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Best Things To Do in Paris

If it's your first time to Paris, you'll probably want to spend some time at the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, and Notre-Dame, but don't miss out on lesser-known jewels like the Musée Rodin, the Musée de l'Orangerie, and the many markets. There's no way you'll get to do it all — museum-touring, shopping, cemetery-perusing, district-exploring, opera-attending — so plan your own itinerary, group sightseeing nearby attractions together and see Paris on your own terms.

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How We Rank Things to Do
#1
Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) Free attraction
Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: Builders started work on the Notre Dame Cathedral in 1163, finishing nearly 200 years later in 1345. Badly damaged and ... read more»

#2
Musee du Louvre
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: "To the Louvre!" as they say in "Eurotrip" — this Paris landmark is not to be missed. Once a fort and ... read more»

#3
Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: Designed and constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (the World Fair), the Eiffel Tower was almost universally hated by the ... read more»

#4
Le Marais Free attraction
Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Straddling the 3ème and 4ème arrondissements (districts), Le Marais is one of Paris' oldest and coolest districts — so cool, in ... read more»

#5
Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Cœur) Free attraction
Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Rising high above Paris, the Sacré-Cœur (meaning "Sacred Heart") looks more like a white castle than a basilica — but that ... read more»

#6
Musee d'Orsay
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Housed in a Belle Époque railway station along the Left Bank, the Musée d'Orsay boasts the world's largest ... read more»

#7
Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise) Free attraction
Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Not up for spending an hour underground in the Catacombs? Visit the Père-Lachaise Cemetery instead. Covering nearly 120 acres of ... read more»

#8
Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: A masterpiece of architectural opulence legendary for playing host to the fictional yet ubiquitous Phantom of the Opera, the Opéra ... read more»

#9
Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) Free attraction
Parks and Gardens | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: A warm-weather oasis that offers the simplest of Parisian pleasures, Luxembourg Gardens provides ample space (60 acres) for sunbathing and ... read more»

#10
Arc de Triomphe
Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Located in the 8ème arrondissement (8th district), the towering Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoléon to laud his own ... read more»

#11
Centre Pompidou
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: The Centre Pompidou is one of the most visited cultural sites in Paris. But keep this in mind — and recent ... read more»

#12
Versailles Palace (Chateau de Versailles)
Castles/Palaces, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: The Château de Versailles, the sprawling palace and former seat of power, is a suburb of Paris located a quick ... read more»

#13
Musée Rodin
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: A hidden jewel in the city, the Musée Rodin is actually the former residence of famed 19th century sculptor Auguste ... read more»

#14
Paris Catacombs (Les Catacombes de Paris)
Monuments and Memorials, Tours | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Not every inch of Paris is as romantic as you think — in fact, the Catacombs are downright chilling. Prior to ... read more»

#15
Champs-Élysées Free attraction
Shopping, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Musician Joe Dassin once sang "Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Élysées," which translates to "There's ... read more»

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