Angela Carter once referred to Paris as a woman. It’s also been referred to (many times) as the City of Love, while famous novelist Victor Hugo claimed that nothing is more sublime and fantastic than the French capital.
So, basically, you’ve got to go there.
And now that you’ve decided that you are going to do go there, you need a few cool things to do!
Fortunately, Beauty & Tips is on hand to give you the lowdown on the top 10 things to do in Paris. Let’s take a look.
Catch A Flick At The Free Open Air Cinema
The French know a thing or two about movies. After all, this is the country where the hip French New Wave was birthed, a film movement that essentially changed the way movies were made.
Today, the French film industry continues to boom, with such inventive minds like Michel Gondry flying the flag for France in the cinemas. To celebrate their cinematic legacy, Parc de la Villette has a totally free open-air cinema during the summertime that allows you to watch a series of awesome movies through July and August. You can either sit on the grass or rent a deckchair.
Go See The Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris
Next one in our list of top 10 things to do in Paris is, of course, the famous Notre-Dame de Paris. You basically can’t go to Paris and not see one of the city’s most popular attractions. Not only is the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris a massive hit with the tourists, it’s also an architectural tour-de-force that needs to be seen to be believed. Grand, historical and dominating, the best thing is that visiting it is totally free!
The cathedral also attracts an array of cool buskers in the surrounding square and bridges, which contributes to a happy, vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere. You will also find here human statues and full-on live bands. Who said cathedrals were boring?!
Enjoy A Night Picnic At The Square du Vert-Galant
This is another one of top 10 things to do in Paris. If you’ve seen the recent Woody Allen movie Midnight In Paris, you’re probably already dying to have a nighttime picnic in the city.
If so, Square du Vert-Galant offers you the best place to indulge in a foodie feast with a bottle of wine, as the sun sets and darkness begins to cover you. Here you will find an easygoing, friendly bohemian vibe where everyone is having a ball.
If you go here during the summertime, things might get a little bit busy, but what do you care? You’ve got your wine and cheese! You’ve also got the enchanting view of the river, as the moonlight casts its chalky white gaze on the gentle ripples.
Go Visit The Louvre Museum
Okay so the Louvre is full of art that is virtually prehistoric, but even if you’re not really into art all that much and don’t know your Manet from your Monet, you’ll still be able to take something from the Louvre Museum. Here you will find some of the finest art work ever created by men (and women), and just admiring the Da Vinci’s and Botticelli’s can turn anyone into a culture vulture.
Or, if art really does send you to sleep, you could spice things up a bit by trying to break the 6-minute record for running through the Louvre, set by an American in 1950.
(Don’t mention us if the security guards ask who sent you, though).
Stroll Through The Palais-Royal Gardens
If you fancy a chill day without any bother, you could get away from it all by strolling through the Palais Royal gardens with your one and only.
These gardens (and shops) are hidden behind the walls of a pretty amazing and sumptuous 17th century palace, and are actually one of the city’s best-kept secrets (well, they were until we just blabbed about them!).
Hushed, tranquil and utterly gorgeous, these gardens are your ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of the hectic city.
See A Cabaret
Seeing a cabaret is another one of top 10 things to do in Paris. Paris is world famous for the Moulin Rouge, the original of which gave birth to can-can dancing during its late nineteenth century heyday.
These days, there are numerous cabaret experiences to be enjoyed in Paris. Take your pick from the Moulin Rouge, the Crazy Horse, Lido, and more.
Visit Some Famous Cafes
Paris is the undisputed king (or queen), when it comes to style, fashion – and cafes.
Many famous cultural icons have lived in Paris down the years, including the aforementioned Angela Carter, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway and Picasso. So what better thing to do, than follow in their spilt wine and sip a cocktail in the very seat where they sipped a cocktail?!
(Disclaimer: The seats may have been new ones, and thus fake)
We recommend Les Deux Magots, Harry’s New York Bar, and Cafe de Flore, all of which were favourite haunts of some of the world’s coolest and greatest writers and artists.
Ride On The Bateau Mouche
Our list of top 10 things to do in Paris wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the famous boat ride. If you ever become a little bit bored of sipping from a glass of wine or strolling idly through some gardens, why not liven things up by taking a ride on the Bateau Mouche? These boats course through the river Seine, offering spectacular views to go along with your gourmet meal. You can choose from a 2 hour boat ride or a 4 hour one, and you can even get a kick back with a flute of champagne. Could life be better?!
Go And See The Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is really easy to find, as it sits proudly at the centre of Place de L’Etoile. Here you will find 12 grand avenues sprouting off in different directions, including the famous Champs Elysees (which you should also go and see).
But the Arc de Triomphe is more than just a pleasant arc to look at; you can also climb to the top and gaze down at the panoramic view it offers. Here you will be able to look at the various nook and crannies of the city, and you might even spot your mother, who is lost. Hi mom!
Visit The Shakespeare And Company Bookstore
If you’re something of a bookworm, you should definitely visit the Shakespeare And Company bookstore, a second hand book shop that Ernest Hemingway included in his memoir, A Moveable Feast.
It opened before WWII, before closing, and then reopened in 1951. Inside is a treasure trove of second hand books that could keep you browsing (and buying) for hours. Mmm, just breathe in that musky smell of books!