What to do in Paris, France for a weekend

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Ah, Paris! The City of Light is the perfect place to spend a weekend. Paris is filled with famous monuments, world-class museums, amazing Parisian food, and an ambiance like no other.

Paris is my absolute favorite travel destination. Join me to explore some of the best things to do in Paris, France. Lace up your shoes and let’s go!

1. See the Eiffel Tower

No trip to the City of Light is complete without seeing the most famous Paris tourist attraction, the Eiffel Tower! The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World’s Fair and since then has become the most iconic element of the Paris skyline.

Evening view of Eiffel Tower.
Eiffel Tower, Paris

If you’re feeling energetic, you can climb the stairs as far as the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Don’t like stairs? Take the elevator up to the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Looking to get the perfect shot of yourself with the Eiffel Tower? My favorite photo spot is just across the Seine River, from the Trocadéro.

2. Take a Seine River cruise

One of the best ways to see Paris is by taking a Seine River cruise. You can see so many of Paris’ famous landmarks from the Seine, so this is a fantastic way to orient yourself on your first day in Paris.

The banks of the Seine have a UNESCO World Heritage site designation for their wealth of historically significant attractions. In addition to the Eiffel Tower, you’ll see spectacular buildings such as the Hôtel de Ville, and the Musée d’Orsay, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the most beautiful churches in Europe.

3. Relax in one of the beautiful gardens of Paris

Paris has many gorgeous parks and gardens, bursting with bright blossoms and leafy trees. Take a relaxing stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens or the Jardin des Tuileries.

Beautiful view from Jardin des Tuileries.
Beautiful view from Jardin des Tuileries

In addition to flowers and plants, both gardens also feature classical statuary and ponds where you can watch children sailing miniature boats across the waters. There are plenty of chairs and benches where you can rest your feet while you plan what to do next.

4. Visit the Louvre

The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world and is simply incredible in its scope. You’ll recognize the trademark glass pyramid in the courtyard. The collections of the Louvre are immense, numbering nearly 500,000 works of art.

If you plan to visit the Louvre, it’s best to have a strategy. Start with the works of art that top your personal ‘must-see’ list, whether the Mona Lisa or classical statues such as the Venus de Milo. See those cultural treasures first (before you run out of steam!).

5. See the Musée d’Orsay

If the Louvre sounds a bit overwhelming — or if your favorite artistic style is Impressionism — choose the Musée d’Orsay. The Musée d’Orsay boasts the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world! Admire masterpieces from great artists such as Monet, Renoir, and Degas.

Exterior view of Musée d'Orsay
Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay is housed in a grand Beaux-Arts building (previously the Gare d’Orsay, one of the train stations of Paris). Walk through the bright and airy galleries and see the museum’s signature clock.

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6. Stroll along the Champs-Élysées

In the mood for some retail therapy? You’ll want to head to the Champs-Élysées, a street famous for its high-end shops. You can find luxury retailers such as Dior, Gucci, Versace, and Hermès flanking this famous Parisian boulevard.

View of Arc De Triomphe.
Arc De Triomphe

The Champs-Élysées stretches from the Place de la Concorde on its southeastern end to the iconic Arc de Triomphe on its northwestern end. Be sure to take a break from your shopping to see this magnificent monument. Climb up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of Paris!

7. Take a night tour of Paris

Your sightseeing in Paris doesn’t end when the sun goes down! Paris at night is magical, and you don’t want to miss the spectacular sights of the grand monuments of Paris illuminated at night.

Exterior view of Saint Jacques - Paris illuminated at night
Saint Jacques – Paris illuminated at night

The best way to experience the beauty of the City of Light is by taking a night tour in Paris. There are plenty of fabulous options, from romantic dinner cruises on the Seine and glamorous shows at the Moulin Rouge to customizable private tours.

The highlight of any nighttime tour in Paris is watching the dazzling lights show of the Eiffel Tower!

Now you know all the best things to do in Paris, France – even if you only have a weekend! With fabulous architecture, art, shopping, and natural beauty, Paris has something for everyone. A trip to Paris is the perfect way to see many top attractions on your travel bucket list!

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Bio: Lisa of Waves and cobblestones

Lisa from Waves and Cobblestones
Lisa from Waves and Cobblestones

Although she works full-time in the semiconductor industry, Lisa fits in as much travel as possible throughout the year. Her travel blog, Waves and Cobblestones, is chock-full of city guides and destination tips to help you make the most of your vacation time. Lace up your shoes and let’s go! Catch up with Lisa from Waves and Cobblestones on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.

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Pinterest images of Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe and Musée d'Orsay.
Pinterest Images of Paris gardens and Arc De Triomphe.

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