Paris travel guide: Our favorite things to do and more
Paris is one destination we can’t get enough of, no matter how many times we visit. If you’re dreaming of a trip to Paris, check out our team’s expert tips for exploring the City of Light.
Currency: The euro
Best way to get around: Walking, or hopping on the Métro
Word to know: Arrondissement—Paris is divided into 20 districts, or arrondissements, designations that date back to the French Revolution! Want to learn even more French phrases? Get our guide here.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT PARIS
Paris is always a good idea—but we love visiting Paris most in the off-season. In the spring or fall, Paris has pleasant weather and there are fewer crowds to contend with, making the City of Light even more loveable.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO PARIS
Our staffer Alexa sums it up well: “What would you want to be wearing for pictures in Paris?” Parisians are famously chic dressers, and keeping it simple is the best way to blend in with the city’s fashionable residents.
One must: a chic pair of sneakers. “Parisians always look so stylish in comfortable clothes and sneakers,” says Greta. “Plus, your feet will thank you.”
OUR FAVORITE PLACES TO VISIT IN PARIS
Paris is known for its beautiful boulevards, amazing museums, and chic shops (among other things). Some of our favorite places to visit in Paris include the classics—like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, of course—but you’ll also find plenty of gems off the beaten path.
Museum lovers, don’t miss The Musee d’Orsay and The Louvre for the icons (like the Mona Lisa) and Centre Pompidou for modern masterpieces. Pro tip from our staffer Gaelyn: Use the secret entrance to the Louvre that’s beneath the pyramid.
Shoppers, stroll along the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe and duck into the recently opened branch of the Galeries Lafayette to pick up some stylish souvenirs.
“Visit the Eiffel Tower at night to catch the light show,” says our staffer Amanda. It’s the perfect way to celebrate your trip to Paris!
Explore all our Paris highlights
WHAT TO EAT IN PARIS
From amazing pastries to world-class wine, French cuisine is famous around the globe. Our staffer Andres shared his guide for what to eat in Paris, and where to find the best Parisian specialties.
Whether you’re down by the Eiffel Tower or up by the Sacré-Cœur, street cart vendors are the way to go.
Croissants & baguettes
Boulangeries, or bread shops, are open in the early morning so you’ll be served a warm, fresh loaf of bread any time of day.
Visit a brasserie, an informal restaurant, for the French version of a ham-and-cheese sandwich—perfect with a regional beer or wine.
Skip Ladurée and head to Pierre Hermé. While on the more expensive side, Chef Pierre is known as the “Picasso of pastries.”
Visit L'Escargot Montorgueil, a spot that’s centrally located in the 1st arrondissement and serves incredible escargot, or snails cooked with butter and garlic. I You have to try it while on tour in Paris—I promise you won’t regret ordering some with dinner.
Looking for more top restaurants in Paris? Check out the rest of Andres’ recommendations here!
FREE TIME TIPS FOR A TRIP TO PARIS
Whether you’re spending a free afternoon on tour or you’re seeing Paris like a local on a City Stay, you’ll have some opportunities to explore your interests during your trip. Here are just a few ways we like to spend a free day in Paris:
“Tour Montparnasse,” says staffer William. The neighborhood on the Left Bank was once loved by artists and famous authors like Ernest Hemingway. “It offers great views of the city!”
Explore Le Marais. Our staffer Emily visited the neighborhood during free time on her tour of Paris. One of her favorite things? Getting falafel at the famous L’as du Fallafel. Check out the rest of her tips here!
Have a picnic in the Jardin de Tuileries—just one of our favorite spots to picnic in Paris. Then, see the “wall-to-wall” collection of Monet’s Water Lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie, says staffer Greta. “I recommend carving out enough time for your visit so that you can sit on the center sofas and stare at the magnificence of these paintings for as long as you’d like.”
Take a Seine River cruise. “It’s relaxing, and the guide gives informative history lessons,” says staffer Alexa.
Visit Montmartre. “Fellow staffer Jackie and I spent our first afternoon in Paris poking around the neighborhood’s outdoor art market before getting escargot and white wine at an outdoor café,” says Greta. “Later, get yourself an assortment of macarons at one of Montmartre’s patisseries, and bring them to the steps of Sacré-Cœur and look over the entire city at sunset!”
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