PARIS, the City of Light
What to see and do in Paris
Paris is truly a city with something for everyone. For museum buffs, some of the most famous museums in the world – theLouvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and more – are here for the exploring. And if you’d like to see something a little different, small, more unusual museums abound. Some of the best examples are the Musée de la Vie Romantique (for 18th and 19th-century art, and a little slice of the Romantic era in Montmartre), the Musée de Cluny (for medieval treasures and Roman baths), the Musée Rodin or even the ghoulish catacombs (for the brave-hearted!). There are around 130 museums in Paris, so even if you don’t think of yourself as a museum-lover, there’s bound to be something you’ll find interesting.
But you don’t need to go to a museum to experience the history of Paris: it’s woven into the streets of the city itself. Particularly in the central areas, you’ll find yourself frequently caught off guard by glimpses of world-famous monuments like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, or the giant Egyptian obelisk at Place de la Concorde peeking through the gaps between magnificent Haussmanian buildings. And those buildings themselves – and the wide, tree-lined boulevards they sit on – are part of the city’s history too. The quintessential image of the Parisian building with its stone-hewn walls and intricate, wrought-iron balconies is thanks to Baron Haussmann, the urban planner under Napoleon III who razed much of the old, slum-ridden city in the 19th century, transforming it into the city we know today.
Museums and monuments aside when you are looking for things to do in Paris, you could spend weeks exploring Paris, sightseeing and discovering the different areas of the city. Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements (neighborhoods), each with its own distinct feel. From the fancy first arrondissement (home to the Louvre, the Tuileries gardens, and the elegant Place Vendôme), to the trendy tenth, where you’ll find hipster cafés and bars, and the bohemian Canal Saint-Martin. In the 18th arrondissement, you’ll find Montmartre, one of several inner-city villages of Paris, where the majestic Sacré Coeur Basilica watches over the city from the top of the hill.
The best time to go to Paris
The main tourist season tends to run a bit longer in Paris (it is the second-most visited city in the world, after all) – generally from April through to September, with the busiest part of the year being between June and September. And if you can handle the crowds, summer is the perfect time to enjoy sipping a cold glass of wine on a street side terrasse, relaxing at the inner city beach along the banks of the Seine, or even picnicking in a Parisian park.
But there’s never a bad time to visit the city and always things to do in Paris : from November to January, you’ll see streets adorned with twinkling Christmas lights (and you’ll just have to stop for hot chocolate every now and then to keep warm).
January to March can be chilly – but is the perfect opportunity for a bit of museum-hopping or shopping in one of the city’s elegant department stores, luxury designer boutiques, or trendy thrift stores. And if you visit in April or May, you’ll get to experience Paris when the flowers are in bloom, the weather is warming up, and Spring is in the air.
The only time we wouldn’t necessarily recommend visiting Paris is the first two weeks of August, for the simple reason that most of the city will be on holiday, and you’ll find many of the restaurants, bars, and cafés have shut up shop so the owners can catch some sun.
Travel to Paris with Paris-Toujours
At Paris-Toujours, we have plenty of fun activities to offer you in Paris. Want to explore the city? Jump right in with one of our Paris private tours, for an in-depth exploration of one of Paris’s many neighborhoods or museums. Our local licensed guides have master’s degrees in art and history, so they’re well-equipped to answer all of your questions.
We can also organize private day trips from Paris where your guide will accompany you to Versailles (for a palace visit, and cycling or horseback riding around the estate), Giverny (for mooning at Monet’s house and gardens), or even the Loire Valley (and plenty of other places too!). One of our most popular day trips will take you to Chartres, a city just 90 minutes from Paris by car, which delights visitors with its gothic Cathedral and magnificently preserved old town.
Travelling with kids? We strongly recommend a family treasure hunt at the Louvre (good for avoiding “museum legs”), followed by a private picnic cruise on the Seine.
And speaking of food and drink, we can also arrange wine and champagne tastings, cheese workshops, visits to a traditional bakery, and cooking and pastry classes (macarons, anyone?). These are only a few examples of the many things to do in Paris.
Have something else in mind? We can help make your Paris dreams a reality!
Get in touch to start planning your Paris holidays.
Only with Paris-Toujours:
Our day trip from Paris to the Chevreuse Valley includes exploring a quaint village in the scenic countryside, as well as discovering a 17th-century castle, and an enchanting abbey with more than eight centuries of history.