Whether it is Paris in the Fall, a romantic getaway with your sweetheart, or an extended visit to explore the city, Paris holds the hearts and dreams of many.
From a vibrant cafe culture to museums and decadent desserts to iconic landmarks and Instagrammable moments at almost every corner, you will find that Paris does indeed live up to its reputation as the city of Love AND Lights! Indeed, the city offers a myriad of hidden gems and amazing reasons and to visit Paris.
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Do You even NEED Reasons to Visit Paris?
The best time to plan your adventure to Paris is often during the shoulder season—late May to early June in the Spring and late September and early October in the Fall. The crowds have yet to arrive or have just returned home and the sun is still warming the skyline for your visit.
And from a photographer’s point of view, Spring and Fall both offer brilliant color, though any season would offer reasons to visit Paris.
You don’t really NEED reasons to visit Paris, but if you are looking at the possibility of a visit, keep reading to discover where to stay, play, and eat in Paris.
The Iconic Eiffel Tower
Recommended by World in Paris
The Eiffel Tower is one of THE top reasons to visit Paris. It is one of the most visited sites in the city and also one of the symbols of Paris and France.
The Eiffel Tower was designed by the French engineer Gustave Eiffel as part of the Paris World Fair of 1889, and it was inaugurated on March 31 of the same year. Indeed, the Eiffel Tower is more than 130 years old!
In the beginning, Parisians were skeptical about this colossal monument made of iron, but now we could not imagine Paris’ skyline without it!
Due to its size, it is possible to see the Eiffel Tower from almost every corner in Paris, but the climb up to the summit comes with gorgeous views of the city, especially at sunset. There are also informative panels about the tower’s history and some quirky facts, so the visit is also interesting.
There are different tickets to visit the Eiffel Tower: up to the second floor or summit, with or without taking the lift. To get the most of your visit, consider a guided tour with a local guide.
Inspiring Walking Tours
Recommended by simplyjolayne
If you have a free morning in Paris, I highly recommend that you book a walking tour with a knowledgeable tour guide. These tours are one of the great reasons to visit Paris and are the perfect way to discover the history of many iconic landmarks within the city.
Put on some comfortable walking shoes as you set out to explore Paris. Your guide will bring to life the rich culture of the city and the history of iconic landmarks such as Notre Dame, the Louvre, the “Love Lock Bridge” (thePont des Arts Bridge), and so many more. End your tour at your final stop—the Eiffel Tower.
Walking tours offer a perfect introduction to Paris for first-time visitors as well as seasoned travelers. You are sure to learn something new.
Don’t miss out on ordering a chocolate crepe along the way (one of the best reasons to visit Paris all by itself). Yum!
Note * If your walking tour is advertised as a “FREE” walking tour, please note that tips are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Your tip may be based on the length of the tour, the number of people in your party, and the quality of your experience. Usually $5 per person or $10 per hour is a baseline, but you can always adjust the amount of your tip based upon how knowledgeable and personable your guide is.
Delectable Food & Desserts
Recommended by Chef Denise
The food of Paris is perhaps the most compelling of the reasons to visit Paris—the City of Lights—as it is a treat for all of your senses.
Squeezing fresh baked breads from the boulangeries (bakeries), seeing the colorful desserts in the windows of the patisseries (pastry shops), hearing the mouthwatering descriptions of the daily specials, smelling the aromas of the incredible cheese shops, and, of course, tasting all of the deliciousness. Do you need anymore reasons to visit Paris?
French food is renown as some of the best food on the planet. It’s even recognized by UNESCO, and is the basis for most cooking schools around the world. And with over 40,000 restaurants, there’s no better place to enjoy it than in Paris. Admittedly, there’s a wide variety of restaurants, many not even serving French classics, but the bistros, brasseries, and cafes definitely do.
Surprisingly, some of the best traditional dishes in Paris are the least expensive and most accessible. Specialties like duck confit, escargot, and foie gras which can seem exotic to tourists are found at neighborhood eateries without costing a small fortune.
If you’re not too adventurous, Steak Frites (steak with fries), Soupe a L’Oignon (onion soup), or the gooey ham and cheese staple, Croque Monsieur are a safe bet. If you have the funds, you should also enjoy a meal at one of the city’s many Michelin-starred restaurants or try one of their bib gourmand recommendations.
In Paris, no meal seems to be complete without dessert, and that can mean anything from ice cream (glace), to pastries, to cheese (fromage). Doesn’t matter what you choose, it will be heavenly. If you’re in a restaurant, order something you can’t get at a pastry shop like a soufflé or profiterole. Dessert can immediately follow your meal, or you can digest a bit and have one as a snack a little later.
Stroll down one of the famous foodie streets like Rue de Martyr or Rue Montegueil. Here you’ll find some of the best patisseries for cream puffs, eclairs, macarons, and Paris’s signature dessert, the Paris Brest: all reasons to visit Paris in their own right.
Beautiful Parks and Gardens
Recommended by The Unknown Enthusiast
Paris has no end of absolutely gorgeous greenspaces around the city, and honestly, strolling and exploring the gardens is one of the best reasons to visit Paris!
Parks in Paris are extremely popular with both tourists and locals alike, and you will find that parks in residential neighborhoods are very well used—full of families and friends enjoying the fresh air together.
And who can blame them? Paris knows how to do an excellent garden!
Most places have beautiful water features and ponds, sculptures and other stone features, manicured flower displays, very wide walkways, lots of seating options, and often include things like bridges, playgrounds for children, and sometimes even concessions.
Some of the most famous gardens include Jardins de Tuileries, the Jardins de Luxembourg, and the Champ de Mars. These are certainly beautiful, but there are also parks off the tourist path you should visit, such as Parc Monceau and Parc des Buttes Chaumont.
The Jardins de Tuileries is just adjacent to the Louvre and extends right along the Seine. It’s a popular garden and provides a stunning view of the Place de la Concorde and Arc de Triomphe from the center walkway.
The Jardin de Luxembourg sits right in the heart of the Latin quarter, and the French Senate meets in the Palais de Luxembourg found at the entrance to the grounds. This garden excels in merging sculptures and statues with intricate flower displays!
The Champ de Mars is the greenspace right in front of the Eiffel Tower. It’s perfect for a picnic lunch before climbing the tower, and—bonus—there are often crepe stands near the walkways!
Parc Monceau and Parc des Buttes Chaumont are parks that are extremely popular with locals, and are full of families and friends relaxing together, especially on weekends. Don’t miss the columns by the Parc Monceau pond; it’s one of the favorite spot in all of Paris!
Do yourself a favor and definitely don’t miss hitting up a garden (or three!) on your next trip to Paris.
Romance in Paris
Recommended by Wander With Alex
If you’re looking for a romantic bonding experience to share with your significant other, Paris, France just may be the vacation destination for you!
Couples head to Paris for proposals, honeymoons, vow renewals, and many other occasions to commemorate their love. From its romantic language and culture to its history and architecture, Paris is the perfect getaway for couples. After all, it is known as the City of Love.
Eiffel Tower Proposals. Proposals with the iconic Eiffel Tower are incredibly popular in Paris. Because the tower is so large, there are many different places around the city to pop the big question.
The Champ de Mars, a large open greenspace, will give you a perfect full view of the tower. Trocadéro, a popular destination for photos, is another go-to proposal destination because it overlooks the Seine River. The Pont Alexandre III is a beautiful arch bridge that crosses the Seine River giving way to picture perfect backdrops. And last, but certainly not least, many take their sweethearts to the top of the Eiffel Tower for its gorgeous views of the city—a perfect photo op.
A Destination for Honeymooners. Paris is also one of the top-destinations for honeymooners looking for a romantic getaway.
Many of the iconic hotels such as Le Bristol and Shangri-La Hotel Paris offer honeymoon suites with magnificent views and luxurious amenities. Go sightseeing and admire the French gothic architecture, visit a local café, or go shopping at a designer boutique.
Visit the Caves du Louvre and taste some of the finest French wines in a former underground royal cellar.
And if you need a little retail therapy, visit one of the most famous stores in the world, Galeries Lafayette. Then marvel at the Musée du Louvre, a beautiful palace that once housed French Kings.
A Romantic Escape. The City of Love is filled with a great deal of things to do and see for couples looking for a romantic escape. From picnics, shopping, cabarets, sunsets, candle lit dinners, spas, museums, architecture, and more—Paris should be on every couple’s bucket list.
A Day Trip to the Palace of Versailles
Recommended by PlacesofJuma
Not only is the city of Paris beautiful, but so are the towns and cities surrounding Paris as well. The Palace of Versailles is absolutely worth seeing as a day trip from Paris, and is another of the great reasons to visit Paris.
This beautiful palace complex—a real highlight of any trip to France is an absolute must-see—is located outside the French capital, but can be easily reached in just 40 minutes by public transport. The easiest and cheapest way to get to the Palace of Versailles is to take the RER-C, an express train.
Once you arrive, one of the largest palace complexes in all of Europe awaits you! The Sun King Louis XIV oversaw construction of the Palace of Versailles from 1631 to 1634 from a former small hunting lodge.
On a tour, a huge park awaits you with numerous sculptures, fountains and flowering gardens.
The highlight within the Palace of Versailles, and why many come to visit, is the Hall of Mirrors. The Hall is almost 75 meters in length and 10 meters wide, and the so-called “Galerie des Glaces”, consists of 357 mirror surfaces. The mirrors are intended to visually reflect the park into the hall.
In summary, the Palace of Versailles is just breathtaking and a great reason to visit Paris!
A Boat Tour of the River Seine
Recommended by Explorer Chick
The River Seine is one of the waterways that runs through Paris and it is a great way to see the French capital. It definitely offers a different vantage point of the city and for first-time visitors, it is a great introduction to the City of Lights since it hits most of the major tourist hotspots—the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, Pont Neuf, among others.
The river has been the muse of many artists because of its scenic views. During the evenings in the Summer, it is a treat to sit out on the deck and see the reflection of the city lights on the water. While during the Fall, the leaves’ fiery colors along the banks give all the Fall feels. And who can deny that sitting while learning about a historic city is a well-deserved break from walking around the whole day!
Some boat cruises are more than tourist boats but can also be a romantic date night idea with champagne or VIP dinner sunset cruises. Boat lovers can also get a hop-on-hop-off ticket and use that as an alternative to riding the metro.
Recommended by The Tejana Abroad
One of the best reasons to visit Paris is hands down the photo ops! Paris is a beautiful city full of amazing architecture and views, so it’s the perfect place to take all the photos that will make your friends jealous! There is so much to see and do in Paris, so bring your camera to capture the memories and all the instagrammable moments!
One of the most iconic spots is Trocadéro, where you are front and center to a view of the Eiffel Tower. Walk around the plaza to take some great photos, or down the steps to avoid some of the crowds.
From there, you can also cross the street to Champ de Mars, the green space where the Eiffel Tower is. For the best photos though, be sure and arrive early and avoid the crowds!
Alternatively, you can visit Montmartre, a bohemian neighborhood full of cute cafes and plazas. Spend the afternoon roaming up and down the hills, enjoying a nice coffee outside and seeing sights such as La Maison Rose, La Mur des Je t’aime, and most notably, the Basilique Sacré-Cœur. This huge cathedral is free to visit and sits on a hill overlooking the entire city of Paris. Climb up the steps to get a 360-degree view!
Recommended by Staying Afloat Blog
Nuit Blanche. When you think about reasons to visit Paris, one of the things that comes to mind is art. There are museums of every flavor in Paris, but there is one art exhibit that only comes to life once a year.
Every October, residents and visitors to the city have the opportunity to spend 12 hours of darkness wandering the streets and exploring art installations that come to life for one night only.
Nuit Blanche in Paris consists of dozens of art installations, of all types of media, spread across several Arrondissements. From moving videos projected onto buildings to flash dance parties, there are installations for all your senses.
Previous art work included a cement archway erected in the courtyard of the Hotel de Lamoignon by artist Vincent Gavinet (pictured).
The event runs from 6pm to 6am, the first Saturday of October and is free to attend. This experience is a great way to explore Paris for the first time, or to see it in a new light on a repeat visit.
Nuit Blanche in Paris has been running for over 20 years and is an affair not to be missed!
Recommended by Live a Relaxed Life
Montmartre peaks over Paris and it is a place where it pretty much looks and feels like it did in centuries past. Walking around Montmartre can easily take up a day as there are many points of interest such as museums, cemeteries, windmill spotting, and even a winery.
The jewel of the arrondissement is the Sacre Couer basilica which sits on the hilltop. The iconic church is a tourist destination in itself as it offers panoramic views of the city.
The metro stops at the bottom of the church site and it is 197 steps up the hill, alternatively, there is a funicular that takes visitors up to the church. It is free to see the church but there is a charge to go up to the Dome.
The cobblestone streets zigzag across the village and it is full of cafes and vine-covered homes. It is a quintessential Parisian experience to sit in a cafe sipping coffee, walking around to the different shops, or filling up a shopping bag with goodies.
The village was also home to many artists and notable paintings have come from Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, among many others. The Moulin Rouge is one of the last cabaret theaters around and it is a testament to the area’s decadent nightlife.
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Final Thoughts on the 10 Best Reasons to Visit Paris
Hopefully your first visit to Paris will be simply magnificent. Fall in love with the electric vibrancy of the city, seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, and snapping photographs at almost every turn. There are so many great reasons to visit Paris; these are just a few!