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Top 10 Things to Do in Paris

galeries lafayette
montmartre
Lachaise Cemetery
Arc de triomphe

Top 10 Things to Do in Paris

story by: House of Travel

Paris, the City of Love, is one of the world's most romantic and poetic destinations. Make sure you visit this must-see destination for yourself to discover just why people fall in love with Paris time and time again.

Here are 10 of the best things to see and do while you're there. You know you need to head up the Eiffel Tower, wander the Champs-Élysées and see the artwork of the Louvre - so here are 10 more unique suggestions. 

1 - Take a cruise along the Seine
You haven't seen the real Paris until you've gazed upon it from the waters of the lifeblood of the city, the River Seine. Along the way, you'll be treated to sights of everything from lovers walking hand-in-hand along the riverbank to elegant Eiffel Tower and the impressive silhouette of the Notre Dame cathedral. 

Boat trips leave regularly from many different points along the river, day and night. During the day, you can enjoy the sights in their full daylight glory, while at night, magical twinkling lights illuminate the main attractions. Opt for a leisurely, one-hour sightseeing journey or lunch or dinner cruise and see the city from this unique viewpoint. 

2 - Climb atop the Arc de Triomphe
You can walk around the bottom of the Arc de Triomphe and gaze up at its magnificence, but there's nothing like walking up to the top and checking out the panoramic views of Paris. It was built between 1806 and 1836 in honour of those who fought for France during the Napoleonic Wars, among others. 

Head to Place Charles de Gaulle at the Western end of the Champs-Élysées, wander the foot of the monument and then walk up the narrow staircase featuring more than 280 stairs to get to the top. You'll then get to view the city from almost a 50 metre high standpoint. 

3 - Delve underground at the Catacombs 
To see a dark and mysterious side of French history, venture underground to explore the Catacombs. In the 17 and 1800s, this underground network of tunnels, passages and halls became home to human bones. These remains were not simply dumped at the site, but were often placed in a decorative manner, with walls made from skulls and bones arranged in ornamental fashion. 

Today, you can take tours 20 metres underground to see this labyrinthine site, which is home to the bones of between six and seven million Parisians. 

4 - Shop at the Galeries Lafayette
One of the world's most luxurious shopping destinations famous for its extravagant goods, you might find Galeries Lafayette more suited to window shopping! However, whether your budget stretches to buying perfume and jewellery or not, it's still a must-visit. Salivate over dream purchases and gaze in wonder at the department store's incredible architecture, featuring a gorgeous stained glass window dome and plenty of shimmering gold arches. 

5 - See a show at the Moulin Rouge
The bright red windmill of the Moulin Rouge has become an iconic symbol of Paris. Head along to its signature show or 'Feerie', with a troupe of 80 artists and performers and bright, twinkling, feathery costumes. Savour a mouthwatering meal as you watch one of the world's most famous musical extravaganzas unfold in front of you, and become a part of this mythical venue's legacy. 

6 - Get inspired at the Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou is an architectural marvel, and is home to an extensive public library, the largest modern art museum in Europe and a centre for musical research. 

Peruse the collections inside after examining the outer avant garde design. Through pioneering use of steel and glass some of the structure is actually modifiable and can be adjusted to different positions. The building also makes unique use of bright colour, with blue, yellow, green and red featuring boldly in the building's futuristic floorplan.

7 - Explore Montmartre
The quaint district of Montmartre sits atop Paris and is home to charming cafes, restaurants and places to find trinkets and treasures. No doubt its crowning glory is the Sacre Coeur Basilica, on which construction began in 1875. Its Roman Byzantine design features white stone, a stunning and lofty dome, plus mosaics, religious paintings, stained glass windows and a grand organ. 

From its front steps and impressively high dome that sits more than 200 metres above the River Seine, visitors are afforded stunning city-wide panoramas.

8 - Wander the Père Lachaise Cemetery
The Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in central Paris, and is home to the graves of a number of impressive figures, such as Chopin, Edith Piaf, Moliere, Delacroix, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and many more. 

Wander the solemn and historically significant grounds taking in the famous grave sites, many of which are ornately decorated with statues and reliefs. 

9 - Enjoy a picnic at the Jardin du Luxembourg
Visit the beautiful inner city Jardin du Luxembourg, which spans 25 hectares. Enjoy the colours and aromas of the French and English gardens and take in the beautiful forest and pond areas. You can also wander through apple orchards, greenhouses, a rose garden and bee-keeping area, all the way enjoying the 106 statues peppered throughout the park.
 
10 - Savour a coffee and croissant at Cafe de Flore
France is brimming with wonderful cafes and the Café de Flore is one of its most famous establishments. The spot, which features Art Deco decor, has attracted the intellectual and literary elite for years, hosting guests such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Pablo Picasso. Sit at a table outside and imagine the enlightening conversations of days gone by. 

When visiting Paris, there's just one question that remains - where will you go next? 

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