Wondering how to have an amazing time in Paris? No clue on what to do in Paris? Or maybe you’re overwhelmed with all the information you found and need help sorting out the best Paris travel tips. Whatever your reasoning for finding our post, we are here to help with our guide to the best Paris travel tips that work for newbies and seasoned travelers.
This post is all about the Best Paris Travel Tips! We gathered all the info from our travel knowledge and experiences and condensed it down for easy reading.
Best Paris Travel Tips
Plan your trip to Paris ahead of time
The last thing you want to do when planning a trip to Paris for the first time is procrastinate and wait till the last minute. Not only does this usually mean a price increase for Paris hotels, flights to France, and usually booked-up experiences. It also means you’ll be more stressed out because it’s so much to do.
We recommend you tackle your trip to Paris in stages:
- Start by looking for flights 4-6 months in advance, then plan on booking within three months of the trip.
- Look for your stay 2-3 months before the trip, plan too far ahead, and the hotels will be high, plan too close to the trip date, and you’ll see less availability and higher prices. Although you also want to make sure you adjust to holidays which is a whole other strategy.
- Plan your transportation in the city for the month of the trip; how will you get to your hotel from the airport? What’re the best means of transportation in the city of Paris etc.
- Plan what you’ll be doing a month before the trip if you’ll be visiting very touristy experiences such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower or planning a trip to Disneyland Paris.
- Map out your daily itinerary for the month of the trip; this will give you a broad idea of gaps in your day and if you can squeeze more or need to reduce the day’s activities.
Practice learning french, especially popular phrases and basic words
While Paris is unique in the fact that a ton of the locals will speak various languages and have a good handling of English. It’s still a good idea to brush up on some basic french phrases; while you may butcher the pronunciation, the thought is what counts and the locals will appreciate you more for it.
Plus, you’ll feel amazing knowing that little french studying really did pay off! When we were in France, I had already taken up to level 3 french courses,s but I still struggled with the language. Despite that, the locals were still very helpful and understood what I was trying to communicate in my bad accent.
Here's our guide to the most common french phrases you'll need to know while exploring Paris! Plus, if you'll be country hopping around Europe, knowing how to say Hello in different languages can help a ton!
Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes
We stress this a ton when you’re exploring Paris, while it may seem tempting to wear the most fashionable heels, boots, and sandals. You’ll want to make sure you are also dressing for comfort. The last thing you want is to be barely a third of the day in and have blisters galore and throbbing feet.
However, we totally get it and know dressing cute and comfortably is key for a good balance in travel wear. We personally have a selection of trusty travel sandals we swear by and other comfortable travel shoes that we would never go on a trip without!
Get a museum pass!
If you are on a budget, and even if you are not. Securing a Paris museum pass is the way to go; it lowers the overall pricing for individual tickets when you jumble them all together with a museum pass. Plus, the Paris museum pass is more than just museums!
It offers over 50 museums and attractions in the Paris region! So don’t forget to get one as they will include popular french museums such as the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, and Musee de Cluny, and monuments such as the arc de triumph and various gardens and grand chateaus.
The Paris Museum Passes are available in:
- 2-day museum pass
- 4-day museum pass
- 6-day museum pass
Always bring a reusable water bottle
It’s a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people forget to bring a water bottle, us included 😆. Packing along a reusable water bottle is vital for saving money and staying hydrated while exploring Paris. The best thing about Paris, too, is that they have like a gazillion water fountains for refilling your bottle, so you literally have no reason not to bring it, so bring it!
Pack a Paris Day Bag
Ahh yes, you would think packing a day bag for your Paris adventures would be common sense, but you would be surprised how many tourists leave empty-handed and then wonder 4 hours later why they are having such a crummy day.
We ALWAYS bring a day bag when out and about; we could care less about style; we care about functionality and ensuring we are taken care of.
Our day bag is full of snacks, water, a battery pack, camera lenses, sometimes makeup if it’s a photo day, chargers, extra money, medicine, and a first aid kit.
Also, if we plan on visiting churches or religious areas, we make sure to bring a shawl to cover up and a pair of leggings to wear under our shorts if needed.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Paris is just like any other big city, except you dont speak the language and you dont have a good handle on the environment yet. This is why paying attention to your things and your party group is so important; lastly, always trust your gut feeling.
Stay safe, please ❤️
The Best Paris Travel Tips For Making The Most Of Your Time In Paris
Take a chance to explore the neighborhoods of Paris
If your idea of traveling is taking a taxi everywhere and only hitting the popular tourist spots, then you, my friend, have been traveling wrong. After all, the best part about traveling is experiencing the country you visit. What better way to do that than to explore the city and its neighborhoods?
That’s why choosing to walk around the city is the best option to really feel like a local Parisian. Of course, if you cannot walk for extended periods or are unable to do so due to a disability or traveling with someone who is, then travel in the way that is sensible for you; after all, you’re the one enjoying the moment, so do it how you want ☺️.
Take public transportation in Paris
One of the best ways to travel to Paris is to do so by public transportation; how else are you going to see how locals live and how their daily lives are? That’s right, public transportation is the way to go, and lucky for you, it’s a great way to travel because it has numerous routes that go through the city and the outer regions of Paris.
We recommend using the metro lines; there are 16 total lines, and we used them a ton when we were traveling around Paris. You can get your metro tickets at the ticket machines in the station areas, as well as online.
Another convenient system would be the RER which is also known as the suburban express railway, and there are a total of 5 lines; you’ll use this railway system when traveling to the extended part of Paris’s outer region.
The next option is the Trasnilion railroad system which has lines to popular cities such as Nord, Lyon, Saint Lazare, and others.
Tramlines are usable for the perimeter of Paris, and in total, there are 4 lines. Also, quick tip you can use the same tickets you use for the metro and RER for the tram 👍🏻.
Try tasty authentic french cuisine
When in France, you must take a moment to enjoy the exquisite french cuisine. Otherwise, when are you ever going to have the chance to try authentic french food? Especially in Paris!
You definitely want to take the time to try traditional french food, so dont miss out on it!
Go on a wine tasting tour in Paris
Just like trying french cuisine in Paris is a must, you also need to go wine tasting because the french area is almost as famous as the Italian fort for its wine selections. Furthermore, French selections such as Champagne and Prosecco are absolutely divine, and the local variety you can try in Paris is even better!
Some noteworthy wine-tasting tours to try while you are in Paris are
- Paris Montmartre walking tasting tour with secret food tours
- Loire Valley Castles & wine tasting day trip from Paris
- Guided Visit and Wine Tasting in a Royal Wine Cellar in Paris
Explore Paris at night
One of the best things to do in Paris would be to explore it at night. After all, the wonderful Parisian city is a sight of a wander during the nighttime, and the festivities that continue throughout the darkness of the night are neverending.
You could watch a french classic cabaret show, take a cruise during the night, or visit a speakeasy club; the list is endless. So make sure to give Paris at night a chance, but as always, be safe!
Explore the parks
If there is one thing that Paris is in no danger of losing, is its green and lush parks that are full of gardens, sculptures unique architecture, and stunning views. Taking the time to explore even a few of these popular gardens will be a must for any first-timer visiting Paris.
Go shopping at the french markets
This may seem like an ugh, but what’s so cool about visiting some markets? Well, while markets are pretty similar across the world. Each market offers unique items, and when will you get the chance again to visit a traditional market full of fresh bread, fruit, handmade items, and other unique trinkets? Just make sure to bring cash when shopping around the markets, as most market vendors like cash or only accept cash.
Take a traditional French cooking class
Everyone knows that french cuisine is an art; learning how to cook french food while in France is probably the best way to go about it.
Best Travel Tips for Paris Experiences
Enjoy a French Cabaret Show
There is nothing quite like watching a french cabaret show; if you aren’t familiar with what a cabaret show is, think Moulin Rouge and other popular Burlesque style shows. The famous show is a version of cabaret that is immensely popular in France. So what better thing to do than enjoy what the locals do themselves?
Popular cabaret shows in Paris
- Moulin rouge cabaret show: with dining and champagne options 😍
- Crazy Horse Cabaret Show
- Lido Cabaret Cabaret Show
- Latin L’Oiseau Paradis Cabaret Show
See an authentic french opera at Opera Garnier
When in Paris, you cannot forget to watch a French opera unless, of course, you absolutely detest opera and the fine arts 🤨……
So for those of you who appreciate good art, then seeing a classic french opera in Paris is a must-do activity! It works for almost everyone, and you’ll be absolutely amazed at the sheer detail and craftsmanship that goes into the plays and the building that houses them, Opéra Garnier.
One of the most beautiful Opera Venues in the world! While we wholeheartedly recommend watching a show. We also suggest exploring Opera Garnier and booking a tour. You’ll be absolutely amazed by the golden walls and crystal chandeliers that cover this venue wall to ceiling and are coupled with amazing views of Paris, no less.
Take a bike tour
While riding a bike around Paris may not seem like the coolest way to get around Paris, it actually is an amazing way to get around the city faster but still experiences the local neighborhoods as you breeze by.
We wish we would have done this, and usually, we always rent bikes when in big cities, but I had fallen down a flight of stairs and bruised my 😟 so alas could not bear to sit on a hard bicycle seat lol. However, we saw plenty of tourists utilizing this method. We watched jealousy from afar as they zoomed by us to hot spot destinations like the Eiffel Tower, Notre dame cathedral, and the Louvre Museum.
Just remember, be safe, and follow the laws grounded in Paris when riding your bike!
Have a french picnic
Having a picnic in France has to be on everyone’s bucket list, and if it isn’t, then you are doing something wrong with your travel ist buddy.
Not everything when traveling has to be fast-paced and luxurious; sometimes, a simple stroll through the park and a nice and relaxing picnic with a great view is better than a night out.
When packing your picnic basket:
- French sausage,
- mini sandwiches,
- charcuterie board filled with crackers, cheese, meats, fruit, and nuts
- Non-Alcoholic drinks
Tip: You may see others drinking wine or champagne while picnicking, but it’s technically illegal 👀.
Take a cruise along the Seine River
One of the coolest things you can do while exploring Paris is to do so by water; that’s right, taking a cruise alone on the Seine River will allow you access and views of some of the most stunning viewpoints in Paris. Plus, they usually include delicious dinner menus and champagne to enjoy while cruising along the river.
Popular Seine River Cruises
- Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise
- Paris: 1-Hour River Seine Cruise
- Paris: Seine River Panoramic Dinner Cruise
Take a trip to Disneyland Paris
We love Disney, and of course, we had to visit Disneyland Paris! We totally recommend going to Disneyland Paris and making a day trip out of it! Two parks could be spread out over two days, or you could try to mash both into one day ☺️.
If you have kids, you’ll love seeing their faces light up at the unique things that Disneyland Paris is different from the rest, and there’s yummy popcorn and Nutella crepes, so enough said!
Plus, getting to Disneyland Paris is super easy when coming from Paris; you could take the Disney shuttle, take the RER line and get dropped off at the resort, or even drive!
What not to miss when visiting Paris for the first time!
Visit the Arc de Triomphe
Visiting the Arc de Triomphe and taking a cliche tourist photo is a must for newbies in Paris. Plus, a lot of tourists dont know that you can actually climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and get an amazing view of Paris!
Visit the Louvre
If you are only going to make time for one museum while in Paris, then you have. to make time for the Louvre museum! Not only does this famous museum hold notable artworks from numerous high-profile artists, but it holds the Mona Lisa 👀. Be forewarned, it’s literally at the end of the museum and you’ll know you are there because it’s a big room with a crowd huddled around. Small painting 😆.
When you get to the museum, you’ll most likely notice tourists taking photos and doing a weird hand thing where they look like they are pinching something from the top. It’s because they are trying to get a photo of them holding the tip of the Louvre glass pyramids. It’s a cute but super touristy thing to do, but hey, we love being corny tourists.
Visit the Eiffel Tower
I mean, we probably could have skipped this tip because everyone knows to visit the Eiffel Tower for the first time in Paris. However, not everyone knows that you can go to the top of the Paris Eiffel tower, well, maybe they do, but I dont know if it’s worth it 🤨. We say do it for the one time, and dont forget some of the best photos of the Eiffel tower will be from the end of the park near the steps going up towards the famous proposal area.
Yes, that iconic proposal spot that everyone and their mother wants to be proposed to at because the Eiffel tower is glimmering in the background, and nothing says doing too much, like an iconic europea proposal 😉.
It’s low-key our dream for that to happen to us one day, so no hate. We are just jelly!
Visit the Paris Catacombs
Something about exploring dark ruins in underground Paris sets our hearts ablaze with wonder. After all, how many catacombs have you come across? Not many! The Paris catacombs are still in great condition, and it’s the perfect way to learn about the history of Paris, the good, the bad, and the sad.
Make sure to book your tickets ahead of time because the ticket lines are huge, and they sell out quickly, especially during popular tourist seasons. Plus, arrive early! We waited two hours in line, and it was horrible!!!
Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame Cathedral is currently under construction due to the fire that overtook it a few years ago. Despite that, we still recommend visiting the cathedral and admiring it from the outside, plus there are a few touristy things you can do, such as the Seine river, museums, and street vendor shopping 💃🏻.
Visit the Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles will be a day trip that you’ll want to plan for, but it’s a must-do for any tourist wanting to learn more about Paris’s history as the Château de Versailles is now a museum and holds numerous pieces of french history in its halls. Plus, when you are tired of dusty art, you can take a stroll through the palace gardens, gawk at intricately carved fountains, and then visit the palaces of Trianon.