Few cities match the iconic status that Paris boasts in the imagination of travellers. In fashion, gastronomy, and the arts, she is queen. As you visit the different quartiers of the City of Light, her moods shift from gritty to sophisticated, from Haute Couture to punk. There is always something new to discover in Paris beyond the legendary sights and museums we all know so well. This fabled city has a way of getting under your skin and feeling instantly familiar to all who wander her hypnotic streets and linger at her inviting cafes.
General opening hours in Paris are Mon–Sat 9am–7pm. Smaller shops may close between midday and 2pm or on Mondays. On Sundays and public holidays shops are closed. Department stores have one late-night opening day, called “nocturne”, during which shops are open until 9pm. Supermarket times may differ depending on the neighbourhood.
Writers, travellers, artists, photographers, and filmmakers have tried to capture the magic of the French capital for hundreds of years. Time and time again, they have failed. It may be possible to understand and admire the magnificence of its architectural splendours, the appeal of its long tree-lined boulevards, and the draw of its vast, green parks, but that unique feeling of strolling through this open-air museum on a clear night cannot be reproduced by any medium. Paris is a city that must be experienced first-hand. Instantly recognisable for its iconic architecture, the City of Light is a vibrant metropolis in constant change. Though perennial monuments like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame Cathedral are a must, as are world-renowned museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, there are wonders to be found on every corner. From the trendy bars, boutiques, and galleries of Marais to the artsy and bohemian feel of Montmartre to the grandiose elegance along the Seine – there is plenty for all tastes, a full range extending from earthy grit to over-the-top sophistication, but always with an emphatic and inimitable Parisian flavour. A pioneer in design of all kinds, Paris is consistently at the forefront of innovation in everything from the arts and culture to fashion and gastronomy. Be it for shopping, dining, or sightseeing, it is hard to find a better place than this, the world’s most visited city. Explore the city like a local and discover the top things to do and see in Paris, as well as the best restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cafes, and hotels the City of Light has to offer.
There is never enough time to take in everything that Paris has to offer. Visiting the sights and museums is immersive, awe-inspiring, and could easily keep you occupied for months. But visitors are best rewarded by simply venturing out into the night. Like most truly great cities, Paris is best experienced after dark and without a fixed route in mind, when the explorer is free to stumble upon an unexpected sight or an undiscovered hole-in-the-wall, drawn in by an alluring scent or some sort of innate feeling. One thing is for sure, you will never run out of things to see, do, and experience in Paris. To help you save time and money, our travel experts have listed below the best attractions in Paris as well as things you should not miss while visiting the French capital.
Paris's cuisine surprises as much for its variety and range as it does for its quality and exquisite presentation. From small family-run bistros to Michelin-starred restaurants run by internationally famous chefs, dining here is more art than science.
Sweets, pastries, cheese, and fresh market produce are also an essential part of the Parisian gastronomic experience, as are, of course, local specialities like foie gras, macarons, and crème brûlée. Top it off with a treat from a speciality chocolaterie and a fine local vintage in the evening to complete the tour of the best delicacies Paris has to offer.