Paris has so much to see and do, that it is hard to narrow it down to essentials that balance everything the city has to offer. While we trust you to find your way around the Eiffel Tower, Angelina Café and the Louvre on your own, here we have a definitive list of things that we believe are must-dos when in the city of love.

Musée d’Orsay

Here, under the soaring roofs of one of Paris’ grand old Beaux-Arts railway stations lies the recently renovated gallery of Musée d’Orsay, containing the world’s largest collection of Impressionist masterpieces. From Cézanne and Monet, to Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Gaugin and many more, this museum is an art-lover’s dream. It also houses two excellent cafes and a wonderful restaurant, as well as a bookstore, so you can spend all day at the museum, snacking between guided tours and soaking in some of the greatest art in the world.

Palais-Royal Gardens

Far removed from the noise and bustle of Paris are the serene, formal gardens and elegant shops tucked within the walls of this 17th-century palace. One of Paris’ best-kept secrets, these gardens are a delightful haven in the city. Once a royal residence, the hushed arcades and impeccably manicured gardens of the Palais-Royal are now home to world-class perfumers, antiquaries and designer boutiques like Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, and Pierre Hardy. Come here to enjoy lunch or tea in the beauty of the gardens, or splurge at the Grand Véfour restaurant, followed by a guided tour of Jardin des Tuilieries.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Rising out of the Bois de Boulogne like a graceful ship billowing its crystal sales, Frank Gehry’s contemporary-art museum and cultural centre is the most captivating addition to the Parisian skyline since the unveiling of the Centre Pompidou in 1977. Commissioned by the chairman and CEO of the luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH, the Fondation Louis Vuitton houses Arnault’s substantial private collection including pieces by Pierre Huyghe, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Schütte, Ellsworth Kelly, Bertrand Lavier, Taryn Simon, Sarah Morris, and Christian Boltanski. La Fondation Louis Vuitton also hosts temporary exhibits like the stunning light installation of the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Definitely a not-to-miss.

Ile Saint-Louis

Just behind the Notre-Dame gardens, the Pont Saint-Louis pedestrian bridge leads to atmospheric streets and lively shopping areas of the Ile Saint-Louis. A perfect walk for holidaymakers who want to experience true Parisian vibes, you can take in the majestic facades and quiet courtyards of 17-th century mansions. Sample traditional Parisian fare at the Brasserie de l’Isle Saint-Louis, choose from 90 flavours of handmade all-natural ice creams and sorbets in flavours like wild strawberry noisette and white chocolate at Paris’ most famous ice-cream maker, Bertillon.

Bateau Mouche

Nothing compares to seeing Paris from a boat on the Seine. Take in the city’s graceful bridges and most famous landmarks on a four-hour boat ride. The bateau mouches offer everything from a gourmet meal to a flute of champagne, and live audio tours. The Bateau Bus operates continuously from 10 am to 9.30 pm, departing every 20 minutes with eight stops around Paris. For 15 Euros, you can hop on or off wherever and whenever you like, all day long. Stops include the Musée d’Orsay, Louvre, Eiffel Tour, Champs Elysées, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

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