The Ultimate Travel Guide to Paris
Paris, the name itself sounds so dreamy! I used to think Paris as a forever cliched destination. Over the years I’ve been watching a lot of people around me going to Paris for their summer vacations. I’d see pictures of the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre Museum and the prestigious paintings it houses, Arc de Triomphe, and what not; and I’d think why are people so crazy about this particular city. Why not explore some other destination? A city unheard of, somewhere tourists don’t usually go.
When Anshul was pursuing his MBA, he had a 1-week course in Copenhagen. So we planned a road trip through France after we were done with Copenhagen.
We started planning almost 6 months before our big trip. It was our first time in Europe! So we planned and planned. The thing about me and Anshul is that we don’t like to do touristy stuff. We enjoy offbeat traveling more, so we thought let’s just keep only 2 days for Paris. There were times when we thought off leaving Paris out for other things. God! Aren’t we glad that we did not?!
Paris is the dreamiest city I’ve ever been to. It’s wonderful monuments, exceptional cuisine, sunsets, beautiful gardens, and charming little alleys make it one of the most romantic cities in the world. And rightly so! There are tonnes of things you can do in Paris: touristy or offbeat, and I can bet a million dollars that you’re going to fall in love with the city just as I did!
In this guide today, I’m going to list down all the must-do things in Paris, where to eat, recommended hotels and transport in Paris. This guide is a one-stop-shop to planning a trip to Paris end-to-end.
Best Time to Visit Paris
While the entire European continent blooms during the summers, Paris adorns different looks at different seasons. It totally depends on your mood and the kind of trip you’re looking for. I went to Paris during spring (March – June) and it was amazing. The summers (June – August) are definitely the best time to visit but you’ll also see a lot of tourists pouring in from all over the world at all the major attractions. Winters are a bit gloomy because it snows in Paris but it adds a whole new dimension to the city.
How to Reach Paris
Paris, being a popular tourist destination, is well connected to almost all the major cities of the world. Air France flies in-and-out really frequently and has connections worldwide.
Trains and buses are a really popular way to travel intercity in Europe and, thus, is a good option as well.
Getting around in Paris
Local transportation is really easy and inexpensive in Paris given its touristy stature. The subway and local buses are well connected to all the twenty arrondissements. You can also book an Uber or grab a taxi, however, they are a bit pricey. Walking is the best way to explore the city though as you get to roam around the streets and get involved in the Parisian culture.
Pro Tip: Do not rent a car in Paris as the traffic is terrible. The driving sense is extremely horrible during the busy hours, and the parking is notoriously expensive. If you’re on a budget trip, local transportation is the best way to roam around in Paris.
Accommodation in Paris
This was truly one of my favorite things when I started researching for my trip to Paris. The city offers so many amazing stay options that you want to stay in all of them. There are twenty arrondissements in Paris and each arrondissement is a whole new experience from another. Given the traveler that I am, I wanted to experience all of them but was short on time. So, I decided to stay in the lovely boutique hotel La Maison Favart.
La Maison Favart was everything I was looking for. It had the perfect Parisian 18th-century charm, the location was perfect and the hotel staff was just so wonderful in accommodating us. They made sure that everything during our stay was perfect. Here’s a complete review about my stay in the La Maison Favart
Things to Do in Paris
Let’s dive into the main part of the guide: things to do in Paris. Paris offers endless options for things to do for every kind of traveler. If you’re a first time visitor, I’d highly recommend doing the touristy things. I can finally understand why people who visit Paris end up wanting to go more however cliched the location may be.
Coming up is a list of things that are must-dos or must-sees in Paris.
You CANNOT come back from Paris without visiting the Iron Lady. The Eiffel Tower stands tall and proud and is without the doubt the most visited tourist attraction in Paris. This iron tower stands at 324 meters tall and was made for 1889 World Fair.
I avoided the observatory on top of the tower because of the big crowd and the ticket was a little too pricey for us.
Louvre is easily the most popular and the most photographed museum in the world. The iconic glass pyramid structure houses some popular masterpieces from famous artists like Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The museum is flooded with tourists during all operating hours so it’s only wise to plan your visit in advance and make prior reservations so you don’t end up wasting your time in the queue.
I’m gonna be honest with y’all. I wanted to visit the Notre Dame cathedral was after watching the movie ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’. It was one of the most amazing movies I had watched as a kid. Notre Dame is also known as ‘Our Lady of Paris’ and has rooted deep in the hearts of Parisians since 1345. Its intricate detailing in the walls, stained glasses, and gothic gargoyles are major attractions in the cathedral. The views of Paris city are some of the best ones from the cathedral’s galleries.