France Travel

8 places to go in Paris

You could spend a month in Paris and still not see all of the city with its iconic churches, monuments, famed pastry shops and 20 arrondisements. Most of us don’t have a month to spend in the city of love, perhaps a week or two. So it’s important to be reasonable about where to go in the time you’ve got. Part of the allure of Paris is simply getting lost. Take a stroll, ditch your map and see where you end up. When you’re not getting lost, here are seven things you should do in the most magical city in the world:

Eiffel Tower

It would be a crime to travel to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower, not to mention it would be nearly impossible to avoid it. Trocadero Gardens, the Seine, the roof of Notre Dame or the top step of Sacre Couer are all magnificent places to catch a glimpse of this photogenic gal. Purchase a ticket to take the lift to the second platform, which overlooks the city.

Eiffel Tower from la Trocadero Gardens. – Sabrina Russello

Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral – Sabrina Russello

The Notre Dame will be on every must-see list and for good reason. The more than 850-year-old church is a pillar of Paris. Sadly, a massive fire on April 16, 2019, destroyed a large portion of it. Although rebuilding the historic landmark is expected to take 5 years, if not more, I’d still suggest stopping by.

To see photos of Notre Dame before the fire, click here.

Arc de Triomphe

Follow the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.  In the midst of Parisian chaos, the arc stands tall, often with a giant French flag waving as it hangs from the balcony. You can pay ($15) to go to the top of the arc, which gives a spectacular view of the city.

If you have the Paris Pass, your pass gets you to the top without an extra charge.

Champs Élysées

The Champs Élysées or Elysian Fields is the most famous street in the world. It connects la Place de la Concorde — one of the major public squares in Paris — to the Arc de Triomphe. It’s littered (in the best way) with famous restaurants, stores like Nike or Cartier and pop-up vendors most commonly around Christmas time.

Louvre Museum

Art lover or not, you should spend at least a few hours in the Louvre. But fair warning, there’s no chance you’ll see even a quarter of it in that short amount of time. There are 35,000 pieces of art in the museum and 20,000 more in the basement not on display.

Most famously, the Mona Lisa is why many flock to the palace turned museum.

Pay attention when you arrive in the room where Da Vinci’s well-known piece of art hangs. The painting on the opposite wall by Veronese is the largest painting in the museum, and in my opinion, the Mona Lisa is quite underwhelming compared to it.

Palais Garnier

Whether you’re enjoying an opera, ballet or simply taking a tour, Palais Garnier is an artwork in itself. A guided tour is best as all the intricacies have great stories to go along with them. Phantom fans, be sure to visit Box No. 5.

l’Opera Garnier, Sept. 2018. – Sabrina Russello


The extravagant palace and its gardens, which were home to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, before the French revolution may be the most magnificent castle you’ll see in your lifetime. Versailles, a town outside of Paris, is about a 30 minute train ride from the city. Plan to spend the day touring the castle, lounging in the gardens and marveling at le Grande Trianon (a house for the King’s guests) and le Petit Trianon (the getaway home Louis built for Marie Antoinette).


Sacré Coeur on the hilltop of Montmartre – Sabrina Russello

Whilst in the quirky neighborhood of Montmartre, be sure to make your way to the famous Sacré–Cœur Basilica. Climb the steps to the hilltop overlooking the city to take in the sweeping views. Montmartre also has an overlook that gives you even better vantage of Paris below. It’s just a few euros (cash only).



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