48 hours in Paris blog

Your guide to the top 10 ‘Paris things to do’


A Parisian holiday is on everyone’s travel bucket list. To visit one of the prettiest cities of France and soak in the ritzy French vibe, while dining at a sunny outdoor bistro is an indescribable joy. If you’re travelling through Europe and decide to add the city of lights to your travel itinerary, our ready list of top 10 ‘Paris things to do’ will have you covered for at least the first few days. 
Start planning your Paris holiday. Request your FREE Europe River Cruising brochure today.

Begin your day at an outdoor bistro

To dine at an outdoor Parisian bistro with tables set up on a sidewalk is an absolute must. Begin your day with a breakfast of warm, buttery croissants, jam filled, crumbly pastries, melt-in-the-mouth crepes, and a variety of freshly baked breads and delightful spreads. Sit back with a hot cup of coffee and watch the very elegant city hurry past your pavement table, as you mull over what to do in Paris. 

Take a walk around the city of love

Now that you’ve eaten to your heart’s content, it is time to get acquainted with this charming city. Next item on your list of ‘Paris things to do’ is a walking tour. Join a local guide for a walking tour of the city, touching on the ornate façade of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the towering structure that is the Arc de Triomphe, and the Egyptian obelisk where the deadly guillotine once stood, amongst many other remarkable monuments. 

Have a rencontre with Mona Lisa 

Once you know the general layout of the city, it is time to start ticking off the items on your ‘what to do in Paris’ list. Make your way to the world’s largest museum, the Louvre. The imposing edifice of this museum once served as a royal palace, until it was converted two centuries ago. After you have admired its stunning architecture and the magnificent glass pyramid at its main entrance, head inside to locate Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa. Also take the time to examine other famous artworks housed in the museum, including Venus De Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and Michelangelo’s Dying Slave. 

Pose at the Eiffel Tower

It really wouldn’t be a holiday in France without the customary holiday photographs with the magnificent Eiffel Tower in the background. The iconic tower is the most visited monument in the world, a top item on the list of ‘what to do in Paris’, and spectacular at any time of day. During the day, the lone tower seems to rise like a phoenix out of the earth to kiss the skies, and in the night, it is bejewelled with 20,000 light bulbs, making it look like merriest of Christmas trees. 

Wander the eerie catacombs 

Under the sparkly city of lights lies a dark, spooky world filled with the remains of over 6 million unnamed Parisians. If the sight of skulls and bones doesn’t make you queasy, we highly recommend you add a visit to the sombre Catacombs of Paris to your list of ‘Paris things to do’ – it might be the only chance you get to do something so unusual. Around the 1700s, Paris was faced with the problem of overflowing cemeteries, which posed a grave danger to the health of the residents. So the authorities decided to move the bones of the dead Parisians, some of them dead for over a 1,000 years, into the centuries old tunnel network under the city. 

Get an outside view of Notre-Dame de Paris

Under the sparkly city of lights lies a dark, spooky world filled with the remains of over 6 million unnamed Parisians. If the sight of skulls and bones doesn’t make you queasy, we highly recommend you add a visit to the sombre Catacombs of Paris to your list of ‘Paris things to do’ – it might be the only chance you get to do something so unusual. Around the 1700s, Paris was faced with the problem of overflowing cemeteries, which posed a grave danger to the health of the residents. So the authorities decided to move the bones of the dead Parisians, some of them dead for over a 1,000 years, into the centuries old tunnel network under the city. 

Cruise through the Seine 

Another must on every ‘Paris things to do’ list is a relaxing cruise along the Seine. Glide past the famous sights, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, and view the beautiful city from a whole new perspective. You can choose from a plain sightseeing cruise, or a lunch or dinner cruise, and enjoy enlightening commentary along the way. 

Tour the city, old school style 

If you’re tired of ticking off the customary items on every ‘what to do in Paris’ list, and are looking to add something different to your itinerary, a retro tour of Paris might just be it. Hop into the sidecar of a vintage motorbike and set off to explore the hidden jewels of Paris with a true Parisian. 

Be enchanted by the Blue Bell girls 

There is no perfect way to describe the magic of a burlesque performance at Lido de Paris but we’ll tell you this – be prepared to have your jaw drop. Through a combination of dynamic sets, stunning and elaborate costumes, and mindboggling acrobatics, the Blue Bell girls are sure to steal your heart. 

Shop at Champs-Élysées

Take a stroll around one of the most famous shopping precincts of the world, the prestigious Champs-Élysées. Window shop the finest French fashion and maybe even take home authentic French designs that you can brag about for years to come. 

View Top Paris Cruises & Tours