Paris is a city that is well known for its pretty-as-a-picture Hausmannian boulevards, world-class art museums, opera houses, boulangeries, cafes, and Michelin-starred restaurants. There are many iconic destinations that draw over a million visitors each year, making the French capital one of the world’s most visited cities including: the glittering Eiffel Tower, the grand expanse of the Champs-Élysées, the majestic Notre-Dame, and the picturesque Seine River. The clock doesn’t stop for visitors stuck waiting to get inside the city’s top attractions, but those in the know can skip the lines (and save time) with priority-access tickets and seamless group tours. Travelers can also take advantage of Paris’ proximity to other nearby attractions, from the Palace of Versailles to Disneyland Paris.
Unquestionably Paris’ most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower has dominated the city’s skyline since 1889. Standing 1,063 feet (324 meters) high, the UNESCO World Heritage Site has three observation levels for panoramic cityscape views. Roughly 7 million people visit each year, taking a guided tour is a great way to guarantee entry and provide time-saving, skip-the-line privileges. Travelers can also stay for a meal at one of the Eiffel Tower’s lofty, high-end restaurants.
The world’s largest and most-visited museum—with 35,000 pieces on display at any one time—the Louvre is an art world colossus. Home to world-famous masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, the museum is at the top of most visitor wish lists. The very long lines can be a serious deterrent, however guided tours not only make it easier to navigate the sprawling museum and seek out its collection highlights, but also include skip-the-line access. Small-group, private, and evening tours offer other more intimate ways to explore.
One of the world’s most famous cabaret venues, Moulin Rouge, has hosted risqué dance revue shows since the 19th century, and it’s been frequented by bohemians from Toulouse-Lautrec to Josephine Baker. Today, the Pigalle area in which the Moulin Rouge is based is a hub for nightlife, and the theater and is instantly recognizable by its red windmill. Tickets are always in demand, but group tours let visitors reserve seats before they travel, enjoy Champagne with the show, pair the performance with dinner, or combine a visit with other sightseeing stops.
Viator VIP: Moulin Rouge Show with Exclusive VIP Seating and 4-Course Dinner
Visitors enjoy a luxurious experience at the Moulin Rouge with this VIP tour. Skip-the-line privileges and a seat in a private balcony make the evening memorable. A gourmet meal, Champagne, and wine complement the show.
Moulin Rouge Show: VIP Seating with Champagne
Perfect for those with dinner plans, this VIP Moulin Rouge package includes skip-the-line entry, private balcony seating, and Champagne.
Moulin Rouge Show with Transfers
With hotel pickup and drop-off included, this tour makes visiting the Moulin Rouge seamless. Visitors also enjoy a half-bottle of Champagne with the performance.
Eiffel Tower Dinner, Seine River Cruise and Moulin Rouge Show by Minivan
For those looking to make the most of their time in Paris, this combination tour includes dinner at the Eiffel Tower, a Seine river cruise, and a Moulin Rouge performance—all in a single evening.
Palace of Versailles
One of the world’s largest and most opulent palaces, Versailles was established by Louis XIII and went on to house several generations of the French monarchy—including Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette prior to the French Revolution. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the lavish grounds are roughly 14 miles (22 kilometers) miles southwest of Paris and accessible via RER train service. Guided tours—especially those with round-trip transportation—make it much simpler to travel to the palace. They also help combat long entry lines, as Versailles receives upwards of 7 million visitors annually.
Viator VIP: Palace of Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters
Not only do visitors on this small-group Versailles tour enjoy priority entry, on-site breakfast, and round-trip minivan transit, they also see areas of the palace that are normally off-limits.
Palace of Versailles and Giverny Day Trip from Paris with Lunch
On this two-for-one tour, guests don’t just explore Versailles—they also visit Monet’s picturesque Gardens in the nearby town of Giverny.
Viator Exclusive: Versailles Palace and Marie-Antoinette’s Trianon from Paris
With this Viator exclusive tour, Versailles visitors explore the palace’s classic highlights (including the Hall of Mirrors) and venture to Le Petit Trianon, once Marie Antoinette’s personal palace.
Versailles by Bike Day Tour
Experience another side of Versailles on this immersive bike tour and see more of the sprawling grounds than possible on foot.
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What the Locals Know
The Centre Pompidou doesn’t just host some of Paris’ most cutting-edge art exhibitions. The museum is also an important architectural landmark and offers panoramic views from its upperlevels.
When to Visit
Much of the city shuts down for the holidays in August. Each season has its charms, but autumn is when Paris’ romantic side comes to the fore: Think golden leaves tumbling along the boulevards.
The 14 lines of the Paris Metro, plus RER trains, make navigating the City of Lights by public transportation relatively simple, while Seine cruises offer another way to explore. Of course, part of the joy of Paris is walking.
Things to Bring
An elegant pair of shoes. Many Parisian restaurants still uphold a more formal sense of hospitality. Swap your walking shoes with something dressier before heading out for the evening.
The weather in Paris has never been described as perfect, so it’s best to bring a nice rain coat and a small umbrella with you.
French food is notoriously delicious and rich. If your stomach won’t agree with the richness of the food, consider packing for digestive relief.
In Paris, politeness is a virtue. Visitors should be sure to greet the locals they meet with a hearty “bonjour,” and wish them “au revoir” when saying goodbye. Being overly loud or rambunctious may lead to icy stares.
When entering and leaving a shop, it’s best to greet and say good-bye to the staff. Simple politeness goes a long way.
There are a lot of table manners to learn when visiting Paris and France in general. When offered a drink, wait until your host has toasted before taking a drink and never pour your own drinks – with water being the only exception. It’s considered polite to eat everything that’s put on your plate and remember that cheese is served before dessert.