Things To Do
Tips on What To Do in Paris when you're not watching the titans of tennis at Roland Garros
Paris' attractions are almost infinite, and you might find it difficult to narrow your itinerary. Prioritize your things-to-do and get as much done as possible. But, don't forget to take time to peruse the outdoor market offerings; to leisurely drink a glass of wine; to nip in boutiques; to pause for more than a moment at the Eiffel Tower; and, of course, to smell the flowers at the Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg).
Paris inspired many an artist; it only makes sense for world-famous museums to congregate here. But pace yourself. The massive collection at the Musée du Louvre—which includes the Large Sphinx, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Mona Lisa—could itself take a lifetime to tour, and the Impressionist works at the Musée d'Orsay—which includes works by artists Monet, Cezanne, Degas, Bonnard and more—are enough to make an art enthusiast fall to pieces. Beyond the hyped collections exists a just-as-amazing compilation of specialized galleries and museums, such as theMusée Rodin, the Centre Georges Pompidou (Centre Pompidou) and even the Musée de l'Érotisme.
With its multiplicity of shops and boutiques, haute-couture houses, designers and generally stylish populace, Paris exemplifies the French love affair with fashion. For upscale shopping, check out Les Grands Boulevards in the 9ème arrondissement; for couture houses and designer labels, wander along the Rue de Faubourg St-Honoré; for a typical mall, head to the enormous underground mall in Les Halles.
The vibrant plein-air markets, filled with everything from vivid-colored produce and fresh-baked bread, are part of Parisians' daily life. Travelers can pick up a picnic of goods at the markets—Rue Mouffetard, Marché Buci,Marché Biologique, or others—and walk to a nearby park to feast.
One of the top things to do in Paris is to sightsee, whether on your own or with a tour guide. And some of the most popular things to see include theEiffel Tower, either from the top looking down or from the grass of the Parc du Champs de Mars and looking up; the Sacré-Coeur if you can make it up all of those steps; the Arc de Triomphe (the real one—not the Las Vegas rip-off); the resplendent Versailles Palace; and the Notre Dame Cathedral, among many, many more famous attractions. You can also pay your respects to the famous residents of Paris' immaculate cemeteries: the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise), located northwest of the city center and the burial place of Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf, and Montparnasse Cemetery (Cimetière du Montparnasse), located southeast of central Paris.
Oh, to be fashionably French! Parisians go to bars and cafés to drink and chat—yet they don't get obnoxiously drunk. They dance in clubs all night and still look coiffed when the sun rises. Models and celebrities congregate in Champs-Élysées, low-key partiers head to Canal St-Martin, students flood the Quartier Latin, the après-work set assembles in Les Halles, and Marais shelters many of the gay bars. Pigalle is another popular place to hit the town.