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The 7 Best Paris City Tours 🇫🇷 [2022 Reviews]

Don't leave Paris without a guided tour to see the city like a local

Paris is one of the most popular spots four tourism in the world, and it’s really no wonder why. The European capital has one of the most impressive, interesting backgrounds in history, art, architecture, and so much more.

However, because of this there’s also a ton of attractions to check out which can make it difficult if you’re doing all the sightseeing and planning on your own.

Not to mention, there are just a ton of tours in Paris which can make it hard to pick which are worth going on! That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find you the top Paris city tours out there.

Be sure to see our list of the top 10 things to do in Paris for some more ideas!

Best City of Paris Tours

 Paris in a Day: Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise & LouvreParis Your Perfect Day in the City Custom Private TourExclusive Private Paris Tour by Citroen 2CV
editors choice
Paris in a Day: Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise & LouvreParis Your Perfect Day in the City Custom Private TourExclusive Private Paris Tour by Citroen 2CV
Departure Point:Anvers, 75018 ParisHotel pick-up and drop-off anywhere in Paris city limitsHotel pickup and drop-off included
Departure Time:9:00 AMVariety Available9:30 AM
Duration:9 hours7 hours or 3.5 hours (depending on selection)3 hours
Includes:Skip the Line Eiffel Tower tickets (non-guided), licensed English-speaking guide, small groups (maximum of 15), Skip the Line Louvre tickets, 1 hour Seine River Cruise (flexible ticket), Montmartre guided neighborhood walk, food & drinksPrivate guide, customized tour planning services, public transport costs (including taxis and Paris’ historic metro), certified guide for museum available on requestPrivate guide, transport by private vehicle, break at LadurĂ©e, hot beverage (coffee or LadurĂ©e tea), traditional sweet French treat at LadurĂ©e Treat, gratuities

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Tours of the City of Paris

  1. Paris in a Day: Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise & Louvre
  2. Paris Your Perfect Day in the City Custom Private Tour
  3. Exclusive Private Paris Tour by Citroen 2CV
  4. Highlights & Hidden Gems With Locals: Best of Paris Private Tour
  5. Paris City Tour with Private Friendly Guide and all Must-See Sites
  6. Paris City Sightseeing Half Day Segway Guided Tour
  7. Tuktuk in Paris © Private City Tour

Paris City Tour Reviews

1. Paris in a Day: Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise & Louvre

Paris in a Day: Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise & Louvre

Tour Highlights:

  • Departure: Anvers, 75018 Paris
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure Time: 9:00 AM
  • Includes: Skip the Line Eiffel Tower tickets (non-guided), licensed English-speaking guide, small groups (maximum of 15), Skip the Line Louvre tickets, 1 hour Seine River Cruise (flexible ticket), Montmartre guided neighborhood walk, food & drinks
  • Other: Convenient way to see big attractions located all across the city

This is one of the most popular Paris city tours out there, as it covers some of the biggest attractions in the city. Not only that, but it allows you to see them in the most convenient way possible: without having to wait in lines and having your own personal tour guide to teach you about everything!

At 9 hours long, the Paris in a Day: Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise & Louvre tour is not one to miss!

Start out with the rest of your small group and guide at Montmartre hill. You’ll all meet here, and as the groups are never more than 15 people, it’s much easier to see more places. Take the funicular to Sacre-Coeur Basilica, which is incredibly stunning – both inside and out!

From here, you’ll see some of the most impressive views of this sprawling city! The winding streets surrounding it are quite fascinating in themselves, so you’ll make a few stops along the way. First, at a local vineyard, artist hot-spot Place du Tertre, and a reconstructed windmill!

Next, head to Ile de la Cite, or Island on the Seine, is literally an island in the middle of the river in the city center. It once served as a fortress in the 4th century, but also was inhabited by the Parisii, which is where the city gets its name!

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Notre Dame towers over the island, and while it’s not currently open to the public, it’s also quite a sight to see.

Next up is the legendary Louvre! This museum is absolutely massive, and really impossible to see everything in just a day. However, you will be able to see some of the most famous works, including da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

After taking a brief subway ride to Le Trocadero, you and your group will be standing in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Plaza. This is one of the best viewpoints of the tower, as it’s far and high enough to admire it in its entirety and oftentimes doesn’t have many crowds.

Your guide will also provide you with a skip-the-line ticket to head up to the second floor of the tower, along with a 1-hour Seine River cruise perfect for watching the sun set!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. Paris Your Perfect Day in the City Custom Private Tour

Paris Your Perfect Day in the City Custom Private Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Departure: Hotel pick-up and drop-off anywhere in Paris city limits
  • Duration: 7 hours or 3.5 hours (depending on selection)
  • Departure Time: Variety Available
  • Includes: Private guide, customized tour planning services, public transport costs (including taxis and Paris’ historic metro), certified guide for museum available on request
  • Other: Custom tour allows you to plan according to what you’re specifically interested in

Something that can be a turn-off for many people when it comes to tours, is the lack of ability to customize them. Well, that’s not the case here, with the Paris Your Perfect Day in the City Custom Private Tour!

You can add in sights from the most popular attractions to hidden gems to make this experience personalized just for you!

Ranging from a tour of 3.5 hours to 7 hours, it’s also a great way to be able to fit in with the rest of your schedule. Not to mention, hotel pickup and drop-off is also offered, so you never have to worry about transportation!

Starting out early in the morning, you’ll meet your guide at your hotel and finalize the plan for the day before heading out!

You can make specific requests to your guide, and they will make it possible while telling you anecdotes and taking you the “local” way through the city. If you prefer, you can also let them just pick the attractions and hidden wonders, which is also a great option if you don’t have any specific ideas.

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These guides know the city incredibly well as they are locals and have a lot of knowledge about the history. You can tell just how much they know, as they do not have a script.

It genuinely feels like a Parisian friend is just taking you to the best spots they know, while telling you all about the history and how they relate to today’s current times.

This means also, that when you’re hungry, you can ask the guide to stop where they’ll make recommendations to the best dining spots around. Or perhaps you’d just like to stop for some of the best coffee in Paris. Again, whatever suits you best!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


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3. Exclusive Private Paris Tour by Citroen 2CV

Exclusive Private Paris Tour by Citroen 2CV

Tour Highlights:

  • Departure: Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure Time: 9:30 AM
  • Includes: Private guide, transport by private vehicle, break at LadurĂ©e, hot beverage (coffee or LadurĂ©e tea), traditional sweet French treat at LadurĂ©e Treat, gratuities
  • Other: Unique way of seeing city with a Citroen 2CV

Are you on the hunt for the most creative way to see Paris? Perhaps you want to go on a sightseeing tour but don’t like the idea of traveling in a bulky bus getting stopped up in traffic all the time. Whatever the case may be, we have the solution with the Exclusive Private Paris Tour by Citroen 2CV.

Introduced at the 1948 Paris Mondial de l’Automobile, the 2CV is a classically “Parisian” vehicle is an absolute legend. For this tour, you’re going to enjoy a private tour in the Citroen Deux Chevaux, which is perfect for weaving in-and-out of traffic and a fantastic way to see the city!

You’ll meet your driver either on Champs-Elysees or at your city center hotel. Hop into this vintage beauty, while your driver heads out towards the main sights. The Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Louvre Museum, Moulin Rouge cabaret, and of course, the Eiffel Tower!

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We loved the insider tips the driver provides, which makes it more fun to go check different places later on. The driver guide is super friendly and knowledgeable, so if you have any questions feel free to ask them.

You’ll make a stop for a sweet little dessert (various options available, but the éclair is our recommendation!), along with a hot beverage at the famous Laduree tea room. It’s been around for over a hundred years, and has been a pastry shop since 1871, thanks to Baron Haussmann!

After you fuel up, you’ll meet your guide outside to continue seeing the sights. You’ll drive by Place Vendome and the gorgeous Luxembourg Gardens.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


4. Highlights & Hidden Gems With Locals: Best of Paris Private Tour

Highlights & Hidden Gems With Locals: Best of Paris Private Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Departure: CafĂ© La Colonnade, 154 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure Time: Variety Available
  • Includes: Private tour, tour guide, 1 local drink/tasting, transportation
  • Other: Compact tour packs a lot into a short amount of time. Great way to see city from a “local’s” perspective

Are you looking for a tour that’s a bit shorter but still covers a lot of Paris’ best? This walking tour is just that, but lets you experience the city like a local.

On the Highlights & Hidden Gems with Locals: Best of Paris Private Tour, you’ll get to see some of the biggest landmarks, while visiting some secret spots that most non-Parisians don’t get to see.

You and the rest of your group will meet your guide at a central location and start off by walking to the Musee du Louvre and Palais Royale. The Louvre is more than iconic, with some of the world’s most famous pieces of art.

However, the building itself also has a long and eventful history that your guide will tell you all about. The Jardin du Palais Royal used to be the residence of King Louis XIV, and is still decked out in enormous sculptures.

We hope you’ve worked up an appetite with all that walking, because you’ll then be doing some delicious bread-tasting! We all know that French baguettes are delicious, but they taste even better freshly-made in an early 20th-century wooden oven!

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Galerie Vivienne is a stunning passage, along with the Passage Choiseul. The covered passages date to the early 1800’s, and house the Theatre des Bouffes-Parisiens.

Next, check out the Palais Garnier, charmingly-dubbed the “Baroque Wedding Cake”. After seeing the architecture in person, you’ll clearly see why it’s earned this nickname.

Next, stop at Galeries Lafayette, which one of the city’s most popular department stores. The goal is the rooftop, however, where you’ll take in some breathtaking views of the European capital.

After, stop at La Madeleine Greek temple and then Place de La Concorde. Here, you’ll get to see the notorious Obelisk and the dark history behind this square.

Next, hear about how the Grand Palais and Petit Palais’ various exhibitions and histories as well. One of the highlights is crossing Pont Alexandre III stunning guilded bridge, and take in views of the Eiffel Tower and cross Pont de L’Alma.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


5. Paris City Tour with Private Friendly Guide and all Must-See Sites

Paris City Tour with Private Friendly Guide and all Must-See Sites

Tour Highlights:

  • Departure: Hotel pick up in Paris
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Departure Time: Variety Available
  • Includes: All taxes, customizable itinerary, main Paris must-see sites in just 5 hours, local guide, private walking tour
  • Other: Private tour allows you to see iconic attractions at your own pace, with less crowds

The Paris City Tour with Private Friendly Guide and all Must-See Sites is that tour that just covers everything. It’s neither too long nor too short, and you really get to see a ton of hot spots around the city. This is a tour that you can go on and know that you aren’t going to feel like you missed out on anything.

With hotel pickup and drop-off included, you just have to worry about bringing a sense of adventure and perhaps a pair of good walking shoes! With a customizable itinerary, you get to see the main sites but also have a say in the places you go.

You’ll start around 10 am, heading off to Trocadero first. This square has one of the most gorgeous observation decks in the world, and you’re sure to take some incredible photos here. Walk through the park and get up close to the tower.

Underneath the tower is pretty intricate and industrial, offering insight to how robust the structure is. Next, take a break and grab a bite to eat while taking in some further views of the tower. After you’ve recharged, you will stop by Napoleon’s tomb, and then the Beaux-Arts-style, Grand Palais.

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Continue on your excursion along the enormous avenue, Champs-Elysees. The avenue alone has quite the history, and along it sit 2 important plazas: Place de la Concorde and Place d’Etoile. Not to mention, the important Arc de Triomphe, which sits over/in the middle of it! It’s much bigger than we expected!

You’ll stop at each place for some photo ops, while your guide tells you the history behind them. Next, head over to Jardin des Tuileries, where various famous artworks make their home. However, the garden also has quite the history, being landscaped in the 1500’s by Catherine de’Medici!

We can’t forget seeing Notre Dame’s infamously intricate architecture, complete with the gargoyles and chimeras! Even though right now it’s closed to the public, just seeing the exterior really is something else.

Head over to Square Jean XXIII for a delicious French lunch in a charming café, where you can watch over the South Rose Window and other parts of Notre Dame cathedral.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


6. Paris City Sightseeing Half Day Segway Guided Tour

Paris City Sightseeing Half Day Segway Guided Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Departure: 24 Rue Edgar Faure, 24 Rue Edgar Faure, 75015
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Departure Time: Variety Available
  • Includes: Segway tour, helmet, orientation session (30 minutes)
  • Other: Brief tour perfect for seeing a lot in a short amount of time

Perhaps you’re looking for a tour that’s compact yet lets you see a lot in a short amount of time. Maybe you’re on a budget but don’t want to miss out on any of the main sights to see in the city. Either way, the Paris City Sightseeing Half Day Segway Guided Tour is for you!

At just 2 hours long, it’s perfect if you already have a full schedule and need something to fit into a spare couple of hours in your day.

Meet up with your guide and the rest of your group at a central location, where you’ll start off by receiving a 30-minute safety briefing. Before you set off, you’ll take some practice runs and ensure you’re all ready to start the tour.

Your first stop is at the iconic Eiffel Tower. You’ll have plenty of time to stop and awe and take some photos while your guide tells you all about how it came to be. Next up is the Place de La Concorde, which was once used for a much darker purpose than today.

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You’ll continue cruising to see the Ecole Militaire, or the “Military School” complex which was originally founded in the 1700’s by King Louis XV. Currently, it’s used for a variety of military training and has quite a complex history that your guide will fill you in on.

Les Invalides is also on the route, which is a complex comprised of buildings related to the military. The former hospital chapel is very impressive, as well as the Dome des Invalides: the tallest church building in the city!

Ride over Pont Alexandre III, which is without a doubt one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. Check out both the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, where you’ll learn about its rich art history.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


7. Tuktuk in Paris © Private City Tour

Tuktuk in Paris © Private City Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Departure: Hotel pick up in Paris / Add the name of the hotel or the address and the desired time (10AM to 6PM)
  • Duration: 1 to 8 hours
  • Departure Time: Variety Available
  • Includes: Private tour, local guide, informative, friendly and professional
  • Other: Flexible booking perfect for fitting into a busy schedule. Can add tour options up to 8 hours long.

Remember what we said about seeing Paris in a unique way? Well, here’s another one! The Tuktuk in Paris Private City Tour is another customizable tour where you get to see exactly what you want to, along with the option of adding on recommended places by your experienced guides!

Lasting anywhere from 1 to 8 hours, you can seamlessly fit it into your day along with any other plans you may have! The electric tuk-tuks that you’ll be taking are convenient and one of the most efficient ways to cruise through the city.

Holding up to 6 passengers, you can also rent multiple tuk-tuks if you have a bigger group. First, you’ll head to the Eiffel Tower! Along the way, your friendly guide will tell you tips and fun facts about the city. We found them to be careful yet skilled drivers who could maneuver the streets with ease.

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Once you get to the tower, they will stop and let you get out for more than enough time for photos and a little history lesson. You’ll also make a stop at Le Trocadero for more photo ops from a different perspective.

Pass by the majestic Arc de Triomphe on Champs-Elysees, which is quite the excursion in itself! If you’d like, you can make a stop here as well for some photos. It’s all up to you and the rest of your group!

Further on, you’ll get to see the Place de la Concorde, which has been quite significant throughout European history. The Louvre Museum spans various blocks, but you’ll have plenty of time to learn all about it and for photo ops. Notre-Dame, Palais Garnier, Montmartre, and Sacre-Coeur of Montmartre are also on the agenda!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Paris Travel Guide

best tours of paris

In TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards 2019, Paris was ranked as the #2 Top Destination in the World. This is no surprise for a city famous for its food, art, and architecture.

Whether you’re looking for gourmet meals, a romantic getaway, a place to immerse yourself in fine art, or a family vacation, France’s capital city is a great destination for you.

Airports & Entry

The two best ways to travel to Paris are by air and by train.

Air

Paris boasts 3 busy international airports which together form the world’s 5th busiest airport combination and a major transport hub for Europe. Paris’ three international airports are Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris-Orly, and Beauvais-Tillé.

Paris is well served by a selection of budget airlines including Easyjet, Ryanair, French Bee, Transavia, and Norwegian. You can secure better deals by booking at least a month in advance and using a ticket price comparison website, like Omio. You can literally save hundreds of dollars by choosing the right flight. Because Paris is such a major transport hub, flights are very competitive.

Usually, you will find flying both the most affordable and easiest way to reach Paris. However, if you are traveling from a neighboring country, it is worthwhile checking into high-speed trains.

Train

Paris is linked to neighboring countries by a network of high-speed rail links operated by SNCF. Although these trains take longer than flights, they transport their passengers from city center to city center. Flying, of course, usually requires a transfer to an airport some distance away from the city.

For example, if you’re traveling from London to Paris, a Eurostar train that passes through the famous Channel Tunnel will provide a relatively hassle-free journey when compared to flying. Also, in most cases, that journey will be quicker than flying because of the extra time taken up waiting for connections at the airports. And it also gives you bragging rights for using one of the world’s most famous undersea tunnels.

When planning your journey, compare the costs of flights and high-speed trains and decide which is the best option for you. Often flying will be cheapest, but if the cost isn’t too much more, the train will be relatively more comfortable and involve fewer complications.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Paris is recognized by many as the heart of the culinary world. Many internationally-acclaimed chefs trained there, and the terms used in gourmet kitchens worldwide originate in Paris. You won’t have any problem finding good food in the capital of France.

Breakfast

Traditional croissants are a great breakfast treat in any Parisian café. The best area for traditional cafés is the Boulevard Saint-Germain, a tree-lined avenue in the 6th Arrondissement. The Neo Café is highly rated. But if you’re in a hurry and want your breakfast on the go, grab a fresh pain-au-chocolat from one of the family bakeries (patisseries).

Bo&mie in the 2nd Arrondissement is the top-rated patisserie in Paris and close to attractions such as the Louvre and the Pompidou Center. In the early morning, you’ll often see Parisians walking out from patisseries with freshly baked baguettes. They do love freshly baked bread rather than long-life bread found on supermarket shelves.

Main meals

If you want to find the most exclusive, Michelin-stared restaurants, explore the area around the Champs-Elysées. That’s where you’ll find many of the oldest restaurants in Paris. But, if you have a less discerning palate, the same area is where you’ll find McDonald’s, Burger King, and Starbucks.

The top-rated French gourmet restaurant here is Pierre Gagnaire on Rue Balzac. Be prepared to spend at least €200 per person and you will require a reservation.

While in Paris, you should try at least one distinctively French dish, like coq au vin or ratatouille. If you’re feeling courageous, you could opt for snails or frogs’ legs…just so you can say that you did.

You should consider taking a French cooking class while you are in Paris. Learn from the best and make the dishes you love at home!

Snacks & sweets

For traditional street food, try the amazing crepes that you can buy from many street corners. You can eat these tasty pancake treats while you walk with savory or sweet fillings.

Before you leave Paris, ensure you sample some of its amazing desserts. The Crème Brulée is a delicious traditional sweet, and meringues are sweet and satisfying but also very messy.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Paris is famous as a getaway for romantic weekends, so of course you’ll find a rich variety of nightlife.

Pigalle

The most famous nightspot in Paris is undoubtedly The Moulin Rouge in the area of the 18th arrondissement known as Pigalle. This historic cabaret club is where the Can-can dance was created and a favorite haunt for many famous celebrities over the past century, from Toulouse-Lautrec to Frank Sinatra. You can enjoy a cabaret here for around €145 ($160).

However, be aware that Pigalle is regarded as the red-light district. Watch out for overly friendly ladies and gentlemen inviting you into dance clubs in this district.

Champs-Elysées

The most exclusive nightclubs, restaurants, and live music venues are found in the 8th arrondissement, around the Champs-Elysées. Many of the clubs here are impossible to enter unless you are a recognizable celebrity, royal, or billionaire.

You’ll need to dress up smart to get into any of the decent clubs here. And if you do enter, be careful whose drink you nudge and spill! But a word of caution — the exclusive clubs in this area also include a few strip clubs! They’re very different from the strip clubs in Pigalle, but still strip clubs. One to watch out for is the famous Whisper Club.

An example of a bar in palatial settings where you might be concerned about scuffing the silverware and smearing the crystal is simply called Le Bar in the George V Four Seasons Hotel.

This same area is also home to more touristy haunts which you won’t find so difficult to enter. However, these often contain more tourists than locals, so don’t expect a uniquely French experience. The club with the most laid-back reputation is the Dogstar Club. You might get past the bouncers without a $10,000 watch on your wrist and a designer cocktail dress.

Place Vendome

The 1st arrondissement is literally the center of the city around the Louvre and where you’ll find boutique hotels with historic bars frequented by celebrities and the beautiful rich. Most of these hotels have strict dress rules to enter the bar, and you’ll need a healthy income to survive the night.

Bastille

The area around the Metro Bastille, on the borders of the 4th, 11th, and 12th arrondissement, is where the younger and more relaxed crowd hang out. You’ll find decent nightclubs, cafés, live music venues, and dive bars frequented by local 20-somethings.

Check out the Niki Club on the Rue de Lappe for a casual night, or maybe the Black Star Club in Passage Thiere if you enjoy live rock music or jazz.

Marais

If you enjoy the LGBT scene, the Marais district in the southern part of the 3rd arrondissement and northern part of the 4th is where you’ll find welcoming cafés, bars, and live music venues where all genders and sexualities are made welcome. Café Cox is one bar legendary for its welcomes.

Getting Around

When you’re trying to find your way around, you might get confused by the way addresses sometimes emphasize the arrondissement, sometimes the name of the area, and sometimes the zip code. To simplify this a little, the last two digits of the zip code are the arrondissement number. So, the Eiffel tower is at 75007, meaning it’s in the 7th arrondissement.

You might be surprised to discover it’s not in the 1st arrondissement since it’s so central to the city. However, the way the arrondissements work is beginning in the Louvre — the 1st arrondissement and true center of Paris (where the king’s palace is) — and then radiates out from there. The first layers are numbered from the north clockwise and wrap around the central arrondissements. The arrondissements get larger as you get further from the center.

Most of the main attractions are found in arrondissements 1 through 8, which form the core of the city. This means that it’s possible to walk from attraction to attraction. But if you want to go a little quicker, Paris boasts an affordable and efficient public transport system. And the best way to get around is on the Metro.

Metro

With 300 Metro stations, everywhere in Paris is within a 10-minute walk of a station. A Paris Visite Travel Pass provides unlimited Metro travel within a specified zone for a set period of time. The Travel Pass may also be used on trams, buses, and the RER underground train system. A 1-day ticket for Zones 1 to 3 costs €12 ($13).

Buses

There are even more bus stops than Metro stations and bus services run every 5 to 7 minutes. This means that buses are often more convenient for shorter journeys than the Metro. Since a Travel Pass allows you to swap between the Metro and buses, you can simply take the bus when it’s most convenient but use the Metro for longer destinations. To learn which would be most convenient for your planned journey, you can check the route maps on the RATP (Regie Autonome des Transports) website.

Hire bicycles

Like many capital cities in Europe, Paris has a public bicycle hire scheme. Around the city, you’ll find 1,800 Velib bike stations with 24,000 bicycles. You simply require a credit card with a chip to rent a Velib bike.

Taxis

There are over 16,000 taxis in Paris. Taxis are an expensive but convenient mode of transport. You can take a taxi from a taxi rank or hail one down in the street.

Car hire

While you can opt to hire a car in Paris, be aware that Parisian drivers have a bad reputation for safety. Also, the congested roads are difficult to navigate and parking places rare. If you really want to enjoy your time in Paris, walk or use public transport.

Accommodations

When choosing where to stay in Paris, you should consider why you’re there. If your main interest is in taking your family to Disneyland, Paris, then you’ll find accommodation near there more spacious and much more affordable than most places in the city.

However, if you want to visit the historical and cultural attractions, then you should confine yourself to the central areas between the 1st and the 8th arrondissements, where hotels are within walking distance of the main sites.

Below, I’ve divided the kind of accommodation by area. However, this is only a rough guide. You’ll find 5-star luxury hotels in the budget and family areas, and I’ve previously stayed in a very cheap family guesthouse about 2-minutes-walk from the Arc de Triomphe.

Budget

You’ll find a lot of budget accommodation around the 5th and part of the 6th arrondissements simply because these areas are a little further from the most popular tourist attractions and famous streets.

But if you don’t mind a little more walking, the area of Montmartre is still pretty central and boasts character-filled, winding streets. And with Metro stations dotted all around the area, it’s as convenient as any other central location if you plan to get around on public transport.

An example budget hotel in this area is the Hotel Marignan  on a quiet street in the Latin Quarter. This historic hotel has hosted many famous guests, such as EE Cummings, and is within walking distance of Notre Dame.

Family

The Rive Gauche area of the rest of the 6th and the 7th arrondissements is an easy walk from places like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. This makes the affordable hotels there perfect for families with young and impatient kids who just want to get there quick. Many of the hotels in this area vary between small boutique hotels and cozy, family-run hotels.

The aptly named Eiffel Rive Gauche Hotel is super close to the Eiffel Tower and would provide a great base for your family to explore the French capital.

Luxury

While a few of the most exclusive hotels are in the 1st arrondissement, the main selection of high-class hotels is found along the Champs-Elysees in the 8th arrondissement. You’ll notice this coincides with where the most Michelin-starred restaurants and high-class bars and clubs are, many of which are attached to or inside the luxury hotels.

In terms of distance, the 1st and 8th arrondissements are neighbors, with the Champ-Elysees running between the Louvre area in the 1st and the Arc de Triomphe in the 8th. Government officials and important people have long made their home in the 8th arrondissement, and it is considered the cultural heart of the capital.

A great example of a luxury hotel in this area is the Hotel de Crillon, which looks more like a palace or museum than a working hotel.

Weather

Although it’s fairly inland, Paris still benefits from an oceanic climate with cool but mild winters and pleasantly warm summers. Generally, the city sees light rainfall distributed evenly through the year, though sudden heavy showers can occur.

Paris gets coldest in January, with an average daily high of 450F and a low of 370F. During spring, the temperatures warm so that by April it reaches an average high of 600F and low of 450F. Spring is a great time to visit Paris because the flowers are blooming all around the city and the summer crowds have yet to descend upon the city.

The hottest month of the summer is July, with an average high of 770F and low of 600F. That’s when the city becomes crowded with visitors from all around the world. By October, the average high drops to 610F and the low to 490F. The fall is another great time to visit because the weather isn’t too cold but the crowds have diminished and the trees have donned their beautiful autumnal cloaks.

Attractions

The main attractions radiate out from the center of the city, which is the 1st arrondissement.

Louvre

The Louvre Palace in the 1st arrondissement was the main residence of the Kings of France from the 14th century onward. Today it is much better known as the home of the world’s greatest art museum, the Musée du Louvre. If you want to see such world-famous masterpieces as the Venus de Milo sculpture and the Mona Lisa painting, then you should head straight for the glass pyramid in front of the grand palatial building.

Notre-Dame

The great cathedral of Notre-Dame in the 4th arrondissement is so spectacular and famous that I cannot justify leaving it out of this list. However, please note that the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris is closed for at least the next four years and maybe more.

After the devastating fire of April 2019, the cathedral and nearby surrounding area were closed to public access until sufficient repairs can be made to make the area safe once again. You can still admire its amazing Gothic architecture from a distance and maybe catch a glimpse of some of the restoration work in progress.

Eiffel Tower

The most visited attraction in the center of Paris is the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement. Although this renowned iron tower was erected as a temporary structure in 1889, it is still standing strong and looks good for another few centuries of service. The fact that it was the world’s tallest building when built is eye-opening when it is compared to the Empire State Building in NYC or the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but it is still the best place for a panoramic view in Paris.

Arc de Triomphe

This triumphal arch in the 8th arrondissement was commissioned by Napoleon but wasn’t built until 1836, long after his death. It stands on a huge roundabout at the northern end of the Champ-Elysees and is one of the most recognizable and photographed monuments in the capital. The Arc de Triomphe is also home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Flame of Remembrance that is kept alive in daily ceremonies.

Versailles

You have to leave the city and travel 12 miles southwest to reach the Palace of Versailles, where Louis XIV moved his court in the 17th century. Now this famous palace is a grand museum full of amazing reminders of the power of the great Sun King. Look around the interior and exterior of the palace for the many sun-emblems reminding visitors who lived here. But the true highlight for many visitors is the beautiful formal gardens that surround the palace.

Disneyland Paris

Also outside the city, despite its name, is Disneyland Paris, 20 miles to the east. This famous theme park is the most visited attraction in France. If you’re visiting Paris with children, you’ll probably want to devote two days to Disney because there are two separate parks here: Disneyland Park opened in 1992 and Walt Disney Studios Park opened in 2002. Inside both, you’ll find thrill rides for all ages as well as classic attractions, like actors dressed up as your favorite Disney characters and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The easiest way to get to Disney Paris is with a shuttle and entrance ticket deal.

Planning Tips

Paris is an amazing destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Here are 5 tips to help you on your way.

Tip #1: Watch out for Mondays and Tuesdays

When planning your itinerary for your stay in Paris, note that many major attractions, such as the Palace of Versailles and the catacombs, are closed on Mondays. A few attractions are closed on Tuesdays instead, including the Natural History Museum and the Pompidou Center. There are various major attractions open every day, like the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris, so go there on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Tip #2: Buy unique souvenirs and gifts

Paris is, of course, the center of fashion. However, there is one relatively unfashionable item of dress that you might want to pick up during your stay in France’s capital city. The béret is the cliché headwear of France, and you’ll see cheap versions “made in China” in every souvenir shop you pass. But, if you want to buy the real thing, look out for clothing stores that sell bérets made in France. La Cerise Sur Le Chapeau is a well-known chain store around Paris that stocks French bérets.

However, if you’re looking for something distinctly Parisian that few people will own, how about a piece of the Eiffel Tower? Victor Lustig once sold the Eiffel Tower twice in an elaborate con, but this opportunity isn’t a scam like that. During repairs to the tower, inevitably some parts need to be replaced. The removed rivets are turned into unique souvenirs only available in the Eiffel Tower’s official gift shop.

Tip #3: Stay safe while visiting Paris

Although Paris is considered a relatively safe city, don’t forget that Kim Kardashian had all her bling stolen while she was staying in a vacation apartment there. Just like any other busy city, you will find purse-snatchers and pickpockets in crowded locations, especially around tourist hotspots.

Just use common sense. Keep your passport and other valuable documents in a hotel safe. Keep your money in a money belt. Don’t wear ostentatious jewelry in public places.

If you see abandoned packages or luggage in a crowded public place, especially a Metro station, distance yourself from the package and call 112. Paris is not a stranger to terrorist attacks.

Tip #4: Book in advance, especially during the summer

Paris is a popular destination in summer and during Christmas and Easter. Ensure you book your hotel rooms and any tours you wish to join well in advance of your vacation. You often get better air flight deals when you book in advance, and that is especially true during the summer.

The best time to visit Paris for bargain prices and fewer crowds is during the shoulder season—just before or just after summer. The weather is still fine, but there are simply fewer tourists.

Tip #5: Learn a few French phrases before traveling to Paris

The French are a proud people, not least of all Parisians. They are rightly concerned about the dilution of their native tongue by English words and phrases from Hollywood movies and internationally popular songs. So, if you’ve ever heard someone say that French people are rude, it’s probably because the person telling you expected them to speak English.

Almost all French people you’ll meet speak English. But if you greet them in French and use a few words and phrases like “merci” and “s’il vous plaît”, they will be more likely to treat you with respect in return. You don’t need to speak more than a handful of phrases, and you don’t even need a good accent. Parisians will appreciate your effort.

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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