Leitfaden für Anfänger in Paris
The iconic attractions of Paris need no introduction. From the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre and Moulin Rouge's risqué performances to the Latin Quarter's bohemian vibes, the City of Light is internationally celebrated for its breadth of culture, landmarks, and charming neighborhoods.
Any first-time trip to the French capital should include these blockbuster attractions, as well as opportunities to indulge in the city’s famed gastronomy and fine wine. But don’t forget to carve out some time for a lesser-known discovery or two. Here’s how to spend a whirlwind first-time trip to Paris.
Ascend the Eiffel Tower
See one of Paris’ best-known landmarks up close.
One of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, the Eiffel Tower’s spire is visible across the entire French capital—but nothing beats getting up close and personal with the iron giant. You can brave the lines during a spontaneous visit or book ahead to make things seamless.
Opt to visit its second level, still an impressive 377 feet (115 meters) up, for a more budget-friendly way to explore, or soar all the way to its summit, some 906 feet (276 meters) above street level. Whichever option you choose, you should probably toast the experience with a glass of Champagne.
See a cabaret performance at the Moulin Rouge
You can-can see a can-can show.
Long before it was immortalized on the silver screen (and on Broadway), the Moulin Rouge was one of Paris’ most popular cabarets, where high-kicking can-can dancers mingled with bohemians and artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Today, it still promises many of the same delights as it did more than 100 years ago, from racy cabaret performances to overflowing flutes of bubbly. Book your admission in advance to guarantee your entry, or upgrade for VIP treatment if you’re feeling particularly decadent.
View the Mona Lisa (and so much more) at the Louvre
See the masterpieces and beyond.
The world’s largest and most-visited museum, the Louvre is one of Paris’ most popular attractions—and that can mean some lengthy lines. Bypass the crowds and enjoy minimal hassle when you book priority admission, opt for a private tour of its galleries, or plan a special visit after dark. And while it’s worth seeing the Louvre’s highlights—from the Mona Lisa to the Venus de Milo—you’ll also discover a calmer side of the iconic museum when you explore its lesser-known galleries, too.
Go for a Latin Quarter walking tour
Immerse yourself in the intellectual side of Paris.
Few areas of Paris are infused with as much romance as the Latin Quarter. Located on the Left Bank and spanning the 5th arrondissement, the area has long been associated with intellectuals, artists, and bohemians.
Its highlights include the Sorbonne University, the historic Panthéon building, the legendary Shakespeare & Company bookstore, and the serene Luxembourg Gardens. Head out on a small-group walking tour to see the best of the neighborhood, or consider a food-led experience, embark on a tasting tour of its restaurants, bakeries, and other delicious destinations.
Take a cruise along the Seine
Sit back, relax, and discover the city’s top sights.
The River Seine is Paris’ central artery, dividing the Left Bank from the Right Bank and flowing past many of the city’s best-known sights. The banks of the Seine aren’t just picturesque—they’re a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For the best perspective of the city’s waterfront (and to learn more about the landmarks you pass as you go), hop aboard a river cruise. Whether you opt for a daytime option or wish to see the City of Light live up to its name at night, there are various cruise options to choose from.
Discover French cheese and wine
Brie and Bordeaux are on the menu.
Paris is a city that takes its cuisine seriously, which means you can’t leave the City of Light without sampling the finest French wines and cheeses. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to indulge in Parisian gastronomy.
Whether you take part in a tutored, small-group tasting, attend a wine-and-cheese pairing session in a real cheese cellar, or opt for a luxe 10-pairing cheese and wine outing, you’re sure to know your Beaujolais from your Burgundy and be able to name several French cheese varieties by the end of your trip.
Climb the hills of Montmartre
Come for the views and stay for the culture.
Montmartre has long captured visitors’ imaginations with its cobblestone streets, artisan food markets, and the hilltop Sacré-Coeur Basilica, not to mention it has some of the best views across Paris. (You may recall the neighborhood played a starring role in the movie Amélie.)
To experience a dose of its magic, embark on an introductory walking tour of its cultural highlights, enjoy a dedicated tasting tour, or follow in the footsteps of its former resident artists (including the likes of Vincent van Gogh). Just plan to give yourself plenty of time to ascend those steep heights.
Explore Paris’ hippest heighborhoods
See a new side of Paris.
Beyond the major landmarks and the buzz of the Latin Quarter, discover another Paris, one with a distinctly local feel that many visitors overlook. Discover how real Parisians live and visit some of the coolest parts of the French capital in Paris’ northeast.
In the Canal Saint-Martin district, you’ll discover the charming waterway that gives the neighborhood its name (as well as the destination-worthy bakeries and wine bars that line its banks). And nearby, the Belleville neighborhood attracts those looking for edgy street art and destination-worthy bites.
Plan a regal day trip.
If you don’t mind a day trip beyond the Paris city limits, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit Versailles. One of the world’s largest and most opulent palaces, Versailles dates back to the early 17th century and was the former residence of royals like Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette.
Located just 12 miles (19 kilometers) west of Paris, this UNESCO-listed marvel (and its unmissable gardens) can be reached by train, though tours that depart straight from Paris make exploring even easier.