Shortcut Travel Guide to Paris

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Paris has been called many things by travelers, like The City of Lights, the most romantic city on earth, the food capital of the world, etc. I think it’s all of those things too, but most of all Paris is what you make it. Have you explored Paris yet? If not, take a good look at our travel guide to Paris for all the good stuff.

The best part about Paris is that it’s seemingly packed full of surprises. You can go to the major attractions, climb the Eiffel Tower and eat crepes all day, or you can push all that tourist stuff aside and explore the more real sides of Paris, of which you’ll find many.

Here is your one-stop, shortcut travel guide to Paris — all the best hotels, neighborhoods, things to do, and places to eat and drink in the City of Lights.

» Only have one day in Paris? The guide below will help you plan, but so will this one-day Paris itinerary.

arc d'Triomphe

What to Do in Paris

Paris is divided into districts called Arrondissement. There are twenty in total. Every district has characteristics that are distinct and represent the diversity and variety that this famous city provides.

One of the most wonderful aspects of Paris is the cornucopia of museums. The Louvre has over 300,000 exhibits. Nearby is the Mus’ee des Arts Decoratifs and Musee d’Orsay.

Paris is also home of some of the most significant historical buildings in the world, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Sainte-Chapelle.

Other great points of interest include the Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde, and Sacre’-Cour, a Parisian landmark in the Montmartre area.

If you’re new to the city, we suggest following our 3-day itinerary for first timers. Then you can branch out and try some of the great food Paris has to offer. A superb French wine tasting dinner is one of the those things. We also recommend going for a gourmet dinner aboard a double decker bus tour of the city.

We recommend the Paris food tour from Eating Europe. We’ve been on a few of their food tours and they are always the best! You’ll be guided through the hip Canal Saint Martin district and introduced to creative food vendors making Croque Monsieurs to charcuterie and award-winning pastries. The tour takes place every Tuesday through Saturday at noon and lasts 4 hours.

Want to plan ahead and book a few of the things we’ve mentioned to do below? It’s always a good idea to pre-book for popular tours. They sell out fast.

How to Get Around in Paris

For the tourist, walking may be one of the best ways to see the city because you’ll have the opportunity to really savor the full ambience of Parisian streets, shops, neighborhoods and magnificent historical buildings and museums. Public transportation is readily available.

For instance, there is the metro, buses, and commuter trains. There are passes available to make this an affordable and convenient option. Paris also has a fleet of taxis, riverboats, and bicycle and scooter rentals.

If you plan to extend your itinerary to include day trips outside of Paris, I would recommend you rent a car in Paris and drive to your destination. It will be much faster and cheaper than taking the train.

Sacre Couer in Paris, France

Where to Stay in Paris

Since there are many neighborhoods (arrondissements) in Paris where you can choose to stay, it’s difficult to give a one-size-fits-all answer to where to stay in Paris. We like to stay in different parts of the city every time we visit to see it from a different perspective. That said, we do have a few favorites.

Here are our recommendations for where to stay in Paris. You can use any of these links to read reviews or book your stay in Paris. (They are affiliate links, from which we receive a small commission).

Hotel La Tamise – Esprit de France

4-star hotel with a bar and free wifi, located in the 1st arrondissement.

Read Reviews | Book a Stay

Lyric Hotel Paris

Comfortable 4-star hotel with and indoor pool and free wifi, located in the 2nd arrondissement.

Read Reviews | Book a Stay

Saint James Paris – Relais et Chateaux

5-star luxury hotel with a spa and free wifi, located in the 16th arrondissement.

Read Reviews | Book a Stay

Shortcut Travel Guide to Paris

Shortcut City Guide to Paris
Shortcut City Guide to Paris

Read more about Paris:

You might also like these 10 top wine regions in France or this best day trips from Paris article.

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paris travel guide

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Shortcut Travel Guide to Paris

18 thoughts on “Shortcut Travel Guide to Paris

  1. Valeria @ Rome, New York, London, World says:

    I’m headed to Paris this weekend and will put your advice to good use 🙂 I also found out that if you’re younger than 26 a lot of attractions are free!
    Happy travels,
    Valeria @

  2. Megan Norman says:

    Hi Laura! I am so glad to have found your site. Could you help me come up with an itinerary for Paris in a day. LOL – but I’m serious.
    We want to hit your 5 main attractions and go to Palace of Versailles. Any help would be much appreciated. We arrive on Friday afternoon and leave Sunday morning. We are trying to get it all in, in such a small amount of time.

    Thank you!

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