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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Diaz

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Paris, France

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

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Paris, the city of love, is a delightful blend of charm, enchantment, and joie de vivre! It's a place where beauty, romance, and culture intertwine, creating an unforgettable experience for everyone who visits. Prepare to be swept off your feet as you embark on a whimsical journey through medieval cathedrals, iconic landmarks, and enchanting cobblestone streets.


Discover the hidden gems nestled amidst Paris's vibrant tapestry. Picture yourself strolling through secret gardens and parks, stumbling upon delightful surprises at every turn. In this city, the possibilities are endless! Whether you're a tourist seeking adventure or lucky enough to call Paris home, prepare to delve into a world that will ignite your curiosity and leave you yearning for more. Are you planning a thrilling escapade to the City of Light? Or perhaps you're just daydreaming about the endless wonders awaiting you in this breathtaking metropolis? Fear not, for we have you covered! Get ready to uncover the ultimate guide to Paris, brimming with exhilarating activities and must-see destinations that will make your heart skip a beat. So grab your beret and get ready for a rendezvous with Paris's unparalleled magic. Let's dive into a world where beauty knows no bounds, romance fills the air, and culture dances through the streets. Paris awaits, and adventure beckons!


Things to Do in Paris


Cathédrale Notre‑Dame de Paris

Cathédrale Notre‑Dame de Paris is my favorite Parisian landmark. This Parisian cathedral is one of the most famous in France and a popular tourist attraction. It's been around since 1163, but it was destroyed during the French Revolution. However, they rebuilt Notre Dame to its original medieval glory so you can get up close and personal with iconic features like the bell tower or gargoyles! It's a must-see on any tourist's list of things to do in Paris!


Hint: I recommend going on your Paris trip in the morning so you can catch a tour to see all of this Parisian landmark.


Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France



Sacre‑Coeur Basilica

If you're looking for an iconic Parisian location, it has to be Sacré-Coeur Basilica! This Parisian church is beautiful and offers a Parisian view unlike any other. It's my favorite Paris church because it has one of the most iconic Paris views in all of Paris! I recommend going on your morning or afternoon tour so you can catch an incredible photo opportunity on Paris's iconic Pont Neuf bridge. This is another excellent Paris landmark to add to your itinerary during your visit to France.


Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France



Shakespeare and Company

This Parisian bookstore is a popular attraction for those who love books! It's one of my favorite Parisian landmarks because it has the most incredible collection of rare and used English-language books. It's also an international bookshop that sells French, British, and American literature in Paris (and offers free WiFi while you're there). It's a Parisian bookstore for book lovers and has a fascinating Paris history. I recommend adding this to your list of things to do in Paris because it's so unusual! This famous bookstore was frequented by Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce in the 1920s, so grab a cup of coffee and buy a book because you will love this place.


Address: 37 rue de la Bûcherie 75005 Paris, France


Musée du Louvre

No Paris itinerary would be complete without a visit to The Louvre! It's one of the world's largest and oldest museums, with over 35,000 pieces on display. This museum has so much to offer whether you're interested in ancient arts, Renaissance art, Parisian history, etc.


This museum is so huge that there are two buildings, and it can take up to a whole day just to explore the Louvre! You'll find paintings by artists like Leonardo da Vinci and pieces from different periods. I recommend starting with the Sully Wing and working towards the Richelieu wing. Once inside, head straight to Mona Lisa. This room will only get busier as the day goes on, so you want to get it done quickly. You'll also want to lower your expectations because, in my humble non‑artist opinion, Mona Lisa might be the least exceptional piece of art in the entire building. Having seen her now, I don't get the hype. I prefer the colorful and giant painting directly opposite her and the famous Winged Victory of Samothrace. But, since she's so iconic, you do have to see her – at least to laugh at the vast crowd pressing their cameras and phones as close as they can get to the glass. But besides the Mona Lisa, there are many more beautiful sculptures and paintings.


Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France





Moulin Rouge

One of Paris' most famous attractions is the Moulin Rouge. It's a must-see landmark during your Paris trip! This Parisian nightclub opened in 1889 and became well known for its cancan dancing, later exported all over Europe and North America.


Paris is famous for its cabaret, which became popular in the early 1900s thanks to the Parisian nightclub Le Moulin Rouge! It offers visitors an exciting insight into the Parisian cabaret scene, and there's usually a show going on. And if a Moulin Rouge ticket isn't in your budget (97‑420 euro per ticket!), all you need is a quick picture out front in honor of the movie.


Address: 82 Bd de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France





Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is Paris' most iconic landmark. It's a symbol of Parisian grandeur! This impressive arch stood 45 meters high and was built in 1806 to honor the military victories of Napoleon I. The Parisians nicknamed it "Le Monument à l'Eternité" (the monument to eternity).


I recommend getting your picture taken in front of the Arc de Triomphe at sunset, and you'll get a beautiful Parisian glow. It's also an excellent spot for street photography! But, of course, the best time to visit is during the day or early evening when it's not too crowded. The Paris Metro Station (Champs Élysées-Clemenceau) is also nearby to take the Paris Metro from this stop.


Address: Pl. Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France




Musée d'Orsay

If there is one museum that everyone needs to visit while in Paris, it's the Orsay! The museum holds Paris' most extensive collection of impressionist art and is located in a former railway station. The building's architecture is also worth seeing!


You can get tickets in Paris or get them ahead of time through the museum's website. You'll find many great pieces by famous artists like Monet, Gauguin, Cézanne, etc. I recommend spending at least 90 minutes to see it all.


Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France



Eiffel Tower

When I think of Paris, the iconic Eiffel Tower is one of the first images that come to mind. The tower stood at an impressive 324 meters and was built in 1889 for World's Fair. You can head up to the top with some stairs or ride on Paris' tallest outdoor elevator, which goes from ground level. Paris' views are breathtaking, and you'll get a different perspective of Paris. I recommend going up in the morning to see Paris as Paris wakes up or during sunset for those beautiful golden hour shots.


Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France





Champs-Élysées

Experience the allure of Champs-Élysées, the grandest avenue in the City of Love! Enchanting visitors from around the world, this iconic boulevard is a sensory delight, pulsating with vibrant energy and undeniable elegance. Stroll along the wide, tree-lined promenade, and let the charm of this legendary street captivate your senses.

Indulge in a world of luxury and sophistication, exploring high-end boutiques, flagship stores, and exquisite cafés that adorn the boulevard. Whether you embark on a shopping spree or simply admire the latest fashion trends showcased in captivating window displays, Champs-Élysées is a paradise for fashion enthusiasts and lovers of Parisian chic.



But Champs-Élysées offers more than just shopping. Prepare to be awestruck by the magnificent architectural wonders that grace the boulevard. Marvel at the iconic Arc de Triomphe, proudly standing at the western end, exuding monumental beauty and symbolizing Parisian grandeur. This must-see landmark will leave you in awe. As day transitions into night, Champs-Élysées transforms into a mesmerizing spectacle of lights. The avenue comes alive with vibrant energy, and the illuminated facades cast a magical glow that takes your breath away. Immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife, savoring delectable cuisine in charming restaurants or raising a glass of champagne in elegant bars.


Champs-Élysées is not just an avenue; it's an unforgettable experience that leaves a lasting imprint on your heart. Lose yourself in the allure and beauty of this iconic Parisian gem. Let the world-famous Champs-Élysées welcome you with open arms, promising a journey you'll cherish forever.


Address: Av. des Champs-Élysées 75008 Paris, France


Cafes + Bakeries in Paris


Le Consulat

Montmartre is one of my favorite areas in Paris because of its charm, and it's definitely worth an afternoon of just exploring. Located in the 18th Arrondissement in Paris, the main attraction in the area is the Sacre Coeur. However, walk the streets around it for hidden gems like the only wine vineyard in Paris or the many chic cafes like La Maison Rose and Le Consulat. But this neighborhood is rich in history and once home to Picasso, Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Matisse, and other influential characters. This area is also great for photography, so bring your camera for charming streets and great city views. One of the Parisian cafes that I love is Le Consulat. It's a charming Parisian cafe with delicious food, an excellent wine list, and of course - they do macarons!


This Parisian gem has been around since 1877 when it was called Cafe de la Paix and had a different name. They offer delicious food with an excellent wine list for those who want to indulge during their Parisian trip!


Address: 18 Rue Norvins, 75018 Paris, France



Le Café Marly

After exploring the Louvre:

  • Go to Cafe Marly.

  • Order a coffee & croissant.

  • Enjoy the view of the Louvre Pyramid.

Plus, a great photo opportunity too! Parisians love to drink wine and eat cheese but are also known for their snails and frog legs.


I also recommend stopping by Le Café Marly for a nightcap after sunset at Trocadéro Gardens. The restaurant is Paris' most romantic with its dim lighting and fantastic views of Paris. The food at Le Café Marly is delicious, but the real highlight here is the cocktails. Try to find a seat at one of their outdoor tables or bring your own bottle so you can enjoy it right there! And if you're hungry, I recommend ordering Paris' famous cheese plate for the whole table.


Address: 93 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France


Café de Flore

This Parisian café is a popular Paris landmark for many reasons. It's one of my favorites because it has an amazing atmosphere and vintage Paris feel. It’s also the perfect place to go if you want to people-watch in Paris! I recommend going during your morning or afternoon tour so you can enjoy this iconic Paris view.


Address: 172 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France


Sébastien Gaudard Salon de Thé ‑ Pâtisserie

Sébastien Gaudard is a French pastry chef that aspires to restore the past to the shine of the present. A paradoxically current approach, part of a quest for excellence and transmission that he wishes to share with as many people as possible. This bakery is phenomenal, especially their croissant. This bakery in Paris has many treats like eclairs, creme puffs, etc.


I really enjoyed their hot chocolate, especially because it had a hazelnut flavor to it that was unique! Their cookies were also delicious, and they offer many different kinds of macarons for all tastes. I recommend going there if you want a Parisian experience with delicious Paris food.


Address: 3 Rue des Pyramides, 75001 Paris, France



Ladurée

This Parisian bakery is located in the heart of Paris and has been around since 1862. It's famous for its incredible macaroons, but I recommend going there because it offers more than just desserts! They have a variety of delicious Paris food that you will enjoy (and their hot coffee was so good!).


I had a Parisian experience when I went to Ladurée Paris because it's run by the woman who invented macaroons in 1892. She created them to remind her of Spain, where she lived before coming back to Paris and opening up this bakery.


  • Address: 75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France

  • Address: 21 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France

  • Address: 16 Rue Royale, 75008 Paris, France

  • Address: 14 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France

  • Address: 47 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris, France

  • Address: 14 Rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris, France


Where to Eat in Paris


Pizza Renato

I know, not really expecting to eat Italian food in Paris but trust me when I say that the food here is absolutely incredible! I can say it was my favorite restaurant so far. The staff there made you feel welcomed like long-lost friends and treated as such the whole time we were there. And it was inviting, comfortable, and overall peaceful. But the food here was a culinary experience; I highly recommend eating the truffle mushroom ravioli, macaroni and cheese, and tiramisu.


If you're on a tight budget, then this Parisian restaurant will be your savior. It's known for its authentic Italian pizzas and other mouth-watering dishes that are all reasonably priced (good wine, too!). This Parisian restaurant is one of Paris' hidden gems, so it pays to stop by for a quick pizza fix.


This Parisian restaurant has been around since the 1950s and is frequented by locals and tourists alike because they offer incredible food at surprisingly affordable prices!


Address: 41 Bd du Temple, 75003 Paris, France


Le Flore en l'Ile

I discovered this Parisian restaurant when I was in Paris, and it's one of my favorites. It has a romantic vibe in Paris that is very hard to come by, so if you're looking for something special on your Paris vacation, then I recommend checking out Le Flore en l'Ile Paris! It offers the most incredible Parisian views, delicious Paris food, and great wines. This Paris restaurant is one of the most romantic in Paris, so make sure to check it out during your visit! I recommend sitting outside for an incredible Parisian experience with a loved one or a friend.


You can spend a delicious moment on Île Saint‑Louis, a natural island at the heart of the French capital, enjoy a unique view of the Cathedral Notre‑Dame. At the same time, Parisian street artists and musicians play on the Saint‑Louis bridge. Enjoy traditional French cuisine and delicious desserts, among which the famous Berthillon ice cream. Don't forget to try the escargot and onion soup (heads up, call it onion soup, NOT french onion soup). It was absolutely delicious.


Address: 42 Quai d'Orléans, 75004 Paris, France


Where to Stay in Paris

If you're planning a trip to Paris soon, you'll want to keep in mind that the city is one of the most expensive in the world. While there are many budget hotels and hostels in the city, you may have better luck finding a room in a neighboring city if you're on a tight budget. Paris is also known for its high taxes, particularly on alcohol. If you plan on spending a significant amount on alcohol during your trip, consider bringing your own. Unless you have a specific expectation of what you're looking for in terms of accommodations, you'll probably want to stay in the city's center. This is where the most popular attractions are, and there are a wide variety of accommodations to choose from.




Sightseeing Tips for Paris

  • Plan your itinerary before you arrive in Paris.

  • There are hundreds of things to see, and you can easily get overwhelmed by all the options. Consider your time frame and what you're hoping to accomplish.

  • Bring a map, guidebook, or smartphone app that helps you find nearby attractions.

  • Visit the tourist office at the nearest airport to Paris. They often have brochures on what's open and available for tourists.

  • If you want to see the Eiffel Tower at night, consider visiting during the low season in the spring or fall.

  • Consider purchasing a monthly pass for public transportation. Most of the buses and subways are free to use.

  • Laundry is inexpensive to use in Paris, averaging around 5 euros per load.

  • You'll find Expensive restaurants and cafes throughout the city.

  • You can easily walk between popular destinations.

  • Avoid visiting during the winter months when days are short.

  • Avoid visiting during the late spring and early summer.

  • Avoid visiting during the weekdays.

  • Avoid visiting during the month of August.

  • Avoid visiting during the month of October.


Paris, a city of beauty, romance, and culture, lives up to its reputation. From medieval cathedrals to iconic landmarks, every corner holds unique charm. Quaint streets, parks, and gardens offer peaceful oases. Whether you're a tourist or resident, Paris captivates with its history, atmosphere, and diverse experiences. My detailed guide ensures you make the most of your visit, uncovering must-see sights and hidden gems. Let me unveil the secrets of Paris and create lasting memories.


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I'm Samantha! A photographer and I believe that every picture has a story. As a blogger, I share my travel stories with everyone. I think it's important to document my travels and share my experiences with others. I've been to some amazing places and I've seen some incredible things. I want to share my stories and photos with the world.

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