Paris Travel Guide | Top Attractions, Travel Essentials, Tips & More
Paris Travel Essentials
Travel Essentials in Paris
- Language: French, German
- Currency: Euro | €
- Time Zone: Central European Standard Time | CET
- Country Code: +33
- Socket Type: Type C & E
- Emergency Number: 15 (Ambulance), 17 (Police), 18 (Fire), 112 (General Emergency)
Spring in Paris
When: March - May
Average Temperatures: 4°C Low - 19°C High
Summer in Paris
When: June - August
Average Temperatures: 13°C Low - 24°C High
Autumn in Paris
When: September - December
Average Temperatures: 5°C Low - 21°C High
Winter in Paris
When: January - February
Average Temperatures: 2°C Low - 8°C High
When: June - mid-September | Mid-to-late December
What to Expect:
- Long lines will be common at museums, monuments, and other tourist destinations.
- Expect peak flight rates and high hotel occupancy during the High Season.
When: April - May | September - November
What to Expect:
- The best times to go are spring and fall when the weather is ideal for seeing things while not being too crowded.
- Hotel and dining costs are high but easier to obtain during the Shoulder Season.
When: January - March
What to Expect:
- The weather is generally cold and damp.
- Visitors will be rewarded with fewer crowds and queues at major tourist sites if they don't mind the rain.
- Off-season visitors will find fantastic airfare and hotel bargains.
Per Person Average Daily Budget in Paris
Budget Travel: €68
- Budget travelers have reported spending around €68 per day in Paris. Visitors have spent €12 on meals and €6.31 on local transportation for a day.
Mid-Range Travel: €184
- Regular travelers spend around €184 each day. Visitors have spent €31 on meals for a day and €17 to get around the city. In addition, the average price for a couple's stay in Paris is €242.
Luxury Travel: €530
- Luxury tourists may spend as much as €79 per day on meals and €48 on transportation, with accommodation coming up to €700 for two people.
Paris Travel Tips
- Make sure you have a plan. Paris is a huge city, and it can be overwhelming if you don't know what you're doing. Plan out your itinerary in advance, and make sure to include the most popular attractions. Know more about Paris itineraries
- Get a map of the city. A map will come in handy when you're trying to navigate your way around Paris.
- Purchase a Paris Pass. The Paris Pass allows you to visit a number of attractions for a fixed price, and it can save you a lot of money.
- Dress appropriately. Paris is a fashion capital, so dressing nicely is key. You'll also want to pack an umbrella, as the weather in Paris can be quite unpredictable. Know more about what to wear in Paris
Free Things to do in Paris
Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world and for good reason. There are endless amounts of things to do and see in the "City of Light". However, many people don't realize that there are also plenty of free things to do in Paris such as these:
- Visit Notre Dame - Notre Dame is another one of Paris' most famous landmarks. It's also free to visit.
- Stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens
- Wander around Montmartre
- Take an evening stroll by the Seine river
- Explore the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens
- Le Fooding
- The Fork
- The New Food Lover’s Guide to Paris
Other Useful apps
- Yandex (Translation app)
- Google Translate
- RATP application (public transport)
Know Before You Visit Paris
Visa Requirements to Visit Paris
A traveler may or may not need a visa to visit Paris. Whether or not a foreign national needs a visa is determined by several factors, such as their nationality, the length of their intended stay, and the French territory they wish to visit.
Check visa requirements for your country >
Here are some of the common visa requirements to visit Paris:
- A valid passport or travel document with at least two blank pages
- A completed visa application form and two passport photos
- A financial document showing that you can support yourself during your trip (birth certificate, property title, or other documentation)
- A travel itinerary with dates and flight numbers for all of your trips
- Mandatory travel insurance covers your stay in the city.
Insurance in Paris
Travel Insurance for Visiting Paris
One of the most important prerequisites for a French visa is to have travel medical insurance. It's a French health insurance policy for visitors who enter the country for brief periods of time and covers all sorts of medical problems.
- Make sure that your policy covers medical expenses.
- Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully.
- Choose a policy that covers the loss of baggage and personal belongings.
- Purchase the policy as soon as possible, preferably before you leave for your trip.
Must-Know Phrases in Paris
1. "Comment allez-vous?"
This is the most common way to say "How are you?" in French. You can also say "Comment vas-tu?" but "Comment allez-vous?" is more formal.
If you don't understand someone or if they didn't hear you, you can say "Pardon?"
"Thank you." is probably the most common phrase in any language.
Internet in Paris
There are many different internet providers in Paris, and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. There are also many wireless hotspots in the city that are free for public use, including at public libraries, not to mention high-speed internet services providers like:
Phone Calls in Paris
Incoming: To call France, dial the international code 00, followed by 33 for France, then the number without the first zero.
Outgoing: Dial the international code 00, the code of the country, then the number without the first 0.
- All French numbers consist of 10 digits and start with 0.
- France is divided into 5 geographical zones with 5 separate telephone codes: 01(Paris and the Paris region), 02 (north-west France, Reunion Islands, and Mayotte), 03 (north-east France), 04 (south-east France), and 05 (south-west France and the Atlantic Ocean overseas territories).
- All mobile numbers in Paris start with 06 or 07.
- Orange, SFR, and Bouygues Telecom are some of the best cellular service providers in Paris.
Staying Healthy in Paris
First, make sure that you drink plenty of water. The Paris climate can be quite dry, and dehydration can be a problem. Drink plenty of water, juice, and other fluids to make sure that you stay hydrated. Another thing that you can do is to stay out of the sun as much as possible. The sun can be quite strong in Paris, and it is easy to get sunburned. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and wear sunscreen when you do have to be in the sun. Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy while visiting Paris:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Avoid eating street food
- Make sure to get enough sleep
- Wear sunscreen and sunglasses
- Walk around the city and enjoy the sights
Money in Paris
Currency: Euro | EUR | €
When visiting Paris as a tourist, there are a number of payment options available. Euros are the official currency and are accepted at most stores and restaurants. Additionally, credit cards are widely accepted in the city. Most stores and restaurants will have terminals that can be used to process payments. Here are some applications to help you make payments in Paris:
- Apple Pay
- Android Pay
Safety in Paris
Generally speaking, Paris is a safe city, but it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling. Some tips to stay safe in Paris include:
- Always be aware of your surroundings and be cautious when walking in unfamiliar areas.
- Avoid carrying large sums of money or wearing expensive jewelry.
- Be aware of scams, which are common in Paris. For example, someone may try to distract you while another person picks your pocket.
- Make sure you have the contact information for your hotel or another trusted individual in case you get lost or need help.
- Take a taxi or Uber instead of walking at night.
Laws in Paris
The following are some key laws that all tourists should be aware of when visiting Paris:
- It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places in Paris.
- It is illegal to smoke cigarettes in public places in Paris.
- It is illegal to eat or drink on the metro or buses in Paris.
- The French take their privacy very seriously, and it is considered impolite to take photos or videos of people without their permission.
- The French take their food seriously, and it is considered impolite to leave any leftovers when you finish a meal in a restaurant.
- Jaywalking is illegal.
Know The City Neighborhoods
Tourist Hotspot | Historic Area
Located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, Le Marais is known for its historic architecture and trendy boutiques.
Things to do:
- Visit the Musee Picasso
- Explore the Paris Pantheon
- Explore the Cité de la Mode et du Design
City Walk | Cultural Hotspot
Montmartre, located in the 18th arrondissement, is popularly known for its art galleries, cafes, and restaurants.
Things to do:
- View the Sacré-Cœur Basilica
- Watch a Moulin Rouge show
- Explore the Musée de Montmartre
Student Area | Budget-Friendly
Widely known as the Student’s Quarter, the Latin Quarter is famous for its universities, bookstores, and restaurants.
Things to do:
- Stroll through the National Museum of Natural History
- Visit a quaint bookstore
- Eat at a student-friendly restaurant
Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a popular spot for Parisians to go shopping at expensive boutiques and grab a bite at homely cafes.
Things to do:
- Relax at the Café de Flore
- Visit the Jardin du Luxembourg
- Shop for high-end fashion brands
City Walk | Historic Canals
Canal Saint-Martin is a popular area for anyone looking to discover new music and check out underground art galleries.
Things to do:
- Walk through the canals
- Take a relaxing cruise of the Seine river
- Grab a bite at local bakeries
The area around South Pigalle is notable for its flamboyant nightlife and music venues.
Things to do:
- Visit the Gustave Moreau Museum
- Go Pub-hopping
- Party at cocktail bars
Belleville is home to many authentic French restaurants, boulangeries, and chocolatiers.
Things to do:
- Explore the Parc de Belleville
- Shop at a local farmers' market
- Snack at local cafes
Happening Tourist Spot
La Villette is Paris's most colorful neighborhood, alive with open-air music and entertainment.
Things to do:
- Visit the Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie
- Go to a concert or performance at the Zenith concert hall
Getting Around Paris
The Paris Métro is extremely efficient and can get you almost anywhere in the city limits. The metro services 303 stops through 14 well-planned. Plus, there are a variety of different ticket options to choose from. Whether you're visiting for a day or a week, the Paris Metro is definitely the way to go!
Fare: €1.90 For a Single Ticket
The Parisian bus lines are numbered from 20 to 199, with lines 20 through 99 traveling within the city and its adjacent areas. Bus routes 100 through 199 operate only in the suburbs. Planning to head out of Paris? Bus lines 102, 109, 111, 132, and 169 will get you out of the city and into the lush green countryside of Paris.
Fare: €1.80 For a Single Ticket
By RER Trains
The RER subway network of France has five lines, each serving more than 257 stations and stops. With 33 stations within Paris, the RER trains run from deep in the suburbs (Paris Orly Airport to Antony) and through Paris to Rungis International Market. When visiting Paris, use the RER trains to efficiently get around the city.
Fare: Starting From €1.90 - €12.10
The Parisian tramway has 10 lines, all of which run along the outskirts of the city or in its closest settlements. With 43 stops in all, the Paris tramway is a great way to get around the city safely while enjoying some savings. One of the tramway lines, T1, runs along La Seine river making it a great sightseeing opportunity.
Fare: Starts at €2
Paris has more than 750 km of cycling paths. Cycling in Paris is a great way to see the city. There are bike lanes all over the city, and it's a great way to get around without having to worry about traffic. The city also has some bicycle-sharing stations where you can rent a bike for 20 minutes or so and drop it off at another station.
Rent: Starts from €6 - 25 per day
By Noctilien (Night Bus)
The Noctilien night bus service in Paris is a great way to get around the city when the Metro and other forms of transportation are no longer running. The buses run from 12:30 AM to 5:30 AM and make stops at five major transfer hubs throughout the city. There is a total of 47-night bus routes that cover all corners of Paris.
Fare: Starts from €1,90
Must-Try French Food
Croque-monsieur, a popular grilled ham and cheese sandwich served in Parisian cafés and restaurants, is usually moistened with the restaurant's signature béchamel sauce.
There is nothing more French than biting into a crispy baguette at any hour of the day. This famous French bread can be found at any bakery or straight from a street vendor perched atop a portable oven.
French Onion Soup
This savory soup consists of rich beef stock, caramelized onions, and toasted bread covered in cheese. This simple soup is a traditional meal in France and a must-try when eating out in Paris.
While quiche can be found virtually everywhere nowadays, authentic French quiche is made with lardons and cream, giving it a thicker consistency than other types.
These scrumptious sea creatures from the coasts of France are not cheap, but they're a must-try. Oysters come in all sizes and their flavor varies depending on the region.
Must-Try French Desserts
Nothing compares to the delicious buttery aroma of a typical French croissant. This golden treat is indisputably French, so go on a morning stroll in Paris's quiet streets to try the real thing.
The crêpe might not be as famous as the croissant, but they are both quintessentially French. These thin, delicate pancakes can be filled with everything from ice cream to ham and cheese.
What are the most famous French desserts? When people think of French desserts, they usually think of eclairs. No one knows for sure when or where the first chocolate éclair was made but it is definitely a must-try when in France.
Mousse au Chocolat
Mousse au Chocolat is a rich chocolate dessert that you can’t get enough of. Its light and airy consistency make it one of the best French desserts out there!
Crème brûlée is an absolutely delectable French dessert that consists of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. The best part is that crème brûlée is widely available wherever you are in France.
Where to Stay in Paris
There are a wide variety of accommodation options in Paris, catering to all sorts of travelers. If you're looking for something luxurious, 5-star hotels offer opulent rooms and extensive amenities. If you're on a budget, there are plenty of hostels and budget hotels available, And if you're looking for something in between, there are plenty of mid-priced hotels to choose from.
Paris can be a very expensive city to stay in, but there are some great budget hotels available if you know where to look. There are many budget-friendly hotels in Paris that can provide you with a comfortable stay without breaking the bank. There are three areas that have been found to be ideal for budget travelers: Montparnasse, Bastille, and Porte de Bagnolet
If you're looking for a more traditional hotel experience in Paris, there are plenty of mid-range options to choose from, regardless of your budget. Some of the most popular areas for hotels are the Left Bank, the Right Bank, and the Eiffel Tower. Here are a few examples of some well-rated, regularly-priced hotels in Paris:
There are several alternatives if you're searching for a more luxurious hotel experience in Paris. There are some well-rated luxury hotels that are considered to be very affordable in comparison with other luxury hotels worldwide. Here are a few examples of some of the best and most expensive hotels in Paris:
If you're looking for a luxurious and unique hotel experience while in Paris, then a boutique hotel may be the perfect option for you. These smaller hotels offer a more intimate and personalized stay, with many of them featuring unique design elements and/or themed rooms. Here are a few examples of some of the best boutique hotels in Paris:
There are several benefits of staying at an Airbnb in Paris. For one, Airbnbs are often much more affordable than regular hotels. Additionally, they offer a more authentic Parisian experience, as you'll be living in a neighborhood rather than just visiting it. Air BnBs also provide a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends.
Hostels can be a great option for budget-minded travelers in Paris. Not only are they typically much more affordable than regular hotels, but they also offer a more authentic Parisian experience. You'll be able to meet new people and make friends while staying in a hostel, and you'll likely get to know the surrounding neighborhood quite well.
Where to Shop in Paris
You can find all sorts of different types of shops, from high-end boutiques to quirky stores selling vintage toys. And the best part is that there's something for everyone, no matter what you're looking for. So if you're looking to do some serious shopping while in Paris, be sure to check out these shopping streets in Paris:
Rue Du Commerce
Located in the 2nd arrondissement, this street is home to all things quirky and fun. You'll find lots of unique items ranging from festive decorations to novelty souvenirs from your visit here.
- Location: 2nd arrondissement, Paris, France
- What To Buy: Cool souvenirs for your friends back home.
Latin Quarter Street
This historic district is home to a number of high-end boutiques and designer stores. If you're looking for a place to find that perfect souvenir or gift, the Latin Quarter is a great place to start your search.
- Location: 36 Rue de la Huchette, 75005 Paris, France
- What To Buy: Antiques and unique gifts.
This 19th-century shopping gallery is home to a variety of shops, from high-end boutiques to more affordable chain stores. The Passage Jouffroy is a great place to find gifts and souvenirs.
- Location: 10-12 Bd Montmartre, 75009 Paris, France
- What To Buy: Books, clothes, and other unique items.
The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in Paris and is a popular shopping destination for both locals and visitors alike. This tree-lined avenue is home to a number of high-end stores, as well as more affordable chain stores and boutiques.
- Location: 75008 Paris, France
- What To Buy: Clothes, cosmetics, and other luxury items.
Av. Montaigne is a chic shopping street in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. This tree-lined avenue is also a great place to find restaurants, cafes, and high-end clothing brands.
- Location: 75008 Paris, France
- What To Buy: Luxury clothes.
This wide avenue is home to a number of department stores, as well as smaller shops selling rustic wares. This busy shopping street is also a great place to find restaurants and cafes.
- Location: Paris, France
- What To Buy: Make-up and trendy clothes.
Best Tours in Paris
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours
With Hop-on Hop-off tours, you'll have access to all that Paris has to offer while never having to worry about getting lost or missing your favorite attractions! Get your ticket today and experience Paris like never before. Hop-on Hop-off tours are an excellent way for visitors to get an overview of the city and then explore on their own later on!
Best Tours in Paris:
Seine River Cruises
Cruising along the Seine is a wonderful way to take in all the sights and sounds of this amazing city, and there are a variety of different cruises available catering to all kinds of travelers. No matter what you're looking for, a Seine River cruise is a perfect way to explore Paris in style. Plus, they're often very affordable, making them a great value for tourists on a budget.
Best River Cruises in Paris:
Paris is a city known for its art, fashion, and food. It's also home to some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world. There are a number of great walking tours available if you're looking to explore Paris on foot. The city is quite pedestrian-friendly, and there are plenty of things to see and do within walking distance of each other.
Best Walking Tours in Paris:
- Hop-On Hop-Off Guided Walking Tour
- Self Guided Audio Tour
Guided tours in Paris are a great way to see all the famous tourist spots without having to worry about getting lost. You can learn about the history of each landmark and find out interesting facts that you would never have known otherwise. Plus, you'll get to avoid the crowds and long lines at the attractions.
Best Guided Tours in Paris:
Day Trips from Paris
145 km | 2 Hour Drive
A day trip from Paris to Champagne is a great way to see some of the beautiful sights in France. Champagne is a region in northeastern France that is famous for its champagne wine.
Good for: Wine-tasting & Scenic drives
Things to do:
- Visit the champagne vineyards
- Taste the champagne wine
- Shop at the local market for fresh produce
150 km | 2-Hours by Road
The Somme Battlefields are a popular tourist attraction in northern France. The Battle of the Somme was a major battle of World War I, and there are now a number of memorials and other attractions to enjoy in this area.
Good for: History & War memorials
Things to do:
- Visit the memorials and cemeteries
- See the trenches and battlefields
- Relax in the Somme beaches
213 km | 2.5-Hours by Road
The Loire Valley is a beautiful wine-producing region in central France. There are also plenty of other attractions to enjoy here, such as the Châteaux de la Loire and several museums.
Good for: Wine-tasting & Bird-spotting
Things to do:
- Visit the Chateau de la Loire
- See museums and historic sights
- Taste delicious wine from local vineyards
144 km | 2-hour drive
Reims is a beautiful city in northeastern France that is well-known for its champagne wine. There are also plenty of other attractions to enjoy in this city, such as the Reims Cathedral and the Palais des Congrès.
Good for: Wine-tasting & Sightseeing
Things to do:
- Visit the Reims Cathedral
- Taste delicious champagne wine
Paris With Kids & Family
Teeming with parks, museums, and other fun attractions, Paris is an absolute delight for kids. Here's our guide to the best things to do with kids in Paris.
Art & Culture in Paris
Paris has a wealth of art and culture to offer visitors. From world-famous museums like the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay to beautiful public gardens like the Jardin des Tuileries and the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris boasts a rich heritage unlike any other city in the world. Here are a few of the attractions that lend such cultural significate to this historic city:
Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries is home to a number of lovely fountains and statues, as well as the Musée de l'Orangerie, which houses a collection of impressionist art.
Jardin du Luxembourg
The Jardin du Luxembourg is another beautiful public garden in Paris. It's home to a number of lovely fountains and statues, as well as the Palais du Luxembourg.
The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world, and for good reason. It's home to some of the most prestigious shops and restaurants in Paris. It's also the location of the Arc de Triomphe.
Entertainment in Paris
When it comes to entertainment, Paris is hard to beat. One of the most popular types of entertainment in Paris is cabarets. These shows usually involve singing, dancing, and comedy, and they are a great way to enjoy an evening out. Another great option for live entertainment is to see a musical. Here are a few must-see entertainment options to add some spice to your Paris vacation:
This musical is one of the most popular in Paris. It tells the story of Jean Valjean, a Frenchman who is sent to prison for stealing a loaf of bread.
Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera is another popular musical in Paris. It tells the story of a disfigured man who lives in the catacombs of the Paris Opera House.
Théâtre du Châtelet
This theater is home to some of the most famous classical performances in Paris. If you're looking for a traditional theater experience, this is the place to go.
Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling to Paris
There is no shortage of things to do in Paris. You can visit world-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, enjoy a picnic in one of the city's beautiful parks, or take a stroll down the Champs-Élysées. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs to choose from, so you're sure to find something to your taste.
The best time to visit Paris depends on what you're looking for in a vacation. If you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the city at your own pace, spring or autumn are the best times to visit. If you're looking to take advantage of the city's many festivals and events, summer is the best time to go.
The summer months can be uncomfortably hot, but this is true for many popular tourist destinations. If you're looking to visit Paris during the summer, it's best to start your day early. While the streets are cool and quiet, you can enjoy all of Paris' attractions without fighting through crowds.
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most iconic landmark in Paris, and it is best to visit early in the morning or late at night when lines are shortest. The Louvre Museum has an excellent collection of art, and the glass pyramid at its entrance is also quite stunning.
There is no shortage of places to see in Paris at night. There are plenty of bars and nightclubs where you can listen to music, dance the night away, or just enjoy a quiet drink with friends.
If you're looking for a nice sit-down meal, you can't go wrong with any restaurant located along the Seine River. Alternatively, many cafes in Paris offer delicious desserts and local wines.
The most widely-spoken language in Paris is French. English, Italian, Turkish and Arabic are all common as well.
The Metro and bus system are both excellent ways to get around. These public transportation systems are ideal for short trips or to use when you want to explore the city on your own time.
Some of the most popular live entertainment options in Paris include the Moulin Rouge, Lido de Paris, and Paradis Latin. These cabaret shows are a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
The summer is hot and humid, so light cotton clothing is best. However, it can also be cool during the early morning and night; a light jacket is advisable.
There are a few things you should avoid in Paris. Smoking is banned in most places, so it's not advisable to smoke anywhere in the city. The Metro and bus systems are both excellent ways to get around, but they can be quite crowded during rush hour. If you're looking to visit some of the more popular tourist destinations, it's best to start your day early or late in the day when lines are shorter.
There are various options for accommodations in Paris. You can stay in budget hotels, mid-range hotels, or luxury hotels. You can also opt for homely Airbnbs and cheap hostels.
Some of the best day trips from Paris include visiting the Palace of Versailles, touring the wine country in Champagne, or checking out the charming villages in Reims.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris include the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower.