Top 10 Things to do in Ile-de-France, France

March 27, 2018 Layne Dawes

Île-de-France (English: /ˌiːl də ˈfrɑːns/, French: [il də fʁɑ̃s] ( listen), "Island of France"), also known as the région parisienne ("Parisian Region"), is one of the 18 regions of France and includes the city of Paris. It covers 12,012 square kilometres (4,638 square miles) and has its own regional council and president. It has a population of 12,005,077 as of January 2014, equivalent to 18.2% of the population of France.

1. Walt Disney Studios Park

Marne-la-Vallee, France +33 825 30 02 22
Excellent
54%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 13 reviews

Walt Disney Studios Park

A new addition to Disneyland Paris that celebrates cinema.

Reviewed By Amy H

We went to both parks but I have to sat that the Disney park was better than the Walt Disney Studios park. My favourite part of this park was the Art of Animation display.

2. Palace of Versailles

Place d'Armes, 78000, Versailles, France +33 1 30 83 78 00
Excellent
59%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
4%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 20 reviews

Palace of Versailles

Palace, trianon palaces and the estate of marie-antoinette : open daily except mondays and certain public holidays. Gardens and park : open daily.Commented tours, independant visits, musical fontains shows, shows, bowboats, little train, bicycles, bookshop, shops, restaurants...

Reviewed By AlexJames102 - London, United Kingdom

It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to visit the Palace of Versailles and I went with no pre-conceived expectations. In fact, I heavily researched for my visit; which I knew would be busy, being the Easter weekend.
My review is going to be overwhelmingly negative, so I feel it’s important to begin with the positives.
Versailles is simply a marvel; one of the most luxurious and jaw-droppingly beautiful palaces I’ve seen. The Hall of Mirrors is spectacular. The architecture is bedazzling. The interiors are special.
That said, I feel I must warn people about my overall experience visiting the palace. I have no agenda at all except to inform.
Despite arriving at around 10.30am, we queued for over two hours with pre-paid tickets bought online. This massive queue finishes at the actual entrance- a tiny little door. I simply cannot believe that, with the quantity of visitors (10m a year), the Palace can’t organise a better influx into the Palace. There are, after all, a huge number of spacious exits. I know the Palace is world famous and attracts hordes, but the queue is simply outrageously long; with no staff in sight to advise, and poorly managed.
To say that Versailles is overcrowded would be an understatement. It’s claustrophobic, and restricts one’s ability to appreciate the rooms. This, coupled with cameras being shoved in and around one’s person constantly, severely damaged my ability to absorb the splendours of the Palace properly.
And this is where my main criticism lies: the management of the Palace. Elements of the online ticket are simply a scam. Nowhere on the website does it say that two thirds of the house and accompanying estates are closed. Nowhere does it say that even if you buy an e-ticket including access to the Gardens (!) you still have to queue and pay extra to access them on a Saturday. There is, in fact, no live information online detailing day to day details. Let me give an example: the Trianon estate is currently closed for refurbishment. That is not stated clearly on the website. I couldn’t find it anywhere, in fact. But they still charge ticket bundles for it, that cost extra. That is simply a scam.
The staff were unhelpful, and often rude when I asked for specifics. I speak very good French as well. This attitude bore all the hallmarks of a tourist site unconcerned with customer care as they didn’t need to be polite- they will never be short of visitors and ergo don’t face scrutiny.
Versailles was a massive disappointment- and I consider myself a patient and understanding visitor respectful of local culture. I wanted to write a Trip Advisor specifically to warn people.
If you want to visit what is absolutely a fabulous palace, go at 9am, off season, and call to check what’s open and what’s not, and expect queues and people everywhere.

3. Musee d'Orsay

1, Rue de la Legion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France +33 1 40 49 48 14
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 55 reviews

Musee d'Orsay

This beautiful museum, once a railroad station, now houses a staggering collection of Impressionist art, as well as other items created between 1848 and 1914. In 2011, the museum is running a renovation of the top floor (impressionist gallery). Only ground and medium floor are accessible. The top floor will re-open on the 20th of October. Meanwhile, some impressionist masterpieces are not visible.

Reviewed By sargent0 - Swindon, United Kingdom

On our last full day in Paris we visited Musée d’Orsay. We got there early (and thank god we did) arriving at 09:40 just after opening to join a huge queue which stretched to the corner of the block. It took us just over an hour to get in, but it was worth the wait.
Also being the first Sunday of the month, entry was free which was a real bonus though the full price ticket is only €12 per adult.
On arrival we head straight up to the 5th floor to the only cafe which was open at the time. Worth noting that until 11:45 they only serve tea, coffee, cake and desserts so we ordered tea, a pint of cola and my husband had a Belgian waffle. Once lunch could be ordered I had the Salade Parisian and my husband the Fois Grais.
Both of which was very nice and all in all cane to around €45
We started our visit on the 5th floor after our lunch and it is without a doubt the best section.
With a huge collection of Monet, Renoir you would not be disappointed by the majority of Exhibitions. I particularly liked the Sisley collection.
Having arrived at 11:15 we departed around 14:30.
It’s a stunning museum with a collection which I am sure would have something for everyone.
I’ll be honest, I was very surprised by how much of the art work I really liked. I would never have classed myself as a fan of the Impressionists as our personal art collection is very modern day while quite eclectic to say the least but there were a number of the Monet and Sisley pieces which I found quite stunning.
For €12 each you cannot go wrong with a visit to this beautiful museum which in itself is a piece of art, originally an old railway station, this old building is something to be admired in its own right.
Would absolutely recommend if you can stand the queues.

4. Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris

8 Rue Scribe, Place de l'Opera, 75009 Paris, France +33 1 58 05 49 42
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 15 reviews

Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris

This performance hall hosts opera, ballet and chamber music Performances.

Reviewed By wiseguy1282005 - Hong Kong, China

Grand looking building both inside and outside, excellent place for photo taking. Just one minor issue regards left behind your ID before you can rent the audio guide. Really? That's a bit strange. I would rather to be asked for higher rental fee for it.

8 Boulevard du Palais,, 75001 Paris, France +33 1 53 40 60 80
Excellent
75%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 20 reviews

Sainte-Chapelle

The Sainte-Chapelle is the finest royal chapel to be built in France and features a truly exceptional collection of stained-glass windows. It was built in the mid 13th century by Louis IX, at the heart of the royal residence, the Palais de la Cité. It was built to house the relics of the Passion of Christ. Adorned with a unique collection of fifteen glass panels and a large rose window forming a veritable wall of light,the Sainte-Chapelle is a gem of French Gothic architecture. Designated world heritage site by UNESCO. Open:> 1st March to 31st October: Monday to Friday: from 9.30 a.m. to 12.45 a.m. and to 2.15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.> 1st November to 29th February: Monday to Friday: from 9 a.m. to 12.45 a.m. and to 2.15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last admission 30 minutes before closing time. The best time to visit is in the morning from Tuesday to Friday. Closed:> 1st January, 1st May and 25th December and in case of negative temperatures.

Reviewed By Dave_Cowley_Road - Oxford, United Kingdom

I recommend visiting here if you are in Paris. It is quite unique: a vision of Paradise viewed through 13th century eyes. The upper chamber has the most exquisite and breathtaking stained glass on every side, drawing your eyes heavenward.

6. Notre Dame Cathedral

6 Parvis Notre-Dame | Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France +33 1 42 34 56 10
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 60 reviews

Notre Dame Cathedral

This famous Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture on which construction began in the 12th century, stands on the Île de la Cité and is the symbolic heart of the city.

Reviewed By davefields73 - Sheffield, United Kingdom

Notre Dame is an unbelievable stucture with some of the largest bells in history. You can climb up the towers to the first floor where there are fascinating gargoyls and great views. You must check out the bell tower and see the biggest bell you've ever seen! If you dare you can go right to the very top of one of the towers and get some great shots of Paris.

7. Eiffel Tower

5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Excellent
72%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 117 reviews

Eiffel Tower

Completed in 1889, this colossal landmark, although initially hated by many Parisians, is now a famous symbol of French civic pride.

Reviewed By 01Elmartillo65 - Fort Worth, Texas

Although a constantly seen symbol of Paris, in person this is unreal, to think of the craftsmanship and the work it took to design build and erect this beautiful structure. Again this is one nest scene on two separate days. Spend an hour or two at Trocadero taking it all in. Then spend the next morning working your way up to the observation deck for a view that is remarkable. GO EARLY - in fact we did the skip the line and still had a bit of a line. It is still a must see and do in Paris if you have not done it.

8. Louvre Museum

99 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France +33 1 40 20 50 50
Excellent
72%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 83 reviews

Louvre Museum

Home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Louvre is considered the world's greatest art museum, with an unparalleled collection of items covering the full spectrum of art through the ages.

Reviewed By Jen B - Kazan, Russia

I enjoyed the Louvre much more than I anticipated. It is beautiful. We purchased tickets for the opening time slot, which I highly recommend. Of course my first stop was the Mona Lisa. I have always wanted to see her, so I made sure to get there before the throngs of people showed up. Then it was fun to go back later in the day and see her as she really looks with hundreds of people trying to get that great picture, which I did get!
Also looked at the Venus de Milo of course and countless paintings, antiquities and other works of art that I thought I might never see in person. I think my favorite painting though was David's The Coronation of the Emperor Napoleon, just the sheer size of it was impressive!
We were there for about five hours and did not see everything, so plan accordingly if you are one who wants to see it all. I don't have kids, so I'm not really sure if children would truly appreciate what the museum has to offer. If you are taking kids, try not to go when it's too crowded. It's mostly standing around looking at beautiful works of art without much else for them to do. If you appreciate art and museums, this is the place for you. I will definitely return to check out what I missed this time around. Enjoy!

9. Disneyland Park

77777, Marne-la-Vallee, France +33 1 60 30 60 53
Excellent
51%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
6%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 34 reviews

Disneyland Park

Although this Disney theme park, originally named Euro-Disney, was met with protest following its opening in 1992, Disneyland Paris is now frequented by large crowds drawn by technologically advanced rides and attractions.

Reviewed By Tojgli - Budapest

Was so much overcrowded (march, weekday) that im afraid my kids will remember the lines, not the attractions... The park itself is perfect, staff manages the lines perfectly, but lines at security, entrance, toilets, restaurants, attractions, everywhere...
Ok, its a kind of "must see once" for kids, but im happy that we are done with it...

Rue de Vaugirard, Boulevard St. Michel, Rue Auguste-Comte and Rue Guynemer | I iooll, 75006 Paris, France +33 1 42 34 20 00
Excellent
67%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 30 reviews

Luxembourg Gardens

These formal Gardens, open to only royalty before the French Revolution, now serve as one of Paris's most popular destinations for relaxation.

Reviewed By Photographer17 - Scottsdale, Arizona

Beautiful Gardens with serene walking trails. If I lived in Paris, I’d visit this park all the time. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of France.

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