travel guide

Paris Travel Guide

PARIS TRAVEL GUIDE

“Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.” -Honoré de Balzac. I mean, I kind of totally agree with you Honoré.

Paris is one of those cities that will forever be a dream travel destination for most people. The City of Lights is best known for its culinary, art, elite fashion, and architecture. There are so many things to do in Paris – have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, head to a jazz club in Marais, get caught in the rain in Montmartre. It’s easy to wander around this romantic city and get lost in the beauty of everything that surrounds you. That’s why I’ve created this travel guide to help you plan your trip to Paris.

WHEN TO VISIT

The weather in Paris is pretty mild all year but it’s best to visit during the fall when tourism is down and the temperatures are moderate. When booking your trip know that July & August are the hottest months of the year and the busiest!

PLACES TO SEE IN PARIS

The Louvre

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This famous museum houses Da Vinci’s masterpiece Mona Lisa, among many other world-renowned art pieces. It’s a must-see when visiting Paris and I highly recommend visiting at night when the crowds are low and you can enjoy the art at your leisure.

Arc De Triomphe

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Walk down the entirety of the Champs Elysees lined with stunning trees, and marvel at the beautiful storefronts make this one of the most fabulous shopping streets in the world. Make sure to pop into Laudree on your way to the Arc to indulge in a macaroon.

Notre Dame Cathedral

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Notre Dame is one of Paris’ most iconic landmarks. I was lucky enough to visit before the fire and climbed the 422 steps to the gargoyle’s point of view at the top. I have no doubt in my mind that it will be restored to its original beauty but unfortunately, for now, there is no access to the bell towers until further notice.

Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower over the seine

view of the eiffel tower from the streets of paris

The MOST iconic landmark in Paris and arguably the world. It’s situated in front of a lovely park that you can have a picnic in front of and marvel at its beauty.

If you want to climb to the top, book in advance so you are not waiting hours in line to get to the top (25 euro). If you’re on a budget, you can choose the ticket that takes you to the 2nd floor (10 euro). You can still see some stunning views from the 2nd level!

The Colonnes de Buren

palais royal columns in Paris

This courtyard is dominated by 280 black and white striped truncated columns created by artist Daniel Buren. It was one of my favorite places to visit in Paris and it makes for a perfect photo op! 

Palace of Versailles

palace of Versailles grand entrance

Easily the best part of this Paris Travel guide is the stunning Palace of Versailles. A 17th-century palace full of opulence and surrounded by 2000 acres of beautiful garden displays. There is so much to see at the Palace of Versailles, I recommend spending the entire day here. We purchased our tickets from Viator and it included tours of the palaces as well as lunch in the garden at the delicious La Petit Venise (pictured below).

la petit venise restaurant in versailles

Not only can you explore the main palace but there are several other palaces on the property…

The Petit Trianon

temple of love in versailles

A gift to Marie Antoinette from her husband King Louis XVI. This smaller version of the Grand Trianon still boasts with stunning marble and opulent interior designs. The Temple of Love is located in the gardens (pictured above).

Grand Trianon

the grand trianon palace of Versailles

A retreat for King Louis the XIV and his mistress this porcelain Pavillion has some of the most stunning rooms I have ever seen. Not to mention the pink porcelain facade that is STUNNING!

The Queen’s Hamlet

Built for Marie Antoinette in 1783 this rustic retreat was built to resemble a common village so that she could live “the simple life”. It acted as a private meeting place for her close friends and still has a working farm to this day.

HOTELS

Hotel Regina ($$$) — Location, location, location. Right across from the Louvre and some of the rooms have a view of the Eiffel Tower! It’s worth the splurge to be super accessible to all the main sights.

hotel le bristol

Hotel Le Bristol ($$) — A luxury escape with a beautiful ambiance.  The service is top-notch!

RESTAURANTS

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Pink Mamma ($$) — Amazing Italian food and a gorgeous ambiance. Prepare to wait for a table as they don’t take reservations!

Gambino ($$) — Hands down the best Italian food we have ever had. And we’ve been to Italy. We came back to this restaurant twice because of the amazing food.

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Cafe de Flore ($$$) — The most famous French cafe with great service and even better food!

BARS

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Bar Hemingway ($$$$) — Located in the Ritz Carlton, pricey albeit a great experience and ambiance. Ernest Hemingway used to sip his cocktails here!

Gravity Bar ($$) — If you’re looking for a classy cocktail with friendly service then this is your bar.

GETTING AROUND

There are 20 arrondissements surrounding Paris. Each arrondissement is a little unique and has its own vibe. A good starting point is the first arrondissement which is the center of the city.

Paris Metro ($) — Short for Métropolitain, this subway system is inexpensive and has over 300 stations to easily get around Paris. For more information including subway maps head to this post!

velib bicycles kiosk

Rent Bikes ($) — Vélib’ Métropole is a popular bike-sharing program all around the city. Their kiosks are extremely easy to use (pictured above) but can be hard to find a docking space during peak hours.

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

Walk ($) — Sure Paris is a HUGE city but in order to get a taste of the local life it’s best to walk and take in the sights. There is so much beauty to be seen here that if you’re in an uber you may miss some of the intricate details that make this city so beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed this Paris Travel Guide and it helps when planning your trip to Paris! If you enjoyed this, please share it with your friends and family. And for more of my travel guides head here!

Bonjour!

XO, Courtney

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