Paris is the City of Light, the City of lovers and the City of art and culture, so naturally you will never run out of opportunities to make every moment spent in the capital a magical one. Here are 5 things to do in Paris that will surely make your stay unforgettable.
As the world’s leading tourist destination, Paris attracts millions of visitors every year. The French capital never fails to live up to the romantic Parisian clichés that are rooted in our collective imagination. Its culture and unique tourism is particularly rich and dynamic but also constantly renewed. In short, its unlikely that you will find yourself bored while visiting the City of Light. So, to complement your romantic walks along the Seine and along the boardwalks of Paris, here is some of the many things to do in Paris right now.
1. Visit Montmartre and its museum
Montmartre is without a doubt one of the most romantic places in the capital. Atop a hill where painters, poets and writers have made their home, Montmartre is the artistic heart of Old Paris and you can feel it in the air. In the middle of its narrow streets and squares, and along its stairs, it creates the perfect image of Paris d’Antan. During your walk in the steep streets of the village of Montmartre, visit the Basilique du Sacré Coeur after crossing Place Saint Pierre (St. Peter’s Square) where you can enjoy a spectacular view of Paris after being sketched by a talented street artist. Make sure to take the opportunity to visit the museum of Montmartre which is one of the most charming museums in Paris. A well established meeting place and residence, the building has attracted many artists who have established studios such as the painter Emile Bernard who devoted himself to poetry in his spare time, the famous fauvist style painter Émile-Othon Friesz or the writer Léon Bloy. At the foot of the Montmartre Museum are three gardens dedicated to Renoir where you can relax in peace and enjoy a breath of fresh air in the heart of Paris. After being bathed in culture and nature, we arrive to the entertainment! To dive deep into the atmosphere of Montmartre and live an evening like the artists of the nineteenth century, you should go to the Moulin Rouge. It is a symbol of the capital city where famous artists like Toulouse Lautrec would go almost every evening to find inspiration, have fun and forget their melancholy lives.
Atelier Musée Montmartre. Photo credit: Pierre Andre Leclercq via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
2. Visit the Philharmonie and Opera Garnier
A true masterpiece of theatrical architecture, the Opera Garnier is a magical and enchanting place, that as well as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre well deserves its place in the must-sees of a list of historical monuments and legends of the capital. And yet, it too often goes out the door on the schedule of visitors who postpone the visit of this emblematic Paris attraction. A major monument to the reign of Napoleon III, the Opera Garnier is a testimony to the urban expanse of the Second Empire, under the royal control of Baron Haussmann. As usual, we advise you to avoid the crowds and visit the Opera after its closure to the public to enjoy all of its treasures. You will be captivated by the opulence of the decor, the beauty of the various fireplaces and the immense variety and extravagant materials used. Do not miss the library-museum, a true recollection of the Opera and the ceiling of the Opera room artistically realized by Chagall. For fans of music and /or architecture, the Philharmonie de Paris is entirely dedicated to symphonic music and is also well worth the visit. This architectural gem has gathered more than 1000 instruments and works of art and was only recently constructed in 2015. Designed and produced by architect Jean Nouvel, the Philharmonie is a place of art, meetings and exchanges whose concert hall has perfect acoustics and is optimally designed to accommodate up to 2400 people.
The Grand Foyer of the Opera Garner, Paris
3. Enjoy the many museums in the Capital
To say that Paris is a capital of culture would be redundant. It has so much to see and visit that it can sometimes difficult to make a choice and to see everything that you intended to. With the Paris PassLib ‘ you are free to enjoy Paris as you wish. The card gives you the choice of 2, 3 or 5 day durations and gives you access to more than 60 museums and many temporary exhibitions, all with unlimited access to transport and some extras extras such as a river cruise on the river Seine, a bus trip to The Open Tour and a free guide to the city. Among the many museums offered by the capital we recommend a guided tour of the key works of the Musée d’Orsay, from Van Gogh to Degas through Cézanne and Manet, immerse yourself in the heart of Impressionist painting. The Louvre contains so many works that each visit feels as if it is your first time, impossible not to go there during your stay in the capital, especially if you are interested in seeing the Mona Lisa in privileged conditions. Enjoy an immersive experience through the treasures of the Louvre and complete your visit with a face-to-face with the Mona Lisa and be coveted by visitors who often have to knock elbows with other visitors just to see an angled view of the prestigious work. For a cultural excursion though the eyes of a local, go to the Museum Jacquemart-André. Located in a magnificent boulevard Haussman mansion, this private collection is one of the finest collections of Italian art in France. The place itself is superb and well worth the visit. Salons, Winter Gardens, Private Apartments, so many art pieces that will take your breath away! The Italian museum of the manor house and the private collection of Nélie and Edouard André is divided into three rooms: the sculpture room, the florentine room where you can admire the very famous Saint George slaying the dragon of Paolo Uccello among others and the Venetian room where the works of Bellini, Schiavone, Carpaccio and await you. Another very local museum should not be missed is the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, to which we have dedicated a whole ticket and which has just opened its doors last month. Located in the old haute couture house, entering the museum is a bit like diving into the creative and artistic world of one of the most famous Parisian fashion designers of the 20th century.
Winter Gardens of the Museum Jacquemart-André.
4. Go on a Parisian safari
Paris is not only museums, department stores, riverboats and macaroons. It is also possible to enjoy some fresh air and relaxation in the middle of the fauna and flora in the heart of the French capital! If you want a break and especially if you are traveling with family, do not hesitate to visit the Vincennes Zoo. Completely renovated in 2014, the zoo expands over a 4 km, crossing 5 biozones and gathering 180 wild spaces. During your visit you will cross Patagonia, the Sahel-Sudan, Europe, Guyana and Madagascar while making a few stops to attend events such as a barefoot sensory course or to feed the animals.The Menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes (Garden of Plants), the figurative green lung of Paris is a true place of relaxation, where you can meet for a picnic or a nice family walk. Founded in 1794, the menagerie is a Parisian institution, rich in unique architectural heritage according to classified buildings since 1993. The capital also has its own Aquarium which has more than 900 different species and the largest shark pool in France with its 37 sharks.
Greenhouse in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris. Photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA
5. Discover Paris through its gastronomy
This year, the Michelin guide has 97 starred restaurants in Paris. Out of 616 starred restaurants in total, we can truly say that in the capital only the finest plates are served! The gastronomic scene in Paris is one of the most flourishing in the world, a bona fide platform for the arts of taste and table, there is so much wine and cuisines to discover in Paris. If you want to fully immerse yourself in the spirit of Parisian gastronomist, explore the Rungis Market and engage in a world full of color, where delicious flavors and aromas meet. This 234-hectare market at the gates of Paris is the largest market for agricultural products in the world. Deemed in service and promotion of the French terroirs and French gastronomic heritage, it is destined to feed the professionals of the whole Paris region. This visit will surely arouse an appetite and the antidote is the Ô Château in a 17th century cellar near the Louvre for a lunch-tasting, full of wines and French cheeses. Once you’ve recharged your batteries, why not spend your afternoon at the Louvre and finish your day visiting the neighborhood with the largest wine market from the nineteenth century, Bercy Village.Discover its history and friendly atmosphere that started as the first commercial wine market in the world dating to the nineteenth century and which has maintained its deep importance in the heart of Parisian wine lovers. Enjoy a tasting in the old cellars wines of Bercy. Another way to combine pleasure and culture is to add Versailles to your visit, where you can indulge in a breakfast or a lunch at Alain Ducasse. It is the perfect opportunity to feel like royalty for a day!
Room of the Ore-Alain Ducasse restaurant in the sumptuous setting of the Dufour Pavilion at the Château de Versailles