First Time in Paris? Top 10 Things to Do!

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and renowned for its art, culture, entertainment, literature and intellectual community; a wonderful holiday destination to suit any traveller. It’s also one of the most visited cities in Europe for holiday-makers, history-seekers, culture-lovers and more!

Paris, Opéra national de Paris

Paris, Opéra national de Paris

Ηistory is everywhere in Paris and there are so many historical places to visit and see that you’ll never run out of things to do. If anything, you’ll find it hard to fit everything in! 

The Eiffel Tower

The signature of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, should not be missed. Stunning by day or night, close to or far from, it’s worth spending some time marvelling the masterpiece that is the icon of Paris. You can purchase tickets to go underneath or up the tower – but note that the lines are long unless you get in early or purchase skip-the-line tickets, especially if you opt for the elevator access and not the stairs.

Eiffel Tower

The Louvre Museum

Another iconic piece of Paris, famous throughout history and renowned globally as housing some of the most impressive and valuable pieces of art, historic and modern, the Louvre is well worth your time; but make sure you set aside a lot of it. Not only is the museum extremely popular (meaning queues galore at peak hours or weekends/holidays) but you can be sure that you’ll need at least a half a day if not more to see all that the museum has to offer. Make sure you spend some time outside too, at the famous prism, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, leading to the Champs Elysees, as well as at the garden area outside.

Arc de Triomphe 

Located in the centre of a busy roundabout in Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly Place de l’Étoile), the Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and who died in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Visiting the Arc is free, and the area is big enough that there isn’t too much hassle to get a view. If you want to go up the top, however, you will have to pay for a ticket

Musée d’Orsay

Another, well worth a visit for art lovers, although not as large as the Louvre, is the Museum d’Orsay where there are great anf very famous masterpieces on display from all over the world. Housed in the former Gare d’Orsay (Railway Station) the museum specialists in French art, mostly dating in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are impressionist and post-impressionist and famous works from Monet, Manet, Renoir, Sisley and Van Gough. The museum often has special exhibitions running too and is often open late nights, so is worth a visit to see something different. With Welcome, you can purchase your skip-the-lines tickets and be there in comfort and on time.

Palace of Versailles

Located a short drive outside of Paris city, lies the famous Palace of Versailles, home to Marie Antoinette as well as the French kings from 1682 until the beginning of the French Revolution. The palace is magnificent and opulent, the gardens vast and intricate. Set aside a lot of time to wander there, despite the fact that you are ushered in a single path around the palace (it is often busy and filled with tourists) you are free to wander the gardens which are worth taking your time for, especially when the sun is out. Enjoy an audio guide to one of the most visited attractions in France, by booking your tickets with Welcome.

Palace of Versailles

Sacre-Coeur 

In English, this beautiful cathedral translates to ‘Sacred Heart’, which is a fitting translation. Up in the hills of Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur is a worthwhile place to visit. The steps leading up to the church are always bustling with people, enjoying an evening drink or an afternoon bask in the sun enjoying the view. On your way down, it’s nice to walk through the market areas and stalls of local artists in the winding streets of Montmartre or grab a glass of wine in one of the many small cafes or brasseries along the way.

Sacre-Coeur

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame is another pivotal landmark of Paris. Located in a large open square in the city, despite the always-present crowds, you are still able to see the outside easily and get some good pictures. You are able to enter the cathedral too for a small donation, however again be aware that the lines may mean that you are waiting for a while. Once you’re there, and there’s no rush, it won’t take you too long to look around. There’s also a possibility to go up to the top, but this is a cost-associated activity.

Cruise on the River Seine

To see Paris from a different angle, it is nice to check out the view from the river and avoid the traffic of the city centre. Welcome offers a great 1 Hour Sightseeing Cruise on the Seine, so it worth seeking out and comparing. Often these cruises are available as part of a package and can be a nice addition to your sightseeing in the city.

Cruise on the River Seine

Chateau de Chambord

Although located a fair drive outside the city, Chateau de Chambord is a must see. It is the embodiment of French Renaissance architecture, constructed by King Francis I, yet was never completed. Located in the Loire Valley it is surrounded by beautiful landscapes featuring a moat and extensive gardens. Inside you can spend hours wandering around to see the internal part of the courtyard and towers. Cafes are available inside too for a sit-down coffee. You do have to pay for entrance, but the inside is worth the cost.

Chateau de Chambord

Luxembourg Gardens

Take a stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens for a relaxing afternoon – a small, green slice of paradise in the middle of the big city. Located near the city centre the park, is just in front of the Luxembourg Palace and is the place to be for the Parisians, especially when the weather is good and sunny. The is also a pond in the centre of the gardens, where Parisians sunbathing in summer! 

Jardin du Luxembourg

For an easy, comfortable and affordable tour option, consider booking one of the many tours around Paris available through Welcome Pickups. Welcome offers a variety of build-you-own tours, including a one or two-hour trips around the major neighbourhoods of Paris city with your Welcome driver.

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Paris Airport Taxi

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