Famed for its fashion, culture, architecture and cuisine, it’s hard not to fall in love with Paris. Not only does the capital of France draw in lovers from all over the globe, it captures the hearts of everyone who visits. Whether exploring with your partner, a friend, family, or taking a solo trip, Paris draws in a wealth of tourists year-round. It’s easy to see why.
Paris is a city that has inspired writers, poets, playwrights, artists, photographers and musicians for years. A magical city, with its iconic landmarks and rich history, Paris is the perfect place to experience authentic French culture. It’s an elegant city that feels as chic and sophisticated as it is charming and exciting.
Paris is a huge city. It’s a place that needs to be visited over and over to truly discover the magic hidden around every corner. The sheer scale of it can be overwhelming to first time visitors but this Paris travel guide will help you plan the perfect trip. Don’t rush your itinerary. Paris is best enjoyed at a slower pace, where you can take in the sights and culture on your own terms.
Paris’ popularity amongst tourists and travellers alike means the city is easily accessible for both domestic and international visitors. There are plenty of different travel options to suit both your budget and preferences.
There are various ways to get around the city depending on your budget and how much exercise you’re planning on doing!
The best way to get around Paris is via the Metro. If you’ve used the London Underground then the Metro will be fairly easy to understand, with each line assigned a number. My top tip is to buy a set of 10 single tickets if you’re going to be there for a few days. Or you can buy the equivalent of an Oyster Card, which you can top up as you go.
For those who don’t mind physical exercise, walking around Paris is definitely one of the easiest (and cheapest) options available! However, Paris is a large city and it will be necessary to use other modes of transport to get from one side to the other. For the freedom to go exactly where you want at a bit more pace, try travelling around France’s capital by bike.
In terms of taxis, Uber operates in Paris so you can easily book a trip to wherever you want to visit next from your phone. Or there are taxi ranks dotted around the city and it’s relatively straightforward to flag down a taxi. Alternatively, the bus offers a cheaper option when you’re out and about in Paris.
For an experience a little more exclusive to Paris, take a trip with the Bateaux Mouches (open excursion boats) along the River Seine. Not only does this get you around the city, but it gives you a great opportunity to see some infamous landmarks from a whole new perspective.
Paris is always a magical place to be, no matter the time of year. Each season brings its own joys to the City of Love, so plan accordingly!
Paris is famed for its stunning architecture and iconic tourist attractions. Home to the world’s largest museum, a visit to the spectacular Louvre is a must. Book ahead of time to beat the queues and be sure to visit after dark too. The way the nighttime lights reflect off the glass and water makes for a truly serene experience.
The Eiffel Tower can be seen from all over the city and is also unmissable at night. Catch the five minute sparkle on the hour, every hour from sunset until 01:00am. Head up the tower for some stunning views over Paris – it’s worth doing this at least once. Although once you’ve done it, there are better places to experience wonderful views, without the hordes of tourists you find at the Eiffel Tower.
There’s also the stunning Sacré-Coeur church in the Montmartre district and the recognisable Arc de Triomphe. Or for a day trip just outside of Paris, there’s the jaw-dropping Palace of Versailles. City life doesn’t mean you have to leave nature behind. Take a walk down the River Seine or visit one of the many beautiful gardens. From the Jardin du Palais-Royal and the Jardin des Tuileries to the Parc de Sceaux and Parc Monceau, there are plenty of inviting picnic spots for a breath of air away from city life.
There’s a world of wonder waiting for you in Paris. Discover more Paris landmarks and attractions.
Paris is absolutely steeped in culture and tradition, and what better way to experience it than to visit one of Paris’ many museums? Make a trip to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and the other stunning collections housed inside. Or visit the beautiful Musée d’Orsay and see Monet’s collections.
The Pompidou Centre is famed for its industrial-style building that divides opinions somewhat. Whether you love or loathe the exterior, it houses Europe’s largest collection of modern art and is a must-see for any art enthusiasts. At the Musée de Cluny, you’ll find a museum where the building is just as important as its contents.
Away from art, enjoy the science and technological displays at the Musée des Arts et Métiers – Europe’s oldest science museum. Or add a visit to the Jeu de Paume to your itinerary, if photography is more your thing. Whether you’re looking for art, architecture or heritage, you’ll find it in Paris.
Discover my pick of the best Paris museums to visit.
Café culture is a fundamental part of the Parisian identity. A visit to Paris would not be complete without embracing the café lifestyle. As you wander Paris, you’ll discover a café on every corner. Be sure to stop by, order a coffee and a croissant, and watch the world go by. Take a book for a wholesome way to spend an afternoon in Paris, or simply do a spot of people-watching.
For a morning coffee with a spectacular view of the Louvre, get a table at Café Marly. Or for a more nostalgic café set in an old bookshop, pay a visit to La Fourmi Aliée. If it’s an iconic Parisian café you’re after, order your afternoon cuppa at Les Deux Magots.
From snails to steak frites, trying the local delicacies is optional but recommended! Discerning visitors to Paris will discover a hub of world-class cuisine, evident in the multitude of Michelin starred restaurants dotted across the city. From cosy candle-lit meals in a romantic restaurant to grand establishments, there’s something for everyone’s taste.
Paris isn’t just about croissants and steak frites. A city as diverse as Paris is home to an impressive range of cuisine from all over the world. For bao buns and Korean fried chicken, there’s Asian restaurant Double Dragon. Or for gorgeous Instagrammable interiors and delectable pizza and pasta dishes, head to Italian restaurant Pink Mamma.
Whilst Paris is dubbed the ‘City of Love’, it most certainly isn’t just for couples. Families and solo travellers alike will also love to experience the incredible sights in Paris.
The best way to get from London to Paris is by Eurostar. The direct train route gets you to Paris in just over two hours, so it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to travel to Paris – and there’s no stress of flying!
You can drive from London to Paris in just over six hours via the Eurotunnel, providing there are no delays. You can also take the ferry, and so the time taken here depends on the ferry schedules.
To travel from Paris’ main airport, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), to the city centre, there are several options available to you: the Réseau Express Régional (RER), bus transfer, and taxis. It is worth keeping in mind that taxis will cost significantly more than the RER or a bus.
If you’re looking to sightsee, the 1st Arrondissement (Louvre) and 7th Arrondissement (Eiffel Tower) are great places to stay in Paris. Families may prefer to opt for the 6th Arrondissement (Saint-Germain-des-Prés), and budget travellers the 14th Arrondissement (Montparnasse) or 18th arrondissement (Montmartre).
Try to spend at least three or four days in Paris to give yourself enough time to see all the sights you want to. There’s no ‘right’ amount of time to spend in Paris. By giving yourself at least a few days to explore, you can make sure you make the most of your trip.
There are over 100 (109) Michelin starred restaurants in Paris with one, two, or three Michelin stars. As of 2021, ten restaurants in Paris held three Michelin stars.
Paris Fashion Week is held twice annually to showcase the Fall/Winter collections and the Spring/Summer collections for the following year. In 2022, Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022 is March 1 – March 8, and Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023 is September 26 – October 4.
The discerning traveller is spoilt for choice when it comes to luxury hotels in Paris. Opt for a world-renowned five star hotel with fine dining and a sumptuous spa. Or book into a more humble boutique establishment where you’ll be welcomed like an old friend. Here is my pick of the best hotels in Paris:
From indulgent fine dining to laid-back eateries, Paris is awash with exceptional restaurants. Whether you’re seeking out a Michelin star, a memorable romantic evening, or somewhere to get those snaps for Instagram, you’ll find it in Paris. Here are some of my top Paris restaurant picks:
Immersing yourself in Paris café culture should be an unmissable part of any Paris itinerary. From iconic Parisian cafés to cosy pastry shops, unforgettable landmark views to perfect people-watching spots. Here are the best Paris cafés to visit:
Planning a trip to Paris? Have a read of these Paris travel articles to help you plan your visit.
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