Things to do in Paris
Je t’aime Paris! And so does Vinnie Van GO. There are so many reasons to love Paris – from the food to the art to the monuments! Vinnie Van GO has rounded up some of Paris’s best, from well-known spots like the Eiffel Tower to off-the-beaten-track treasures.
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Every 14th of July, France celebrates their French National Day, a commemoration of the Storming of the Bastille. This 1789 event was a turning point in the French Revolution. You won’t want to miss this public holiday in France’s own capital! There are organized parties, music performances, and some of the most fantastic firework shows in the world.
Paris Fashion Week
Taking place twice a year, every year, in September/October and February/March, Paris Fashion Week is the event for all those who work in, or are just interesting in, fashion. Twice a year, France’s most famous designers showcase their seasonal lines to industry professionals and the public. There are exhibits, parties and presentations. Don’t have a ticket to an event? Just walking around in the streets taking in the street style is like a runway show!
Nuit Blanche, or “Sleepless Night”, takes place early October of each year. This free annual arts event turns the whole city into an arts event, from dusk until dawn. Various arts and cultural venues open themselves up for free to the general public, and plan events and parties. This is one of the city’s most exciting fall events, you won’t want to miss it!
Le Parc des Princes
The Parc des Princes, or “Princes’ Park”, is a soccer stadium in the south-west of Paris, a short shuttle ride away from the center of the city. This stadium has been the home of Paris Saint-Germain soccer club since 1974 – a must-visit for any visiting soccer fans!
Stade de France
Stade de France, located in the north of Paris in Saint-Denis, is well-known to any soccer fan. It is the sixth-largest stadium in Europe, and was originally built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Besides soccer matches, there are many rugby games and huge music concerts throughout the year.
This upcoming multi-purpose stadium in the west suburbs of Paris, also known as Arena 92, will be the home of the French rugby union club, Racing 92. It will also be the home of many entertainment performances – The Rolling Stones are the first scheduled show, which will be held on October 19th 2017.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is surely one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris. This monument located at the west end of the Champs-Élysées commemorates fallen soldiers from the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Underneath it is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWI. Hike to the top of this patriotic landmark for breathtaking views of Paris.
Shakespeare & Co.
This is possible the most famous bookstore in the world. Located along the Left Bank of the Seine right across from the Notre-Dame, this English language bookstore has been a Paris staple since the 1920s. The original shop was a salon for many famous expat writers, including Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Ezra Pound. Today, the new location of the store houses an antiquarian, a second-hand and new bookstore, and a free public library.
37 Rue de la Bûcherie
You’ve surely heard of the Louvre museum, but just a little farther down the river is the equally prestigious, slightly less busy Musée d'Orsay. On the left bank overlooking the Seine, this museum holds some of the most iconic French artworks of the 19th and 20th centuries. Housed in an old train station, it is also one of the largest art museums in Europe, so you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur
There’s only one way to get to know Paris – walking! Walking through the cobbled streets and grand boulevards can be overwhelming. Vinnie Van GO has gotten together his favorite walking tours so you can make the most out of your time in the City of Lights!
Wego Walking Tours
This tour company hosts a number of historical and cultural walking tour experiences. The tour guides are knowledgable and fun, and will ensure that you won’t miss a thing.
Custom Neighborhood Explorations
Secrets of Paris hosts several tours throughout the French capital, including historic tours and off-the-beaten-path experiences. But if you’re travelling with a group, or have your own ideas of what you want to see, try their customized tour experience. The tour guides know every corner of the city, so pick a neighborhood and let them know exactly what you don’t want to miss.
Self-Guided Walking Tours
GPSMYCITY has more than 60 self-guided tour experiences if you’d rather take things at your own pace. Check them out on their site.
When you think of Paris, you think of the Eiffel Tower, baguettes… and cafés! Cafés have served as a cornerstone of social life in Paris since the 17th century. Vinnie Van GO has rounded up some of his favorites, so you can enjoy a coffee and croissant the way Parisians do.
Café de la Paix
This café located in the 9th arrondissement in the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel, is famous for its florid interior decoration. Opened in 1862, this is one of the most popular cafés in Paris, and has been since the Belle Époque.
5 Place de l'Opéra
Café de Flore
One of the oldest cafés in Paris, this Saint-Germain district café is known for its famous clientele and delicious coffee. Opened in the 1880s, this café as frequented by Pablo Picasso, Georges Bataille and other famous writers and philosophers. This café is legendary, so gets busy fast – plan ahead and get there early!
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain
Shakespeare and Company Café
Located in the aforementioned landmark, the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, this quaint and cozy café may lack the glamor of the others, but not the quality. Cozy up with a book and perfect cup of coffee as you sit amongst locals and expats.
37 Rue de la Bûcherie