eiffel Tower is especially amazing at night when it's all lit up and sparkling. I wasn't that thrilled with the view from the various levels, though. I much preferred looking AT it as opposed to FROM it!

  • 8. Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)
    Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, Ile-de-France

    One of the most famous cathedrals in the world. Built in the Gothic style, construction began in 1163 and wasn't finished until 1345. Numerous kings were crowned or married here, and it is also where Napoleon was crowned emperor by the pope.

  • 9. Hotel des Invalides
    Army Museum, Paris, Ile-de-France

    The Invalides was created by Louis XIV to house wounded soldiers. Now on the site there is also a military museum (Musee de l'Armee), and Napoleon's Tomb. You can witness his "Napoleon's complex" still in action after his death, because it is one enormous tomb for a little man!

  • 10. Champs-Elysees
    Champs-Elysees, Paris, Ile-de-France

    This boulevard lined with trees is perfect for a stroll and some great people-watching. The shops and cafes are pretty expensive here, so you might want to save those things for later.

  • 11. Musee du Louvre
    Musee du Louvre, Paris, Ile-de-France

    It's not my favorite museum in Paris, but who wants to go to Paris and not see the Louvre? The famous works are of course the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo statue.

  • 12. Montmartre
    Montmartre, Paris, Ile-de-France

    Great hilltop neighborhood in the 18th arrondissement. The neighborhood was an artist's community in the late 1800s to early 1900s and was home to Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso. Nowadays it's pretty touristy, but it's still a great place to walk around. There are many street artists, shops and restaurants. The neighborhood is home to the stunning Basilica of the Sacre Coeur as well as the legendary Moulin Rouge.

  • 13. Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg)
    Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, Ile-de-France

    Located in the Latin Quarter at the Luxembourg Palace. This park is a green oasis in central Paris with many statues and fountains. This is definitely one place that you will see Parisians hanging out with their families. You'll see children on the merry-go-round and old timers playing chess at the outdoor tables. It's a wonderful place to take a break during a busy day of sightseeing.

  • 14. Versailles Palace (Chateau de Versailles)
    Chateau de Versailles, Versailles, Yvelines

    My choice for a daytrip from Paris if time allows. Trains to Versailles from Paris run frequently and are inexpensive. The palace is ornately decorated, the gardens meticulously manicured, and the place has a fascinating history. The history of Versailles is so intertwined with the history of Paris that it makes a more interesting choice for a daytrip in my opinion than say, Chartres or Giverny.

  • 15. Hotel de Crillon
    Hotel de Crillon, Paris, Ile-de-France

    This is the quintessential elegant and historic Paris hotel. I couldn't afford to stay at the hotel, but the bar is a wonderful place to have a drink, and it has some history as well... It was the setting for a climactic scene in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. The hotel is also the perfect location to watch the grand finale of the Tour de France as the the riders make their way to the Place de la Concorde.

  • 16. Harry's New York Bar
    Harry's New York Bar, Paris, Ile-de-France

    Another one of Hemingway's hangouts... That guy drank a lot, huh? The bar was the birthplace of the Sidecar and the Bloody Mary. It's been around since 1911, and used to be a hangout for GI's after World War II. It's a little touristy, but still a cozy place to have a drink and soak up some history.

  • 17. Willi's Wine Bar

    An atmospheric wine bar in the 1st arrondissement, it's decorated with fantastic art posters of wine bottles that the bar has commissioned over the years. The service is friendly and the food is great, so it's a fabulous place to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine while in Paris.

  • 18. Fauchon
    Fauchon, Paris, Ile-de-France

    Luxury food shop in Paris. A must for all "foodies"! A great place to pick up candy, exotic canned foods, or a jar of fleur du sel as a souvenir.

  • 19. Diptyque
    Diptyque, Paris, Ile-de-France

    This little shop sells it's own line of candles, perfumes, and home scents. It's exactly the kind of little boutique place where I'd want to buy a unique bottle of perfume to bring home. There are also stores now in London, Boston, and San Francisco, but it's still small and obscure enough for me to make it a great place to buy a souvenir. Nothing says "Paris" like perfume!

  • 20. Lavinia
    Lavinia, Paris, Ile-de-France

    Well, maybe wine says "Paris" just as much... This is a huge wine store and wine bar that is close to La Madeleine church. The entire bottom floor of the store is wines from France, and the staff is very knowledgable and can help you find exactly what you are looking for. I loved the fact that I could go to the wine bar upstairs and sample several types of wine, then just walk downstairs and purchase those same bottles to bring home.