The Ultimate Guide to Paris

The City of Lights. The City of Love. The Fashion Capital of the World. Paris is known by many nicknames the world over, and for good reason. An international city like no other, Paris offers a breathtaking combination of cultural intrigue, walkable history, and modern style that will leave a lasting impression on the 40 million visitors it welcomes each year.

Whether you want to savor flaky French pastries while watching stylish passersby’s, or get lost for hours in the works of Van Gogh, da Vinci, and Monet, Paris will offer experiences that will last long after the notes of the violinist busking on the corner fades.

The Eiffel Tower – the tower Paris cannot be without

Synonymous with Paris, the Eiffel Tower is still a must-see landmark since its 1889 construction. While original opponents called the Tower the “metal asparagus,” today it is one of the most visited monuments in the world. Save yourself time by booking your tickets in advance, and wear comfortable shoes to climb some of the 1,665 stairs, avoiding the elevator lines. Stop on the second level for the best view of Paris where you’ll be able to see iconic landmarks like the Louvre, Montmartre, and more. Venture to the summit to see a restored version of Gustave Eiffel’s office, and, at 276 meters, the highest observation deck in Paris.

For those who like to keep their feet on the ground, take in neck-craning views of the Eiffel Tower from adjacent Parc du Champ-de-Mars. Pack a picnic (or bottle of Champagne) to see the Tower’s nightly light show. If you’re crossing Passerelle Debilly from the 16th arrondissement to the 7th, take time to pause and savor the view of the Eiffel Tower. 

Eiffel tower next to the river Seine in Paris
The Eiffel Tower

Art Museums

Can one really say they’ve been to Paris without a trip to an art museum (or three, or four)? The Louvre’s 650,000 square feet is an art lover’s dream. The Louvre presents works of Western art, primarily from France and Italy, from the Middle Ages to the mid-nineteenth century. Works by da Vinci, including the infamous Mona Lisa, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt all hang on the walls. With so many pieces to see, consider walking one of the Louvre’s visitor trails that covers varying themes like The Louvre’s Masterpieces, or Journey Along the Nile.

Only ten minutes away from the Louvre is the Musée d’Orsay, located in a converted railway station. Impressionist and postimpressionist pieces are hung throughout, including works by Renoir, Cézanne, and Degas. The Musée d’Orsay is busiest on the first Sunday of the month, when it’s free.

Save a few euros with a combination ticket that grants access to the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée Rodin. The latter is housed in a mansion surrounded by rose-filled gardens. Artist Auguste Rodin is predominantly featured, as are works by Claudel, Van Gogh, and Monet.

The Lourve of Paris
The Louvre

Parisian Food

Croissants. Escargots. Macarons. Baguettes. Cheese. Our list of the best things to eat in Paris could go on forever, but you get the idea: Parisian food is delectable, rich, and will leave you savoring every crumb.

Learn to love the price fixe menu that offers the choice of a few dishes, often scrawled on a chalkboard brought to your table. You’ll get the best deal and the freshest products from the market this way.

There is savory food at every turn in Paris. Check out Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris’ oldest covered market, which offers food stalls from around the world, along with cheese and flower stalls, where you can settle in to eat next to locals. Nibble on sweet macarons from Ladurée, enjoy rich cassoulet from La Fontaine De Mars, and people watch while spooning foie gras onto toasted baguette at Brasserie Floderer which has dubbed itself the Most Alsatian Parisian Brasserie.

Something to keep in mind if you’re dining at a cafe or restaurant: at the end of your meal, the server won’t bring your bill unless it is requested.

Croissant with coffee with the Eiffel tower in the background
Parisian Food

Luxurious Style

Paris is an unparalleled shopping destination. The height of Parisian style can be found at the glamorous Triangle d’Or, where Avenue Montaigne, Ave George V., and Avenue des Champs-Élysées converge. The eponymous haute couture houses of Dior, Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton (including its flagship store), and more can all be found here.

The Marais district is made for vintage-lovers looking to find unique, quirky pieces.

Gelerie Vivienne
Galerie Vivienne

Historical Sites of Paris

One simply does not travel to Paris without seeing historical landmarks, even if it’s just by walking down the street! Some infamous sites include the Notre-Dame Cathedral (the interior is still closed to the public after a 2019 fire), the grand boulevard of the Champs-Élysées and its start at the Arc de Triomphe, the royal Palace of Versailles, and the temple of the French nation, the Pantheon.

Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles

Explore the Arrondissements

While we’ve only touched on a few of the best places in Paris, you will inevitably stumble across many more during your time there as there is something new to be found down each winding road. And they all wind, the city is shaped like a snail, with districts built out from the historic center.

Take the time to wander through a variety of the city’s arrondissements (districts). Take a slow wander through the fifth arrondissement and see the Pantheon, Arenes de Lutece and the Latin Quarter. The first and seventh offer great tourist attractions like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. The 18th is home to Montmartre, one of Paris’ most quintessential neighborhoods of cobblestone streets, boulangeries on every corner, and charming hilltop homes. Literary and artistic visitors won’t be able to stay away from the 6th arrondissement where Hemingway and Picasso once strolled the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

The Pantheon
The Pantheon

Get ready to say “Bonjour” to a city unlike any other

Art, culture and style all converge in Paris to create an experience that will leave you wanting more (or more croissants at least!). This metropolis will open your eyes to stories of the past and the styles of tomorrow, all within 20 arrondissements.

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