The artists’ city, with streets rich in history, the perfect place for a romantic getaway – Paris has it all. And we present to you the ultimate Paris guide.
A small guide on Paris, if you’re visiting it for the first time
The marvelous Paris is famous not only for its overflowing history, but also for those Fashion Week events and for its gourmet culture. In the Casablanca movie, a famous line said by Humphrey Bogart said that “We’ll always have Paris”, a memento of the secret love of the protagonists.
The city was covered in mystery throughout time. But let’s bust some of the myths on Paris and convince you to add this city on your “next vacation” list!
When’s the good time to visit Paris
If you want to wander the city streets and, why not, have a good cup of coffee in a chic bar, the best time to visit Paris is between June and October. Between June and August, the average temperature is of 21 degrees Celsius and the days are long and sunny. During this period, the streets are crowded with tourists from all around the world, not to mention that the flight tickets and accommodation have higher prices.
The number of tourists is much lower in September and October, whereas the weather is still pleasant. The temperatures can reach 15 degrees Celsius in September and they gradually decrease in October, reaching between 10 and 4 degrees. Since it is an off-season period, you will not have to wait too much in line for visiting museums or other famous tourist attractions. There’s one thing you must know, though: during the Fashion Week, it will be much more difficult to find a hotel room to book in Paris.
The necessary budget for a trip to Paris
According to TripAdvisor, those who have already visited this city claim that one will need around €50 per day for eating. Of course, this may vary depending on what you choose to eat, whether you opt for fast food, for crêpe or you’re more into a sophisticated dinner meal at a top-class restaurant. Moreover, having breakfast at the hotel is, most of the times, more expensive than at the restaurant, so you should definitely take advantage on those breakfast-included offers.
Speaking about offers, keep an eye on those tourist attractions that have a free entry. It’s a good way to save some money and you will definitely enjoy some unbelievable places. For instance, Parc de la Vilette is home for outdoor movies, especially during the hot season, between June and August. Here, you can both relax and watch a good movie under the clear, blue sky. Additionally, you can go on a walk in Jardin de Luxembourg or you can have picnic here. You should also know that you can visit the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral for free. Right in the center of Georges Pompidou, Constantin Bracusi’s Studio is open every day between 2 PM and 6 PM, except on Thursdays.
The Père Lachaise graveyard is also worth visiting. Here, you’ll find the grave of Oscar Wilde, the writer, and the hundreds of kisses that his fans left on his tombstone.
Keep in mind: most museums and tourist attractions have a free entry every first Sunday of the month.
There’s no pre-established budget when it comes to souvenirs. The sum may vary depending on what you want to buy, especially if you’re not that into key rings and other smaller stuff.
Other useful information – transportation, accommodation and tourist cards
If you start planning your trip earlier and use the Low Fare Finder option on our website, you can buy your tickets for Paris at a very good price and in high season! Also, take into account where in Paris you want to stay to make sure that you have easy access to popular tourist attractions. In this case too, the prices can vary. Usually, the starting price is around €20 per night.
Fortunately, the Paris Visit card is available up to 5 consecutive days and it allows you to use all means of public transport: bus, metro, tram and RER (Réseau Express Régional), which allows you travel between cities and suburbs. Depending on your needs, you will have to pay between €40 and €155 for adults, between €35 and €90 for teenagers and between €26 and €47 for children aged between 4 and 11 years old.
If you’re an art lover, you should definitely opt for the Paris Museum Pass card, which allows you to visit over 50 museums and monuments both in the city and in the vicinity, such as Louvre or Versailles. Also, you won’t have to wait in line anymore if you have this card. For a two-day pass, you will have to pay €48, €62 for four days and €74 for six days.
Don’t forget about your travel insurance, which will cover the costs in case of an accident and will allow you to benefit from medical care.
Top 3 French dishes you must try
If you’ve got to Paris, it would be a pity not to try these goodies:
- The delicious croque-monsieur – a popular product that can be found in most Parisian bistros. The ham and cheese sandwich is grilled and seasoned with Béchamel sauce. If you want to order more of it, you should consider trying croque-madame, which also contains eggs.
- Confit de canard is a French recipe that consists of cooking duck legs in their own fat, after you have previously seasoned them and kept them in the fridge for about 36 hours. It is considered one of the best dishes in France and is usually served with pommes de terre à la sarladaises, French fries with garlic, fried in duck fat.
- The famous macarons are originated from Paris, so visiting some of the best pastry shops should definitely be on your “things to do in Paris” list.
5 places to go to in Paris
Considering the numerous tourist attractions available in Paris, chances are you will find it difficult to decide upon which ones to visit first, especially if you’re here on a city-break, for a couple of days only. To make it easier for you, we gathered 5 of the must-not-miss places:
- The Eiffel Tower – is an iconic attraction you just cannot miss. On a sunny day, from the top of the tower, you can see up to 65 km away. In the evening, for 10 minutes, at every hour, hundreds of thousands of lights illuminate the tower. However, since it is a highly popular place, the waiting line is quite long, so make sure you consider this aspect when deciding to visit this attraction.
- Arc de Triomphe (The Arch of Triumph) – located right in the middle of Charles de Gaulle Square, it is a monument that honors the ones that fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. This strong, patriotic message can be seen in the images sculptured in the walls and beneath the arcade, you can see the Monument of the Unknown Soldier.
- Le Marais – is one of the trendiest places in Paris due to the elegant hotels in the area, the vintage boutiques and the chic bars. In this region, you will also find many museums, such as Musée Picasso, and art galleries of all sizes.
- Sacré-Coeur – is a huge monument that resembles the Byzantine style and that has the interior decorated with mosaics. The panoramic view is also mesmerizing.
- Les Catacombes de Paris – the macabre tunnel system that spreads over 3000 km beneath the streets of Paris is unique in the world. In one very small part of these tunnels, there are the bones of over 6 million people, let alone the other secrets hiding here.
3 less known places to visit
If you’re interested in visiting those places that most people overlook or don’t know about, you should definitely add these places to your “to visit” list:
- Le Crazy Horse is a cabaret where beauty and feminism are the main attractions and represented by the provocative moves of the dancers. The stage is highly illuminated, and the stage property is used in a way to hide the dancers’ half-nudity.
- Musée de la Vie Romantique is one of the few museums in Paris with free entry, but it is a place where the architecture and the paintings dating from the Romantic epoque are in the spotlight. Additionally, the museum was restored and the coffee in the garden, among all those trees, creates the perfect place for hiding and enjoying the amazing weather.
- Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is a flea market that was first opened during the Medieval period. Wander among the stands and you may find unique, hidden treasures. The flea market is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
The most interesting tourist itineraries, depending on your time
The en.parisinfo website suggests that the best way to enjoy Paris is to establish your itinerary in accordance with your preferences:
- Iconic monuments of Paris, containing the Eiffel Tower, Champs- Elysées, the Louvre Museum and Montmartre
- Historic monuments, such as Arènes de Lutèce, the Mouffetard street, the Latin neighborhood and avenue de l’Opéra
- Romantic locations, such as Montmartre, the Medici fountain and Marais
- Chic shopping areas, such as Madeleine, avenue Montaigne or Faubourg Saint-Honoré
- The modern Paris with places such as Cité des Sciences, Institut du monde Arabe and Bibliothèque nationale de France
- The bohemian Paris and the one preferred by the artists – start with the cafes in Montparnasse and then go on to Musée Bourdelle and Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Additionally, the city hall provides various itineraries and city tours, such as Les Parcours Cinéma, for movie lovers or Balades Paris Durable, where you can enjoy nature in the urban area.
Other things to do in Paris
- Take a cooking class – aren’t you interested in learning the original recipe for macarons or croissant directly from the ones who invented it? La Cuisine, Le Foodist and Cook’n with Class provide a variety of cooking classes
- Walk along the Senna and enjoy the mesmerizing view of the city. Bateaux Parisiens offers cruises and various music and dancing shows.
- Discover La Coulée Verte René-Dumont, a beautiful park that was build over the infrastructure of the Vincennes railway. It’s a great place for walking, jogging and for admiring the wonderful city architecture from above.
- Believe it or not, there’s a Sewer Museum in Paris. Musée des égouts de Paris is located inside the sewers beneath Quai d’Orsay, on the left bank of the Senna. It is an unusual attraction and one that will definitely impress all engineering lovers.
This is our guide to the City of Lights. May your vacation be as amazing as you want it to be. However, don’t forget to take your umbrella with you, as it rains a lot in this part of Europe. Also, be prepared to improve your spoken French.
Photo source: shutterstock.com