Paris Travel Guide
"Paris is always a good idea" - Audrey Hepburn
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.
When To Visit Paris
Best Time Overall
Fall or Spring is the best time to visit Paris as it is less crowded, not too hot and accommodations are a bit cheaper.
Winter is the cheapest time to visit Paris, but you'll have to brave the cold!
During the June - August months, Paris is perfect for a picnic under the warm sun.
Accepts chip-enabled credit cards
Do you tip in Paris?
You can, but since the tip is already included in the price it is not necessary
Where to Stay
La Reserve Paris - Hotel and Spa - Once a mansion, now a small luxurious hotel, La Reserve Paris is the definition of Paris luxury.
Maison Souquet - Elegance at its finest, Maison Souquet's art deco theme is sure to impress. Not to mention you'll get a private hour by the pool with your stay.
Ampere Hotel - In a great location with tons of restaurants and a metro station nearby. It is also walkable to Arc de Triomphe & Champs-Élysées.
Hotel 34B - Astotel - Located in a very lively district to go out, Hotel 34B offers a cozy & quaint stay with free snacks and drinks.
CHEAP Paris ACCOMMODATION
Hotel de la Mare - An inexpensive way to visit Paris with a helpful staff. Hotel de la Mare is also close to restaurants and a metro station.
Hotel de L'Union - Although there is no elevator, Hotel de L'Union is a great hotel close to a metro station.
Charles De Gaulle
This is the major airport in Paris. In order to get into the city, you can take the RER train. It'll cost 10 euros and will take around 35 minutes from terminal 3. You can also take RER B express service for a faster ride.
This airport is used for traveling in Europe mostly. To get into the city from Orly, take the Orly Bus costing 7.50 euros. It will take around 30 minutes.
The Paris Nord Train Station (Gare du Nord)
This is the main train station if you are arriving or departing from Paris to another European country such as, Belgium, Netherlands, Northern Germany, & the UK. Trains that use this station are Eurostar, TGV, & Thalys.
The metro is probably the easier way to get around in Paris. However, the ticketing is a bit outdated forcing you to use paper tickets instead of a pre-paid card. There are plenty of train maps that can be a bit confusing at times, so it is best to plan ahead or ask a worker for assistance.
You should also know that the doors don't open automatically. And be careful with pickpocketers. I'd recommend keeping your personal belongs in front of you at all times. They are quick and sneaky.
Uber is also availably in Paris. This might be a better, slightly more expensive alternative to the metro. You don't have to worry about getting lost and you can see Paris from above.
Taxi - Le Cab
Taxis are also available. You have to pay€2.10 for a service charge and the rate depending on the time of day and what zone you are in. If the taxi's roof lit orange, it is busy and if it is white, it is free.
Food & Drink
Honestly, there's a ton of great food in Paris, so it best to just walk around and stumble into a random cafe. Those make for the best food and memories. However, I've complied a list below to get you started.
Erick Kayser - Honestly, the best chocolate croissant.
Eggs & Co - A french take on Western breakfast. They did a good job!
Lunch || Dinner
Le Potager du Père Thierry - A small restaurant that packs a yummy punch.
Epicure - A dining experience to remember. Presentation, taste, & staff makes it well worth the money.
La Coïncidence - A hip & trendy family owned restaurant.
Les Cocottes - A Michelin resturant worth the star.
La Crêperie de Josselin - Crepes & cider in Paris, yes please!
Berthillon - Delicious Ice Cream with natural ingredient.
Angelina - Near the Louvre, Angeline is famously know for their delicious chocolate.
Pierre Hermé - Get the true Macarons experience here.
Ladurée - Not only known for their exceptional desserts, but also for their exceptional food preparation,ambience & service.
Little Red Door - A truly unique speak-easy where you get a drink by picking a drawing on the wall. (They hired 11 artist to create a drawing based on how the cocktail made them feel)
Le Bar du Plaza Athénée - Unique interior, great cocktails, very high prices.
Dirty Dick - An amazing Tiki bar in Paris.
Le Comptoir Général - A cool place to go out dancing.
Experimental Cocktail Club - An intimate bar for a low-key fun night.
Going Out (partying)
Oberkampf - A trendy partying district. Can get overly crowded, but worth the night.
Opera / Bourse - I stayed at Hotel 34B (in this district) and I was pleasantly surprised at how lively this area was. There's a ton of very low-key bars, some playing live music. It felt very Parisian and I'd recommend visiting the area if you don't want to get too crazy.
Things to Do And See
Hop on and hop off to see all of Paris in an easy and convenient way possible. No need to worry about taking public transportation.
I would recommend purchasing tickets beforehand online. We waited in line for about 45 mins; the line includes purchasing your ticket, going through security, and waiting for the elevator to take you up to the 2nd floor. If you were unable to purchase online, and don't feel like waiting in a long line, there is an option of walking up the tower. The line is significantly shorter.
2nd Floor vs Top Floor: As a photographer, definitely spend the extra cash to go up. There's an even greater view of the beautiful city, and they also serve champagne there.
Don't forget to stay after dark too! There is a light show that is not to be missed!
It is a well kept secret, especially for photographers. This overlooks the Paris cityscape with a direct look of the Eiffel Tower. I'd recommend coming here for sunset then staying for the Eiffel Tower light show!
We lucked out and skipped the line because a friendly stranger offered us their used tickets. Be a Good Samaritan and find someone in line and pay it forward. Otherwise we'd recommend getting these tickets online too. HUGE museum. If you have 1-2 days in Paris to spare, you could easily spend it in the Louvre alone.
There are signs everywhere but beware of pick pockets, especially around the Mona Lisa which draws a big crowd of people trying to take a picture with this old ass bitch. Swing your backpack to the front and be mindful of your surroundings as it can get kind of hectic in there. Same goes for the Paris metro at rush hours.
Christmas-time, very festive, lots of vendors; just like Christmas in the Park if you're from the Bay.
Close by to the champs, you can go on top; don't be a crazy person trying to run across this fast roundabout; just use the underground path
A perfect place to have a nice stroll. You can ride the ferris wheel or enjoy a ride on the merry-go-round.
Who doesn't like Disneyland?! Paris Disneyland features two parks, the first comparable to the original Disneyland park with different attractions like Ratatouille: The Adventure. The other is Walt Disney Studios Park, an MGM type park similar to the one in Walt Disney World. Oh, and they have Space Mountain Mission 2!
The famous cabaret in Paris. Tickets can range from $104 - $250 depending if you want dinner, just the show, or the VIP treatment.
Cheap, beautiful gardens but don't spend too much time here laughing at the single ladies statue.
Take a trip to see the gigantic Palace of Versailles.
You can bring your own or if you happen to forget or suddenly fell in love with a lovely French native, they sell locks here and provide markets for you to write whatever message you please. Mind you, this isn't an official kiosk, just peddlers.
(UPDATE): They cleared it out, but I'm sure you can still leave one with your lover :) Just know it will probably get removed.
Best Photography Spots In Paris
Eiffel Tower - Why wouldn't you take a shot at this iconic landmark. There's a ton of places to shot the Eiffel Tower, but I'd start with just visiting it first. Around there, you'll walk around and find great spots. This is also a great opportunity for a long exposure with the carousel. Don't miss the light show at night as well!
A perfect location for a sunset cityscape shot of Paris. This one was high on my list and I'm glad I went! Word of caution, my Mefoto Travel Tripod was a bit short to reach of the glass. Made it difficult to get a clean, clear shot and have to place my camera on the glass top. Had to be patient and quick to get my shot in-between people banging on the glass.
Another iconic Parisian landmark. I like the get a night shot of this, but you MUST be careful! This is a very busy area packed with cars going through a roundabout. The drivers are focused on merging and their exits and aren't looking for pedestrians. Try to get a good shot, but don't risk your life for it!
I like coming here because you can get really creative with the glass structure. Personally, I like coming at night time to get it lit up.
Yes, Paris has a Statue of Liberty too! It is kind of small and hard to find, but it's cool to see. Japan has one as well, and all 3 are facing each other!
Insurance is always an tricky situation. Do you really need it? What if something bad does happen? Travel insurance is no different. No one can predict anything so it really depends on your gut feeling for the trip. It never hurts to feel safe, but it also doesn't hurt to save some extra money when everything goes as planned.