Thinking about going to Paris? Read this first!
Paris has quickly become one of my favorite cities to visit. I love how easy it is to get around in the metro and getting lost (on purpose) and discovering gems in different neighborhoods. Here’s my take on the best to see, eat and do in this lovely city!
When to go?
There’s no right or wrong time to visit Paris. It all depends on the type of weather you prefer to have during your vacation and how much you hate or like crowds. I hear Summer is a great time because everyone’s out on holiday to the beach towns and it’s less crowded. But for me, the trick is visiting the touristy areas early in the morning or in the evening. But you do you!
What’s the weather like?
Cold in the winter, mild in the Spring, HOT in the Summer, and all over the place in the Fall. Both times I have visited Paris have been between September and October.
What to pack?
Comfortable clothes/shoes. You’ll be walking and exploring a lot!
Where to stay?
The city of Paris is divided into 20 administrative districts (arrondissements municipaux). My favorite one at the moment is the 9th one because it has a bit of everything that Paris has to offer and feels like an area I could actually see myself living in. I love blending in with the locals when I travel. Other areas to consider are Le Marais and St Germain. During my last trip I stood in the 18th but once I crossed the street I was magically in the 9th. lol
· The airbnb I stood at on my last trip: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/28298761
· Use my link to sign up and save $ on your first booking: https://bit.ly/2EiyefM
What to do?
The map provided above shows the main attractions in Paris, but you obviously cannot miss the following:
-Eiffel Tower - You can get a pretty good photo of it from a lot of places in the city but my fave is at the top of the stairs of the Jardins du Trocadéro.
-Louvre Museum - If you decide to go into the museum wear comfy shoes because it’s HUGE and it can get pretty hot in there. Still worth it to me. You can get tix here and skip the line on arrival or get them at the door. The line moves pretty fast anyway.
-Montmartre - This is a large hill in Paris's 18th arrondissement where you can get lost in the small streets surrounding it and get to see a different side of Paris. I suggest starting at the top of the Sacré-Cour and walking towards Le Consulat restaurant. You’ll see people painting in the streets and tons of other cafés up there. I really enjoyed this walk. I didn’t actually eat at Le Consulat (the menu didn’t impress me) but I love the photo I took in front of it.
-Arc De Triomphe - If you want an epic photo like the one I took recently I suggest saving this one for later in the day right before the sun sets.
Click here for all of Paris’ MUST see places.**
How to get around?
I prefer to take the metro in Paris because it ‘s never late, the stations are clean and it gets me to every point of interest on my list quickly. But Uber is a great option after a long day if you’re feeling tired. I found the Uber drivers to be super polite and cool in Paris. We had some awesome talks with a few of them during out trip.
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Where to eat?
Food can get very tricky in Paris if you don’t do your research before getting there. I once stumbled into a café with the most beautiful exterior and was presented with the worst food ever. Can’t stress how important it is to plan where you’ll eat in advance. Here are some restaurants I think you’ll enjoy:
· Breakfast/Bunch/Lunch: These spots know how to make good breakfast /lunch food and they’re pretty popular so arrive early or be prepared to wait for a table. Most Parisian cafes shut down at 2PM and re-open for dinner around 6PM. Not planning your lunch accordingly may result in a cranky afternoon.
Holybelly - (9am - 5pm, last order 2:15PM) 19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010
Boy - I dreamed about their pancakes last night.. (9am – 4pm) 43 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, 75009 Paris, France
Beneditct - (12pm – 3pm) get here as close to 12pm as possible - 19 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France
Breakfast in America – Don’t laugh.. this place is awesomeee and they have a few locations. Breakfast is served ALL DAY (8:30am – 11pm). My fave location is within walking distance to Le Marais. I say, eat here and then walk through the area. Tons to see and do! 4 Rue Malher, 75004 Paris, France
Pink Mamma – They are open for lunch 12pm – 2:15pm but if you want actual breakfast food stick to the spots mentioned above and go here between 6:45pm and 11pm for dinner. They make delicious pasta and pizzas. Also, this spot is super Instagrammable. I’m obsessed! 20bis Rue de Douai, 75009 Paris, France
Hotel Amour Restaurant - In the Pigalle area. It has a very trendy vibe and the food is delicious. Not sure about the hours but we went around 9PM for dinner. 8 Rue de Navarin, 75009 Paris, France
La Abuela – If you love tapas check this one out. You can walk to nearby bars and clubs after. (7pm – 2am) 43 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, 75009 Paris, France
Where to listen to loud music and dance?
Take the metro or an Uber to the Pigalle area and walk around. You’ll see a ton of bars and people having a good time. We had a great time at:
- Le Carmen – (6pm- 6am) Tues – Sun - 34 Rue Duperré, 75009 Paris, France
- Le Rouge - We went on a Saturday and IT WAS LIT. It felt like I was back in New York. (12am – 6am) Thurs & Sat only* - 77 Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009 Paris, France.
- L’Arc – (12am – 6am) – Thurs – Sat - 12 Rue de Presbourg, 75016 Paris, France
Will I struggle if I don’t speak French?
No, most restaurants/bars have an English version of the menu or at least one staff member that speaks a bit of English BUT please be respectful of the fact that you’re in France and try to learn the basics and always be polite.
Oh and download the Google Translate app. It lets you point the camera at words and automatically translates them to English. It’s very helpful!
- Hello/Good morning - Bonjour
- Good afternoon/evening – Bonsoir
- Goodbye – Au revoir
- Please - S'il vous plaît
- Thank you - Merci
- Yes - Oui
- No - Non
- Exit - Sortie
I’ll keep updating this guide if I remember anything else or if I go back *wink wink.
Merci pour la lecture! (Thank you for reading). Feel free to share YOUR favorite spots in the comments section.