Paris things to do - Our Expert's
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Centre Pompidou

Price guide: Mid-range
#1/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.9 (out of 5)

A buzzing landmark of modern art and architecture.

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Musée du Louvre

Price guide: Mid-range
#2/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Best for Culture -
Expert overall rating:4.9 (out of 5)

The world's greatest art museum and a palace to boot.

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Musée Rodin

Price guide: Mid-range
#3/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.8 (out of 5)

The sculptor's masterpieces and fascinating studies on show around his house and garden.

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#4/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Best for Romance -
Expert overall rating:4.8 (out of 5)

Paris's most romantic square.

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Les Invalides

Price guide: Mid-range
#5/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Best for History -
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Meeting point for two great megalomaniacs: Napoleon and Louis XIV.

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#6/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

An exceptional art collection and mansion with the personal touch of two avid collectors.

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Eiffel Tower

Price guide: Expensive
#7/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Best for First-time visitors -
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

The ultimate Paris icon: even better in reality.

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#8/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Stupendous Monets on show in an elegant Parisian villa.

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#9/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Lions, Romans and unicorns in a medieval mansion.

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#10/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Best for Families -
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

The best place to spot an ostrich in Paris.

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Sainte Chapelle

Price guide: Mid-range
#11/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

A jewel of High Gothic architecture with fabulous stained glass.

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Palais Garnier

Price guide: Mid-range
#12/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
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Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Gloriously gaudy: Paris's operatic feast.

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#13/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

The quintessential Paris park: made for people-watching.

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#14/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
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Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

A Modernist must-see for architecture buffs – and it's not just white.

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#15/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Celeb stiffs in Paris's most famous cemetery.

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#16/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Discover waterfalls, caves and a lovers' leap in Paris's most romantic park.

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#17/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Discover gargoyles, headless kings and great views at Paris's Gothic cathedral.

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#18/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

The wonderfully over-the-top home and studio of Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau.

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#19/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
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Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

Tribute to French flair from furniture and freaky fashions to furry toys.

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Palais de Tokyo

Price guide: Mid-range
#20/30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Best for Chilling out -
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

Exciting contemporary art in an artfully distressed setting.

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Most museums and galleries close on either Monday or Tuesday. In general, state-run museums (Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Rodin, Cluny, etc) close on Tuesday and municipal ones on Monday (Carnavalet, Petit Palais, Bourdelle, etc), with a few exceptions (state Musée d'Orsay closes on Monday) and independently run museums and galleries may have close one or two days a week, or not at all – so check first: it's tragic to see all those people milling around outside the Louvre on the day it's closed.

You may find queues shorter in the evening for those places with late night opening.

Paris's municipal museums have free entry, though generally not for temporary exhibitions. National museums are free for all under 18s and all European Union nationals under 26.

If you're planning very intensive sightseeing, the Paris Museums Pass (www.pasismuseumpass.com), which gives free entry to around 60 museums and monuments in Paris and the Paris region – see the website for the full list – can be good deal, especially as it often allows you to queue jump at ticket desks. It is available for two (32 euros), four (48 euros) or six (64 euros) days, but generally does not include temporary exhibitions, and can be bought at tourist offices, selected museums and monuments and branches of Fnac.

How I’ve picked my things to do: 

As well as the mega museums like the Louvre, d'Orsay and the Centre Pompidou and must-see icons like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame, I've also chosen some of Paris's smaller specialist museums, such as the Musée Gustave Moreau, which has the personal appeal of the artist's own house and studio, lesser known churches like the beautiful Eglise St-Etienne-du-Mont that forms part of Parisian history and some of the squares and parks that are an intrinsic part of the urban landscape and places where Parisians themselves go to relax. There's enough in Paris to keep you occupied for months, these are just a starter.

Set focus

As well as the mega museums like the Louvre, d'Orsay and the Centre Pompidou and must-see icons like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame, I've also chosen some of Paris's smaller specialist museums, such as the Musée Gustave Moreau, which has the personal appeal of the artist's own house and studio, lesser known churches like the beautiful Eglise St-Etienne-du-Mont that forms part of Parisian history and some of the squares and parks that are an intrinsic part of the urban landscape and places where Parisians themselves go to relax. There's enough in Paris to keep you occupied for months, these are just a starter.