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Fun Things to do in Paris


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city guide

Paris, city and capital of France, situated in the north-central part of the country. People were living on the site of the present-day city, located along the Seine River some 233 miles (375 km) upstream from the rivers mouth on the English Channel (La Manche), by about 7600 BCE. The modern city has spread from the island (the _le de la Cit̩) and far beyond both banks of the Seine.


Best time to go

For the warmest temperatures, October and April are the best times to visit Paris sans crowds. While visiting in December around the holidays is also a charming time, the concentration of tourists tends to increase from mid-December through the end of the year.


Fun city facts and activities

    You might as well admit defeat. It is nigh on impossible to see every sight, smell every smell and taste every taste in the glorious City of Light, and thinking you can is a one-way ticket to disappointment. That is unless you have multiple lifetimes, of course, in which case lucky you! Still, instead of lamenting the inevitable incompleteness of visiting Paris, we should celebrate the fact that a city like this most famous one can exist at all. After all, if impossible is going to be proven wrong anywhere, Paris will be that place. Paris is a city in constant flux, an ever-changing monolith of a town that simultaneously sets standards and defies them. In short, Paris is pretty darn awesome.

    Unsurprisingly, Paris is one of the most visited cities on the planet, with more than 30 million people making their way to La Ville Lumi̬re annually. What are all those people going to see? In our pick of the very best things to do in Paris, well cover almost all of them, from the historic basics to the throbbing underside of a city known as the cultural epicentre of Europe. That way, youll be able to prioritise the sights and sounds of Paris into multiple lists of your own, for your first trip, second trip, third trip and so on. Nobody visits Paris just once, after all.

    Paris is synonymous with history, culture, food, drink, art and just about everything else. It is the Elvis Presley of cities, a city even the aliens in far off galaxies are making plans to visit at some point.
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Canal Saint-Martin
    Haut Marais
    Batignolles. Architectural Landmark
    Bastille. Architectural Landmark
    Saint-Germain-des-Pr̩s. Architectural Landmark

Food Specialties

    Any trip to Paris is an opportunity to create incredible tasteful memories. Whether seeking out new and interesting flavors or revisiting old favorites, French foods inspire us to enjoy the culinary culture that continues to dazzle eaters around the world. We are no strangers to the wonderful foods of France, and on each visit to Paris, we find ourselves waxing rhapsodic about the many delicious experiences we have. Though our list could be much longer, here are the first few of many amazing French foods we must eat during every Paris vacation.

Paris Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Visit the Catacombs Get a unique glimpse of Paris' underground with a visit to the Catacombs. Located 20 meters below the city, the Catacombs are a network of tunnels filled with the remains of approximately 6 million Parisians.

2. Take a Boat Tour For a unique view of the city, take a boat tour down the Seine River. Enjoy the beauty of the city's bridges, monuments, and impressive architecture from the water.

3. Explore the Paris Sewers Take a guided tour of the famous Paris Sewers. Learn about the history and workings of the underground system that keeps Paris clean.

4. Visit Paris' Street Art Spend the day exploring some of Paris' most impressive street art. Visit the vibrant neighbourhoods of Belleville and M̩nilmontant to find some of the city's best street art.

5. Visit a Flea Market Explore the bustling flea markets of Paris

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is basically one giant playground, with streams to play in and a gazebo atop the hill. Children will love the alcove (complete with raging waterfall) or the view from the suspension bridge over the water. The hills make for some treacherous hikes, but that just means theres ample opportunity for tumbling down the grassy knolls. Down around the central pond, donkey rides and carnival games are a great way to round out the experience.

2. M̩nagerie du Jardin des Plantes
The M̩nagerie at the Jardin des Plantes has big cats, red pandas and a primate house to go ape over. While not the biggest, its the easiest zoo to get to and is extremely child-friendly. Fun fact: Parisians raided this zoo in 1870 during the Prussian siege, when sources of fresh protein were scarce. Kangaroo for tea, anyone?

3. LAtelier des Lumi̬res
This recently opened 300-square-metre studio space dedicated to digital art is a delight for little ones. A former iron foundry, this building remained empty for nearly two decades until Culturespaces decided to launch the citys first digital art centre. Its goal? To give the works of one artist so far, theyve had van Gogh and Klimt the attention they deserve by projecting them across the ten-metre-high walls using first-rate equipment including 140 film projectors with BARCO lasers.

4. Jardin dAcclimatation
The Jardin dAcclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne is a stonking success with French and foreign kids alike. Here youll find pony rides, puppet shows, acrobatic obstacle courses, a farm with livestock from the plains of Normandy and even an aviary with more than 200 birds. Jardin Plage is ideal during the summer, allowing kids to cool off with water-themed activities. There are enough workshops, nature-based attractions, physical activities and rides to keep them busy for days.

5. Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is just as fun as its American counterparts, with added European exoticism (Mickey speaks French fluently). Its a short train ride from the city, but worth the trek, because the two parks can be tackled in one day. Fans can meet and greet everyone from Goofy to Captain Hook. In autumn Disneyland hosts celebrations for both Halloween and Christmas. Consider the Fast Pass to avoid enormous queues.

6. Mus̩e de la Chasse et de la Nature
The Mus̩e de la Chasse et de la Nature brings together the trophies from various noblemens quests to Africa and beyond, and is one of many kid-friendly visits in the historic Marais area. The old mansion and its taxidermy displays will certainly capture their attention, as will the rooms packed with all sorts of rifles, crossbows and other hunting devices.

7. Les Catacombes
The original Paris Catacombes were built between the 17th and 18th century, right at the start of the citys effort to shore up its former stone quarries so as to reinforce the streets above (and prevent buildings collapsing). But with public burial pits overflowing during the Revolutionary Terror, the bones of six million Parisians were transferred here. These sinister tunnels 20 metres below the ground will never stop fascinating Parisians and tourists alike especially younger ones.

8. Jardin du Luxembourg
Puppet shows and pony rides are just the beginning at the Luxembourg gardens. The famous carousel, the citys oldest, was designed by the same architect behind the Op̩ra Garnier. The nearby playground is the standout here, with plenty of things to climb and jump on, though there is a small entry fee. The entire playground is fenced in, so mother hens need not worry about their little chicks running off too far.

9. Mus̩e Gr̩vin
The Gr̩vin wax museum predates Madame Tussauds, but the idea is the same. Just near the Grands Boulevards covered passages, the museum offers a goofy but worthwhile dose of French culture. Wax models of everyone from Napol̩on to C̩line Dion offer the chance to play whos who, and theres a weekend workshop that takes children through French history via their many wax mannequins.

10. Ch̢teau de Versailles
The beautiful Ch̢teau de Versailles can get very crowded, very quickly, especially in summer so we recommend heading out first thing in the morning to explore the Palace, or stick to the gardens and grounds, which are free. Grab a picnic from the local market (close to the station) and find a patch of grass in the park or by the Grand Canal. You could even hire a rowing boat for a gentle paddle.

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Best Parks

City data and FAQ 

What is Paris most know for?

Oh,so many things, its difficult to name. Le Tour Eiffel, Le Louvre, La Madeleine, Sacre Coeur, N̫tre Dame cathedral, Mus̩e dOrsay, Jardins des Tuilleries, P̬re Lachaise, Montmartre _to name just a few. Plus Jardins de Luxembourg and Versailles.
Gottlieb Florian von Eck - Lives in Munich, Germany
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities, if not the most beautiful city, of the world. The very name conjures up beauty, romance, love in the air, arts, culture and everything that makes life worth living.
Indra Kumar - Lives in Bengaluru, India

Paris is mainly known as the town where Monsieur Lasance and many other romantic men all over the world took their girlfriend and proposed to them.
Marcus Lasance - Lives in Limoges, France (2011 Present)

Is Paris worth visiting?

That depends on your tastes. If you dont like big cities, then no. If the idea of being in a city where most people speak a foreign language bothers you, then no. If the idea of French fine dining doesnt appeal to you, then no. If the idea of visiting some of the most famous art galleries in the world doesnt appeal to you, then no. If the idea of seeing some pretty old history doesnt appeal to you, then no. If the majority of these things appeal, to you, then yes.
Stuart Davis Lives in New York (1990 Present)

Yes, although in the past ten years, Paris lost its charm. But to see everything worth seeing in Paris and about, consider seven days !
Gottlieb Florian von Eck - Lives in Munich, Germany

Are two days enought to visit Paris?

You want to visit or to a cross race through the city. You need at least one week to visit Paris and see everything that needs to be seen. I suggest you get one of those hop on-hop off tour buses and buy a two days pass. You will get a taste of Paris but youll be rushing things.
Gottlieb Florian von Eck - Lives in Munich, Germany

No at all! But itll give you a taste of how amazing it is. And itll make you change your next vacation plans. The museums alone take forever, but worth it. To eat, PLEASE go to Au Pied de Cochon in Les Halles. Its delicious, not super expensive, and open 24 hrs. And for sure get their Cr̬me Brl̩e. Its the best. This restaurant is my fav.
Cristy Db

No , so if thats all the time you have pick 2 things you really want to see/do and Id put aside lots of time pour fl̢ner = just strolling around rather aimlessly enjoying the beauty and uniqueness of Paris .
William Michael Unwin

Do you need a car to visit Paris?

NOOOOOOO ! Dont get a car unless you want to go out and about. Try those hop-on hop-off buses or the subway (called M̩tro). Dont try to drive in Paris, especially if you are a tourist. Plus there is also a thing called parking.
Gottlieb Florian von Eck - Lives in Munich, Germany

Our last trip to Paris we left the car in Rouen and took the TGV for the last leg of the journey. If the trip hadn't been a detour on a journey back from Normandy to Germany we'd skipped the part of car completely and used the train for the whole trip. Car is 6 hours, train 2.5 hours. You don't want to drive in Paris. The traffic is crazy, parking is mostly non-existent and what is available is crazy expensive. Public transport is very good and walking is a great way to experience the city for shorter trips.
Beate Mieslinger - Lives in Karlsruhe, Germany (1992 Present)

No, and having driven a car in central Paris several times, it's a hindrance rather than in any way useful. Driving in Paris means fighting for limited space with other cars, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians, lots of one-way streets and limited and expensive parking. Given the excellent and reasonably priced public transport, I would avoid taking a car whenever you can.
Arjan K. - Lives in The Netherlands (1976 Present)

Not at all. If youre thinking about getting to the city, theres good train and plane service. Rapid transit lines (the RER) run from the airport into the city centre. The main one is line B and its about 30 minutes from the Chatelet station on the right bank (a huge interchange, so maybe not the best place for a newcomer to get off, but this gives you an idea of the timing.) The St Michel station in the Latin Quarter is just a few minutes farther.
Janet Savin - Lives in The South of France

You don t need a car to visit only Paris. There is subway network and train network that is very efficient. However if you plan on visiting outside Paris, then maybe renting a car is advisable.
Alexandre Chetrite Lives in Paris (2013 Present)

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