Essential Travel Guide to Paris [2024]

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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.

Paris France

Planning your trip to Paris?

Where to Stay in Paris See all hotel options

  1. Hotel La Tamise – Esprit de France (Express check-in/out; elevator)
  2. Hotel Bel Ami (5-star luxury hotel near Louvre Museum)
  3. citizenM Paris Champs-Élysées (4-star hotel near Champs-Élysées)

Best Tours and Experiences in Paris:

  1. Cruise on the Seine + Louvre Museum (two of Paris’ top attractions!)
  2. Paris City Card (the Louvre, cruise on the Seine, and the Eiffel Tower)
  3. Eiffel Tower – Get Priority Access to the 2nd Floor or Priority Access to the Summit

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.

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and has a well-deserved reputation to be a cultural icon of Europe. If you have time you might want to check out the top champagne tours from Paris.

→ Looking for more information on Paris? We’ve got everything you need to plan your trip in Paris. Check out our shortcut planning guide and see all the foodie things to do. Check here if you only have one day to spend in Paris.

What to Do in Paris Guide

arc d'Triomphe

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.

If you are visiting Paris for the first time, you might be overwhelmed when planning your travel itinerary and deciding which attractions to visit and in what order. Let’s take a look at the top attractions in Paris that are a must see when planning your visit.

After visiting these top sites, 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 Paris.

Sacre Couer

Tours to Book in Paris

One of the best ways to see the best of Paris is to book a few tours and activities. We recommend booking everything through Viator. They work will all the top companies and then you’ll have all your tickets in one place.

These are the tours we think are worth booking while in Paris:

Paris Food Tour

We recommend the Paris food tour from Eating Europe. We’ve been on a many 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 ambiance of Parisian streets, shops, neighborhoods, and magnificent historical buildings and museums. Public transportation is readily available.

For instance, there are the Paris 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 travel 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.

Paris bridge

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.

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

Learn a Bit of French

Understanding at least some of the “language of love” is most appreciated by the French. So, taking some beginning French lessons before you leave for Paris would be useful or simply finding a good English-French dictionary may work well to start.

Learning some basic phrases helped me around Paris or guided me to someone who spoke English. For example, here are several friendly questions and greeting phrases I used repeatedly throughout my trip:

  • Hello (good day) --> Bonjour
  • Good evening --> Bonsoir
  • Excuse me, do you speak English? --> Excusez moi, parlez vous anglais?
  • Where is -? -->Où est –
  • How much is it? --> Combien est-ce?
  • I don’t understand --> Je ne comprends pas
  • Thank you --> Merci
  • Bye --> Au Revoir

Essential Travel Guide to Paris

essential travel guide to Paris

Frequently Asked Questions on Paris Travel

What is the Paris Pass, and is it worth it?

The Paris Pass offers access to numerous attractions and public transport and is helpful if you are on a travel budget. Whether it’s worth it depends on your itinerary and how many included attractions you plan to visit.

Is it necessary to purchase tickets to attractions in advance?

It’s advisable for admission, especially for popular attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Online tickets or city passes can help you skip the lines and sometimes give you cheaper prices and deals in Paris. Online tickets also give you the perk of keeping your ticket on your phone so it doesn’t get lost.

How do I get to Disneyland Paris from the city center?

Take RER A train from central Paris and travel to Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station, which is right at the entrance to Disneyland Paris, France.

What’s the tipping culture in Paris?

Tipping is included in restaurant bills, but rounding up the total or leaving small change is appreciated in Paris. In cafes, it’s customary to leave small change on the table.

How safe is Paris for tourists?

Paris is generally safe, but like any major city, be cautious of pickpockets. Stay in well-lit areas at night and be aware of your surroundings.

Read more about Paris:

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

Be Prepared For Travel
Planning is the most important part of any successful trip. Do it the easy way:

🧳 Travel Packing List | ✔️ Why You Need Travel Insurance | ✈️ What to Do Before You Leave Home


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Essential Travel Guide to Paris [2024]

18 thoughts on “Essential Travel Guide to Paris [2024]

  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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