I recently returned from Paris, and I can easily say it was one of my most enjoyable trips EVER. I tend to fall in love with every place I visit, but there’s just something magical about Paris that I haven’t found anywhere else (yet). It looks even better than what you see on Instagram, and honestly, every corner of Paris is Instagramable.
If you’re a first timer like myself, this post is for you! These are the basic, bare-minimum spots I recommend going to. My advice is to soak up the scenery before taking out your cameras, maybe even close your eyes and try to remember your feelings about seeing these sights for the first time. Then take out your phone or camera and snap away.
Trocadéro/Le Tour Eiffel
Visiting le Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) is probably the first thing on your list, with good reason. The tower is so captivating in person, I highly recommend seeing it multiple times; once in the daytime and once at night, especially when the twinkling lights come on (every hour on the hour after sunset).
The best part about the Eiffel Tower is that there are so many places to view it from. You can get off the train at the Champ de Mars to go directly there, or you can get off at Trocadero for the infamous stairs pictures. While you’re at Trocadero, there will likely be live entertainment overlooking the Eiffel Tower, which is always a plus!
You can also go down various side streets for good looks at the Eiffel Tower, as well as along the Seine for views on the water. Most of the monuments in Paris are massive, so photographing them can really spark creativity.
Chateau de Versailles
Just an hour way from Paris by train is Versailles. Although it was a super rainy, windy day when I went, there were still so many sights to see and pictures to take. I really felt like I could plop down in any and every room and just marvel at the handiwork put into them.
Les jardins/the gardens are beautiful as well…just not in the rain. My favorite room was the Hall of Mirrors (not pictured), which gets crowded throughout the day but is still managable to take a great photo in. Make sure you explore everything you possibly can, and don’t be afraid to play with angles!
I try to act like I’m not a huge Disney fangirl, but the truth is… I totally am. Having grown up being fortunate enough to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in California at a young age, I’m curious to know what all of the Disney Parks in the world look like.
I heard so many negative things about Disneyland Paris prior to my trip, and with the recent news headlines about some of the workers, I feel like it’s often overlooked. In my experience, it’s the perfect Disney Park for adults!
I could write a book on why I liked Disneyland Paris, but for the purpose of this specific post, the castle is my favorite Disney castle. It’s pink with gold touches, and the dragon under the castle is AMAZING. It’s also way easier to get good pictures at the park since it’s not as crowded or as sorchingly hot as Walt Disney World. There are benches right in front of the castle that you can perch on for the perfect photo, or you can get a little closer for a cute picture of your Minnie Ears.
Arc de Triomphe
L’Arc de Triomphe is another giant you can capture from many different angles. It’s in the center of one of the busiest intersections in Paris, so you can either be daring and run out in the one safe spot in the middle of the road while trafffic is clear, or you can stand across the street for a view with some cars in the background. The best time to go is probably first thing on a Sunday morning, before people are really out and about.
I ended up staying at a hotel right by the Arc, and I sprung for the upgraded room with a view so I felt content taking pictures on the balcony in front of the Arc. The hotel is called L’Hotel Splendid Etoile and I give it a 10/10- the view is just an added bonus. Rooftop shots would be really cool too, as you would probably get the Tour Eiffel in the background as well, but it would definitely have to be pre-arranged with the hotel (and is not for the faint of heart).
Musée de Louvre
I somehow didn’t realize the Louvre was the largest art museum in the world until I got lost inside. You can spend more than one day just looking at all of the art, so imagine all of the picture possibilities.
The Pyramids have been in front of the Louvre for 30 years now, and are definitely one of the most popular picture spots in Paris. There are so many ways to get creative with the Pyramids; you can take photos straight on, or from various entrances for a different perspective.
Bonus tip: There’s a Café across from the Louvre called Le Café Marly. Their food isn’t the best, but it’s a gorgeous space whether you’re sitting inside or outside, facing the Pyramids. It’s a great way to get Pyramid pictures without a bunch of people in the background.
Don’t miss this hidden gem near the Louvre. The former palace houses an art installation called Les Deux Plateaux in the inner courtyard. Not only is it fun to play around, it’s fun to photograph, too!
The columns are all different heights, and there are enough of them to go around for everyone. They’re especially nice on a sunny day in Paris. The Palais-Royal is a very short walk from the Louvre, so if you get stressed out by the amount of photo ops at the Louvre and give up, you can head over to Palais-Royal.
Monmartre is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris, in the daytime. It was once home to artists like Monet, Mondrian, Picasso, and van Gogh, and it definitely looks like a page out of a history book. There are many hills and stairs, but climbing them are definitely worth the views.
You can find Instagramable photo spots everywhere you turn; from the famous pink restaurant, La Maison Rose, to each and every side street, to thee Sacré-Coeur. There’s nothing like the Sacré-Coeur at golden hour, when the sun hits the church just right, giving it an angelic glow. The Romanesque-Byzantine architecture is truly jaw dropping, and you can approach the church from many different angles to get the best photos.
The tl;dr version of this post is that everywhere you turn, there is an Instagramable photo op. These are the most common tourist sites I can think of, and I definitely plan on adding more guides of less common Instagramable photo spots as I visit Paris again (my manifestation at work here). It’s the most beautiful city I have ever been to, and there is nothing like Paris on a sunny day.
You can watch my Paris vlog below: