Paris, the city of love, one of the most famous cities in Europa and the world. With all the attractions, trendy neighbourhoods and delicious restaurants you can easily spend a few days here. Use this City Guide to start exploring Paris on your next trip to one of Europe’s best cities.
Things to do
Next to the Seine, you can find the Musée d’Orsay. It’s one of my favourite museums for a few reasons. It houses an impressive amount of art including some of the works of Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Van Gogh and other famous artists.
The museum is also a monument itself. It was originally a railway station. If you walk through the main hall you can still recognize the structure of a railway station. Furthermore, you won’t be able to miss the museums’ famous golden clock while walking through the main hall.
Jardin des Tuileries
If you cross the Seine, you arrive at the Jardin des Tuileries. These are the famous gardens with green chairs near the Louvre. If you want to take a small break from running around in Paris, this is one of the best places to go to. I recommend going to a little bakery (boulangerie) or pastry (patisserie) shop to get some food and have a French picnic in these gardens. Don’t buy food in the gardens, it’s very expensive for what you’ll get.
Food recommendation: Gosselin Saint Germain. This bakery is amazing for take-away food. – Address: 258 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007 Paris, France
Next to the Jardin des Tuileries is the world-famous Louvre Museum. If you want to see the Mona Lisa, it’s recommended to buy tickets online in advance. If you don’t feel like going into the museum, you can still walk around or take photos at the square with the glass pyramids.
If you’re looking for an instagrammable place, this is what you’re looking for. I’m sure you’ve seen the famous black-and-white pillars of Palais Royal on Instagram, Pinterest or other social media. Even when you’re not looking for Instagrammable places, this is a must-see. It’s a beautiful place to escape the business of the city.
The name is misleading, but Palais Garnier is actually an opera house. If you’re travelling on a budget, you should spend it here. From the staircase to the Grand Foyer, every single room is magnificent. The Grand Foyer is, in my opinion, even more impressive than the Mirror Room in Versailles.
The terrace is open for visitors so you can see the impressive facade up close and overlook the Place de l’Opéra and the Avenue de l’Opéra.
Galeries Lafayette is an amazing mall but it has something even better than shopping. You can visit the rooftop for free. Why would you visit the rooftop? The view of Paris is unreal. You can literally see every (touristic) monument of Paris. It’s free so it’s way less expensive than the Eiffel Tower. On top of that, it’s a lot less busy and no scams.
The Rue Crémieux is a small street filled with coloured houses. The inhabitants of this street complain a lot about disrespectful tourists so please don’t be too loud and don’t leave anything behind. If you want to know what not to do or have a good laugh, head to @clubcremieux on Instagram.
Last but not least, the Eiffel Tower might be the most famous monument in Paris and even France. And thus the most touristic. To visit the top of the tower, you can buy tickets online or at the counter for almost 26 EUR per ticket.
Tip: around all major attractions are beggars/scams asking you to sign a form without giving you a chance to read it. Don’t let anyone put something in your hands. While you’re distracted, they’ll use the opportunity to pickpocket. If you see this happening to other people, intervene. Nobody likes his or her stuff stolen.
Getting around in Paris
The Paris metro has over 300 stations. So getting around by metro is super easy and cheap. A single ride costs 1.90 EUR. You can also opt for a pack of 10 or subway tickets or a day pass. If you choose to buy a day pass make sure to include the right zones. For most people, this will be zone 1 to 3.
The train is super handy when coming to Paris or for day trips from Paris. You can take the TGV to Paris or you can take the Izy Train to Paris. Izy is also a high-speed train but it’s a budget-friendly option. Tickets can be as cheap as 10 EUR for one way. If you want to travel as cheaply as possible, book long enough in advance.
The train or RER is also an easy option for day trips from Paris. One of the most popular day trips is a visit to Chateau de Versailles. You can read here more about visiting Versailles.
Other cheap ways to travel to Paris are Flixbus or low budget flight like Ryanair and EasyJet.
Best place to stay in Paris
Paris Off Seine
There is something Seine-sational about staying in a hotel on the Seine!
This is a floating hotel. Yes, you read that right! This hotel floats on the Seine. The rooms are gorgeous and have an amazing view of the docks or of the Seine. The breakfast is simple, very French, but good. This hotel also has a swimming pool which is ideal for refreshment on hot summer days. Not into swimming? Watch the deck transform into a bar each evening and enjoy a drink or a late-night snack.