When one thinks of Paris, landmarks and history are the two things that come to mind. True, Paris houses many of the world’s beautiful sights, but visiting and sightseeing aren’t the only things to do in Paris.
Paris is beautiful in every single way. From its overly crowded yet awe-inspiring tourist spots, their perfected cuisine, to its sometimes misunderstood people, Paris should be on everyone’s bucket list.
In this article, we explore its famous sights to revel and get an overview of their natural wine bars to enjoy.
Sightseeing & Shopping
The iconic 300-meter (324 meters, if you count the tip) tower is one of the most viewed structures in the world. No visitor should ever miss it.
You shouldn’t waste your visit to the tower without going up its different levels. There you’ll see picturesque Paris at different heights and maybe even catch the sunset before closing time.
Much as you would love to see the tower light up the city (powered by 20,000 bulbs), it’s against the law to take photos of it at night. You’ll just have to resort to the image of it being seared into your mind.
In Paris, you’ll do more than just revel at the height of the Eiffel Tower. You won’t run out of things to do in Paris because the city is filled with many cultural and historical places and gastronomic delights.
Most tourists recommend you book tickets two months in advance if you need to go up the tower. To book tickets, here’s the website to get access to the different levels of the tower.
Maybe you’ve watched The Da Vinci Code and you spot a glass pyramid. You’re thinking, maybe that’s just it? Is it that small?
Nah, that’s just the Louvre pyramid.
The huge Renaissance structure surrounding the pyramid is the Louvre museum.
It was once a palace, but today it houses a collection of paintings and other artworks for its visitor to gawk and snap for their ‘gram. Of course, a trip to the Louvre cannot be complete without viewing its most famous painting, the Mona Lisa.
To sneak a peek of the famous da Vinci painting, you’ll have to get in line since the painting attracts over 30,000 visitors daily.
Put this in your things to do in Paris list or else you’ll miss it.
You can book a ticket in advance to view the museum on their website.
Champs-Élysées & Arc de Triomphe
In one of your sightseeing trips, if you’re in Champs-Élysées, you’ll also view the majestic Arc de Triomphe.
Once you’ve taken in the sight of the Arc de Triomphe, take a stroll on the sophisticated Champs-Élysées. On the long stretch, you can go shopping on the best luxury brands, delight in the best French cuisine, and engross in film or theatre.
If you can spare more time, you can watch cabaret shows as well.
If you’re in Champs-Élysées on the first Sunday of the month, you can walk on the avenue or ride a bicycle since it’s a vehicle-free zone.
It’s where you can cross off many places in your list of things to do in Paris.
On the Seine, you can visit the Pont Neuf, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and Musée d’Orsay.
While on the Seine, you’re most likely stepping foot on Île de la Cité too. It’s the heart of Paris and the Notre Dame Cathedral stands on it too.
Even if the Cathedral’s under renovation due to the April 15, 2019 spire fire, don’t miss out on the majesty that is Notre Dame Cathedral.
At the time of writing, Notre Dame closed its inside viewing towers and treasures due to the construction. You may still appreciate its exterior gothic structure.
Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge on the Seine. On the bridge, you can snap photos of the Seine, but if you want to see the bridge in its glory, you can take a river cruise along the Seine. It’s another vantage point to see the other sights as well.
If you’re keen on seeing more paintings and other artwork, take a trip to Musee d’Orsay, located on the left bank of the Seine. Here, you can find Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, his self-portrait and the dazzling Starry Night.
If you like impressionist paintings, Monet’s paintings are on exhibit as well.
If you want to shop for books, you can drop by Shakespeare and Company, also located on the left bank. It’s on the opposite side the Notre Dame Cathedral.
For book aficionados, you can find rare books by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kerouac, Hemingway, and Joyce. These rare books, despite their minimal tatters due to time and environment, still has its charms. If you’ve got more money to spare, you might end up buying one of their original prints.
The Versailles Palace was once the residence of the French monarchy until Louis XVI was overthrown during the French Revolution. Since 1837, it became a Museum of the History of France.
You can visit the following areas while in Versailles:
- The Palace
- The Gardens
- The Estate of Trianon
The Palace has a whopping 2,300 rooms. The Palace is so huge you might get lost. Inside the Palace, you can view the Hall of Mirrors, The King’s State Apartment, The Gallery of Great Battles, Historic Galleries, and so much more.
If you want to take a walk and be in awe of the preserved fountains, greeneries, and other sights of the park, you can visit the Gardens as well.
On the Estate of Trianon, don’t miss out on the English Gardens, where you’ll see the Love Monument.
You may need to dedicate a whole day or two if you want to marvel at its magnificence because the whole Estate stretches around 1976.84 acres.
You may not live like a royal while visiting Versailles, but it’s still one of the most beautiful places to visit and the best things to do in Paris.
The Wall of Love
If you want to learn other languages while in France, you can check out the Wall of Love (Le Mur des Je t’aime). It’s a place where people can find love and peace amidst the horrors of reality and territorial barriers.
On the wall, you would see 250 languages and 311 different declarations of I love you.
Side note: to say “I love you” in French, it’s “Je t’aime”.
Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck
If you’d like to see another panoramic view of Paris aside from the Eiffel Tower, your other alternative is the 210-meter commercial Montparnasse Tower.
In 38 seconds, you can reach the Observation Deck and see Paris from another vantage point Atop the Observation Deck, you can get a view of the Eiffel Tower from afar. Aside from those, you can catch the sunset and watch the Eiffel Tower light up at night.
When one thinks of Paris, visiting the Catacombs isn’t at the top of travelers’ things to do in Paris list.
Despite it being eerie, the Catacombs is rich in history. It holds the bones of over 6 million Parisians. This was because of the rising numbers of health issues at the time, and skeletons had to be transferred to an underground site.
To climb down the catacombs, you’ll have to walk 131 flights of stairs and will take you an hour to discover the ossuary in all its spooky glory.
Over 500,000 visitors go to the site annually, and you’ll need to book a ticket to check out the site.
The Pompidou Centre holds exhibitions and houses bookshops. They house modern art collections that span for more than a century. Picasso, Dali’s, and Matisse’s works are on display.
Not only that, the architecture of the Pompidou Centre represents the 20th century. The use of steel and glass are reminiscent of the Industrial Age.
Maybe before or after your walk to the Champs-Élysées, you can get a “view of Paris” and the Galerie for free on the first Sunday of the month.
You can also attend a guided tour by a lecturer on the first Sunday of the month as well to get more information about their existing collections.
If you’re missing out on the Notre Dame, you can head on over to the Sacré-Cœur. But there’s a catch.
To view the interior of the Sacré-Cœur, you’ll need to hike 270 steps just to see the Sacré-Cœur up close and the Basilica interior.
That’s a lot of stairs! However, if you’re not considering going inside the church, you can watch the sunset on the steps.
Eating French cuisine is the most essential things to do in Paris. The French are known to create the most sophisticated dishes in the world. The chefs master techniques to ensure that French cuisine is presented with the highest standards.
Pastries in Angelina
Angelina is a renowned tea house in Paris. To get the full experience, go to the first-ever Angelina, which is at 226 Rue de Rivoli. The interior is already a delight to view because of the Art Deco details, paintings, and mirrors that decorate the tea house.
Coco Chanel had her table at the Angelina. “Ask for Table 45 if it’s vacant,” says Angelina.
Aside from their famous Mont-Blanc and African hot chocolate, you can eat lunch or dinner with their savory dishes and have tea and other desserts like macarons and chocolates afterward.
What’s a trip to France without tasting an authentic crêpe? It’s one of the things you shouldn’t miss out while in France because those tasty thin pancakes are found everywhere on the streets of Paris.
To order one crepe, you can say, “Je voudrais une crêpe, s’il vous plait.” It means, “I want one crepe, please.”
11th Arrondissement Bars
The 11th Arrondissement is a haven for wine connoisseurs because of the diversified selection of wine bars in the area. It’s one of the hippest and trendiest districts in Paris.
You may have difficulty snagging a seat in the 11th Arrondissement bars listed below. The bars are small and have a few tables and chairs available for their guests. Still, you can enjoy a glass of natural wine in the bar whether standing or seated with your companions.
Yard Cave is one of the many tapas bars in the 11th Arrondissement. According to those who’ve dined, they say it was worth finding the small wine bar because of the fresh food served and the great selection of wines available.
To get more information about their wines and food, you can check out their website before your visit. However, the website’s in French.
If you want to check out their natural wine selection, click on Vin Naturel. From there, you’ll see wines ranging from $9.00 to $450.00. If you see wine’s “épuisé”, it means it’s sold out.
To visit Yard Cave, via the train, take the Metro Line 2 and exit the Philippe Auguste station.
Camille Fourmont, the founder of La Buvette, opened the tiny wine bar back in 2013. Since then, it’s a place to chill and enjoy high quality (leaning on the expensive side) natural wines. Still, this doesn’t hold back those who want to experience enjoying a glass of wine or two in a small intimate area.
They don’t accept reservations so you can drop by but don’t expect to be seated since there are only four tables available.
Chambre Noire is a hole in the wall wine bar that receives many praises for its ambiance. Also, it seems that Chambre Noire has a reputation of being “lawless” and “carefree” with their natural wine bar. Despite such, young people still flock to the wine bar and enjoy wine their way.
Those who’ve dined in Chambre Noire find the food and wine were delicious. Also, it’s a great place to chill because it’s quiet.
Like La Buvette, they don’t accept reservations either.
La Cave de Septime
Once a shoe repair shop, the owners of Septime made an overhaul of the old shoe repair shop and turned it into one of the most visited wine bars in the district.
Before making your booking to Septime, you can check out their menu on the website. It can be difficult to book a reservation in the restaurant. You’ll need to make a reservation for three weeks in advance.
But of course, there’s always La Cave de Septime right across the street, serving natural wines. You won’t get hungry in the wine bar since they serve small plates as well. You wouldn’t need to take out too many Euros to enjoy a drink or two of their natural wines either.
In the wine bar too, you have a wide selection of quality wines that even bartenders can help you choose your poison if you’re uncertain of what to try.
12th Arrondissement Bars
While the 12th Arrondissement doesn’t get much recognition, it still boasts natural wine bars that many still venture on their trip to Paris.
Les Caves de Prague
Les Caves de Prague offers a wide variety of wines, as you can see when you enter the wine bar. Who knows, you might even snag a bottle of natural wine after you dine.
Grab a bite in the wine bar too, since their food is fresh and excellent, as noted by the diners and drinkers. To try their delicious food, make a reservation and enjoy your dining experience during lunch or dinner.
Le Baron Rouge
Le Baron Rouge is a wine bar many locals hang out in after work. The place could be filled that you might find yourself on the pavement because you’re unable to squeeze inside the tiny bar. You’ll find locals hanging out here on Sunday afternoons as well.
Tip: Locals also bring their bottles to fill with natural wine straight from the barrels. So bring those bottles along on your stop at Le Baron Rouge.
One will never run out of things to do in Paris because in every district, there’s so much to discover. You’ll see from the sights alone that Paris maintained their glory and sophistication and no wonder their city is well-loved and visited time and time again.
Apart from sightseeing, natural wine bars are also all the rage in Paris. One shouldn’t miss out on an experience, being cramped with tourists and locals alike just to indulge in natural wine as it should be enjoyed.
Even if Paris has expensive restaurants and natural wines, it’s still worth the visit.