12 Best Things To Do in Paris: The Ultimate 3-day Trip

12 Best Things To Do in Paris: The Ultimate 3-day Trip

Paris: named ‘the city of love’ by the greatest poets, writers, actors, and musicians who found inspiration in the beauty of this mesmerizing city. Whitestone townhouses ooze luxury, the smell of freshly baked croissants drifts through the air, and flowers hang at the sides of cobbled streets. Take a trip to Paris, France , for 2-4 days, spending your days visiting attractions, trendy neighborhoods, and delicious restaurants. Use this Paris guide to plan your trip to one of Europe’s best cities .

Day 1: All Around the Eiffel Tower

Channel your inner ‘Emily in Paris’ and start your day with a delicious coffee and freshly baked croissant at a boulangerie near your accommodation. Practice your French , and enjoy the satisfaction of those perfect warm layers of pastry!

Tip: On your trip to Paris, look for bakeries (Boulangerie) and pastry shops (Patisseries).

paris best view eiffel tower

1. Arc de Triomphe

Start by taking the subway (1.90 EUR) to station ‘Charles de Gaulle – Etoile’. From here, walk to the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most iconic sights on any trip to Paris. The huge square arch sits at the western end of the famous road, ‘Champs-Elysees’, a wide avenue that’s been featured in many famous movies.

best things to do paris Arc de Triomphe

Completed in 1836, the monument honors the armies of the revolution and the empire, with beautiful carvings on the stone. There is a small museum inside the structure walls, which tells you a bit about the history of the Arc de Triomphe, plus interesting historical photos. 

Arc de Triomphe paris

Best of all, you can climb to the top! Nearly 300 stairs later, you’ll find a viewing platform with spectacular views over the city. At sunset, you’ll get beautiful colors in the sky, and at night you can watch Paris live up to its name as ‘the city of lights’. You can even see the Eiffel Tower lights; it’s covered in 20,000 bulbs!

Opening Times & Tickets: Open 10 am to 10.30 pm every day of the year. Tickets cost 16 EUR. Buy Tickets

Hotels near the Arc de Triomphe

Hotels in paris 😴.

Splendid Etoile

2. Laduree Macarons

Beautiful colored meringues, filled with a variety of flavorsome filling; macarons are synonymous with France! Laduree is one of the most beautiful and famous shops in Paris, with shops all around the city.

paris Macarons

One of the most elegant is on the Champs Elysees, just a 10-minute walk from the Arc de Triomphe. Sit in and enjoy the neoclassical style interiors, as if you have gone back in time to dine on rainbow-colored macarons with Marie Antoinette.

Alternatively, you can choose your flavors and have them boxed up to take away. These make a delicious gift from your trip to Paris! See the location .

3. Pont Alexandre III

One of the most wonderful things about Paris is its two sides separated by the beautiful River Seine. And where there’s a river, you’ll always find some interesting bridges! Head towards the Seine (about 15 minutes from Laduree) to see one of the most beautiful bridges in all of Paris: Pont Alexandre III.

paris city trip River Seine

This is a very important bridge, known for its central location and amazing architecture. On the bridge, you’ll find numerous pillars topped with gold-winged horses. Plus, the bridge is lined with old-fashioned lamps, making it a particularly romantic place to walk at night as you cross the bridge looking onto the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais.

paris River Seine

Tip: Want to explore more of the Seine? Spend a few hours walking along its banks or take a boat tour. Boat tours are a great way to learn about Paris and see it from a totally different perspective! If history tours aren’t really your thing, there are plenty of other options, such as a dinner cruise . 

Here are all your hotel options in Paris.

things to do paris seine

4. Musee d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay is 10 minutes from the Pont Alexandre III. Cross the bridge and follow the arty boulevard to discover the memorable art museum.

The long building, which was once a station, is impressive on the outside. However, the interior is truly breathtaking! Discover a vast open space with an arched glass roof covering incredible collections of artwork. Whether you like traditional art or modern, you’ll find something to enjoy in the Musee d’Orsay.

Opening Times & Tickets: Tuesday – Sunday 9.30 am to 6 pm. Tickets cost 16 EUR. If you’re an art lover, you might also want to check out a guided tour .

12 Best Things To Do in Paris: The Ultimate 3-day Trip

5. Eiffel Tower – A must-do in Paris

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic monuments globally, up there with the likes of the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa . It is an icon of Paris (and France !), towering above the city by day and lighting it up at night. 

paris city trip eiffel tower

No trip to Paris is complete without visiting this spectacular monument. You can find your way to the Eiffel Tower from the museum by following the skyline. As you go, grab a delicious lunch nearby or buy a baguette from the bakery and make your own picnic to eat under the tower. 

paris aethetics eiffel tower

Simply marveling at the Eiffel Tower from below is an experience in itself. Wander around the structure, gaining a view from all angles, or head to the stairs in front of the Jardins du Trocadero to get some fantastic photos and an unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower.

Tip: If you want to take photos of the Eiffel Tower, we recommend arriving at sunrise to get the best shot. After 9 AM, the area becomes very crowded with people. This is the most touristy area in all of Paris!

Get your tickets here

eiffel tower sunset

Climbing to the Top of the Eiffel Tower

Visiting the top of the tower is a little more expensive, but a great idea if you want to have a unique experience and get some excellent views on your trip to Paris.

You’ll find the beginning of these fantastic Parisian views on the first floor, with the added exhilaration of a transparent glass-bottomed floor to look down from.

paris city trip guide eiffel tower view

On the second floor, as you get higher and higher, you’ll have access to Michelin-star restaurants, shops, and even a macaron counter to eat your treats from this remarkable location.

The very top is the most sensational of all, as you stand 276 meters up above Paris with only the tip of the tower and the sky above you. Grab a glass of champagne to toast the moment!

things to do paris eiffel tower

The ticket price is dependent on what you want to see. Most tickets include the use of the glass-walled lift. For example, a lift ticket up to the second floor is 17.10 EUR, and a ticket to the top is 26.80 EUR. If you don’t mind taking the stairs, cheaper tickets are available.

It gets very busy, so we recommend buying tickets online .

Opening Times

Every day from 9.30 AM – 10.45 PM.

Note: Maintenance work is carried out every year on the top from Jan 3 to Feb 4 (during this time, you can only access the first and second floors with stairs).

Hotels near the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower romantic view

Day 2: Montmartre (Best to do in Paris)

Montmartre is the prettiest area in all of Paris. What was once a tiny village on the hill, separated from the city, now forms the 18th district of Paris.

montmartre paris

It used to be popular with artists, musicians, and poets who came here to paint and write, inspired by the beautiful Parisian scenery. It also went through a famous period of cabarets, brothels, and underground nightlife, known mainly for the Moulin Rouge.

These days, it keeps its beautiful village atmosphere and is a great place to stay when you visit Paris.

Join this popular walking tour in Montmartre

paris things to do

6. Basilica Sacre-Coeur

The Basilica Sacre-Coeur is the icon of Montmartre, a stunning white church that sits on the very top of the hill looking over Paris. Climb up the steep cobbled streets and zig-zagged blocks of stairs to reach the gardens below the church, where you’ll be met with views of the impressive three-domed church, which looks more like a palace!

paris montmartre sacre coeur

You can access the central dome by climbing 300 steps to the top, where you’ll find even greater panoramic views of Paris.

Tip: Make sure to be here at 8 AM or earlier to avoid the massive groups of tourists.

Opening Times & Tickets: Visiting the Sacre-Coeur is free! It’s open from 6 AM to 10.30 PM every day. If you want to climb to the dome, the opening hours are 10.30 AM to 8.30 PM (summer) and 10.30 AM to 5.30 PM (winter).

paris most beautiful places

7. Paris’ Prettiest Street (Rue de l’Abreuvoir)

Rue de l’Abreuvoir is known as ‘the prettiest street in Paris’, located on the charming hills of Montmartre. You could easily spend a morning walking around the area, getting lost down the streets, and taking photos of the beautiful houses and doorways.

things to do in paris most beautiful street

However, visiting Rue de l‘Abreuvoir is an absolute must on your trip to Paris! This street is also one of the oldest, first mentioned in 1325, and home to ancient houses which date back to the 1930s. 

Read more: Montmartre, one of the most beautiful areas in Paris

paris montmartre le maison rose cafe

The most famous house on Rue de l’Abreuvoir is ‘La Maison Rose’ (the pink house). This gorgeous pink house, with green shutters and a blanket of ivy behind it, is a famous cafe that used to be visited by many renowned writers, poets, and artists. Picasso even used to hang out at this very spot!

Tip: The reputation of this beautiful street means it can be busy. Visit first thing in the morning to get the best photo opportunities.

Hotels in Montmartre 😴

Boutik Boheme Le jardin

8. See the Moulin Rouge

Wander down the hill towards the Pigalle neighborhood, where you’ll find lots of picturesque spots and, of course, the world-famous Moulin Rouge. Montmartre was once known for its many windmills that sat on the hill here, one of which was home to the Moulin Rouge (Red Windmill) during the neighborhood’s time of underground nightlife and debauchery.

things to do paris moulin rouge

It was a famous time between the two world wars when people from all walks of life would gather to watch dancing, singing, and acrobatics.

These days you can still watch the Moulin Rouge show here, but you’ll need to book months in advance as it’s one of the most popular things to do in Paris.  

Day 3: Notre Dame, Louvre, and more

Get up and prepare yourself for a busy day of sightseeing on your trip to Paris! Day 3 is all about soaking up the unique Parisian culture, whether art, literature, or music.

9. Notre Dame Cathedral

Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral as early as possible to really observe the beauty without the crowds. If you can arrive before 8 AM, the sun is still behind the cathedral, and the square in front is almost empty.

paris things to do notre dame

This breathtaking religious building is another icon of Paris and a must-see on your Paris trip, mainly because it’s one of the oldest Gothic cathedrals in the world (built between 1163 and 1245)! Admire the fascinating gargoyles and the gothic features, and climb the 422 steps to the top of the cathedral tower for magical views over the center of Paris.

Note: Since the 2019 fire that consumed Notre Dame Cathedral, the majority of the cathedral is still closed for repairs. You can, however, still visit the cathedral square and look at Notre Dame (be aware there is a lot of scaffolding covering the facade), and you can visit the crypt.

travel paris france

It’s still worth wandering around the parameters of Notre Dame, if not just to be close to this incredible icon of history in Paris. Hidden in a side street nearby is a beautiful little cafe called Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole. Stop here for a photo and a morning coffee before continuing your day. 

paris city trip beautiful cafe

10. Shakespeare and Company Bookstore

Shakespeare and Company Bookstore might not look like much from the outside, but enter, and you’ll find a world of hidden treasures! Books are piled up from floor to ceiling, and great literature covers almost every surface. If you’re a book lover, this is a must-do on your trip to Paris. You can even enjoy a coffee and a cake here while you peruse the pages of ancient novels!

How to get there: Shakespeare and Company Bookstore is at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie. To get there, cross the bridge on the side of Notre Dame.

travel paris france

11. Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum is one of the most famous in the entire world! It’s known for housing the Mona Lisa and its unique triangular shape. Watch people of all ages outside trying to get the typical ‘Louvre’ photo and positioning the triangle in their hands (think Leaning Tower of Pisa style!). 

travel paris france

From Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, you can reach the Louvre within 15 minutes of walking. Because of the museum’s popularity, buying tickets online in advance is recommended. If you don’t feel like going into the museum, you can relax or take photos at the square or nearby park.

Opening times and entry fee: 9 AM – 6 PM every day (closed on Tuesdays). 17 EUR for tickets purchased online.

Hotels near the Louvre Museum

Apartments WS Louvre - Richelieu

Paris Guide: Things to do near the Louvre Museum

Alternatively, start your walk through the oldest park in Paris: Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden). It extends from the Louvre all the way to Place de la Concorde. The Jardin Tuileries is a large public park with fountains, chairs, and grass to relax. Throughout the garden, you will find various art, like statues and a smaller version of the Arc de Triomphe.

paris louvre

From the Louvre, hop on the metro towards Gare de Lyon. From here, it’s a 5-minute walk to Rue Cremieux, one of the most fantastic, colorful streets in Paris! This sweet cobbled street is bordered by rainbow-colored Parisian houses, flowers, and bikes and is a lovely place to grab some photos on your trip to Paris. 

paris best things to do Rue Cremieux

12. Le Marais

Spend the rest of your day in the trendy neighborhood: Le Marais. You can find everything you could possibly need in this beautiful little medieval neighborhood, whether it’s trendy vintage shops and restaurants, luxurious squares, or ancient, narrow medieval streets that could be straight from a novel.

paris street

On your walk, take a look inside the concept stores ‘Merci’ and ‘Papier Tigre’, or get a delicious dinner at restaurants like ‘Ober Mamma’ (Italian) or ‘PNY’ (burgers).

Please Note: This Paris guide excludes the arrival day. Due to all the possible arrival options and travel times, it’s best to add this yourself.

le marais paris

Hotels in Le Marais 😴

Hotel Lucien

Best Cafes and Restaurants in Paris

France has one of the most internationally famous cuisines, and Paris is a hub for the most renowned restaurants and chefs worldwide. That being said, there is a way to eat for all kinds of budgets. Whether it’s Michelin-star restaurants, quirky hidden cafes, or great takeout food, there’s something for everyone! Some of our favorites were:

  • Mastino (Italian)
  • Scandle (Eco cafe)
  • Holybelly 5 (Brunch)
  • La Cantine de Sam (Delicious vegetarian food)
  • Zia (Brunch)
  • Pink Mamma (Italian)

best restaurant paris

Where to Stay in Paris

The best area to stay in Paris is Le Marais if you want access to everything right on your doorstep. You’ll be in the middle of trendy restaurants and shops and can walk or take the metro to most sights. However, most accommodations won’t go below €80 a night, so it might be worth searching in other areas nearby too.

best things to do paris france

Alternatively, find a hotel in Montmartre just outside the city center but full of character and charming streets and cheaper accommodation in general. Finally, stay in Saint Germain if you prefer to stay close to many restaurants and the main attractions.

How to visit Paris

Paris has an international airport with flights arriving from all over the world. From the airport, it’s easy to take the metro directly into the center. 

Getting around Paris

The Paris metro has over 300 stations and is one of the oldest in the world. Getting around Paris is super easy if you use Google Maps or ‘City Mapper’. City Mapper is ideal as it will tell you exactly which line you should take and in what direction. It also offers you combinations of bus, tram, and metro, depending on what’s easiest.

paris city trip guide transportation

With the Navigo Easy pass, you can easily travel by metro. You purchase this at the station once and you can then always recharge it. For example, if you buy a package of 10 rides, you pay 14.90.

You can also purchase a 1-day, 2-day, 3-day or 5-day pass. If you follow this guide, you will need a 3-day pass for zones 1-3. The price for this exact pass is 33.90 euros per person (2023).

paris street aesthetic

How much does Paris cost?

Paris can be visited on a budget if you’re happy to stay in cheaper accommodation, for example, apartments a little further out of the center or hostels. Consider renting an apartment on Booking.com with a kitchen so you can do a supermarket shop on your first day and prepare some meals at home to save on eating out in Paris. The following prices are at cafes and restaurants per person per day:

Costs of Traveling in Paris

Travel on a budget in Paris, from $430 − $530 USD weekly per person, mid-range $1080 − $1950 USD, and high-end from $1860 − $2650 USD. However, costs depend on factors like accommodation, transportation, and activities. We did not include flights. Check flight prices here

  • Hotels: $60 − $200 USD Check available hotels
  • Hostels: $8 − $50 USD Check available hostels
  • Transport: $5 − $10 USD Book public transport
  • Car Rental: $30 − $50 USD Book a rental car
  • Food: $40 − $80 USD
  • Activities: $5 − $40 USD See tickets & tours
  • Sim: $1 − $3 USD Get an eSIM or SIM here
  • Travel Insurance: $2 − $6 USD Get Travel Insurance

travel paris france

Best Time to visit Paris

Paris is beautiful all year round! The summer months are the warmest and, therefore, the busiest.

Christmas is also the peak season when people enjoy the cold temperatures and festive Christmas lights. For that reason, visiting in the spring or September is a perfect time. During these months, enjoy mild weather, days of sunshine, and slightly quieter streets.

By purchasing through our links, you support us at no additional cost. Thank you for your support. ♥️

  • Find Hotels via Booking.com
  • Find a Rental Car via Sunny Cars
  • Find Flights to Paris via Skyscanner
  • Get a Travel Insurance via Heymondo
  • Book Tours & Attractions via GetYourGuide
  • Book a Bus/Train/Transfer via 12Go

Montmartre in Paris: A Visitors Guide

9 best things to do in marseille, 7 best things to do in nice (french riviera).

Looking for more travel information? Plan a chat with us for personalised travel advice or get an answer from the Salt in our Hair Travel Community on Facebook.

A quick Paris trip for us started with a hotel near the Eiffel Tower, we discovered that everything starts at the tower. Even the Bus from Charles de Gaulle airport goes to the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel tower is definitely the heart and soul of Paris!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  Notify me when new comments are added.

Europe Chevron

France Chevron

Ile-de-France Chevron

Paris Chevron

42 Best Things to Do in Paris

By Julia Eskins and Melissa Liebling-Goldberg

Panoramic of Eiffel tower and city of Paris

The question isn't what to do in Paris, but rather how to decide. With so many wonderful museums, historic landmarks, and curated boutiques, it’s impossible to fit everything into your itinerary. Perhaps this is why the French capital is among the world’s most-visited cities. Whether it’s your first time or fifth, we’ve got you covered with some of the best things to do in Paris, from the unmissable monuments across the City of lights to the local-loved  favorites that will make you feel like a true Parisian in the making. All you have to do now is pack, put on your most comfortable shoes, and decide where to go first. These are the best things to do in Paris on your next visit.

Read our complete Paris travel guide here .  

This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

jardin du luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg Arrow

Located in the heart of the Sixth Arrondissement, the famous Jardin du Luxembourg is an inviting green oasis for Parisians and visitors alike. Come for people watching, romantic strolls, picnics, or just to admire the mash-up of English, Italian, and French landscaping influences. If you're feeling athletic, join the early-morning joggers or stake out one of the tennis and pétanque courts.

travel paris france

Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf by DFS Arrow

Did Paris need another department store? Certainly not. But this one has a legacy that laid dormant for 16 years: The 19th century landmark reopened in 2021 after a $900 million restoration by LVMH, and swapped the utilitarian focus for one decidedly more upscale. Locals used to shop here for everything from light bulbs and garden supplies to dresses, but now it's a gallery of sorts for designer clothes, beauty brands, and a handful of food and Champagne concept spaces throughout the shop. But it's an Art Deco and Art Nouveau wonder which is the primary reason to visit. Approximately 215,000 square feet are devoted to retail space in this complex, which includes the Cheval Blanc hotel, office space, and housing, making it the smallest of the city’s department stores (the others are Le Bon Marché, Printemps, and Galeries Lafayette). The spaces it does occupy covers the usual terrain: streetwear and luxury ready-to-wear which includes pieces exclusive to La Samaritaine, clean beauty and classic perfumers, handbags and fine jewelry, and several rooms used for rotating thematic installations.

SacreCoeur Paris

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre Arrow

Sacré-Coeur is a Catholic basilica that sits on the highest hill in Paris, in the Montmartre neighborhood. Its height is topped only by the Eiffel Tower. The basilica's distinct white travertine façade gives the Romano-Byzantine structure a unique look among Parisian monuments. The church is open all day to anyone who wishes to visit, though big crowds mean you may have to wait to go inside.

Louve Paris

Musée du Louvre Arrow

The Louvre hardly needs an introduction—it is still the most-visited museum in the world, with more than 7.8 million visitors in 2022.  The former royal palace is now the magnificent home of some of the world's most iconic artworks (ever heard of the Mona Lisa?). Don't freak out, but walking through the halls where Louis XIV once strolled (he lived here before moving to Versailles), surrounded by the most famous art on earth can be an overwhelming experience. What’s more, there are some 35,000 artworks and artifacts from prehistory to the 21st century housed within its walls. As a result, it could take a lifetime to see and experience it all so don’t try (the museum sells multi-day passes so you can spread out your visit).  

The Best Places to Travel This July, From Key West to Montenegro

Caitlin Morton

These Are the Best US Airlines for Economy, Business, and First Class

Jessica Puckett

The Best Hotels on the Amalfi Coast With Spectacular Views, Private Beaches, and More

Jamie Spain

A Summer Capsule Wardrobe Will Simplify Your Packing Process

Meaghan Kenny

Palais Garnier Paris interior

Palais Garnier Arrow

The pinnacle of Napoleon III architecture, the resplendent Le Palais Garnier opera house is opulent from every angle. The facade is covered with ornamentation and busts, as well as l'Harmonie and La Poésie, the two gilded copper statues flanking the entrance from on high. Inside, make sure to channel your best "Phantom of the Opera" moment on the iconic lobby's Grand Staircase, a triumph of decadent Parisian design. Admission costs about 14 euros, but it's well worth it—walking through these public spaces is like walking into the Paris of the past. The Opéra National de Paris is going back to performances in mid July, with reduced attendance and the country's health pass required.

Centre Pompidou Paris Exterior

Centre Pompidou Arrow

When the Centre Pompidou, known by locals as  Beaubourg ,  opened in 1977, it was a radical (and controversial) design for a museum—all industrial pipes and open glass views of Paris. Forty-plus years later it's the undisputed grande dame of Paris's contemporary art world. Within the massive 100,000-piece collection that stretches back to 1905, you’ll find everything from Picassos to video installations. It is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance for a specific time slot and note that if you’re in town on the first Sunday of the month, admission to the permanent collection and children’s gallery is free. 

Cond Nast Traveler Magazine JanuaryFebruary 2019 Gold List Paris Shopping

Merci Arrow

Merci is an independent concept boutique, spread out over three loft-like floors in the Marais. The well-curated selection of clothes, accessories, home goods, and just about anything else you might want, draws savvy shoppers from around the globe. Keep an eye out for up-and-coming designers and labels especially in the central space that houses themed pop-ups, or go for Merci’s own affordable in-house brand. Either way, you'll be hard-pressed to walk out empty-handed.

travel paris france

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris Arrow

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris is housed in a private mansion that served as the legendary fashion designer’s headquarters from 1974 to 2002. The museum opened in 2017 alongside its Moroccan counterpart, Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech, and hosts retrospectives and temporary exhibits. With a focus on Saint Laurent’s creative process rather than the brand’s history, the small museum is a treasure trove of iconic haute couture designs, as well as illustrations, photographs, sketches, and films. Spread out over 4,800 feet, the museum was designed to recreate the intimate feel of the original couture house. Highlights include the reception rooms where the designer met with clients, as well as the studio, where all of the collections were designed.

Forum des Halles Paris

Westfield Forum des Halles Arrow

The Forum des Halles is a sprawling shopping, dining, and transportation hub right in the heart of Paris, with nearly 150 shops and restaurants. A 2016 renovation saw the addition of a spectacular wavy roof nicknamed La Canopée—you’re going to want a picture of it. Though the architecture is new, the shopping concept is not: A market has stood on this very site since the 1100s.

travel paris france

Hôtel de la Marine Arrow

This recent addition to the capital’s cultural offering is unlike any other in the city, largely by dint of its heritage and size. Perched over the Place de la Concorde, the museum occupies the former royal Garde Meuble—the depository for the King’s furniture collections, crown jewels, tapestries, and decorative arts—and what later became the country’s naval headquarters for 200 years. Given that it is only a year old, it remains moderately trafficked but the word is out. Open to the public for the first time in 250 years, its new incarnation as an immersive museum experience allows visitors to explore the 18th century apartments of the Garde-Meuble intendants, recreated and restored to their original layout and design, as well as the structure’s grand reception halls filled with period furnishings, paintings, and objets d’art. Key to the visit is the audio guide, which leans theatrical. You could speed through the audio guide in an hour, get a view of the Place de la Concorde from the covered balcony, and take in the jaw-dropping Cabinet des Glaces, a mirror-walled boudoir not unlike the hall of mirrors in Versailles, covered in paintings.

Le Bon March Paris Department Store Interior Elevators

Le Bon Marché Arrow

Dating back to the 1850s, Le Bon Marché is the oldest department store in Paris, and certainly the most iconic. The elegant Left Bank institution is as celebrated for its airy layout as for its top selection of the world’s best designers. If it’s luxe, you can probably buy it here. Before your shopping spree is done, peek in at La Grande Épicerie, Le Bon Marché’s fine-foods emporium in an adjoining building.

Musee Picasso Museum Paris France Exterior

Musée Picasso Paris Arrow

The Hôtel Salé alone is reason to visit, but of course the real draw is Picasso's oeuvre, more popular than ever following a much-hyped 2014 reopening. And since the museum is centrally located in the bustling Marais, it's easy to work the Musée Picasso into a day out shopping and dining. While there are other single-artist museums in Paris, the combination of Picasso's fame and the beauty of the setting make this one of the very best. Timed tickets must be reserved online in advance to visit the museum. Reserve tickets in advance to avoid long lines.

The Arc de Triomphe and Place Charles de Gaulle. Paris

Arc de Triomphe Arrow

The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. Climb the nearly 300 steps or take the elevator to the top for some of the best views of Paris, with clear vistas straight down the Champs-Élysées all the way to the Louvre. You'll need a ticket purchased online or at the entrance to go inside and up to the viewing platform, but anyone can come to admire the ornate façade for free.

Glasswalk hanging over the atrium of the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann department store in Paris France Europe

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann Arrow

Historic department store Galeries Lafayette Haussmann isn’t just one of Paris's first “luxury bazaars” but also an emblem of Art Nouveau architecture. The French chain's flagship location in the 9th arrondissement features a striking domed roof with stained glass windows by master glassmaker Jacques Gruber. And with over 750,000 square feet of retail space, beautifully designed window displays, and special events, it's easily one of the best places to shop in Paris . You’ll find almost every major luxury brand under Galeries Lafayette Haussmann’s roof but the department store also makes a point of spotlighting emerging designers. Some labels, like Ester Manas (a sustainable and size-inclusive fashion brand) offer exclusive pieces you won’t find anywhere else. On the fourth floor, one of the broadest shoe selections in the world boasts over 200 brands ranging from Veja Shoemakers to Maison Margiela. Beyond the luxury goods, a highlight is the rooftop terrace, which offers a spectacular view of the city. 

Palais Royal Paris

Palais-Royal Arrow

The Palais-Royal complex is in some ways Paris in a nutshell: shops, cafés, art, history, architecture, bureaucracy, and spectacular gardens for people watching. And since it's all right across the street from the Louvre, you likely won't need to make a special trip. Don’t miss the Insta-famous Colonnes de Buren art installation in the inner courtyard.

Image may contain Building Architecture Church Altar Interior Design Indoors and Apse

Panthéon Arrow

There are a few major reasons to visit the Panthéon, starting with the gorgeous neoclassical architecture; designed by Jacques-Germain Soufflot in 1757, it began as a replacement to the original Church of Sainte-Geneviève. People also come to visit the final resting places of some of France's most famous sons and daughters, from Victor Hugo to Marie Curie. And then there are those who come to marvel at Foucault's Pendulum, tracing the path of the Earth. The vibe in the crowd is a mix of awe, reverence, and curiosity. Timed tickets can be purchased online.

Muse Rodin Paris Museum Exterior

Musée Rodin Arrow

Auguste Rodin lived in the Hôtel Biron in the later stage of his life, where the gardens inspired some of his work. The former home opened as a museum to the public in 1919, almost 200 years after it was built for a wealthy financier. The high ceilings of the intimate rooms allow visitors to see Rodin's sculptures and drawings up close, while the large gardens showcase his most famous bronze sculptures, like "The Gates of Hell" and "The Thinker."

Palais de Tokyo Paris France

Palais de Tokyo Arrow

The Palais de Tokyo is the largest center for contemporary art in Europe. Opened in 2002, its mission is to celebrate living artists across multiple disciplines. As part of the renovation of the building, the 1937 structure was stripped back to the original concrete, giving it a raw and unfinished feeling that is distinctly different from the typical white-room museum layout. Visitors should start their exploration in the subterranean levels, where art such as large-scale graffiti works are on display, and end with a drink or dinner either at Monsieur Bleu or Bambini, the more festive spot from the Paris Society Group.

Europe France Paris Museum Grand Palais

Grand Palais Arrow

As associated with years of Chanel runway shows being held in the nave of this stately Beaux-Arts space as it is with the art exhibitions it houses, the Grand Palais is an emblem of French grandeur and architectural process. The time has come, however, for the grand dame of buildings, originally built for the World’s Fair of 1900 to be refurbished. It is closed for renovations until 2024, but in its place, there is now the Grand Palais Ephémère, a 100,000-square-foot temporary space on the Champ de Mars, which hosts the artistic, cultural, fashion and art events that would normally be held in the Grand Palais.

Europe France Paris Attraction Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower Arrow

Gustave Eiffel's controversial wrought-iron lattice tower has been polarizing Parisians since it was built for the 1889 World's Fair, but today, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most beloved and instantly recognizable landmarks in the city—and the world. The structure anchors one end of the expansive Champ de Mars and provides an orientation point for the city. Jules Verne, the second-floor restaurant, is a Michelin-starred (and pricey) institution that is currently closed for renovation until the fall, as is the tiny Champagne bar at the tippity-top, which is still closed due to COVID regulations. The Eiffel Tower will reopen to visitors on July 16 and is currently accepting reservations for timed tickets.

Europe France Paris Landmark Père Lachaise Cemetery

Père Lachaise Cemetery Arrow

If visiting a cemetery sounds morbid and dreary, rest assured: It is, but in the best possible way. Death is an inescapable part of French life, and the layers on layers of Parisian history on display at Père Lachaise Cemetery are a fascinating peek into how the city has evolved over time. Visitors flock to the A-list graves here, with Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison among the most-visited. But one of the great delights is to walk away from the crowds and get lost wandering among the lesser-known, less-visited ones, which are all in various states of repair. Some have been completely worn down with obscurity over time; others appear to be washed and adorned with fresh flowers on a weekly basis. Keep your eyes peeled, and you might find some other noteworthy names buried here, from composer Frédéric Chopin to writer Marcel Proust and painter Eugène Delacroix.

Europe France Paris Cafe Cafe de Flore

Café de Flore Arrow

Stepping into Café de Flore is like stepping into a time capsule, into an era when the Left Bank was a bohemian enclave for the likes of Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway. The interior—red booths, mahogany, polished brass railings—has changed little since the Art Deco period, but anyone who is anyone knows that the best seats in the house are actually out on the sidewalk (and thankfully the famous terrasse is open at full capacity again), where the people watching can't be beat and the city's café iconic culture is at its finest. Although afternoons are best for perching on a table outside and enjoying the pulse of Boulevard Saint-Germain, there's also a vibrant after-dark scene. In other words, there's no wrong time to visit.

Musée Carnavalet  Histoire de Paris

Musée Histoire de Paris Carnavalet (The Carnavalet-History of Paris Museum)

The oldest museum dedicated to the history of Paris itself originally opened in a historic mansion in the Marais in 1880, but a recent renovation completed in 2021 has thoroughly brought the space into the modern era. The layout of the building has been redesigned, highlighting the beauty of the mid-16th century mansions as much as helping you to discover the paleolithic origins of the city through the present with 3,800 works now on display. Additionally, the museum is even easier to navigate now for everyone, with a new approach to accessibility including elevators and ramps. Don’t miss the newly added restaurant on the gardens as well for a post-visit refreshment.

Philharmonie Paris Exterior

Philharmonie de Paris Arrow

The Philharmonie de Paris is a striking contemporary building, designed by Jean Nouvel (not without controversy) and opened in 2015. Located within the Cité de la Musique complex in the Parc de la Villette, in the underexplored 19th arrondissement, the building breaks with all the design conventions of traditional symphony halls, instead favoring pod-like boxes inside the theater, a stage in the round, and a complex, undulating metal façade.

Image may contain City Town Urban Building Metropolis Architecture Downtown Water Spire Tower Steeple and Castle

Musée d'Orsay Arrow

A vast collection of Impressionist art is the focus at the Musée d’Orsay, the second-most-visited museum in Paris (after the Louvre, of course). At every turn, you'll be delighted to recognize yet another piece from pop culture or that art history class you took. There is no room not worth exploring here, so let yourself just wander among masterworks by names like Degas, Cézanne, Manet, Renoir, and Monet. Pre-booking online is recommended for priority access within 30 minutes of the reserved time.  

Muse de Quai Branly Paris Exterior

Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac Arrow

The Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac is perhaps best known for its unusual design by Jean Nouvel. The exterior of the building almost seems alive with plant walls and wild gardens, while the interiors are dark, winding, and dramatically lit. The modern structure stands in sharp contrast with the treasures housed inside: ancient art and artifacts and relics of bygone civilizations (with a specific focus on non-European cultures). Be sure to check out the museum's continuous calendar of special exhibitions, including shows centered around a specific culture.

Deyrolle Paris Interior

Deyrolle Arrow

Deyrolle is a cabinet of curiosities. The Left Bank institution has specialized in taxidermy and entomology since 1831, but in 2008 a fire destroyed nearly 90 percent of the collection, creating the need for a radical restoration project. Today you can hardly tell that the shop is, in fact, a replica of its former 17th-century iteration, right down to the wood cabinetry, parquet floors, and painted walls.

Bouquinistes de Paris along the Banks of The River Seine a green painted kiosk selling second hand  books magazines and...

Les Bouquinistes Arrow

Walking along the banks of the Seine is an activity as beloved and ancient as the city itself. Along both sides of the river, roughly from Île Saint Louis to the Louvre, are the city's Bouquinistes, independent sellers of used and antiquarian books, old maps, postcards, and all sorts of mementos. It's an activity that rewards patience—you just might find a vintage movie poster or first-edition book to bring home.

Jardins des Tuileries Overhead

Jardin des Tuileries Arrow

This sprawling, spectacular park is the beating heart of Paris' public spaces. Standing proudly between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, and along much of the Seine's Right Bank in the 1st Arrondissement, Tuileries Garden ("Jardin des Tuileries") has a history as long and distinguished as it is impressive, from its inception as an aristocratic playground in the 16th century, to becoming a public space in the 17th century, to serving as the site of numerous French Revolution skirmishes in the 18th century. With more than 55 acres, the park offers plenty of room to stroll and lots of photo ops. Keep an eye out for Auguste Rodin's iconic "Le Baiser" ("The Kiss") on the West Terrace. If you have anywhere to go in this part of Paris, skip the taxi or the metro and walk there on foot through the Tuileries. You'll see something different every time.

This image may contain Building Architecture Banister Handrail Window and Skylight

Fondation Louis Vuitton Arrow

As one of few privately owned and funded art spaces in Paris (owned by LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault), the Fondation Louis Vuitton arrived with a bang when it opened to the public in 2014. Star Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry designed the building, which looks like a magical sailboat afloat on a man-made lake in the Bois de Boulogne. Thanks to the spectacular architecture and blockbuster exhibitions, the museum is bustling at all times, despite its location in the far reaches of the 16th Arrondissement.

Image may contain Human Person Restaurant Cafe Indoors Shelf and Wood

Shakespeare and Company Arrow

Nestled on a prime slice of real estate across the Seine from Notre Dame, Shakespeare and Company is part indie bookshop, part piece of history. The roster of authors who have lingered among the shelves here reads like canon of 20th-century literature, including Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and contemporaries like Zadie Smith. Every inch of the space oozes history, from the leaning antique bookshelves to the resident cat to the well-worn piano, which is tucked away upstairs. The café is a great place for people watching—and maybe eavesdropping on a conversation or two while you sip on a café au lait. It still serves original proprietor George Whitman's famous lemon pie, as well.

Europe France Paris Restaurant Le Train Bleu

Le Train Bleu Arrow

It's hard to believe one of Paris' most serene, picturesque and dignified restaurants is also located within one of its busiest train stations, but Le Train Bleu, an icon of Parisian dining, is a far cry from the Gare de Lyon's hustle and bustle. Every inch of this place drips with Parisian opulence in the best possible way. It won't be your cheapest meal in Paris, but it might be your most memorable—or at least your most photographed.

Grande Galerie de l'Evolution  Paris Museum of National History Jardin des Plantes Paris France

National Museum of Natural History Arrow

Part curio cabinet, part institution of higher learning—it's part of the Sorbonne—the National Museum of Natural History is filled with exhibitions that inspire awe in visitors of all ages. The museum consists of 14 locations across France, but the Grande Galerie d'Evolution on the Left Bank is the showstopper all its own, with interiors that pay homage to Art Nouveau Paris through elegant wrought iron railings and soaring glass windows. It's a stark contrast to the main gallery's menagerie of articulated skeletons, taxidermies, and lifelike replications. The main attraction—especially for kids—is the permanent display of life-size elephants and giraffes, but the temporary exhibitions are also good.

Coule verte RenDumont Paris Park

Coulée Verte René-Dumont Arrow

Originally known as the Promenade Plantée, the Coulée Verte René-Dumont is an elevated park built atop a revitalized railway structure. Opened in the late 1980s, the lush garden path stretches for three miles, with landscapes ranging from modern and manicured to wild and natural. This greenway, which for many will recall New York City's High Line, provides an unusual panoramic view over the 12th arrondissement—and since this crosses through less-touristy neighborhoods, you'll get a sense of the real quotidian Paris.

Le March des Enfants Rouges Paris

Marché des Enfants Rouges Arrow

The Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest food market in Paris (it first opened in 1615), and is now a buzzing Marais hub for food sellers of all types. Stroll through the dense maze of stalls selling everything from North African grains to Italian deli specialties. For those who want a break from the formality of the traditional French dining experience, this market offers a relaxed and (mostly outdoors) convivial atmosphere (and a great place to stock up on snacks for your hotel room or Airbnb).

Institut du Monde Arabe Paris Exterior

Institut du Monde Arabe Arrow

The Institut du Monde Arabe celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017, but its iconic building, designed by Jean Nouvel, looks as fresh and contemporary as ever. The light dances in and around the building, which hosts a rotating selection of art, exhibits, performances, workshops, and cultural events. Don’t leave without inspecting the innovative façade up close or grabbing a bite with views on the ninth floor (pretty high up, for Paris).

Europe France Paris Restaurant Au Lapin Agile

Au Lapin Agile Arrow

There are plenty of old things in Paris—some more original than others—but for the last 160 years, Au Lapin Agile has managed to maintain its bohemian character. Nestled on a quiet street in Montmartre, this venue feels like a step back in time—and into a cabaret where the likes of Picasso and Modigliani used to haunt before they were, you know, Picasso and Modigliani. It's the perfect stop for an after-dinner drink with a side of entertainment.

Maison de Victor Hugo

Maison Victor Hugo

Newly reopened after a two year renovation, you can now imagine yourself living the life of a 19th-century writer by wandering through Victor Hugo’s former home on the iconic Place des Vosges. You can discover the home he moved into the year following the publication of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” which is recreated to show the periods of his life pre-exile, in-exile at his home in Guernsey and post-exile along with special exhibitions of his works, including his drawings. A new feature of the renovation is the addition of a garden with a cafe at the exit of the tour.

Bourse De Commerce Pinault Collection Modern Art Foundation

La Bourse de Commerce - Pinault Collection

Just opened in May 2021, the newest space for contemporary art in Paris was commissioned by Francois Pinault to house part of his vast personal collection, amassed over 40 years. Designed by Tadao Ondo, the revitalized commodities exchange building is located just blocks from the Louvre in the 1st Arrondissement. With 5,000 works from the Pinault Collection to be displayed across the 3,000 sq. meter space, you can expect to see works from the 1960s to the present with artists including Maurizio Cattelan, Urs Fischer, and Rudolf Stingel.

Fouquet's Restaurant Champs Elysees Paris France

Fouquet's Arrow

Many come to Fouquet's to see and be seen, but the seasonal menu by three Michelin-starred Chef Pierre Gagnaire makes it a worthy stop for more than just a cocktail. The atmosphere is chic and retro, without the pretentiousness you would expect from a celebrity-frequented haunt. It’s easy to spend a few hours soaking in the atmosphere of the warm and cozy dining room, which is usually filled with a mix of well-to-do Parisians, film industry veterans, and travelers with an appreciation of classic French gastronomy. Since opening in 1899, the classic brasserie has been a meeting place for those in the arts and culture industry, with past guests including Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf, Jackie Kennedy, and Liza Minnelli. It still hosts the gala dinner for the César Awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars) and has maintained a strong link to the film industry. The restaurant itself has been protected as a historical French monument since 1990 and the classic interiors—complete with warm mahogany wood paneling by Jean Royère—are beautifully preserved.

Parcs des Buttes Chaumont Paris

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont Arrow

Unlike most of the rest of the major parks in Paris, this is a natural space without any rigid formality. The 62-acre park, opened in 1867 as part of the Paris Universal Exposition, is built on a former quarry; there are rocky elevations to traipse up with amazing views of the city, including Sacre Couer in nearby Montmartre. And seeing as it's in the 19th arrondissement, you can expect an authentic Parisian experience, off the beaten tourist path—you'll likely need to take a quick metro or taxi ride to get there.

Galerie Vivienne Paris

Galerie Vivienne Arrow

Galerie Vivienne is a covered shopping arcade, originally built in 1823 and designed by architect François-Jean Delannoy. It remains open to the public for shopping in a mix of high-end boutiques (Jean-Paul Gaultier opened his first flagship in the arcade in 1986, for example). The glass and steel roof lets in sunlight down to the mosaic floors, making this a uniquely beautiful way to shop and stroll on your way to the nearby Palais-Royal .


Hôtel Le Grand Mazarin

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement (including the class action waiver and arbitration provisions ), our Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement and to receive marketing and account-related emails from Traveller. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Newsletters
  • Sweepstakes

30 Best Things to Do in Paris, According to Locals

From fromageries to private pontoon rides on the Seine, here's how to explore the City of Light.

travel paris france

David Henderson/Getty Images

After a decade in France , I still find myself wandering through Paris and thinking, "Wow, I can’t believe I live here." The City of Light is full of all the best clichés: Parisians cycling with bread in their bike basket, brass bands serenading crowds on stone bridges over the Seine, picnickers drinking Champagne and eating cheese on blankets in front of the Eiffel Tower. 

The capital city's mélange of modern and medieval architecture, stunning symmetrical gardens, and vibrant café terraces add to its romantic allure — and that's all part of what makes Paris a city designed for strolling. Whether you want to visit major landmarks like the Louvre and Arc de Triomphe or are looking for more off-the-beaten-path experiences, we’ve polled local cookbook authors, hotel concierges, and tour guides to build a list of the 30 best things to do in Paris.

Related: T+L’s Paris Travel Guide

Sample cheese at a fromagerie.

Westend61/Getty Images

“When you're in Paris, you absolutely have to pay a visit to one of the city's fromageries (cheese shops) — and there are so many wonderful ones to choose from,” says Emily Monaco , a journalist and cheese expert who leads Paris by Mouth food tours. A few of her favorites: La Laiterie de Paris , the first in town to produce its own cheese, and Fromagerie Quatrehomme , whose house specialties include a smoked Charolais chèvre aged in Nikka Whisky.

Have lunch at Les Enfants du Marché.

Weekend brunch is becoming more popular in Paris (the line at Holybelly never seems to dwindle), but I prefer snagging a seat at the counter of Les Enfants du Marché , in the back of the covered Marché des Enfants Rouge in the Marais neighborhood . The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so arrive just before it opens at noon so you won’t have to wait too long. Plan to linger over natural wine and a mix of market-fresh plates as the music slowly shifts, turning the venue into a bit more of a party as the day goes on.

Go gourmet at La Grande Epicérie.

Attached to the first Parisian department store, Le Bon Marché , the ground floor La Grande Epicérie is an upscale version of the city’s covered markets and food halls. Peruse the stands of fruits and vegetables or shop the curated selection of artisanal products. I’ll often stop here for freshly shucked oysters and a glass of white wine when I need a break from shopping next door.

Indulge in pastries.

Dave Stamboulis Travel Photography/Getty Images

“The city’s boulevards are brimming with enticing pastries that run the gamut, from exquisite luxury creations housed in palace hotels, like Francois Perret’s strawberry fraisier at Ritz Paris , to the equally delicious yet humble vanilla choux à la crème at Mamiche boulangerie,” says Frank Barron , author of "Sweet Paris: Seasonal Recipes from an American Baker in France."

Visit Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen.

Lucas Schifres/Getty Images

Dedicate an entire weekend day to strolling the stands and stalls of vintage designer jewelry, clothing, furniture, records, and books at the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. Considered the largest flea market in the world, there are more than 2,000 boutiques here, and they're scattered across more than a dozen individual markets. This is a place that requires more than a map, so consider a personalized tour with a guide like Alexandra Weinress of The Seen , who can help you navigate this sprawling sea of second-hand vendors.

Celebrate couture at Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris.


Located in the same private mansion that Yves Saint Laurent called his atelier and headquarters for nearly 30 years, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent is as much a monument to the legendary designer as an insider look at the couture house and its many collections. Retrospective displays and thematic exhibitions are constantly rotating, and once a month, the conservation workshop — which contains sketches, diagrams of runway shows, and runway pieces and accessories — opens to the public.

Picnic in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

In the summer, the Buttes-Chaumont Park is as popular a picnic destination as Paris Plages along the banks of the Seine. Even Emily and Alfie spread out a blanket on one of the grassy hills here during a scene in Emily in Paris .

Cruise the canals.

One of the best ways to tour Paris is from the water, especially cruising along canals through the heart of the city past landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. “It's a different way of seeing the city, and at night it's even more magical,” says Pierre Cortin, head bartender at Hotel Fouquet’s Paris . Join a themed or hour-long trip along the Canal Saint-Martin or Seine, or book a private pontoon boat , where you can curate the playlist and bring your own selection of wine and snacks.

Catch a DJ set at Rooftop Molitor.

Geraldine Martens/Rooftop Molitor

Emily also spent a day poolside at nautical-themed Molitor , and the beach club vibe seen in the show is recreated in summer on the rooftop. Head up for lunch or dinner throughout the week or catch a DJ set or concert in the late afternoon on the weekends.

Sip French spirits at Le Syndicat.

Courtesy of Le Syndicat

A gem on the somewhat seedy rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, speakeasy-style bar Le Syndicat champions French spirits in its playful cocktail concoctions that have earned it a permanent place on the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars. Guest bartenders take the reins here, and the soundtrack is heavy on hip-hop.

Explore Musée Picasso Paris.

Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

One of the standouts in the Marais, the Musée Picasso Paris is the perfect place to take a break from shopping or the summer heat. Housed in the 17th-century Hôtel Salé, the old mansion is as impressive as its collection of nearly 5,000 paintings, sculptures, and drawings by artist Pablo Picasso.

Shop perfume at Officine Universelle Buly.

Part apothecary, part café, Officine Universelle Buly’s wood-paneled boutique in the Haut-Marais takes you back centuries in history, to when the Rudier Foundry once created art for Rodin. Glass cases display the French beauty and skincare brand’s gorgeous bottles of perfume and lotion. If you’re looking for a souvenir to bring back from Paris, the shop will even emboss or engrave initials on its lip balm cases and combs.

Eat crêpes at Breizh Café.

Courtesy of Breizh Café

The closest you’ll get to authentic Breton crêpes in Paris, the wood-paneled Breizh Café is a landmark in Le Marais — and a great place to pause from museums and shopping if you don’t want to linger over a long lunch. Take your pick of savory buckwheat crêpes and galettes topped with comté cheese and ham or go for something sweet like salted caramel and Chantilly cream.

Have a drink at Bar Hemingway.

Bernhard Winkelmann/Bar Hemmingway

Before officially moving to Paris, I visited Bar Hemingway every time I came to town. Serving some of the best cocktails in the city, the cigar lounge-style space lined with Hemingway memorabilia is still a go-to when friends visit and on special occasions. Be sure to arrive as the bar opens (or even before) since it doesn’t take reservations.

Stroll in Musée National Gustave Moreau.

Raphaël GAILLARDE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

“The symbolist painter turned his childhood neoclassical townhouse into a museum several years before his death in 1898. The best part is that what visitors see today is almost precisely as he left it when he passed. You’ll find enough paintings, watercolors, and sketches to keep you occupied — but with far fewer tourists to elbow your way through,” says Lindsey Tramuta , author of "The New Paris" and "The New Parisienne."

See a Cabaret show.

BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images

Paris has a history of cabaret culture, some of the most famous being Le Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse . While the cancan never gets old, something just as French and risqué that’s lesser known is Madame Arthur , a drag cabaret and club in Pigalle where Serge Gainsbourg first played.

Visit Lafayette Anticipations.

Courtesy of Lafayette Anticipations

“When clients ask for an artsy place nearby, we answer Lafayette Anticipations , in the heart of the Marais, where you’ll find a mix of contemporary art, design, and fashion. They have a nice little café-restaurant, Mātēr, where you can get a bite or drinks after exhibitions or film screenings,” suggests the guest experience team at SO/ Paris .

Marvel at the beauty of Galerie Vivienne.

MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images

Galerie Vivienne is one of the most impressive covered arcades in the city, with restaurant and café patios spilling out on the natural light-illuminated mosaic floor. Browse a mix of boutiques, wine shops, and old bookstores here, or take a seat at a tea house or traditional bistro.

Have a seat at Café de Flore.

Live your own version of "Midnight in Paris" by sipping coffee in the old stomping grounds of the Lost Generation. Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Montparnasse are dotted with Art Deco cafés once frequented by Hemingway and Picasso. One of the most fashionable is Café de Flore — you can’t beat the people watching from its outdoor terrace on the Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Enjoy Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac.

Apaydin A/Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

“I love the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac , which has an incredible collection of primitive art from different civilizations, a panoramic terrasse with a menu created by Alain Ducasse, and cocktails by Margot Lecarpentier, the owner of Combat in Belleville,” says Timothée Prangee, co-owner and founder of farm-to-glass cocktail bar Little Red Door in the Marais.

Walk the grounds of Père Lachaise.

StockByM/Getty Images

The infamous inhabitants and their ornate burial plots aren’t the only reason to visit the Père Lachaise cemetery — although it’s like a Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Gothic graves and Haussmannian burial chambers belonging to everyone from French poet Apollinaire to Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf. Blanketed in gardens and sculptures, Paris’s largest cemetery is as much a park as it is a monument to French culture.

Linger in Marché Saint-Germain.

Fotofantastika/Getty Images

“In a neighborhood that can feel so touristy, the Marché Saint-Germain is a hidden gem that you could walk right past. Don’t miss the superb coffee shop Le Café du Clown from the team behind Clown Bar , and before you leave the market, pick up a bottle of wine from the attached wine shop Bacchus et Ariane,” suggests Catherine Down , a Paris-based, James Beard Award-nominated food and travel writer and culinary tour guide.

Visit Belleville.

From the hillside Parc de Belleville and its 350-foot-high viewpoint, you’ll have some of the best panoramas of the Eiffel Tower, Centre Pompidou , and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Once one of the city’s largest water reservoirs, the area is home to everything from the Place des Fêtes flea market to the “quartier chinois,” with Asian grocery stores and restaurants lining the rue de Belleville. My go-to is Lao Siam , but I also love the more traditional French fare at nearby Le Baratin.

Stroll in La Bourse de Commerce-Pinault Collection.

Marina113/Getty Images

Japanese architect Tadao Ando modernized the Bourse de Commerce , whose history dates back to the 13th century and has served as everything from a convent to Catherine de Medici’s palace before being transformed into the contemporary art museum it is today. In addition to the collection of work François Pinault has curated over the past 50 years, the Bourse de Commerce hosts exhibitions designed specifically for its light-filled rotunda.

Peruse the shelves at Shakespeare and Company.

Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images

After checking Notre-Dame off your list, cross the Seine and peruse the titles on the leaning antique bookshelves of English bookstore Shakespeare and Company , which was once the meeting ground for the expat literary set in Paris. The café next door is also a great spot to sit and admire the adjacent cathedral while sipping the bookshop’s signature coffee blend.

Stroll along the Seine.

spooh/Getty Images

Paris’s history stems from its landmark river, whose pedestrianized banks are bordered by gardens and museums like the Jean Nouvel-designed Institut du Monde Arabe . Brass bands and street musicians often perform along bridges like Pont des Arts, and bouquinistes (second-hand booksellers) set up stalls along walls overlooking the river. Two other bridges that are favorites of Victoire de Taillac, co-founder of Officine Universelle Buly : Pont Marie and Pont des Tournelles. Along the banks, you’ll also find floating bars, restaurants, and clubs housed in barges docked along the Seine, some of the most popular being Les Maquereaux and Rosa Bonheur .

Visit Canal Saint-Martin.

jacquesvandinteren/Getty Images

The cast-iron footbridges along the Canal Saint-Martin have made this backdrop one of the more iconic ones in Paris, yet it still feels less busy than other shopping and dining destinations like the Marais. Spend the afternoon browsing the collection at concept store Centre Commercial or design bookshop Artazart before sitting down for apéro on the terrace of Chez Prune or for oysters at Sur Mer .

Enjoy the facade of the Palais-Royal.

S. Greg Panosian/Getty Images

Across from the Louvre, Palais-Royal and its art installation of black-and-white-striped columns are a photo favorite. Grab a matcha latte from Café Kitsuné or ramen takeaway from the nearby rue Saint-Anne and post up on one of the benches in the courtyard gardens.

Shop for designer vintage goods.

Friends often ask for good vintage shops in Paris, and one of the best is Thanx God I'm a V.I.P. , off the Canal Saint-Martin. The shop stocks a mix of pieces from major designers and brands like Chanel and Hermès, plus a selection of reasonably priced vintage accessories like hats, scarves, and purses.

Visit concept shop Archive 18-20.

“Located in the trendy neighborhood of Le Marais, Archive 18-20 is more than a simple concept store — it’s a real Parisian hub where you’ll find an art gallery, book store, restaurant, and fashion all under the same roof,” says Stefan Viard, General Manager of SO/ in Europe.

Related Articles

World In Paris

Home > Paris Travel Tips > Best Tips for Visiting Paris for the First Time (by a Local!)

Best Tips for Visiting Paris for the First Time (by a Local!)

Paris travel tips for your first time in paris.

One of the greatest cities in the world, Paris is a vibrant and cultural city, with famous sites at every turn and never enough time to see them all. Paris is also regarded as the world’s most romantic city and a heaven for foodies and fashion lovers. 

We still have to meet someone who is not willing to visit Paris soon or to come back and discover more!

Travel to Paris

Everyone visiting Paris for the first time wants to have a memorable trip, and there’s nothing like Paris tips from a local to get the best out of the French capital .

In this article, we are sharing our best Paris insider tips for your first time in Paris: must-see Paris travel tips, as well as all-time favorites and off-the-beaten-path things. Read this article as a complement to our Paris Travel Planner , and you are set for a unique trip to Paris!

Join France Bucket List Facebook Group

Visiting Paris for First Timers – Top Insider Tips

1. look for the best time to visit paris for you.

Canal Saint Martin - Paris

The first of our tips for Paris is about the best time to visit Paris. ‘Paris is always a good idea ,’ and there is never a bad time to visit Paris. The city has great parks and beautiful avenues and streets, but it also has some of the world’s best museums and other interesting indoor options.

There are, however, a few things you might want to take into account when planning your first trip to Paris.

Generally speaking, the shoulder seasons – Spring and Fall – are good because it’s often less crowded and the temperature is pleasant.

If you want to beat the crowds and pay less for things like transportation and accommodation in Paris, you should consider visiting Paris in November , early December , and January .

If you are interested in shopping, consider visiting Paris in January or July, during the sales, when it is possible to find fantastic bargains.

To get the full picture, check out our in-depth articles about the best time to visit Paris and the seasons in Paris .

Check out our suggested itineraries for your first time in Paris:

  • One day in Paris
  • Two days in Paris
  • Three days in Paris
  • Four days in Paris
  • Five days in Paris
  • Six days in Paris
  • One week in Paris

2. Don’t Leave without Travel Insurance for your First Trip to Paris

It’s important not to skimp on Travel Insurance when you plan your first trip to Paris. Unfortunately, bad things happen when you least expect it, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to be insured.

While a basic consultation in France is affordable (around 25€), hospitalizations or emergency evacuations can easily run into hundreds or thousands of US dollars, which you’ll be expected to pay before you leave. Having a travel insurance policy can give you peace of mind for your first time in Paris and is something most travel experts recommend.

SafetyWing is our preferred choice, starting from a minimum of 5 days. HeyMondo also offers excellent coverage and you can get 5% discount if you use this link .

3. Get the Most of Your Time, Book in Advance, and Skip the Lines!

Skip the Line Eiffel Tower

Unless you visit Paris off-season, you’ll experience frustrating long lines at all Paris’ main tourist attractions.

Waiting in line will not only make you waste precious time; the chances are that you’ll be exhausted even before starting your visit! That’s why the second of our tips for traveling to Paris for the first time is about booking your tickets for the main attractions in advance.

Below we list the Paris main attractions you will need advance tickets for and have added links to our favorite trusty providers for your convenience.

  • The Eiffel Tower
  • The Louvre Museum
  • Versailles Palace
  • Orsay Museum
  • The Catacombs of Paris

We also have detailed articles on how to skip the line in Versailles and how to skip the line in the Louvre , the two attractions that see the longest lines and crowds.

Finally, have a look at our Skip the Line in Paris article , with the best days and time slots to avoid the biggest crowds in the main tourist attractions.

4. At the Airport, Only Use Regular Taxis (or Verified Private Airport Transfers)

Transportation Paris Airport to City

Taking a ride with a regular, official taxi is what we would consider a matter of common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many tourists still get lured!

At the Paris airports, you’re likely to be approached by someone offering a private taxi service. It might be tempting because it seems easy (no need to search for the taxi stand) and faster (not waiting in line). NEVER accept this kind of “offers.”

If you’re lucky, you’ll end up spending much more (those nonofficial cars don’t have a meter), and you can’t exclude that such a ride could lead to more unpleasant surprises or dangerous situations.

If you don’t want to take public transport and you prefer to know from the beginning how much your ride will cost, we recommend booking a private airport transfer from the Parisian Airports to the city. 

We like  Welcome’s transfer services , with good cars and the best English-speaking drivers in Paris, but other booking platforms like Get Your Guide offer similar services.

5. Save Money on Public Transport 

Metro of Paris

France has good high-speed trains (named TGVs), with very regular connections between Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, and more. It is very easy to plan weekend trips from Paris by train or longer trips to the rest of France as it takes a little as three hours from Paris to Marseille or from Paris to Strasbourg.

High-speed trains can be costly, though, especially if you buy your train tickets at the last minute. But the good news is that there are ways to find cheaper options if you plan your trip months in advance.

Find here more information and book your train tickets  

For getting around Paris, the Parisian Metro is the best option. The metro in Paris takes you everywhere in the city, with opening times starting from 5.30 am to 2.15 am on weekends.

Apart from the single metro tickets, valid also for bus and tram rides, the Parisian Metro has different passes well worth the investment, especially if you take the metro more than 3 times a day. Check out our quick guide to the metro of Paris for all the Paris metro tickets and passes and our best tips.

6. Buy a Prepaid SIM Card for your Trip to Paris

Most of the hotels and hostels in Paris offer free Wi-Fi for their guests. You can also get a  prepaid SIM card  for your trip, which will allow you to communicate with other numbers in France and keep you connected to the internet all the time.  Here are the best prepaid SIM cards for France  (and how to get them). Bonus points if you can buy one online before starting your trip!

7. Aside from the Landmarks, Discover Life in Paris

Summer in Paris

When visiting some of the most famous landmarks in Paris , you’re likely to see more tourists than locals.

But there’s so much to a town or city like Paris than its landmarks and main streets. There are many hidden gems in Paris , and letting yourself get lost where locals live and hang is the surest way to feel like a local.

To get a little more of your first time visiting Paris, you must venture where the locals are. So choose one of the lesser-known districts of Paris , put away your map, and just wander.

There are several other ways to get a taste of daily life in Paris.

  • Take public transport
  • Go to local markets
  • Have a stroll near a university
  • Drop-in a supermarket
  • Go where people work
  • Take a walk in residential areas

For long stays, you can also book a furnished apartment in Paris instead of a hotel, like one of these apartments in Paris with Eiffel Tower view .

8. Discover Popular Food in Paris

duck confit

We all like sushi and pizza, but hey, you are visiting Paris in France, the cradle of one of the best cuisines in the world!

Few countries in the world offer such a variety of dishes as France. From north to south, region after region, you’ll discover different specialties based on local, typical ingredients and products. The good news is that in the French capital you can savor the best of all the French regions .

Ask locals for their favorite restaurants , market stalls, and Paris food , and then be sure to check them out. Join a cooking course and learn how to prepare your favorite French dish. Enjoy French traditional food in any of the Parisian bistros . Stop for a coffee and some people-watching in a cute Parisian café. And be sure don’t miss Paris’ best cakes !

TIP: This Paris Gourmet Tour is an excellent introduction to local food in Paris .

9. Safety Paris Tips

Best Anti theft Backpacks for Travel

Despite what you might have heard in the media, France is a safe and welcoming country, and we never felt unsafe in Paris. Still, by the main tourist attractions, watch out your belongings.

France is a safe and welcoming country. However, like everywhere in the world, in big cities and by the most sought-after attractions you might incur in petty crime and foul play.

In public transport, always keep your handbag or backpack in front of you to avoid possible pickpockets. Never keep your camera hanging around your neck or your wallet in your trousers back pocket. Instead, store them in your bag, possibly in a zipped pocket not within easy reach.

Be cautious when approached at train stations or by famous landmarks by people offering to help. While most of them will be genuinely generous, some might be trying to rob or scam you.

On long-distance trains, keep your bag always on the racks above your seat. Don’t trust the racks between the seats and the train doors (lessons learned here).

Don’t leave your belongings unattended in public spaces, and better keep your bag on your lap or between your feet. We recommend using an anti-theft travel bag or a theft-proof backpack for safe travel.

In addition to these Paris tips for first-timers, check out our dedicated post about safety in Paris .

10. Avoid the Tourist Traps When Visiting Paris

Roofs of Paris

It is no secret that the most visited places are also potential tourist traps, and Paris makes no exception. Avoiding the tourist traps in Paris is often a matter of common sense. However, there are a few rules that are likely to keep you off the tourist traps.

– Avoid changing money in airports, at La Défense, and near touristy sites. Same for money withdrawal with a foreigner card

– Skip cafés and restaurants close to the main landmarks and all the places attracting hordes of visitors. Prices can be 2 or 3 times the price than in other neighborhoods of Paris.

– Beware of restaurants displaying photos of the dishes and menus in several languages. They are obviously for foreigners.

– Beware of additional charges in many cafés when sitting at a table. Most of the times, Parisian cafés have a price for having something standing at the counter or sitting at a table

– Don’t rely too much on websites like Tripadvisor, and learn how to read behind the lines. Search for advice and reviews from locals.

11. Take a Day Trip from Paris to Explore its Surroundings

Giverny, France

With so many interesting sites around Paris, we won’t blame you if you want to block one day or two of your Paris Itinerary to get out of town and explore what the Parisian region has to offer.

From Château de Versailles to other fairy tale castles near Paris ; from Provins medieval town to picturesque towns like Giverny , there are great day trips from Paris  or fantastic weekend getaways by train or guided tour.

12. Just Say NO

Street Art in Paris

The last of these tips about Paris for first-timers is to learn to say “NO.” It is ok to have a plan full of interesting things to see & do for your first trip to Paris, but should you rush through it just for the sake of moving on to the next thing on your list?

This is definitely one of the biggest travel regrets among international travelers. They come to Paris, they see many extraordinary things, but in the end, the general feeling is that if they had just chosen half the things, they would have discovered much more about the city, especially about local life.

So for your Paris first time, much better to allow yourself to go with the flow and see where it takes you. Most of our greatest travel memories have come from us saying “YES” to not doing what we’d planned.

So there you have it, the best Paris tips for visiting Paris for the first time, from where to go, what to do, and what to avoid. All these Paris travel tips will ensure a smooth first time in Paris.

Click here to read more Paris Tips

Back to Homepage

Pin it now & read it later

Check our Paris Travel Tips for a unique trip to Paris. Insider tips for Paris first timers. First Time in Paris tips, Paris tips for visiting Paris #paris #france

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links. It costs you nothing more (in fact, if anything, you’ll get a nice discount) but helps us to go on creating incredible Paris content for you. We trust all products promoted here and would never recommend a product that isn’t of value. World in Paris is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases at no expense to you.

World in Paris Logo


Quirky parisian explorers with a preference for lesser-known sights, we are continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the city of light read more about us ., i am elisa, the travel blogger behind world in paris. quirky explorer with a preference for the local side of my city and its lesser-known sights, i am continuously looking for new ideas to enjoy the best of paris & around . do you want to go beyond the louvre museum or the eiffel tower keep clicking for first-hand information & my best tips learn more.

A travel writer's ultimate travel guide to Paris, France

  • Paris is the City of Light, a destination steeped in style, culture, history, and romance.
  • Insider created a comprehensive travel guide for the best places to go, stay, and eat in Paris.
  • Visit Insider's hub for travel guides, tips, and recommendations .

Insider Today

Paris is one of the world's most fascinating cities with iconic monuments, picturesque views, charming neighborhoods, and gastronomic spoils. Paris is so jam-packed with culture that visitors often recount the city as a living museum. 

While touristy experiences in Paris are pleasing in their own right (see: a stroll along the Seine or a trip via riverboat), I've been visiting Paris for the past 18 years since marrying a Frenchman and through my work as a travel writer, and prefer to float around the city's delightful neighborhoods methodically. Because when you get to know Paris' arrondissements, which you can think of as individual neighborhoods with distinctive vibes, you'll understand Paris for its more distinguished ethos.

But traversing through the City of Light can be overwhelming, even for experienced travelers. With Insider's guide, you'll leave Paris with a well-developed sense of what the city and its people have to offer beyond the average first-time experience. 

→ 6 of the best ways to get to and around Paris, according to experts

→ i've traveled to paris regularly for the last 18 years. i think these 14 hotels are as magical as the city itself., → i'm a new yorker who visits paris every year. here are 11 restaurants where i've had some of the best meals of my life., → 5 secret things to do in paris, plus 8 of the most scenic neighborhoods with the best places to shop  , → here are the latest rules for us visitors to paris, france, plus tips on the best time of year to visit.

travel paris france

  • Main content

Paris   Travel Guide

Courtesy of James Farley | Getty Images

travel paris france

Best Times To Visit Paris

The best time to visit Paris is from June to August and September to October. Both summer and fall have its ups and downs. From June to August the weather in Paris is just about  parfait (perfect). Average highs are in the high 70s and there are long days of sunshine. Unfortunately, summer is also the most crowded time – and the most expensive. For lower travel rates and significantly shorter lines at attractions , plan a visit in the fall. The seasonal foliage is known to stun, though the city's spring blooms are pretty famous too. If a travel deal is all that you're after, a visit during the winter will surely shave off travel expenses. Keep in mind though that Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, seeing upward of 30 million travelers yearly. So no matter what time you visit, there will always be tourists and some crowds. 

Weather in Paris

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

Find Flight and Hotel Deals

Navigate forward to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Navigate backward to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Popular Times to Visit Paris

Tourism volume is estimated based on in-market destination search query interest from Google and on travel.usnews.com in 2015-2016. Hotel prices are sourced from a sample of U.S. News Best Hotels rates through 2015-2016.

Explore More of Paris

Musée du Louvre

Things To Do

Le Bristol Paris

Best Hotels

World Map

You might also like

London, England

London, England

# 1 in  Best Family Vacations in Europe


# 6 in  Best Beaches in France


# 12 in  Best Places to Visit in France

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


The 28 Best Water Parks in the U.S. for 2024

Holly Johnson|Timothy J. Forster May 8, 2024

travel paris france

The 18 Best Napa Valley Wineries to Visit in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Sharael Kolberg April 23, 2024

travel paris france

The 25 Best Beaches on the East Coast for 2024

Timothy J. Forster|Sharael Kolberg April 19, 2024

travel paris france

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2024

Christina Maggitas February 6, 2024

travel paris france

The 32 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Gwen Pratesi|Timothy J. Forster February 1, 2024

travel paris france

9 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in Florida for 2024

Gwen Pratesi|Amanda Norcross January 5, 2024

travel paris france

24 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S. for 2024

Erin Evans January 4, 2024

travel paris france

26 Top Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts for 2024

Zach Watson December 28, 2023

travel paris france

Solo Vacations: The 36 Best Places to Travel Alone in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Erin Vasta December 22, 2023

travel paris france

26 Cheap Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget

Kyle McCarthy|Sharael Kolberg December 4, 2023

travel paris france

Guía turística de Paris

Paris, capital of France , is one of the most important and influential cities in the world. In terms of tourism, Paris is the second most visited city in Europe after London. In this travel guide, you’ll find out about the city’s top attractions , as well as useful travel advice on how to get to Paris and how to save money whilst traveling .

Paris Travel Guide

  • General Information
  • Top Attractions
  • Getting to Paris
  • Money-saving tips
  • Where to Eat
  • Where to stay in Paris
  • 2-Day Paris Itinerary

Why Visit Paris?

The capital of France seems to have been designed specifically for the enjoyment of its visitors . Its streets, squares , buildings, gardens , and monuments  beckon tourists to return, and indeed, many do.

Some of the most memorable things to do in Paris include visiting the Eiffel Tower , the Arc de Triomphe , and Notre Dame Cathedral . During the evening, experiencing one of the legendary Moulin Rouge cabaret shows,   strolling through some of the most picturesque neighborhoods , like Montmartre , or climbing the  Montparnasse Tower is a must.

It's always a good time to visit Paris. Depending on where you fly from, you can either make the most of the low-cost airlines flying into the city from other European cities or take one of its direct flights from further away destinations. If you have children, why not surprise them with a trip to Disneyland ?

How to Organize Your Trip?

Before traveling to this unique city, we suggest reading a little about its history and discovering useful information  about Paris, which will certainly help you organise your stay. 

Once you find out about the top attractions in Paris , the must-see museums , the best areas to stay,  and the typical French cuisine , all you’ll have to do is pack your suitcase and prepare to discover one of the most romantic cities in the world.

Need Accommodation?

If you still don't have accommodation booked, we recommend you visit our search engine, where you’ll find all types of hotels, hostels, and apartments  with the best rates guaranteed (with up to 75% discount). Besides, in most cases, you'll only have to pay once you get to your destination. 

  • Hotels in Paris - Find the best deals online

top activities

Seine River Cruise Drift down the Seine River on a sightseeing riverboat during the day or at night—an unforgettable experience that offers unparalleled views of Paris .

Mont Saint Michel Day Trip Visit Mont Saint Michel : a UNESCO World Heritage site, place of pilgrimage and one of France’s most popular and emblematic landmarks.

Paris Hop On Hop Off Bus, Big Bus A Paris Big Bus tour is one of the most comfortable & enjoyable ways to explore the city. Discover the city hopping off & back on at any of its stops .

Dinner Cruise on the Seine Admire the remarkable monuments of Paris lit up while you savor a gourmet dinner on a panoramic Seine cruise  – an unforgettable experience!

Arc de Triomphe Ticket Visit one of the most emblematic monuments in Paris with the official-price ticket to the Arc de Triomphe . You'll have access to the viewpoint and exhibition !

Opera Garnier Ticket By booking a ticket to the Opera Garnier in Paris , visitors will explore the interior of this beautiful Neo-Baroque building at their leisure– a must-see!

Ticket to the Musée d'Orsay Manet, Renoir, Monet... Buying a ticket to the Musée d'Orsay will give you the chance to see some of the most famous impressionist paintings in the world.

Seine River Cruise from the Eiffel Tower + Lunch Get ready for a Seine River cruise that starts right at the Eiffel Tower , enjoy delicious French cuisine, and see Paris from an unbeatable vantage point.

Montmartre Free Walking Tour Take a free tour through the narrow streets of the most cultural and artistic of Paris' districts , where Picasso and Van Gogh sought out inspiration.

Free Walking Tour of Paris Immerse yourself in "The City of Lights" with  a guided tour around the French Capital , discovering the Louvre, the Seine and Notre Dame. What's more, it's free!

Moulin Rouge Official Tickets Experience the glamour of Moulin Rouge with tickets to the spectacular Féerie show . Enjoy French champagne and dazzling performances at this world-class venue.

3 Day Trip to Normandy, Mont Saint Michel & Loire Valley Discover the highlights of Normandy like Mont Saint Michel and the Loire Valley including its famous Châteaux on a three-day trip from Paris.

Tour of the Palace of Versailles Discover Versailles , a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s most famous palace on this half-day trip from Paris. See the iconic palace gardens!

Palace of Versailles Day Trip + Train Tour the halls of France's most famous palace with this Palace of Versailles Day Trip + Train. The guide will also show you around the impressive gardens.

Paris Pantheon Ticket Discover the fascinating Paris Pantheon, the final resting place of Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Alexandre Dumas and other distinguished French citizens.

Paris Open-Top Big Bus Night Tour On this open-top Big Bus night tour of Paris , you'll have a spectacular view of the City of Light. You'll see the city's most iconic monuments lit up!

Day Trip to Bruges Bruges is the most visited city in Belgium and one of the most fascinating medieval cities in Europe . Discover the city on a walking tour and on a canal cruise.

Centre Pompidou Tickets With your Centre Pompidou tickets , you'll see one of the best collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. Dive into Paris' rich art culture!

Aura Invalides Ticket Looking for a unique experience in Paris ? With your Aura Invalides ticket , you'll enjoy a journey of light and sound beneath the iconic Invalides Dome !

Paris Bike Tour Spend a fun-filled day cycling through the French capital and discover the City of Lights’ most emblematic landmarks on this bike tour of Paris .

Paris Crazy Horse Cabaret Ticket Be enthralled by an unforgettable show and book your Paris Crazy Horse Cabaret Ticket. You'll experience Paris' most famous and glamorous cabarets.

Eiffel Tower 3rd Floor Entrance This entrance to the 3rd floor of the Eiffel Tower gives you access to one of the best viewpoints in Paris. You'll get spectacular views of the City of Light .

How to Become a Parisian in 1 Hour Show Ticket With this  ticket to the show How to Become a Parisian in an Hour? you'll enjoy a  monologue performed by the  comedian Olivier Giraud .

Private Tour of Paris By booking our private walking tour of Paris, a professional guide will be exclusively at the service of you and your friends or family.

Access  the Eiffel Tower and admire breathtaking views over Paris . You'll be able to go up to the 2nd floor and take in the immense beauty of this city!

In this perfume workshop in Paris , we'll teach you how to make your own Eau de Toilette following the techniques of Fragonard experts.

Paris City Tour, Seine Cruise & Eiffel Tower Admire Paris’ most famous landmarks during a panoramic city bus tour, a one-hour scenic cruise along the Seine and skip the line access to the Eiffel Tower.

Lunch at Madame Brasserie, The Eiffel Tower's Restaurant At this  lunch at Madame Brasserie you'll enjoy an exquisite menu in the restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower , with Paris at your feet!  

Eiffel Tower Tickets and Seine Cruise With priority access , climb directly to the Eiffel Tower’s observation decks and admire breath-taking views over Paris and then enjoy a relaxing cruise.

Louvre Museum Guided Tour Explore the most-visited museum in the world  and find out about its greatest artworks with a professional English-speaking guide.

Sainte-Chapelle & Conciergerie Ticket Visit two of the most beautiful monuments in Paris on the same day and  save money with this ticket to the Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie .

Sacré-Coeur Basilica Guided Tour Discover one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris , located in Montmartre, with this Sacré-Coeur Basilica Guided Tour. An architectural work of art awaits!

Montparnasse Tower Ticket Want an incredible 360º view of Paris?  View the French capital from the top of Montparnasse Tower, 200 metres from the ground and right in the city centre.

Paris Mysteries & Legends Free Tour On this Paris Mysteries & Legends Free Tour , you'll learn about the city's countless squares and alleyways that have witnessed murder, plagues and war!

Eiffel Tower Climb There's a reason the Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited monuments in the world : climb up more than 700 stairs to enjoy unforgettable views of Paris!

Paris Archaeological Crypt Ticket Learn about Notre Dame and venture underneath the church to explore the remains of the Île de la Cité with this Paris Archaeological Crypt Ticket !

Paris Gourmet Bus Tour Sample the local cuisine and visit the must-see sights of the city of lights with this Paris Gourmet Bus Tour. Explore the French capital on a luxurious bus.

Claude Monet's House & Gardens in Giverny Tour Giverny is a picturesque village located one hour away from Paris. Visit Claude Monet’s house and beautiful garden and dive into the Impressionism movement.

Saint German des Prés Classical Music Concert Enjoy the best classical music with a concert in the church of Saint Germain des Prés , located in the heart of the historic centre of Paris.

Paris Hop-On-Hop-Off Boat Sail along the Seine River on board a Batobus , Paris’ hop-on hop-off boat, and disembark and embark as many times as you wish for 24 or 48 hours .

Emily in Paris Free Tour On this  free tour of Emily in Paris ,   we'll see some spots where this popular Netflix show was filmed, such as Gabriel's restaurant and the   Offices of Savoir .

Le Marais Free Tour Do you want to discover Medieval Paris ? For this, take this free tour of Le Marais , one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in the French capital .

Disneyland Day Trip Discover the magical world of Disneyland Paris on this day trip from Paris! The tour includes return transportation and entry to 1 or 2 of the parks .

Go City Paris All-Inclusive Pass The Go City Paris Pass gives you access to more than 70 Paris attractions, including Versailles , the Louvre Museum , a cruise on the Seine , and the Eiffel Tower .

Notre Dame Guided Tour Discover what happened in the Notre Dame fire, explore the interior of its "little sister" and tour the Ile de la Cité, the oldest part of Paris.

L'Orangerie Museum Ticket With this ticket to the L'Orangerie Museum you'll admire an impressive collection of impressionist paintings, including some of Monet's best-known works .

Lunch Cruise on the Seine Enjoy a delectable 3-course meal and admire the panoramic views of Paris from the Seine. The perfect way to discover this romantic city.

Loire Valley Castles Day Trip Visit three of the Loire Valley’s most-famous castles: Château de Chambord, Château de Cheverny, Château de Chambord and experience life during the Renaissance.

Conciergerie Ticket A royal medieval palace turned into a prison during the French Revolution : discover the history of the Conciergerie during your visit!

Louvre & Eiffel Tower Tour This full tour of Paris includes a cruise on the Seine , a skip-the-line entry to the Louvre Museum and a climb to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.

Normandy D-Day Beaches Day Trip Immerse yourself in the history of the Second World War, visiting key battle locations and memorials on this day trip to the D-Day Beaches of Normandy .

Stade de France Tour This Stade de France tour takes you to Saint-Denis, where you can find this icon of sport which has played host to World Cup finals in both Football and Rugby.

Grevin Museum Paris Ticket At the Grevin Museum in Paris, you will find wax figures of Kylian Mbappe, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Paul Gaultier and other famous celebrities.

Galeries Lafayette Fashion Show Ticket Paris is one of the world's top fashion capitals . At this fashion show at Galeries Lafayette , you'll get to experience the world of fashion for yourself!

Hard Rock Cafe Paris Lunch or Dinner Enjoy a delicious experience at one of the most popular places in the French capital with this Hard Rock Cafe Paris Lunch or Dinner, near the Opera Garnier.

Vincent Van Gogh Walking Tour On this guided tour you'll walk in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh . We'll visit Auvers-Sur-Oise to discover the place where the painter spent his final year . 

Ticket for the Ballon de Paris Generali With your  ticket to the Ballon de Paris Generali , you'll enjoy the best views of the French capital from a tethered balloon anchored in the André Citroën Park

Chapelle Expiatoire Ticket Dedicated to Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, the  Chapelle Expiatoire is an incredible place to visit when in Paris. Discover these locations!

Basilica of Saint-Denis Ticket Discover the first example of Gothic architecture in the world: explore the magnificent Medieval Basilica of Saint Denis  located just outside of Paris.

Père Lachaise Cemetery Tour Take our fantastic tour of Pere Lachaise Cemetary, the resting place for many notable figures from the past, such as Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf.

Chateau de Vincennes Ticket Discover the fascinating history of  Château de Vincennes , one of France's magnificent medieval treasures , when you buy this ticket.

Paris Layover Tour Take advantage of your airport wait to explore the City of Love with this Paris Layover Tour. Discover the most famous locations around the French capital.

Cheese & Wine Tasting Tour Find about the Parisian art of living with this Cheese & Wine Tasting Tour. You'll enter a traditional wine cellar to learn how to taste the best French wines.

Montmartre: Paris Lost Lovers Quest On this Lost Lovers Puzzle Hunt in Montmartre , you'll solve puzzles on an app that'll take you on a walking tour through the bohemian district of Paris!

2 Day Trip to Normandy, Saint Malo & Mont Saint Michel Set off on a 2-day tour and discover the magnificent landscapes of Normandy  including the region's must-sees like Saint-Malo and the iconic  Mont Saint Michel .

Enjoy a night on the town in the city of lights , allowing yourself to be carried along by the rhythm of the music, and the shots, of course!

Versailles Bike Day Tour Explore the magnificent Palace of Versailles , the main residence of the French Royal Family from 1682 until 1789, on a full day-tour by bike!

Paris Tour for Families Our family tour of Paris is the perfect way to explore the essential landmarks of French capital if you have young children.

UNESCO Headquarters Guided Tour Discover the history of the United Nations agency with this UNESCO Headquarters guided tour . Explore its conference rooms, courtyards, gardens and corridors!

Dinner at Madame Brasserie, the Eiffel Tower's Restaurant This dinner at Madame Brasserie provides for an unforgettable evening  as you see  Paris illuminated from the restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower .

Bel Canto Dinner + Opera Show Looking for different plans in Paris ? At this dinner with an opera show at Bel Canto  you'll be treated to a delicious  menu while enjoying  opera performances!

Classical Music Concert in Paris: La Madeleine Enjoy a classical music concert in one of the most famous churches in Paris : La Madeleine! Choose between any of the concerts on our programme list.

Fontainebleau Forest Hiking Tour Venture into the heart of the Fontainebleau Forest on this 8-mile hike . You'll discover the unique biodiversity of one of the largest forests in France!

Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac Ticket With this ticket to the Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac , you'll visit one of the most outstanding anthropological collections in Paris!

Tootbus Sustainable Bus Tour During this sightseeing tour of Paris , you can enjoy the city's iconic landmarks on board the eco-friendly Tootbus . Hop on or off whenever you want!

Choco-Story Paris Museum Ticket Delve into the rich history behind the cacao bean at the Choco-Story Paris Museum ! With your ticket , you can explore interactive exhibits and sample sweets .

2 Day Trip to Mont Saint Michel & the Loire Valley Castles Travel back in time to the Middle Ages and Renaissance period on a 2-day trip to Mont Saint Michel and visit the impressive Loire Valley Castles .

Paris Segway Tour Ever been on a Segway? Spend a fun-filled two hours discovering the City of Lights on a two-wheeled electric vehicle with a guide.

Paradis Latin Dinner and Cabaret Let the glamour of the  French CanCan  seduce you as you enjoy  Paradis Latin , a   grand cabaret  in the heart of the Latin Quarter of Paris .

Quartmaster's Apartments Hôtel de la Marine Ticket With this ticket to the Hôtel de la Marine , you'll visit a spectacular  18th-century palace located in the central Place de la Concorde in Paris

Eiffel Tower Professional Photoshoot Capture lasting memories in Paris with a private photo shoot against the iconic Eiffel Tower backdrop. Let us preserve your special moments in this iconic spot.

Paris Vintage Sidecar Tour Explore Paris' top attractions in a fun retro motorcycle & sidecar tour , experiencing the City of Light in a truly captivating way.

Musée de l'Armée Ticket With this ticket to the Musée de l'Armée or the Army Museum , you'll visit the exhibition  Hôtel National de des Invalides , an architectural jewel in Paris.

Marie Antoinette Pass The  Marie-Antoinette Pass will give you access to 4 symbolic monuments in Paris connected to the French monarchy's past. Plus you'll save money!

​ Come and discover the Yves Saint Laurent Paris Museum before it opens to the public , for an exclusive guided 1 hour and 15 minutes tour.

Macaron Workshop at Galeries Lafayette Do you love baking? Join this macaron-making workshop at Galeries Lafayette and learn how to make these sweets in Paris' most famous department store!

Belleville Neighborhood Food Tour If you like trying local products , this food tour through the Belleville neighborhood is for you! We'll sample  Parisian specialities  and see significant sites!

Paradox Museum Paris Ticket Looking for something different to do in Paris? With this ticket to the Paradox Museum , your mind will be blown by incredible optical illusions .

Giverny Monet + Shopping Day Trip Leave Paris behind on this day trip to Giverny and visit the  Monet House & Gardens . Learn about impressionist paintings and shop at the  McArthurGlen outlet !

Rodin Museum Ticket With this  ticket to the Rodin Museum in Paris , you can see  The Thinker , The Kiss  and other iconic sculptures in  Hôtel Biron and its  beautiful gardens .

Paris Citroën DS Tour Do you want to discover the French capital differently ? On this Paris tour in a  Citroën DS,  we'll discover the city of lights in a vintage vehicle .

Day Trip to Brussels and Bruges Join us on a captivating day trip to Brussels and Bruges , where we'll delve into the picturesque charm of the Belgian capital and the "Venice of the North".

Night Bike Tour Spend an unforgettable evening contemplating the beautifully lit landmarks of Paris on this 4.5-hour bike tour , including a boat cruise along the River Seine.

Paris Helicopter Tour Flying over Paris is a unique way to discover the French capital. Unforgettable views of Versailles, the Bois de Boulogne and the Eiffel Tower from a helicopter

Paris Christmas Bike Tour Merry Christmas! Or as the French would say, Joyeux Noël! Explore the city of light during the most special time of year with this Paris Christmas bike tour .

Christmas Bus Tour in Paris On our Christmas Bus Tour in Paris , you'll discover how the City of Light decks the halls for the most magical time of the year.

Classical Music Concert at Saint-Sulpice Don't miss this classical music concert at the Church of Saint-Sulpice . Listen to an incredible repertoire in one of the most outstanding temples in Paris!

Roland Garros Stadium Tour On this guided tour of the Roland Garros stadium, you'll be able to take look inside this iconic site where so many tennis champions have made history .

Galeries Lafayette Guided Tour On this guided tour, you'll visit  Paris' most famous department store ,  Galeries Lafayette , outside of its opening hours. It dates back to 1912!

Paris Pedicab Tours This bike cab tour of Paris will take you around the French capital aboard an environmentally friendly means of transport, the greenest way to discover Paris !

Paris Duck Boat Tour Explore Paris in a unique way on our duck boat/bus tour ! You'll discover  Paris's iconic landmarks both on land and in the water . An absolute must!

Saint-Louis en l'Île Classical Music Concert Immerse yourself in the world of classical music at the enchanting Saint-Louis en l'Île church in Paris , nestled on the picturesque island of Saint-Louis .

The most complete guide of Paris

This guide gives you an overview of what to see and do in Paris during your stay . It also provides historical background, and other useful information, as well as  our opinion, advice, and suggestions on how to make the most of your holidays in Paris .

The information provided in this guide was updated in  October 2022 . If you find a mistake or would like to make a suggestion, please do not hesitate to  contact us .

Download the Civitatis app from the App Store

Our travel guides

  • top attractions
  • where to stay
  • and much more

travel paris france

Paris Discovery Guide

Discover Paris

Plan Your Trip to the City of Light

Visit Paris and you'll discover a spectacular city packed with a dazzling array of famous attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, more museums than you can possibly visit in one trip, wonderful hotels and restaurants, and fascinating historic and modern neighborhoods to explore.

And that's just the beginning.  

Cruises along the tranquil Seine River and Canal Saint Martin, shopping destinations ranging from glitzy designer showrooms to street markets, non-stop summer concerts and festivals, tours and fireworks at the Palace of Versailles, and excursions to Disneyland Paris are just a few of the things you can experience here.

Whether you're planning your first Paris vacation or have traveled here dozens of times, you'll find plenty to explore and enjoy - and all the planning tips you need right here.

Welcome to Paris Discovery Guide, an independent travel website (www.parisdiscoveryguide.com) with everything you need to plan a memorable trip to Paris.

Top photo:  View of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero, (c) Paris Discovery Guide

Paris Discovery Guide is a reader-supported publication.  When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost for you.  Learn more

What to See & Do in Paris

Notre Dame


Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Mona Lisa, famous museums, monuments   Find out more

Find fun things to do in Paris

Things to Do

Ferris wheels, beaches, ice skating, special events - so many things to do in Paris ! Find out more

See Paris on a Seine River Cruise

Tours & Cruises

Best ways to see Paris on land, water, & wheels, including private tours Find out more

Exploring the Latin Quarter in Paris


Latin Quarter, the Marais, Montmartre, Golden Triangle - get ready to explore!   Find out more

Day trips from Paris to Versailles, Mont St Michel, Normandy, more

Versailles, Giverny, Mont St Michel, Disneyland, Normandy D-Day beaches Find out more

Toy sail boats on pond in Luxembourg Garden, Paris

Kids & Teens

Favorite attractions for kids & teens - from carousels to Disneyland Paris Find out more

Guide to dining in Paris

Dining in Paris

All about restaurants, brasseries, bistros, cafés, and bakeries Find out more

Paris shopping - everything you need to know

Shopping in Paris

Designer boutiques, discount outlets, street markets, hidden arcades, flea markets Find out more

Paris Parks and Gardens - Jardin Anne Frank in the Marais

Parks & Gardens

Famous parks & and hidden gardens - find your perfect spot to smell the roses Find out more

Plan Your Paris Vacation

Find the perfect Paris hotel for your budget and location preferences, a trip planning guide and checklists, recommended guidebooks, and the essential travel information every Paris visitor needs.

Paris hotel sign - Marais

Where to Stay

Hotels & apartments in every price range near top Paris attractions Find out more

Paris travel essentials

Plan Your Trip

Everything you need to know: best time to visit Paris, where to get Euros, how much to tip, & more Find out more

Best Paris guidebooks

Paris Guide books

Which Paris travel guides are best for new & return visitors?   Find out more

Get Deals & Discounts

A Paris vacation can be more affordable than you realize, whatever your budget - especially if you take advantage of all the ways to save.

How to find bargains on Paris hotels

Hotel Bargains  

Want to save money on your Paris hotel without sacrificing comfort or a convenient location? Find out more

How to save on top Paris attractions

Discount Cards

Want to save money on attractions, tours, & cruises? Check out sightseeing passes Get details

Cheap Flights to Paris

Save on Flights

Use these tips to save money on flights & get the biggest value for your travel budget Learn more

Paris Holidays & Top Events

Bastille Day fireworks- Top Paris Event

  • New Year's Eve in Paris
  • Winter & Summer Sales
  • Paris Marathon
  • Easter in Paris
  • Mother's Day in Paris
  • Bastille Day Celebrations
  • Tour de France

Christmas in Paris

To find all the top events and fun things to do in Paris each month, check out our Paris Event Calendars.

Favorite Paris Attractions

Eiffel Tower - Paris

Eiffel Tower

Best ways to visit the Eiffel Tower Find out more

Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris

How to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre! Find out more

Moulin Rouge Shows

Moulin Rouge

Enjoy a show at this legendary Parisian nightclub Find out more

Versailles - entrance gate

Experience the splendor of Versailles Palace   Find out more

Disneyland Paris - how to visit

Disneyland Paris

Directions, tips, discounts for this favorite destination Find out more

Sacre Coeur in the Montmartre neighborhood in Paris

How to explore this famous neighborhood and its crowning jewel, Sacre Coeur Find out more

  • How to Get Euros - What are the best ways to get Euros for your trip to Paris?  And how much cash do you really need?
  • Why Visit Paris? - Need some inspiration as you plan your trip?  You'll find it here
  • Best Places to Shop in Paris - Find out about the city's top shopping districts and their specialties, from luxury couture to a discount village to French cookware to the world's biggest flea market - & more!
  • Fun Paris Museums - Want to visit a Paris museum but not really interested in art?  From the Catacombs (old bones) to street art to wine-tasting tours at medieval castles, there's something for everyone!
  • Day Trips from Paris - Check out these fabulous day trips to fantastic places near Paris

More Fun Ways to See Paris

Keep up with the best in paris.

Want to know more about what to see and do in Paris? Here's how to keep in touch with Paris Discovery Guide:

  • Bookmark this page in your web browser
  • Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see our latest Paris photos
  • Sign up for our free newsletter, Paris Travel Tips
  • Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our latest updates when they happen
  • Ask a Paris travel question - we'll answer

Thanks for visiting Paris Discovery Guide.

We hope you will have a wonderful time during your Paris visit - and enjoy this spectacular city as much as we do!

Susan's signature

Publisher, Paris Discovery Guide www.parisdiscoveryguide.com

Please note:  ParisDiscoveryGuide.com does not sell any  personal  information.

Want to Save on Your Paris Hotel?

Check our tips on how to find discounts, deals, and bargains for Paris hotels.  Whether you're looking for cheap accommodations or want to pay less for luxury, we'll show you how to save on hotels in Paris.  

Here are some shortcuts: 

  • Booking.com: Need last minute reservations?  Check out Today Deals on their website
  • Trip Advisor: Use their Best Value Deals & save BIG on your Paris hotel
  • Priceline: Find the lowest prices on Paris hotels with their Express Deals

Top Attractions & Tours

Eiffel Tower in Paris

  • Eiffel Tower - Enjoy sweeping views of Paris
  • Louvre Tour - Soak up art & see the Mona Lisa
  • Palace of Versailles - Best way to see the famous Chateau
  • Paris Museum Pass - Choose 2, 4, or 6 days
  • Paris Disneyland - Get express tickets & transport from Paris

Happening in Paris

January in Paris

January in Paris

  • The famous Paris winter sales, concerts, new museum exhibits

February in Paris

February in Paris

  • Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year Parades

March in Paris

March in Paris

  • Mardi Gras, Fountain Shows at Versailles, French Open

April in Paris

April in Paris

  • Paris Marathon, Easter concerts, spring flowers

May in Paris

May in Paris

  • Mother's Day, jazz festival, concerts

June in Paris

June in Paris

  • Summer sales, Pride week, music fests, air show

July in Paris

July in Paris

  • Bastille Day, Tour de France, beaches

August in Paris

August in Paris

  • Free concerts & movies, Rock En Seine

September in Paris

September in Paris

  • European Heritage Days, Fashion Week

October in Paris

October in Paris

  • Wine festival, Halloween, Motor Show

November in Paris

November in Paris

  • Armistice Day, Salon du Chocolat

December in Paris

December in Paris

  • Christmas, New Year's Eve

Hanukkah in Paris

Hanukkuh in Paris

  • Menorah lightings 

Christmas in Paris

  • Holiday celebrations & decorations

Paris Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets

  • Gifts, holiday food, mulled wine, and Santa

Newest Articles & Latest Updates

The City of Paris Loves Visitors sign in Paris, France

  • How to Get to Disneyland Paris from Paris
  • Best Palace of Versailles Tours from Paris
  • 101 Famous Graves in Pere Lachaise Cemetery
  • Where to Find Paris's Best Covered Passages
  • Best Paris Food Tours
  • Best Hotels with Free Shuttles to Disneyland Paris

Book Your Paris Hotel

View from Hotel Bourdanaisse near Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower Hotels

  • See the Eiffel Tower from your balcony

View of Arc de Triomphe from nearby hotel

Arc de Triomphe Hotels

  • Great hotels with bargain rates

View of Eiffel Tower from new hotel in Paris

New Hotels in Paris

  • Experience the latest & greatest

Paris Hotels near the Louvre

Paris Hotels near the Louvre

  • Where to stay near the famous palace museum

Notre Dame Cathedral

Central Paris Hotels

  • Wonderful hotels close to top Paris attractions

Hotel in Saint-Germain neighborhood in Paris

Deals & Discounts

  • How to save on your Paris hotel

Plan Your Paris Trip

  • Why visit Paris?
  • Best Paris guide books
  • Find cheap flights to Paris
  • Choose your Paris hotel  
  • 7 Reasons why you need travel insurance
  • Electric adapters and converters  
  • Best ways to get Euros
  • Check out 10 top Paris attractions
  • How to skip the ticket lines
  • Paris Museum Pass:  Should you get one?
  • Which neighborhoods are best to stay in?
  • What to do & see in each Paris district
  • How to spend your first day in Paris

How to navigate your way around Paris

Alexis Averbuck

Mar 27, 2024 • 6 min read

travel paris france

Find your way around Paris with this guide to public transit, bike hire and taxis © Charday Penn / Getty Images

Alexis is one of the authors of our  latest Paris guidebook . Here she shares her tips on navigating Paris' public transport, taxis and more.

Paris is a gorgeous sprawl of beautiful monuments and interesting neighborhoods and, for many, walking is the way to go.

To cover the most ground, the convenient Paris metro blankets the city. Meanwhile, the comprehensive bus system allows you to sightsee while traveling , and cycling in the open air is as delightful as it looks. Here's what you need to know about Paris’ transport network, tickets and taxis.

Two women examine a transport route map outside the Cite Metro station

The quickest way to get around is on the metro and RER

Paris’ train network consists of two separate but linked systems: the metro and the RER. The metro currently has 16 lines (numbered 1–14, plus two secondary lines, 3bis and 7bis). The network is currently being expanded to add another four lines as part of the Grand Paris Express project. The RER has five main lines, A to E. The systems are fully integrated and you can easily transfer from one train to another. RER express trains save time crossing the city and serve the suburbs.

Escalators and elevators ease long climbs within the stations, but are not available at every station. Service is very frequent, with wait times generally under five minutes. Some metro lines run above street level, offering scenic views. It's usually quicker to walk than to take the metro for only one or two stops.

For a better look at the city, hop on the bus

With no stairs, buses are widely accessible and are good for parents with prams/strollers and people with limited mobility. Bus lines complement the metro: for some journeys a bus is the more direct – and scenic – way to go. Stops show schedules, routes and often the wait time until the next bus.

A local’s tips for taking the metro, RER and bus

Use the RATP , IDF Mobilités and SNCF apps for journey planning, route maps and wait times for the next train or bus, or to charge up your travel passes. Also, metro and bus maps of various sizes and degrees of detail are available for free at metro ticket windows.

In metro stations and on board, keep an eye out for pickpockets – they’re top zones of action.

A Batobus boat docks at the side of a river where crowds of tourists are waiting to board

Sail in style on the Batobus

Combining scenery and convenience, the Batobus is a handy hop-on, hop-off service stopping at nine key destinations along the Seine. In warmer months the service runs regularly through the day and offers a chance for a river cruise at a fraction of the price of a tour boat.

Cycle the streets with Vélib’ bike-share

The Vélib’ bike-share scheme has over 20,000 bikes, both classic (green) and electric (blue) at 1400 stations citywide. Buy a subscription online using your RATP Navigo transit pass or credit card, or at docking stations (it only accepts European-compatible chip-and-pin credit cards). There are single-trip, day and multiday pass options. App-based electric trottinettes (scooters), wildly popular with tourists, were discontinued in September 2023 by popular vote.

Consider getting a Navigo transport pass

The cheapest and easiest way to use public transport in Paris is via the Navigo Easy card. Sold for €2 at all metro and RER ticket windows as well as RATP-affiliated outlets (eg tobacconists and markets), this credit-card-sized farecard is used for all your ticketing needs. You can also charge one up virtually on the RATP app for free.

Navigo, like London’s Oyster card or Hong Kong’s Octopus card, is a system that provides a full range of fare options. You load the card with value which is then deducted for each ride. To save money, buy carnets, which are credits for 10 rides sold at a discount (this is the cheapest way to ride the metro and buses). You can also buy various passes that are good for unlimited rides across a range of fare zones and durations (such as Mobilis, with one day of unlimited travel). However, one disadvantage of passes is that they are tied to the calendar eg a one-day pass starts at 12:01am, a seven-day pass always begins on Monday, and a monthly pass always begins on the first day of the month.

An aerial view of the Arc de Triomphe in the evening sunset with many cars on the roads that fan out from this massive landmark

Paris transportation FAQ and things to consider

Is parking widely available in paris .

Parking in Paris is costly and difficult. If you’re renting a car to take to the countryside, don’t pick it up until you are leaving town. And if you’re driving your own car, know that to enter the city within the Boulevard Périphérique (ring road) between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, a Crit'Air Vignette (compulsory anti-pollution sticker) is needed for all cars, motorcycles and trucks registered after 1997, including foreign-registered vehicles. Older vehicles are banned during these hours. The sticker is not necessary for the ring road itself.

Can I use taxis and ride-share apps?

Find taxis at official stands or via private companies and apps. There are queues of available cabs at major train stations. Paris taxis are expensive but can be a blessing if you have a lot of luggage and can't face the metro steps. Ride-share apps like Uber are active.

What’s the best way to get into the city from the airport?

Trains are the best ways to get to and from Paris' airports. The RER B line from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) crosses under the middle of Paris, with stops that include Gare du Nord, Châtelet–Les Halles, St-Michel–Notre Dame and Luxembourg. Some trains run express through the suburbs, saving about 10 minutes. An even faster express route is slated for 2027. From Orly Airport, you can connect to the RER B. Beginning in mid-2024, the airport will also be served by Line 14 of the metro. Aéroport de Beauvais, used by some budget airlines, is a long and slow 75km (47 miles) by bus from Paris.

Taxis and ride shares are also convenient, but can get mired in traffic and become costly.

A sign reading "Assistance voyageur handicapé (Passenger assistance)" on the door of an office at a train station in Paris, France

Paris is working to make its transportation more accessible

Paris is an ancient city and therefore not particularly well equipped for visiteurs handicapés (disabled visitors): kerb ramps are few and older public facilities and the metro are mostly inaccessible for those in a wheelchair (fauteuil roulant) . Efforts are being made to improve things, however, especially ahead of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games .

Paris’ airports are fully in line with international standards for accessibility. Note however that transport to and from the airports may be an issue as many metro stations in the city are not fully accessible – the RATP makes info available through its app and website. Paris buses, however, are all accessible, with low floors and wide doors.

The SNCF has made many of its train carriages more accessible to people with disabilities, including the RER trains. For information and advice on planning your journey from station to station, contact the service Accès Plus .

Taxis G7 has hundreds of low-base cars and over 100 cars equipped with ramps, and drivers trained in helping passengers with disabilities. Guide dogs are accepted in its entire fleet.

An excellent first stop is the Paris Tourist Office 's website for a wealth of useful information organized by theme as well as practical information such as where to rent medical equipment or locate automatic public toilets. You can download the up-to-date Accessible Paris guide , which is also available in hard copy from tourist information centers in the city.

This article was first published May 13, 2021 and updated Mar 27, 2024.

Explore related stories

Smiling man riding bike on the walkway near to Seine river.

Sustainable Travel

May 19, 2023 • 12 min read

From bike to bus and train to plane, here's everything you need to know about getting around in France.

travel paris france

May 14, 2024 • 10 min read

travel paris france

May 13, 2024 • 7 min read

travel paris france

May 7, 2024 • 5 min read

travel paris france

May 3, 2024 • 5 min read

travel paris france

Apr 19, 2024 • 8 min read

travel paris france

Apr 17, 2024 • 8 min read

travel paris france

Apr 1, 2024 • 8 min read

travel paris france

Mar 31, 2024 • 7 min read

travel paris france

Mar 29, 2024 • 6 min read

Shop The Paris Guide

First Time Guide To Paris

first time guide to Paris rooftops

First-Time Guide To Paris

My first trip to Paris was just shy of my 21st birthday. I was studying abroad in Italy with my friends and decided to go to Paris for Valentine’s Day weekend. Just a day before the trip, I came down with terrible bronchitis. I had a fever and was sick during that trip, but I would let go of my dream of seeing Paris. I pushed through the weekend, making my recovery time from bronchitis much longer, but it was worth it. We took a double-decker bus, and I ate a banana and Nutella crêpes. Looking back, I wish there was a first-time guide to Paris to help me understand where to go and what not to do.

Since my first trip to Paris, I have learned a lot by making mistakes and doing all the touristy things. A helpful blog and Google map that first time around would have saved us hours looking for Angelina Hot Chocolate . But we made memories, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

first time guide to Paris everyday parisian

How is Paris Laid Out?

how Paris is laid out by arrondissement

This post is to help you have the best first trip to Paris. Paris is broken up into different neighborhoods called arrondissements. To understand how they lay on a map, the 1st arrondissement is in the center of the city and follows the path of a snail moving outwards. Paris has twenty arrondissements spanning the left and right banks of Paris. To see the significant Paris attractions, you will want to start in central Paris and work toward different areas of Paris if you have time.

You can walk the city from one end to the other in about an hour, depending on how quickly you walk.  Public transportation is everywhere, and famous landmarks are accessible by a close metro line. During your first time in Paris, please don’t feel pressured to do it all.

If you fly from the US on the first day, you will be jet-lagged. Make sure to get lots of water and fresh air. Don’t walk too much on the first day if you are tired before a few days of sightseeing. Break it up each day and enjoy the city. Choose a destination within walking distance of the hotel and grab a good meal. You can see my jet lag tips here! 

These are tips that I share with all my friends and family who tell me they are headed to Paris for the first time. It was easier to write one great blog post than to retype or forward an email. I hope this helps make your trip as a first-time visitor enjoyable!

Visit Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots

Café de Flore Paris

Yes, I am telling you to do all the touristy things on your first visit to Paris. A visit to Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots will cross these off your Paris bucket list. I recommend skipping the food unless it is just breakfast. A coffee, hot chocolate, or glass of wine is all you need. There may be lines to have an outdoor seat depending on the time of year and day. Try to arrive early or an off time to avoid the chaos. I found early in the morning is ideal for a coffee and croissant on a quiet terrace.

coffee and croissant at Les Deux Magots Parisian café

Purchase The Paris Guide 

Suppose you are looking for a more detailed guide to Paris. Check out The Paris Guide , which is 80 pages of helpful tips and favorite restaurants, hotels, and neighborhoods to discover. It is excellent for first-time travelers or those looking for off-the-beaten-path tips.

Do I need Cash For Paris?

Paris euros coffee culture

Make sure you keep euros on you. Not everyone will accept credit cards. If you want to stop for a quick coffee or croissant, you will need small change. Check-in with your bank and notify them before leaving. I use Bank of America and can take out money from any local BNP in Paris. This is the wallet I use for a credit card and small change.

Since the pandemic, this has been updated a bit, and most places will accept a credit card or Apple Pay for coffee. Some spots have a minimum bank card amount that you have to reach. You can tap to pay a lot of places. Keeping euros on you for tipping and the market is a good idea.

I believe in tipping well in Paris . A good concierge is a gem of information and should be tipped accordingly. I also leave a few euros a day for hotel cleaning staff.

Tips to Getting Around Paris

how to get around Paris everyday parisian

Google Maps on your phone or a paper map from your hotel will lead you around the city to wherever you need to go. Take time to put down the map and get lost. A metro line is always nearby to get you back to your starting point. Explore the city on foot and see what you discover.

first time guide to paris everyday parisian

The best time to explore Paris without a bunch of tourists is in the early morning. It’s just you and the city. One of my favorite things to do is watch the sunrise over the Seine River.

sunrise in Paris

Visit a Local Café in Paris

parisian cafe people watching summer activity everyday parisian

Save money by ordering a quick coffee at the bar, which is a faster option to grab a quick coffee. Another option is to take a seat and people-watch. You will pay double the price, but the table will be yours for however long you want.  You can use this guide for How to Order Coffee in Paris. Not a coffee drinker? Grab a glass of wine or a Coke. When you visit a local café and take a table on a terrace, the terrace will be yours until you ask for the bill and pay. The French will not rush you off as they do in the US.

café culture in Paris everyday parisian

You can buy a drink and be left alone to people-watch or read a book. You can ask for the café wifi, which will most likely be available. Put your phone down and soak in the city to be immersed in the culture. Even if you don’t speak French, you can enjoy watching the world go by. This post on Essential Café Etiquette will come in handy.

5 Ways to Order Coffee in Paris

How to Ride the Metro in Paris

Buy metro tickets in a pack of 10, known as a carnet. Day passes are also available for the metro to hop on and off multiple times. The cost is cheaper than buying multiple tickets; you will always have a ticket available when needed. The metro is an affordable way to get around the city of Paris. Some stations don’t offer a ticket machine, so having these on hand is good. You must hold onto your ticket until you reach your final destination.

Do not try to cut through without paying. There are some random ticket checkers at metro stations, and you must show your metro ticket. If you do not have a valid ticket, you will be fined. Travel at off-peak times to avoid crowded trains (rush hour). You can take the metro as late as midnight, and they will be full of people, so don’t worry about feeling like you will be unsafe.

Shop Paris Metro at The Louvre Print Here

First-time Guide to Paris

Explore paris by bike.

You can rent a city bike located at different Vélib stations around the city . There are over 1,000 stations and 20,000 bikes for rent. Make sure to inspect your bike for any damages before grabbing it. I have had a flat tire before, and it wasn’t fun looking for a new docking station to switch it out. Taking a bike around the city is a great way to explore Paris. You can also book a bike tour with Fat Tire Tours . I have done two, one in the city and one in Versailles. The ticket includes a guided tour of Versailles and the grounds.

Visiting the Palace of Versailles is a day trip out of the city, but it is worth visiting on your first trip to Paris. You can also take RER C to Versailles without taking a tour.

explore versailles with fat tire on a bike

Explore The Right and Left Banks of Paris

seine river paris left and right banks

Be open to the left and right banks of Paris. They are very different but equally charming. Take time to explore them both. The River Seine divides the two banks. The Latin Quarter and Musée d’Orsay are on the Left Bank, and the Louvre Museum is on the Right Bank.

You can easily spend a day exploring different parts of Paris, such as Saint Germain des Prés, Montmartre, and the Eiffel Tower. Choose a destination and a place to eat and build around that.

Visit the Paris Gardens: First Time Guide to Paris

The gardens in Paris are a part of the culture. Jardin du Luxembourg on the Left Bank and The Tuileries Garden on the Right Bank are both famous.

Tuileries Garden

Tuileries Gardens in the fall

Luxembourg Gardens in the Spring

explore Luxembourg gardens in Paris

I personally love Palais Royal, a miniature garden behind the Louvre. Here, you can take a book or picnic, sit in the green chairs, and enjoy the sunshine.

Palais Royal spring Paris

For a park off the beaten path, visit Parc Monceau. It is a quick walk from the Arc de Triumph. In the springtime, you can see magnolias and cherry blossoms with pops of pink around the garden.

parc monceau in the fall Paris

Explore Montmartre: First Time Guide to Paris

explore Montmartre in Paris

Visit Montmartre for an afternoon to see Sacre Coeur and Moulin Rouge. You can see my full Montmartre guide here. I love grabbing lunch at an outdoor café for people-watching. You can easily spend an afternoon here. Enjoy the view of Paris from the steps of Sacre Coeur. Walk the street of Rue Lepic, which winds behind Montmartre, for a unique experience in Paris. Rue des Martyrs is filled with delicious bakeries and cafés.

First time guide to Paris explore Montmartre

Skip a Trip to the Eiffel Tower: First Time Guide to Paris

Eiffel Tower at night Paris view

The view of the city is lovely, but you miss the Eiffel Tower when you are standing there. There can be long lines, and it isn’t worth the wait. You can book advance tickets online to visit the top without delay. Make sure to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at least once. It sparkles every hour on the hour after sunset. This post has ideas on different spots in Paris to see it sparkle.

Arc de Triomphe Paris

I always recommend the view from the Arc de Triomphe to see the city of lights. Below is a view of Paris from up above.

Shop Paris Eiffel Tower Spring Print Here

Visit At Least One Museum

Purchase a Paris Pass , which gives you access to multiple museums and tourist attractions at a discount, including the Arc de Triomphe (with a great view of the Eiffel Tower), Sainte Chapelle, and Versailles. The Louvre is also included in the pass, giving you access to the Mona Lisa if seeing her is high on your list. A pass will save you money and time. For budget travelers, the first Sunday of every month allows for free entry to some of the major museums in the city.

Musee D'Orsay Paris view from The Tuileries

Enjoy French Macarons in Paris

Paris macarons

Paris is known for their pastries. You will hear much about Ladurée for macarons, but I prefer to visit Pierre Hermé rather than Ladurée. The tarte au citron at Sébastian Gaudard is a personal favorite.

pierre macarons paris france first time guide to paris everyday parisian

Choose a Paris Hotel with a Central Location

Paris hotels where to stay everyday parisian

You may not spend much time in your hotel room, but you will want something clean and safe. There are many options in the city of Paris and different budget ranges. A bad stay can make or break a first trip anywhere. I have a full list of favorite hotels in Paris that I recommend to readers and friends. I prefer boutique hotels over larger hotels.

le narcisse blanc Paris hotel

During your first time in Paris, stay in central Paris. This way, you are within walking distance of all the Paris landmarks and monuments. You can return to your hotel throughout the day to rest and recharge.

hotel adele and jules paris

Try Berthillon Ice Cream on île St Louis.

Berthillon Ice Cream in Paris

Visit on the weekdays as the weekends are packed. I love the chocolate noir and the fruit sorbets. There are seasonal flavors that are fun to try, too. Berthillon has several locations on the island of île St. Louis. If one has a line, try further down to try another spot. It’s worth the wait. This is a perfect opportunity to try out some of your French phrases when you order.

berthillon ice cream first time guide to paris france everyday parisian

Spend a Sunday in The Marais: First Time Guide to Paris

Place des Vosges is the main square and park in the Marais. Picnic here or go for a stroll. You can enjoy one of the many cafés close by. Enjoy the adorable Merci concept store on Boulevard Beaumarchais for shopping in the Marais. Explore the Bastille Market early in the morning and pick up a few items to picnic.

travel paris france

The Marais will be lively and filled with tourists and locals on Sunday. Place des Vosges is an excellent spot for a picnic on a warm day. Visit the Picasso Museum, which is also available on the city museum pass.

Picasso museum Paris what to do on a Sunday

L’as Au Fallafel on Rue des Rosiers has always been a favorite. There will be a line, but it will move fast. I love Miznon, just across the street.

first time guide to Paris visit The Marais on a Sunday

Café Camille is an excellent spot for brunch or a glass of wine for people-watching. The streets will be packed with people, and around this corner, there is music by local artists that will play in the afternoon.

Listen to Jazz in Paris

I fell in love with jazz in Paris. The local brasserie I would have dinner at each night would play TSF Jazz on the radio. Listening to jazz brings me back to those quiet nights in Paris when I first discovered the city.

jazz in paris everyday parisian

I love Duc de Lombards. If it isn’t in your price range, check out Café Laurent on the Left Bank.

Picnic on the Seine

Grab a bottle of wine, baguette, cheese, and charcuterie, and find a spot along the river bank. This is a simple meal, but it will be one of the best things you can do if there is good weather. Local markets throughout the city will offer everything you need for the perfect picnic. You can also shop a food street such as Rue Cler or Rue Montorgueil.

You can see ideas on where to picnic in Paris in this post.

seine picnic first time guide to Paris

 Visit a local boulangerie: First Time Guide to Paris.

Plan a visit to a local bakery and try different French pastries. (pain au chocolate, pain au raisin, croissant au beurre )I love to visit  Du Pain et Des Idées for croissants. They are famous for their escargot croissants in the shape of a snail. Pain au raisins and pistachio are their traditional flavors, but they also have some unique flavors, including red fruits. Larger groups should send one person to order, and the rest can grab a seat outside at a table.

the best croissants in paris

For the best croissant, check out this post. 

du pain et des idees Paris boulangerie to visit

Beware of pickpockets and scammers.

Paris is a big city, and you must always be aware of your belongings. A bag that zips is highly recommended when exploring Paris. Keep a small wallet with change, a credit card, and everything else safe at your apartment or hotel. Make a copy of your passport and send it to your family or a close friend, and email a copy to yourself so you can always have access to it.

travel paris france

Check out my safety tips for travelers here. 

Try A Classic French Bistro

Explore French cuisine. Steak Frites at Le Relais de l’ Entrecôte is a fun experience for your first time in Paris. They only serve steak frites and don’t take reservations. You will find a line here around dinner time. The line moves quickly, and it is worth the wait. If you have your heart set on trying this place and don’t want to wait in lines, try the restaurant at lunch right when it opens. I have had luck with getting in quickly. You will tell the server how you like your steak prepared and order anything to drink. The server will write your order on the white paper tablecloth, disappear briefly, and return with the salad starter and drinks.

Don’t skip out on dessert. You may have to save room as the waiter will return for a refill of steak and fries. The profiteroles are out of this world good and worth trying at least once.

le Relais de L'Entrecote Paris steak frites

Skip tourist streets with set menus mostly along the Champs Elysées and Latin Quarter.

Here is my list of favorite places to eat and drink in Paris

where to eat and drink in Paris

Visit the market in Paris.

French markets in Paris give you a taste of the local experience.

My five favorite ones are here. You can plan your visit based on your itinerary or hotel location.

I love the Bastille market. Arrive around 9 a.m. before it gets too busy. It is open on Thursdays and Sundays. You can pick up fruits, vegetables, bread, and cheese and make your picnic. To navigate a French market like a local, see this post.

Shop Paris Peonies Market Print Here

Always Pack an Umbrella Even When Rain isn’t In The Forecast

It can rain without warning, even if the weather doesn’t call for it. The covered passages of Paris make for my favorite rainy-day activity. This is one of my favorite memories from living in Montmartre. You can easily walk from the 9th at the end of Rue des Martyrs through Galerie Vivienne by only taking a few steps outside. The covered passages in Paris are filled with shops and restaurants to help pass the time on a rainy day.

Paris in the rain everyday parisian

Check out this post for ideas on what to do in Paris when it rains.

first time guide to Paris everyday parisian

Watch the sunset or sunrise.

Enjoy the sunset or sunrise from one of the bridges on the Seine. In the summer, you can bring a bottle of rosé and watch from the Seine with the rest of the Parisians.

The sunrise in summer is extremely early, around 6 am, and sunset at 10 pm.

where to see the sunset in Paris

Leave the Activewear at Home/ Dress Like a Local

everyday parisian winter in paris

Comfortable shoes are a must in Paris. Vejas and other sneakers are very popular right now for men and women. A neutral-color capsule wardrobe is ideal when packing for Paris in any season. In this post, I recommend other walking shoes for different seasons.

Makeup is pretty neutral in Paris; just a few essentials, such as blush, mascara, and lipstick, are needed. Skincare is more of a focus for Parisians with a glowy, healthy look.

Visit a French Pharmacy in Paris

French pharmacie paris

The best French skincare can be bought on almost every street corner. Brands include Caudalie, Klorane, Nuxe, and Avène. The staff is very knowledgeable at the pharmacies. They can explain your concerns (dryness/anti-aging, etc.) and recommend specific products for your skin type.

Take A Cooking Class

Book a cooking class or Market Tour with La Cuisine Paris. I have done a few classes with La Cuisine over the years, including a food walking tour of the city. The macaron and croissant classes are a lot of fun! They also offer a market class that teaches you how to navigate a market, and you will return to the school to cook what you have shopped for.

Paris cooking class La Cuisine Paris

Please don’t feel pressured to do it all. I always leave something for my next trip. Paris should be enjoyed and not rushed. The classics will always be there. I hope this guide to Paris helped you plan your trip to my favorite city.

first time guide to paris, france via everyday parisian


What to do in paris in the autumn, stay connected with insidr paris, 5 ways to beat jet lag, 2019 guide to paris in the fall, leave a comment, cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Great post and beautiful photos.

I remember when you first started your posts and have enjoyed them ever since. Thank you, Rebecca, keep up the great work!

Where is the size guide? How does one make a purchase if they do not know what size to purchase?

Best neighborhood for a reasonable hotel and convenient access( walking) to great restaurants and sights

Although it is not my first trip to Paris, I still found your tips rewarding. What do you recommend for seeing the area that artist Toulouse Latrec frequented?

Thank you, Sherry! The area Toulouse-Lautrec was frequently in Montmartre. Here is a guide for you to explore : https://everydayparisian.com/a-guide-to-montmartre/

Love this post! Very helpful. Thank you!

Thanks for this post! We are going for our first time this fall and I am trying to research a ton! Really enjoy all of your posts, thank you!

Hi Rebecca! My husband and I are off to Paris for the first time in October. I kept putting off taking French lessons and missed the Alliance Françoise de Chicago sessions and the Lycee Francias classes butt into our trip (which is SUCH a bummer it’s a block away!) Do you have any suggestions to learn simple, fun, travel friendly French phrases on short notice? Thanks so much!

I have an amazing French tutor in Chicago I am happy to connect you with. Also, I wrote this post on 5 apps to help you learn French on the Go which might help you prep for your trip. Have a great adventure! http://www.everydayparisian.com/every-day-parisian/5-apps-to-learn-french-on-the-go

You are amazing! Thanks so much Rebecca! Looking forward to more Paris posts 🙂

Thank you so much, Nikki!

I didn’t know about the carafe d’eau, neather the coffee at the bar, thanks! Maybe I was lucky but I didn’t wait that much in the line for the Eiffel Tower, and I think the view is incredible! How can you say is not?

travel paris france

Subscribe to get a taste of Paris delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Thank you for subscribing!

  • Where to Stay
  • Links I love
  • Paris Diaries
  • Favorite Things
  • The Paris Guide

Paris Travel

Paris, France

Paris, the city of light. A city you have to visit at least once in your life. Visit the Louvre, climb the Eiffel Tower, sail along the Seine River and eat in a real Parisian bistro. A perfect plan.

Paris is a capital full of emotions: rich in art, culture, and history .

There is never a shortage of things to do, see and appreciate in Paris.

It is a city made for the traveler, but you have to organize yourself to get the most out of the most important attractions of this infinite city.

Still without accommodation?

We’ll explain you the characteristics of each neighborhood / district (or “arrondissement” ) so you know where to stay in Paris . You can also see our recommendations for Hotels in Paris and Hostels as well.

Activities, excursions and tours to organize your trip

If you travel to Paris as a family or with a specific objective (to visit Disneyland Paris ), here you will also find everything you need.

Useful information in our guide

Within paris.travel you will also find useful information about the city of Paris that will help you during your visit, such as a brief description of the weather in Paris during each station and our Transport page with information on transfers and interactive maps of trains , metro and how to get there from each airport (from Orly , Charles de Gaulle or Beauvais ).

If like us you like street marketsWe share a section where you can find out about the most popular street markets in Paris .

Thinking of traveling to Paris?

In addition to the classics such as the Eiffel Tower , the Arc de Triomphe , the Notre Dame Cathedral or its beautiful Montmartre neighborhood , there are many more options in our tickets on Paris neighborhoods , monuments and museums.

The landscape of Paris and its areas Greens make this a unique city, which is why another of our recommendations is to visit its parks and gardens , which one day were a source of inspiration for impressionist artists and today continue to enchant us with their charm.

If you are going to combine your visit to Paris with a visit to London, we can also help you.

Oh! Last but not least: we recommend you to bring travel insurance on your trip to Europe 😉

Where to begin planning your trip to Paris?

Decide where to stay, how to get there from the airport and how to save.

Hotels in Paris

Hotels in Paris

Recommended hotels in Paris that we have selected for you for their location, services and value for money.

Best Paris' Tours

Best Paris' Tours

A summary of the 10 best free tours in Paris, where we highlight the most popular and best rated.

Tours and Transfers in Paris

Tours and Transfers in Paris

Book guided tours, tours, excursions, transfers and entrance tickets in Paris.

Paris Pass

Save with this tourist card with entrance to more than 75 Paris attractions. Cruise and sightseeing bus.

travel paris france

National Geographic content straight to your inbox—sign up for our popular newsletters here

A building splits with a pathway running between, which was once an operating railroad

The 'original' High Line is in Paris — here's why you should walk it

Walk the original ‘High Line’ or seek out other abandoned spaces repurposed as parks, propelling plans to make Paris one of Europe’s greenest capitals.

Sunlight filters through swaying trees, starlings flit between neat hedges and a man trots after an errant golden retriever, which is making a beeline for the reflecting pool. It’s difficult to believe I’m standing on a railway viaduct in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.

Ten metres below, life continues as normal: cars take turns to pause one by one at a zebra crossing as shoppers mill between the high-end glassblowers’ galleries and ceramic workshops of the Viaduc des Arts, seemingly oblivious to the green ribbon of cherry trees, maples and bamboo running three storeys above their heads.

But this is, in reality, one of the city’s worst-kept   secrets. The inspiration for the New York High Line, the Coulée Verte René-Dumont, or Promenade Plantée as it’s become known, was the world’s first elevated urban park when it opened in the late 1980s — a joint effort from landscaper Jacques Vergely and architect Philippe Mathieux. Stretching for just over three miles between Opéra Bastille and Bois de Vincennes on the obsolete Vincennes train line, it now holds a special place in Parisian hearts.

“It’s so high up that you’d never know it was here, and at one time it was totally unique,” says Aloïs, a Tours by Locals guide and former resident of the 12th arrondissement. “When I used to live in this neighbourhood, I’d go jogging up here to get away from the traffic,” she says, tying her auburn hair into a ponytail with a pink ribbon as a warm late-summer’s breeze washes in over the railings.

A railroad through a green oasis in the city of paris

Paris plans to become — quite literally — one of Europe’s greenest capitals, with current mayor Anne Hidalgo promising a “massive greening” when she was elected. This has already started, with the plan to plant 170,000 trees by 2026 underway, in an effort to create urban forests across the city. By 2030, city authorities want half of Paris covered in planted areas, whether they’re parkland or living rooftops.

Our plan today is to walk the Coulée Verte and then find its little sister La Petite Ceinture — another former train line that’s currently part community garden, part secret passage into the city’s underbelly. Translating as the ‘Little Belt’, this rewilded railroad circles Paris, but with only a few sections safe enough to open to the public — thanks in part to the active electrical lines that remain in places.

But first we set off to explore the city along the Coulée Verte, passing through several ivy-covered arches, level with the treetops, church spires and roofs of elegant Haussmann apartment blocks on either side. On the right, the 1991 Commissariat de Police building on Avenue Daumesnil comes into view, adorned with a troop of identical carved stone figures tugging exasperatedly at their tousled hair, each with one elbow raised to the sky — inspired by Michelangelo’s Dying Slave sculpture in the Louvre. Down on the street, I would have barely noticed them.  

Soon, the path descends to the Jardin de Reuilly, where we find the lawns dotted with picnickers, and we stumble across a local celebrity: La Pétillante, or ‘She Who Sparkles’. There are many ornate cast-iron water fountains across Paris, but this one is a little different. It dispenses fizzy water and was installed over a decade ago to cut down on single-use plastics. We watch as a man with a copy of Le Monde newspaper under one arm fills up his bottle. “ Voilà , you see the bubbles?” says Aloïs, gesturing enthusiastically.

Two people walking through the vy-covered arches on the Coulée Verte - a rail road which circles Paris.

From here, via the echoey stretches of dark railway tunnel signalling the end of the Coulée Verte, we head off in search of La Petite Ceinture in the 18th arrondissement. Circling the city in a rattling orbit from 1862, the Little Belt predates the Paris Metro by several decades and was eventually made obsolete by it, its trains whistling their final fond farewells shortly after the Metro’s 1900 launch. After La Petite Ceinture’s closure, in rushed the flora, fauna and street artists, the abandoned stations eventually becoming almost apocalyptic-looking, the tunnels and tracks accented with wildflowers and neon-bright graffiti tags. Parisians are divided on what to do with this ghost line. Some are calling to preserve its biodiversity and open up the entire stretch to pedestrians, while others are keen to usher in the housing developers. For now, while city authorities are still deciding what to do with it, it runs in a broken circle, punctuated by chain-link fences beyond which only urban explorers make illicit trips into the 18th-century catacombs.

Initially, La Petit Ceinture proves difficult for us to find. “How do we get down there?” Aloïs calls from an overpass as we peer down at the people walking on former train platforms. “By the Metro,” comes the response from below, so we set off towards La Recyclerie — a train station in its past life, which has been repurposed into an industrial cafe, urban farm and recycling workshop that attracts hip young Parisians from miles around. Today there’s a craft fair being held beside the rails, and it’s so popular that the queue to get in meanders onto the street. Inside the former station, Gallic chatter and the clattering of cutlery is punctuated by the whirring of a tattoo gun.

We step out of La Recyclerie’s back door and into a melee of vintage clothes rails and jewellery stalls, set up around bug hotels and compost heaps. “Many people want La Petite Ceinture to become like the Coulée Vert,” Aloïs says as we descend towards the tracks, passing clucking chickens fed on scraps from the kitchens. “Lots of us want it to open all the way around. I’d like it to be open; it could be a gigantic green space available to all of us Parisians.”

Related Topics


You May Also Like

travel paris france

Atlanta isn’t all that Georgia has to offer. Here are 7 other worthy trips.

travel paris france

Looking for a truly remote, off-the-grid adventure? Try Panama.

For hungry minds.

travel paris france

The new Sri Lankan hiking trail that leads to the heart of the hill country

travel paris france

10 best things to do in Switzerland

travel paris france

25 breathtaking places and experiences for 2023

travel paris france

7 of the best UK walking festivals for 2024

travel paris france

Could Mexico's Chepe Express be the ultimate slow rail adventure?

  • Environment
  • Perpetual Planet

History & Culture

  • History & Culture
  • History Magazine
  • Mind, Body, Wonder
  • Paid Content
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Your US State Privacy Rights
  • Children's Online Privacy Policy
  • Interest-Based Ads
  • About Nielsen Measurement
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information
  • Nat Geo Home
  • Attend a Live Event
  • Book a Trip
  • Inspire Your Kids
  • Shop Nat Geo
  • Visit the D.C. Museum
  • Learn About Our Impact
  • Support Our Mission
  • Advertise With Us
  • Customer Service
  • Renew Subscription
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Work at Nat Geo
  • Sign Up for Our Newsletters
  • Contribute to Protect the Planet

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society Copyright © 2015-2024 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved

Update May 10, 2024

Information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

  • Travel Advisories |
  • Contact Us |
  • MyTravelGov |

Find U.S. Embassies & Consulates

Travel.state.gov, congressional liaison, special issuance agency, u.s. passports, international travel, intercountry adoption, international parental child abduction, records and authentications, popular links, travel advisories, mytravelgov, stay connected, legal resources, legal information, info for u.s. law enforcement, replace or certify documents.

Before You Go

Learn About Your Destination

While Abroad


Share this page:

Travel Advisory July 26, 2023

France - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in France due to  terrorism  and  civil unrest .

Country Summary:  Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in France. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Incidents such as pickpocketing and phone snatchings occur frequently and can happen anywhere, especially in crowded areas such as airports, train stations, subway and train cars, and near tourist attractions.

Peaceful demonstrations and strikes in Paris and other cities throughout France occur regularly and can disrupt transportation. On rare occasions, demonstrations have included violence and property damage and police have responded with water cannons and tear gas.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to France.

If you decide to travel to France:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and large crowded public venues.
  • Avoid demonstrations and areas with significant police activity.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to any ongoing police action.
  • Find a safe location and shelter in place if unable to leave the vicinity of a demonstration.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for France.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel. 
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Embassy Messages

View Alerts and Messages Archive

Quick Facts

At least three months beyond date of departure from the Schengen area. The 12-page U.S. emergency passport is not valid for visa-free entry into France.

Must have at least one blank page for stamps

Not required for stays under 90 days

10,000 Euros Max

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Paris 2 Avenue Gabriel 75008 Paris, France Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22, enter zero “0” after the automated greeting Fax:  +(33)(1) 42-61-61-40 (Special Consular Services) [email protected]

Only the consular sections in Paris and Marseille are authorized to issue passports. The other offices provide limited services to U.S. citizens.

U.S. Consulate General Marseille Place Varian Fry 13286 Marseille Cedex 6 France Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-47-54 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22 [email protected]

U.S. Consulate General Strasbourg 15, Avenue d'Alsace 67082 Strasbourg Cedex France Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-48-80 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22 Fax: (33)(3) 88-24-06-95 [email protected]

When calling from within France, drop the country code and add a zero. For example: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22 becomes 01-43-12-22-22.

Please note that the emergency after-hours telephone number for all U.S. posts in France is: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22 . Ask to speak to the duty officer if you need emergency assistance after business hours.

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the  Embassy of France  website for the most current visa and entry requirement information.

The Government of France does not recognize the 12-page U.S. emergency passport, issued by U.S. embassies and consulates overseas, as a valid travel document for visa-free entry into France. If traveling on this emergency passport, you may be refused boarding and/or entry by immigration officials and/or held at the airport until a return flight to the U.S. is available. Direct transit through France for another destination accepting an emergency passport may be permitted. You should check entry requirements of any other country of destination to make sure the emergency passport is accepted for entry.

You may enter the Schengen area, including France, for up to 90 days for tourist and business purposes without a visa.

Immigration officers may also request you show sufficient funds for your intended stay and a return airline ticket.

If you are traveling to France or Monaco for reasons other than business or tourism, such as employment (including diplomatic or official travel), study, or internship, you must obtain the appropriate French or Monegasque (Monaco) visa for that purpose before you leave the United States. You should be aware that it is nearly impossible to obtain or change visa status while in France.

All minors (under age 18) traveling without a parent or legal guardian and who are residents in France must have the written consent of at least one parent or legal guardian to leave France. The minor must travel with his or her own I.D., a copy of the parent/guardian’s I.D., and form number 15646*01, executed by the parent/guardian and available  here .

If you are transiting through France to South Africa, there are special requirements for minors. See  Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements for South Africa  for additional information.

Contact the  French Embassy  in Washington at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007, tel. (202) 944 6000, or one of the  French Consulates General  in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, or San Francisco for the most current visa information.

Special Note:  Overseas departments and territories of France (i.e. those not located in Europe) are not included in the Schengen Agreement. Please see Country Specific Information on  French Guiana ,  French Polynesia , and the  French West Indies  for entry and exit requirements. For other departments and territories, visit the  Embassy of France  website for the most current visa and entry requirement information for those areas.

Monaco:  For further information on entry requirements to Monaco, travelers may contact the  Embassy of the Principality of Monaco , 888 17th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington D.C. 20006, Tel: (202) 234-1530, Email:  [email protected] ; or the Consulate General of Monaco, 565 Fifth Avenue – 23rd floor, New York, NY 10017, Tel: (212) 286-0500, Email:  [email protected] .

Traveling Through Europe :  If you are planning to visit or travel through European countries, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement. 

  • Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay if you plan on transiting a Schengen country. Please review our U.S. Travelers in Europe page.  We recommend that your passport have at least six months’ validity remaining.
  • You will need s ufficient proof of funds and a return plane ticket . 
  • For additional information about visas for the Schengen area, see the Schengen Visa page.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of France.

Find information about  dual nationality , prevention of international child abduction and  customs regulations  on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds.  Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights) 

For more information, see our Terrorism page. 

French authorities have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions for terrorist attacks in Europe.

A counterterrorism law enacted in 2017 allows the government to prevent the circulation of individuals and to create zones of protection and security.

The French government has temporarily reestablished border controls at its borders with its Schengen neighbors and movement may be restricted in some areas. Border controls with the United Kingdom, including the Channel Tunnel crossing, have also been reestablished following Brexit.

The Government of France routinely conducts security and crisis management drills involving deployment of security forces, emergency services, and police to high profile areas that may be near popular tourist sites. U.S. citizens should be aware of the possibility of drills and should heed instructions of local authorities should they encounter them.

French police and military routinely patrol public spaces. You should expect security inspections (to include purses, bags, and backpacks) at the entrance to large public venues and businesses.

When traveling or living in France, you should:

  • Be aware of your local security situation and take appropriate steps to bolster your personal security.
  • Monitor media and local information sources like  France24 , Radio France International , The Local , and the Paris Travel Information webpage and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. 
  • Address specific safety concerns to French law enforcement authorities who have responsibility for the safety and security of all residents and visitors to France.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

Crime:  The majority of crimes directed against foreign visitors, including U.S. citizens, involve pick-pocketing (passports, phones, cash, credit cards), vehicle and residential break-ins, bicycle theft, and other forms of theft.

Visitors to congested and popular tourist areas (e.g., museums, monuments, train stations, airports, and subways) should be particularly attentive to their surroundings. Rental cars are frequently targeted for break-ins when visitors exit their vehicles and leave valuables behind.

Crimes of opportunity are more likely to involve violence on the street late at night or when the victim resists. 

Exercise extra caution when out alone at night and/or consider traveling out at night with trusted companions.

While the incidence of sexual assault is statistically low, attacks do occur.

Be aware of “date-rape” drugs, which are present in France. The Embassy has assisted multiple victims who appear to have been targeted using these drugs.

Be cautious in bars and clubs where alcohol is served, and do not leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from strangers, as they may have slipped drugs into the drink.  

There are high incidences of “smash and grab” robberies in economically depressed areas or on highly traveled thoroughfares such as roads to and from the airport. Thieves on foot or motorcycle will approach a vehicle that is stopped in traffic, smash a window, reach into the vehicle to grab a purse or other valuable item, and then flee. Keep doors locked and valuables out of sight.

See our travel tips for  Women Travelers .

Demonstrations  occur frequently.  They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
  • Past demonstrations have turned violent.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories. 
  • Strikes can interfere with travel plans and increase expenses of traveling to France.

Demonstration organizers must obtain prior police approval, and police routinely oversee participants. In case of violence or property damage, French authorities may use chemical agents and water cannons to disperse crowds.

Alerts issued regarding demonstrations are posted on the  U.S. Mission’s website .

International Financial Scams:  See the  Department of State  and the  FBI   pages for information.

Victims of Crime:  Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112 (the European emergency number which has some English-speaking staff)  or 17 from a landline or cell phone and contact the U.S. Embassy Paris at +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22. French authorities do not generally speak English and communication may be difficult.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • provide a  list of local attorneys
  • provide information on  victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide the Paris Police Prefecture pamphlet in English
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport .
  • provide you with information regarding victims’ assistance groups in France

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact  the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism:  The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance . 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:   You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on  crimes against minors abroad  and the  Department of Justice  website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. French authorities will not routinely notify the Embassy unless you request them to do so. See our  webpage  for further information.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in France are severe.

Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. 

In France and Monaco, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol could land you immediately in jail.

Flying Drones:  The use of drones and drone footage in France is highly regulated. It is against the law in France to operate drones over public spaces (including museums, parks, streets) in urban areas and near airports, military bases, prisons, nuclear plants, and large gatherings such as outdoor concerts and parades. The privacy of individuals captured in drone footage is paramount. Violators can be arrested and subject to fines of up to 75,000 euros and/or one-year imprisonment. Review the  information sheet  provided by the French government concerning hobbyist drone flights.

You should contact the  Embassy of France  or one of  France's consulates  in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see our  Customs Information .

There are strict regulations concerning temporary importation or exportation from France of items such as firearms, antiquities, medications, business equipment, merchandise samples, and other items.

French Foreign Legion:  U.S. citizens interested in joining the French Foreign Legion (FFL) should be aware that the cognitive and physical tests for acceptance are extremely challenging.

Ensure you have access to sufficient funds to return home should your candidature be refused.

Successful candidates report that the FFL provides a new identity and retains their U.S. passport during a long probation period. Lack of access to your passport can complicate routine or emergency travel.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

Faith-Based Travel Information

International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports

Human Rights Report  – see country reports

Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers

Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTI Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in France.

See our  LGBTQI+ travel information  page and section 6 of the  Department of State's Human Rights report  for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities:  The law in France prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, and the law is enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States.  Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation and general infrastructure.

Visitors to France should expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation (subway, specifically), lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure. Getting around French cities can be challenging for those with mobility issues. Many sidewalks are narrow and uneven, and cobblestone streets make access difficult, though major tourist sites generally have better facilities.

Although the Paris Metro is a very efficient method for traveling throughout central Paris, most stations are not readily accessible for people with disabilities. However, many Parisian buses and tramways are equipped with lowering platforms for travelers with limited-mobility, or sight- or hearing-disabled. Taxis are also a good mode of transportation.

The English-language  Paris Visitors Bureau and Explore France websites contains additional information specifically designed for travelers with special mobility needs. For further information, e-mail  U.S. Embassy Paris , U.S. Consulate General Marseille , or U.S. Consulate General Strasbourg .

Students:  See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for  Women Travelers .

Dial 15 to connect to emergency medical services or dial 112 to reach an operator.

Ambulance services are widely available, though English is not widely spoken.

Medical care is comparable to that found in the United States.

Except for emergency services, you may be required to pay for service prior to receiving treatment in France. Be sure to obtain a “Feuille de Soins” for later reimbursement from your health care provider.

You may be refused routine care under local law if you lack the ability to pay.

Foreigners with terminal illnesses may be denied treatment if treatment is available in their home country.

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance. Hospital bills are not itemized.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance coverage overseas. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on the type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend  supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the  government of France  to ensure the medication is legal in France.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations recommended  by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC)

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals . We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Roads are generally comparable to those in the United States, but traffic engineering and driving habits pose special dangers.

Lane markings and sign placements may not be clear. Drivers should be prepared to make last-minute maneuvers.

Right-of-way rules differ from those in the United States. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, drivers entering intersections from the right have priority over those on the left, even when entering relatively large boulevards from small side streets.

Bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, and electric skateboards are prevalent on streets, crosswalks and sometimes sidewalks. They have legal priority and often do not respect traffic signals.

On major highways, there are service stations at least every 25 miles. Service stations are not as common on secondary roads in France as they are in the United States.

Highway toll stations may not accept U.S. credit cards. For non-residents, the simplest way to pay is with cash euros at the toll lane marked for that purpose. Do not attempt to use a credit card if it is the only one you have in your possession in case the machine does not return your card.

Traffic Laws:  While French cities actively encourage bicycle rentals through widely available city-sponsored systems, you should be cautious, especially in a busy and unfamiliar urban environment. Helmets are neither required nor readily available near rental stations. If you plan to ride a bicycle in France, you should bring your own helmet. Though bicycles, scooters and electric skateboards must follow local traffic laws, or risk fines, they often do not do so and can pose a danger to drivers and pedestrians.  Many paths are clearly marked for this form of transportation in  larger cities.

Pedestrian accidents occur when a pedestrian steps out into the street, often when a car or motorcycle is making a turn through a pedestrian crosswalk. Pedestrians should be cautious and aware of traffic even when they have a green walking signal since this is no guarantee against aggressive drivers. Do not assume cars will stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.

Public Transportation:  Paris has an extensive and efficient public transportation system. The interconnecting system of buses, subways, and commuter rails is comparable to or better than that found in major U.S. cities. Similar transportation systems are found in all major French cities.

If you use any of France’s public transportation services, take particular care to retain your used or “validated” ticket until you exit the bus, subway, or train station completely, as it may be checked or required for exit. Children over four years of age must have a ticket.

Inspectors conduct intermittent, random checks and passengers who fail to present the correct validated ticket are subject to stiff and immediate fines.  Failing to sign and date or enclose photo (when required) on a tourist pass (Paris Visite) makes the pass invalid and the holder subject to a fine.

Inspectors may show no interest in explanations and no sympathy for an honest mistake. Failure to cooperate with inspectors may result in arrest.

Between cities, France has extensive rail service, which is safe and reliable. High-speed rail connects the major cities in France. Many cities are also served by frequent air service. Traveling by train is safer than driving.

See our  road safety page  for more information. Visit the website of the  French National Tourist Office  for specific information on French driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance. See Embassy of France’s  driving in France  webpage for information on using U.S. driver’s licenses in France.

Aviation Safety Oversight:  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of France’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of France’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the  FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel:  Mariners planning travel to France should also check for  U.S. maritime advisories and alerts . Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the  NGA broadcast warnings website  (select “broadcast warnings.”)

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.
  • Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in France .  For additional IPCA-related information, please see the  International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA )  report.

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for u.s. citizens, learn about your destination, enroll in step.

Enroll in STEP

Subscribe to get up-to-date safety and security information and help us reach you in an emergency abroad.

Recommended Web Browsers: Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

Check passport expiration dates carefully for all travelers! Children’s passports are issued for 5 years, adult passports for 10 years.


Antigua and Barbuda

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba

Bosnia and Herzegovina

British Virgin Islands

Burkina Faso

Burma (Myanmar)

Cayman Islands

Central African Republic

Cote d Ivoire


Czech Republic

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dominican Republic

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea

Eswatini (Swaziland)

Falkland Islands

France (includes Monaco)

French Guiana

French Polynesia

French West Indies

Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy (French West Indies)


Isle of Man

Israel, The West Bank and Gaza


Marshall Islands


New Caledonia

New Zealand

North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)

Papua New Guinea


Republic of North Macedonia

Republic of the Congo

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Sao Tome and Principe

Saudi Arabia

Sierra Leone

Sint Maarten

Solomon Islands

South Africa

South Korea

South Sudan


The Bahamas


Trinidad and Tobago


Turks and Caicos Islands

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

Vatican City (Holy See)

External Link

You are about to leave travel.state.gov for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State.

Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein. If you wish to remain on travel.state.gov, click the "cancel" message.

You are about to visit:

  • Paris Tourism
  • Paris Hotels
  • Paris Bed and Breakfast
  • Paris Vacation Rentals
  • Flights to Paris
  • Paris Restaurants
  • Things to Do in Paris
  • Paris Travel Forum
  • Paris Photos
  • All Paris Hotels
  • Paris Hotel Deals
  • Last Minute Hotels in Paris
  • Things to Do
  • Restaurants
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Travel Stories
  • Rental Cars
  • Add a Place
  • Travel Forum
  • Travelers' Choice
  • Help Center

Olympic 2024 Paris travel disruption , updates? - Paris Forum

  • Europe    
  • France    
  • Ile-de-France    
  • Paris    

Olympic 2024 Paris travel disruption , updates?

  • United States Forums
  • Europe Forums
  • Canada Forums
  • Asia Forums
  • Central America Forums
  • Africa Forums
  • Caribbean Forums
  • Mexico Forums
  • South Pacific Forums
  • South America Forums
  • Middle East Forums
  • Honeymoons and Romance
  • Business Travel
  • Train Travel
  • Traveling With Disabilities
  • Tripadvisor Support
  • Solo Travel
  • Bargain Travel
  • Timeshares / Vacation Rentals
  • Ile-de-France forums
  • Paris forum

' class=

There are some news floating around regarding closures , delays and extended travel queues in trams , metros and airports.

Any latest updates as in what to expect ?

Thanks in advance!

3 replies to this topic

' class=

Even if you were to travel today you would still see disruption in the form of construction/preparation works around the city. There’s no escaping that. The Olympics are imminent and the pressure is on to be ready on time! The Torch Relay is now underway touring the country too.

These Metro stations will be closed in May/June:

Line 1: "Champs-Elysées - Clémenceau" station, from 1 July to 21 September 2024. Concorde" and "Tuileries" stations, from 17 June to 21 September 2024,

Line 8: Concorde station, from 17 June to 21 September 2024,

Line 12: Concorde station, from 17 May to 21 September 2024,

Line 13: "Champs-Elysées - Clémenceau" station, from 1 July to 21 September 2024.




BTW The total removal of all this set up will be end of October/November, such is the scale of it.

We have been here since last Thursday, and the only inconvenience really has been the need to cross the road due to construction, but that is no different than Toronto. We have been walking, hence have not yet entered any métro station.

I would rely on “ locals” including John h, and RivieraBear for reliable information.

Pirate 🏴‍☠️

  • Mona Lisa is lonely today 9:41 am
  • Musée de l'Orangerie Trip Report 9:07 am
  • Paris without air-conditioning in June. 9:04 am
  • CDG to National Car Rental Agency in Caen (CFR) 8:45 am
  • Paris (w/Chartres and Le MSM) Trip Report: April 14-21, 2024 8:43 am
  • Paris weather reports 8:31 am
  • Eiffel Tower —“tickets in sale later than usual?” 8:22 am
  • The Pirates in Paris: Part 1 8:16 am
  • Need some suggestions for Paris trip 8:11 am
  • Paris is Busy 8:05 am
  • Parking in Paris over the weekend 7:56 am
  • Using Uber to Orly Airport 7:50 am
  • 4 day Itinerary and public transportation suggestion please! 7:26 am
  • Eurocamp trip with toddler! 5:45 am
  • What is the best area to stay in paris?!! 451 replies
  • Travelling Nice to Paris, TRAIN or FLY? 36 replies
  • Buying Louis Vuitton..cheaper in Paris than USA? 33 replies
  • Day trips from Paris by train 22 replies
  • Paris to Venice via overnight Train 19 replies
  • Is European Destinations.com a legit site to book from? 272 replies
  • Itinerary for Paris in 3 days 14 replies
  • Best Things to buy in Paris 19 replies
  • best arrondissement to stay in 11 replies
  • What to pack/wear for mid-October Weather 11 replies

Paris Hotels and Places to Stay

  • 10 Steps for submitting great Forum questions
  • Navigo cards, fares and everything about public transport
  • Day Trips from Paris
  • Paris with kids
  • Important Links for Paris Visitors
  • Safety in a Nutshell
  • How do I take a bus in Paris?
  • FAQ: What are the best books about Paris?
  • FAQ: Where are the toilets? Où sont les toilettes?
  • Taxis Parisiens
  • Price hikes during the Olympic Games.
  • Transportation during the Olympic Games

travel paris france

  • Share full article


Supported by

Paris Promised the Olympics Would Be Accessible. The Clock Is Ticking.

The city, which put inclusivity at the center of its bid, has improved access for people with disabilities, but with the opening ceremony about 12 weeks away, obstacles remain.

A person with short gray hair and wearing a black jacket sits in a wheelchair aboard a Paris Metro train. Different types of people, seen from ground level, sit on the benches and chairs. A few are wearing white sneakers, and one is wearing black sandals.

By Anne-Marie Williams

During a trip to Paris last November, Samantha Renke just couldn’t seem to find a taxi that could accommodate her motorized wheelchair.

“Every time I logged on, it just kept saying, ‘Unavailable, unavailable, unavailable,’” Ms. Renke said, recounting her struggle to book an accessible cab using the G7 taxi app . Eating out was also a problem for Ms. Renke, a 38-year-old British actress and disability campaigner who has a genetic condition commonly known as brittle bones: Too few restaurants had step-free access.

As Paris prepares to welcome around 15 million visitors — an estimated 350,000 with disabilities — for the Olympics and Paralympics, the city is still working to fulfill its promise to make itself “universally accessible” before the opening ceremony, on July 26.

“Paris will be accessible. We are rising to the challenge,” said Fadila Khattabi , the minister delegate for disabled people.

Paris put inclusivity and accessibility at the center of its bid to host the Summer Games, and the city has made a great deal of headway. For example, the newly built 128-acre Olympic and Paralympic Village , hailed by the organizers and advocacy groups as a shining example of universal design, offers accessible buildings, multisensory signage and zones for assistance dogs. The city plans to have 1,000 wheelchair-accessible taxis by the time the Games open (it had just 250 in 2022), and Uber will increase its fleet of accessible vehicles to 170, from 40.

Despite this progress, advocacy groups like APF France Handicap are concerned that the city remains unprepared for visitors with disabilities. For example, said Pascale Ribes, the group’s president, train and airline companies need to be notified in advance to accommodate passengers in wheelchairs.

And even that isn’t always enough, explained Ms. Ribes, who uses a wheelchair: Recently, she said, staff members at a Paris airport refused to bring her personal wheelchair to the jet bridge after a domestic flight. Another time she almost missed her connecting flight waiting for promised assistance.

A new urgency

France’s first law mandating accessibility in public spaces dates back to 1975, but effective enforcement has been a challenge. The Olympics and Paralympics have brought new urgency to the issue. “It’s not just accessibility for people with reduced mobility,” said Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, in an interview last month. It is about all disabilities, including sensory disabilities. “This will be a very important legacy of the Games,” she added.

Lamia El Aaraje , the deputy mayor in charge of universal accessibility and people with disabilities, has worked to make shops, schools, public services, cultural and sports facilities, and buses and trams accessible across the city. In the last 10 months, at least 1,750 bus shelters have been renovated to be compatible with bus wheelchair ramps.

Unfortunately, even this hasn’t always made life easier for people with disabilities. Ms. Ribes recounts instances when buses have parked too far from the curb, making it impossible for the ramp to reach the sidewalk. On crowded buses, wheelchair users may have difficulty gaining access to the two places designated for them.

The Olympics and Paralympics have also driven change at the city’s two main airports, which have added changing areas, sensory rooms and zones for assistance dogs. The airports are also working toward a long-term goal: transitioning from assisting passengers to removing the barriers that prevent disabled fliers from being autonomous; this includes letting passengers use their own wheelchairs, instead of airport wheelchairs, on jet bridges.

The city’s extensive Metro system poses its own special challenges for visitors with disabilities, with only one line (No. 14) fully accessible. This line, part of the ambitious Grand Paris Express project, will serve Orly Airport this summer. Other lines incorporate tactile paving, which has textures that help blind and visually impaired people, and more than half offer audio and visual announcements inside the trains.

Two suburban lines, RER A and B are also considered accessible by the regional transport agency. RER B serves both airports, though Ms. Ribes says people with disabilities still often need assistance on this line. For the Games, the city will also offer what Ms. Ribes considers temporary solutions: 200 shuttles for wheelchair users and their companions between Paris train stations and sports sites.

‘The law is not enough’

Since the 2012 Games in London, there has been a significant shift in the Olympics’ approach to accessibility. For those Games, access was integrated into the construction of new sites. But starting with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, a big move toward sustainability meant that Paris 2024 used more existing venues instead of building new ones. This has posed both challenges and opportunities for accessibility.

The Paris 2024 committee has reserved 280,000 tickets for spectators with disabilities, and the venues themselves will be accessible. Many, but not all, of the events will have audio descriptions in French and English, and the organizers are being as inclusive as possible, said Julien Zéléla, a board member for the French Federation for the Blind .

French regulations require 4 percent of hotel rooms to be accessible, but the total number of such rooms in Paris is unknown. Airbnb (which has 13 accessibility filters) and Vrbo (which has a wheelchair filter) also offer accessible listings in the Paris region.

The Paralympian and wheelchair rugby player Ryadh Sallem acknowledges that hotels are making efforts to be more accessible, but said, “When we want to host a major competition, it becomes very problematic; sometimes we need to book several hotels” for a group of athletes.

Despite the progress, one barrier to accessibility remains stubbornly persistent: public attitudes.

“The law is not enough. We really need to change mentalities,” Ms. Ribes said. For example, cabs have refused to pick her up, she said, telling her that her wheelchair would dirty the vehicle’s interior. Last year, an Uber driver was accused of attacking a blind man for getting into his car with a guide dog. Since then, Uber has made its 40,000 drivers in France watch a short disability awareness video . In anticipation of the Games, other companies, including the operator of Paris’s airports, the Accor hotel group and the G7 taxi service are providing their employees with training on disability awareness.

With the Games about three months away, Mr. Sallem is cautiously optimistic about their long-term benefits for the city. The Olympics and Paralympics have made everyone think of accessibility “as an investment,” he said, “a project for the future.”

Catherine Porter contributed reporting.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

2024 Paris Summer Olympics

The summer olympic games in paris are expected to draw millions of spectators..

Olympic Flame Arrives in Marseille: The flame will be carried on a 79-day journey across France  and its territories, culminating in Paris with the start of the Olympic Games on July 26.

Friends Competing for Spots: Conner Mantz and Clayton Young had run side by side for more than 10,000 miles. Both vied for a place in the marathon at the Paris Games . Who would make it?

Fencing Rattled by Suspensions: Concerns about refereeing integrity and preferential treatment  for top saber competitors have cast a shadow over a sport decided by the finest of margins.

Did France Build the Olympics Safely: Undocumented workers played a larger and more dangerous role  in delivering the Games than the Macron administration acknowledges.

An Opening Without Walls: The opening ceremony for the Paris Games will be held outside a stadium — an Olympics first. Making it safe is complicated .

travel paris france

Is it safe to travel to France? The latest advice

T he French government has raised its terror alert to the highest possible level, “emergency”, following the terror attack in Moscow that left more than 135 people dead.

French prime minister Gabriel Attal said the decision was taken “in light of the Islamic State’s claiming responsibility for the [Moscow] attack and the threats weighing on our country”.

France’s terror threat system has three levels. The highest level is announced if there is a terrorist attack in France or overseas, or if an attack on French soil is considered to be imminent.

France was already on high alert for potential terrorist attacks, with the Paris Olympics and Paralympics due to take place in the capital this summer.

The updated terror alert comes just days before the UK Easter school holidays, when thousands of British holidaymakers will travel across the Channel for a getaway.

What is the Foreign Office advice for France?

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) France advice, which was last updated on February 20, reads: “There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.”

“Methods of attack have included knife attacks, shootings, bombings and vehicle attacks. Be vigilant in public places and follow the advice of local French authorities,” the FCDO adds.

The FCDO lists shopping centres, entertainment establishments, cultural events, public transport and places of worship as settings where “indiscriminate” terrorism attacks could take place.

Check the France FCDO page for the latest advice.

What happened in the Moscow terror attack?

On Friday, terrorists carried out an attack at the Crocus City Hall on the outskirts of Moscow, killing at least 137 and injuring 140.

Four men, all of whom are citizens of Tajikistan, have been formally charged with committing a group terrorist attack. The attack has been claimed by the Afghanistan-based Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K) group.

On March 7, the United States warned its citizens in Russia that extremists had “imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow” and specifically mentioned concert venues. It advised Americans to avoid large gatherings.

What should I do if I get caught up in a terrorist attack?

Britain’s counter-terrorism police gives advice on what to do in the event of an emergency . This includes to run to a place of safety: “This is better than trying to surrender or negotiate.” To hide: “It is better to hide than confront. Barricade yourself in, turn your phone to silent and use only when it is safe to do so.” And to tell: “Make sure you know the local emergency numbers in the country you are travelling to. For all EU countries call 112.”

Have there been recent terrorist attacks in France?

There have been a number of terrorist attacks in France over the past decade. In January 2015, eight cartoonists, two guests and two police officers were murdered at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo . The gunmen identified as belonging to al-Qaeda.

In November that year, in the deadliest terrorist attack in French history, 131 people were killed and 413 were injured in a series of shooting and grenade attacks at the Bataclan music venue, near the Stade de France and at several restaurants and bars across Paris. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In July 2016, 86 people were killed and 434 injured in Nice after a 19-tonne cargo truck was driven into crowds during Bastille Day celebrations on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Again Islamic State claimed responsibility.

What if I want to cancel my trip to France?

If you have booked a package holiday to France and want to cancel your trip for any reason, contact your tour operator and they might offer flexibility with alternative dates. 

But bear in mind that, because the Foreign Office has not issued any advice against travel to France, there is no guarantee that you will receive a refund, nor will you be able to claim money back with your travel insurance company.

If you have booked flights and accommodation independently, and wish to cancel your holiday, contact your travel providers as soon as possible to see if you can rearrange your plans. Note, however, that given the circumstances, it is unlikely you will receive a full refund.

Sign up to the Front Page newsletter for free: Your essential guide to the day's agenda from The Telegraph - direct to your inbox seven days a week.

France was already on high alert in advance of the Olympics, but this has now been upgraded to 'emergency' - Shutterstock

Watch CBS News

Olympic flame reaches France for 2024 Paris Olympics aboard a 19th century sailing ship

By Elaine Cobbe

Updated on: May 8, 2024 / 3:49 PM EDT / CBS News

Paris  — Crowds started gathering early Wednesday morning around Marseille's Old Port as a 19th century sailing ship carrying the Olympic flame appeared on the horizon. More than 1,000 boats accompanied the Belem, a three-mast schooner, as it approached the harbor of France's second-largest city in a slow maritime parade on calm seas under a clear blue sky.

The flame was brought ashore Wednesday evening by four-time French Olympic medalist, swimmer Florent Manaudou. He passed the torch to Paralympian Nantenin Keita, who then gave it to French rap star Jul, who is from Marseille. He took it and lit the Olympic cauldron at the Old Port in front of an expected crowd of 150,000 people.

City officials said a billion more people were expected to watch the event live on television around the world — a first spectacle for fans less than three months before the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics kick off on July 26.

French rapper Julien Mari, aka Jul, holds the Olympic torch during the arrival ceremony for the Olympic flame ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games on May 8, 2024, in Marseille, France.

Several sports stars were expected to take part in the parade, including former NBA star Tony Parker and Ivory Coast soccer great Didier Drogba, as well as charity and entertainment figures. French President Emmanuel Macron was among those in Marseille to watch the arrival. Fireworks and a free open-air concert were set to continue into the night.

The flame was transported from Greece aboard the Belem. During the 12-day voyage, the flame was very much a part of everyday life on the historic vessel. The crew even brought it to the table during meals and guarded it carefully as rough weather whipped up wild waves.

The Belem, a three-masted sailing ship carrying the Olympic flame, arrives at Marseille's Old Port in France ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics, May 8, 2024.

The festivities continue in Marseille on Thursday, when the flame will begin a 68-day, 7,500-mile journey through France, taking in both the mainland and France's overseas territories. Some 11,000 torchbearers will carry it through 65 French territories, stopping at more than 450 towns and cities along the way, as well as many iconic and historic sites.

From Marseille, it will be taken across southern France, including a crossing to the island of Corsica, before heading to southwest France, up the west coast to Normandy and then on to Brittany. From there, the flame will take to the seas again to visit Guadeloupe and Martinique. Another torch will be presented in the far-flung territories of French Guiana, Réunion and French Polynesia.

French President Emmanuel Macron holds a wingfoil board at the Marina Olympique nautical base in Marseille, France, May 8, 2024, ahead of the transfer of the Olympic flame to shore from a 19th-century tall ship to mark the start of a 7,500-mile torch relay across France and the country's far-flung territories.

On the mainland, the Olympic flame will visit Lascaux in the southwest, where ancient paintings cover cave walls; the medieval fortress of Carcassonne; Versailles Palace; Mont Saint-Michel; and the castles of the Loire Valley. It will travel through vineyards and visit some of the Olympic sites.

Throughout the journey, the Olympic torch relay, which kicked off in Greece last month , will highlight some of the major figures who inspired and contributed to French culture, from Joan of Arc to Charles de Gaulle and singer Edith Piaf.

The relay will end in Paris on July 26 for the opening ceremony on the River Seine — the first-ever Olympic curtain-raiser held outside of a stadium.

"It's something we've been waiting for a very long time," chief organizer Tony Estanguet said Monday, referring to the 100 years since Paris last staged the Summer Games. "The Games are coming home."

France, which also hosted the 1900 Games, sees itself at the heart of the modern Olympic movement. It was a French aristocrat, Pierre de Coubertin, who revived the idea of the Games practiced by the Greeks until the 4th century B.C.

Wednesday's highly choreographed ceremony is a first test for the French organizing committee, which has been hit by criticism over the cost of tickets and disruption to venue towns, especially Paris, where transport and other public works have blighted the landscape for the past two years.

Security is also a concern, and the Marseille event provided a first test for that, too. France is on its highest terror alert following revelations that the same ISIS affiliate suspected of attacking a Moscow concert hall in March had plans to also attack France.

Around 6,000 law enforcement personnel were on duty in Marseille for the arrival of the flame.

"It's completely unprecedented for the national police to mobilize so many people on the same day at the same place," regional police coordinator Cedric Esson told reporters ahead of the event.

Around 200 members of France's security forces will accompany the flame throughout the relay. They will include an antiterrorism SWAT team and antidrone operatives.

  • Every Paris Olympics medal carries a piece of the Eiffel Tower

The designers of the 2024 Olympic torch say it's all about symbolism. It's made of lightweight steel for purity, and it narrows at the top and bottom in a symmetry meant to reflect equality and parity.

The same torch will be used for the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time — reflecting efforts to build bridges between the two.

Elaine Cobbe is a CBS News correspondent based in Paris. A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience covering international events, Cobbe reports for CBS News' television, radio and digital platforms.

More from CBS News

Legendary treasure belonging to 18th-century conman discovered

Mother's Day traditions differ across the world — see how other families celebrate

Harry and Meghan wrap up a very royal looking tour of Nigeria

Hundreds of thousands forced to flee again as Israel pushes into Rafah

More From Forbes

What you need to know when traveling for taylor swift’s eras tour.

  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin

US singer and songwriter Taylor Alison Swift, also known as Taylor Swift performs on stage at the ... [+] Paris La Defense Arena as part of her The Eras Tour, in Nanterre, north-western France, on May 9, 2024.

Taylor Swift thrilled fans with the addition of performances from her latest album The Tortured Poets Department when she kicked off the European leg of The Eras Tour in Paris on Thursday, May 9, 2024. She jokingly called that section of the show Female Rage: The Musical . Most concertgoers already knew and sang along to every word of all the songs she sang from the album even though it was released just a few weeks earlier on April 19. Such is the power of Swift.

In her long career of riveting live shows, her stunning performance of “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” may very well be her masterpiece so far. Swift is enjoying unprecedented success with her latest albums and tour, which showcase how she can tell a story like no other artist. Both her singing voice and her literary voice are stronger than ever, and it’s joyful to watch Swift embody and embrace her mightiness as a performer.

It's no wonder many fans are willing to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles for the chance to see Taylor Swift perform live. Since tickets sold out so quickly for the few remaining U.S. tour dates and resellers are aware of the intense demand, some fans discovered it was more doable to attend one of her international shows.

So, many fans in the U.S. and other countries have decided to make a vacation out of going to The Eras Tour in Europe this summer. If you are among them, here’s some advice on how to make the most of your international adventure.

It s Possible The Russian Army Is Tricking The Ukrainian Army With A Fake Offensive

Ufc st louis results bonus winners from night of memorable finishes, vasiliy lomachenko vs. george kambosos results: winner, ko, reaction.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 09: Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at La ... [+] Defense on May 09, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management )

Consider Your Lodging and Transportation Choices First

Before buying a ticket, be sure that you will have accommodations available. If you can book a hotel that’s within walking distance of a stadium and know the area is safe, that is ideal. Otherwise, check bus and train schedules for the night of your venue, then look at hotels that might be close to bus or train stops.

With tens of thousands of fellow concertgoers leaving at the same time, transportation can get tricky. If you book a room that’s farther from the venue, try to get a rental car instead of vying for a taxi or rideshare after the show. If you do that, just be sure parking will be available. You may need to buy a parking pass from the venue.

Also be aware that hotel room prices skyrocket when Swift is in town because there is such a high demand. If you are renting a car and don’t mind a longer drive, you can save a lot of money by booking a hotel room that’s a longer drive from the venue.

Enjoy The Moment

Amy Wilkinson, a 49-year-old Swiftie from Tucson, AZ, went viral in December 2023 for her reenactments of The Eras Tour performances using Elf on the Shelf dolls. She posted them to her Instagram, @Tswizzle_Momma , and found thousands of people watching each time she posted her videos. Like many other Swifties in the US, she is flying to Europe for The Eras Tour.

Wilkinson told me she had this advice for fellow fans going to the show abroad, “Enjoy the entire experience, from the moment you get on the plane until the morning after. You may be going for the concert, but the memories are made in the details. See the sights. Enjoy the food. Meet other Swifties. This is at the heart of what international travel is about.”

Make The Friendship Bracelets

Rebecca Bartley, a Swiftie from Nova Scotia, Canada, is going to Sweden to see The Eras Tour. She advises bringing friendship bracelets to share with fellow concertgoers on the night of your show. Wilkinson suggested making friendship bracelets in the language of the country where you’ll be seeing the show.

MARINA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 13: A Taylor Swift fan, friendship bracelet detail, attends the ... [+] opening night theatrical release of "Taylor Swift : The Eras Tour" at AMC Marina Marketplace 6 on October 13, 2023 in Marina del Rey, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

It’s easy to learn how to make friendship bracelets. I had never dabbled in making jewelry before, but now I find great joy in creating friendship bracelets. I created dozens and handed them to fans at The Eras Tour movie.

To make friendship bracelets, I start by choosing the colors I want and which word or phrase I want the bracelet to express. Then I choose colorful beads and pick out all the necessary letter beads.

Next, I cut off elastic string. I find it’s best to use Stretch Magic elastic string because of its strength and durability. To make the bracelets, I cut off a piece of string that’s twice as long as I need so that there is ample room for cutting and tying multiple knots.

Then I tape one end of the string to my workspace, string the beads I have set aside until I feel like the bracelet is complete. Being careful to not let any of the beads slide off the string, I then wrap it around my wrist to see how it fits and then consider whether I am making the bracelet for a wrist that’s likely larger or smaller than mine. (Also, with elastic string, there’s room for a flexible fit.) I adjust accordingly.

As a last step, I make four to five knots in the string to tie off the bracelet. Many fans choose to add a dab of fabric glue to the end of the knot, but I found that got really messy and wasn’t necessary if you make multiple knots. Then I tuck the knots into one of the beads so that it doesn’t show on the bracelet. Then the bracelet is concert-ready!

Keep in mind that there are a lot of other ways to make friendship bracelets that are for more involved and creative that mine. And, if the idea of making friendship bracelets doesn’t sound fun to you, don’t worry. You can buy premade friendship bracelets on Etsy. Some Etsy shops like RainFoxx13 and BonniesBracelet have elaborate, beautiful friendship bracelets that you may want to keep for yourself. Others sell packs of friendship bracelets in bulk.

If you don’t want to trade friendship bracelets, that’s okay, too. The Swiftie community is accepting and supportive, and you still may get several bracelets as gifts.

What To Wear To The Eras Tour

There are no rules for what you should wear to Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour beyond the guidelines from the venue. Some fans go casual, and others choose to dress to the nines for the show. Some fans choose to wear merch from Taylor Swift’s official store . Many fans choose to dress up in costumes inspired by Swift’s songs and lyrics.

With the release of The Tortured Poets Department and its video “Fortnight,” some fans are choosing to imitate some of her looks from the video. Others are wearing their interpretation of the incredible costumes she wears during The Eras Tour concert. Others look at past eras for inspiration. You are likely to see every era represented in fan costumes at a show.

What You Should Bring To The Eras Tour In Europe

Wilkinson advised me that the number one thing to bring is a portable phone charger. If you plan on recording video and taking photos, your phone’s battery may die down quickly, and a phone charger can ensure you can keep capturing the memories all night.

Earplugs are a good idea if you’re sensitive to loud noise. If you’re bringing kids along, they are a must. They ensure you can enjoy the music while protecting your ears.

Bring along a cardigan or jacket. Layering is a good idea for a concert during the summer. Although it may be hot in the stadium, you might be chilly on the way home from the show.

You can’t go wrong bringing along hand sanitizer and a travel pack of tissues. Even if you can get through “All Too Well” without tearing up, you may cry at the sheer excitement of the experience. It can be intense in the best way.

If you have tickets that are far back, bring along binoculars to see close-up details.

What To Avoid At The Eras Tour

Don’t come to the stadium with a big bag. If you haven’t attended stadium concerts before, you may not know that you need to carry a clear bag if you want to bring a purse. It also has to fit within the measurements allowed in the stadium, so you can’t just buy a clear backpack and expect to get in the show. Check with your show’s venue to make sure you follow their rules for what you can bring.

What Are The Dates Of The Eras Tour 2024 In Europe?

Taylor Swift started the European leg of The Eras Tour in Paris on May 9, 2024. Here are all the dates for The Eras Tour that are scheduled for the rest of 2024.

Thursday, May 9, 2024 – París La Défense Arena - Paris, France

Friday, May 10, 2024 - París La Défense Arena - Paris, France

Saturday, May 11, 2024 - París La Défense Arena - Paris, France

Sunday, May 12, 2024 - París La Défense Arena - Paris, France

Friday, May 17, 2024 – Friends Arena - Stockholm, Sweden

Saturday, May 18, 2024 - Friends Arena - Stockholm, Sweden

Sunday, May 19, 2024 - Friends Arena - Stockholm, Sweden

Friday, May 24, 2024 - Estádio da Luz – Lisbon, Portugal

Saturday, May 25. 2024 - Estádio da Luz – Lisbon, Portugal

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - Estádio Santiago Bernabéu – Madrid, Spain

Thursday, May 30, 2024 - Estádio Santiago Bernabéu – Madrid, Spain

Sunday, June 2, 2024 - Groupama Stadium - Lyon, France

Monday, June 3, 2024 - Groupama Stadium - Lyon, France

Friday, June 7, 2024 - Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium - Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Saturday, June 8, 2024 - Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium - Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Sunday, June 9, 2024 - Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium - Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Thursday, June 13, 2024 - Anfield Stadium - Liverpool, United Kingdom

Friday, June 14, 2024 - Anfield Stadium - Liverpool, United Kingdom

Saturday, June 15, 2024 - Anfield Stadium - Liverpool, United Kingdom

Tuesday, June 18, 2024 - Principality Stadium - Cardiff, United Kingdom

Friday, June 21, 2024 - Wembley Stadium in London, United Kingdom

Saturday, June 22, 2024 - Wembley Stadium in London, United Kingdom

Sunday, June 23, 2024 - Wembley Stadium in London, United Kingdom

Friday, June 28, 2024 - Aviva Stadium - Dublin, Ireland

Saturday, June 29, 2024 - Aviva Stadium - Dublin, Ireland

Sunday, June 30, 2024 - Aviva Stadium - Dublin, Ireland

Thursday, July 4, 2024 - Johan Cruijff Arena - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Friday, July 5, 2024 - Johan Cruijff Arena - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Saturday, July 6, 2024 - Johan Cruijff Arena - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tuesday, July 9, 2024 - Stadion Letzigrund Zurich - Zürich, Switzerland

Wednesday, July 20, 2024 - Stadion Letzigrund Zurich - Zürich, Switzerland

Saturday, July 13, 2024 - San Siro Stadium - Milan, Italy

Sunday, July 14, 2024 - San Siro Stadium - Milan, Italy

Wednesday, July 17, 2024 - Veltins-Arena - Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Thursday, July 18, 2024 - Veltins-Arena - Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Friday, July 19, 2024 - Veltins-Arena - Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Tuesday, July 23, 2024 - Volksparkstadion - Hamburg, Germany

Wednesday, July 24, 2024 - Volksparkstadion - Hamburg, Germany

Saturday, July 27, 2024 - Olympiastadion - Munich, Germany

Sunday, July 28, 2024 - Olympiastadion - Munich, Germany

Thursday, August 1, 2024 - PGE Narodowy - Warsaw, Poland

Friday, August 2, 2024 - PGE Narodowy - Warsaw, Poland

Saturday, August 3, 2024 - PGE Narodowy - Warsaw, Poland

Thursday, August 8, 2024 - Ernst-Happel-Stadion - Vienna, Austria

Friday, August 9, 2024 - Ernst-Happel-Stadion - Vienna, Austria

Saturday, August 10, 2024 - Ernst-Happel-Stadion - Vienna, Austria

Thursday, August 15, 2024 - Wembley Stadium - London, United Kingdom

Friday, August 16, 2024 - Wembley Stadium - London, United Kingdom

Saturday, August 17, 2024 - Wembley Stadium - London, United Kingdom

Monday, August 19, 2024 - Wembley Stadium - London, United Kingdom

Tuesday, August 20, 2024 - Wembley Stadium - London, United Kingdom

Friday, October 18, 2024 – Hard Rock Stadium – Miami, Florida, United States

Saturday, October 19, 2024 - Hard Rock Stadium – Miami, Florida, United States

Sunday, October 20, 2024 - Hard Rock Stadium – Miami, Florida, United States

Friday, October 25, 2024 – Caesars Superdome – New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Saturday, October 26, 2024 - Caesars Superdome – New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Sunday, October 27, 2024 - Caesars Superdome – New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Friday, November 1, 2024 – Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Saturday, November 2, 2024 - Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Sunday, November 3, 2024 - Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Thursday, November 14, 2024 – Rogers Centre – Toronto, Canada

Friday, November 15, 2024 - Rogers Centre – Toronto, Canada

Saturday, November 16, 2024 - Rogers Centre – Toronto, Canada

Thursday, November 22, 2024 - Rogers Centre – Toronto, Canada

Friday, November 22, 2024 - Rogers Centre – Toronto, Canada

Saturday, November 23, 2024 - Rogers Centre – Toronto, Canada

Friday, December 6, 2024 – BC Place – Vancouver, Canada

Saturday, December 7, 2024 - BC Place – Vancouver, Canada

Sunday, December 8, 2024 - BC Place – Vancouver, Canada

For more information about the forthcoming shows, see the tour page of Taylor Swift’s official website .

How To Get Taylor Swift Tickets In 2024

Tickets have already gone on sale for the rest of the currently confirmed dates of The Eras Tour for 2024. However, you can get secondhand tickets from resellers. It’s usually not a good idea to buy from individuals in Facebook groups offering to sell tickets. That’s hard to verify, and many are scammed that way. Instead, check with the individual venue to see how their resell process works. It varies throughout Europe depending on the country and the individual stadium.

Robin Raven

  • Editorial Standards
  • Reprints & Permissions

Join The Conversation

One Community. Many Voices. Create a free account to share your thoughts. 

Forbes Community Guidelines

Our community is about connecting people through open and thoughtful conversations. We want our readers to share their views and exchange ideas and facts in a safe space.

In order to do so, please follow the posting rules in our site's  Terms of Service.   We've summarized some of those key rules below. Simply put, keep it civil.

Your post will be rejected if we notice that it seems to contain:

  • False or intentionally out-of-context or misleading information
  • Insults, profanity, incoherent, obscene or inflammatory language or threats of any kind
  • Attacks on the identity of other commenters or the article's author
  • Content that otherwise violates our site's  terms.

User accounts will be blocked if we notice or believe that users are engaged in:

  • Continuous attempts to re-post comments that have been previously moderated/rejected
  • Racist, sexist, homophobic or other discriminatory comments
  • Attempts or tactics that put the site security at risk
  • Actions that otherwise violate our site's  terms.

So, how can you be a power user?

  • Stay on topic and share your insights
  • Feel free to be clear and thoughtful to get your point across
  • ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ to show your point of view.
  • Protect your community.
  • Use the report tool to alert us when someone breaks the rules.

Thanks for reading our community guidelines. Please read the full list of posting rules found in our site's  Terms of Service.

France tries to shed its rude reputation ahead of the Olympics

Is the unfriendly Parisian a myth? A local goes undercover as a tourist to find out.

Paris is in the home stretch of preparing for the Olympics. A new 8,000-capacity arena has been opened in the north of Paris, the Olympic Village was inaugurated by Emmanuel Macron in early March, and authorities are still desperately trying to make sure the Seine is swimmable by the summer. The country is slowly but surely getting ready for the more than 15 million visitors that will descend on the capital and its suburbs between July and August. But there’s still something to consider — something a bit less tangible.

Are Parisians ready to welcome these visitors? Like really welcome?

France gets a bad rap when it comes to friendliness. There’s, of course, the long-standing cliché of the snooty French waiter or the surly Parisian, and a viral TikTok earlier this year of an American woman tearfully telling the camera that traveling in France was “isolating” and that French people were unwelcoming got thousands of comments — many from people agreeing with her.

“This kind of bad PR doesn’t worry me because it’s anecdotal,” says Corinne Ménégaux, the head of the Paris tourism office. “I think maybe 15 or 20 years ago the French were less welcoming, but nowadays we’ve got past that cliché. You inevitably have a small percentage of people who aren’t nice, and there’s not much you can do about it. It’s a reality of big cities, just like in London or New York.”

That hasn’t stopped France trying to clean up its rude image before foreigners come to town. Last year, the regional chamber of commerce updated a decade-old hospitality campaign called “Do You Speak Touriste? ” in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup held in Paris. The official guide touched on cultural differences, gently reminding the French that “The cultural tendency in France is to openly show one’s emotions, through one’s gestures or tone of voice. […] In other countries, disagreement is expressed a lot less openly.”

“There’s still the cafe waiter who doesn’t speak to you and sullenly serves you a Coca-Cola for 15 euros. I’m not saying that doesn’t exist anymore. But we have seen a real improvement,” said Frédéric Hocquard, the city councilor responsible for tourism and nightlife in Paris. He says that the covid-19 pandemic was the great turning point.

“There was this period when we had no tourists at all. And the tourist industry realized it had to make a bit of effort.”

A friendliness pledge

Part of Paris’ effort to revamp its reputation is a “hospitality charter,” which has been signed by more than 1,600 businesses in the tourism sector, from hotels to restaurants to tour guides. The agreement is based around three main principles: promote sustainable and environmentally friendly measures; make visitors’ experiences more fluid; and support local businesses. Businesses that have signed up will be able to display a sticker or sign on their establishment so that tourists know that they’re a trusted place. The city is also training workers in newspaper kiosks, bakeries and tobacco shops to be able to answer tourists’ questions.

Both Ménégaux and Hocquard agree on one point: Visitors to Paris also have to do their part. . In an ideal world, Ménégaux would like tourists to sign a “good tourist etiquette” charter of their own. “When people come to Paris, we want them to commit to respecting certain things: to respect their neighbors’ peace and quiet, to use a reusable water bottle and not buy plastic ones and not to buy products made in China when you can buy local.”

Differences in etiquette are among the first things some foreigners notice when they move to or visit France. American expats and social media content creators Ember Langley and Gabrielle Pedriani devoted a video to the thorny issue of French politesse in their lighthearted TikTok series, “The ABCs of Paris.” In the video , Langley warns, “What’s considered polite in the U.S. might not be considered polite in Paris.” The two go on to give tips such as “Smile less”, “Get into a debate over dinner” and “Arrive fashionably late.”

“I see Americans in the Metro and it’s like — read the room. Everyone else is being quiet!” Langley said in an interview. “When you’re a traveler, and you’re coming here on vacation, it’s easy to forget that 2 million people are living their lives here. You need to be respectful of the local culture and approach your interactions humbly.” But Langley says it’s a misconception that the French are rude; it’s just a matter of cultural differences. “The biggest thing here is that the customer is not always right; in the U.S., the customer is king.”

Going undercover as an English-speaking tourist

I decided to put Parisians’ friendliness to the test myself. As a Brit who has lived in Paris for a decade, speaks French and has even obtained French nationality (with immense gratitude), I put on my best British accent and went to see how I was treated around the French capital.

The experiment began at ground zero: in front of Notre Dame cathedral, which is still blocked off and undergoing renovation work after an enormous fire engulfed the roof in 2019. With a friend, I headed into the archaeological museum in the crypt. “Hello! Parlez-vous anglais?” I asked the woman behind the ticket desk. I was greeted with a broad smile and patient description — in English — of the museum and ticket prices. She wasn’t even bothered by a patently stupid question about whether we could visit the cathedral, gently explaining that the site wouldn’t be open to the public for months.

We thanked her and headed back up into the sunlight.

Next stop: a bouquiniste. These Seine-side booksellers have to tackle tourist questions day in, day out. The man running his stall opposite the cathedral cheerfully took the time to find books in English for us, before recommending that we try Shakespeare and Company just across the road, one of Paris’s most famous English-language bookstores. It was the same at the tourist trinket shop, where we asked for directions to the Eiffel Tower or down in the Metro station, where the woman behind the counter told us that her English wasn’t very good and yet valiantly answered all of our questions about transport passes with broken but determined English.

By this point, I had even ditched my poorly-pronounced French icebreaker, just bouncing up to them and speaking directly in English. And yet everywhere we went, we were greeted with smiles and a genuine desire to help. I’ll admit that I was surprised — it’s been years since I was a tourist in the city, but I certainly remember eye-rolling, terseness and a certain unwillingness to help.

It was time for the ultimate test: asking for oat milk in a Parisian cafe. We chose a touristy spot on the Place Saint-Michel, where the servers were every inch the stereotype, in white shirts and black bow ties. Our server swept up to us haughtily but didn’t blink when we responded in English, even though he initially couldn’t understand my question. “Hot milk?” he kept repeating. When he finally understood, he laughed, waving his hands dismissively. “ Non, non , it is not possible, soy milk, vegan milk, we do not have, only la vache .” To make his point, he added with a flourish, “Moooo!”

My request had managed to elicit the famous “ c’est pas possible ” — well-known to anyone who has struggled with French bureaucracy and customer service — but it was said with such good humor (and a complementary animal sound), so how could I be offended?

The more than a dozen tourists I spoke to had also had largely positive experiences. Samantha Capaldi, visiting from Arizona with two friends, told me, “We love it here,” before admitting with a wry smile, “We’re trying to blend in but we’re so loud, everyone notices us.” In the four days they’d spent in Paris, they’d observed the same cultural differences Langley mentions in her videos — such as not getting tap water automatically with your meal at a restaurant, or being given a funny look when ordering an appetizer alongside an entree. “They kind of laugh at us, but not in a mean way,” she continued. “Trying to speak French helps a lot.”

Carla, from Sheffield in the United Kingdom, was in Paris with her boyfriend Brian to celebrate the anniversary of their first date. She’s visited Paris several times and has noticed a marked difference in the way she’s been treated compared to previous trips. “I’m a bit of a weightier person and I’ve been deliberately ignored in restaurants before — other people being given menus before me or served before me. But I rarely get that now. Everyone seems really nice.”

It seems that the city’s efforts in recent years are paying off and Parisians are — dare I say it? — learning that a little hospitality goes a long way. The only thing left is being able to get oat milk in cafes — but maybe it’s up to Americans to let that go and lean into France’s love of dairy. Mooo!

Catherine Bennett is a writer based in Paris.

More travel tips

Vacation planning: Start with a strategy to maximize days off by taking PTO around holidays. Experts recommend taking multiple short trips for peak happiness . Want to take an ambitious trip? Here are 12 destinations to try this year — without crowds.

Cheap flights: Follow our best advice for scoring low airfare , including setting flight price alerts and subscribing to deal newsletters. If you’re set on an expensive getaway, here’s a plan to save up without straining your credit limit.

Airport chaos: We’ve got advice for every scenario , from canceled flights to lost luggage . Stuck at the rental car counter? These tips can speed up the process. And following these 52 rules of flying should make the experience better for everyone.

Expert advice: Our By The Way Concierge solves readers’ dilemmas , including whether it’s okay to ditch a partner at security, or what happens if you get caught flying with weed . Submit your question here . Or you could look to the gurus: Lonely Planet and Rick Steves .

travel paris france


Paris mayor decries vandalism of a memorial honoring people who rescued Jews in World War II

The Associated Press

May 14, 2024, 6:20 AM

  • Share This:
  • share on facebook
  • share on threads
  • share on linkedin
  • share on email

PARIS (AP) — A Paris memorial honoring people who distinguished themselves by helping to rescue Jews in France during the country’s Nazi occupation in World War II was defaced Tuesday with painted blood-red hands, vandalism decried as “unspeakable” by the Paris mayor.

The attack on the Wall of the Righteous comes in the context of tensions and anger in France over the Israel-Hamas war . Antisemitic acts have surged in the country with the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in western Europe.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the memorial was vandalized overnight Monday to Tuesday. She said she has filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor.

“No cause can justify such degradations that dirty the memory of the victims of the Shoah and of the Righteous who saved Jews at risk to their lives,” Hidalgo said in a statement.

The wall bears the names of more than 3,900 people recognized as having risked their lives to help save Jews in France.

Ariel Weil, the mayor of Paris’ central districts, posted photos on the social media platform X of the damage. The photos showed more than two dozen blood-red hands painted on the memorial’s stonework and others on a wall in the Paris neighborhood.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related News

European Union nations endorse a major overhaul of the bloc’s migration rules as campaigning heats up for elections

European Union nations endorse a major overhaul of the bloc’s migration rules as campaigning heats up for elections

Georgian parliament holds 3rd and final reading of divisive bill on foreign influence

Georgian parliament holds 3rd and final reading of divisive bill on foreign influence

The EU is angry that Eurovision banned the EU flag from the song contest and wants to know why

The EU is angry that Eurovision banned the EU flag from the song contest and wants to know why


Councilwoman, attorneys 'disappointed and angry' over leak of Falcicchio sexual harassment report

Councilwoman, attorneys 'disappointed and angry' over leak of Falcicchio sexual harassment report

Why DC is becoming an even more popular destination for recent college grads

Why DC is becoming an even more popular destination for recent college grads

DC opens second ‘Safe Commercial Corridor Hub’ in Anacostia

DC opens second ‘Safe Commercial Corridor Hub’ in Anacostia

Related categories:.

travel paris france


  1. Paris Travel Guide

    travel paris france

  2. Eiffel Tower Paris, France 4K HD Travel Wallpapers

    travel paris france

  3. Eiffel Tower

    travel paris france

  4. 21 Must- See Travel Photos of Romantic Paris

    travel paris france

  5. Paris 2021 : Les 10 meilleures visites et activités (avec photos

    travel paris france

  6. The most amazing things to do in Paris

    travel paris france


  1. Paris

  2. Must Visit Places, Paris, France 🇫🇷 #traveltips #paris #paris2024

  3. our first evening in paris

  4. France Uncovered: Top 15 Travel Spots

  5. France travel 🇫🇷 #travel #france #francetravel #travelguide #francetourism

  6. today we travel to paris visit to paris


  1. Paris Tourist Office

    Plan your ideal Paris city break with the official tourist office. Find out about events, attractions, activities, hotels, shopping, and more for April 2024 and beyond.

  2. 32 Best Things to Do in Paris, France

    Paris Travel Guide. 32 Best Things to Do in Paris, France. If it's your first visit to Paris, you'll probably want to spend some time at the world-renowned Eiffel Tower, the Louvre (home of the ...

  3. Paris travel

    Discover the best time to visit, the top attractions and the local tips for Paris, the capital of France and Europe. Explore the iconic monuments, museums, bistros and boutiques, or enjoy the creative wine bars, design shops and tech start-ups of the new Paris.

  4. Paris: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go (2024)

    Paris is the ultimate destination for a girls' trip—especially if your travel companion is your daughter. I recently visited the City of Light with my 10 year old in tow, and together we enjoyed a magical, flowery, delicious adventure that she talked about for weeks. Read on for how we spent our time as a mother-daughter duo in Paris.

  5. An Insider's Guide to Paris

    The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024 An Insider's Guide to Paris — Luxury Hotels, Vintage Shops, and the City's Best Restaurants Included This Southern U.S. City Was Named One of the Best Places ...

  6. Paris Travel Guide

    Best Months to Visit. The best time to visit Paris is from June to August and September to October. Both summer and fall have its ups and downs. From June to August the weather in Paris is just ...

  7. 13 things to know before traveling to Paris

    6. Get familiar with cafe culture etiquette. The best places to experience Paris and its people are at the cafes. Take a moment to rest on a terrasse - cafe tables on the street - to people-watch while planning the next part of your day. Upon arrival, simply choose a table and sit; servers will come and attend to you.

  8. 12 Best Things To Do in Paris: The Ultimate 3-day Trip

    Save to Pinterest. 5. Eiffel Tower - A must-do in Paris. The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic monuments globally, up there with the likes of the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is an icon of Paris (and France !), towering above the city by day and lighting it up at night.

  9. 42 Best Things to Do in Paris

    Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. Climb the nearly 300 steps or take the elevator to the top for some ...

  10. 30 Best Things to Do in Paris

    Lane Nieset is a travel writer from Miami who has lived in France for the past decade. From Paris, ... to build a list of the 30 best things to do in Paris. Related: T+L's Paris Travel Guide ...

  11. Best Tips for Visiting Paris for the First Time (by a Local!)

    Paris Travel Tips for Your First Time in Paris. One of the greatest cities in the world, Paris is a vibrant and cultural city, with famous sites at every turn and never enough time to see them all. Paris is also regarded as the world's most romantic city and a heaven for foodies and fashion lovers. ... While a basic consultation in France is ...

  12. A travel writer's ultimate travel guide to Paris, France

    Insider created a comprehensive travel guide for the best places to go, stay, and eat in Paris. Visit Insider's hub for travel guides, tips, and recommendations .

  13. Best Times to Visit Paris

    The best time to visit Paris is from June to August and September to October. Both summer and fall have its ups and downs. From June to August the weather in Paris is just about parfait (perfect ...

  14. Paris

    Find out about the top attractions, useful travel advice, and money-saving tips for visiting Paris, the capital of France. Explore the city's history, culture, cuisine, and nightlife with this comprehensive guide.

  15. The Complete Travel Guide: Paris, France

    A complete guide to make planning your trip to Paris, France as effortless as the French. In the guide you'll find tips on where to stay in Paris, what Parisian sights are a must-see, what time of year to visit Paris, and what Paris items are a must-do. You'll also find a roundup of our favorite Parisian cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants.

  16. Paris Travel Guide

    Find everything you need to know about visiting Paris, from attractions and museums to hotels and restaurants. Explore the city of light with tips, deals, events, and more.

  17. Getting around in Paris

    The quickest way to get around is on the metro and RER. Paris' train network consists of two separate but linked systems: the metro and the RER. The metro currently has 16 lines (numbered 1-14, plus two secondary lines, 3bis and 7bis). The network is currently being expanded to add another four lines as part of the Grand Paris Express project.

  18. First Time Guide To Paris

    First-Time Guide To Paris. My first trip to Paris was just shy of my 21st birthday. I was studying abroad in Italy with my friends and decided to go to Paris for Valentine's Day weekend. Just a day before the trip, I came down with terrible bronchitis. I had a fever and was sick during that trip, but I would let go of my dream of seeing Paris.

  19. PARIS Travel Guide

    Within paris.travel you will also find useful information about the city of Paris that will help you during your visit, such as a brief description of the weather in Paris during each station and our Transport page with information on transfers and interactive maps of trains, metro and how to get there from each airport (from Orly, Charles de ...

  20. How to explore Promenade Plantée in Paris, France

    Walk the original 'High Line' or seek out other abandoned spaces repurposed as parks, propelling plans to make Paris one of Europe's greenest capitals.

  21. France International Travel Information

    Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.

  22. Olympic 2024 Paris travel disruption , updates?

    Hi. Im travelling to Paris between July 7-21, just before the start of Olympics. I have connecting flights to other places from CDG and Orly.. There are some news floating around regarding closures , delays and extended travel queues in trams , metros and airports.

  23. Paris Promised the Olympics Would Be Accessible. The Clock Is Ticking

    Paris put inclusivity and accessibility at the center of its bid to host the Summer Games, and the city has made a great deal of headway. For example, the newly built 128-acre Olympic and ...

  24. Is it safe to travel to France? The latest advice

    France was already on high alert for potential terrorist attacks, with the Paris Olympics and Paralympics due to take place in the capital this summer.

  25. Olympic flame reaches France for 2024 Paris Olympics aboard a 19th

    Olympic flame arrives in France ahead of 2024 Paris Games 03:06. Paris — Crowds started gathering early Wednesday morning around Marseille's Old Port as a 19th century sailing ship carrying the ...

  26. What You Need To Know When Traveling For Taylor Swift's Eras Tour

    It's no wonder many fans are willing to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles for the chance to see Taylor Swift perform live. ... May 12, 2024 - París La Défense Arena - Paris, France ...

  27. France tries to shed its rude reputation ahead of the Olympics

    Part of Paris' effort to revamp its reputation is a "hospitality charter," which has been signed by more than 1,600 businesses in the tourism sector, from hotels to restaurants to tour guides.

  28. Paris mayor decries vandalism of a memorial honoring people who ...

    PARIS (AP) — A Paris memorial honoring people who distinguished themselves by helping to rescue Jews in France during the country's Nazi occupation in World War II was defaced Tuesday with ...