Five things to do in Paris, France

Five things a tourist should do first in Paris, France.
Photo credit: Getty

As a prime time tourist destination, it's hard to beat Paris.

The vibrant city is one of the most recognisable in the world and near the top of the list for a lot of eager travellers.

However, working out what to do if you've never been there before can be challenging, particularly if you haven't got much time to explore.

From the perspective of a rookie traveller, here's five things to get you started.

The Eiffel Tower is a must-do for tourists in Paris.
Photo credit: Newshub.

Eiffel Tower

Yep, it's the classic answer, but it's well worth doing. The tower is just as spectacular during the day, as it is at night.

Hordes of tourists flock to the eye-catching structure, taking picnics and chilling out on the grass in front of it, clambering up the various levels for a better view of the city, or working out the best angle for that iconic selfie.

During the night, the tower is lit up like a spectacular beacon, and it's a treat to be there when on the hour, a special set of lights dance and sparkle across it like it's a Christmas tree. There's a great atmosphere every time they come on, with the crowd gasping and breaking into applause.

Just be mindful of the various people trying to sell you cheap knockoffs of the tower, and try and avoid going to the cafes next to the Tower, as their prices are as steep as the structure itself.

The Seine River Cruise is a must for first-time visitors to Paris.
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Seine River Cruise

This hour-long cruise is a hotbed of cultures, as tourists from a range of countries jump on board the boat to catch a glimpse of all the sights in Paris. The boat itself is nothing fancy, but it provides great viewing areas on both sides, as well as the top deck.

From there, you can sidle alongside the Eiffel Tower, catch a glimpse of the damaged Notre Dame Cathedral, and get a look at the famous Louvre museum.

There's a handy voiceover in plenty of languages which lets you know what landmarks are coming up, and what you're looking at. Amusingly, the man reading the English translation sounds like the lead detective from a grainy film noir classic.

Away from the buildings, it's also an ideal chance to people watch the tourists and locals mixing on the river bank. You can see anything from groups enjoying a wine together, random salsa dancing demonstrations, and trios playing music.

It's an enjoyable ride at a sleepy pace, and makes you feel like you've seen a lot of the city, in just 60 minutes.

The Sacré-Cœur is a must for first-time visitors to Paris.
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The Roman-Cathlolic church is one of the most popular monuments in Paris, and provides a stunning example of the architecture in the city. It's an amazing spot, and even better, it's free to go inside and walk around the vast interior.

Services run throughout the day, so you can even sit in while you're there. A security guard makes sure everyone is quiet as they delicately make their way around the building, and it's a surreal feeling to park yourself on one of the pews, and take in the religious experience.

The church is nestled on the Montmartre hill, providing a simply magnificent view of Paris. With the city stretching out endlessly, it's a great opportunity to admire the vista, and take a landscape photo or two.

As with many of these places, there are stacks of tourists around, so sometimes you have to stay a bit patient.

Place du Tertre is a must for first-time visitors to Paris.
Photo credit: Newshub.

Place du Tertre

Just around the corner from Sacré-Cœur is the artistic square Place du Tertre. It's a hotbed for artists who line the sides offering their services.

There are plenty of options to choose from, including pencil drawings and watercolours, coming in all shapes and sizes. One of the most popular options is portraits, with several people opting to sit on a stool and get themselves drawn.

There's plenty of cafes to sit back and enjoy the sun in with a beverage and a bit of food, but one of the best parts is simply wandering around the square, taking in the smell of smoke and paint, and enjoying the bouncy local music that drifts around the area. It's also an ideal spot to grab a souvenir, from a small picture, to a tasteful tea towel.

Champs-Elysees is a must for first-time visitors to Paris.
Photo credit: Newshub.


The Champs-Elysees is like a drugged up Lambton Quay - only with much better sights and no pigeons. There's a constant stream of people powering up both sides, diving into stores, pausing for a coffee or charging towards the Arc de Triomphe.

A plethora of Lime scooters have popped up as well, making it easier to cover a lot more ground, as long as you can safely negotiate your way through the crowds.

Like the Eiffel Tower, it's good at night as well. You can stop off for crepes or ice cream as you cruise along, or just take in the lights and ambience of the famous avenue.

Newshub travelled to Paris as a guest of Qatar Airways.