Paris, France

For some, planning a trip is a painful exercise and trying to package everything together is a tirelessly boring task.

But for us, preparing for a trip is just as good as being on it.

TotalGuide continues to help millions of travellers plan their trips so they can truly experience all that Paris has to offer. 

We don’t just throw together a bunch of information and litter it with affiliate links, we take pride in our research and people on the ground to ensure the information we give is up to date, accurate, value for money and of course safe.

If you don’t want to plan then that’s cool too, have a look at our ready made itineraries where you can pick and choose what you want to do.

So, let us begin.

Why Paris?

With flights and transfers covering over 17,000 airports worldwide, travel has never been easier. You can literally pack your bags and book a flight to any one of earth’s 195 countries scattered over 7 continents. So why Paris?

For most visitors, Paris offers up amazing scenery, breath-taking architecture and delicious food. It is also home to over 153 museums including some of the best museums in the world including The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. 

The city is home to some of the most recognisable landmarks in the world too. The Eiffel Tower attracts over 7 million visitors every year and can be seen from vantage points all over the city.

But it’s not all just museums and nice architecture, check out our TotalGuide of Things to do in Paris 2021

Paris’ architecture is enough of a reason to visit. With Haussmann buildings lining beautiful boulevards and with other streets showcasing contemporary designs, the city centre particularly, could be in a museum all on its own.

Known as The Golden Triangle, the Champs Elysées, Avenue Georges V and Avenue Montaigne are home to some of the most luxurious fashion houses in the world. Think Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Yves Saint Laurent and you’ll find them right here in the capital of haute couture and fashion.

Paris has a packed theatre calendar too including two opera houses, neighbourhood cinemas, amateur cinemas, and cabarets as well as numerous art & photography galleries. Culture doesn’t have to be expensive either, the streets of Le Marais offer lots of free exhibitions.

Our What’s On Paris 2021 guide is packed full of the best events all year around

The café culture in Paris is thriving. With rows of round tables facing outward to the sidewalk it is one of Paris’ best pleasures. So whether you want to grab a quick bite to eat or sit with a newspaper and indulge in a café crème whilst watching the world go by, you can. 

And if you still need convincing to book a trip to Paris then look no further than French cuisine. Quality, fresh produce can be found on nearly every corner of a city that boasts over 70 Michelin starred restaurants. But even on a budget, you can find cheap traditional brasseries and Parisian bistros that cook up some tasty meals whilst on the go.

From fluffy croissants to Michelin starred snails, don’t eat out in Paris until you’ve read our Paris Food Guide 2021

Whatever your reason for booking a trip to Paris, you won’t be disappointed.

Getting to Paris

By Air

Paris has 2 airports, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to the north and Orly (ORY) to the south. Both have excellent transport links to the city centre.

Major airlines that fly to both CDG and ORY include British Airways, EasyJet, Air France, Vueling, KLM, Lufthansa, SAS and Iberia. Click here to find flights.

By Train

Paris can be accessed by train from many cities from within Europe to its main station Gare du Nord. Train travel can be inexpensive and it also saves you money on transfers from the airport as Gare du Nord is located within the city centre. You can find information, prices and timetables to Paris here.

If you are considering stopping off in Paris whilst travelling around Europe via train, then check the prices for an Interrail ticket as savings can be made on a weekly or monthly pass rather than individual ticket prices.

By Car

Driving in Paris isn’t recommended. The road system incorporates medieval roads, boulevards and frequent roundabouts without road markings. But if you are road tripping and are curious about Paris then we suggest you ditch your car as soon as you arrive and leave it there until you leave. For prices and car parks available on your dates head over to Parkopedia.fr for the best rates. 

For information on the best way to get to Paris from either CDG or ORY, please check out our Getting Around Paris section

Most Popular Attractions

The Cathedral Notre-Dame is the most visited attraction in Paris, welcoming over 12 million visitors per year.

The Lady of Paris is a medieval Catholic Cathedral and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France. 

A climb up the 422 steps of the towers allows visitors to take in the stunning backdrop of Paris from above including the Eiffel Tower and Sacré-Cœu above the ancient rooftops of Paris. 

From the top you can get up close and personal with the gargoyles and chimeras of Notre Dame.

Save 20% on tickets by booking in advance with a FREE tour guide

The Basilique du Sacré-Cœu or Sacred Heart of Paris Basilica is located in Montmartre and boasts the most beautiful panoramic views of Paris.

Last year the Roman-Byzantine style Basilica welcomed over 11 million visitors, not only for its views but also for the largest mosaic in France and its famous crypt.

Beat the ques and the inflated prices on the door by booking in advance

Over 10 million visitors graced the Louvre last year, with most coming to see one of the most famous pieces of artwork in the world, The Mona Lisa by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.

Besides the Mona Lisa, the Musée du Louvre exhibits The Raft of the Medusa, the Venus de Milo, The Winged Victory of Samothrace as well as western works of art dating from the Middle Ages to 1848.

In total, there are 35,000 works to be discovered and with its eight hundred year old history, the Louvre has been influenced by numerous architectural trends, from the medieval fortress of the 12th century to the glass pyramid standing today.

To avoid the dreaded 3+ hour wait for entry into the Louvre, book your tickets and que jumps in advance

Where to Stay

Budget

There are lots of hostels in Paris and the average cost is around XXX per night. This is by far the cheapest option and is a great way to meet fellow travellers and new friends. 

Hotel Bonsejour Montmartre is situated in the charming Montmartre area with excellent reviews and comes highly recommended.

Economy

The quirky Hotel Esmerelda is a real gem and to be 100 yards away from Notre Dame for £90.00 per night is a real bonus. 

An RER station is within walking distance as is the Paris Metro and each room is unique and has its own personality.

Hotel Esmerelda is great for exploring the Latin Quarter and St German des Pres bars and restaurants which are close by.

Premium

Completely renovated and opened in June, 2018, Les Jardins de Mademoiselle is a real treasure of greenery right in the heart of Paris. 

Its location in the 15th Arrondissement means that restaurants and bars are close by as well as the Félix Faure Metro station meaning great transport links for all the major attractions.

The rooms are pretty, clean and have all of the amenities expected for a premium stay, including delicious complimentary macaroons.

First

For outstanding luxury, look no further than the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal which is Ideally located between the Louvre Museum and the Opera house. 

This 5 star hotel was beautifully decorated by renowned French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, with the building itself regarded as a historical monument.

Behind its majestic facade is 68 elegantly designed rooms and suites, some with magnificent views of Paris, a restaurant and bar, fitness centre and spa with double cabin Turkish baths.

Location wise, it doesn’t get better than this.

When to go?

The best time to visit Paris is in May through to July or September when most of the tourist crowds have dissipated and room rates are lower. 

Summer days in Paris will see temperatures reach 75°F (24°C) with January being the coldest month with temperatures as low as 44°F (6°C)

Popular dates in the Parisian calendar include Paris Fashion Week in February & March.

If your trip revolves around mouth-watering French food then the Fête de la Gastronomie is a three-day festival celebrated in March.

One of the world’s four grand slam tennis tournaments, the Roland Garros takes place in or around May/June with tickets going on sale in March, will you bag a seat on the Philippe Chatrier court?

Paris Pride is also a hugely popular event that takes place in June. The Marche des Fiertés is one of the world’s biggest LGBTQ+ events with a carnival procession and concert as well as a march in defence of equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

If you are planning a trip to Paris around a yearly event, it is recommended that you book a hotel at least 6 months in advance