The Francophile’s Bucket List: 100 things to do in Paris in 2021

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When I shared the top five things I wanted to do in Paris in 2021, it sparked something in you guys.

Before I knew it, my computer was flooded with fascinating listener lists! Hundreds of Paris activities – many of which inspired me too. After all, Earful Tower listeners have their fingers on the pulse of Paris ūüėČ

So I gathered my favourite 100 responses of activities to try this year. Things I know are great, things I’ve heard are worth doing, and things I’d never even considered before.

You can forget “climbing the Eiffel Tower” and “Finding the Mona Lisa”. This is a more interesting, obscure, and, dare I say it, more fun list than the others – and it’s co-created by you guys!!

At the bottom of this page is a printable checklist so you can tally your own score properly and tag me online @theearfultower with your results. Good luck!

Oh yes, and in today’s podcast episode I made a surprise call to three listeners to hear more about their respective lists. Listen here:

The Top 100 Things To Do in Paris in 2021

  1. Take in the view from the Galeries Lafayette rooftop
  2. Hunt for bric a brac treasures at the Vanves flea market
  3. Scope out the contemporary art at the Louis Vuitton Foundation
  4. Enjoy an exhibition at the Grand Palais
  5. Pore over pretty porcelain the Sevres Ceramics Museum
  6. Take a cruise through the tunnels of the Canal St Martin
  7. Eat at one of the two restaurants inside the Eiffel Tower
  8. Cheer on local soccer/football team PSG at the Parc des Princes
  9. Take a Black Paris Tour with Monique Wells
  10. Stop in at the cafe hidden behind these trees at the Petit Palais (More on this cafe and the whole 8th arrondissement here)
  11. Have a cocktail at the Lavomatic speakeasy bar (more Paris speakeasies here)
  12. Devour a falafel at the famed L’As du Fallafel in the Marais.
  13. Enjoy the view from the bar atop the Hotel Pullman by the Eiffel Tower (One of my top Paris secrets! Read the rest here)                    
  14. Pay respects at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal on Rue du Bac
  15. Explore the greenhouse at the Jardin des Plantes
  16. Follow the Arago medallions along the Paris meridian
  17. Marvel at the Bibliotheque National de France
  18. Find the cats at the Montmartre Cemetery (Here’s a full episode on these mysterious cats)
  19. Have a wheely good meal on a Bustronome Paris Bus
  20. Walk as much of La Petite Ceinture (Belt Railway) route as possible
  21. Dine at Maxims de Paris and admire its art nouveau interior
  22. Find all the locations from the 1956 movie Le Ballon Rouge
  23. Frolic among the cherry blossoms at Parc de Sceaux     
  24. Drink a mint tea at the cafe in the Grand Mosque
  25. Sample the cheese at the irresistible Laurent Dubois
  26. Indulge in a Boneshaker Donut (Listen to an episode with Amanda here)
  27. Stroll the pedestrianized rue Montorgueil (One of the best streets in Paris!)
  28. Find the grave of American Revolution hero Marquis de Lafayette at the Cimetière de Picpus 
  29. Hunt for the full collection of Clet street art signs. 
  30. Buy a book at the Shakespeare and Company bookshop (Go behind the scenes at the shop here)
  31. Get into the chapel hidden on √éle de la Cit√©, where H√©lo√Įse and Abelard married. Good luck with this one, it’s hidden and perhaps impossible to visit.
  32. Find author Ana√Įs Nin‚Äôs old Paris haunts
  33. Visit the Basilica of Saint-Denis, aka the “royal necropolis of France”
  34. Find the abandoned ‚Äúhuman zoo‚ÄĚ in the Bois de Vincennes (Here’s our take on this unusual location)
  35. Enjoy a hot chocolate at the Georges V hotel
  36. Make the trek to the Vaux le Vicomte ch√Ęteau outside of Paris. My visit here.
  37. Watch a performance at the Comédie Française
  38. Have breakfast with the vendors at the wholesale market Rungis
  39. Learn how to surf in the 15th arrondissement!!!
  40. Have a picnic at Les Jardins de Bagatelle to the west of the city
  41. Inspect the bees on the rooftop of the Opera Garnier
  42. See the impressive jube and stained glass windows at the Saint √Čtienne du Mont church
  43. Take in the artist collective at 59 rue de Rivoli.
  44. Find the dried sewer that used to be the Grange-Batelière river
  45. Have brunch at the hip Holybelly 19 (My pod with cafe owner Nico Alary)
  46. Melt over Monet at the Musee Marmottan
  47. Inspect Paris from the top of the Grande Arche at La Défense
  48. Track down 10 Rue Jacob – the underground jazz bar where Juliette Gr√©co sang and Zazou’s movement was born
  49. Find the ateliers along Rue de la Grande Chaumière where Gauguin and Modigliani lived and worked
  50. Dine in the Moulin de la Galette and explore the Renoir garden behind it
  51. Drink in the bar L’Hotel and find Oscar Wilde’s old hotel suite
  52. Bid on something inside Le Credit Municipal de Paris (See the sales calendar here)
  53. See a concert at the new Seine Musicale on the Île Seguin
  54. Tour the street art in Levallois
  55. Go to the Musée Carnavalet when it finally reopens after renovation
  56. Have oysters and champagne at Le Baron Rouge bistro
  57. Take a course on how to make croissants 
  58. See a performance at the Philharmonie de Paris
  59. Eat dinner at the Michelin-starred (and Ratatouille inspiring) Tour d’Argent restaurant
  60. Stay in a five-star hotel
  61. Taste the rare Montmartre wine 
  62. Explore the pet cemetery (Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques)
  63. Have a cocktail at the Saint James Hotel, the only chateau in Paris
  64. Find the alleged underground lake at the Opera Garnier 
  65. Eat dinner at the magnificent Le Train Bleu restaurant
  66. See a show at the famous Montmartre cabaret Chez Michou
  67. Get spooked at the frightening Le Manoir de Paris 
  68. Get a drink at Le Bar Dix 
  69. Explore the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil 
  70. Find the hidden cafe in the Musée de la Vie Romantique (This is another one of my Paris secrets Рfind the rest here)  
  71. Delight in the desserts of Cédric Grolet at the Le Meurice Restaurant  
  72. Watch a tennis match at Roland Garross (French Open)
  73. Dress up for the Musée des Arts Décoratifs
  74. Conquer any fears of heights at the top floor of the Montparnasse Tower.
  75. Ride a bike through the lungs of Paris at the Bois de Boulogne
  76. Get inside the Richelieu library
  77. Sneak into Gravestone Courtyard on Île de la Cité
  78. Go for a swim at Piscine Molitor
  79. Shamelessly join the tourists for a coffee at Cafe Flore
  80. Enjoy a choir or music performance at Sainte Chapelle
  81. Meditate under the oldest tree in Paris
  82. See the collection of fairground fun an the Musée des Arts Forains
  83. Drop by the Vivian Maier exhibit at Musée du Luxembourg
  84. Play chess with the locals at the Jardin du Luxembourg
  85. Go on the helium balloon at Parc Andr√© Citro√ęn
  86. Seek out the Dali museum in Montmartre
  87. Explore the Egypt-styled art-deco Louxor cinema
  88. See the Notre Dame renovation from atop the Institut du Monde Arabe
  89. Stop by the Sorbonne Observatory
  90. Have a croissant at Stohrer, the oldest bakery in Paris
  91. Explore the catacombs with an unofficial guide (note: this is illegal)
  92. Go on the crazy spinning swing ride at the Tuileries
  93. See what the fuss is about at the cooperative village Les Grands Voisins (note, this has now permanently closed)
  94. Find the brilliant Poulbot tiled lobby in Montmartre
  95. Marvel at the sculptures in the Musée Bourdelle
  96. Walk the entire length of the Seine River in one go (within the Périphérique)
  97. Find the Statue of Liberty replica on the Ile Aux Cygnes (bonus: find the other Paris liberties too)
  98. Explore the jaw-dropping Sainte-Geneviève Library
  99. Play p√©tanque with locals along the Canal de l’Ourcq
  100. And lastly…. Sleep a night at the Sacr√©-Coeur basilica (note: you must pray for an hour during your stay)

So there you have it! If you want to use this list as a checklist, here’s a file with lovely little boxes so you can print it off and tick away.

As for me: I plan to work my way through these activities this year and will be sharing my finds on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

What was your score? If anyone has 100/100 you get a prize. The prize will be one of my books, pictured below:)

6 thoughts on “The Francophile’s Bucket List: 100 things to do in Paris in 2021

    1. Good point. Tethered helium balloon doesn’t have the same ring to it, but you’re right, I’ll fix. Thank you

  1. Hi, Mr. Gee, Thanks for putting this list together for others. After much of my adult life spent here, I came frighteningly close to winning a free copy of your book. I understand there’s a question as to which of two is the oldest tree, though, your info on the one you chose is enlightening. Also, it is said there is an oldest house, though I’ve never been able to determine which that is, either. I think you could easily follow up with a second list of a hundred places to see or things to do. No doubt others would agree. Happy hunting! Tim Holm (in Paris ūüėČ)

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