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One of the top things to do in Paris is live like royalty.

Bonjour, y’all.

Paris is a bucket-list type of place, and it’s no surprise why. Whoever says it’s overrated…I hope you never take any advice from that person again. Although it’s known as the City of Love, you can enjoy it just as much completely solo. I mean, haven’t you seen Emily in Paris?

Paris is broken up into different neighborhoods called arrondissements. The 1st arrondissement is located in the center of the city, and the other districts move outward with a total of twenty. The big attractions are closer to the center, but in each neighborhood there’s always something new to discover.

I flew on French Bee, which is a budget-friendly way to fly direct into Orly Airport. Going for my first time, Paris is sensory overload, at an all-time high. You have to accept that you cannot do literally everything that you want to do, but that means you get to save things for when you return.

Whether it’s your very first time or tenth, here is my "top things to do" Paris bucket list to add to your itinerary.

No top things to do Paris bucket list is complete without checking out the Eiffel Tower.

Top Things To Do in Paris: What To See.

The Eiffel Tower (at night): It’s beautiful in the daytime too, but at night at the top of every hour it sparkles and it’s just pure magic. Crowds come together with a bottle of champagne in hand on the lawn to watch together in awe.

Retro Sidecar tour of Paris: A truly unique way to see Paris. You’ll ride in a literal sidecar on a motorcycle and get a new perspective of the city.

The Louvre: Of course you have to see Mona Lisa. Besides the gallery walls, the courtyard and the glass pyramid exterior is a must for a photo opp. It’s okay to be touristy! Note that the museum is closed on Tuesdays.

Galeries Lafayette: The most upscale department store that you’ll ever visit. Stunning Art Nouveau architecture, you quickly forget that it’s a mall and not a museum or church.

Place Vendôme: One of the most famous and beautiful neoclassical squares. It’s also home to some high-end stores such as Dior, Cartier and Chanel.

Exploring the streets is on of the top things to do in Paris.

Bourse du Commerce: A museum near The Louvre. When I went it had an amazing exhibit with statues that were made completely out of wax and were burning slowly by a single flame.

Boat Tour of the Seine with Bateaux Parisiens: There’s nothing more romantic than an afternoon boat tour in the middle of Paris.

La Samaritaine: If you watch Emily in Paris, this is where the party at the end of Season 2 was filmed. Filled with department stores and places to eat, it’s located right next to the river in the first arrondissement. It was closed for seven years for renovation and reopened in June 2021.

Montmartre: If you’re looking for a cobble-stoned, quaint neighborhood with little shops and cafes that you’d expect to find in Paris, this is it. It gives a great view of the entire city.

Arc de Triomphe: A famous monument that gives you great views of the city too. A must for golden hour!

Checking out the art scene is high on any top things to do Paris bucket list.

Top Things To Do in Paris: Where To Eat.

I’m setting this up a bit differently. Instead of just a list of restaurants, I’m giving you a Paris bucket list for food. Go get lost with this tasty scavenger hunt…

Food bucket list:

  1. Drink champagne at the Eiffel Tower at night with strangers.

  2. A real French Croissant or Pain au Chocolat.

  3. A good sandwich in a baguette.

  4. A glass of wine in a wine bar.

  5. A typical Brasserie menu (on a budget Bouillon Pigalle or République, go big at La Coupole or Fouquet's).

  6. Order dessert with every meal (it’s the most important part here in Paris).

  7. Go to a Burlesque Cabaret Dinner.

Le Fouquet’s: The best meal I had in Paris. Separate from the hotel, this high-end brasserie will be a very special night.

Bar Hemingway: Located inside the Ritz, Paris. While it is pricey it has a laid back vibe with unique cocktails.

Harry’s Bar: Where the Bloody Mary was invented!

Little Red Door: A small cocktail bar that typically is always at capacity. They don’t take reservations but if you get in it’s definitely worth it.

Le Baratin: A hole-in-the-wall with no actual menu. Anthony Bourdain visited here on one of his episodes of his show The Layover.

L'As du Fallafel: Perhaps the best falafel you’ll ever have.

Hotel Costes: You don’t need to stay at this super luxury 5-star hotel to enjoy the bar.

Food tour of the Rue des Martyrs: Tasty and scenic with Richard Nahem.

If you are looking for the top things to do in Paris, then spend a day being a total foodie.

Top Things to Do in Paris: Where to Stay.

Intercontinental Paris le Grand: This hotel is stunning and is under $500 a night. Offering historic charm in central Paris, this luxury hotel’s sumptuous rooms and suites have superb views of the world-famous Palais Garnier, home to the esteemed Paris opera. Culinary delights await at two acclaimed restaurants, Cafe de la Paid, with it’s rich cultural history, and La Verriere, set in a beautiful winter garden.

Le Fouquet's: Each suite offers stunning views of the capital (and some the Eiffel Tower) and has a feel of a family home. It’s located on the iconic Champs-Elysées street. The restaurant’s menu is created in conjunction with Michelin star Chef Pierre Gagnaire. This is the most luxurious hotel on the list at under $1,000 a night.

Maison Mere: This boutique hotel is operated by a local family in the 9th arrondissement. They want their guests to feel like a local in the neighborhood and the rooms have beautiful balconies. It’s priced at $150-$200 a night.

25hours: In the 10th arrondissement, this hotel is filled with color, street-art murals and inspiration drawn from Africa and Asia. It’s priced at under $200 a night.

If you've been before, what else would you add to the list?

Be good, JB PS. Sign up to the best newsletter for weekly honest travel tips. Also, make sure to forward it to a friend and add me to your address book so I don’t land in your spam folder.


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