Bienvenue in Paris! The capital of France is simply a jewel of a city and in our opinion one of the best destinations for an exciting city break in Europe.
Paris is romantic, unmistakable, magical, sometimes contradictory and above all packed with impressive sights. A walk through Paris often feels like visiting a film set .
In this blog article we have summarized all our tips for your perfect city trip to Paris. We’ll show you the most beautiful sights, reveal our favorite cafés and of course our insider tips for Paris.
1. Paris at a Glance: First Tips & FAQs Exciting facts & interesting facts about Paris Paris is quite small in terms of area. Nevertheless, over 2 million people live in the urban area. Apartments (and also hotel rooms) therefore rightfully have the reputation of being quite small. The most important sight of Paris is – no surprise – the Eiffel Tower. Every evening after dark, a 5-minute light spectacle begins on the hour , where the 09 .000 Lights start flashing. Paris is an incredibly popular city for a city break and at peak times there is definitely a feeling of overtourism. If you want to experience the city empty, you have to get up early. The Seine, so to speak, the lifeline of Paris meanders through the city. Countless impressive bridges cross the Seine and a walk along the banks is definitely a must on a trip to Paris.Paris is considered a expensive travel destination. The city owes this reputation in particular to its top cuisine. Yes, dining out in Paris isn’t exactly cheap, but don’t worry, you really don’t need to spend a fortune on a great city break. Paris Bucket List: What can I do in Paris? Before As we introduce you to the most important sights in Paris later in this article, we would like to give you a brief overview of what awaits you in Paris. Here is our small but fine bucket list for your trip:
Experience the sunset from the Tour Montparnasse and marvel at what is probably the most spectacular view over Paris. Try macarons in all possible flavors. Our favourite: those from the Pierre Hermé pastry shop.Stroll through the magical district Montmartre and enjoy Paris vibes like in a picture book.Visit the Louvre and catch a glimpse of the world famous Mona Lisa .Get up early to see the sunrise to experience on the banks of the Seine. How many days do I need to see the main attractions in Paris? The density of impressive sights in Paris is enormous. When you think you’ve seen it all, the next highlight comes along. In this respect, we can only warmly recommend planning as much time as possible for a city trip. Our tip: It’s best to stay…
2-3 nights, if you want to get a first insight and visit the most important sights in a relatively short time.4-5 nights, if you do that Would you rather take a more leisurely approach to sightseeing. one week, if you want to give yourself a lot of time and also want to go on one or the other excursion (e.g. Disneyland or Versailles). When is the best travel time for Paris? To make it short: If possible outside the main travel season and if possible not on weekends or over a holiday. That’s when Paris is particularly crowded.
A good time for a city break is during the week in spring and autumn. It’s particularly romantic when in the Spring the trees are in bloom, which is around mid/late April to early May.
If you don’t mind cold or bad weather, then the winter could also be interesting for a trip to Paris. Then there are generally fewer tourists in the city.
2. Sights in Paris: Our Tips & Experiences Eiffel Tower Let’s go with the symbol of Paris and undoubtedly the most famous sight : the Eiffel Tower (called “Tour Eiffel” in French). The 300 meter high iron framework tower the cityscape of Paris like no other building. Since the year 1889 it rises up into the Paris sky.
The Eiffel Tower is visible from countless points in the city and makes a great photo motif. Well-known views include:
From the end of Rue de l’UniversitéFrom the banks of the Seine (e.g. from the Bir-Hakeim bridge)From the Jardins du TrocadéroFrom the Tour Montparnasse or the Arc de Triomphe (more information will follow in this blog article) The Eiffel Tower climb: Our tips Many visitors to Paris (us included) naturally want to climb the Not only marvel at the Eiffel Tower from below, but also climb it. For this you have to know that there are roughly two options:
Visit the second floor on 100 meters high (accessible via the elevator or the stairs. Here you also pass the 1st floor, where, for example, the restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel.)Visit the peak on 276 meters in height (Accessible only by elevator, you have to change at the second floor.) Our tip: The rush at Eiffel Tower is usually huge. We strongly recommend that you book your ticket online in advance. This is easily possible on the official website. The problem: the tickets are often fully booked weeks in advance. It’s worth checking the website a few days in advance, sometimes additional ticket quotas are activated.
An alternative is to book a ticket via Getyourguide. There are a variety of tours on offer, such as this one: Tour Eiffel Tower Top.
Important: Before you are allowed to enter the area below the Eiffel Tower (this is where the elevators and stairs are located), you have to pass a security check. Plan to wait again before your chosen timeslot. (Depending on the rush it is usually 09 until 30 minutes .)
More info & tickets: Eiffel Tower (official website)
Île de la Cité with Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle The Île de la Cité (” Stadtinsel”) is a small island between the two arms of the Seine. The district is considered to be the oldest part of Paris and is home to two of the most important sights: Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle.
Since the devastating fire of Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris in April 2019 you can only visit the city’s most important church from the outside. The construction work is in full swing, so that the local conditions are constantly changing. In any case, you can enjoy a nice view of Notre-Dame from the small bridge in front of the cathedral.
Also on the Île de la Cité, just 5 minutes walk from Notre-Dame another famous sacred building in Paris: the Sainte-Chapelle. It has an impressive church interior, which exudes a very special flair thanks to the gigantic stained glass windows.
You can book your ticket (with selected timeslot) in advance via the official website. (We would also definitely recommend it!) Nevertheless, at peak times there are often waiting times in front of the security checkpoints.
More info & ticket: Sainte-Chapelle (official website)
Montmartre & Sacré-Cœur One of the most famous districts of Paris is Montmartre, which rises on the hill of the same name to the north of Paris. The Sacré-Cœur basilica, one of the most important sights in Paris, is enthroned at the summit and can be seen from afar.
For many, the slightly artistic Montmartre is the epitome of Parisian flair: Picturesque alleys, picturesque houses, artists, street musicians and Photo opportunities on every corner. The famous variety show Moulin Rouge is also located on the outskirts of Montmartre. Sometimes in Montmartre you really feel like you’ve landed in a movie.
This is also because Montmartre is incredibly touristy. One strolls here with appreciated 99 percent tourists through the streets . But it doesn’t matter – it’s still picturesque!
A stop at the Sacré-Cœur Basilica is also a must . The square in front of it is incredibly popular, especially at sunset, and is almost bursting at the seams . From here gene you have a nice view over Paris. Attention: Please pay special attention to valuables!
Louvre One of the top sights in Paris is the legendary Musée du Louvre . It is considered one of the most important museums in the world and houses one of the most famous oil paintings of all time: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
Meager 10 million (!) people (status 2019) visit the Louvre per year. This makes it the most visited art museum in the world. In this respect you can already imagine what a visit means: people, people, people!
In front of the main entrance at the legendary glass pyramid, a seemingly endless line forms in the high season. Incidentally, the same applies to the room in which the Mona Lisa is located. Speaking of the Mona Lisa, you can hardly miss this one. Information signs guide you away from the entrance on the fastest way to the world-famous work of art.
Our best tip: Book your ticket in advance, ideally for the first timeslot of the day. It gets really full then usually against 11 Watch.
More info & ticket: Musée du Louvre (official website)
Opéra Garnier (= Palais Garnier ) The gigantic Opera of Paris is one of the sights that particularly impressed us . There are performances here in the evenings. However, you can visit the opera during the day as a visitor.
The neo-baroque opera house is an eye-catcher from the outside, but its true beauty is hidden inside. Pomp and splendor wherever you look. We were most impressed by the breathtakingly beautiful, opulent Grand Foyer.
The Auditor Hall itself you do not enter during an individual tour, but only take a look inside via a balcony. Overall definitely one of the most beautiful sights in Paris.
More info & ticket: Palais Garnier (official website)
Le Marais with Center Pompidou and Places des Vosges One of the trendiest quarters in Paris is the sophisticated “Le Marais”, the Jewish quarter. It’s incredibly lively here, with boutiques, cafés and bars lined up next to each other.
The Marais district is also home to a fairly well-known Paris attraction: the iconic Centre Pompidou . With its unusual industrial-style architecture, it draws everyone’s attention. The Center Pompidou houses an art and culture center that shows works by Picasso, Kandinsky and Chagall, among others.
Also worth a visit is the pretty Place des Vosges, one of the five “royal squares” of Paris. It is square and surrounded on all sides by city palaces made of red brick. Locals meet on the meadow to relax and have a picnic.
The heart of the Marais district is the Rue des Rosiers with its countless bakeries, bars and shops. One thing will immediately catch your eye here: Falafel! These are sold on almost every corner. The most legendary are those of “L’as du Fallafel”. The queue there is often the longest.
Arc de Triomphe with Avenue des Champs-Élysées and Place de la Concorde Another iconic sight and landmark of Paris is the monumental Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. As the name (Étoile = star) suggests, it is located on a star-shaped square.
You can see the course of the street particularly well if you Climb the roof terrace of the Arc de Triomphe , which we can highly recommend. A rather narrow spiral staircase leads up inside. From above you enjoy a fantastic 360 degree view over Paris.
More info & tickets: Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile (official website)
From Arc de Triomphe leads what is probably the most famous boulevard in Paris, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, eastwards to the Place de la Concorde. Even if the Champs-Élysées is quite busy, it is a good idea to walk along this route, which is about two kilometers long.
Once arrived at Place de la Concorde you will be impressed by the dimensions. The Place de la Concorde is actually the largest square in Paris. The gigantic obelisk, which comes from the temple of Luxor, attracts everyone’s attention.
Our tip: once you cross the square, you will come to the pretty Jardin des Tuileries. This French Baroque garden is definitely one Worth a short stop.
Walk along the Seine Belongs to a Paris City trip simply added: A leisurely stroll along the Seine. The Seine meanders through the heart of Paris and divides the city into a right or north bank (“Rive Droite”) and a left bank (“Rive Gauche”).
There are numerous well-known bridges that cross the Seine, including the imposing Pont Alexandre III. It connects the shore at the Invalides and the Grand Palais. The oldest surviving bridge is the Pont Neuf. This impressive stone bridge crosses the Ile de la Cité.
We can highly recommend a walk along the Seine. On the right bank of the Seine, for example, there has been a footpath right by the water for a number of years. There are always stairs down all over the city.
Tour Montparnasse Not a tourist attraction in the traditional sense, but certainly the best view of Paris awaits you at the Tour Montparnasse. Paris lies at your feet from this skyscraper.
An elevator takes you up to the viewing platform inside in no time. Then a few stairs lead up to the roof terrace under the open sky. There are panes of glass, but there are several places where you can take good photos. In summer there is also a rooftop bar on the roof terrace.
Our tip: If the weather is good, we recommend a visit before Sunset. The sun sets almost perfectly behind the Eiffel Tower in summer. It’s worth waiting until nightfall, because the illuminated Eiffel Tower offers you another very special view.
More info & tickets: Tour Montparnasse (official website)
Jardin du Luxembourg Before your visit to the Tour Montparnasse, make a stop at the nearby Jardin de Luxembourg. This magnificent park is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris – and we can absolutely confirm that. We particularly liked it here.
You can expect a spacious, incredibly well-kept garden with numerous sights such as the Palais du Louxembourg and the fountain in front of it.
There are countless chairs throughout the garden that invite you to linger. You meet families, students and tourists alike. Our conclusion: An oasis of calm and perfect for a break in between.
3. Photo spots in Paris So photogenic! In Paris, photo opportunities await you around every corner. Some of them are now so hyped that crowds of people gather in front of them.
In principle, you only have to walk through the streets in Paris with your eyes wide open and you will be rewarded with the greatest photo motifs. Nevertheless, there are particularly popular and well-known places, including:
La Maison Rose & Le Consulat in the Montmartre district.The magical Café de Flore.The Jardins du Trocadéro with the iconic view of the Eiffel Tower. We’ll tell you even more tips for the best photo motifs in Paris in our detailed blog article: Photo spots in Paris.
4. Eating & drinking: Tips for cafés & restaurants in Paris The selection of great cafes and restaurants in Paris is gigantic. Paris lives up to its reputation as a culinary hotspot. This is evidenced by the 100 Star restaurants in Paris.
Eating out in Paris is unfortunately not exactly a cheap undertaking. But don’t worry: it’s not as expensive as feared. The following restaurants have it in u Made our list of favourites.
Mesa de Hoy: We had an excellent lunch in this friendly, vegan, boho-style restaurant. We definitely recommend the lunch menu (approx. 20 euros), because the portions are quite small. Creative fusion cuisine with a touch of fine dining is served. Highly recommended! In the evening, however, it gets more expensive.
Pink Mamma: This Italian restaurant is the culinary Instagram hotspot par excellence in Paris. The tables are often fully booked weeks in advance. (We definitely recommend a reservation!) Italian classics are served – from pasta to pizza to tiramisu, everything is included. In any case, the price-performance ratio is really good (despite its great popularity).
Macarons by Pierre Hermé: In our opinion, the best macarons in Paris are at Pierre Hermé. Yes, things are pretty cute, but also kinda pretty good.
You can find even more tips for great cafés and restaurants in our detailed blog article: Paris Food Guide.
Mesa de Hoy Pink Mom 5. Overnight: Our hotel tip for Paris We have long since We were looking for the perfect boutique hotel for our Paris city trip and finally found what we were looking for: At the Hôtel Le Ballu you can stay extremely comfortably and in an ideal location. Highly recommended!
The style of the hotel is reminiscent of a combination of Art Deco and Parisian charm. The design runs through the entire house. In any case, we felt incredibly comfortable.
The rooms are extremely comfortable: starting with the extremely comfortable beds and ending with the Nespresso machine in the room. As everywhere in Paris, the rooms are on the small side, but we found even our standard room to be absolutely fine in terms of size.
The great location deserves an extra mention. The Hôtel Le Ballu is located in a quiet alley in the immediate vicinity of Montmartre (5 minutes walk to the Moulin Rouge), but completely far away from the (touristy) hustle and bustle. All around are numerous great cafes and restaurants. And the nearest metro station is just a stone’s throw away.
Our conclusion: We would not hesitate for a second and stay here again. A feel-good hotel with a great price-performance ratio in a perfect location.
You can book the hotel here: Hôtel Le Ballu
6. More practical tips: Transport, security & Co. On the spot from A to B: Public transport in Paris Paris is actually more in terms of area small, but a city trip is hardly possible without public transport. Metro, RER trains and buses are of particular interest here.
With the Paris Metro you can reach almost all sights relatively quickly and comfortably. “Comparatively” because we believe that accessibility is unreasonable (or non-existent). escalators? elevators? None! If you take the Paris Metro, you have to be prepared for countless stairs and long walks.
After a few days we also got a taste for the buses came. This saves you the sometimes endlessly long underground walkways and you can also see something of the city while driving. You get on at the front and validate the ticket there (more on that in a moment).
Our tip: You can now find the quickest way from A to B in Paris conveniently via Google – Get Maps. So it’s best to download the app before your holiday.
Extra tip: Weekly pass for Paris (“Pass Navigo Découverte “) Inexplicably, multi-day ticket options for public transport in Paris are quite a complicated undertaking. The ticket with the absolute best price-performance ratio is the so-called Pass Navigo Découverte, usually simply called the Navigo Pass.
It entitles you to unlimited use of all public transport for a whole week, across all zones. This is of particular interest for reaching Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (CDG) or the Palace of Versailles! The price is 27,80 Euro plus one-time 5 Euro issuance fee (i.e. 27,80 Euro). After that, the pass can theoretically 10 Can be used for years.
The pass is not available from machines, only at counters in Metro and RER stations . Important: You need a passport photo! (We took it with us directly from home, but you can also do it on site at the photo booths.) Because we wanted to use the pass from CDG airport, we had it issued directly there. Unfortunately, there are often long waiting times – so you have to assess for yourself whether you want to wait.
Important: The Navigo pass is always valid from Monday to Sunday. So if you are planning your trip over the weekend until Monday or Tuesday, for example, the pass may not be worthwhile. Then the Paris Visite Pass could be something for you. As we say: Complicated!
You can find more information here: Pass Navigo Découverte (official website of the Parisian public transport company RATP)
From Airport to City Should test If you land at Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (CDG), you can easily take the RER train (B) to Paris. You can then change to the metro at Gare du Nord, for example.
If you buy the Navigo Pass at the airport (see above), this route is already included. Otherwise you have to buy a single ticket (Cost: Approximately 10 Euro).
It’s even more comfortable by Taxi. The price for a one-way trip to the city is now set as a flat-rate taxi fee and amounts to 30 Euro for all destinations in the urban area on the right bank of the Seine and 50 Euro for all destinations in the city area on the left bank of the Seine.
Other transport options (also for Orly airport) can be found on the official website of the Paris transport company RATP: From the airport to the city.
Security: How safe is Paris? Paris is basically no more dangerous for tourists than other big cities. BUT: Pickpocketing is actually a big problem. We have observed it ourselves and can only urgently advise you to pay special attention to valuables such as mobile phones and money.
Especially in the metro or where there are many people (e.g. Sacré-Cœur or around the Eiffel Tower) you should be particularly careful and carry your bag/backpack in front of your body if necessary .
Beware of distraction attempts of any kind. If strangers approach you or bump into you in front of famous sights, be particularly vigilant.
The so-called banlieues, i.e. the suburbs, have a bad reputation in Paris. In some of them you really don’t want to land at night, but don’t worry: As a visitor to Paris, you hardly get past here anyway.
What you should definitely be prepared for is a increased police presence, among other things in view of the terrorist attacks. Armed security guards stand in front of all major sights.
7. Map: Sights & tips at a glance Finally, we have you in this all the important sights and tips are shown on the interactive map. Our tip: If you want to use the map on site, click on the rectangle at the top right and save the map in your Google Maps app. How to navigate from one place to another in Paris.
Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
38192Have you ever been to Paris? Which sights and tips can you add? We look forward to your comment!38186