Planning your first trip to Paris? Look no further! This ultimate Paris travel guidelines covers top attractions and things to do for an unforgettable experience. Paris is a majestic city that has been featured in the pages of many books and films.
However, when you visit Paris for yourself to experience its beauty firsthand, there are so many more hidden gems worth seeing! I have been to Paris twice (one a single trip) and I still don’t think that this city has seen all there is.
For every corner of the streets, buildings are hiding some kind of secret with their history or architecture tucked away for your sake-to find them on your own! It’s the dream of many to visit Paris–the city of lights, love and romance! But there are so many tips and tricks that will help make your trip more enjoyable.
Paris travel guidelines for first timers
Here are some general guidelines for traveling to Paris:
Entry Requirements: Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your trip, you may need a visa to enter France. Check the French Embassy website or contact them to determine what documents you need to enter the country.
Paris covid restrictions today: As of the latest update, France has lifted the requirement for travellers to provide a sworn declaration of their COVID-19 status and commit to taking a test upon arrival. However, it is important to note that there may still be travel restrictions in place depending on the traveller’s country of origin and the current France travel restrictions.
It is recommended to check with the French government or embassy for the latest information before planning any travel to France.
France vaccination requirements covid: As of 14 March 2022, France has lifted the requirement for a “vaccine pass” in all areas where it was previously necessary, including cultural and leisure venues, commercial catering, and professional trade shows. Additionally, as of 1 August 2022, the COVID certificate is no longer mandatory in France.
Transportation: Paris has an extensive public transportation system including the metro, buses, and trains. You can purchase tickets or passes at metro stations or online. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are also available.
Currency: The currency in France is the Euro. You can exchange currency at banks, exchange offices, or withdraw money from ATMs. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s always good to have some cash on hand.
Language: French is the official language in Paris, but many people also speak English. It can be helpful to learn some basic French phrases to make your trip more enjoyable.
Safety: Paris is generally a safe city, but like any big city, there is a risk of crime. Be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on your belongings, and avoid poorly lit or deserted areas at night.
Culture and Etiquette (local laws and customs): Parisians take their culture and manners seriously. Be polite, respect local customs, and dress appropriately when visiting religious sites or formal events.
Tourist Attractions: Paris is known for its museums, art galleries, historic landmarks, and food. Some popular attractions include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Champs-Élysées.
Places to stay in Paris.
First where you should stay in Paris. For your information Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements (districts). In the local language, Central Paris is its first Arrondissements. The remaining 19 districts are clockwise. You don’t have to keep these in mind; you have to plan to stay close to any metro station and the tourist places nearby.
Paris offers a wide range of accommodation options, including hotels, hostels, apartments, and more. Here are some popular places to stay in Paris:
Hotel Le Bristol Paris: This luxurious hotel is located in the heart of Paris and offers stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. The hotel features a spa, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and elegant rooms with marble bathrooms.
Hôtel Ritz Paris: The Ritz is a famous Parisian landmark and is located near the Louvre and the Opera. The hotel has a rich history and has hosted many famous guests over the years. It features an indoor pool, a spa, and beautifully decorated rooms.
Les Piaules: This trendy hostel is located in the Belleville neighborhood and is perfect for budget-conscious travelers. The hostel features a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city, a shared kitchen, and a cozy lounge area.
Hotel Lutetia: This Art Deco hotel is located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood and is known for its luxurious spa and elegant rooms. The hotel also features a Michelin-starred restaurant and a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city.
Airbnb: Paris has a large number of Airbnb listings, offering a variety of options for travelers. You can find apartments, studios, and even entire houses for rent in various neighborhoods throughout the city.
These are just a few examples of the many places to stay in Paris. Depending on your budget and preferences, there are plenty of other great options to choose from.
Top attractions & things to do in Paris
1. Eifel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic landmark located in the heart of Paris, France. It was built in 1889 as the entrance arch for the World’s Fair, and it has since become one of the most recognizable structures in the world.
Visitors can take an elevator or climb the stairs to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city. There are three levels to the tower, with the first level being 57 meters high, the second level at 115 meters high, and the third and highest level at 276 meters high.
The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year, and the opening hours vary depending on the season. It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues, especially during the high season.
In addition to admiring the tower from the outside and visiting the observation decks, there are also several restaurants and cafes located within the tower. The Jules Verne restaurant, located on the second level, offers a gourmet dining experience with panoramic views of the city.
The Eiffel Tower is a must-visit attraction when in Paris, and it’s sure to be a highlight of any trip to the city.
Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Opening Hours: Daily 9:30 am to 10:30 pm
2. Tour Montparnasse
The Tour Montparnasse is a skyscraper located in the Montparnasse area of Paris, France. It was completed in 1972 and stands at 210 meters tall, making it the second-tallest building in the city after the Eiffel Tower.
Visitors can take an elevator to the 56th floor, where there is an observation deck offering panoramic views of the city. From there, visitors can also take another elevator to the 59th floor, where there is a restaurant, the Ciel de Paris, offering fine dining and stunning views of the city.
The Tour Montparnasse is open every day of the year, and the opening hours vary depending on the season. It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues, especially during the high season.
The Tour Montparnasse is often called the “ugliest building in Paris” due to its modern architecture and the fact that it stands out from the traditional Parisian buildings in the area. However, it’s still a popular attraction for visitors looking to get a unique perspective on the city and enjoy a meal or a drink with a view.
While the Eiffel Tower is more famous, the Tour Montparnasse offers a different perspective of Paris from a taller height and with a more modern atmosphere.
Address: 33 Av. du Maine, 75015 Paris, France
Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 am to 10:30 pm
3. The Louvre
The Louvre is one of the world’s most famous and historic art museums, located in the heart of Paris, France. It is home to an extensive collection of artwork from around the world, including paintings, sculptures, and artifacts.
The Louvre was originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century, and it was later converted into a royal palace before becoming a museum in 1793. It is now the largest art museum in the world, with more than 380,000 objects in its collections.
Some of the most famous works on display at the Louvre include the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Venus de Milo. The museum also has collections of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art, as well as Islamic art, Asian art, and decorative arts.
The Louvre is open every day except Tuesday, and the opening hours vary depending on the day. It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues, especially during the high season. There are also guided tours available in multiple languages that can help you navigate the massive museum and learn about its collections.
A visit to the Louvre is a must-do for art lovers and history buffs, and it’s a great way to experience some of the world’s most famous artwork in person.
Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Opens: Wednesday to Monday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm closed on Tuesday
4. Trocadero viewpoint
The Trocadero is a plaza located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, France. It is situated across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower and offers one of the best views of the iconic landmark.
The Trocadero is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, with its large fountains, gardens, and stunning architecture. The square is also home to several museums, including the Museum of Man and the Museum of Architecture.
One of the main attractions of the Trocadero is the viewpoint it offers of the Eiffel Tower. Visitors can stand at the edge of the plaza and take in the magnificent view of the tower, especially during sunset and at night when the tower is lit up.
There are also several restaurants and cafes located in the area, offering a range of dining options with views of the tower. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Paris, and it’s a popular spot for taking photos and making memories.
The Trocadero is easily accessible by public transportation, with several metro and bus lines stopping nearby. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Paris, and it’s a great place to start or end a day of sightseeing in the city.
Address: Pl. du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris, France
Opens: 24 hours
Admission: Access to the premises is free but going up to the observation deck € 17.00
5. Notre Dame
Notre Dame is a historic cathedral located in the heart of Paris, France. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the city, known for its Gothic architecture, stained glass windows, and stunning rose windows.
The cathedral was built in the 12th century and has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years. It was the site of many significant events in French history, including the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte and the beatification of Joan of Arc.
Unfortunately, in April 2019, a devastating fire broke out and caused significant damage to the cathedral. Since then, a major restoration project has been underway, and the cathedral is closed to visitors until further notice.
However, the exterior of Notre Dame is still a popular attraction for visitors, and it’s possible to see the stunning facade and flying buttresses from the outside. Visitors can also see the progress of the restoration work from a distance, and there are plans to reopen the cathedral to the public in the coming years.
Notre Dame is a symbol of Paris and its history, and it remains an important destination for visitors to the city, even in its current state of repair.
Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
Opens: Daily 8:00 am to 6:30 pm. closing time varies
Admission: Free, but accessing to tower will cost you € 8.50
The Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a beautiful church located in the Montmartre district of Paris, France. It sits on top of a hill, offering panoramic views of the city and is one of the most visited landmarks in Paris.
The basilica was completed in 1914 and is known for its beautiful white domes and Romanesque-Byzantine architecture. Inside, visitors can see beautiful mosaics and stained-glass windows, and they can climb to the top of the dome for even better views of Paris.
The hill on which the Sacré-Cœur sits has been a place of worship for centuries, and there are several historic buildings and churches in the area, including the Saint-Pierre de Montmartre church and the Lapin Agile cabaret.
The Sacré-Cœur is easily accessible by public transportation, with several metro and bus lines stopping nearby. It’s a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and there are often street performers and artists in the area, adding to the lively atmosphere.
Visitors should be aware that the area around the Sacré-Cœur can be crowded, especially during the high season. However, the views of the city from the top of the hill are worth the trip, and the beautiful basilica is a must-see attraction in Paris.
Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
Opening Hours: Daily 6:00 am to 10:30 pm
8. Seine River cruise
A Seine River cruise is a great way to see some of the most iconic landmarks and sights in Paris, France. The Seine River flows through the heart of Paris, and a cruise along the river allows visitors to see the city from a unique perspective.
There are several companies that offer Seine River cruises, ranging from short sightseeing trips to longer dinner cruises with live entertainment. Most cruises pass by famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre Museum, allowing passengers to see these landmarks from a different angle and capture some great photos.
In addition to the landmarks, passengers can also admire the beautiful bridges that cross the Seine and take in the stunning architecture of the buildings that line the riverbanks. The Seine River is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, making a river cruise a great way to see some of the city’s history and culture.
Cruises typically depart from several points along the river, and it’s best to book in advance to ensure availability, especially during the high season. Some companies also offer audio guides in multiple languages, providing passengers with information about the landmarks and sights along the way.
A Seine River cruise is a relaxing and enjoyable way to see some of the best of Paris, and it’s a must-do activity for anyone visiting the city.
9. Paris Disneyland
Paris Disneyland, also known as Disneyland Paris, is a popular theme park located just outside of Paris, France. It is the largest Disney theme park in Europe and is a popular destination for families and Disney fans of all ages.
The park is divided into several themed areas, including Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Discoveryland, each with its own unique attractions and rides. Visitors can experience classic Disney attractions, like It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as newer attractions like Ratatouille: The Adventure and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
In addition to the rides and attractions, the park also features several shows and parades throughout the day, featuring Disney characters and live performances. There are also several restaurants, cafes, and snack stands throughout the park, offering a range of dining options.
Disneyland Paris also has several hotels and resorts located on the property, offering visitors the opportunity to stay in a Disney-themed hotel and make the most of their time in the park.
The park is easily accessible by public transportation, with a dedicated train station located on the property. It’s important to note that the park can be crowded, especially during peak season, so it’s a good idea to purchase tickets and plan ahead to make the most of your visit.
Paris Disneyland is a magical and fun-filled destination for visitors of all ages and a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Paris.
Address: Bd de Parc, 77700 Coupvray, France
Opening Hours: Daily 9:30 am 8:00 pm
The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous avenues in the world and a must-see attraction in Paris, France. The avenue stretches for approximately 1.9 kilometers from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, and it’s lined with beautiful trees, fountains, and some of the city’s most prestigious shops, restaurants, and theaters.
Visitors to the Champs-Élysées can take a leisurely stroll down the avenue, admiring the architecture and landmarks, including the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde, and the Grand Palais. There are also several museums and art galleries nearby, including the Musée Jacquemart-André and the Petit Palais.
The Champs-Élysées is also home to some of the most exclusive shops and boutiques in Paris, including Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Chanel, making it a great destination for shoppers. There are also several cafes and restaurants along the avenue, offering a range of dining options.
The Champs-Élysées is easily accessible by public transportation, with several metro stations located nearby. Visitors should be aware that the avenue can be crowded, especially during peak season, and it’s a good idea to visit during off-peak hours to avoid the crowds.
The Champs-Élysées is an iconic and beautiful avenue that showcases the grandeur and elegance of Paris, and it’s a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to the city.
Travel advice for france
If you’re planning to travel to France, here are some general travel advice to keep in mind:
Stay aware of your surroundings: France, like any other country, has its share of petty crimes such as pickpocketing, so it’s important to be vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings. Avoid carrying valuables with you and keep your belongings close to you in crowded areas.
Take public transportation: Public transportation in France is generally reliable and efficient, and it’s a great way to get around the city. You can also purchase multi-day tickets or passes to save money.
Respect local customs: French culture is rich and diverse, and it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. For example, it’s polite to greet people with a “bonjour” when entering a shop or restaurant, and it’s considered impolite to speak loudly in public places.
Try the local food and wine: French cuisine is world-renowned, and it’s one of the highlights of any trip to France. From croissants and baguettes to wine and cheese, make sure to try the local specialties.
Plan your itinerary in advance: France has many attractions and sights to see, so it’s a good idea to plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time there. Research the top attractions and events happening during your visit, and book tickets and tours in advance when possible.
Learn some basic French: Even if you don’t speak fluent French, learning a few basic phrases can go a long way in making your trip more enjoyable. Locals appreciate when visitors make an effort to speak their language.
By following these tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to France.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the COVID guidelines for Paris France?
As of 14 March 2022, France has lifted the requirement for a “vaccine pass” in all areas where it was previously necessary, including cultural and leisure venues, commercial catering, and professional trade shows. Additionally, as of 1 August 2022, the COVID certificate is no longer mandatory in France.
Do I need a Covid test to fly back to US from France?
As of the latest update, U.S. citizens flying back to the United States from France are not required to present a negative Covid-19 test result. However, it is still recommended to check with the airline and local authorities for any additional requirements or restrictions before traveling.
Can i go to Paris if im vaccinated?
Yes. As of 1 August 2022, the COVID certificate is no longer mandatory in France.
Do I need a COVID health pass in Paris?
No. As of 1 August 2022, the COVID certificate is no longer mandatory in France.