Visit the Eiffel Tower
No first time trip to Paris is complete without seeing its iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower. Ascend to the top for panoramic views of the city. Gaze out over the streets from the lower platforms. Dodge crowds by visiting at night when the tower is lit up. Go for a stroll underneath and feel dwarfed by the impressive architecture.
Try to catch the Eiffel Tower sparkling when its 20,000 light bulbs glitter for 5 minutes on the hour after sunset. This can't-miss sight epitomizes the magic of Paris.
Tour the Louvre Museum
Art lovers can't miss the Louvre, the world's largest and most visited museum. Its expansive collections span various wings and buildings.
See masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Wander through ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. Marvel at massive paintings like The Wedding Feast at Cana. The sheer volume of renowned works at the Louvre is unparalleled.
Be strategic by researching must-see pieces and planning your route. Opt for a highlights tour to bypass overload. Don't miss iconic Louvre architecture like the glass Pyramid.
Cruise the Seine River
A boat cruise along the River Seine offers unique views of Parisian landmarks. Float past the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, historic bridges and more.
Day cruises let you soak in sights during the bright afternoon light. For a romantic ambience, evening cruises include dinner with city vistas illuminated at night.
River level perspectives give you an immersive orientation to the city layout. Cruise routes pass under stunning bridges stretching across the Seine.
Climb the Arc de Triomphe
Stand atop the Arc de Triomphe for postcard views down the bustling Champs-Elysées and beyond. This iconic triumphal arch is situated on the western end of the grand avenue.
After taking the underground tunnel to the base, climb 284 steps to reach the observation deck. Gaze over sprawling Paris highlights like the Seine River, Opera Garnier, Sacré Coeur and the Eiffel Tower.
Don't miss the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the arch paying tribute to lives lost in WWI and WWII.
For charming Parisian streets, make your way to the quaint Montmartre neighborhood. Meander through the hilly area's narrow alleys and winding staircases.
See Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the white-domed 19th century church crowning the district. Browse local artists' paintings in Place du Tertre. Hunt for souvenirs on boutique-lined Rue des Martyrs.
Grab crepes and people-watch from cafes. Montmartre exudes small-town charm tucked within the bustling metropolis.
Indulge in French Cuisine
Paris is a global capital for cuisine, so savoring authentic dishes is a must. Treat yourself to buttery crepes, crispy croissants, and decadent pastries for breakfast. Stop at bustling cafes for cappuccinos, sandwiches, and people watching.
For dinner, try coq au vin, ratatouille provençal, or other French classics. Sample cheese and charcuterie plates with wine at a cozy bistro. End the evening with a sweet crème brûlée.
Explore the Catacombs
Venture underground into the fascinating Paris Catacombs, a maze of tunnels housing the remains of 6 million people. These former limestone quarries contain macabre displays of carefully arranged bones and skulls.
Not for the faint of heart, the Catacombs provide an intriguing look at a piece of Paris history. Get tickets in advance since lines can be long for this popular spot. Wandering the creepy passages is an experience like no other.
Stroll the Champs-Elysées
No visit to Paris is complete without a stroll down the iconic Champs-Elysées. This famous 1.2 mile avenue stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde.
Browse luxury flagship stores and fashionable boutiques. See the Grand Palais and Petit Palais museums. Stop for macarons at Ladurée. Watch artists and performers along the lively promenade.
The Champs-Elysées encapsulates the elegance and energy that defines Paris. Don't miss seeing this historical boulevard.
From monumental staples like the Eiffel Tower to neighborhood delights like Montmartre, Paris offers endless activities for first-timers. Sightseeing highlights paired with savoring French cuisine makes for an unforgettable visit. Use this list to craft an itinerary for an amazing introductory trip to the City of Lights.