Ah, the city of love! This is the perfect place to travel no matter the time of year because it’s always so magical. Whether you visit the city for a weekend or you spend 4 days in Paris, you’re sure to absolutely love it. This Paris travel guide will introduce you to all of the ins and outs of Paris, plus the best places to stay, things to do, and places to eat!
How To Get to Paris
There are lots of ways to get to Paris. The most popular way is to fly into Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG). The airport is about 30 to 40 minutes away from the Paris city center so it does take a little bit of time to get into the city. However, you can easily take the Metro, a bus, or a taxi to get into the city in no time.
You could also drive into Paris if you’re exploring France or the surrounding area already! This is great because it means that you can have a lot more freedom while traveling to stop off at other places that might interest you along the way.
Many people will also opt to take the bus because there are so many different great bus companies in central Europe. I often took Flixbus which wasn’t always the most reliable, but it was always the cheapest mode of transportation.
Another popular way to get into Paris is to take the train. This is how I opted to get to Paris and I found it super easy and affordable. It also brought me right into Paris’s city center, so I could just hop on the Metro to get to my hotel within a few minutes! This is the way to go if you’re already in central Europe.
How to Get Around Paris
Paris is an absolutely huge city, so you’re going to have to make use of public transportation or some other mode of transportation!
The most popular way to get around the city is to utilize the Metro. This is essentially an underground subway that can get you around the city pretty quickly. It’s also fairly reliable and affordable. I found myself using it all the time and I recommend purchasing a Paris Visite Pass to save money!
Buses are also an option to get around the city. I used them sometimes because there are some places that the Metro doesn’t go. They can be a bit slower but they’re still reliable!
Lastly, you could also take the taxi to get around. This will be a bit more expensive but is still an easy way to get around the city.
Must-See Sights in Paris
Paris is filled with so many great sights. Not only are there so many, but a lot of them are also some of the most Instagrammable places in Paris.
Below are some of the top hits, which I managed to visit with only 2 days in Paris!
If you have more than a few days in Paris, consider taking a day trip. This post on the best things to do in Lyon will help you out with that!
Want to visit Paris from your home? Here are 13 virtual tours you can take now!
Palace & Gardens of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles must absolutely not be missed. It’s shortly outside of the city but is still well worth it. From the city center, you’ll have to make use of the regional train to get here.
I recommend going to Versailles right when it opens because it gets incredibly busy. Trust me, it’s not as fun when there are more people here! Also, purchase your ticket well in advance to ensure admittance.
Though you have to pay to go inside the palace, the gardens are free to explore. I can’t recommend enough that you check out the gardens and at least walk around some of them! One of the easiest ways to get around the gardens is to either rent a bike (this is cheap, I did it myself) or rent one of their golf carts!
Even though the palace is so busy, there are little places where you won’t see anybody, which makes the experience even better!
This is the place to go for luxury shopping. I, of course, couldn’t really afford anything here, but I just wanted to come and check out all the shops and the area. It’s extremely classy and the architecture is exactly what you’d expect to see in Paris.
I visited right around sunset and the sky looked just like cotton candy!
Palais Garnier is where the opera in Paris is held! It’s absolutely beautiful on the outside though, so even if you don’t plan on seeing the opera, I recommend checking out the exterior. It’s absolutely gorgeous!
Of course, you can also pay to get tickets to see the opera, which is one of the most romantic things to do in Paris. Try to purchase tickets ahead of time because they’re known for selling out quick.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most popular places to visit in the whole city and is one of the most well-known monuments. What many people might not know is that you can also climb to the top of it to get an amazing view of the city. Plus, this view offers one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower that you won’t want to miss.
Moulin Rouge is located in Paris’s Red Light district and is home to the city’s cabaret. You have to purchase tickets well in advance, though, and there’s a strict dress code to be let inside.
Even if you don’t want to pay to go to a show, it’s worth it to check out the exterior. It’s bright red and really stands out against the rest of the surrounding buildings, especially with the windmill.
The Eiffel Tower is truly the most iconic symbol of the whole city. It stands out against the Paris skyline and is truly romantic. If you’re a fan of heights and great sights, be sure to pay to go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I truly regret not doing it during my short weekend in Paris! It’s said to be one of the best view points in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower also lights up every evening for the light show. This happens every hour once the sun goes down. It shimmers and looks absolutely beautiful! It truly is a romantic sight. Be sure to see it from the bridges along the Seine as well!
The Palais Royal is one of the most picturesque spots in Paris. It’s filled with striped columns that are famously seen across Instagram photos! Keep in mind that there are usually a lot of people here, so it can be hard to get people not in your shot.
You also have to climb on top of the pillars and some of them are pretty high! Be safe and don’t forget your camera.
Visit earlier in the morning to avoid the crowds!
The Louvre is one of the world’s most popular and well-known art museums. It’s home to the Mona Lisa, which is reason enough to purchase tickets to go inside the Louvre.
It’s also in an extremely picturesque square, but keep in mind that the area can get extremely busy. Don’t let the size of the structure fool you either; it’s a lot bigger than it looks.
You’re missing out if you don’t go up to see this basilica! It was honestly the highlight of my entire trip because it’s one of Europe’s best views in my humble opinion. You do have to go up a hill to get there. I opted to take steps, but there’s a funicular that can bring you up within a few short minutes.
From here, you can look all the way out to the city and even see the Eiffel Tower. The area can get quite busy, but no matter how many people there are, the view is still just as great.
Luxembourg Palace & Gardens
The Luxembourg Gardens are one of the best spots to relax in Paris. They’re immense and absolutely beautiful. Plus, there’s lots of great benches and areas to stay to yourself and escape from the city life for a little while.
Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame Cathedral is yet another great spot in Paris that can’t be missed. Though it unfortunately burned in spring 2019, I was lucky enough to have just visited a few weeks before. It’s still worth seeing it from the outside because of how iconic it is.
The inside is even more spectacular. The stained glass windows are the true highlight and can be seen almost anywhere you look.
Where to Stay in Paris
Where to Eat in Paris
Laduree is said to be the best place to get macarons in the whole city. It’s extremely iconic and there are multiple locations across Paris and even in some other European cities, like Dublin. I think that their macarons are very tasty but they can be a bit pricey!
Maison Georges Larnicol
This is the place that I fell in love with in Paris that serves macarons that are just as good as Laduree’s but are even more affordable! They have so many flavors and you can purchase them in different varieties. I can’t recommend enough the caramel one!
While in Paris, I knew that I had to try out at least one great Parisian restaurant, so I opted to eat at La Relais Odeon. They serve up many great French dishes. I had croque monsieur with a glass of local champagne while my friend had duck with a local wine!