Whatever the season, Paris is a city to be adored.
With its large boulevards, sidewalk cafes, and fashionable citizens, it is a magnificent European city. To explore Paris is to discover so many elements of history, evident in the extensive architecture of the city.
And one of the best ways to see Paris is a Paris walking guide.
See the Best of Paris
Paris is a city you can return to many times and still find new things to see.
Every time we return, we revisit some of our favourites as well as add new places.
Because Paris isn’t a city to be rushed but admired and absorbed.
Whatever the season, Paris is popular.
Spring adds the vibrancy of blossoms while Autumn colours are spectacular.
Where to Stay in Paris
One place we love to stay is in or around Montparnasse.
On one trip from picturesque St Malo to Montparnasse, we had a short 500m walk from the Montparnasse train station to the Edouard VI Hotel.
Situated on converging boulevards, you are spoilt for a choice of cafes and restaurants along the Montparnasse Boulevard. Like La marine next door for coffee, croissant or a delicious omelette while you enjoy the daily scene.
Another option is IBIS Paris Maine Montparnasse.
Charles de Gaulle airport is accessible at Denfert-Rochereau Train and Metro, a short walk from the hotel. The TGV is only 750m at Gare Montparnasse for Bordeaux or Toulouse.
And Montparnasse is within easy walking distance to see the best of Paris.
- IBIS Paris Maine Montparnasse – 160 Rue du Château, 75014 Paris
- Edouard VI Hotel – 61 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris
Train from Charles de Gaulle to Montparnasse – Euro10 (:2022)
Here’s a Walking Guide to Paris
Why confine yourself to someone else’s schedule visiting Paris. When you can embrace the city and discover its charm with a European city walk in Paris.
With your own walking guide of Paris, you set your own pace, see the places that interest you and plan the day around your time.
Take a look at the Paris city walk to plan your city walking tour using our Paris guide.
Our guide has lots of information on each place, with photos to inspire. And it will save you time so you can enjoy the experience and so much more.
13 Must-See Places in Paris
Even when you arrive late in the day to Paris, there’s always time to see some aspect of this amazing city.
There are the classic landmarks of Paris, but as you wander on your Paris walking tour, you’ll discover a lot more.
Here’s a list of some Paris favourites for you to choose from for your next visit.
1. Visit the Garden of the Great Explorers
This stunning fountain was built between 1867-1876 as a tribute to great explorers like Marco Polo. As you amble the tree line park, families are enjoying the space it gives. Others sit reading books or chatting with friends.
And it’s only a short walk to the well known Luxembourg Garden.
2. Relax at Luxembourg Garden and Palace
Known as the Jardin du Luxembourg, it was built in 1612 by the widow of Henry IV. An example of French architecture, with its Medici Fountain, tree-lined pathways and beautiful gardens.
Although it gets busy, it is perfect to sit and soak up the last rays of the afternoon sun.
3. Walk or Cruise the Seine
One of the best things to do in Paris is cruise the Seine.
Seeing Paris from a different angle, the cruise gives you a panoramic view of exquisite architecture overlooking the Seine.
And a night cruise of the Seine gives you a glimpse, at times, into beautiful rooms of glass and chandeliers.
4. Savour dishes at St Germain
St Germain area is one of the best places for shopping and eating in Paris. You can wander through art galleries, antique stores or street markets.
And since the 19th and 20th centuries, artists and writers have spent time at St Germain.
- Oscar Wilde
It’s why you want to linger and absorb the people and surroundings.
Stopping at Le Solferino, this small restaurant is perfect to absorb the french surroundings.
Address: 262 Bd Saint-Germain, 75007 Paris
5. Climb the Eiffel Tower
Taking one of the many bridges across the Seine is perfect for photos of the Eiffel Tower.
During the day the tower panoramic views of Paris. But if you return in the evening, the Eiffel tower has a romantic feel. The tower is lit and is buzzing as people enjoy the atmosphere.
Be prepared for a security and bag check similar to the Louvre.
6. Explore the best of the Louvre
Some hotels like The Edouard VI Hotel can organise tickets for your visit to the Louvre.
Because the Louvre is always busy. Be prepared for security body scanning and bag checks. But once you are inside, you’ll understand why the Louvre is a must-see in Paris.
You can follow the crowds for your moment with the Mona Lisa.
Go underground for sculptures and artefacts. Or become entranced by the ornately painted ceilings as the Louvre was once the residence of French Kings.
When you emerge take a stroll through the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and around the Tuileries Garden.
7. Find Gifts or Love along the Seine
Away from the Louvre, the Seine pathways have no access to cars. It makes it perfect to enjoy a picnic lunch as you watch the barges and cruises along the river.
Find one of the famous green boxes full of tourist gifts or the bridge full of “love” padlocks.
8. Admire Notre Dame
Notre Dame is still one of the iconic places to see in Paris. Before the tragic fire, it was always abuzz with people walking between the towers. But inside it was very, very quiet.
The admiration of the beautiful stained glass windows and storyboards did not disappoint. And compared to the UK, there was no charge to enter.
Notre Dame is expected to reopen in 2024.
9. Visit Napolean’s Tomb at Les Invalides
If you look out across the skyline of Paris, the Dôme des Invalides (Royal Chapel) will catch your eye. At a height of 107 metres, it is the tallest church in Paris.
A ticket to the Musée de l’Armée allows access to Napolean I tomb and the Musée de l’Armée.
We found the museum of French military history extensive with a volume of armoury from the middle ages. However, it was the tomb of Napolean which was so much larger than we expected.
Even though you can wander through the grounds for free and visit the former hospital chapel. A ticket to Napolean’s tomb is something for the bucket list.
10. Climb Arc de Triomphe
If your legs aren’t up for walking, take the metro to Arc de Triomphe.
And once here, you have two options:
- Admire the structure from underneath (for free)
- Climb up 284 steps for the fabulous view of Champs-Elysees (pre-book your ticket)
11. Musee de Orsay
Even if you aren’t interested in French art and the world’s largest collection of impressionist masterpieces. This museum is one to add to your Paris things to do.
Because the architecture of this former railway station was built between 1898 and 1900. On the first floor, you have a view of Montemartre through the windows surrounding the clock.
Buy tickets direct from the Museum here.
12. See Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Montparnasse Tower would have to be one of the ugliest structures in Paris. This may be why it is scheduled for a makeover in the coming years.
However, it has 360-degree views of Paris not to be missed.
We purchased a ticket for two visits in one day. We took advantage of the morning and again in the evening, to watch the sunset on Paris, and the Eiffel Tower come alight.
There is a cafe and bar to enjoy the evening experience.
Address: 33 Av. du Maine, 75015 Paris
13. Admire windows at Sainte-Chapelle
Within the grounds of the Palais de la Cité, is the royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle.
It dates to 1238 with 15 stained glass windows depicting scenes of the Old and New testament. And if you visit around 5 pm, the sunlight enhances the colours and beauty of the windows.
Address: 10 Bd du Palais, 75001 Paris
See the Best of Paris
With so many places to visit in Paris, it’s nice to have the choice to see more than the favourites. Each of our visits to Paris is a highlight of our travels.
However, you will need to book well in advance to see the favourites. While the queues may seem long, your pre-appointed booking will be the advantage of your time in Paris.
Staying in or around Montparnasse gives you access to wander and walk. This way you get a real feel of the life of a Parisian.
Enjoy your time in Paris and purchase your Paris city to see the best of Paris.