I’m not gonna lie, I think doing touristy things can be awfuly cheesy.
But when it’s your first time visiting a new place, it IS a shame to skip out on seeing all those world-famous tourist sites.
So, let’s continue with the second part of the Touristy Things To Do in Paris series, which I hope will be useful for those who are visiting Paris for the very first time.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to read Part 1.
Now, I know many would argue that this list is not complete. And I agree, there are many many Oh, so Parisian! things that one could do while visiting Paris.
But, if you are only passing through the city for a couple of days and you are pressed for time, then these are the places and activities that are a must!
6) Visit The Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur is the beautiful cathedral that’s sitting on top of the hill of Montmartre. While the inside of the cathedral is well worth a look, the real reason to come up here is the stunning view of the city of Paris from the top of the hill.
On a sunny day, you can come prepared with a basket filled with sandwiches and a bottle of wine, sit out on the grassy knoll and have yourself a nice little picnic. Along with the rest of the world, who’ll probably have the same brilliant idea as you.
In the same area, you can find lots of cute little shops, restaurants and café’s. And many small and quiet cobbled paths for you to explore.
7) Climb Montparnasse
Montparnasse is quite easy to spot as it is the only skyscraper within the city limits of Paris.
Almost all the buildings in Paris adhere to the same elegant look and height of six floors. So Montparnasse, with its 59 floors and outdated 70s mod look, is really the odd one out.
But even though Montparnasse is the ugly and embarrassing hulk of Parisian architecture, the view provided at the top is even better than the one that you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
People say it’s the best view, because when you’re on top of Montparnasse, you can’t see the ugly building you’re standing on!
8) Ride the Bateaux-Mouches
This is an easy (ahem, lazy) way to take in a lot of different sights. Just hop on one of the boats that cruise up and down the Seine river.
During the ride, the sights are pointed out and explained to the passengers. I would recommend doing a boat ride especially during the summer, when you can sit out on the deck and enjoy the breeze and wave to the people sitting on the river bank.
Many of the boats also offer a dining experience. Among the different dining boats to choose from, I’ve ridden on the Calife. It’s not a typical bateau-mouche, but I recommend it for its quaint charm and appetizing menu.
9) Go On A Bike Tour
This is a more active way to get around and learn about different historical sights. Although I’ve never been on a bike tour before, I recommend going on one because everyone I’ve seen biking around in a tour group always looks so happy!
There are different kinds of bike tours you can go on. You can go on a night time bike tour, hidden treasures of Paris bike tour, and even a wine bike tour! If you’re concerned about the safety of going on such a tour, it’s good to know that Paris is very bike friendly and the tour will probably only take you through the safest routes.
10) Visit the Arc De Triomphe
The Arc De Triomphe is the magnificent arch at the end of the Champs-Elysées avenue.
It is probably the third most iconic structure of Paris (after the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame cathedral). It was built in honor of soldiers who fought and died during different French wars, and etched on the walls are hundreds of names of soldiers.
For those who are interested in military history, there is an “eternal” flame that burns under the arch in honor of the unknown dead soldiers from both world wars.
You can also climb the arch to get a panoramic view of Paris. Afterwards, you can make your way down along the Champs-Elysées and go into all the different luxury name brand stores.
While you’re here…
Take a little bit of time to sit outside one of the café’s and sip on an adorably small cup of espresso. It’s a great way to relax and do some people watching. This is definitely one of those activities that are oh, so Parisian!
So there you go.
Now hopefully, you have some ideas of all the famous places to visit in Paris!