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Explore In and Around Paris

Updated on May 22, 2020
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The Kyp family is originally from Pennsylvania and has resided in South Carolina for the past 5 years. Spent time in and around Paris.

Eiffel Tower sparkles on the hour each hour at night
Eiffel Tower sparkles on the hour each hour at night

Summary of Arrondissements

Central Paris is grouped into 14 different arrondissements (areas) each with their own unique sights and character.

Ile de la Cite and Ile St-Louis is the beginning of Paris. Famous sights here include Notre Dame and Saint-Chapelle.

The Marais is across the original island and home to the Picasso Museum.

Beaubourg and Les Halles is right beside the Marais. The Pompidou Centre houses modern art and scuplture.

Tuileries Quarter is one of the more popular areas in Paris where visitors and locals can tour the amazing art and sculpture at the Louvre.

St-Germain-des-Pres is along the Left Bank (opposite side of the Tuileries Quarter) where one can relax at the famous Les Deux Magots cafe. Another highlight is the Musee d'Orsay.

Latin Quarter is directly across from Ile de la Cite and Ile St Louis on the Left Bank. It is home of the National Museum of the Middle Ages. It was originally known as the Musee de Cluny. The museum houses Gallo-Roman ruins in a medieval mansion.

Jardin des Plantes Quarter is beside the Latin Quarter and home of France's oldest public zoo.

Luxembourg Quarter is on the Left Bank beyond the Latin Quarter and the St-Germain-des-Pres. The main highlight is the gardens and palace of Luxembourg.

Montparnasse is home of a famous French cemetery featuring French scupltures (side note Jim Morrison is not buried here).

Invalides and Eiffel Tower Quarter is as the name suggests where the Eiffel Tower is located. Other highlights is the Dome Church where Napoleon is buried and the Rodin Museum to see The Thinker statute.

Chaillot Quarter is just beside the Eiffel Tower. It features a French film library and other miscellaneous museums.

Champs-Elysees features the Arc de Triomphe and the Pont Alexandre III bridge.

Opera Quarter is home of the famous opera theater that inspired The Phantom of the Opera - the Opera National de Paris Garnier. Right beside the theater is a museum that features famous artists work in rotating exhibits.

Montmartre is the only arrondissement not connected to any other area in Central Paris. It is beyond the Opera Quarter on the Right Bank. The famous Sacre-Coeur white church is located in this arrondissement. It is home of the Moulin Rouge show. Other highlights are the street theater and artists selling their works nearby.

Fontaine Moliere on Rue de Richelieu
Fontaine Moliere on Rue de Richelieu

Tuileries Quarter


  • Montpensier hotel – 6 minute walk to the Louvre - in the heart of Paris


  • Louvre
    • Eat underground at the museum
    • Take a guided tour - one of the most confusing museums to tour on your own. Highly recommend using a museum guide or hire one through a travel site such as
  • Musee de l’Orangerie
  • Tuileries gardens
  • Angelina – dessert café
  • Jardin du Palais Royal

Tomb of Napoleon in the Dome Church
Tomb of Napoleon in the Dome Church

Invalides and Eiffel Tower Quarter

  • Guided tour of the Eiffel Tower to skip the lines (make reservations with a tour site)
  • Rodin Museum
  • Dome Church - where Napoleon is buried

Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe


  • Grand Palais - open venue center that holds rotating events and exhibits
  • Arc de Triomphe

Father Afield

  • Parc Monceau

theater in Montmartre
theater in Montmartre


  • Dali museum
  • Sacre-Coeur church

View of Sacre Coeur from the Tuilleries Quarter
View of Sacre Coeur from the Tuilleries Quarter
Musee d'Orsay holds impressionist artwork
Musee d'Orsay holds impressionist artwork


  • Musee d’Orsay - home of Impressionist art - open 9:30am-6pm

Galleries Lafayette
Galleries Lafayette

Opera Quarter

  • Opera National de Paris Garnier
    • Inspired Phantom of the Opera
    • See a Concert
  • Galeries Lafayette (shopping) – 35 Blvd Haussmann

Ile de la Cite and Ile St-Louis

  • Conciergerie (prison/guillotine) where Marie Antoinette was killed
  • Crypte Archeologique (near statue of Charlemagne)
  • Notre Dame cathedral
  • Sainte-Chapelle cathedral

Notre Dame
Notre Dame

The Marais

  • Victor Hugo house

Pompidou Centre
Pompidou Centre

Beaubourg and Les Halles

  • Place Igor Stravinsky fountain near Pompidou Centre (from movie Sabrina with Harrison Ford)

Latin Quarter

  • Musee National du Moyen Age (also known as Musee de Cluny) - home of Gallo-Roman ruins and the famous Lady with the Unicorn tapestries

Luxembourg Quarter

  • Luxembourg gardens and palace

Chaillot Quarter

Father Afield

  • Auteuil (view the Wallace fountain)

Opera room inside Versailles
Opera room inside Versailles

Farther Afield - Less Than an Hour From Paris

Trips from Paris

  • Pere Lachaise cemetery (Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Chopin) - one hour walk from the Louvre; 12 minute taxi ride
  • Versailles tour (35 minutes southwest)
  • Disneyland (33 minutes east of Paris)
  • Chateau de Malmaison – Josephine Napoleon’s roses (30 minutes west)
  • Vaux-le-Vicomte gardens (48 minutes southeast) - inspiration for the Versailles palace and gardens near Fontainebleau

Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace

Father Afield - Around an Hour Away from Paris

Foundation Claude Monet - Giverny

  • The gardens of Monet (one hour west of Paris)
  • Allow 2 hours to tour the gardens
  • Visit April to October
    • April – tulips, pansies, cherry blossoms, daffodils
    • May – irises, peonies, rhododendrons, azaleas, wisterias, daisies
    • June – roses, poppies
    • July – roses, dahlias, sunflowers, hollyhocks, beginning of water lilies
    • August – dahlias, end of waterlilies
    • September – asters, dahlias, rudbeckias
    • October – dahlias; all annual flowers until frost

Chartres cathedral day trip (1 hour southwest)
Reims and Champagne day trip (wine tasting) (1.5 hours east)

Farther Afield - Full Day Trip Away from Paris

Loire Valley (chateaus) - 2 hours

  • Chambord
  • Chenonceau
  • Gardens of Villandry
  • Amboise
  • Clos Luce
  • Cheverny

Mont St. Michele (4 hours)

Normandy Beach (2 hours and 16 minutes)

Bruges, Belgium day trip (river canals) (3 hours north)

Burgundy day trip (wine tasting) (2 hours and 40 minutes southeast)

Chablis day trip (wine tasting) (2 hours southeast)

Eiffel Tower at night (not sparkling)
Eiffel Tower at night (not sparkling)

Possible Itinerary

Day 1 - Paris

  • Guided tour of the Eiffel tour (allow 2 to 2.5 hours) - lunch nearby afterwards
  • Walk along the Champ de Mars to the Dome Church and view Napoleon's Tomb
  • Visit the Rodin Museum (allow one hour to tour)
  • Musee d'Orsay - (allow 2 hours to tour) - open 9:30am-6pm
  • Visit the Angelina dessert cafe on Rivoli (open 7:30am-7pm; weekends open at 8:30am)
  • Dinner near the Jardin du Palais-Royal (the palace itself is not open to the public to tour)

Day 2 - road trip

  • Chateau de Malmaison in Rueil-Malmaison (around a 30 minute drive from the Louvre) - (opens at 10am then closes from 12:30-1:30pm and re-opens until 5:15pm or 5:45pm)
  • Foundation Claude Monet half day trip in Giverny (almost an hour north of the Chateau)

Day 3 - road trip

  • Versailles Palace and Gardens - reserve a guided tour that includes visits to the Le Grand Trianon and La Petit Trianon and Hameau de Marie Antoinette

Day 4 - road trip

  • Chateau de Fontainbleau/Vaux-le-Vicomte gardens day tour - tour the residence of Napoleon and the inspiration for Versailles

Day 5 - Paris

  • Guided tour of the Louvre (allow 3 hours)
  • Lunch at Le Cafe Marly - make reservations or LouLou Paris Restaurant in the Tuileries Gardens
  • Walk along the Tuileries Gardens and visit the water lilies of Monet at Musee de l'Orangerie (allow 2 or more hours to tour) (open 9am-6pm)
  • View Place de la Concorde along with Pont de la Concorde bridge
  • Dinner near the Grand-Palais or along Champs-Elysees
  • View across the Pont Alexandre III bridge from Grand Palais
  • Shop along the Champs-Elysees
  • Visit the Arc de Triomphe after 6:30pm when the flame of the unknown soldier is lit and the streets of Champs-Elysees is all alight

Day 6 - road trip

  • Normandy Beach tour

Day 7 - road trip

  • Chartres cathedral day trip

Day 8 - Paris

  • Tour Crypte Archeologique (allow 60-90 minutes to tour)
  • Lunch in the Luxembourg Gardens - La Terrasse de Madame
  • Guided afternoon tour of Notre Dame, Conciergerie (prison/guillotine) and Sainte-Chapelle (allow 2-3 hours)
  • Dinner on the island at Brasserie Les Deux Palais
  • Cross over Pont des Arts bridge past the Louvre
  • Moulin Rouge show (no dinner) arrive between 8:30-8:45pm for a 9pm show (lasts almost 2 hours)

Day 9 - road trip

  • Mont St. Michele

Day 10 - road trip

  • Loire Valley day trip (chateaus) - Chambord, Chenonceau, Villandry

Day 11(a) - Paris

  • Relax in the morning around Jardin du Palais-Royal; get treats from Angelina dessert cafe (open at 7:30am)
  • Lunch in the Opera Quarter
  • Enjoy an afternoon chamber music concert at the Palais Garnier
  • Shop and eat at the Galleries Lafayette - 35 Boulevard Haussmann - (open until 8:30pm) - check out the Fauchon dessert shops
  • Guided evening tour of the Opera National de Paris Garnier around 5pm (allow 1.5 hours for the tour)
  • Dinner near the Jardin du Palais-Royal


Day 11(b)

  • Espace Dali (allow 45 minutes)
  • Sacre-Coeur church
  • See the local art and street performers
  • Carrousel de Montmartre
  • Lunch near the Galleries Lafayette and shop the rest of the afternoon
  • Evening concert at Palais Garnier

Day 12(a) - Paris

  • Espace Dali (allow 45 minutes)
  • Sacre-Coeur church
  • See the local art and street performers
  • Carrousel de Montmartre
  • Guided tour of Pere Lachaise Cemetery (allow 2 hours)
  • Tour Victor Hugo's house (allow an hour)
  • Stravinsky Fountain near the Pompidou Centre
  • Dine at Les Deux Maggots


Day 12(b)

  • Guided tour of Pere Lachaise Cemetery (allow 2 hours)
  • Tour Victor Hugo's house (allow an hour)
  • Stravinsky Fountain near the Pompidou Centre
  • Pantheon (allow an hour to tour)
  • Musee National du Moyen Age (Musee de Cluny) (allow 2 hours to tour)
  • Dine at Les Deux Maggots

© 2020 Kyp


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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 weeks ago from UK

      This is an interesting introduction to Paris with some good suggestions for trips around the area.


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