Paris, France

Paris, the city of love. It's not surprising this iconic and elegant city full of grandeur is one of Europe's most popular destinations. From the breathtaking architecture and famous museums to the mouth-watering food and scenic views, Paris will make you fall in love all over again.

What are the must-sees?

You can’t spend time in Paris without having your picture against the backdrop of the iconic Eiffel Tower. Opened in 1889 it is without a doubt the one landmark that defines Paris to the world. It is one of the most Instagrammed landmarks in the world and offers tours throughout the day to the top. If you’re feeling flush then why not book in for dinner at one of the two restaurants situated at the top? 

Paris is home to 130 museums and one of the most famous and popular is The Louvre. Over 10 million visitors graced the Louvre last year, its most popular exhibition is the Mona Lisa by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is advised that you book ahead, click here to find out how.

If art is at the top of your list of things to do in Paris then why not also check out Musee d’Orsay. Famous for its vast collection of impressionist paintings it holds the largest collection of famous artwork from the likes of Monet, Manet, Pissaro, Morisot and Renoir. Like the Louvre, you will have to book ahead so click here to find out how. 

Want more art? check out our Total Guide to Museums in Paris

You will find stunning architecture in abundance in Paris and so a visit to Notre-Dame is a must. The Lady of Paris is a medieval Catholic cathedral and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France. Those of you who are fit enough should climb the 422 steps of the towers and take in the stunning backdrop of Paris from above. Tours should be booked in advance, click here to find out how. If you’re strapped for time and don’t want to take a tour then we suggest you take in Notre-Dame from the Pont De L’archeveche bridge. Here you will get a great vantage point.

As you are starting to find out, Paris is full of landmarks and after a gentle stroll up one of Paris’ most famous streets the Champs-Elysees you will arrive at the Arc de Triomphe. It is arguably the most famous monument in Paris and it honours those who fought and died for France in the French revolution and Napoleon wars.

For a full list of must-sees and things to do, take a look at our Total Guide to Things to See and Do in Paris

Things to do?

Some of us like to get away from the tourist landmarks and see Paris in through experiences and whilst some of the best experiences are spontaneous, some of them need a little nudge in the planning department to set it up. So what should you do in Paris when you’re not gawping at some of the best architecture the world has to offer?

River

You don’t have to walk far to find good food in Paris. In fact, there are 122 that make the Michelin grade with 10 of them having three. Start your day off with a Pain Au Chocolat from XXX before indulging in snails at XXX. After a busy day of sightseeing, you’ll want to unwind with a Chateaubriand and glass of french wine in a relaxed atmosphere at XXX.

Foodies need to check out our TotalGuide to eating out in Paris before you travel.

Need inspiration? Not sure how to fit it all in? Take a look at our Total Weekend in Paris Itinerary

Pere Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Paris and visited by more than 3.5 million people annually making it the largest necropolis in the world, but why?

Well, it is the final resting place of The Doors frontman Jim Morrison and since his death in Paris in 1971, fans have been coming to Pere Lachaise ever since. Other notable graves and tombs include those of Poet, Oscar Wilde, classical composer, Frederic Chopin, and Author Marcel Proust.

Staying with the somber note, a visit to the Flame of Liberty allows us to remember the horrific events of 31st August 1997 in which Princess Diana lost her life in Paris. The monument is the unofficial memorial to Diana located near the northern end of the Pont de l’Alma tunnel.

Walk the Champs-Elysees (sunsets?

Afterdark you will want to find somewhere to wind down after a busy day on your feet. The good news is Paris is home to some really cool bars. If you want a romantic rooftop scene then check out XXXX. Kick back with the locals then you’ll not be out of place in either XXX or XXX. You’ll find everything you need in our TotalGuide to Nightlife in Paris

For a full list of must-sees and things to do, take a look at our Total Guide to Things to See and Do in Paris

Where to stay?

Paris is renowned for being one of the most expensive places in the world to rest your head. Getting a hotel room that is in a good location, value for money and has all the amenities you need can be tricky. But fear not we’ve compiled a list of our recommended hotels to suit all types and budgets.

Check out the Total Guide to Hotel Rooms in Paris

Getting Around

Metro – The Paris Metro is the fastest way of getting around this beautiful city. With over 133 miles of lines and 300 stations, it is one of the oldest in the world. The metro connect effortlessly with the RER trains (see below) and are open between 05:30 – 01:00 everyday.

Getting to the Metro stations is easy, just look out for M, Metro or Metropolitain signage. Get a T+ Ticket from the ticket machines in the Metro or RER stations.1 ticket costs €1.80 but there are discounts if you buy 10 tickets (€14.90). You can use the ticket between the Metro and RER lines for 90 minutes but you will have to purchase another if you want to go on the bus.

Get familiar with the metro with a map before you travel. You can download one here for free.

RER Trains – The RER trains interlink well with the metro but they have less stops and are a lot faster than the Paris Metro. So if you want to go longer in distance then you can cut this right down by using the RER train rather than the Metro.

The RER trains run on 5 different lines (A,B,C,D and E) and stop at over 250 stations. 

Bear in mind that there are 2 types of RER trains, normal and express trains. The express trains are faster but they do not stop at every station so make sure you get on the right train.

Get a T+ Ticket from the ticket machines in the Metro or RER stations. 1 ticket costs €1.80 but there are discounts if you buy 10 tickets (€14.90). You can use the ticket between the Metro and RER lines for 90 minutes but you will have to purchase another if you want to go on the bus.

Bus – Being underground on a train means that you miss out on all the beauty Paris has to offer above ground. This makes the Paris city busses an attractive way of getting around. They can sometimes be faster than the trains over shorter distances.

Get a T+ Ticket from the ticket machines in the Metro or RER stations. You can purchase a T+ ticket directly from the bus driver but there will be an added €0.20 charge. 1 ticket costs €1.80 but there are discounts if you buy 10 tickets (€14.90).Be aware that you won’t be able to use the T+ ticket if you have been on the Metro or RER line.

However please bear in mind that rush hour in Paris is a nightmare so it may be worth using the Metro or RER in rush hour.

Tram – Trams run on the outskirts of the city and so visitors don’t really use them. Although if you do want to experience them then we suggest using line 1 and take the tram to its final destination of Basilique de Saint-Denis. 

Taxis – There are over 20,000 cabs on the streets of Paris operating 24/7. However, they are the most expensive way of getting around. 

Make sure that you only use licensed taxis, they will have a “Taxi Parisien” sign on the top of the car. Once inside, make sure that the taxi has a fare meter and the driver’s license badge.

When to visit?

 

If you want to book for when a popular event is on then check out our Total Guide to yearly events in Paris or if you want to know what’s on when you’re visiting then check out our Paris Events Page

Information

Find More  

Articles

Find More  

A Total Guide to Hotels in Paris

Whether you just want somewhere to rest your tired legs after a hard day stomping all over Paris or a luxury hotel to make your romantic weekend even more memorable, we’ve got you covered. Every hotel on our list is centrally located, clean, comfortable, has a 24/7 reception, and excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. If you haven’t already booked your …

Continue reading