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Plan Your Trip to Paris: Best of Paris Tourism

About Paris
Paris lives up to its hype: A city with unbelievable food and culture, plus stunning views everywhere you turn. With 18 arrondissements, it’s a lot to see in one trip, but each neighborhood has a personality all its own. You can’t miss the iconic 7th, where art and history meet—there’s the Eiffel Tower, sure, but the impressive Musée du quai Branly is just a short walk away. It houses an amazing collection of indigenous art. Or, hit up Montmartre (the 18th), with its boho shops and cozy brasseries. It’s a must-stop on the way up or down from Sacre Coeur. While the French practically invented fine dining, don’t skip the street food—Paris has world-class kebabs and falafel. But no matter where you are, be sure to pop into a sidewalk cafe, sip a glass of wine, and people watch—it’s the way to get a taste of true Parisian culture.

Travel Advice

Essential Paris

Explore Paris by interest

On the Seine

Sightseeing tours and cruises on the water

For the love of pastries

Must-try bakeries, tours & flaky croissants

Paris on a dime

Eats and activities that won’t break the bank

Make like a chef

Learn French cuisine: classes, tours & more

If you're feeling fancy-ish

Luxury experiences that are totally worth it

Under-the-radar art

Boutique galleries and lesser-known museums

Mix it up after dark

From cozy cocktail bars to chic nightclubs

Day trips to write home about

There's so much to see just outside the city

Shop under the sun

Outdoor markets to stroll (and snack) through

Paris, the page-turner

Iconic bookshops and literary landmarks

The perfect three days in Paris

What to do on your next escape
Read on

The perfect mother-daughter trip to Paris

Paris is the ultimate destination for a girls’ trip—especially if your travel companion is your daughter. I recently visited the City of Light with my 10 year old in tow, and together we enjoyed a magical, flowery, delicious adventure that she talked about for weeks. Read on for how we spent our time as a mother-daughter duo in Paris.
  • Bateaux Mouches
    8,142
    There are many options for boat rides down the Seine, but our favorite was the dinner cruise with Bateaux Mouches. Not only is it a great way to see the city (including the Eiffel Tower, which sparkles in the evening), but you also get to enjoy a four-course dinner and live music while taking in the sights. If you’re not one for floating restaurants, consider booking one of the day cruises instead—you’ll still get epic, unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Palais Galliéra
    336
    My daughter is into fashion, so we made it a priority to visit the Palais Galliéra on our trip. The museum, which is housed in a Renaissance-inspired palace just a short walk from some of the top haute couture boutiques in Paris, holds more than 200,000 items related to the history of fashion, including photos of famous designers and my daughter’s favorite: 18th-century dresses.
  • Palace of Versailles
    27,349
    The former home of King Louis XVI, the Palace of Versailles captivated both me and my daughter for hours. We took the train right from Gare du Nord and then spent the entire day exploring the museum interior, picnicking in the park, and strolling through the perfectly manicured gardens. We also enjoyed renting a rowboat and paddling along the Grand Canal.
  • Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann
    7,688
    The sprawling Galeries Lafayette department store is about way more than just shopping. There are restaurants, a new spa, and a range of experiences, from cooking classes to guided history tours. My daughter and I opted for the macaron making class, led by an esteemed French pastry chef. It was so much fun making the shells, adding the ganache, and, of course, tasting our handiwork. Held in a quiet corner of Galeries Lafayette, right in the heart of the Opera district, the class makes for a great pre-dinner-and-a-show activity.
  • Pink Mamma
    2,560
    Pink Mama is a popular Italian restaurant housed in a cute, rose-colored building—a.k.a. the ideal spot for a mother-daughter meal. The garden-themed space, with its artwork, mismatched tableware, and pops of color, is incredibly Insta-worthy, and the menu is full of indulgent dishes like lobster risotto and Neapolitan-style pizza topped with fresh truffles. Split the tiramisu for dessert.
  • Carette
    823
    In Paris, you could eat a croissant at a different spot everyday and never run out of new places to visit. Trust me, we tried. Our favorite of the bunch was Carette, where we paired flaky pastries with rich cups of chocolat chaud (hot chocolate). Everything was delicious, the decor is classic and elegant, and the views of Place des Vosges from your table make eating here extra special.
  • Le Bois de Boulogne
    402
    One day on our trip, we picked up a baguette, lots of cheese, and some fruit and had a picnic in the stunning Le Bois de Boulogne park on the city’s western side. Commissioned by Napoleon in 1852, it’s the second-largest park in Paris and home to landscaped gardens, several lakes, a waterfall, and even a zoo and amusement park. We chose a sunny spot in the park surrounding the Château de Bagatelle and enjoyed our lunch in view of the castle.
  • Palais Garnier
    19,939
    The opulent Palais Garnier opera house plays host to everything from chamber music concerts to famous operas, but my daughter and I came here to see the Paris Opera Ballet. We saw a show that my daughter herself had performed in back home and it was just spectacular. The baroque architecture and grandness of the opera house only added to the magic.
Paris Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Paris

Chrissie
Try and speak French as much as you can! Even if Paris is an international city, we do like it when people talk to us in our own language or at least try to!
8judy4
You will not be brought your bill after you finish in a restaurant or cafe. It’s considered rude and pushy. You need to ask for it.
luvplayacar
Pack small! … The buildings are old and the stairways are small and narrow and the elevators say they will fit 8, but not 8 US citizens with large luggage.
Ria
Make sure to buy your tickets to museums online and print them or have them ready to go on your phone. Also, read all of the details on your tickets, what way you don't wait an extra half hour in the yellow line instead of the short green line I was supposed to go to at the Eiffel Tower.

In the words of those who've been there before ...

Márcio F
Paris is magical! From its pretty and remarkable landscapes to its inspiring cafes, Paris has a unique combination of traditional architecture, rich history, pleasant parks and squares, original cuisine and special spirit of life.
browneyedowl
There is always something new and exciting to see here, whether you have been here once or several times.
FaboFinds
In Paris, venturing off the beaten path is very easy, there are little gems hidden everywhere in plain sight.
PaulSnood
You can discover a new city in Paris in every arrondissement. Every time I return I make sure to stay in a new and different part of the city and spend most of my trip exploring there.

What is the best way to get there?

Flying:

Paris is served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle (the second busiest airport in Europe) and Paris-Orly.

Train:

The Gare du Nord is a major transit hub for trains to Northern France and to international destinations in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting Paris from overseas, use the government’s Visa Wizard to see if you need a visa.

When is the best time to visit?

Summer (June to August): Summer is festival season in Paris, with highlights including Paris L'Eté, Fnac Live, and Solidays, while the Bastille Day fireworks draw huge crowds and the Paris Plages festival brings the beach to the banks of the Seine. Temperatures average highs in the 70s F (20s C) and lows in the 50s F (Teens C).

Alternatively, visit over the holiday season, when Christmas markets, NYE parties, and festive illuminations show the City of Lights at its most atmospheric. During the holiday season Paris sees average highs in the 40s and lows in the 30s (10 to 0 C).

Bicycle

Vélib' is a bike-share system with thousands of bicycle stations located across Paris and in some surrounding municipalities. Visitors can purchase a one- or seven-day subscription either at the docking stations or online.

Train

RATP operates its metro and RER services daily from 5:30 a.m. to about 1:15 a.m (2:15 a.m. on Friday and Saturday). The metro system is the city’s local underground subway network servicing central Paris and the RER is the regional express network. More information about the network and fares can be found online.

Bus

RATP operates Paris’ local bus system daily from 5:30 a.m. to about 1:15 a.m (2:15 a.m. on Friday and Saturday). At night, the Noctilien night bus network takes over, operating 47 bus lines from 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. More information about the network and fares can be found online.

Taxis

Hailing down a taxi on the street in Paris can be difficult so it is best to find an official taxi stand. You can also book a taxi online or on your smartphone here.

Ridesharing

Uber and Bolt are readily available in Paris on your smartphone.

Scooters

Cityscoot is an electronic scooter-sharing scheme which offers scooter rental through an app on your smartphone.

On the ground
What is the timezone?
Central European Standard Time
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage in France is 230V and the standard frequency is 50Hz. The plug has two round pins.
What is the currency?
The Euro
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Yes.
Are credit cards widely accepted?
Yes.
How much do I tip?
Tipping is not obligatory in France, however, a tip for exceptional service is always appreciated.

Are there local customs I should know?

Drinking
The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 18 years old.
Walking
Walk to the right of the sidewalk and step off to the side of the sidewalk if you want to stop to check your phone, look up directions, or want to take in a view.
Public transport
Allow others to disembark before boarding, don’t take up more than one seat, and stand to offer seating to pregnant women or someone with a disability.
Try to speak the language
Learn a few basic phrases as a sign of respect. Locals will often switch to English for your ease and comfort but they appreciate the effort.
Always greet people
A courteous, formal greeting in French, “Bonjour, Monsieur/Madame,” is always appreciated — this includes shop attendants, wait staff, hotel staff, drivers.
Don’t talk loudly in public
It is considered rude and ugly.
Don’t expect fast service
Sales assistants in shops or wait staff in restaurants won’t approach you straight away — giving people time and space is an important part of French culture. Also, don’t expect wait staff to give you the bill when your meal is finished, you will have to ask for it.
Frequently Asked Questions about Paris

We recommend staying at one of the most popular hotels in Paris, which include:

Some of the most popular restaurants in Paris include:

Paris is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:


If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Paris between March and May, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between June and August.