Paris is remarkable. It’s romantic, fashionable, and artistic. Paris is always a good idea. Do just one or two fun things in Paris and you are guaranteed life-changing experiences that even first-timers approve.
Last updated: February 11, 2022
10 Fun Things to Do and Places to Visit in Paris during Your First Trip
Following Audrey Hepburn example, many people regard Paris as the epitome of love, elegance, and sophistication. Visiting the capital of France culminates any travel experience for some. For others, it’s the place where they want to spend the rest of their lives. And indeed, with a plethora of incredible things to do and places to visit in Paris, even the first-time visitor find something for his or her taste. Nobody is left behind here.
On the other hand, for those who lack such luxury as unlimited time, the abundance of things to do in Paris can be the biggest problem. Once in Paris, you want to see and do absolutely everything. (I know exactly how you feel.)
I don’t want to be that person who smashes your dreams into pieces. But the truth is with a few days on your hands, it’s simply impossible to do all the exciting things Paris has to offer. In this case, you need to be selective with the places you want to visit in Paris or plan for a longer vacation. To assist these first-time visitors who, sadly, have limited time to spend in the city, I’ve compiled the list of 10 fun things to do and places to visit in Paris.
THE BEST THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN PARIS FOR FIRST-TIME TRAVELERS
1. See the Eiffel Tower
Most people traveling to Paris for the first time have one thing in common. They all want to finally lay their eyes on the Eiffel Tower. One of the most incredible things to do in Paris, the Iron Lady stands at 324 meters. For many years it was the highest structure in France until the Millau Viaduct was completed in 2004.
Things to Do: The Eiffel Tower entices the visitors day and night. For a few euros, you can climb all the way to the top. The most romantic guests often prefer to have a meal with a view at Le Jules Verne. At night, Paris’ famous structure puts on a dazzling light show. This view can easily supersede all other landmarks and things you plan to see and do in Paris.
2. Visit the Louvre
When in Paris for the first time, you absolutely must visit the Louvre, the world’s largest art museum. Famous for its permanent exhibit Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, the museum is home to almost 400,000 objects. Yet only a small portion of them is displayed.
TIP: If you are a big museum enthusiast, make sure to devote to the Louvre at least one full day. In reality, even this time is not enough.
Things to Do: Other things to do in Paris’ central landmark include admiring the Louvre Pyramid. This large glass and metal pyramid is located in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace. It serves as the main entrance to the museum. Thee smaller pyramids surround the Louvre Pyramid.
3. Explore Notre Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame is not just a medieval Catholic cathedral in the 4th arrondissement. It’s an essential part of French history. Even famous novelist Victor Hugo, couldn’t deny the importance of the Cathedral and depicted it in this novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
UPDATE: A few years ago, enjoying views from the famous Notre-Dame tower would be one of the unforgettable things to do in Paris. But since devastating fire in 2019, the Cathedral has been at risk of collapsing. Therefore, make sure to get updated information before planing your first visit to the finest structure in Paris.
4. Indulge in Croissants
Looking at slender French people, it’s hard to believe that the majority of them have croissants and coffee for breakfast.
Indeed, you can satisfy your sugar cravings and eat this traditional pastry at any “la boulangerie” in Paris any time of the day. And just like gorging on pizza in Rome, eating croissants is one of the must-do things in Paris regardless if it’s your first and thousandth time here.
TIP: Yet make sure to leave enough room for other Parisian pastries, such as macarons, Éclairs, madeleine, financiers, and Crème Brûlée.
5. Have Picnic on the Banks of the Seine
One of the fun things to do in Paris in warmer months is to combine sightseeing with the French gastronomical art. To do this, follow the example of the locals and find beautiful place to picnic on the bank of the Seine. Some of the good spots are around the Ile St Louis, the Point des Arts, and near the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
6. Walk along the Champs-Élysées
The Champs-Élysées, whit literally means “Elysian Fields”, is the most famous avenue in the world. The place is known for such boutiques as Lous Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Swarovski, Christian Dior, Valentino, Gucci, and many more.
Things to Do: Certainly, exploring Champs-Élysées is one of the best things to do in Paris for its shopping-driven visitors. Many other first-time travelers, though, prefer to visit the nearby Grand Palais, the Place de la Concorde, and the Invalides.
7. Climb the Arc de Triumphe
Located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triumphe is one of the famous monuments in the main city of France. It commemorates French victories and French soldiers killed in battles.
Things to Do: Yet it’s not the only thing that draws the first-time visitors to the Arc de Triumphe. The panoramic views of the city from the top are as impressive as the monument itself.
8. Dress to Impress
No offense, but baggy clothes and sweatpants all day, every day look odd in the streets of Paris. Instead, dress like a local. Pack more of properly fitting attires of neural colors, some accessories (but not too many), a nice jacket, and your best shoes for your first trip to Paris.
9. Spend Afternoon in the Luxembourg Gardens
When the hustle and bustle of the capital becomes overwhelming, search for an escape in the Luxembourg Gardens. With 61 acres of green space, plenty of activities for kids, and sport courts, there is no better place to spend a lazy afternoon in the city.
10. Visit the Palace of Versailles
Out of all of the above-mentioned things to do and places to visit in Paris, the Palace of Versailles is the only place that is located outside the city. Set in the city of Versailles, about 40 minutes away from the capital of France, the palace was the royal residence of France from 1682 until 1789. Today, it’s a national landmark and the greatest example of the 17th-century French art and architecture.