Paris Holidays Travel Guide


Imagine this: You’re meandering through stylish roads lined with designer boutiques, the air smells like croissant, and the sophisticated café on the corner seems to have popped out of a 60’s Hollywood movie with you as a leading actor.

 

Sounds dreamy? Well, this is what being on holidays in Paris is like!

 

Organizing your trip to Paris, though, can be time-consuming. No worries, we got you covered. Keep reading to find out ALL you need to know about holidays in Paris, from how to get there and where to stay to what to eat and pack.

 

Explore more: Paris things to do | Paris best hotels

Continue reading the full guide after watching this short video about the 5 things you should know before visiting Paris

About Paris


Paris might be known as the city of arts, culture, and fashion, but it is so much more than that! Being the second most visited European city after London, Paris receives millions of tourists every year. Are you planning to be one of them?

 

If the answer is yes, keep reading to find out everything, from the best things to do in Paris to the best places to visit and where to stay in Paris!

paris bridge

 

Why is Paris famous?

Paris, the capital of France, is one of the most popular and most-visited travel destinations worldwide! Museums, monuments, top fashion boutiques, and fantastic food are just some of the reasons why the “City of Light” (La Ville Lumière) is so famous. Rich in history and culture, Paris oozes a romantic retro charm that makes it a popular destination for couples and newlyweds. Some of the most iconic monuments in Paris are the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the 12th-century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, and the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe.

 

Where is Paris located?

Paris is situated in the north-central part of France, on the river Seine. The city belongs to the Ile-de-France region.

 

What is the best time to visit Paris?

Every season in Paris has a unique beauty. Winters in Paris are cold with low temperatures and snow. Springs are chilly and rainy. Summers are warm and muggy, but not steaming hot. In general, spring and summer are the peak seasons in Paris, so it’s a good idea to avoid them if you’re traveling on a budget or if you want to skip super-long lines at major attractions.

 

Weather in Paris

  • Autumn (September to November)

    Highest: 70 F/ 21 C Lowest: 42 F/ 6 C

  • Winter (December to February)

    Highest: 47 F/ 8 C Lowest: 37 F/ 3 C

  • Spring (March to May)

    Highest: 67 F/ 20 C Lowest: 42 F/ 5 C

  • Summer (June to August)

    Highest: 77 F/ 25 C Lowest: 57 F/ 14 C

 

What are the most popular events in Paris?

Men’s Paris Fashion Week, Paris Winter Sales
Valentine's Day, Vintage Car Show, Nouvel An Chinois (Chinese New Year), Paris Carnival
Paris Women’s Fashion Week, Fête de la Gastronomie (Gastronomy Feast)
Pad Paris Art & Design Exhibition, Art Paris Art Fair, International Rare Book & Autograph Fair
Roland Garros French Open, Versailles Jazz Festival, La Nuite Européenne des Musées (European Museums Night), Great Paris Steeplechase
Fête de la Musique, Men’s Paris Fashion Week, Paris Pride, Versailles Masquerade Ball
Bastille Day, Cinéma en Plein Air à la Villette
Rock en Seine rock music festival, Jazz à la Villette jazz festival
Paris Women’s Fashion Week, Festival de l'Automne (Paris Autumn Festival), Techno Parade
Nuit Blanche (White Night), Arc de Triomphe Horse Race, Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre, Salon du Chocolat (Event dedicated to chocolate)
Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants (Independent Wine Producers Fair), Pitchfork Music Festival, Fête du Beaujolais Nouveau
Africolor Music Festival, Christmas Markets, Christmas at Disneyland Paris

 

Did you know?

Paris is also known as ‘The City of Light’ (La Ville Lumière) because it was one of the first European cities that started using gas street lighting.

 

What are the best things to do in Paris?

  1. Visit the Musée d’Orsay

    The Musée d’Orsay, which is housed inside a recently renovated Parisian train station, is one of the most-visited museums in the world. There, you’ll find works of many impressionists and expressionists, like Cézanne, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Degas, and Gauguin. The museum also features two cafes and a restaurant, which are perfect for a break after a long day of exploration.

  2. Visit the Fondation Louis Vuitton

    The Fondation Louis Vuitton is housed in an impressive glass-made building designed by Frank Gehry. Inside the building, you’ll find an art museum that hosts works of contemporary artists like Thomas Schütte, Ellsworth Kelly, Pierre Huyghe, Sarah Morris, Gerhard Richter, and Taryn Simon. The Fondation Louis Vuitton also hosts some temporary exhibitions and organizes many events.

  3. Explore the impressive art collection of the Louvre Museum

    The Louvre Museum is one of Paris’ trademarks, not only because of the art treasures it hosts but also for its iconic exterior. The most popular artwork pieces of Louvre are the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory -many visitors go straight at them, without even noticing the rest of the exhibits. Apart from these super popular artworks, Louvre also hosts many masterpieces of artists like Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer.

  4. Visit the Gothic Notre Dame de Paris

    One of the most iconic gothic cathedrals in the world, the Cathédrale de Notre Dame, is arguably the symbol of the city. Notre Dame de Paris has an impressive exterior with beautiful windows, stone gargoyles, dramatic towers, and statues. Napoléon was crowned here. Kings and queens have also exchanged marriage vows before its altar. The interior of the cathedral hides many treasures, like stained-glass rose windows, organs, and a treasury.

  5. Climb up the Eiffel Tower

    The Eiffel Tower is the ultimate trademark of Paris! Constructed by French engineer Gustave Eiffel, this iconic tower was presented at the World Exhibition in 1889. You can visit the Eiffel Tower throughout the day, but it is more impressive at night when it is lit by 20,000 lights.

Related: 19 Best things to do in Paris (Top rated tours, attractions, museums & day trips in 2021)

 

What are the shopping hours in Paris?

Most shops in Paris are open throughout the day (Monday to Saturday) from 9 am to 7 pm except for some small shops that close at lunchtime (12 pm – 2 pm) and don’t open on Mondays. Supermarkets in Paris are open until 8 pm – 10 pm. All shops in Paris are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

 

Key facts about Paris

  • Population

    2,148,271 (2020)

  • Currecy

    Euro

  • Language

    French

  • Average Temperatures

    Warmest Month: July (25.2 C/ 77.4 F)
    Coldest Month: January (7.2 C/45 F)

  • Tipping

    In France, there is a 15% service charge (servis compris) that is automatically added to the bills. It is often noted at the bottom of the check.

  • Loved by

    Fashion-lovers, art enthusiasts, romantic couples, honeymooners.

The history of Paris

Paris has an enduring history and rich culture! Also known as “the City of Light” (“la Ville Lumière”), Paris has been considered an educational, commercial, and artistic hub since the 17th century. The origins of Paris are traced in the middle of the 3rd century BC, when a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones called Parisii inhabited the Paris area. In 52 BC the Romans conquered Paris, which was then known as Lutetia. However, from the late 5th century, Paris was attacked by the Franks, the Germans, Vikings, and the Capetians. The last ruled Paris for eight centuries.

 

How can you get to Paris?

Paris is well-connected to many European countries, as well as the UK and the US. The ways you can get to the capital of France are by plane, train, bus, or car.

 

Getting to Paris by air

Flights from the US to Paris: There are several direct flights to Paris from many cities of the US. Some of them are New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston.

 

Flights from Canada to Paris: There are also direct flights from Canada to Paris, from Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

 

Flights from Australia to Paris: There are no direct flights from Australia to Paris, but several airlines fly from Australia to Paris with stopovers. Such airlines are Emirates, Air France, British Airways, and Air France.

 

Flights from Europe to Paris: Many low-cost airlines fly directly to Paris from Europe, for as little as 50€! Such airlines are Ryanair, Easyjet, and Vueling.

 

How can you get to the airport?

There are two airports in Paris, Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Orly Airport (ORY). However, Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport is the main airport in Paris. You can get to the airport from the city center by taxi, by RER train, by Roissybus, and by bus.

 

Getting to Paris airport by taxi

A taxi drive from the city center to Charles de Gaulle Airport lasts for half an hour and costs 50€-55€. Keep in mind that there is an extra charge (15%) from 5 pm to 10 am, on Sundays, and public holidays.

 

Getting to Paris airport by RER train

The RER train is the express train of Paris. The journey to Charles de Gaulle Airport from the city center of Paris by line B of the RER train lasts for half an hour. A single train ticket costs 10€ and is also valid for the metro.

 

Getting to Paris airport by Roissybus

The Roissybus is a coach service that connects Charles de Gaulle airport with Paris-Opéra. The trip lasts for an hour and a one-way ticket costs €13.70. The Roissybus runs from 6.00 am to 12.30 am, departing every 15-30 minutes. If you’re staying close to Place de l’Opéra, this is a good transportation option to consider.

 

Getting to Paris airport by bus

Two bus lines connect Charles de Gaulle airport with Paris city center: bus 350 (From the airport to Gare de l’Est) and bus 351 (from the airport to Place de la Nation). These buses depart from the airport every 15 – 35 minutes and arrive at the city center in about an hour. A one-way ticket for these buses costs 6€.

 

Getting to Paris by train

Getting to Paris by train is a very good option if you’ re traveling from a neighboring European country like Germany, Belgium, Spain, Holland, and the UK. Some of the most popular routes are from London to Paris by train, from Brussels to Paris by train, and from Milan to Paris by train. The main train stations in Paris are Paris Gare du Nord, Paris Gare de Lyon, Paris Gare Montparnasse, Paris Saint-Lazare, and Paris Gare d’Austerlitz. Although train tickets are more expensive than plane tickets and the journey is long, the train trip is worth it.

 

Tip: If you want to embark on day trips from Paris, the train is a great option for your transfer.

 

Getting to Paris by bus

Similar to the train, getting to Paris by bus is a good option if you’re traveling from another European city. Also, bus fares are relatively cheap, so the bus is an ideal means for those traveling on a budget. The only downfall is that the journey to Paris by bus is quite long, depending on your departure point.

 

Getting to Paris by car

Getting to Paris by car is great if you’re planning to also visit other parts of the country or do a road trip around Europe. However, the car is not the best way to get around Paris, as it is almost impossible to find a parking spot.

 

Where to stay in Paris

The best place to stay in Paris for first-timers

The Eiffel Tower neighborhood is the best place to stay if you’re visiting Paris for the first time, as it is close to the major attractions. Located on the Left Bank of River Seine, this neighborhood is steps away from the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, Les Invalides, and other must-visit sights in Paris.

Some of the best hotels near the Eiffel Tower are: Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris, Best Western Au Trocadéro, Rayz Eiffel, and Hôtel de la Bourdonnais

 

The best place to stay in Paris for couples

If you want to have a taste of the romantic side of Paris, Montmartre is your best bet! Boasting a wonderful view of the city, Montmartre is not only romantic but also artistic and affordable -our top choice for young couples or honeymooners! It’s also full of cute bistros and romantic restaurants that ooze a retro – Parisian charm.

Some of the best hotels in Montmartre are: Best Western Plus Hôtel Littéraire Marcel Aymé, Hôtel des Arts Montmartre, Hotel de Flore, Terrass” Hotel, and Maison Souquet

 

The best place to stay in Paris for nightlife

For those who want to experience the authentic Parisian nightlife, Oberkampf is a top choice! Located at the hip section of the 11th arrondissement, Oberkampf boasts a great selection of restaurants, trendy bars, clubs, and shops. It’s where the heart of Parisian entertainment beats!

Some of the best hotels near Oberkampf are: Hôtel Fabric, Le Général Hôtel, Hotel Le Mareuil, My Home In Paris, and Sinner Paris

 

The best place to stay in Paris for art lovers

Located on Paris’ Right Bank, Le Marais is an artistic district full of history! Popular with the young Parisians and art lovers, Le Marais has a variety of gourmet restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and museums. It’s the perfect combination of fashion and art!

Some of the best hotels in Le Marais are: Le Pavillon de la Reine & Spa, Hôtel Jules & Jim, Roi de Sicile, Hotel du Petit Moulin, and 9Confidentiel

 

The best place to stay in Paris for history and culture

Saint-Germain-des-Pres is a classy neighborhood in Paris, located at the 6th arrondissement. Full of history, art, culture, and local gastronomy, this district will give you a break from the bustling city center. At Saint-Germain-des-Pres you’ll find a bunch of museums, galleries, and delicious Parisian restaurants. What’s more, it’s very close to the Musee D’Orsay and Notre Dame.

Some of the best hotels in Saint-Germain-des-Pres are: Hotel Le Petit Chomel, Hôtel D’Aubusson, Hotel Lutetia Paris, Hôtel Baume, and Millésime Hôtel

Related: Paris best hotels and places to stay

 

How to get around Paris?

 

Getting around Paris on foot

The best way to feel the vibe of the city and discover all the hidden gems is to explore Paris on foot! Sure, the center of Paris is quite big and you’re going to need a public means of transportation at some point, but walking around the city is a unique experience. Our tip is to scout out your destinations before starting exploring so that you can find the best way to reach them.

 

Getting around Paris by metro

The Paris metro network comprises 16 Metro lines that go through the city. Metro runs from 5:30 am to 12:40 am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays and from 5:30 am to 1:40 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

You can buy metro tickets at the metro, RER stations, tramway stations, as well as at Paris Tourist information centers. A single ticket for the metro in Paris costs €1.90 and is valid for just one journey. You can also buy a pack of 10 tickets for €16, as well as a monthly and a weekly pass. There’s also the Paris Visite Pass, which offers unlimited journeys of 5 days.

 

Getting around Paris by bus

68 bus lines in Paris connect several points throughout the city, covering a greater variety of destinations than the metro. To use buses, you should purchase the same ticket as in the metro or buy a ticket directly from the bus driver. The ticket is valid for a single journey, so you should validate another ticket if you want to use another bus line or another means of public transportation.

Again, similarly to the metro, you can purchase a pack of 10 tickets or a pass. Most bus lines in Paris run from 6:00 am. to 12:45 am from Monday to Thursday and on Sunday and from 6:00 am to 1:45 am on Friday and Saturday.

 

Getting around Paris by RER Lines

Getting around Paris using the RER train network is a little bit more complicated than the metro and the bus. That’s why it’s better to plan your RER journey or download the Paris Metro/RER app to check the itineraries. RER trains comprises 5 lines that run from 4:50 am. to 12:00 – 12:30 am.

 

Getting around Paris by taxi

If you want to move around Paris during the after-hours or just step out of the often overcrowded public means of transportation, a taxi is your best bet. With over 20,000 taxis (Taxi Parisien) running 24 hours a day, it’s easy to catch one no matter where you are in the city. The minimum fare for taxis in Paris is 2,60€. The price for every kilometer is 0,96€ from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and 1,17€ from Monday to Saturday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 am. On Sundays, the price per kilometer is 1,21€. You can call a taxi on 01 45 30 30 30.

 

How much will you spend in Paris per day?

What you should know before visiting Paris is that it is an expensive city, especially in the peak season. So, be prepared to spend about 165 € (184 $) per day. This means you’re going to spend 53 € to 180 € (60$ to 200$) on accommodation, 1.90 € to 14 € (2 $ to 16 $) on public transportation, and 36 € to 72 € (40$ to 80 $) on food and drinks.

 

What are the must-try foods in Paris?

  • Andouille

    Andouille is a type of smoked sausage made of pork, particularly popular in France. It is usually made using parts of the pig’s stomach and intestines, but it can contain other parts like neck, head, and breast. You can find the authentic Andouille sausage in the Normandy and Brittany regions in France. There is also a smaller version of the original sausage called “andouillette”.

  • French Baguette

    Except for being super-instagrammable, French baguettes are also super-yummy and cheap (0.45-0.90)! In Paris, you’ll find many “boulangeries” (local bakeries), that sell fresh-out-of-the-oven baguettes. Our tip is to eat the baguette as soon as possible after you buy it because it doesn’t stay fresh for more than a day!

  • Macarons

    Macaron is a French pastry that has become a global trend over the last few years. Macarons are little round cookies filled with cream. They came in many colors and flavors and are flour-less, as they are usually made of almond flour. The ultimate macaron meccas are Ladurée and Pierre Herme.

  • Coq Au Vin

    Coq Au Vin, which means rooster with wine, is a hearty French delicacy worth trying! This simple yet delicious dish consists of chicken braised in wine sauce and cooked with onions, bacon, and mushrooms. Yummy!

Useful Information

EU Citizens: You can visit Paris with your passport or I.D. US Citizens: For those traveling to France for less than 90 days, you don’t need a visa, only a valid passport. Australia Citizens: If you’re planning to stay in France for less than 90 days, you don’t need a visa, just a valid passport.
Emergency Medical Assistance: 01 47 07 77 77 Ambulance: 15 Police: 17 France area code: +33 Fire Brigade: 18 Poison Emergency Center: 01 40 05 48 48

Health care & Safety

Health Care in Paris

The Parisian health care system is good, fast, and budget-friendly. If you’re a citizen of EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein, health care in Paris is free or with a reduced cost, provided that you own a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Otherwise, we suggest that you have private travel insurance that covers you in case of a medical need.

Safety in Paris

  • Water safety: Tap water is safe to drink, but many locals opt for bottled water. The choice is yours.
  • You can find the 24-hour pharmacies that stay open during the night at www.parisinfo.com
  • In Paris, you’ll find about 50 hospitals. If you’re searching for an English-speaking one, L’Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique is a good option.
  • A general doctor in Paris is called Médecin généraliste.

 

What clothes to pack for your trip to Paris?

 

Packing for summer in Paris

Summers in Paris are warm, but not steaming hot. There’s always a chance of thunderstorms, so it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to packing! Some must-have items that need to be in your suitcase are cotton t-shirts, shorts, linen dresses, and comfortable sandals, as well as a raincoat and an umbrella.

 

Packing for fall in Paris

The fall in Paris is rainy and humid. The temperature usually starts to drop after September, so if you’re planning to visit Paris around this time, you should bring a sweater, cotton trousers, and waterproof jackets. Layering is the key!

 

Packing for winter in Paris

Winter in Paris is cold and often snowy, but temperature fluctuations are pretty common. So, you need to have your warm coats, sweaters, boots, gloves, scarves, and waterproof jackets.

 

Packing for spring in Paris

Springs in Paris are unstable in terms of temperature, so you have to cover all bases cloths-wise. Some key items to have in your suitcase are long-sleeve shirts, jackets, long trousers, a pair of waterproof shoes, and a pair of comfortable sneakers.

 

Books to read before visiting Paris

  • The Ladies’ Paradise, by Emile Zola

  • In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

  • A Place in the World Called Paris, by Steven Barclay

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Conclusion


Do you have any tips or recommendations about travelling to Paris? Tell us in the comments! If you liked this article, don’t forget to share it on Social Media!

 

Other Travel Guides you may be interested in: Rome holidays travel guide | Florence holidays travel guide | Milan holidays travel guide | Venice holidays travel guide | Naples holidays travel guideLondon holidays travel guide | Amsterdam holidays travel guide

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