Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

What To Do In Paris During A Long Stopover


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Betti Winfield



Welcome to the city of lights – Paris! If you find yourself with a long stopover in the capital of France, you’re in for a treat. This vibrant city offers a multitude of activities and sights to explore, ensuring that your time in Paris will be anything but boring.


From iconic landmarks to charming neighborhoods, from delicious cuisine to world-class shopping, Paris has something to captivate every traveler. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a food lover, a fashionista, or simply a curious wanderer, this city will leave you enchanted.


With its rich history and stunning architecture, Paris is a treasure trove of experiences just waiting to be discovered. Whether you have a few hours or a couple of days, there are plenty of options to make the most of your stopover and create lasting memories.


In this article, we will guide you through the must-see attractions, mouthwatering culinary delights, picturesque parks, and vibrant nightlife that Paris has to offer. So, grab your beret, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to immerse yourself in the enchantment of the City of Lights.


Exploring the City of Lights

Paris is often referred to as the “City of Lights” due to its historical significance during the Enlightenment period and its stunning nighttime illuminations. When exploring this magnificent city, start with a visit to the iconic Eiffel Tower. This towering structure offers breathtaking views of the city, especially during sunset.


Another must-visit landmark is the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Take a stroll along the Seine River, where you can admire the elegant bridges, charming riverside cafes, and the famous Love Lock Bridge.


For a taste of the city’s bohemian atmosphere, head to the artistic neighborhood of Montmartre. Climb to the top of the hill to visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Explore the winding streets filled with artists, cafes, and street performers, and don’t miss a chance to visit the famous Moulin Rouge.


Paris is also home to world-class museums, including the Louvre Museum, which houses masterpieces like the Mona Lisa. You can easily spend hours wandering through its vast collection of art and historical artifacts. Another must-see museum is the Musée d’Orsay, where you can admire Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces.


Don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll along the Champs-Élysées, one of the most famous avenues in the world. Enjoy the elegant storefronts, stop for a coffee at a sidewalk café, and make your way to the Arc de Triomphe. The view from the top is truly breathtaking.


No visit to Paris would be complete without experiencing the vibrant atmosphere of its local markets. Explore the bustling streets of Le Marais and browse through the stalls of the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris. Sample local delicacies and pick up artisanal products for souvenirs.


These are just a few highlights of what Paris has to offer. There is so much more to see and do in this enchanting city, so be sure to plan your time wisely and immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of the City of Lights.


Visiting Iconic Landmarks

Paris is renowned for its iconic landmarks that have become symbols of the city. These architectural marvels not only showcase the historical and cultural significance of Paris but also provide breathtaking views and photographic opportunities. Here are a few must-visit landmarks:

  1. Eiffel Tower: No visit to Paris is complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower. This iron lattice tower stands tall at 324 meters and offers mesmerizing views of the city from its observation decks. You can choose to take the elevator or challenge yourself with a climb up the stairs.
  2. Notre-Dame Cathedral: A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, Notre-Dame Cathedral is an iconic symbol of Paris. Admire the intricate details of the façade, marvel at the stunning stained glass windows, and take a moment to appreciate the historical significance of this landmark.
  3. Louvre Museum: Home to thousands of works of art, the Louvre Museum is the largest art museum in the world. Stand in awe of the Mona Lisa, explore the Egyptian antiquities, and immerse yourself in the grandeur of this cultural gem.
  4. Arc de Triomphe: Situated at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe is a majestic monument that honors those who fought and died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city.
  5. Pantheon: Originally built as a church, the Pantheon now serves as a mausoleum for distinguished French citizens. Marvel at the neoclassical architecture and pay homage to notable figures like Voltaire, Rousseau, and Marie Curie.

These are just a few examples of the iconic landmarks that define the beauty and cultural heritage of Paris. Each of these landmarks holds its own unique charm and significance, contributing to the allure of the City of Lights.


Savoring French Cuisine

Paris is a culinary paradise that offers a feast for the senses. From melt-in-your-mouth pastries to delectable cheeses and sophisticated wines, French cuisine is renowned worldwide for its exquisite flavors and refined techniques. When in Paris, make sure to indulge in the following culinary delights:

  1. Croissants and Pastries: Start your day like a true Parisian with a buttery croissant or pain au chocolat from a local bakery. The light and flaky texture, paired with a hot cup of coffee, is the perfect way to kick-start your day.
  2. French Cheese: Paris is a cheese lover’s paradise. Explore a fromagerie and sample a variety of cheeses, from creamy Brie to pungent Roquefort. Pair them with a fresh baguette for a heavenly combination.
  3. Escargots: For the adventurous foodies, trying escargots is a must. These tender snails are cooked in garlic and butter, creating a rich and flavorful dish. Don’t forget to use the special snail tongs and fork!
  4. Coq au Vin: This classic French dish features chicken cooked slowly in red wine, mushrooms, onions, and herbs. The result is a tender and flavorful meat with a rich, savory sauce. It’s a true comfort food delight.
  5. Macarons: Paris is famous for its colorful and delicate macarons. These meringue-based almond cookies filled with various flavored ganaches or creams are a sweet treat that will leave you craving for more.

Paris is also home to a plethora of Michelin-starred restaurants, where you can experience haute cuisine at its finest. From elegant dining rooms to innovative and artistic dishes, these restaurants offer a truly memorable gastronomic experience.


Don’t forget to pair your meals with a glass of French wine. Paris boasts an impressive selection of wine bars where you can taste and discover the finest French vintages. From Bordeaux to Burgundy, the world of French wine awaits your exploration.


Whether you choose to dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant or savor street food from a local market, Paris is sure to delight your taste buds with its culinary offerings. Bon appétit!


Exploring Parisian Neighborhoods

Paris is made up of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and charm. Exploring these neighborhoods is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the true essence of the city. Here are a few neighborhoods worth exploring:

  1. Le Marais: Located in the historic 4th arrondissement, Le Marais is a trendy and vibrant neighborhood known for its narrow streets, historic buildings, and trendy boutiques. Explore the Jewish Quarter, visit the Musée Carnavalet, and indulge in delicious falafel from one of the many street food vendors.
  2. Saint-Germain-des-Prés: This chic and intellectual neighborhood on the Left Bank is famous for its literary cafes, high-end boutiques, and art galleries. Visit the iconic Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots, where philosophers and writers once gathered, and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the charming streets.
  3. Montmartre: Famous for its bohemian atmosphere and breathtaking views, Montmartre is a must-visit neighborhood. Climb the hill to reach Sacré-Cœur Basilica, explore the winding streets filled with artists and cafes, and soak in the lively ambiance of Place du Tertre.
  4. Latin Quarter: Home to the iconic Sorbonne University, the Latin Quarter is a lively neighborhood known for its student vibes and vibrant atmosphere. Stroll along the bustling Rue Mouffetard, visit the ancient Roman ruins in the Arènes de Lutèce, and enjoy the nightlife at one of the many bars and clubs.
  5. Canal Saint-Martin: Located in the trendy 10th arrondissement, Canal Saint-Martin offers a unique and laid-back vibe. Take a leisurely walk along the tree-lined canal, enjoy a picnic by the water, and explore the quirky shops and hip cafes in the area.

Each neighborhood has its own distinct personality and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re seeking history, art, shopping, or simply a place to relax and soak in the local atmosphere, Parisian neighborhoods have something for everyone.


So, lace up your walking shoes, grab a map, and embark on a journey to explore the diverse and captivating neighborhoods of Paris. You never know what delightful surprises await you around the next corner.


Shopping in Paris

Paris is a fashion capital and a mecca for shopping enthusiasts. With its array of designer boutiques, department stores, and charming streets lined with shops, the city offers endless opportunities for retail therapy. From high-end luxury brands to vintage treasures, Paris has something for every style and budget.


When it comes to luxury shopping, head to the iconic Champs-Élysées. This renowned avenue is home to flagship stores such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel. Explore the elegant storefronts and indulge in the ultimate luxury shopping experience.


For a more eclectic and unique shopping experience, visit Le Marais. This trendy neighborhood is known for its independent fashion boutiques, vintage shops, and concept stores. Discover one-of-a-kind pieces, browse through the selection of local designers, and explore the latest fashion trends.


Paris is also famous for its department stores, which are destinations in themselves. Galeries Lafayette and Printemps are located near the Opera Garnier and offer a wide range of high-end brands and designer collections. Don’t forget to visit the top floor of Galeries Lafayette, where you’ll find a stunning panoramic view of Paris.


If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly shopping experience, head to the Marais district. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois is dotted with affordable yet stylish boutiques, offering clothing, accessories, and home decor items that reflect the latest trends.


Paris is also known for its markets, where you can browse through antiques, vintage clothing, and unique treasures. The Saint-Ouen Flea Market is one of the largest and most famous flea markets in the world, offering a wide range of items from different eras. The Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves is another popular market that is worth exploring.


Don’t forget to indulge in some delicious treats while shopping in Paris. Make a stop at a pastry shop and sample macarons, éclairs, and other delectable French pastries. And, of course, a visit to Paris is incomplete without savoring a freshly baked baguette from a local boulangerie.


No matter your shopping preferences, Paris offers a wealth of options to satisfy your fashion cravings. So, grab your shopping bags and prepare to indulge in the unforgettable shopping experience that only Paris can provide.


Enjoying Cultural Experiences

Paris is a city steeped in culture, and there are countless opportunities to immerse yourself in its rich artistic and historical heritage. From world-class museums to theatrical performances, here are some cultural experiences you won’t want to miss:

  1. Louvre Museum: A visit to the Louvre Museum is a must for art enthusiasts. Explore its vast collection of masterpieces, including the iconic Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory of Samothrace. Marvel at the diverse range of artwork, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to Renaissance paintings.
  2. Palace of Versailles: Just a short trip outside of Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of French royalty. Marvel at the extravagant palace interiors, wander through the meticulously manicured gardens, and be in awe of the Hall of Mirrors.
  3. Opera Garnier: Experience the grandeur of the opera at the Opera Garnier. Take a guided tour of this stunning architectural masterpiece, with its ornate interiors and breathtaking auditorium, or immerse yourself in a live performance of ballet or opera.
  4. Musée d’Orsay: Housed in a former railway station, the Musée d’Orsay is home to a magnificent collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Admire works by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and many other renowned artists as you wander through the museum’s beautiful galleries.
  5. Shakespeare and Company: Book lovers should make a pilgrimage to the iconic Shakespeare and Company bookstore. Located near Notre-Dame, this English-language bookstore carries a rich history and offers a charming ambiance that will transport you back in time.

In addition to these iconic cultural spots, Paris is also known for its vibrant theater scene. Catch a performance at one of the city’s many theaters, from classic French plays to modern productions. You can also attend a cabaret show at the famous Moulin Rouge or Lido de Paris for a night of entertainment and glamour.


Another cultural experience not to be missed is indulging in the local café culture. Sit at a sidewalk café, sip on a café au lait, and watch the world go by. Parisians take their coffee and people-watching seriously, so take the time to soak in the atmosphere.


Whether you’re visiting museums, attending a performance, or simply enjoying the ambiance of the city, Paris offers a wealth of cultural experiences that will leave you enriched and inspired.


Relaxing in Parks and Gardens

Amidst the bustling streets and magnificent architecture, Paris offers an abundance of parks and gardens where you can escape the city’s hustle and bustle and find moments of tranquility. These green spaces provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation. Here are a few notable parks and gardens to explore:

  1. Jardin du Luxembourg: Located in the heart of the Left Bank, the Jardin du Luxembourg is a serene oasis that spans over 60 acres. Admire the beautifully manicured gardens, take a leisurely stroll around the peaceful pond, or relax on one of the iconic green metal chairs.
  2. Tuileries Garden: Adjacent to the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries Garden is a splendid park with exquisite landscaping. Stroll along the tree-lined pathways, admire the sculptures and fountains, or find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy a picnic.
  3. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont: Nestled in the 19th arrondissement, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a hidden gem with rolling hills, lush vegetation, and a picturesque lake. Enjoy panoramic views from the Temple de la Sibylle or simply find a cozy spot to unwind and soak in the natural beauty.
  4. Parc Monceau: Known for its English-style gardens, Parc Monceau exudes charm and elegance. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding pathways, admire the architectural features such as the Roman colonnade and the Egyptian pyramid, or relax with a book under the shade of a tree.
  5. Bois de Boulogne: Located on the western edge of Paris, the Bois de Boulogne is a vast park that offers a tranquil escape from the city. Take a boat ride on the lake, rent a bicycle to explore the numerous pathways, or enjoy a picnic in the grassy meadows.

These parks and gardens provide not only a place to relax but also an opportunity to experience the Parisian way of life. Join locals for a game of boules or watch children sail miniature boats on the ponds. They are also great spots for people-watching and taking in the vibrant city atmosphere.


Parisian parks and gardens are not only a haven for nature lovers but also a canvas for various cultural activities. During the summer months, you might stumble upon open-air concerts, art installations, or even outdoor film screenings.


So, take a break from sightseeing, find a peaceful corner, and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Paris’ parks and gardens. It’s the perfect way to unwind and appreciate the natural side of this magnificent city.


Discovering Parisian Art and Museums

Paris is synonymous with art and is home to some of the world’s most renowned museums and galleries. Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of creativity, the city offers a plethora of opportunities to immerse yourself in the world of art. Here are some must-visit art and museum destinations in Paris:

  1. Louvre Museum: As one of the largest and most visited museums in the world, the Louvre is an absolute must-see for art lovers. Housing works from various periods, including the iconic Mona Lisa, the Louvre boasts an extensive collection of art and historical artifacts.
  2. Musée d’Orsay: Housed in a former railway station, the Musée d’Orsay is a treasure trove of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces. Admire iconic works by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and many others in this stunning museum.
  3. Centre Pompidou: Known for its unique architectural design, the Centre Pompidou is a hub of contemporary art. Explore its vast collection of modern and contemporary works or visit the rooftop terrace for panoramic views of the city.
  4. Musée de l’Orangerie: Located in the Tuileries Garden, the Musée de l’Orangerie is famous for its collection of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. Immerse yourself in Monet’s serene and immersive paintings that adorn the oval rooms of this charming museum.
  5. Musée Picasso: Dedicated to the works of renowned artist Pablo Picasso, the Musée Picasso houses an extensive collection of his paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and drawings. Explore the diverse range of Picasso’s artistic evolution throughout various periods of his career.

These are just a few examples of the world-class museums that await you in Paris. However, art isn’t confined to only these institutions. Paris is known for its numerous galleries and art spaces, such as the vibrant Marais district, where you can discover contemporary art from emerging artists.


Additionally, keep an eye out for temporary exhibitions and art events that take place throughout the city. From large-scale exhibitions at major museums to smaller independent galleries showcasing local artists, there is always something new and exciting happening in the Parisian art scene.


Exploring the art and museum scene in Paris provides an opportunity to broaden your artistic horizons and delve into the rich history of art in all its forms. So, set aside ample time to explore these cultural gems and let yourself be captivated by the beauty and creativity that Paris has to offer.


Experiencing Vibrant Nightlife

When the sun sets, Paris comes alive with a vibrant and diverse nightlife scene. From cozy wine bars to lively clubs and chic rooftop lounges, the city offers endless options for enjoying a night out. Here are some highlights of the vibrant nightlife in Paris:

  1. Champagne Bars: Toast to the night at one of the city’s elegant champagne bars. Sip on bubbly while enjoying the sophisticated atmosphere and mingling with locals and fellow travelers.
  2. Historic Cabaret Shows: Paris is famous for its cabaret shows, with the iconic Moulin Rouge being the most well-known. Immerse yourself in a spectacle of dazzling costumes, captivating performances, and energetic dancing.
  3. Live Music Clubs: Jazz lovers will find their haven in Paris, with numerous clubs offering live jazz performances throughout the city. From small intimate venues to larger stages, experience the infectious energy and soulful melodies of live jazz.
  4. Trendy Rooftop Bars: Take in breathtaking views of the Parisian skyline at one of the city’s trendy rooftop bars. Sip on creative cocktails while enjoying the panoramic vistas, creating a memorable and Instagram-worthy experience.
  5. Night Markets and Food Halls: Experience the eclectic and vibrant food scene of Paris at the night markets and food halls. Sample a variety of delicious street food, indulge in freshly shucked oysters, or savor artisanal cheeses and charcuterie.

Parisian nightlife is not just about staying out late; it’s about embracing the lively and convivial atmosphere that permeates the city after dark. People-watching is a favorite pastime, so find a sidewalk café or a cozy bar terrace and observe the vibrant rhythm of the city.


Paris also hosts a multitude of cultural events and festivals throughout the year, offering an opportunity to experience the city’s nightlife in a unique way. From outdoor film screenings to music festivals and art exhibitions, there is always something happening that caters to various interests and tastes.


One thing to note about enjoying the nightlife in Paris is the city’s efficient public transportation system. The metro and night buses allow you to easily navigate the city, ensuring a safe and convenient journey from one venue to another.


So, whether you prefer a lively dance floor, a cozy wine bar, or a relaxed evening of people-watching, Paris has a vibrant nightlife scene that will cater to your preferences. Step out into the City of Lights and immerse yourself in its nocturnal charm.



A long stopover in Paris is an opportunity to dive into the enchanting world of the City of Lights. With its iconic landmarks, rich cultural experiences, delectable cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, Paris offers a multitude of delights for every traveler.


Exploring the city starts with immersing yourself in its art and history, from marveling at the masterpieces in world-class museums like the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay to visiting historic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral.


Indulge in the local cuisine, savoring croissants and pastries, sampling delicious French cheese, and enjoying traditional dishes like coq au vin. Meander through the charming neighborhoods, each with its own unique character, and find hidden gems in boutiques, galleries, and markets.


To relax and recharge, spend time in the city’s beautiful parks and gardens, where you can find serenity amidst the bustling streets. And when the sun sets, Paris comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene, offering opportunities to enjoy live music, trendy bars, and cabaret shows.


With its history, art, culture, and culinary delights, Paris is a city that captures the hearts of travelers from around the world. So, make the most of your long stopover by immersing yourself in the beauty and charm of the City of Lights. From its iconic landmarks to its hidden treasures, Paris will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.