Paris

Complete Travel guide on Paris France

Fun Facts About Paris

  • Did you know that Paris is not the city’s original name? The first settlers in Paris named the city Lutetia Parisiorum believed to mean mud or swamp. The original inhabitants were actually a Celtic tribe. In 52 BC, the village was conquered by the Romans and renamed the town to Lutetia. Thankfully during the fourth century, the city changed its name to Paris.
  • There are several vineyards within the city limits of Paris. When the town was first established, vineyards and farms dominated the hills and fields. However, as the city grew and industry was built, these agricultural things disappeared. Or did they? You can still visit a vineyard tucked away behind the Sacré-Coeur. Wander around the area and you will come across Le Clos Montmartre. This vineyard has served as a hangout for artists and writers alike throughout history. Vines have been grown at this location since 944, however, it is believed that it was established long before that.
  • Paris has 5 Statues of Liberty! Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The Statue of Liberty in the New York Harbor was a gift from France to the United States.
  • The City of Lights nickname was given to Paris after being the first European city to install streetlights. Louis XIV commissioned the lights in the 17th century to restore the city’s safety following several wars.
  • There is an underground city beneath the city. The Paris catacombs hold the remains of over 6 million Parisians. Grab a spot on a local tour to learn more about this eerie place.
  • Do you like to drink Bloody Marys? If so, you are in good company. The Bloody Mary was first made in the French capital city.
  • Need to grab some sunshine and get away from the tourists? Paris has over 450 parks and gardens so grab a baguette and some cheese and go enjoy the fresh air.
  • Paris has the largest art museum in the world, the Louvre. It has been estimated that you would need 200 days to see everything in the museum if you stood in front of each object for just 30 seconds.
  • Paris is considered a large city, but it can be walked from the south point to the north point in just two hours.
Paris France rooftops

Getting Around

Use the Metro for getting around the city. While it can be daunting for a first-timer, it is the easiest and most frugal way of moving to other parts of Paris. This underground system has 16 interconnected lines and over 133 miles of lines.

A word of warning. Don’t use the Metro if you have a lot of luggage. Just grab a taxi. The Metro is full of stairs, tunnels, twists, and turns, and let’s not forget, some unruly Parisians that don’t want to deal with tourists getting in their way.

If you are only visiting for a few days and don’t anticipate riding the subway very much, then it is better to buy Metro tickets in packs of ten. This will save you money and get you ten trips on the subway. Hold onto your ticket during the entirety of your ride, sometimes your tickets might be needed as you exit that station.

If you think that you will be riding the subway a good amount, consider getting a Paris Visite Card. More information on this card can be found here.

Another Metro tip is avoiding rush hour that takes place between 8-10 a.m. and 5-7 p.m.

While roaming around the streets of Paris you can find the Metro stations by finding the letter M or the words Métro or Métropolitain. It also connects to the RER trains easily.

Things to see in Paris

Things to See

There are so many amazing places to explore in Paris, France. To see more about individual attractions, click here to skip to that section.

Downloadable Guide

Paris Downloadable Guide

Want a FREE printable downloadable itinerary on this city? Simply click the image and it will take you to the PDF itinerary, download it, and print it for easy use.

Tulieries Gardens Paris - Weather and best time to visit Paris

Weather / Best Time to Visit

Spring runs from March to May and is one of the best seasons to visit. Temperatures run between 54-68 degrees during the day and 40-52 degrees at night. A light jacket is usually all that is required, for me at least. But I get hot very easily. Also, it would be a good idea to bring a light rain jacket as there can be some pop-up rain showers from time to time.

Summer, June to August, is very warm with temperatures reaching into the 80s and 90s during the day. Night temperatures cool the city off a bit with temperatures of 60-78 degrees. It can be very humid which will make it feel like it is much hotter, and you will need to stay hydrated. It is the driest time of the year, so you probably won’t need a rain jacket. This is also the high season for tourism so keep that in mind.

Autumn which goes from September to December is generally pleasant with cooler temperatures. This is another great time to visit because the summer crowds have dissipated, and the leaves are starting to change which can bring beautiful foliage! Temperatures during this time are between 46-70 degrees during the day and 37-55 degrees at night. November and December see a few more rain showers but nothing too crazy.

Winter, which is January and February, sees daytime temperatures in the 40s and dip in the 30s at night. Snowfall is not common but can sometimes occur in a dusting of powder.

In my opinion, the best time to visit Paris is September-October or March-April when the weather is still warm but not sweltering and the nights are cooler. Also, flights and hotels are generally cheaper during this time.

Where to Stay

Where to stay in Paris

I use Booking.com or Hotels.com for my accommodations. They are excellent at keeping up with all the details of my stay and making sure everything stays organized. If I am staying more than a couple of days and really want to live like the locals, I love using Airbnb.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that the rating system for accommodations in Europe is very different than in the United States. Here in America, 1 star means drugs are probably being dealt in the parking lot and don’t question the scratches on the door, and 5 star means opulence. In Europe, instead of stars meaning quality on a 1-5 scale, it indicates the number of amenities/facilities. For example, you can find some great 2-star properties without pools or spas and the rooms are a bit smaller, but they are still clean and safe. However, some of the 4- or 5-star properties can just have that rating because they offer things like fitness centers and valets, but the rooms could be unclean. The best thing to do is read through what each property offers and look at the reviews.

Another thing to keep in mind is the location of the property. While it might be tempting to go with a cheaper hotel a bit outside of central Paris, you need to know that you will be spending a good amount of time on the Metro and fighting with Parisians that are trying to get to and from work. If you are going to splurge, Paris is the place to do it.

The best arrondissements to stay in Paris are:

  • 1st  (Louvre) In the heart of Paris and great for first-time visitors
  • 4th  (Hôtel-de-Ville) In the middle of charm-ville 😊so many narrow and very Parisian streets
  • 5th  (Panthéon) Best for younger travelers or those looking for budget lodging
  • 6th  (Luxembourg) Food and cafes abound in this area along with the famous Luxembourg gardens
  • 7th  (Palais-Bourbon) Best for close-up Eiffel Tower views
  • 8th  (Élysée) Near luxury shopping along the Champs-Elysees
  • 9th  (Opéra) Great for shopping and visiting the Palais Garnier
  • 10th  (Entrepôt) Best for experiencing the “real” Paris
  • 18th  (Butte-Montmartre) Great for couples

If you are looking for the best place to stay overall, then consider the 1-4 also known as “Paris Central”. This is where you will find the Louvre, Tuileries Garden, Centre Pompidou, Notre Dame, and many more. You won’t get the local feel as much, but you will be near most of the main attractions.


Here are a few of my favorite places to stay in Paris:

Luxury Accommodations

Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris

31 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France

Located in the 8th arr, this hotel has some of the best views in Paris. The private terraces overlook the city with views of the Eiffel Tower and other iconic buildings. The Michelin-starred restaurants of Le George and L’Orangerie are both located in the hotel.

La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa

42 Avenue Gabriel, 8th arr., 75008 Paris, France If waking up to a view of the Eiffel Tower right outside your window is on your bucket list, then book this hotel! The Junior Suite Eiffel and the Eiffel Suite have a direct view of the famous landmark

Cheval Blanc Paris & Dior Spa Cheval Blanc Paris

8 quai du Louvre, 1st arr., 75001 Paris, France

Close to everything, this luxury hotel has excellent views of the city and is only 1,300 feet from the Louvre Museum. The rooms are spacious, and the indoor pool is stunning.

Maison Proust

26 Rue de Picardie, 3rd arr., 75003 Paris, France

Much cheaper than the other options, this hotel still offers luxury accommodations for about a third of the price. Located in the 3rd arr, this is a great location to get to all the main sites in Paris. The pool is especially beautiful with tiled mosaics.


Mid-Range Accommodations

Bail Mobilité Perfect flat luxe Opera Louvre

3 rue d’aboukir, 2nd arr., 75002 Paris, France

This studio has so many great reviews and is a way you can “live like a local” and be near all points of interest and metro stations.

La Tremoille Paris

14 rue de la Tremoille, 8th arr., 75008 Paris, France

This hotel is conveniently located near the Champs-Elysées and has a terrace with views of the rooftops of Paris and a little bit of the Eiffel Tower. The rooms are well appointed and comfortable.

Hôtel Jardin de Cluny

9, Rue du Sommerard, 5th arr., 75005 Paris, France

Located in the Latin Quarter, this hotel offers a wonderful stay in a 13-century building. Equipped with an elevator and free Wi-Fi, this is a good option for your stay in Paris.

Marais Braque Appartement

3 Rue de Braque, 3rd arr., 75003 Paris, France

If you aren’t opposed to spending a little bit more, or are traveling in a group, and want to live out your Emily in Paris fantasy then consider this place. The well-decorated apartment is only a 6-min walk to Pompidou Center. It has a bedroom and a living room with a sofa bed, a kitchen, a dining area, and a beautiful bathroom room with a shower and tub. A tub is a hard-to-find commodity in Paris. The nearest subway station is merely 850 feet away, making this a great centrally located apartment.


Budget Accommodations

As I am sure you know, Paris is an expensive city. However, with a little bit of searching, you can find some deals hidden within all the pricey options. Here are a few of my favorites.

Quartier Latin Apartments

3 rue Scipion, 5th arr., 75005 Paris, France

Located in the 5th arr, this apartment is close to the subway and the Pantheon. This place has killer reviews and is great value for your money. The rooms are beautifully decorated and you even have a small washing machine in the unit which comes in handy if you have been traveling for a while and need an outfit refresh.

Les appartements de l’atelier Paris 3

5 rue Chapon, 3rd arr., 75003 Paris, France

With the metro a mere 5 mins walk from the apartment, this place is a steal. Beautifully decorated and full of French charm you can enjoy the Parisian experience in this place. Keep in mind that there is no lift/elevator so if you are carrying a bunch of luggage you may want to look elsewhere or be prepared to lug all your stuff up a flight of curved steps. This place also offers a washing machine, an invaluable option if you ask me.

Appartement Studio Champs Elysées

22 Rue Jean Goujon, 8th arr., 75008 Paris, France

Set in a beautiful building this apartment is a great base for your explorations throughout Paris. The reviews on this place are great and the subway is only about 850 feet away. A great option if you are just needing the basics for a great price.

Le studio des enfants rouges

46 Rue de Saintonge, 3rd arr., 75003 Paris, France

This is the least expensive of the places I would be willing to stay in myself. I am a stickler for a clean place with no issues and this place has great reviews. Located in the 3rd arr, this apartment is central to just about everything including a subway located about 3 mins walk away.

Where to Eat in Paris

Fine Dining in Paris

Fine Dining

Restaurant Guy Savoy *** Michelin Stars

11, quai de Conti, 75006 Paris

The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Friday and on Saturday evening. Lunch is served from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner is from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Men are asked to wear a dinner jacket and women need to dress nicely.

Arpège  *** Michelin Stars

84, Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris

No doubt you have heard of this place especially if you watched the show Chef’s Table France on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, then watch episode one and it will tell you everything you need to know about this incredible restaurant. It is open from Monday to Friday, noon and evening. No mention of a dress code but I would use good judgment knowing this is an upscale place so dress accordingly.

Le Jules Verne, Eiffel Tower   * Michelin Star

2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower, Avenue Gustave Eiffel, 75007 Paris

Some people think this is a tourist trap, but I will let you decide. Located on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower this restaurant offers an experience of a lifetime with incredible views from the structure of the Iron Lady herself.

Open from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on July 14th for dinner.

Access can be found at the crossing of the Avenues Charles Floquet and Octave Gréard. Access is given with the use of the private elevator from the Eiffel Tower south pillar entrance.

Smart casual dress code: Sportswear (such as t-shirts, shorts, trainers, etc…) is not accepted.

Mid-Range in Paris

Mid-Range

Benoit Paris

20 Rue Saint-Martin, Paris 75004

Lovely French cuisine such as escargots, cassoulet, salmon, pâté en croute and many more.

Open Mon-Thu noon to 2 p.m., 7:30-10 p.m. and Fri-Sun noon to 2 p.m., 7-10 p.m.

Breizh Café

There are several located throughout Paris. Want an elevated crepe experience? Head over to Breizh Café where you can find incredible options.

Bistrot Paul Bert

18 rue Paul Bert, Paris, Ile-de-France 75011

This is a classic French bistro offering incredible French cuisine for a great price. Try the $25 two-course prix fixe lunch course, it is an absolute steal!

Open Tue-Sat noon to 2 p.m., 7:30-11 p.m.

Mumi

14 Rue Sauval, 75001 Paris, France

Modern French cuisine

Il Etait Un Square

54 rue Corvisart, 75013 Paris France

Open Mon-Sat noon to 3:00 p.m., 7:30-10 p.m.


Cheap Eats

Midi 12

12 rue la Fayette, 75009 Paris

56 rue Galilée 75008 Paris

Open Monday to Friday​ 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Marche Ou Crepe

18 rue des Haies, 75020 Paris

Open Wed-Fri 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Sat-Sun 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Le 217 Brasserie Restaurant

217 avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris France

Daily from noon-3 p.m. and 7-10:30 p.m.


Boulangeries in Paris

Boulangeries

Maison Landemaine Jules Joffrin

            4 Rue du Poteau, 75018 Paris, France

            More of an artisanal shop.

Maison Julien Les Saveurs de Pierre Demours

            13 Rue Pierre Demours, 75017 Paris, France

2020 winner of Le Grand Prix de la Baguette de Traditional Française de la Ville de Paris – an award recognizing the city’s best baguette.

 Mamiche

            45 Rue Condorcet, 75009 Paris, France

            There is always a wait at this shop, but it is totally worth it. Grab a fresh babka or a pain de campagne.

Farine&O

            10 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris, France

Lunchtime is this shop’s busiest time with locals grabbing something to eat and tourists drooling over the offerings. If you are a bread fan, I suggest you jump into that line.

Boulangerie Poilâne

            8 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris, France

Most visitors to Paris visit this shop at least once. It has been making sourdough wheat loaves for almost 100 years!

Things to do

Kristal Ham

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My name is Kristal and I am so happy to have you visit my site! 

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