Where to Go

Your Go-To Guide For Visiting Paris

Put these sights at the top of your itinerary when you visit the city of light

The Vacationeer
The Eiffel Tower in Paris overlooking the Seine River and a boat cruise

Paris, France, is a bucket-list destination with a wealth of incredible sights to see, experiences to enjoy and tastes to savor. If it’s your first time traveling to this amazing city, you’ll want to check must-do items off your list.

Here are some ideas for making the most of your time in the City of Light.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris at sunset 

Where to Stay

Stay at the Royal Regency Paris Vincennes, a chic and centrally located property in a historic neighborhood close to downtown. You’ll find well-appointed Studios and Suites, all with private kitchens and some with balconies. A short walk to the Metro station gives you access to the city’s most iconic sights, and at the end of the day you can relax in the on-site sauna.

Sights to Start With

Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars

As with many popular spots in Paris, it pays to plan ahead when visiting the Eiffel Tower. If you can, get tickets online when they become available 60 days in advance of your visit, or book a tour so you can avoid the lines. Check out these pro tips for seeing the tower, which was erected for the 1889 World’s Fair in celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution.

The city’s most recognized monument rises over 1,000 feet into the sky and has two restaurants, a champagne bar and an observation deck with panoramic views. It’s surrounded by the Champ de Mars, a stretch of green where you can have a picnic, people-watch and take amazing pictures of the world-famous landmark looming above.

Many linger here in the evenings to watch the Eiffel Tower illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights. It happens for five minutes every hour on the hour, starting at sunset.

A signpost with directions to various attractions in Paris 

Louvre Museum

With more than 400 rooms and 35,000 pieces of art, the Louvre is one of the world’s largest museums and well worth as much time as you can spend. According to the museum’s website, if you only have a few hours, you may want to head straight to the Denon Wing that houses the Mona Lisa and some of the museum’s other most famous pieces.

Purchase a ticket or a tour online ahead of time, or consider an early morning visit to avoid standing in longer lines. Another option is a Friday evening visit, when the Louvre stays open until 9:45 p.m. Take note that the museum is closed on Tuesdays.

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche and Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann

Visit Le Bon Marché, the world’s first modern department store, to shop for high-end goods ranging from books and clothes to kitchenware, gifts and more. Multiple tours are available where you can learn about the history, art and architecture of this one-of-a-kind retail hub.

Galeries Lafayette is another grand department store. The circular central atrium topped by a beautiful glass cupola is an architecturally appealing feature that’s worth seeing even if you’re not in the mood to shop. There’s also a rooftop terrace that’s free to visit, with amazing views and a seasonal vegetarian restaurant for your enjoyment.

The Arc de Triomphe on a sunny day in Paris 

Arc de Triomphe

Rising above the western end of the Champs Élysées, another must-see part of Paris is the massive Arc de Triomphe. This intricately decorated war memorial and national symbol of France was built by Napolean to honor his Grande Armée.

With a ticket purchase, you can go inside and climb the 284 stairs to the top viewing platform for panoramic views of Paris.

It can also be entertaining looking down from the observation deck to see cars negotiating the roundabout that surrounds the arc. With 12 avenues stemming from this busy traffic circle, driving it is a challenge best left to locals.

Catacombs of Paris

For another unforgettable experience, consider touring the famous catacombs that house the bones of more than six million Parisians. There are 243 steps to traverse, and the temperature hovers below 60 degrees underground, but you’ll see a different side of the city and learn a lot about its history.

Created in the tunnels of former quarries, this incredible labyrinth was developed as a solution to public health issues associated with the city’s cemeteries in the late 18th century.  

A blue door and awning labeled "Cafe" in Paris 

Paris Plages

Beyond such must-see highlights, it’s also a good idea to pause and immerse yourself in the Parisian way of life. You can do that while sipping a coffee or glass of wine at one of the many streetside cafes you’ll find across the city.

In summer, you have even more options when urban beaches pop up in different parts of Paris. Stretch out on a chaise lounge overlooking the River Seine at Parc Rives de Seine or take a dip in a riverside swimming pool at La Villette Canal Basin, where rentable canoes and kayaks are also available.

Seine River Cruise

Another great way to take in the city is on a relaxing river cruise. Photo ops along the way include the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and much more. Take a one-hour narrated tour to learn more about this historic waterway, or enjoy a sumptuous dinner cruise with live music under the stars. Here’s a well-researched guide to all your options.

Where to Eat

From fine dining in Michelin-starred restaurants to casual meals in top-rated brasseries, iconic cafes and lesser-known local favorites, there’s a world of wonderful food waiting for you in Paris. And you don’t have to break your budget to enjoy foodie favorites here.

Check out this insider’s guide to the best street food you can find in the city.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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