Navigating through Paris’s winding streets will take you on an historic journey from the Gallo Roman period, through the gothic styles of Medieval times, to the Renaissance periods, and up to today’s modern period. You’ll pass through history while enjoying art, food, fashion, and culture. Paris is a city of elegance and style that you don’t want to miss, but with all its grandeur it can be difficult to sort out the best plan for taking in as much as possible – without feeling rushed and overwhelmed. Thousands of books have been written on sightseeing through Paris, and its attractions are too numerous mention, so we have compiled here, some of the main landmarks, attractions, and interests we believe you wouldn’t want to skip. Plus we’ve added in a few extras for good measure.
Ah Paris, the architectural grandeur…
- Eiffel Tower
- Arc de Triomphe
- Musee du Louvre
- Notre Dame de Paris
Parisian Cafes & Hotspots
- Cafe des 2 Moulins
- Cafe Aouba
- Le Deoux Magots- a popular tourist destination known for its historical patronage of literary artists such Ernst Hemmingway, Simone de Beauvoir, and James Joyce.
Paris planning, where to start?
The first step to planning your time in Paris is to create a must-do list based on your personal interests. If fashion is what inspires you, plan all of your must-see landmarks around your shopping itinerary. If museums and history fills your soul, then plan some in-between stops at some iconic restaurants or cafes along the way. Or if you are the type of traveler who needs to take it all in, hire private tour guide for the day who can give you a lay of the land, a bit of the history of the city, and some advice on the best places to eat – on the first day or two, and then you can plan the rest of your trip around the type of attractions that interest you the most.
Paris is an exceptionally large city, being the capital city of France, and the most heavily populated city in France. The north arc of the Seine river runs through the city. Two islands, IIe Saint-Louis and IIe de la Cite, form the oldest part of the city which you cannot miss during your travels because Notre-Dame is located on the larger of the two (IIe-Saint-Louis).
The city has 16 arrondissements, within each one there is something to be seen, however the ones you will want to see for all the major landmarks are located in the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 17th, and 18th- for all you who love to look at maps.
For museum lovers, you can pick up fabulous day passes through http://en.parismuseumpass.com/.
For those who love to spend hours going through different types of museums these passes are great! They provide flexibility in your day and allow you to skip the queues and come and go as you like! Plus you can combine your Museum Pass with a city bus pass.
- Musee du Louvre
- Musee d’Orsay
- Arc de Triomphe
- Notre Dame
Tip: Sunday is museum day!
Many restaurants and shops are closed on Sundays, but many museums are open. This a great day to take advantage of the day passes, and to fill your day with some history and culture without being too side-tracked with pretty shops and alluring cafes.
What to wear in Paris?
Parisians love their shoes, but they don’t love sneakers. If you are looking to blend in, wear comfortable shoes but avoid the sport gear. You’ll be surprised at the amount of walking you do in Paris, so keep that in mind too. Paris is not the city to “break in” new shoes, or if you have a pair that you love but give you blisters – forget it! Leave them at home.
Parisians are fashionable. The world has been admiring their couture for centuries and it can be daunting when traveling there. You don’t want to look shabby, you want to fit in, and yet being comfortable is so important. We found that the easiest way to do this is to wear neutrals and glam it up with accessories. Plus bring at least one or two outfits for finer dining, possibly a show, and of course for at least one night out on the town. Focus on the everyday neutrals that you’ll be most dependent on – such outfits you can double-up; use a couple of times for different events.
Using accessories to dress up some basic neutrals is the easiest way to dress for Paris. This applies to men as well. For men, choose pants that are light weight and wrinkle free, and that can double for dress pants in the evening. A nice watch can bump up the look too. For women, scarves, little sweaters, pashminas, and jewelry are the easiest ways to create some glam! Paris is great place to purchase silk scarves too, so if you’re looking for a great lightweight souvenir, this is it!
The weather in Paris is fairly moderate with summer temperatures averaging between 15 – 25 Celsius, but can reach above 32 Celsius. The winter months, November to March are generally cold and typically hover between 5 Celsius and 10 Celsius. If you are planning a visit during the winter bring a warm coat and a hat for those windy days.
Ready to plan your visit to Paris? Check out these popular guides and trips.