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Best Rooftop Bars in Paris by Arrondissement

French Side Travel presents the Best Rooftop Bars in Paris! The City of Lights shimmers with romance, history, and undeniable elegance. But beyond the cobblestone streets and iconic landmarks lies another captivating perspective: the Parisian skyline. Imagine sipping a perfectly crafted cocktail as the sun dips below the horizon, or taking in the breathtaking panorama of the Eiffel Tower from a perch above the bustling Champs-Élysées.


ROOF at Hôtel Madame Rêve

1st Arrondissement

Courtesy of Hôtel Madame Rêve

ROOF at Hôtel Madame Rêve transforms the Parisian skyline in the 1st arrondissement. This sprawling rooftop terrace blossoms into a lush urban oasis. Imagine handcrafted cocktails amidst a verdant escape, savoring Japanese-inspired bites with every breathtaking vista. Iconic landmarks like Notre Dame, Pantheon, and Beaubourg emerge against the panoramic Parisian canvas. Unwind in this sanctuary, soak in the city’s magic, and experience a whole new perspective on the City of Lights.

Cocktail of Choice: Summer Garden

Gin Hendrick’s, Plant Caviar, Saint-Germain, & Prosecco


Le Tout-Paris at Cheval Blanc

2nd Arrondissement

Courtesy of Le Tout-Paris

Sip on Parisian perfection at Cheval Blanc. This Michelin-starred brasserie, seven floors above the Seine, boasts a glamorous bar with panoramic city views. Art Deco elegance meets modern energy as you sip innovative cocktails beneath the watchful gaze of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Le Tout-Paris lets you experience the Parisian skyline in a sophisticated and bubbly atmosphere.

Cocktail of Choice: Gamay Rosé

Lemongrass infused Gin, Rosé grape Cordial, Peychaud bitter, & Champagne


Rooftop National at Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers

3rd Arrondissement

© DR

Unwind in style at the trendy rooftop bar of Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers in the 3rd arrondissement. Savor creative cocktails with breathtaking Parisian rooftop views. The Eiffel Tower and Sacré-Coeur peek over the city skyline, creating a magical backdrop for your evening. This vibrant escape offers an unforgettable experience under the Parisian sky.

Cocktail of Choice: Hysteria

Fair Vodka, Passion Fruit, Htheoria Liquor, Matiha Skinos, & Lime Cordial


Bonnie at SO/ Paris

4th Arrondissement

Courtesy of SO/ Paris

Soar above the Parisian skyline at Bonnie, a restaurant, bar, and club perched atop the SO/ Paris hotel in the 4th arrondissement. The Space Age-inspired design transports you to a futuristic wonderland, complete with panoramic views and a mirrored ceiling that creates a trippy, gravity-defying effect. Bonnie isn’t just about the view, though. It offers a chic Parisian atmosphere with a New York twist, serving up creative gourmet dishes from breakfast to dinner.

Cocktail of Choice: 20$ Punch

Rum Flor de Caña 12 años, Amaro Montenegro, Maraschino Luxardo, & Cherry Soda


Dar Mima at the Institut du Monde Arabe

5th Arrondissement

Courtesy of Paris Society

Embark on a journey at Dar Mima, a rooftop gem atop the Institut du Monde Arabe. Savor fragrant cocktails infused with Eastern spices and signature dishes inspired by Fatima Debbouze’s recipes. This unique Parisian escape lets you soak in cityscapes and cultural immersion, all under the twinkling night sky.

Cocktail of Choice: Easal

Cinnamon Nutmeg Rum, Dates, Verjus, & Honey Mousse


Bar de la Dame des Arts at Hôtel Dame des Arts

6th Arrondissement

© Ludovic Balay

Perched atop the Hôtel Dame des Arts, Bar de la Dame des Arts is a Parisian nightlife jewel. Savor bespoke cocktails and Champagne with breathtaking 360-degree views of the City of Lights. Immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance and create unforgettable memories.

Cocktail of Choice: Aloe-Ha

Tequila Vecinidad, Dry Curaçao, Aloe Vera Syrup, Cucumber, Lime, Salt, & Wasabi


Bramble at Les Ombres

7th Arrondissement

Courtesy of Ducasse Paris

Savor innovative cocktails with a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower at Bramble. Nestled atop the Musée du Quai Branly, this open-air bar offers a unique Parisian experience. Crafted by award-winning mixologist Margot Combat, drinks prioritize local ingredients and minimal waste. It’s a picture-perfect escape for a memorable evening.

Cocktail of Choice: Bramble Negroni

Gin, Campari, Red Vermouth, Blackcurrant Bitter, Absinthe, & Redcurrant


MUN on the Champs Élysées

8th Arrondissement

Courtesy of MUN

Escape to MUN, a rooftop oasis in Paris’ 8th arrondissement. This restaurant transcends dining, offering panoramic cityscapes as your backdrop. Immerse yourself in a glittering boudoir setting, where Asian artistry meets French charm. Savor exquisite Asian cuisine – a feast for both your eyes and your palate. MUN promises an unforgettable sensory experience.

Cocktail of Choice: Sakura

Beefeater 24 Gin infused with Sakura Tea, Saké Rosé, Sakura Shrub, & Raspberry Syrup


Perruche at Printemps Haussmann

9th Arrondissement

Courtesy of Paris Society

Indulge at Perruche, a verdant rooftop haven above Printemps Haussmann. Savor Provençal delights and refreshing cocktails under Parisian skies. Soak in breathtaking city views as plates and laughter are shared with friends. Perruche offers a taste of the good life, season after season.

Cocktail of Choice: Mentonnais

Gin Bombay Sapphire, Italicus, Bergamot Oléo Saccharum, Fresh Lime Juice, & Egg White


The best rooftop bars in Paris offer a taste of the city’s magic alongside breathtaking views. But a rooftop cocktail is just one sip of the Parisian experience. Speak with our experts today to start crafting your perfect Parisian adventure!

Five Unique Summer Experiences in France: Part Two

With summer travel planning in full-swing, we’re excited to share part two of our list of five unique summer experiences in France. Read on to discover more about this year’s Tour de France and Tour des Femmes, Fête Nationale, and more.


Five Unique Summer Experiences in France: Part Two

Via Ferrata – Hiking and Rock Climbing with a View of Mont Blanc

via ferrata chamonix unique summer expriences in france

Beginners and experienced climbers, adults and children alike can enjoy the fun of the vertical world of via ferrata. This activity is a cross between hiking and rock climbing. Go along routes equipped with cables, ladders, and rope bridges and across rock faces and crags. This particular via ferrata route looks directly at the stunning Mont Blanc. The Chamonix Valley is a wonderful place to experience this unique activity, and the Evettes via ferrata guarantees enormous fun and adventure. You’ll safely push your limits on a varied route with a professional guide.

Celebrate La Fête Nationale – Bastille Day

bastille day paris 2023


The French Fête Nationale marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789, a turning point in the French revolution. It also marks the Fête de la Fédération, which celebrates the unity of the French people on July 14th, 1790. Since 1880, July 14th has officially been the Fête Nationale. It symbolizes the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the French Republic. Celebrations are held throughout France. In major cities like Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Toulouse, you’ll find military parades, games, shows and entertainment for the whole family. There are spectacular fireworks shows as well, especially in Paris at the Eiffel Tower.

Where to Stay in Paris
hotel san regis

Hôtel San Régis

Tucked away in a charming and secluded street at the heart of the ‘Golden Triangle’ in Paris, this 5-star hotel is ideally located to enjoy the lively Champs-Elysées district, Avenue Montaigne and the Grand Palais. This hotel was built in the 19th century and is owned by the same family since 1923.

Each of the 30 bedrooms and 12 Suites has its own distinctive style, furnished with sumptuous fabrics from the finest houses, complementing the antique and period furniture.The rooms in the hotel are spacious and offer large closets. They are all equipped with modern facilities: large beds, a LED television with multimedia services, high speed WiFi, mini bar, and courtesy tray.

The restaurant, under the glass roof, serves continental cuisine as well as à la carte. You can also enjoy drinks in the bar.

Tour de France and Tour des Femmes

tour de france in paris

The 109th edition of the Tour de France is back again this year from July 1st to July 23rd. The race is set to depart in the Basque Country. It will cover over 2,100 miles of cycling and span all five mountain ranges in France. If you happen to be in Paris on July 23rd, don’t miss the final stage of the Tour de France. The finish line is on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Spectators can cheer on the riders around Place de la Concorde and the Quai des Tuileries. The end of the Tour de France in Paris marks the beginning of the Tour des Femmes, the second women’s cycle stage race around France. The Tour des Femmes takes place from July 23rd to July 30th.

Private Guided Bike Tour of the Périgord Noir

dordogne region

Meet with your passionate local guide and depart from Sarlat onto the famous Voie Verte track – a traffic-free route perfect for cycling. You’ll ride along an old railway line and discover the landscapes of Dordogne. You’ll see bucolic forests, green countryside, and typical small villages along the route.

This flat route is simple and accessible for the whole family. During the day, stop and discover several small villages typical of the Périgord Noir – especially Aillac and Calviac. For lunch, you can choose between a picnic in a shady area along the Dordogne River or a restaurant serving local specialties.

Your route takes you along the wild banks of the Dordogne, the last great swimmable river in Europe. In the afternoon, why not take a refreshing dip in the cool water. There will be plenty of time to swim or relax on the riverbank.

Where to Stay in the Dordogne
domaine de rochebois dordogne hotel

Domaine de Rochebois

Located six kilometers from Sarlat-la-Canéda, in the heart of the Périgord Noir, this luxurious five-star accommodation is more than a wonderful place to be.

The hotel offers 40 rooms and suites, designed in a contemporary style. Each room is elegantly furnished and beautifully decorated with colors representing the Périgord region. Most of the rooms have private balconies and terraces that offer a wonderful panoramic view.

During your stay, you can relax and rejuvenate at the spa or enjoy the golf course. You can also keep up with your fitness routine in the fully equipped fitness center and swimming pool of the hotel.

The restaurant serves authentic and traditional cuisine that skillfully blends French gastronomy with exotic flavors.

Private Guided Châteaux Tour and Boat Ride in the Loire Valley

loire river in amboise

Join a licensed guide for an incredible private tour and day experiencing the best of the Loire Valley. Start the day with a visit to the royal Fontevraud Abbey. The lives of Eleanor of Aquitaine, her husband Henry II Plantagenet, and their son Richard the Lionheart are on display in the abbey church, reminiscing about the abbey’s glorious past. While walking along the cloister and visiting the chapter house or the kitchens of the Royal Abbey, you can discover what daily life was like for the nuns that used to call the Fontevraud Abbey their home.

After the visit, relax on a boat ride on the Loire River. You’ll enjoy a delicious lunch of regional specialties complete with a wine tasting aboard the boat.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Château de Villandry, one of the last castles built during the renaissance period, where you will discover the finest example of a renaissance garden design in all of France.


We hope part two of five unique summer experiences in France helps inspire a trip later this year. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Five Unique Summer Experiences in France: Part One

Visiting France in the summer is always a popular choice thanks to mild temperatures and an endless variety of activities, both outdoors and indoors. Every year there are numerous special events not to be missed. Read on to discover part one of French Side Travel’s list of five unique summer experiences in France.


Five Unique Summer Experiences in France: Part One

La Fête de la Musique

la fete de la musique france

Each June 21st in France is La Fête de la Musique, the same day as the summer solstice and longest day of the year. 2023 marks the 41st edition of this free event that takes part all across France – in both major cities and rural communities. La Fête de la Musique celebrates live music of all kinds and is open to both amateurs and professionals alike. People gather in the streets to enjoy concerts and performances that go well into the night. If you are in France on June 21st, celebrating La Fête de la Musique is a must!

Disneyland Paris Dream Day

disneyland paris

Your Disney VIP guide and storyteller and Disney Experience Coordinator (your personal assistant) will accompany you throughout this wonderful day to Disneyland Paris. Along with your VIP guide, you will explore the park, take in the shows and parades from private seating areas, meet the renowned Disney Characters, discover the one-of-a-kind delicious dining, and much more. Last but not the least, you’ll have the best access at Disneyland with Black Level which includes instant access to selfie spots and exclusive entrances to the most popular attractions. To make this day even more unique, a professional lifestyle photographer will join you to make sure the fabulous memories are captured.

Where to Stay in Paris
hotel bel ami paris

Hôtel Bel Ami

This 5-Star boutique hotel is located on the Left Bank. When you stay here you’ll be right in the heart of Paris’ famed Saint-Germain-de-Prés and the neighboring Latin Quarter. The Louvre Museum is just a 10-minute walk away, and many of the city’s favorite attractions can be discovered on foot.

Relive your passion for good food in the hotel’s restaurant with its chic and contemporary settings. The delicious gourmet cuisine is prepared with fresh organic produce in a welcoming atmosphere. On weekends enjoy the scrumptious and healthy brunch and tour around Saint-Germain-des-Pres.

A spa, sauna, and fitness center are provided for your comfort. The onsite bar serves creative cocktails and is a great place to unwind with a snack and a drink. For travelers arriving in the morning, a relaxation room is at your disposal for a shower or changing your clothes before beginning to discover the city.

This property is perfect for travelers interested in the food, culture, and art offerings abundant in Paris’s 6th Arrondissement between the two most famous cafés in the area: Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots.

Photography and Theater Festivals in Arles and Avignon

les rencontres d'arles five unique summer experiences in france

In 1970, Les Rencontres d’Arles was founded. It highlights eclectic and contemporary photography in Arles, the international capital of photography. Numerous exhibits take place throughout Arles in emblematic locations, many of which are usually closed to the public. A must-see is the Luma Museum, an architectural wonder designed by Frank Gehry and filled with contemporary art. This year, Les Rencontres d’Arles is from July 3rd to September 24th.

Also in July, in neighboring Avignon, is the Festival d’Avignon. The city of Avignon transforms into a theater as a celebration of contemporary performing arts. Performances take place throughout the city in both iconic and unexpected locations. There is a focus on sharing contemporary and living culture, so along with the shows there are also readings, exhibits, films, and discussions. This year’s Festival d’Avignon runs from July 5th to July 25th.

See the Verdon Region and Vibrant Lavender Fields in Provence

provence lavender fields

Northeast Provence is famous for its incredible landscapes. The Verdon River snakes between olive groves and lavender fields with the Alps in the background. Spend a relaxing morning in the most impressive canyon in France on an electric boat. You will discover a unique perspective of the Sainte-Croix Lake, typical Provençal villages, and colorful street markets.

Explore Moustier-Sainte-Marie, one of the most beautiful villages of France and famous around the world for its earthenware tradition. Visit one of the last artisanal workshops still operating in the village. Stroll to the Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir Chapel at the top of the hill, which offers an amazing panorama of the Provençal rolling landscapes.

Then stop at the Valensole plateau to take in the blooming, fragrant lavender fields. You won’t soon forget this vibrant moment, filled with violet colors and exceptional views.

Dinner Cruise with Fireworks on the Côte d’Azur

cannes firework show

For a special summer experience on the Côte d’Azur, consider taking a dinner cruise complete with a firework show. Cruises depart from Cannes and feature a cruise around the Îles des Lérins with a stop on Île Sainte Marguerite. Dinner will be served on board as the boat heads back towards the Croisette to watch the dazzling firework spectacle. It is also possible to go on a cruise to watch the fireworks without a meal from Nice.

Where to Stay in Cannes
terre blanche hotel spa golf resort

Terre Blanche Hôtel Spa Golf Resort

An exotic and luxurious 5-Star resort hotel nestled in the heart of Provence and surrounded by peaceful settings. Away from the monotonous everyday life, the hotel is an ideal place to return to the cradle of nature.

The large hotel rooms and villas are equipped with all modern amenities and are perfect for relaxation. Children and adults alike can explore the flora and fauna of the area and have fun in the various recreational activities available on-site.

The two tennis courts offer lessons for the interested players and courts for the experienced ones. The extravagant golf course carved out of the lakes, small waterfalls and the surrounding greenery provides training and a place to indulge in the game. The four restaurants offer light and colorful lunches, gourmet cuisines, and kid-friendly meals for all. The wine cellars have the best wines presented in a wide range.

The hotel is also eco-friendly with their earthworks treated on-site for construction, safe waste management, and reliable energy management. The establishment firmly believes in the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle.


We hope part one of this list of five unique summer experiences in France helps inspire a trip later this year. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

10 Essential Loire Valley Châteaux

Thanks to an abundance of vineyards, orchards, and artichoke and asparagus fields, the Loire Valley is often referred to as both the “Cradle of the French” and the “Garden of France.” It’s a region filled with charm and history as well as notable towns, wines, architecture, and over 300 châteaux. We’ve narrowed down our picks for 10 essential Loire Valley châteaux to visit.


10 Essential Loire Valley Châteaux

Château de Chambord

chateau de chambord 10 loire valley châteaux

Château de Chambord is an exceptional masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1965, François I built the Château de Chambord as a hunting lodge. It’s the largest château in the Loire Valley and most prestigious of the French Renaissance châteaux. Leonardo da Vinci inspired parts of the château, particularly the double-helix staircase.

From the terraces you’ll find incredible views of the fascinating architecture of the château and the entire estate. You could easily spend a day exploring the domaine on foot, by bike, or on horseback.

relais de chambord

Unique Stay: Relais de Chambord
Just a four minute walk from the castle, you’ll find this small and refined 4-star boutique hotel in an unrivaled location. With captivating views around every turn, you’ll get to know each turret and spire of the castle’s famous rooftop skyline.
Each room is unique and filled with natural light. Some rooms offer a view of the Château de Chambord, while others overlook the river, Place Saint-Louis or the forest. Guests can enjoy hot air balloon rides over the estate, boat tours along the Cosson River, 4×4 safari rides through Chambord’s reserve and more.

Château de Blois

The town of Blois is located in the heart of the Loire Valley. It’s home to one of the most iconic châteaux in the area and is also a recognized Ville d’Art et d’Histoire (Town of Art and History).

The Royal Château of Blois is a true synthesis of the art and history of the Loire Valley châteaux. The four distinct wings are a prime example of the diversity of styles and architecture over the centuries. Be sure to take a moment in the courtyard to admire the four architectural styles: the 13th century Medieval fortress, the Louis XII Gothic wing, the François I Renaissance wing, and the Gaston of Orleans Classical wing. Over time, seven French kings and 10 queens lived at this royal château.

Château d’Amboise and Château du Clos Lucé

chateau d'ambois chateau clos luce 10 loire valley châteaux

The Château d’Amboise has a picture-perfect setting overlooking the Loire River and the charming town of Amboise. It holds an impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance furniture. The council chamber and the royal chamber are absolute must-sees.

Amboise is also the location of Leonardo da Vinci’s last home, the Château du Clos Lucé. This relatively small 15th century palace was the childhood home of François I. The château is especially well-known because Leonardo da Vinci spent his final three years living here as a guest of the king. Today, the Château du Clos Lucé is a museum dedicated to the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci. You can see Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb on the grounds of the Saint-Hubert chapel at the Château d’Amboise.

Château de Beauregard

chateau de beauregard

One of our favorite smaller châteaux in the Loire Valley is the privately-owned Château de Beauregard. Built at the end of the 15th century and set on an expansive 173-acre estate, it houses an exceptional portrait gallery featuring 327 European monarchs, ministers, clergymen, and diplomats among others.

Want to Be King of the Castle?
Enjoy a private tour of the Château de Beauregard followed by a wine and cheese tasting with an oenologist. This exclusive experience takes place in the late afternoon on a château terrace. You’ll be able to watch the setting sun with a glass of local wine in hand. Truly an unforgettable moment!

Château Azay-le-Rideau

Château Azay-le-Rideau is perfectly set on an island in the middle of the Indre River. This 16th century is an early example of French Renaissance architecture blending French tradition with innovative Italian decorative arts. Thanks to both the beauty of the château and its sublime natural setting, Azay-le-Rideau is one of the most popular châteaux to visit in the Loire Valley.

Château de Chenonceau

10 loire valley châteaux

This prestigious château spans the River Cher. Château de Chenonceau is known as the Château des Dames because of the women who built, expanded, defended, restored and ultimately saved it. Built by Catherine Briçonnet in 1513, it was later embellished and transformed by the likes of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici.

Be sure to visit the garden of Diane de Poitiers, a “floating” parterre created in the Renaissance. You’ll also want to see Catherine de’ Medici’s Italian-style maze and separate smaller garden facing the lake and the park. To the north, there is an English-style Green Garden. Last but not least, visit the Flower Garden where you’ll find over 100 varieties of “cutting flowers” used for the château’s floral arrangements. Yes – the château does organize floral workshops!

Château Chaumont-sur-Loire

10 loire valley châteaux

Set the banks of the Loire River, Château Chaumont-sur-Loire blends defensive Gothic architecture with aesthetically pleasing Renaissance architecture. The landscaped English-style grounds offer a spectacular, unique vista of the untamed Loire.

Each year between the end of April and November, the Festival International des Jardins invites landscape artists from all over the world to dream up and create extraordinary gardens on a different theme each year. The theme this year is “Biomimicry in the Garden” which proposes ambitious and exemplary creations that feature fresh and contemporary scenes, aiming to surprise, give understanding and capture imaginations all at once. The festival goes through November 7th.

Château de Villandry

chateau de villandry garden

The Château de Villandry is one of the most impressive of the Loire Valley châteaux. While the château itself is beautiful, the extensive gardens are the highlight of any visit.

The château is best-known for its formal French-style garden. There are also several smaller gardens in various styles that are worth exploring. Our favorites include the vegetable garden, the ornamental garden, the water garden, the sun garden, and the herb garden.

Built in the early 16th-century, Château de Villandry was the last Renaissance-style castle constructed in the Loire Valley. The interior of the Château de Villandry, although less frequented than the gardens, is well worth a visit. Highlights include the kitchen, the main staircase and dining room (classified historical monuments), and the ceiling in the oriental drawing room.

Château de Brézé

Classified as a Historic Monument, Château de Brézé is unique because of its remarkably well-preserved troglodytic cave network, richly furnished rooms, and highly detailed neo-Gothic architecture. Many visitors come to see the “castle under a castle.” This nearly four kilometer underground route holds unexpected underground rooms including stables, kitchens, a bakery, and a wine cellar.

Stay in a Château at the Loire Valley: Château d’Artigny
An unmatched experience of living in a château and feeling the grandeur is what this 5-star hotel promises.
Located south of Tours, Château d’Artigny offers the best of comfort and opulence to its visitors. During your stay you’ll enjoy marble statues, a French garden, beautiful woodwork, and amazing views over the Indre Valley.


This majestic region of France begs exploring. Whether you want to spend a few days visiting from Paris or extend your stay to see all 10 essential Loire Valley châteaux, we can help you plan the perfect itinerary. Some of our Loire Valley favorites include A Loire Valley Road Trip, An Exclusive, Romantic Visit to the Loire Valley, and Loire Valley Wine and Châteaux. French Side Travel has something for everyone whether you’re interested in food and wine, history and culture, adventure, or romance and scenery.

Need some help planning your trip?

Classic Paris highlights: 10 things to do

Heading to Paris for the first time? It’s a big city that begs to be explored. Since there’s no way to fit everything into one visit, here is French Side Travel’s Top 10 list of highlights. Start you trip with these can’t-miss favorites. 


The Louvre Museum

Mona Lisa painting in Louvre Museum
Visitors admiring DaVinci’s masterpiece

The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum. Originally a medieval fortress it has lived many lives. It’s been a museum since 1793. It famously houses Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa and the ancient Winged Victory of Samothrace and Venus de Milo statues. It’s worth lingering here. The massive collection includes Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern antiquities through 19th-century paintings. Avoid the crowds and wander in the lesser-frequented, but no-less-spectacular collections. Even the architecture is a draw. The medieval ramparts, Pavillon de l’Horloge, and the iconic Louvre Pyramid entrance impress.

If you love museums, you will love Paris. There are dozens of excellent museums to explore, but the Louvre is undoubtably la crème de la crème.

Head up the Eiffel Tower

silhouettes of two men eating over paris. view on Eiffel tower.
The Eiffel Tower seen from Montparnasse Tower

When the Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World’s Fair it became the tallest building in the world. It remained so until New York City’s Chrysler Building surpassed it in 1930. Today it’s France’s most famous building. When it was built, however, it was controversial, even offensive to 19th-century sensibilities. Some critics questioned whether it was even technically possible. The soaring wrought iron lattice tower was radically different from anything that came before it. 

You can take the elevator or walk up to the second level (380ft or 116m). The top floor at 905ft or 276m is accessible only by elevator. If you wish to stay a while, splurge on the Michelin-starred The Jules Verne on the second level or enjoy a glass of bubbly on the top level’s Champagne Bar.

Watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle
The one place you don’t see the Eiffel Tower in Paris is from the Eiffel Tower. For 5 minutes once per hour every hour from sunset until 1am, the Tower is lit up by more than 20,000 flashing bulbs. Enjoy the show from anywhere with a nice view. The Trocadéro is a favorite. From a boat on the water is even better.  

Cruise down the Seine 

Young woman enjoying beautiful landscape view on the riverside from the tourist ship during the sunset in Paris

A river cruise on the Seine is a classic way to visit Paris. Pass under the many ornate bridges, and float by Paris’s most famous sites – the Eiffel Tower, the Musée du Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Conciergerie, and Notre-Dame. We recommended a cruise at night. It’s pure magic after dark when the monuments are illuminated. You can even join a cruise with fine dining options. 

Go for a walk in the park

Jardin du Luxembourg with the Palace and statue. Few flowers are in front and blue sky behind.

The Tuileries and the Jardin du Luxembourg are two of the great green spaces in Paris. Either is perfect for a peaceful break after a long morning trekking through museums. Have some time? Try visiting both to compare the formal gardens, the palatial architecture, and statuary. Both are accessible for free. 

Try a real croissant and pain au chocolat 

pile of pain au chocolate pasteries in french bakery

Breakfast in Paris is one of life’s simple pleasures. Pop into a café with a nice terrace. Eat breakfast like the French – a simple croissant or pain au chocolat with your coffee. Take your time to enjoy it. Early on a weekend morning is a particularly tranquil time to watch the world pass. 

La Sainte-Chapelle

stained glass windows. interior of sainte-chapelle in paris.

Notre-Dame de Paris is closed for restoration following a fire in April 2019, but its little sister, La Sainte-Chapelle, remains open. It’s located just a couple minutes walk away on the Île de la Cité. It was once the royal chapel, reserved exclusively for the royal court and their guests. One step inside and you will know why they kept it to themselves. It’s a breathtaking site. The walls appear to be made almost entirely of intricate stained glass, a majority of which is original and dates to the 13th-century. It has survived floods, fires, the French Revolution, and wars. 

Visit Montmartre

evening in the Place du Tertre and the Sacre-Coeur in Paris, France
Get lost in Montmartre

Montmartre is like a small village in Paris with gardens, cobblestone streets, and an association with great 19th and 20th-century artists. These include Picasso, Degas, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec, to name but a few. It even has its own tiny urban vineyard, the Clos Montmartre. This is a neighborhood to linger in and enjoy. Its Moulin Rouge cabaret is a perennial draw. Montmartre’s star attraction is, however, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. It’s a masterpiece. It offers an impressive panorama from its perch at the highest point in the city. 

Visit the Palace of Versailles

chandelier and statue of woman in Versaille
A statue in Versailles’s Hall of Mirrors

Versailles is just outside of Paris. It became the royal residence and the seat of the French government in 1682. It remained so for more than a century until the French Revolution drove out Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette’s monarchy. Despite its reputation for opulence, nothing really prepares you for the monumental size. 2,300 rooms over 679,748ft2 (63,154m2) is incomprehensibly large. It’s opulent and refined, yet ostentatious. The grounds contain lush manicured gardens, statues, and fountains spread over 1,945 acres (787 hectares). 

Want to be treated like a royal? Sleep at Versailles
Following the opening of the Airelles Château de Versailles – Le Grand Contrôle in 2021 it is now possible to stay at Versailles yourself. The 5-star property is spectacular. Its complete with a spa, a restaurant from the celebrated Chef Alain Ducasse, unlimited access to the L’Orangerie, and exclusive before and after-hours tours. The hotel itself occupies a 17th-century palace building with views on the Château, the Orangerie, and the Pièce d’eau des Suisses.

Imagine having this view from your room

Take a guided tour!

Go for a tour of the Saint-Ouen
Flea Market © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer: Marc Bertrand

Seeing a place through the eyes of a local makes it all that much better. Hear the stories of the people who have lived there and better appreciate those little details. Need a tour idea? Our travel designers can help. Whatever your interest there’s almost certainly a tour to match. Some favorites include looking for the perfect antique or vintage wears at the Saint-Ouen flea market, gourmet walking tours of Saint-Germain des Prés, and exploring what makes the lively Latin Quarter tick. 

Eat well and learn to cook

a cooking class in paris
A tasting during a cooking class

France is famous for its food. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn a few tricks for yourself. Do the tasting menu at a Michelin-star restaurant or go on a guided market tour. If you like getting your hands dirty, there are cooking classes too. Learn to bake like the French do or to make your own macarons! It is sure to impress your dinner guests back home.


A few days in Paris and you’ll never want to leave. There is so much more to do. Get started with these suggestions. We bet you’ll love so much that you’ll be back next year too to explore even more deeply. A trip to Paris combines wonderfully with detours to Champagne, Normandy, and the Loire Valley.

France is famous for its food. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn a few tricks for yourself. Do the tasting menu at a Michelin-star restaurant or go on a guided market tour. If you like getting your hands dirty, there are cooking classes too. Learn to bake like the French do or to make your own macarons! It is sure to impress your dinner guests back home.

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