Visit Paris: Your Travel Guide

Paris is a magnet for lovers and their nearest and dearest – a sleepless and sophisticated capital fueled by champagne and dreams, with an unwavering allure for the world's art and culture connoisseurs.

Things to Do in Paris

The Pompidou Centre (National Museum of Modern Art)
This space-age building is definitely a pomp-a-do, not a pomp-a-don't. Former French President, Georges Pompidou, had this controversial building built in the 1960s. Love it or hate it, it's France's premier modern art gallery. Dali, Munch, Lucian Freud and Roy Lichtenstein have all adorned the walls (and spaces) in the past five years alone.
Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
Open Monday 11 am – 9 pm; closed Tuesdays
Notre Dame de Paris
Victor Hugo's Quasimodo might not be lurking in the shadows, but that doesn't mean you can't! Explore every nook of this enormous cathedral, including the 13th-century organ. Head up the north tower to fully appreciate the impressive masonry, or admire it from outside – the stone gargoyles look like they're about to swoop down and grab your sandwich, so watch out!
6 Parvis Notre-Dame, Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
Open weekdays 8 am – 6:45 pm, weekends 8 am – 7:15 pm
Louvre (Musée du Louvre)
During World War II, the Louvre’s treasures were hidden in remote corners of France. Most of the work has been faithfully returned, so you can gaze into Mona Lisa’s eyes through bulletproof glass, salute the mysterious Venus de Milo or bask in the preternatural glow of the Marie de Medici cycle. Fun fact: it would take you 100 days to visit every work of art for 30 seconds.
Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris
Open Monday 9 am – 6 pm, Wednesday 9 am – 9:45 pm, Thursday 9 am – 6 pm, Friday 9 am – 9:45 pm, weekends 9 am – 6 pm
Musée d'Orsay
In the halcyon days of the early 19th century, the Impressionists painted moments of beauty that were forever frozen in time. Get swept away by the romantic beauty of Impressionism at this museum, one of the world’s greatest odes to modern art. Van Gogh's "Starry Night Over the Rhone" is part of the dazzling collection on display in this former train station.
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9:30 am – 6 pm, Thursdays until 9:45 pm
Palais Garnier Opera House
"Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive," quipped Molière. In this case, it's the lavish interior of the theater itself that cost a pretty penny. On a quiet day, you can almost hear Christine and Erik running through Garnier’s secret passageways – the theater was the legendary inspiration for “Phantom of the Opera.”
8 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris
Check website for details
Galeries Lafayette
With a bit of work and some basic sewing skills, a small shard of fabric can one day become a quilt. In 1893, two cousins expanded their small tailor shop into what is today Europe's largest department store. The fashion collections here span three buildings and over 750,000 square feet of retail space, enough to justify a guided tour or a personal shopper for a fashion splurge.
40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris
Open Monday to Wednesday 9:30 am – 8 pm, Thursday 9:30 am – 9 pm, Friday and Saturday 9:30 am – 8 pm.
Grand Palais
As any event manager knows, any exhibition is immediately enhanced by placing a 775,000-square-foot metal structure above it. This was the idea in turn-of-the-century Paris, when the Grand Palais was constructed for the Universal Exhibition in 1900, a kind of world fair for European capitals. Every year, 2 million visitors stroll through more than 40 huge events.
Avenue du Général Eisenhower 3, 75008 Paris
Open Monday 10 am – 8 pm, Wednesday to Sunday 10 am – 8 pm
Sacré-Cœur Basilica
Ascend Montmartre’s stairway to heaven. Built between 1875 and 1914 on the "Hill of Martyrs," this church survived two world wars without a scratch. Step inside to view the bright ceiling mosaic of Jesus Christ, or ascend the stairs to the dome. The hilltop views of Paris are popular with starry-eyed romantics and baguette-loving tourists alike.
35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre
Open every day 6 am – 10:30 pm
Champs-Élysées
Some hunt the wilds of Africa for the "Big 5," others use their credit card. If you’re game, buy jewelry fit for a king at Bvlgari, Cartier, Swarovski, Louis Pion and Tissot (or more moderately priced fashion) on this exclusive shopping street. Once the shopping buzz wears off, spoil your appetite with Ladurée’s delicious macaroons, with flavors that would make Marie-Antoinette blush.
Avenue des Champs Elysées
Open every day
Eiffel Tower
Some say tower, others say upside-down ice-cream cone: there’s no denying the fact that the Eiffel Tower is one of the world’s most iconic buildings. Built for the 1889 World Fair, this iron-framed structure was the world's tallest until the 1930s. Brave the lines to enjoy windswept views of Paris, or a (costly) meal at the Jules Verne Restaurant.
Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris
Open every day 9:30 am – 11 pm
Journey to the Temple of Love
To get to the Temple of Love, rent a pretty little rowboat and swish your way gracefully—or not so gracefully—across the waters of Lac Daumesnil. Dock your boat and explore the romantic Rococo-style structure and gorgeous, leaf-shrouded grotto beneath. Perfect for hazy summer afternoons, you’ll get bonus points from your partner for packing a deliciously Parisian picnic!
Cruise on the Seine
Gliding serenely along the Seine as Paris' shining lights sparkle on the water, it’s easy to understand why the city has a reputation for romance. Hold hands across a candlelit table as you sip a glass of wine and soak up the atmosphere between courses of delicious French cuisine. Even though there are so many sights to see, you’ll be forgiven if you only have eyes for each other.
Montmartre Quarter
Get lost together in the steep cobblestone streets of artsy Montmartre. Home to some of the city’s most famous free-thinkers and creatives, this quirky quarter has sweet brasseries and awe-inspiring views out over Paris. The best and easiest way to explore is to wind your way to the top, disappearing down side streets as you head back up to the Sacré Coeur.
Pont des Arts
Paris’ famous "Love Lock Bridge" is now lockless after 45 tons of true love left its structure almost buckling under the pressure. Visitors hoping to toss the keys to their heart into the Seine will be disappointed to discover that plexiglass panels have now been fitted to the railings. Linking the Institut de France and Palais du Louvre, but the bridge is still a beautiful stretch to stroll along on your trip.
Jardins du Trocadéro
In these lush green gardens, fountains burst high into the air as couples lounge lazily on the grass. With the Eiffel Tower on the opposite bank, it’s the perfect place to take some cute snapshots together. Head there after dark to share a romantic kiss as the tower’s lights twinkle magically in the background.
Lapérouse Restaurant
The historic Lapérouse restaurant has dark, candlelit corners and gorgeous private rooms for a romantic evening of indulgence. Its luxurious decor tells a tale of old Paris with silver candelabras, elaborately painted panels and sumptuous red-velvet seating. Literary greats loved the place, including Victor Hugo and Émile Zola, and now it's just as popular with today’s rich and famous.
Arc de Triomphe
Standing proud at the end of the Champs-Élysées, this instantly recognizable arch honors those who died in WWII. Every evening at 6:30 pm, a flame is relit to keep the memorial alive. Scale 40 steps to reach the top and you'll be rewarded with views over the City of Lights.
Champs-Elysees
Give your feet and your credit card a workout as you make your way down this 1-mile stretch of boulevard, boutiques and bistros. Bulgari, Swarovski and Cartier’s jewels dazzle both window-shoppers and serious shoppers. Head north to sip on a cafe au lait in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, or make your way south towards the historic and grand Place de la Concorde.
Sacre-Coeur & Montmartre District
Wind through the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, where Moulin Rouge and Amelie are brought to life. The real pièce de résistance of the area has to be the Sacre Coeur Basilica – with spires looming over this unique district and the rest of Paris beyond. The views from the dome make the 300-step climb more than worth it.
Jardin du Luxembourg
A little bit of Luxembourg in the heart of France. Parisians love to come and visit this patch of orchard-lined lawns. Kids set miniature sailboats out to float on the Grand Bassin pond, while wanderers meander past the Palais du Luxembourg. The gardens have seen historic figures come and go, starting life as a royal residence before transforming into a senate and library.
The City Island (L'ile de la Cité)
Home to a Paris icon, Notre-Dame Cathedral, this island-within-the-city sits quietly and serenely on the River Seine. Connected to the city by the Pont Neuf bridge, after you're done gargoyle-spotting, head to the Palais de la Justice and the old Concergerie, where Marie-Antoinette was held captive.
Notre Dame
Nooks and crannies galore, Paris’ most beloved cathedral sits in all its Gothic splendor on the Île de la Cité. The North Tower is adorned with intricate masonry which you can observe up close by heading up the tower, or just admire from the ground. The 13th-century organ found inside is so ginormous, it has to be one of the most famous in the world.
Latin Quarter
This bohemian quarter is thriving with the lively community of students from around La Sorbonne, which is right at the heart of this neighborhood. Cafes and bars line the cute corners and are nestled down side streets off the busy squares. Galleries, independent cinemas, and cultural hubs are all around this eclectic area.
The Louvre Museum & Area
Away from the adoring crowds that gather in front of the glass-encased and untouchable vision of the Mona Lisa, the Louvre is a rich treasure trove of artistic gems. Corridors run above and below ground for such a distance that it would take you over 100 years to spend just 30 seconds in front of every masterpiece here.
Montmartre District
In the exciting days of the late 19th century, Montmartre was the bohemian heart of Paris. Artists like Toulouse-Lautrec were drawn to and inspired by its liberal nightlife. Today, you can still catch a cancan at the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. Or if you're looking for more artsy vibes, watch the portrait artists on the cobblestone Place du Tertre and browse Saint-Pierre Market's fabric stalls.

Videos About Paris

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  • Paris locals, Virginie and Adrien, share their favourite places in Paris

  • Local tips for shopping in Paris

When to Go to Paris

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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

10
Exceptional
An Amazing City with so much history, culture, shopping. using public transport is easy and many tickets options are available including multi days tickets. Le louvre, Arc de triomphe, tour Eiffel, notre dame and Sacre coeur are a must visit spots.
Elias
United Arab Emirates
May 21, 2017
10
Exceptional
Being with my partner walking around the town and stumbling on beautiful views. The Eiffeltower is just too much of a symbol of love that you have to visit it! You choose the amoubt you want to spend (not like tourist built cities) Eat a falafel at le marais when shopping! YUMMIE
Sweden
May 21, 2017
10
Exceptional
My family fell in love with Paris! So many places to visit & see. My kids had a great time. There was never a boring day. We are looking forward to going back again.
Liezel
Philippines
May 21, 2017
8
Very Good
Parking is very expensive, especially for travellers from South Africa 🇿🇦 like us. Maybe a special rate for visitors to encourage travellers to come to Paris?
Christo
South Africa
May 21, 2017
8
Very Good
Takes more than 3 days to get the whole of Paris in. Metro very easy to use. Beautiful city. Hop on buses were great value. I recommend going to the grevin. As a group of friends we had a great time. Food was lovely.
Bridgeen
Ireland
May 21, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Paris

Saint James Albany Paris Hotel Spa

8 Very Good

Score from 2,768 reviews

$211

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    261 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    202 related reviews
  • “great pool area”
    54 related reviews
Hotel Excelsior Latin

8.3 Very Good

Score from 1,856 reviews

$157

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    260 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    140 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    131 related reviews
Hotel Choiseul Opera

8.4 Very Good

Score from 3,232 reviews

$100

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    348 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    151 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    145 related reviews
Mercure Paris Gare De Lyon TGV

7.9 Good

Score from 2,834 reviews

$124

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    232 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    102 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    40 related reviews
Hôtel Bedford

8.5 Very Good

Score from 1,588 reviews

$157

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    192 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    186 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    86 related reviews
Novotel Paris Gare De Lyon

8.5 Very Good

Score from 3,645 reviews

$152

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    318 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    193 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    112 related reviews
Mercure Paris Terminus Nord

7.4 Good

Score from 5,907 reviews

$89

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    1016 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    358 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    230 related reviews
Novotel Paris Les Halles

8.4 Very Good

Score from 2,449 reviews

$206

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    272 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    236 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    80 related reviews
Hôtel Eiffel Turenne

8.8 Excellent

Score from 2,112 reviews

$124

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    322 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    272 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    113 related reviews
Discover Paris

Popular Neighborhoods in Paris

Paris City Center

2207 properties

Les Halles is at the heart of Paris – once a market, it's still bustling today, but as a transportation hub. Bookshops and boutiques line the streets of the Latin Quarter, an area steeped in academic tradition. Visit the Pantheon, a spectacular building modeled after the Roman original. Check out Rue de Rivoli for brand-name shops and the BHV department store.

8th arr.

335 properties

Paris’ famous shopping strip attracts both locals and tourists to its mix of high-end and brand-name stores. Head to Parc Monceau to see the famous rotunda, or relax on the banks of the Seine. The area is also home to government buildings including the President's home, Le Palais de l’Elysée, and the Ministère de l’Intérieur.

3rd arr.

306 properties

Le Marais is known as a melting pot of diverse cultural groups. Lined with bookstores and boutiques, the area also includes a triple-threat of museums including Musée Picasso, Musée des Arts et Métiers, and Musée Carnavalet. The Georges Pompidou Centre, a modern art museum, is a short walk away down Rue des Francs Bourgeois.

2nd arr.

291 properties

Paris’s 2nd arrondissement is an eclectic mix of cuisine and commerce. Shop underneath the covered walkways of Passages Couverts and visit Galerie Vivienne to see the magnificent glass roof and floor. Later in the day, the area becomes eerily quiet when the 9-to-5 workers clear out. Rue Sainte-Anne has many Japanese restaurants to explore.

9th arr.

291 properties

The 9th arrondissement is the city's music hub, with countless theaters, music halls and museums, especially those around Faubourg-Montmartre. This area is home to the Folies Bergère, an enduringly popular entertainment spot since the Roaring Twenties. For shopping, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps are huge department stores.

6th arr.

285 properties

Paris's 6th arrondissement is bordered by the Seine to the north, and Boulevard Montparnasse to the south. Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore served spirits to Hemingway and Sartre, and today they welcome celebrities and tourists. The Luxembourg Gardens are filled with sunbathers in summer, and Paris’s Jazz scene thrives in the basement clubs.

4th arr.

281 properties

The 4th arrondissement is brimming with galleries, covered walkways and museums. For a dose of culture, head to the Carnavalet Museum, the Picasso Museum or the Métiers Art Museum, which is set in the priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs. Relax in Square du Temple or enjoy Les Enfants Rouges, a local ethnic market.

15th arr.

267 properties

In the 20th century, many artists had their studios in La Ruche (The Hive), an area that quickly became the artistic heart of Paris. In the densely populated 15th arrondissement, find the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre, the Aquaboulevard aquatic park, and the artificial island of Île aux Cygnes, which contains a replica of the Statue of Liberty.

18th arr.

262 properties

Wind your way uphill through the charming cobblestone streets of Montmartre to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, which has great views over Paris. At the bottom of the hill, Pigalle is a “strip” in every sense of the word – a small boulevard dedicated to the oldest profession. The area has slowly evolved into a club and bar mecca for young Parisians.

16th arr.

255 properties

The artistic legacies of Rossini, Verdi and Balzac live on in the elegant houses, embassies and consulates that occupy the 16th arrondissement. The Balzac Museum in the picturesque hills of Passy was once the home of the legendary artist. Longchamp Racecourse and Roland Garros Tennis Stadium attract the elite of Paris and beyond.

5th arr.

234 properties

The culturally vibrant Latin Quarter envelops the 5th and 6th arrondissements on the left bank. There's an abundance of bistros and jazz bars scattered around the Saint-Michel Fountain. The Pantheon is a monument devoted to French national heroes. The area is typically filled with students from the Sorbonne, Paris' oldest university.

17th arr.

233 properties

The 17th arrondissement is divided into four distinct areas. Épinettes is mainly residential. Parc Monceau is a large park surrounded by townhouses, and Ternes and Wagram Streets in the Quartier des Ternes are lively shopping areas. For a taste of true Parisian culture, visit Batignolles Market from Tuesday through Sunday.

11th arr.

231 properties

Bastille is packed with cafés, restaurants, nightclubs, and the famous roundabout. Take the metro to République, a 300-yard-long square that contains the famous Statue de la République and doubles as a popular hangout for rollerbladers. Take Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire to the Cirque d'Hiver theater, an important events venue.

1st arr.

227 properties

Many visitors head straight for the Louvre, but it's worth exploring the other landmarks, museums, shops, restaurants and bars that make up this small district on the right bank of the Seine River. The area also includes the western part of the Île de la Cité. Don’t miss the Orangerie Museum, Sainte Chapelle, or the Palais Royal Gardens.

10th arr.

215 properties

Paris’ ethnically diverse 10th arrondissement is a densely populated center of trade and commerce. Château Rouge is an area filled with stores selling African goods and Gare du Nord is its Indian counterpart. There are plenty of budget bars and restaurants and the banks of Canal Saint Martin are popular picnic spots in the summer.

7th arr.

197 properties

The 7th arrondissement is elegant, traditional, and made of money. Hôtel des Invalides is a museum complex dedicated to French military history. Walk down Rue Saint Dominique to Paris's iconic tower – buy a ticket and up you go! Along the streets, you'll find typically French bakeries and brasseries with street-side seating.

14th arr.

155 properties

In 1944, Paris was liberated from the Nazis through the Porte d'Orléans, one of the many gates to the city. The bustling neighborhood shops and lively cafes around Rue Daguerre still seem to be celebrating freedom. For the strong-hearted, visit the Catacombs or the many graves of de Beauvoir and Sartre in nearby Montparnasse Cemetery.

12th arr.

116 properties

Gare de Lyon is one of Europe’s oldest stations. Inside you’ll find Le Train Bleu – the ornate décor and waiters in tuxedos will transport you back 100 years. Head East to Bercy, an area with foundations in the wine trade. The former warehouses of Cour Saint-Émilion are now a shopping complex with modern bars, restaurants, and a cinema.

13th arr.

88 properties

From Avenue d’Ivry’s local stores, head to the primarily residential Butte-aux-Cailles. The quaint winding streets reveal plenty of local gems, like patisseries and small restaurants. Les Docks - Cité de la Mode et du Design is the new fashion museum, which has a rooftop terrace with picturesque views over the Seine.

19th arr.

64 properties

The popular Buttes Chaumont Park is at the center of this district, with 62 acres of hilly parkland, a lake, and a waterfall. Although mostly residential, these streets come to life at night. If you have concert tickets, head to the popular CentQuatre arts center and Zenith, or the trendy bars along La Villette Canal.

20th arr.

56 properties

Historically, Belleville and Ménilmontant were working-class neighborhoods that evolved into ethnically diverse areas, popular with artists and musicians. There’s a medley of restaurants and bars to enjoy, as well as Parc de Belleville. Père Lachaise Cemetery is the resting place of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Marcel Proust.

Local Tips for Paris

Les Passages Couverts de Paris (Covered Passages)
Marie-Luz by Marie-Luz

Marie-Luz has lived in Paris for 8 years and loves to hang out on the Right Bank.

The 19th-century walkways of the 2nd district are perfect for exploration. These passages provide a glimpse of the luxury and bourgeois living in "old Paris." Shop here for nostalgic wares or visit the Grevin Museum on Passage Jouffroy.

  • 4 Rue des Petits-Champs, 5 Rue de la Banque, 6 Rue Vivienne, 145 Rue Saint-Denis, 8 Rue Dussoubs, 75002 Paris
  • Open every day
Ile-Saint-Louis
Helen by Helen

Helen has lived in five parts of Paris and loves discovering new and off-beat areas.

Take a romantic walk on the banks of the Ile-Saint-Louis. You’ll spot lovers being serenaded by youthful musicians. From here, you’ll have views of Notre Dame, the spectacular Parisian sunset, and possibly smiling tourists waving from the Seine Cruise Tour boat.

  • Place Louis Aragon, Quai de Bourbon, 75004 Paris
  • Open every day
Le Comptoir Général
Valentina by Valentina

It was always Valentina’s dream to live in Paris – it came true 3 years ago.

Le Comptoir Général is a cultural haven where you’ll find a bar, a small restaurant that offers African and Asian specialties and a garden with tropical plants. You’ll also find a vintage shop and many exhibitions throughout the year.

Le Marché des Enfants Rouges
Anne by Anne

Anne has lived in Paris for her entire life and loves exploring the "City of Light."

Le Marché des Enfants Rouges is a food market to suit any taste. There are many different stands, including Lebanese and Italian. I personally fell in love with the colors and vibrancy of this unique environment.

  • 39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
  • www.mairie3.paris.fr
  • Open Tuesday to Thursday 8:30 am – 3 pm and 4 pm – 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 8:30 am – 1 pm and 4 pm – 8 pm, Sunday 8:30 am – 2 pm
Salsa dancing
Zoraida by Zoraida

Zoraida planned to move to Paris for only 7 months – but has stayed for three years!

Every summer, the banks of the Seine between the Arab World Institute and Ile Saint Louis are filled with the sounds of Latino music and salsa dancing. Non-dancers can just sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the show.

  • Quai Saint-Bernard, 75005 Paris
  • Open Monday to Thursday 7 pm – 11:30 pm, Friday to Sunday 5 pm – 11:30 pm; changes seasonally
Tea in the Mosque
Silvia by Silvia

After 2 years, Silvia is still surprised by Paris and loves discovering its hidden treasures.

After a stroll in Jardin des Plantes, relax in The Mosque in Paris. In addition to being a place of worship, it’s a beautiful architectural site and includes a hammam, restaurant and tearoom. Enjoy hot tea with some North African pastries.

Promenade Plantée
Marilyn by Marilyn

Marilyn always carries a pocket map to navigate Paris – much more reliable than a smartphone!

From Place de la Bastille to the Paris ring, an old railway line has been transformed into an elevated linear park that offers 4.7 kilometers (3 miles) of pristine green space. Go for a walk here and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Canal Saint-Martin
Ellen by Ellen

Ellen’s life in Paris began 5 years ago, living on a houseboat next to the Eiffel Tower.

The banks of Canal Saint-Martin are the perfect place to spend a hot summer night in Paris. Enjoy a picnic with your friends down by the water, or grab a pint of takeaway beer from one of adjacent bars.

  • Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris
  • Open every day
Christmas markets
Guillaume by Guillaume

Guillaume loves Parisian architecture and discovering the city’s many hidden treasures.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year in Paris! Every district has its own market, some of which have ice-skating rinks. There are themed decorations in the windows of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps that are worth the visit alone.

  • 22 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
Picnic at the Buttes Chaumont
Marie-Anne by Marie-Anne

Marie-Anne loves Paris's contradictions and always feels at home in this intense and passionate city.

For a truly Parisian picnic, blend in with the locals in Paris’s Northeast. Pick up some baguettes and cheese at Rue de Belleville’s boulangeries and fromageries, then find a tranquil spot in Buttes Chaumont. Don’t forget your bottle opener!

  • Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 75019 Paris
  • Open every day 7 am – 10 pm; changes seasonally. Check website for details.

The Louvre is way too large for one visit. At the Louvre I choose only the period I am interested in, like Middle Ages, and only spend about 3 hrs at a time - afterwards I do something else. I recommend the Musee D'Orsay if you love impressionisms and fine sculptures and the Musee de LÓrangerie is a most if you like Monet. The museum of the Middle Ages (Cluny) is a most if you are interested in that period. Make time to just walk around, it is a beautiful city. Shopping is too expensive, but I found some lovely items while walking around while nothing affordable at the main shopping malls and streets.

We walked everywhere, only using the metro to get to and from our hotel with luggage. Just wander and let yourself literally get lost, particularly in the little streets of Montmartre, the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain. You could have a small map on you just in case but you'll hardly need it, as there are so many landmarks to help you work out where you are and which direction to go in. Mornings are the quietest time in my experience to just walk around.

Fodor's travel guide for France said to get to Versailles by 9am to avoid crowds. I think most people have heard that advice and there was a huge line at 9:15! I recommend going a bit later to avoid that first crush. Go to the Louvre on Wednesday or Friday mid afternoon. The Louvre is open until 9:30pm those two days. The crowds significantly diminish by 5pm.

We took my granddaughter to Paris for her first time. We took her mainly to the normal tourist attractions and felt it was a good experience for her. In the future we will take her to more mountain areas, but this time we just wanted her to experience Paris. Her favorite area was Montmartre due to all of the small shops. She also loved the parks.

There is more culture and history in Paris than we could see in our stay, unfortunately. The city is like a living museum with its architecture and monuments and museums. The places like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe that you see in pictures your whole life are even more magnificent in person.

Paris has something quite unique: big and specialized stores. So if you want comics, there are huge stores for it. Same for kitchen equipment, ocean-themed stuff, and so on. Usually you have stores that are more generic, but in Paris you will find everything there is about a given topic.

Probably do the day bus trip if first trip, buy tickets to museums and art galleries in advance to avoid LONG queues. Watch the traffic at the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur and Montmartre and of course the Eiffel tower, a trip on the Seine in the Bateaux Mouches

Other than the champs élysées for the big branded shops like Louis Vuitton, most streets feature vintage shops which are excellently priced, I picked up a shirt for €1! Also check out kilo shops which price clothes and accessories based on weight which is great.

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Paris for food?

The food in Paris is diverse but there's nowhere else you can get a simple and delicious Steak Frites with a glass of wine and watch people go by. The French have superior culinary offerings; fresh delicious food, well prepared and good value.

Transportation

Paris Transportation

Air – Roissy Charles de Gaulle

The RER B suburban city train connects Charles de Gaulle to Gare du Nord, and beyond – it runs every 10 minutes from 5 am to 11:30 pm, costs around EUR 9.50 and the ride to central Paris takes about 50 minutes. You can also catch the Roissybus shuttle to Opéra – it operates every 15-30 minutes between 5:45 am and 11 pm, takes 45 to 60 minutes and costs EUR 10.50. Taxis are readily available, cost around EUR 50-70 and take 35-60 minutes depending on traffic.

Air – Orly

There are a few transportation options from Orly to the center of Paris. Catch the Orlybus outside terminal entrances G or D, which takes 20 minutes and costs approximately EUR 7.50. For the train, catch the ORLYVAL shuttle train to Antony RER Station (around 8 minutes) then line B towards Mitry-Claye (approx. EUR 10.90 for the full trip). Taxis are readily available at Orly Airport – taxi stands are outside exits L and M and cost around EUR 40–55 to the center.

Train

Paris’s train system is well organized and connects the entire city. There is no "central station" as such, but Gare du Nord to the north of Paris has many connections to the airports, RER lines (a high-speed suburban rail), Metro lines 4 and 5, and Eurostar and Thalys trains to international cities. Gare Montparnasse in the south of Paris and Gare de Lyon in the east have high-speed national train services to west, south and east of France.

Metro

The Paris Metro is the fastest and most reliable way to move around – once you get the hang of it. Services run from 5:30 am – 1:30 am Sunday to Thursday (until 2:15 am on Fridays, Saturdays and the day before public holidays). One-way tickets cost approximately EUR 1.70, ask for a "carnet" of 10 for 13.70, or pay EUR 6.80 for a one-day ticket, which includes unlimited travel in central Paris (zones 1 and 2). Tickets are available at multilingual machines in the station. Watch out for pickpockets!

Bus

Although there are many bus routes, traffic jams often make journeys slow. Where possible, stick to the Metro. If you do travel by bus, there are 64 routes that run between 5:45 am and 12:30 am weekdays and from 7 am – 8:30 pm Sundays. The 73 route goes up the Champs-Elysées and past the Arc de Triomphe, and the 69 goes past the Eiffel Tower. Tickets are available on board and cost around EUR 2 for a single journey, but it’s best to buy a "carnet" of 10 at the nearest Metro station.

Taxi

Taxis are readily available in central Paris – just hail one on the street or stop at one of the many taxi stands, usually located near the Metro stations. Taxis are reasonably priced by European standards and a ten-minute ride in moderate city traffic will cost around EUR 15. There's usually a minimum charge of EUR 6.40. Some drivers may sometimes ask where you’re traveling to before you get in, even though it's technically forbidden.

Car

Driving in Paris is not for the faint of heart. Traffic congestion is a continuous problem, especially between 8 – 11 am and 5 – 8 pm. Finding on-street parking (free after 7 pm) is difficult and you must have a "carte de stationnement" for pay-and-display machines (available at tabacs for EUR 15 or EUR 40). Road conditions are good and the highways easily connect you to other French and international cities.

Bike

One of the most pleasant ways to see the City of Lights is with pedal power. Pick up a bike from one of hundreds of "Velib"-branded stations throughout the city – most are within 300 yards of each other in the most populated parts of the city. You don’t need to subscribe – just bring a credit card, buy a ticket from the meter and you’re ready to go. Journeys of less than 30 minutes are free; anything longer then tickets cost around EUR 1.70 per day, and EUR 8.00 for seven days.

Food in Paris

Top Restaurants in Paris

Upscale Dining
French
Benoît

A true Parisian institution with its century-old large mirrors, windows and columns, Benoît is the only bistro in Paris to have been given a Michelin star. Now owned by Alain Ducasse, it's become known globally and there is even a replica in Tokyo! The lunch and dinner menus vary but most often you can find a chesnut soup and Burgandy snails. The crowd is generally older and one that likes their tradictional French cuisine.

Cheap Eats
French
Dame tartine

Located right next to Georges Pompidou centre, this place offers salted or sweet crêpes and “tartines”: toasted slides of bread with a choice of topping. The service is quiet fast if it is a good value for the money. Suitable at lunchtime between friends, family members or if you need to ask your boss for a salary raise.

Cheap Eats
Spanish
Les Piètons

A little bit of Spain in Paris! Located right next to Saint-Jacques Park and Les Halles Shopping centre, this tapas restaurant offers planchas and Spanish brunches. It is populated with locals who miss Spain and tourists but remains indeniably one of the best places to eat croquetas, empanadas or planchas in Paris!

Upscale Dining
French
Chez Julien

Looking for velvet cushions, floor-to-ceiling mirrors and a beautiful view of the Seine River?Come here to enjoy the Belle Epoque atmosphere and outstanding French cuisine. The dishes change according to the seasons, however some of the specialities are Scallops with roasted wild prawns and sea bass grilled with sea salt. you can definetly go there for a romantic dinner or with a group of gourmet friends after a stroll along the Seine. When the weather is fine you can also dine on the terrace!

  • 1 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris
  • Open Sunday–Wednesday 12:00–15:00 and 19:30–23:00, Thursday–Saturday 12:00–15:00 and 19:30–23:30
  • www.julienparis.com
  • 00331 47 70 12 06
Cheap Eats
French
Le Zimmer

A very elegant, bistro-style restaurant where you can sample a simple sandwich or a fancier meal such as the sesame Espadon with olive oil purée. It welcomed a lot of different artists: Sarah Bernhardt, Jules Vernes or Emile Zola. Full of work colleagues at lunchtime and couples at dinner, Café Zimmer is the right place guaranteed in a district full of tourist traps.

Cheap Eats
American
The Lizard Lounge

Offering classic American dishes such as burgers, toasted sandwiches and hearty salads, the large front glass windows invite you in to the relaxed atmosphere. Don't miss the chance to try their creative cocktails! The Mexican burger with its salsa and sour cream toppings offers something different to try as well as the Cobb Salad with chicken, bacon, avocado and egg. The bar generates a young crowd mainly, especially during happy hour.

Cheap Eats
American
La Mosaïque - Pat's Hot Dog

Possibly the only hot dog stand in Paris! They have 4 typesof hot dogs, l’Alsacien (with sauerkraut), Tex Mex, chicken and classic. Cheap,simple and quick for hungry shoppers in the Marais area.

  • 56 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris
  • Open every day 12:00–00:00
Mid-Range Fare
French
Le Pas-Sage Obligé

Unusually vegetarian friendly, you will find a modern décor with art from all corners of the world. The artisanal onion rings served with a fresh salsa is a great appetizer and the tagine vegetables are served in its traditional pot. Ideal for families, couples and groups of friends.

  • 29 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 75004 Paris
  • Open Monday–Friday 09:00–17:00 and 19:00–22:00, Saturday–Sunday 12:00–14:30 and 19:00–22:00
  • 00331 40 41 95 03
Upscale Dining
French
Claude Colliot

With a Certificate of Excellence, Claude Colliot's menu consists of high quality fresh products created to seduce your tastebuds. The modern yet cosy restaurants allows a calming atmosphere. Examples the dishes include chocolate ice cream with black olives and a veal tartare. Despite the location, the crowd isn't touristy.

Mid-Range Fare
Italian
L'Alimentari

Decorated as an "alimentari", the traditional Italian grocery's stores, this cosy restaurant proposes Italian specialties, especially from Sardinia. Start with a "fantasia di antipasti", a mix of different saussages and ham accompanied by grilled vegetables, mozzarella and Pachino cherry tomatoes. Eventualy ask for spaghetti with seafood. Perfect for couples or friends.

  • Rue des Ecouffes, 75004 Paris
  • Open Monday–Saturday 11:00–14:30 and 18:00–23:30
  • 00331 42 77 24 59
Mid-Range Fare
American
Schwartz's

An American-style diner with a menu packed full of meaty dishes including 14 different types of burger! Indulge yourself with a New York cheesecake, milkshake or come for brunch at the weekend. Hearty portions. Checkered table covers, kitsch decor with memorabilia of the Simpsons TV cartoon. Boisterous atmosphere. Couples, groups of friends.

Cheap Eats
Middle Eastern
L'As du Fallafel

Nestled away in a cobblestoned alley, this little place is known to have the best falafel in Paris. Crispy chickpea fritters in pita bread with fried eggplant, red cabbage and pickled cucumbers. Most opt for a take-away falafel and enjoy it as they stroll through the Marais. Good to know – you pay inside and then join the queue outside to get your order.

  • 34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris
  • Open Sunday–Thursday 11:00–00:00, Friday 11:00–16:00
  • 00331 48 87 63 60
Upscale Dining
French
La Tour d'Argent

Opened in 1582, this gourmet-style restaurant offers a panoramic view of the river Seine, Notre-Dame Cathedral and the typical Parisian roofs. It is internationally known for its duck dishes and some people say it inspired the animated movie, Ratatouille.

Upscale Dining
French
Sola

Located just a 3-minute walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral, Sola is housed in a 17th-century building with stone walls and exposed beams. It offers 2 rooms with 2 different atmospheres and serves minimalistic dishes inspired by French and Japanese cuisine. If you want to celebrate a romantic occasion, bring your lover to Sola and take your shoes off to enjoy a colourful and tasty combination of fresh products served by an excellent staff.

Mid-Range Fare
French
Ribouldingue

Offering offal specialities, this unique menu offers adventurous dishes for those daring restaurant goers as well as the more convential French cuisine for the faint hearted. Pigs nipples and pork ear terrine are just an example of the amuse bouches. Due to the nature of the menu, this restaurant is more advised for adults.

Mid-Range Fare
French
La Perle

Set on a corner in the northern parts of the Marais area,this little bistro is wildly popular with hip young Parisians. It is almostalways crowded and proposes a range of classic cocktails, wine, beer andsimple, French dishes. Simple, warm décor.

Mid-Range Fare
American
Breakfast in America

Eggs, bacon, pancakes and bagels - this American-style diner serves breakfast throughout the day! Burgers, wraps, chili cheese fries and bottomless cups of Joe are also on the menu. Extremely popular for brunch during the week-end, so try to go on a week day to avoid standing in line.

Upscale Dining
French
Le Kong

This design restaurant, imagined by designers Laurent Taïeb and Philippe Starck, offers a panoramic view of the city of lights and the river Seine.Very fashionable and trendy, you must go there to sample an Asian-style dish mixed with French tastes! And who knows... you might meet a movie star on the terrace or at the bar!

Mid-Range Fare
Middle Eastern
Loubnane
Cheap Eats
French
La Penderie

Located in the heart of the city of light, this trendy restaurant, decorated in a bistrot-style changes its menu every day. You need to try the babybel croquettes or the salmon tartar. Full of not morning-persons, it is also very well-known for its brunches.

Upscale Dining
French
Chez Denise - La Tour de Montlhéry

At Chez Denise - La Tour de Montlhéry, you will be able to sample very typical french dishes: snails, boeuf bourguignon, etc. This restaurant with tables for 2 and 4 is perfect if you want to seduce somebody or laugh with your friends and … it is open until 05:00!

  • 5 Rue des Prouvaires, 75001 Paris
  • Open Monday–Friday 12:00–15:00 and 19:30–5:00
  • 00331 42 36 21 82
Upscale Dining
French
Ze Kitchen Galerie

A gastronomic restaurant, an atelier and an art gallery all underone roof! The décor is modern and minimalistic and the contemporary cuisine isstrongly influenced by the chef’s many trips to Asia. Inventive fusion dishes and an open kitchen, so you can watch the chefs as they work. Good for couples.

Mid-Range Fare
French
Les Nautes

Set along the Seine banks, this loft-style restaurant has wooden tables and serves traditional French dishes. On sunny days, you can enjoy the south-facing terrace with views of the river and share a pizza with your friends, also to go. Mostly tourists and young Parisians go there to enjoy the river. Specialities: Pollock tartare with mango and coriander and Pear tart served with hazelnut icecream.

  • 1 Quai des Célestins, 75004 Paris
  • Open Tuesday–Saturday 19:00–23:00, Sunday 12:00–16:00
  • 00331 42 74 59 53
Cheap Eats
French
Breizh Café

Located in the Marais area, this is the place to go to eat one of the best crepes you can find in Paris and drink delicious sider. You can start with a galette classic with artichaut and then move to the crêpe with butter and brown sugar for a sweet finishing touch. Oysters from Cancale can also be enjoyed on site. The owner exported the concept in Tokyo where he opened another creperie.

Mid-Range Fare
French
Le Pied de Cochon

Traditional restaurant in the heart of the 1st arrondissement, which never closes its doors. Full of young people eating after a night out. Its specialities: pork dishes and homemade onion soup.

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