The Ultimate City Guide to Paris

Eiffel Tower Paris, France
Eiffel Tower Paris, France

Bonjour, Ca Va Bien?

Paris, the city of love, lights, haute couture, food, rich history and world-famous architectural masterpieces. We visited France several times ( which Dutch person haven’t 😉 ) and I went to Paris twice in Winter, but I would love to go back again sometime in summer with my family. I imagine having a picnic under the Eiffel tower, enjoying the evening sun in our faces while enjoying a good French glass of wine on a bench along the Seine, and just soaking up the Paris way of life without freezing our buds of. Because Paris in winter, can be cold, very cold, no matter how much love is in the air ♄

Things to do in Paris

There are a million things to do in Paris and you won’t see everything unless you decide to move to Paris, and this is where my City Guide to Paris comes in. I have written down all the highlights of my two trips to Paris.

Because Paris is Always a Good Idea

We probably all want to tick of the most popular buildings in Paris, like the Sacre Couer, the Arc de Triomphe and of course the world-famous Eiffel Tower. I remember the first time that I was standing under that massive building of steel, once the highest building on the planet, and I felt like I was sow small!

You can choose to take a few pictures ( or hundreds in my case ) from different angles, and for the people who don’t suffer from afraid of heights syndrome, you can climb up to the top. Believe me, you will be rewarded with an amazing view! But in winter it can also be freezing cold on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Unless you are planning on a romantic proposal 😉

Most of the time you will find quite long queues to get your Tickets for the Eiffel Tower, so book in advance to avoid this and walk straight through. Paris City Vision can offer you all your sightseeing and entrance ticket for really good prices!  Click here to book your Paris Sightseeing or entrance tickets now!

More great views and shopping in Paris

Not only the Eiffel Tower will give you great views over Paris, but also the rooftop cafĂ© of the Galleries Lafayette shopping mall and the outside area of the Sacre Coeur will reward you with stunning views over Paris. All for free! Well, maybe you do spent a little at the Galleries Lafayette shopping centre 😉 If you happen to be in Paris during Christmas time you will be happy enough to see the stunning decorations throughout the Galleries Lafayette shopping mall. As pink is my favourite colour, I could just sit here all day and just staring at this beauty.

Montmartre | One of my favourite areas in Paris

Check out the Notre Dame, stroll along the little bookstalls on the banks of the Seine, watch the artists work on their masterpieces, and rest for a while in one of the beautiful gardens and parks Paris has to offer. The Montmartre area in Paris also offers a lot of cute little French restaurants, bistro’s and cafe’s, but also little food stalls, where you can score yourself a delicious lunch without wrecking the budget.

Paris also offers a lot of Museums and of course a rich history. Think of the Arc du Triomphe and the Louvre, but also the Musee d’Orsay, Pompidou Centre and the Picasso Museum. They have some great deals in the off-season  period ( European Winter ) and on the first Sunday of the Month, you can visit these museums for FREE! The best place to get your tickets is here

If you are a cultural lover and you want to visit many museums in Paris ( or all of them if you have time ) The Paris Museum Pass is a must have. The Paris Museum pass gives you entrée to 50 museums and monuments and has a set price for 2, 4 or 6 days. Definitely a money safer if you want to see the best musea in Paris.

Eating and Drinking in Paris

Can be quite expensive, but this is like any other World City. And you can always make it as expensive or cheap as you decide.

Paris, and France in general is known for extraordinary food, served in those typical French cafe’s and little bistro’s, but also in top restaurants and street food stalls. You will literally find food on every corner of the streets in Paris.

Typical French food like Crepes ( French Pancakes ) you will find everywhere and are cheap, delicious and a must try when in Paris. There are hundreds of creperies in Paris, but one street where you find more than a dozen in place is the Rue du Montparnasse.

If you are looking for other budget options in Paris, apart from the little food stalls in the Montmartre Area, you will find cheap ( and sometimes fast ) eats at the Rue de la Huchette, Rue Xavier Privas and Rue de la Harpe in the 5th Arrondissement. The Montmartre area is well known by tourist, so it can be very busy.

If you are a fan of Paris, but not of French food (which I can’t really believe, but I write this just in case 😉 ) and you are looking for something International, the Marais Area is the place to be. The Marais has traditionally been the Jewish quarter in Paris, so not surprisingly you will find the best falafel in this area.

In the 13th arrondissement you will find Paris’s Chinatown with some of the best Chinese and other Asian restaurants in Paris.

If you are visiting Paris in summer you might like the idea of a picnic in one of Paris’s beautiful gardens or parks, or maybe even better, on the banks of the Seine. This is the place where people come together on a nice warm evening to have fun and relax with a bottle of delicious French wine, cheese and a French banquette.

Julie from Paris Food Affair  and  Yanique from My Parisian Life  are bloggers dedicated to Paris and share some amazing articles about the best places to eat in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower at Night

After your dinner, make sure you go back to the Eiffel Tower, because the place is magical when it is dark. Excuse my bad photography as the pictures where taken on my phone quite a while ago 😉 But it’s all about the impression right?

Where to stay in Paris

Same with where to eat in Paris, there is so much choice, so which one do you pick? Are you on a budget in Paris? Or do you indulge yourself in the haute couture luxury Parisian style? Or do you rather stay in a small cosy boutique hotel in Paris?

Hotels Combined offers the best hotels in Paris from budget to luxury for the best prices and you can compare all big hotel chains to get the best deal and look for what you want. Click here to book your Paris Hotel

Do you want to experience Paris as a local? AirBnB offers unique accommodation in Paris for great prices! Check it out here and get $ 50 AUD Free!

Getting around in Paris

Personally we just like to walk around and get kinda lost in a city, as in this we, we believe you will discover things you otherwise wouldn’t discover if you go with the touristy things only. Paris is easily walkable and there is so much to see when you are strolling around.

If you don’t want to get active, you can also get a good impression of the highlights of Paris by taking hop-on-hop-off bus which is doing  a loop up and down the Seine.

Boat trips along the Seine are a very popular and touristy thing to do, and offer lots of varieties from luxury dinner cruises, so sunset cruises and just the ordinary sightseeing cruises.

For the longer distances between attractions or your hotel and the city, you can use the Metro. Paris has an easy to use metro system and tickets are cheap and you can buy them at the stations.

How to get to Paris

Depending on where you live, there are many ways to get to Paris.

For countries like The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Great Britain, it’s easy to drive up to Paris, but keep in mind traffic in Paris is chaotic and very busy! So the bus would be a cheap option from these countries. However, a lot of bus companies do pick ups from other places as well along the way, so it can take quite a while to get to Paris by bus.

A fast way to get to Paris from surrounding countries is by train. Rail Europe offers all the information and tickets you need to travel to and from Paris by Train.

The most popular way to get to Paris from destinations world-wide is by Plane.

Charles de Gaulle Airport ( CDG) is the International Airport and the second busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow Airport. Charles de Gaulle is the home base of French Airline Air France . Charles de Gaulle Airport is located in the Northeast region of Paris.

Orly Airport is the second busiest airport in Paris and is located in the Southern region of Paris. Orly was the main airport in Paris until the Charles de Gaulle International Airport was ready to use. Orly is still the busiest airport for domestic traffic.

Beauvais-Tille Airport ( BVA)  is the third airport of Paris and is the ‘Low-Cost Airport’ for several low-cost airlines as Ryanair and Wizzair.

Airport transfer in Paris

If you don’t want to hassle around with taxi’s or public transport, the best you can do is book an airport transfer service that will take you straight to your destination without any hassle. Efficient and cost-effective.

There are a few great Airport Transfers in Paris you can choose from.

T2transfer is an airport transfer company in Paris who does private taxi and ( group ) shuttle transfers to and from all the above Paris Airports to the city centre, train stations and to Disney Land Paris

Top Paris Transfer is similar to T2transfer but is definitely your best option if you want to go from CDG Airport to Gare de Lyon Train Station.

A great thing at T2Transfer and Top Paris Transfer for travelling family’s is that they offer Free Baby Seats/Booster Seats and extra Luggage Free of charge.

Piyocap is the Paris taxi/cab service & airport private shuttle that transfers between CDG, Orly & BVA airport to Disneyland hotels for a fixed & low price.

Have you been to Paris? Do you have any great tips to add? Talk to us in the comments below

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  • Haha it does right Dany 🙂 I can spend hours and hours in Galleries Lafayette during Christmas, I think they have one of the best christmas decorations I have ever seen in a warehouse.

  • I do agree that Paris is always a good idea, and it’s also such a romantic city! I’ve always wanted to go to Galleries Lafayette, especially at Christmas, as I see the images and gosh! It feels like dream land!

  • A good brief guide to first timers for Paris. I used to live and work in Paris and I still haven’t done everything! So much on offer!

  • Hahaha and the delicious wines and cheeses 😉 I think you can spend years in Paris to discover all the museums, galleries and historical buildings. Think Marseille has more that Mediterranean Vibe where Paris has this classy, urban, city vibe. I only drove through Marseille and ended up in a little fishing place called Cassis, which was lovely ( another story some time 😉 )

    Enjoy your day!
    X Jo

  • Thank you so much Priti. Glad you liked it! 🙂 Hope you can visit Paris sometime soon. It is such a beautiful city. I hope to take Lion and Sem one day in summer. Hope you have a great week to! x Jo

  • Such an informative post Jo, I’ll definitely reference it for my trip to Paris sometime in the future !! I love all your photos, that view from the top of the Eiffel tower is amazing! Have a great week xx

  • Not able to say a world in French (oh well, maybe except for all the pastry’s names haha) but I’d happily agree to be locked in any of their museums/art galleries, especially that impressionism is one of my favourite art periods. In France I only visited Marseille which, I’m sure has an entirely different feel to it than Paris does but the capital sounds really tempting. Would love to read your post about Paris in summer, must get even more magical in there!

    Mal x

  • Hi Laura. That sounds great! Have you been to Paris many times? If we would still live in the Netherlands, i am sure we would have been to Paris in summer already, but we just have to wait a little bit longer 😉 Looking forward to your next Paris post 🙂

  • We’re planning a trip to Paris (again) at the end of the year. We always take a Thalys/TGV to Paris Nord, and book a hotel somewhere in the region around the hotel. Afterwards, we buy a ‘Paris Visit’-metro card! And then.. We stroll, stroll and stroll some more! I just loooooove Paris! I really do!

  • Thanks for this really informative blog! Totally in love with that Christmas tree! Paris is on my bucket list for a while.

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