25 Things You Must Do When Visiting Paris
There are few places more bustling and breathtaking than Paris. From the food to the culture to the fashion, there are an overwhelming number of activities to fit in over the course of a few days. Here are the 25 you must add to your itinerary.
1. Snack on Brie and a baguette on the Champs de Mars (the lawn surrounding the Eiffel Tower).
2. Visit le Bon Marché. It’s basically Saks Fifth Avenue on steroids. Buy something simple and black.
3. Relax at an alfresco café while people-watching. Do so while smoking a cigarette reading a magazine.
4. Get cultured. Museum-hop from the Rodin Museum's sculpture gardens to the Musée d’Orsay to the Louvre. Our opinion: The Mona Lisa will probably underwhelm you, but you came all this way so you might as well take a look.
5. Make sure to save the Louvre for last. Seeing the pyramid lit up at night is the best. (Same goes for the Eiffel Tower.)
9. Walk along the Seine and explore the bridges—even if they are currently love-lock-less.
10. Stroll the Île Saint-Louis and try Berthillon’s ice cream.
11. Continue down the Boulevard Saint-Germain and walk through the narrow cobblestone and colorful streets of the Latin Quarter.
12. Stop by Shakespeare and Company, the picturesque English language bookshop, which looks like it’s straight out of a fairy-tale.
13. Wander around Le Marais, the old Jewish quarter that's now home to some of the best restaurants and chicest boutiques in the city. You’re going to get lost. Embrace it.
14. Visit the Place des Vosges, where Victor Hugo lived before the French Revolution. It's one of the most picturesque places in the city.
15. Craving more Monet? Take a day trip to Giverny, the Impressionist painter’s garden. It’s picture perfect, literally.
16. Brave the line for the best falafel sandwich in the city (and quite possibly the world) at L’as du Fallafel.
17. Where else to learn to cook than in France? Try your hand at making éclairs or baguettes at a cooking class at La Cuisine Paris.
18. If you're still hungry, try the city's Moroccan fare; Paris is home to a huge North African population, and the Moroccan food is the best on the continent. Le 404 is a good place to start.
19. Wander the streets of Montmartre and take in the views that inspired painters from Dalí and Van Gogh to Picasso. Then climb the stairs of the Sacré-Coeur for sweeping city views.
21. Burn off said Moroccan feast by climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. The view is worth it.
22. OK, time for more food—but at a Michelin-starred restaurant. There's a reason Paris is often considered the best city for food in the world: More than 100 restaurants boast the honor. If you're on a budget, go for lunch, when meals are much more affordable.
23. Stroll through the lesser-known, scenic Canal St.-Martin, the calm, hipster neighborhood full of boutiques and cafés.
24. While you're there, enjoy a croissant or a pistachio “escargot” from the best boulangerie in city, Du Pain et des Idées.
25. Pick up a box of macarons to go at Pierre Hermé (shhh, it’s better than Ladurée). They’ll have to hold you over until your next visit.