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Visiting Paris for the First Time? Here's What to See and Do


Visiting Paris for the First Time? Here's What to See and Do
Hi, I'm Zoë!

Zoë Smith is a British travel writer, editor, and digital content creator who has lived, worked, and traveled over six continents, and is currently based near Nantes, France. She has written for Rough Guides, CNN, and Culture Trip, and is digital editor at FrenchEntrée.

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Hi, I'm Zoë!

Zoë Smith is a British travel writer, editor, and digital content creator who has lived, worked, and traveled over six continents, and is currently based near Nantes, France. She has written for Rough Guides, CNN, and Culture Trip, and is digital editor at FrenchEntrée.

see more

The City of Light seduces first-time visitors with its romantic promenades, grand monuments, and foot-stomping cabarets, but how do you choose which of Paris’ best bits to experience on your first visit? Here are our top recommendations for your first time in the capital of France.

Take a skip-the-line tour

For time-saving convenience.

Paris' most popular attractions have long lines to match, so maximize your time by pre-booking skip-the-line entry. Take in the views from the iconic Eiffel Tower, see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, peek inside the Notre Dame Cathedral, or venture underground to explore the eerie Catacombs.

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Cruise the Seine

For quintessential Parisian romance.

Admire the City of Light from the water on a Seine River cruise and enjoy prime views of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. For an extra special experience, opt for a romantic lunch or dinner cruise, or take a night cruise and watch the city lights dance across the water.

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people talk over dinner as they cruise down the Seine in Paris
A cruise down the Seine is a Paris first-timer must. Photo: Cyril Marcilhacy / Viator

See the Moulin Rouge

For a rollicking night out.

Experience the electric atmosphere of an authentic French cabaret with a night at the legendary Moulin Rouge. Attend an unforgettable dinner show and marvel at the extraordinary dancers, glittering costumes, and dramatic French cancan.

Visit the Moulin Rouge

Visit Versailles

For royal French elegance.

If you only have time for one day trip, make it a tour to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. Follow in the footsteps of King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, learn the fascinating history of the French Revolution, and watch the spectacular fountain display in the palace gardens.

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A golden bedroom in the Palace of Versailles, France.
You won't want to miss touring the opulent Palace of Versailles. Photo: Pierre Morel / Viator

Tuck into French Pastries

For a delicious snack, day or night.

You can't visit Paris without indulging in some delicious French cuisine, but with no time to spare, best skip straight to dessert. Join a tasting tour or take a cooking class, and discover French delights such as croissants, macarons, and crème brûlée.

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Experience the Magic of Disneyland Paris

For the best childhood memories.

If you're a big Disney fan— or have kids in tow—a visit to Disneyland® Paris should be on your must-do list. Meet Mickey, ride Space Mountain, and go behind the scenes of your favorite Disney® movies with FASTPASS entry.

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See all Paris tours
2,528 tours & tickets
Things to do in Paris
See all things to do in Paris
Paris Film Sites
11 Must-Visit Filming Locations in Paris