Paris has heaps of things to see and do. Knowing which to choose when visiting for a couple of days is no easy task. We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. Our team of locally based writers share some of their must-visit spots and activities to make the most of your stay in the French capital this summer.
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Brunch at the Ritz Hotel
For the ultimate brunch experience that screams old-world Parisian charm, there’s no better place than the Ritz Hotel and charming courtyard garden for its palatial setting and high-end cuisine.
Visit the Versailles Palace gardens in the sunshine
The Chateau de Versailles is a short train ride south, but is certainly worth it, for the skilfully-trimmed gardens designed with all elements in perspective and the lavish palace interiors, especially the gilded Hall of Mirrors.
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Explore the city’s hidden countryside spots
Paris has a sprinkling of quiet havens like Saint Blaise, its cobbled stone streets lined with houses, and adorned with rose bushes and vibrant green creepers, or the Villa Léandre, a street in Montmartre with colourful townhouses. Also, stop by the Village Saint Paul, a tranquil tucked-away spot in the Marais area.
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Take a walk above Paris
Stroll above Paris on the Promenade Plantée stretching almost five kilometres from Bastille to the Vincennes woods. A former railway, it is now a trail of water basins, plant life and footbridges floating above the streets, and affording views like nowhere else in the city.
Sample cocktails in the sky at a rooftop bar
Rooftop terraces are all the rage, including hip terraces like Le Perchoir bar and restaurant. Up on the seventh floor of an out-of-the-way building in the 11th district to the slick Café de l’Homme and its unrivalled Eiffel Tower vistas.
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Enjoy the canal-side activity
Paris has several canals that become a hive of activity with al fresco bars, restaurants and music, like the Canal Saint-Martin, the quai d’Austerlitz, the Canal de L’Ourcq, and along the River Seine between the Alma and Alexandre III bridges.
Make a foodie stop at a Moroccan restaurant inside a mosque
Paris is also a melting pot of different cultures, and a local favourite Moroccan foodie jaunt is the restaurant at the heart of the Grande Mosquée with its open tree-planted courtyard adorned with colourful mosaics. There is also a Moroccan steam bath on site.
Seek out rare finds at the Saint Ouen flea market
Paris’s largest flea market, Les Puces encompasses no less than 14 markets, a maze of lanes heaving with all things vintage and antique, from furniture to clothing and all sorts of bric-à-brac.
Take a sunset cruise on the Seine
Opt for a sunset dinner tour, which takes you passed some of Paris’s most sensational monuments like the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais – and at night when the buildings are beautifully lit up – it’s an even more magical experience.
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Watch life go by on a bench of Place des Vosges
The best way to get a real grasp of that quintessential Parisian atmosphere is simply to sit at a café and watch life go by, and Place des Vosges, one of the city’s most alluring squares in the Marais neighbourhood, is a favourite. Surrounded by old townhouses standing on arches, and adorned with pruned trees and fountains, it’s full of old Parisian soul.
For more activities to do in Paris, visit our Paris page.