The ultimate guide to exploring Paris, France

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 Paris City Guide to plan all must-sees for your next trip to one of Europe’s best cities. 

Paris, France

Things to do

Musée d’ Orsay

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.

Clock of musée d'Orsay with a view of the Jardins de tuileries

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. 

Picnic at Jardin des Tuileries

Food recommendation: Gosselin Saint Germain. This bakery is amazing for take-away food. – Address: 258 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007 Paris, France

Louvre Museum

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. 

Palais Royal

Palais Royal, Paris
Palais Royal, Paris

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. 

Palais Garnier

the golden Foyer at Palais Garnier, the opera of Paris

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. 

Read about visiting Versailles here.

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

Galleries Lafayette rooftop view

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. 

Rue Crémieux 

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. 

Eiffel Tower

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. 

The Eiffel Tower, Paris

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

Metro

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. 

Train

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!

Paris Off Seine, 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. 

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17 Comments

  1. Gloria
    November 9, 2020 / 7:05 pm

    Brilliant tips for visiting Paris and gorgeous photos too

  2. November 10, 2020 / 5:58 pm

    I love France. I was in Paris a few years back when I studied abroad in Spain and took a weekend trip to Paris with some other students. I really miss those ham and cheese sandwiches. So simple, but so delicious!

  3. November 12, 2020 / 2:09 pm

    Fantastic tips! Loved the rooftop idea and the floating Seine hotel. If things improve and open up in the Spring, hope to go. Nice post.

  4. November 13, 2020 / 6:15 pm

    Oh my goodness, I really want to go to Paris again – this is making me miss it so much! Such a beautiful place.

  5. November 14, 2020 / 4:44 am

    i love that you showed some more off the beaten path places in addition to the old faves…. i have this blog saved & pinned because i’m definitely adding Rue Crémieux to my Paris 2021 itinerary.

  6. November 14, 2020 / 4:45 pm

    These photos teleported me back to being in Paris, seriously can’t wait to go back! Great article!

  7. November 14, 2020 / 4:45 pm

    Looks like you got all the main attractions! Nice!

  8. November 14, 2020 / 4:57 pm

    I love all the recommendations and beautiful pictures! I’ve always wanted to visit Paris. Saving this!

  9. November 14, 2020 / 5:06 pm

    These are some incredible tips for visiting Paris! I’ve visited quite a few times but I’ve not done several of the things you recommend. I’ve always wanted to visit Musée d’ Orsay ut never quite got round to it…fingers crossed for my next visit! I’ve never heard of Palais Garnier but it looks stunning! Great tip to visit the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette too, I’m going to hunt down this spot when I’m next in Paris. Thanks for the great guide!

  10. November 14, 2020 / 11:47 pm

    Paris is a beautiful city to explore. I’ve been a couple of times but missed some of the things on your list, so it looks like another trip is needed!

  11. Shelbs
    November 20, 2020 / 5:05 pm

    We’ve wanted to see the D’orsay museum for so long! I want to see the big clock lol we don’t have anything like that in the US!!

  12. November 20, 2020 / 5:20 pm

    Love Paris so much! Thanks so much for all the info!

  13. December 24, 2020 / 2:07 am

    I absolutely love Paris! One of my favourite place to go and can’t wait to go back again! Thanks for your blog it’s really helpful what can I do!

    • December 24, 2020 / 12:18 pm

      Thank you! I hope you’ll enjoy your next trip!

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