E.N. Story


15 must-see attractions in Paris

Europe’s most populous city could only be offering plenty of options, activities and attractions. Paris is an ideal destination for any season, as each one offers images of unique beauty. Some of the most important attractions are, of course, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame, the district of Montmartre and more. You should also not miss out on a visit to the legendary cabaret of Moulin Rouge, enjoy the authentic Café Gourmand and take a walk in the lit-up Champs-Élysées. Paris has a vibe, which you will not find anywhere else in the world, while it offers plenty of options for you to have an amazing time.

Discover the most important attractions in Paris

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc, standing regal and beautiful, is a must-see Paris attraction. Well, you may find that 284 narrow and spiraling steps are a bit too many, but once you get to the top at 45 meters, you will find out that the stunning view is totally worth the hustle. Make sure you are there at sunset, so you can see Paris wrapped in a pink and orange veil. The Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, the new Paris, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the Montparnasse Tower and everything else will be lying before your eyes in all their grandeur! When dusk falls and the Champs-Elysées gets lit up, along with the surrounding streets, the view from the Arc is dream-like. We enjoyed the breath-taking view for about an hour, but we did wish the dream could have lasted a little longer.

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: April-September 10:00-23:00 & October-March 10:00-22:30
Closed: January 1st, May 1st & December 25th
Cost: 9.50€ for persons aged 25 and up, free for persons under 25 (upon showing ID)

 The know it all says: There is a second Arc de Triomphe! It is placed in front of the Louvre and is perfectly aligned with the original.!

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is hands down the most famous attraction not only in Paris, but in the entire Europe! It is as old as the Moulin Rouge (1889) and as tall as 300 (!) meters. During morning hours, visibility is crystal clear and you can see pretty much everything up to 50km in the distance! At night, on the other hand, you have the chance to admire the City of Light from above, but you might not be able to make a lot of places out. So, if you’re asking which the best time to visit it is, the choice is clearly personal. The only certain thing you should keep in mind is that the average waiting period might range from 45 minutes (usually early in the morning) to 3 hours (during rush hour). Of course, the smartest thing to do is book your tickets online, because patience may be a virtue, but there are more exciting things to do in Paris than waiting in lines! Finally, it’s worth mentioning that if you’re happy with just reaching the 2nd floor, you can climb the 704 steps, through the special entrance*, paying just a little less than half the price of the standard ticket.

*It is located at the front left foot of the Tower (while looking at it from Avenue Gustave Eiffel).

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: Every day, 09:00-00:00 during the summer & 09:30-23:00 in winter
Cost: 17€ for the highest point (276m), 11€ for the 2nd floor (115m)

 The know it all says: There are more than 30 Eiffel Tower replicas worldwide!

The Louvre Museum

The Louvre is not just a museum…it is a nexus of civilizations, cultures and showpieces! It is certain that you won’t be able to admire it in its entirety, as it is a massive, beautiful 3-story building. Most eyes are gathered around the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo and of course the Mona Lisa, which is much smaller than you might expect. Book your tickets online, and get them from the booth located behind the Louvre in order to avoid waiting in line for 2 hours. You can clearly see the pros of the online booking option and if you can handle a few curious glances from the people waiting in line, you just go through the security check and into the famous pyramid that leads to the museum. Another extra benefit of online booking is that you have the option to leave the museum and come back again later (on the same day). The museum provides special audio guides, which cost 5€, but you can also get a guide in your native language. Even if museums are not normally your attractions of choice, this one is guaranteed to amaze you.

Suggested visit time: 5-7 hours
Open: Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 09:00-18:00 & Wednesday and Friday 09:00-21:45
Closed: Tuesdays & January 1st, May 1st, December 25th
Cost: 15€

 The know it all says: You need 100 days to look at all of the museum’s exhibits and that is only if you spend 30 seconds or less for each one!

Moulin Rouge

You should take the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the world’s most famous cabaret…The Moulin Rouge, which opened its gates to the male audience in 1889! We attended the Sunday night performance, complimented by a bottle of champagne for two and, although it cost us 250€, it was definitely worth it! Bear in mind that there is a dress code so get your fancy clothes on! After all, the whole atmosphere requires you do so. Everything was on the menu…Ballets and skillful dancers full of excitement, amazing costumes, nudity, interactive program, acrobatics, male and female performers and generally…a whole lot of show! But, nudity does not play such a dominant role, as it has been many years now that the show has taken a more artistic turn in order to break away from its formerly ill repute! Book your tickets online and follow our tips so that you don’t get stuck in line!

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: Every day, all year long with 3 shows daily…at 19:00, 21:00 & 23:00!
Cost: 90€ to 430€!

 The know it all says: During the show for the Moulin Rouge’s 125th anniversary, the dancers managed to lift their feet high 29 times in 30 seconds (Guinness Record)!

Walk in Montmartre

Montmartre is all that makes Paris so romantic and picturesque! No matter how much time we spent in this district, it just wasn’t enough! From the grandeur of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica to the narrow tile-paved streets and breath-taking view, Montmartre’s architectural character is a work of art! Its urban side takes it to another level, with all its lovely cafés and restaurants, street performers, musicians and merchants. The souvenir shops that you see while leaving the Sacré-Cœur, the Moulin Rouge and even the infamous Pigalle area, each one and all of them combined make Montmartre the most “Parisian” part of Paris! Spend a whole day wandering around the area, leave the tourist guides behind and explore the streets on your own terms, take pictures of various places and corners, have a cup of coffee at a local café and offer yourself the chance to see and discover things that most visitors never do. Pass by Place du Tertre and have your portrait painted by one of the many artists, if you find their work admirable. It might cost you 20-40€, but it depends on the artist and your bargaining abilities! Regardless the time that you choose to visit Montmartre, it is always bustling, as people of all ages prefer it for their walk and entertainment.

Suggested visit time: 4-5 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know it all says: The butte of Montmartre is the highest one in Paris, at 130m!

Admire the illuminated Eiffel Tower

Do not miss the chance to admire the lit up Eiffel Tower in all its glory! Although many people are not fond of Paris’ iconic site and might describe it as “a pile of metal junk”, no-one remains unimpressed when the Tower gets all lit up at night! This magnificent spectacle always comes to mind when you consider what Paris is all about, as the thousands of led lamps make it more dreamy and special. But the most spectacular part occurs during the first 5 minutes of every hour, when all the lamps start flashing and flickering and it looks like a million fireflies are throwing the craziest party or like there is a huge amount of glitter just flying around!

Suggested visit time: 15-30 minutes
Open: Beginning the first hour that it gets lit up, for the first 5 minutes of every hour.
Cost: Free

 The know it all says: It is lit by 20.000 led lamps!

Notre Dame

The Notre Dame, well-known and admired by all ages, is located in the heart of Paris, on one of the two small islands inside the Seine, the Île de la Cité! The cathedral will leave you speechless, both with its exterior imposing and grand architecture, as well as with its interior beauty. What is equally interesting is its history and how it grew in size over the years. Unfortunately, the wait is really long and you will probably end up spending more time in line than inside the Cathedral. The line for the bell tower is equally long and, as for the view from above goes, it is not that much of a wow factor. What drew our attention is the beauty of the whole surrounding area, as the combination of the natural scenery and the serenity of the Seine, along with the buildings’ wondrous design, create an awe-inspiring picture. Next to the Cathedral (Notice), you will find the famous Love Lock Bridge, where enamored couples go and “seal” their everlasting love!

Suggested visit time: 1.5-2 hours
Open: Monday-Friday 09:30-18:00 & 09:00-18:00 on weekends.
Cost: Free

 The know it all says: Its bells are some of the most famous in the world and they all have names, the most well-known being Emmanuel, that weighs 13 tons!

Evening Walk in Champs-Elysees

Visiting Paris would never seem complete without a walk in the city’s (or maybe even Europe’s) most luminous street! You will be mesmerized by the cosmopolitan character of the street, as you walk across it! The shops are all so pretty and refined that look like jewels! Luxurious brands of clothing stores, car dealerships and restaurants are in competition about which one is more illuminated, in order to attract the most customers! Lots of people choose the Champs-Elysées for shopping or simply taking a walk. On this street you will also find the famous “Lido” cabaret, lots of stores, cafés and restaurants where you can have a meal, a cup of coffee, do some shopping and, generally, spend a few hours pleasantly! Note no.1: All products found in this street are pretty expensive (surprised?). Note no.2: In our humble opinion, walking through the street during daytime is nice…but the magic of it on an evening walk is simply beyond compare!

Suggested visit time: 3-4 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know it all says: Apartment rentals in Champs-Elysées can reach as high as 1.000.000€ per 100m² yearly!

Take a walk along the Seine River during twilight

What could be more romantic than a walk along the Seine during sunset? (Well, maybe a slice of bread with Nutella and a cup of coffee waiting for you in the morning!) Admiring the river from various bridges is not the same as walking along its banks! The buildings’ reflections, as well as the colors of the sky and the lights, that will start to brighten the city as night falls, set up a charming scene, accompanied by the various performing musicians’ melodies that will charm you and take you to other times…You will have the chance to gaze at some of the historical monuments from a different point of view and while they are all lit up. You can relax on one of the benches and enjoy some wine or a beer while watching the cruise ships pass by. If you find it more preferable, you can certainly take a morning walk or even jog along the Seine, but keep in mind that you would be better off avoiding it late at night.

Suggested visit time: 2.5-3 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know it all says: In Paris alone, Seine’s banks are connected with 37 bridges!

Sunday Brunch

You wake up in Paris on a Sunday morning and wonder what you should do today. You take a look at your watch and realize…it’s Brunch o’ clock! This beloved French tradition is a meal enjoyed between breakfast and lunch. But, make no mistake; it is much more than a meal…it is a chance for families and friends to get together and talk, laugh and have a wonderful time in shops and restaurants that serve delicious delicacies and more! Brunch may consist of various goods from jams, pralines and croissants to eggs with salmon and French fries, coffee, juice and many more, depending on the restaurant’s variety! The prices range between 10€ and 30€ per person, depending on what you order and you can have brunch usually until 13.00, but in some places it is served until 16.00. We guarantee that you will adopt this delicious Sunday tradition…no matter where you are!

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: Sundays
Cost: 10-30€ per person (depending on what is included)

 The know it all says: The idea of the Sunday brunch was coined by Guy Beringer, who wished to have the perfect meal to cure hangovers! Thanks, Guy!

Boat ride in the Bois de Boulogne

The Bois de Boulogne is like a piece of heaven inside the city. Back in the day, it used to serve as a hunting area for the rich Parisian residents, but, nowadays, it is a leisure haven where you can relax, jog, take a walk or have a picnic and of course, enjoy a romantic boat ride with your other half! Taking a ride with a small rowboat is a must, especially (but not exclusively) during fall season, when the autumn leaves’ colors create the perfect atmosphere for a romantic date. Well, you might think that all this rowing is exhausting, but put on a brave face and don’t let a minor detail deprive you of this wonderful experience! Keep in mind that the park gets pretty noisy on Sundays because of the crowds that swarm to it! The most ideal time to visit it is on a weekday afternoon.

Suggested visit time: 3-4 hours
Open: February 15th-October 31st, 12:00-17:00 Monday-Friday & 10:00-17:30 on weekends.
Cost: 10€ for the first hour, 15€ for 1.30 hours and 19.50€ for 2 hours. (50€ as a security deposit, which you get back when returning the boat.)

 The know it all says: The park is 2.5 times larger than the Central Park in New York City and 3.3 times the size of London’s Hyde Park!

Cafe Gourmand

Café Gourmand landed in Paris at the start of 2000s. Consider that the French looove their espresso (yes, even more than French coffee), the fact that some kind of dessert is a must and the Parisians’ frantic daily lives…and you have the recipe for Café Gourmand! It is a combination of a single espresso shot accompanied by 3-4 kinds of pastries, in the form of small bites. Every shop has its own variety and it might consist of Crème Brûlée in various flavors, fresh forest fruits, profiteroles, chocolate tarts, mousse or soufflés, chocolate pies, lemon pies, fruit tarts, a vast variety of ice-cream flavors and many more! The ritual is like opening up a Kinder Surprise; you know that you get a present, but the suspense about what it will be is always there! The only guarantee is that you are going to love this “sweet” habit! You should also have in mind that you won’t find café gourmand in every café.

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: Every day
Cost: 3-7€

 The know it all says: The idea for the café gourmand originated in Lyon in 2003, when the Italian chain restaurants Pizza Pino managed to set the trend, calling it “café plaisir”!

The Gardens of Versailles

Contrarily to the poor* appearance of the Palace of Versailles, the gardens are rich! It’s not worth wasting much time in the Palace, as you will need at least 5-6 hours to explore the gardens, but it will still not be enough. They are divided in 3 main stations but the distance between them is really long, so you should take the small train for your transportation. The three stations are Grand Trianon, Petite Trianon and Grand Canal and the train leaves you right outside of each one. When you are done touring each station, you get back where the train dropped you off and wait for another one to get you to the next station. We consider the smaller gardens to be the most charming as well, like the Petite Trianon, where Marie Antoinette’s cottage and the statue of Love are located! The ideal season to visit them is autumn, when the beautiful scenery, comprised of flowers, lakes and cottages designed based on the English countryside, create the illusion of some older times…If only the tourists were fewer, this fairytale-like picture would seem even more real!

*A lot of items have been moved to the Louvre and other museums, while others were destroyed or burnt, so the Palace has lost its previous glory and prestige.

Important note: a) To get inside the palace and then move to the gardens, you will have to buy the tickets (see HERE how you can make the purchase fast and easy) and then wait in line. b) If you have the Paris Pass card, you will just have to wait in line.

Suggested visit time: 5-6 hours
Open: Gardens-Park, every day, 08.00-18.00. Grand & Petite Trianon, every day 12.00-17.30. Closed: Mondays
Cost: 10€ for the gardens only. 8€ for the train.

 The know it all says: Every year 210.000 flowers and 200.000 trees are planted in the gardens!

Place des Vosges

It is the city’s oldest and possibly most beautiful square. The Place des Vosges is perfect for relaxing with your friends, while having a cup of coffee and a sandwich. It doesn’t attract a lot of tourists and you will mostly meet Parisians enjoying the quiet and peaceful atmosphere, admiring the trees, the surrounding architectural buildings, the fountains and the light breeze while listening to birds singing and children laughing… ça c’est Paris! You can take a walk in the surrounding area and have a taste of the delicious Falafels, do some shopping or visit some of Paris’ less known museums. For example, you can find Victor Hugo’s house, which today operates as a museum and has a free entrance. Maybe it was because of the great weather or the fact that this square felt so relaxed, or a combination of the two, but for us it was love at first sight! It would be a shame not to see it while visiting Paris!

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know it all says: The 35 buildings that surround the square are all designed in the same way and are built over covered walkways!

Walk in Bastille

Take some time to wander around and meet Paris’ rustic district; that is no other than Bastille. Narrow, stone-paved streets and walkways, an extraordinary atmosphere and long history are what draw any visitor’s attention and make them want to explore it! Outlying shops (cafés/bars/restaurants) that mostly locals prefer would be a perfect place for you to relax. Stay away from the district’s central square and the surrounding streets that are greatly modernized, commercial and a mainly tourist destination. Bastille is a traditional area, which you will remember for the people’s simplicity, as well as its history and unique attitude! Visit it, explore it and you won’t regret it…!

Suggested visit time: 1.5-2.5 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know it all says:  Bastille’s castle was demolished shortly after its fall. There are a few places, though, even today that you can visit and see some of its pieces!

Travelen.eu is regularly updated on ticket costs and operating hours, but you should always visit your choice of destination’s official site for confirmation.