Places & Restaurants to Visit–Paris, France (Tourist Edition)

Most people’s bucket list include visiting Paris or climbing the Eiffel Tower. Click here to explore more of what this city has to offer, besides the Eiffel Tower.

Places to Visit:

Click here to look at the map my lovely friends in Paris created for me (Bonjour Sophie and François). This is such an easy to understand map, with this you will get to see all the best places in Paris in an efficient and systematic manner.

1. Montmartre & Sacré Cœur:

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Montmartre is a large hill in the 18th arrondissement, it is here, where the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur sits.

If you are into fitness and want to work out while traveling, I highly recommend running up the stairs to Sacré Cœur. However, for those who hate climbing stairs or simply cannot, you can use one of your T-tickets to take the cable car up to the top.

Once you reach the top, you will be able to see the best view of Paris–for free. From here, you can see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the rest of Paris. Or if you want an even better view of Paris, you can climb up 300 steps (no lift) to the Dome of the Basilica. Just go to the left side of the Basilica to enter.  I highly recommend coming here when the sun is out and it’s not as cloudy like when I went to get the best view possible.

After you are done enjoying the view, you can enter the Basilica, sit through mass, rest, and adore the architecture.

  • Hours:
    • Open everyday:
      • May–September: 8:30 AM–8:00 PM
      • October–April: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
    • Times subject to change and vary with weather.

2. Eiffel Tower

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Personally, I did not climb the Eiffel Tower since I already got a beautiful view of Paris from Montmarte. But there are so many other places with beautiful views of Paris for free or for a lot less than what the Eiffel Tower would charge you.

However, I do think paying for a meal with a view would be worth climbing the Eiffel Tower. On various floors of the Eiffel Tower, they offer many dining options from casual to fine dining. For more information and booking options at these restaurants, click here. 

  • Top Floor:
    • Champagne Bar
  • Second Floor:
    • Macaroon Bar
    • Buffett of snacks from carts
    • The Jules Verne ($$)
  • First Floor:
    • The 58 Tour Eiffel ($$)
    • Buffett of snacks from carts

The Eiffel Tower’s grounds were going through renovations when I went, my luck, so there wasn’t anywhere to really sit and enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower.

Be aware of sketchy people lurking around the Eiffel Tower. These are not necessarily bad people, but just be aware of your belongings and do not sign any petitions.

Click here for hours and prices to visit the Eiffel Tower.

3. Trocadero

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Trocadero had the most beautiful and scenic view of the Eiffel Tower. This is a great place for photo opportunities! Especially since so many fashion bloggers and models visit Trocadero during Paris Fashion Week due to the view and aesthetics.

4. Notre Dame

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Quasimodo, where are thou?

Notre Dame is absolutely stunning and probably the most beautiful cathedral I have seen in Europe, trust me, I have seen at least 20 while backpacking.

5. Versailles

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The train from Paris to Versailles is about a 35 minute train ride and a 15 minute walk to the Palace from the station. Preorder tickets beforehand and get there early, no matter rain or shine, the line will be long. Do not expect a preordered tickets means a fast track line to enter the Palace, you still have to wait with everyone, unfortunately. But by preordering, you will avoid the lines at the ticketing office.

Versailles can and probably should be a half to one day trip. The Palace and the Garden is huge, devote at least 4-5 hours of roaming around. Personally, I think the gardens were more beautiful and interesting than the Palace, itself.

Hours and ticket prices can be found here.

First Sundays of the month are free!

6. Catacombs

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PC: http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe/dark-underworld-paris-catacombs-002834

The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries that hold the remains of more than six million people. These remains are held in an underground tunnel, about 200 miles of tunnels are believed to exist.

Hours:

  • Tuesday-Sunday from 10 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Last admission: 7:30 Pm
  • Closed every Mondays

Prices:

  • Catacombs + Exhibition: 13 Euros (Full); 11 Euros (Concessions)
  • Coupled tickets Catacombs-Archaeological Crypt: 17 Euros (Full); 14 Euros (Concessions)

7. Champs-Élysées

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PC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champs-%C3%89lys%C3%A9es

The Champs-Élysées is known for luxury shops, theatres, cafés, and one of the most famous streets of Paris. Here, you will find designer stores like Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, and more. So if you are willing to drop a year’s worth of college textbooks for a designer bag, then the Champs-Élysées is the place for you.

Ladurée is also located within the Champs-Élysee, so make sure to stop by for afternoon tea or a quick snack break to refuel on your shopping trip.

Ladurée

  • 75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France

8. Arc de Triumphe

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9. St. Chapelle

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St. Chapelle is about a 5 minute walk from Notre Dame and next to the Paris Courts. So to enter, you do have to go through TSA-like checks. After you pass through, follow the signs towards St. Chapelle.

St. Chapelle is a very small cathedral and not really worth the price considering Notre Dame is free. However, the beautiful glass stained windows that fill about 90% of the walls are absolutely stunning. I sat inside for about 20-30 minutes just admiring the view and to get my money worth. If you have time and are willing to spend about 8-12 Euros, I definitely recommend visiting St. Chapelle.

Hours:

  • January 2-March 31
    • 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
    • Open everyday
  • April 1st – September 30th
    • 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
    • Open everyday
  • October 1st-December 31st
    • 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
    • Open everyday
  • Closed:
    • January 1st, May 1st, & December 25th.

Prices:

  • Full: 10 Euros
  • Reduced: 8 Euros
  • Group (20 ppl): 8 Euros
  • School: 30 Euros

Bring your student ID for a discounted price!

10. The Louvre

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Devote at least a day in the Louvre, it is huge. Every time I thought I saw everything, somehow another gallery pops up. Even if you do not understand art (me), I highly recommend going in. Many of these pieces do depict historical events so they are easier to understand than modern/contemporary art, in my opinion.

If you are willing to learn more about the finer things in life or an aficionado of art, I suggest renting the Louvre’s Guide that happens to have all the historical facts, details and reasonings of the art, galleries within the Louvre, the artists’ biography, and more onto a small Nintendo 3DS. This will definitely be worth getting since all the descriptions by the pieces are in French. 

No matter where you are from in the world, you will NEVER be able to find art of such importance and rarity than at the Louvre. Spend some time at the Louvre and get cultured on the finer things in life.

First Sundays of the month are free from October to March and Bastille Day!

Hours:

  • Open everyday except Tuesdays: 9 AM-6 PM
  • Wednesdays, Fridays: 9 AM- 9:45 PM

Admission:

  • Tickets bought at the museum: 15 Euros
  • Every Friday from 6PM: Free for those under 26 years old from all nationalities with valid ID
  • Free admission without queing for those:
    • Under 18 years old
    • 18-25 year-old residents of the European Economic Area (EU, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein)
    • teachers of art, art history, and the applied arts
    • holders of a valid “Pass Education” card (primary and secondary school teachers in French public schools and private schools receiving government subsidies)
    • artists affiliated to the Maison des Artistes (in France) or the AIAP (Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques)
    •  holders of a valid ICOM or ICOMOS card
    • job seekers and people on income support, on presentation of proof of entitlement (dated within the last year or indicating a period of validity)
    • visitors with disabilities and the person accompanying them
    • holders of membership cards (permanent collections only)

11. Moulin Rouge

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PC: http://parisjourney.com/the-moulin-rouge-paris-before-your-visit

The Moulin Rouge might mean either two things for you–the movie with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor or the birthplace of the can-can. The can-can was a scandalous form of dance performed by courtesans, but now it has become a common and popular form of entertainment.

The dancers’ costumes are risqué, but it is a beautiful form of performing arts and I highly recommend buying a ticket beforehand and watch.

Tickets:

  • VIP Dinner and a show: 7:00 PM
  • Show: 9:00 PM
  • Show: 11:00 PM**

11:00 PM show can end as late as 2:00 AM**

If you pre-order a ticket, don’t worry about the long lines. They will get everyone inside as long as you have a ticket. But if you show up early and get to the front of the line, you will get a better seat.

Transportation:

  • Close to Montmarte/Sacré Cœur. In the district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th Arrondissement. The closest metro station is Blanche.
  • After the 11:00 PM show is over, public transportation is closed–meaning no busses, trains, subways, etc. So you will have to take a taxi, Uber, or a shuttle. Taxi drivers are not allowed to pick up customers within a few hundred meters of a taxi rank. Walk to the end of the street and wait in line to get a taxi, this usually ends up being a huge line. I recommend getting the Uber app and using that instead.

Dresscode:

  • A jacket/tie is appreciated but at least jeans and a nice shirt. No shorts, bermudas, sports clothes, and shoes.

12. Place de la Concorde

Place-de-la-Concorde-grande-roue-nuit-630x405-C-OTCP-Amelie-Dupont
PC: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/90907/Place-de-la-Concorde

After you have finished walking along the Champs-Elysées, you will find a 3,300 year old Egyptian Obelisk surrounded by monumental fountains and prestigious hotels. Place de la Concorde was originally known to be an execution site during the French Revolution where King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were famously guillotined.

13. Palais Royal

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The Palais Royal was built in 1633 by Cardinal Richelieu. The Palais Royal is a short walk from the Louvre and has housed many members of the royal family until Versailles was built.

Cost: 

Hours:

  • October – March:
    • Open everyday from 8:00 AM – 8:30 PM
  • April – September:
    • Open everyday from 8:00 AM – 10:30 PM.

14. Jardin du Luxembourg

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Jardin du Luxembourg is between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. The Luxembourg Gardens are split between the French gardens and the English gardens. Many Parisians and tourist alike come to exercise or simply relax in the gardens. There are plenty of public seating, places to have a picnic, play tennis, chess, and more in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Cost:

Hours:

  • Opens between 7:30-8:15 AM, closes between 4:30-9:30 PM (depending on the season).

15. Quartier Bastille

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PC: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/757801074772044140/

A very trendy and young area for bars and clubs that runs from the night to the early morning.

16. Latin Quarter

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Here you will find many beautiful and relaxing cafés and restaurants. Around the Latin Quarter, you will find the Pantheon, the Musée National du Moyen-Âge, Luxembourg Gardens, and Arénes de Lutèce. But you will also find renowned universities and shopping areas.

17. Le Pont del’Alma

Pont-de-l'Alma-Zouave-_-630x405-_-©-Fotolia-Claude-Coquilleau
PC:https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73139/Pont-de-l-Alma

Le Pont del’Alma was built in 1854 on the orders of Napoleon III. However, it is most famously known as where Princess Diana died in August 1997. Le Pont del’Alma leads to the exact replica of the flame from Batholdi’s Statue of Liberty. This bridge also provides a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower.

18. The Flame of Liberty

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PC: Rami https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhk313/6885575469

19. George Pompidou (a.k.a. Beaubourg)

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PC: https://theculturetrip.com/europe/france/paris/articles/10-must-see-artworks-at-the-pompidou-center/

The Centre Pompidou is notorious for their extravagant exterior of colorful tubings and external escalators, but it also houses the National Museum of Modern Art. This museum is known for its 20th and 21st century art collections ranging from the modern period of Matisse, Picasso, and Dubuffet to the contemporary period of Warhol, Kapoor, Saint Phalle, and more. If you climb to the top floor, you will be able to look at it’s internationally renowned permenant collection. But you will also get a beautiful view of Paris from the rooftop.

Hours:

  • Pompidou Center:
    • Open everyday (Except Tuesdays/May 1st)  from 11:00 AM-10:00 PM
    • Exhibition (top floor) closes at 9:00 PM, Thursdays until 11:00 PM
  • Atelier Brancusi:
    • Open everyday (Except Tuesdays/May 1st)  from 2:00 PM-6:00 PM
    • Closed on Tuesdays and May 1st.
  • Bibliothèque Publique d’information:
    • Monday to Friday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    • Saturdays, Sundays, & public holidays: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    • Closed on Tuesdays and May 1st.

Tickets:

  • Museums & Exhibition
    • Single admission ticket (Any exit is final) to all exhibitions, museums, Kids Gallery, and the View of Paris.
      • Youth (18-25 year olds): 11 Euros
      • Full Fare: 14 Euros
      • Under 18: Free
  • View of Paris
    • Single admission ticket (any exit is final)
      • 5 Euros
    • Visitors under the age of 26 years old of the European Economic Community, admission to the museum and view is free but ticket is required (go to the Box Office to get free ticket)
  • Buy tickets online to skip the line to buy tickets.

20. Plase de Vosges

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Plase de Vosges is one of the oldest and most beautiful squares in Paris. The square is also a great start to walk to Marais, a historic neighborhood with a rich heritage. Many of the mansions in the area have turned into museums dedicated to Picasso and Victor Hugo. Marais is also one of the biggest gay districts in France.

Hours/Cost: 

  • 24 hours
  • Free

Restaurants and Cafés:

Les Pipelettes:

  • Tea Room in Alesia.
  • Gave free bread and a brunch course
  • Limited seatings, may have to wait for food.
  • Rating (1-10) on price and food: 9.0
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Les Pipelettes in Alesia

The Crêperie:

  • By the Parthenon
  • Tea Room/Lunch
  • Fair amount of seating
  • Sells wide variety of crepes from savory to sweet, as well as other types of food.
  • Rating (1-10) on price and food: 7.5

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Comme Chai Toi:

  • Best view of Notre Dame, delicious food, and cozy ambiance.
  • Free bread + cute bartender/waiter = happy Joy.
  • Rating (1-10) on price and food: 10.0

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Carette:

  • Tea room, right next to Trocadero
  • Very busy, indoor and outdoor seating. Very tight seating.
  • Delicious food and pasteries.
  • Rating (1-10) on price and food: 8.7

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Ladurée:

  • Located along the Champs-Élysées
  • Dining area for lunch and boutique for pastries
  • Pastries are expensive…but worth it.
  • Rating (1-10) on price and food: 8.0

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