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 😉
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
- Take in the view from the Galeries Lafayette rooftop
- Hunt for bric a brac treasures at the Vanves flea market
- Scope out the contemporary art at the Louis Vuitton Foundation
- Enjoy an exhibition at the Grand Palais
- Pore over pretty porcelain the Sevres Ceramics Museum
- Take a cruise through the tunnels of the Canal St Martin
- Eat at one of the two restaurants inside the Eiffel Tower
- Cheer on local soccer/football team PSG at the Parc des Princes
- Take a Black Paris Tour with Monique Wells
- Stop in at the cafe hidden behind these trees at the Petit Palais (More on this cafe and the whole 8th arrondissement here)
- Have a cocktail at the Lavomatic speakeasy bar (more Paris speakeasies here)
- Devour a falafel at the famed L’As du Fallafel in the Marais.
- Enjoy the view from the bar atop the Hotel Pullman by the Eiffel Tower (One of my top Paris secrets! Read the rest here)
- Pay respects at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal on Rue du Bac
- Explore the greenhouse at the Jardin des Plantes
- Follow the Arago medallions along the Paris meridian
- Marvel at the Bibliotheque National de France
- Find the cats at the Montmartre Cemetery (Here’s a full episode on these mysterious cats)
- Have a wheely good meal on a Bustronome Paris Bus
- Walk as much of La Petite Ceinture (Belt Railway) route as possible
- Dine at Maxims de Paris and admire its art nouveau interior
- Find all the locations from the 1956 movie Le Ballon Rouge
- Frolic among the cherry blossoms at Parc de Sceaux
- Drink a mint tea at the cafe in the Grand Mosque
- Sample the cheese at the irresistible Laurent Dubois
- Indulge in a Boneshaker Donut (Listen to an episode with Amanda here)
- Stroll the pedestrianized rue Montorgueil (One of the best streets in Paris!)
- Find the grave of American Revolution hero Marquis de Lafayette at the Cimetière de Picpus
- Hunt for the full collection of Clet street art signs.
- Buy a book at the Shakespeare and Company bookshop (Go behind the scenes at the shop here)
- Get into the chapel hidden on Île de la Cité, where Héloïse and Abelard married. Good luck with this one, it’s hidden and perhaps impossible to visit.
- Find author Anaïs Nin’s old Paris haunts
- Visit the Basilica of Saint-Denis, aka the “royal necropolis of France”
- Find the abandoned “human zoo” in the Bois de Vincennes (Here’s our take on this unusual location)
- Enjoy a hot chocolate at the Georges V hotel
- Make the trek to the Vaux le Vicomte château outside of Paris. My visit here.
- Watch a performance at the Comédie Française
- Have breakfast with the vendors at the wholesale market Rungis
- Learn how to surf in the 15th arrondissement!!!
- Have a picnic at Les Jardins de Bagatelle to the west of the city
- Inspect the bees on the rooftop of the Opera Garnier
- See the impressive jube and stained glass windows at the Saint Étienne du Mont church
- Take in the artist collective at 59 rue de Rivoli.
- Find the dried sewer that used to be the Grange-Batelière river
- Have brunch at the hip Holybelly 19 (My pod with cafe owner Nico Alary)
- Melt over Monet at the Musee Marmottan
- Inspect Paris from the top of the Grande Arche at La Défense
- Track down 10 Rue Jacob – the underground jazz bar where Juliette Gréco sang and Zazou’s movement was born
- Find the ateliers along Rue de la Grande Chaumière where Gauguin and Modigliani lived and worked
- Dine in the Moulin de la Galette and explore the Renoir garden behind it
- Drink in the bar L’Hotel and find Oscar Wilde’s old hotel suite
- Bid on something inside Le Credit Municipal de Paris (See the sales calendar here)
- See a concert at the new Seine Musicale on the Île Seguin
- Tour the street art in Levallois
- Go to the Musée Carnavalet when it finally reopens after renovation
- Have oysters and champagne at Le Baron Rouge bistro
- Take a course on how to make croissants
- See a performance at the Philharmonie de Paris
- Eat dinner at the Michelin-starred (and Ratatouille inspiring) Tour d’Argent restaurant
- Stay in a five-star hotel
- Taste the rare Montmartre wine
- Explore the pet cemetery (Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques)
- Have a cocktail at the Saint James Hotel, the only chateau in Paris
- Find the alleged underground lake at the Opera Garnier
- Eat dinner at the magnificent Le Train Bleu restaurant
- See a show at the famous Montmartre cabaret Chez Michou
- Get spooked at the frightening Le Manoir de Paris
- Get a drink at Le Bar Dix
- Explore the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil
- Find the hidden cafe in the Musée de la Vie Romantique (This is another one of my Paris secrets – find the rest here)
- Delight in the desserts of Cédric Grolet at the Le Meurice Restaurant
- Watch a tennis match at Roland Garross (French Open)
- Dress up for the Musée des Arts Décoratifs
- Conquer any fears of heights at the top floor of the Montparnasse Tower.
- Ride a bike through the lungs of Paris at the Bois de Boulogne
- Get inside the Richelieu library
- Sneak into Gravestone Courtyard on Île de la Cité
- Go for a swim at Piscine Molitor
- Shamelessly join the tourists for a coffee at Cafe Flore
- Enjoy a choir or music performance at Sainte Chapelle
- Meditate under the oldest tree in Paris
- See the collection of fairground fun an the Musée des Arts Forains
- Drop by the Vivian Maier exhibit at Musée du Luxembourg
- Play chess with the locals at the Jardin du Luxembourg
- Go on the helium balloon at Parc André Citroën
- Seek out the Dali museum in Montmartre
- Explore the Egypt-styled art-deco Louxor cinema
- See the Notre Dame renovation from atop the Institut du Monde Arabe
- Stop by the Sorbonne Observatory
- Have a croissant at Stohrer, the oldest bakery in Paris
- Explore the catacombs with an unofficial guide (note: this is illegal)
- Go on the crazy spinning swing ride at the Tuileries
- See what the fuss is about at the cooperative village Les Grands Voisins (note, this has now permanently closed)
- Find the brilliant Poulbot tiled lobby in Montmartre
- Marvel at the sculptures in the Musée Bourdelle
- Walk the entire length of the Seine River in one go (within the Périphérique)
- Find the Statue of Liberty replica on the Ile Aux Cygnes (bonus: find the other Paris liberties too)
- Explore the jaw-dropping Sainte-Geneviève Library
- Play pétanque with locals along the Canal de l’Ourcq
- And lastly…. Sleep a night at the Sacré-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:)
Kylie the Crocodile25.00€
Paris On Air paperback25.00€
6 thoughts on “The Francophile’s Bucket List: 100 things to do in Paris in 2021”
Should be a good year with what you have planned. thanks
Go to the top of Tou St Jacques on Rue deRivoli.
If I get to Paris as planned in Sept, I will take you and Lina to Le Train Bleu!
Hey Oliver, great list. Just one point of contention, the Ballon Generali is not a “hot air” balloon, it is a helium balloon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballon_Generali
Sorry to be that guy.
Good point. Tethered helium balloon doesn’t have the same ring to it, but you’re right, I’ll fix. Thank you
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 😉)
This is very impressive. What are the ones you haven’t done? And what would you add?