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A vacation in Paris you simply must have done once – with our Paris city guide you are perfectly prepared. Maybe you don’t know yet what to see on your vacation or how to travel cheap to the “city of love”? We’ll give you our tips and tricks, so you’ve come to the right place.
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The charm of Paris is incomparable and worth a trip for that reason alone. The capital of France, which is also called “The City of Love”, can only enchant you.
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My TOP Highlights in Paris
Here I show you which highlights I definitely recommend in Paris.
- Enjoy the view of the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower!(Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France)
- Walks through the Paris vineyard at Montmartre(address: Rue des Saules)
- Admire the art exhibitions of the Louvre – and meet the Mona Lisa there(address: Rue de Rivoli)
- Drink a Capuccion de Butternut at Café Au Vieux Paris(address: 24 Rue Chanoinesse)
- Enjoy a romantic sunset boat tour with dinner on the Seine.
The TOP sights in Paris
In the French capital there are several sights and attractions that you should not miss during your trip. Honestly, there are so many beautiful corners that it is difficult to even choose. Therefore, we present you the five most popular and famous Paris sights.
01 Eiffel tower
The Eiffel Tower or Tour Eiffel is the city’s landmark. The 324-meter-high tower was originally intended to remain on the Seine for only 20 years – today it is among the top 5 most visited attractions in Paris, attracting several million visitors a year. If you don’t suffer from vertigo, you can take the elevators to the three viewing platforms in the tower and enjoy the view over the city of love. Our tip: To avoid waiting times, we recommend buying your ticket for the Eiffel Tower online in advance.
The Louvre is world famous not only because of its pyramid shape, but especially because of the treasure that is located in the art museum. The painting of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci can be seen in the Louvre, making it one of the most visited museums in the world. This also means that the rush here can lead to several hours of waiting time every day. To avoid this, you should visit the museum on Wednesdays or Fridays after 6 p.m. if possible, as extended opening hours apply here. It is also helpful to buy your ticket for the Louvre online in advance to avoid long queues at the ticket office.
03 Arc de Triomphe
The triumphal arch was built by Napoleon for the return of the soldiers from the Battle of Austerlitz. Every evening at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, the “Eternal Flame” is lit by soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Arc de Triomphe is located at the end of the Champs Élysées. If you buy a ticket for the Arc de Triomphe, you can also climb it and enjoy the view.
The beautiful limestone church is one of the most visited sights in Paris, along with the Louvre. But you’ll first have to walk up more than 200 steps to see the basilica overlooking the Montmartre district. Both the view of the Sacré-Coeur and over the city are worth the work, though. Then, if you still feel like it, you can climb another 300 steps to the dome of the church. Our tip: Combine your visit to the Sacré-Coeur with a tour of Montmartre!
05 Notre Dame
This historic square at the end of the Champs Élysée is known for the large Luxor obelisk that juts out in the middle of the square, but it was also the execution site of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, making it a historic site. The obelisk dates back to the 13th century BC and was transported to Paris in the 19th century as a gift from the Egyptian king.
But that was not all the sights that Paris has to offer. Check out our post on the best places to visit to see what other spots we recommend.
You will reach the Sacre Coeur Basilica after more than 200 steps.
Weitere Highlights in Paris
The Best Tours & Activities in Paris
Here we show you what activities make Paris special and which ones you should definitely do.
01 Tour Montparnasse
You want to see (almost) all the highlights of Paris at a glance? Here you go! Then you should not miss the observation deck of the Tour Montparnasse. From the outside, it’s just an inconspicuous office building, but the observation deck is about the same height as the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Eiffel Tower. So the view is really spectacular and combines the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur, Notre Dame and more in a single panorama!
Finished in 1973, the lonely and unloved skyscraper was the tallest in France. Until 2011, when the title was usurped by Tour First. It still lays a fair claim to hosting the best views in Paris, though.
02 Climb the Eiffel Tower
The catacombs in Paris are a real highlight that you shouldn’t miss. You can explore the two-kilometre walk-through section of the catacombs with the museum on your own or join a small group tour to learn more about this underground attraction in Paris. The public entrance to the catacombs is at Place Denfert-Rochereau, where you walk a few steps underground.
The catacombs of Paris house millions of bones of inhabitants of Paris who died from epidemics or famine before the 19th century. Due to the large number of dead, they could no longer be accommodated in the cemeteries, which gave rise to the catacombs. Today, supply lines run through parts of the catacombs, which is why not all of them are accessible. One part of the catacombs even houses the gold treasure of the French National Bank.
“See and be seen” is the motto here. The much-sung boulevard Champ-Élysées Paris is probably the most famous avenue in the world! Over two kilometers long, it stretches through the city center, lined with chic boutiques of the finest brands. What you can discover on a stroll, you learn here!No visit to Paris is complete without a stroll down the Champs-Élysées. Metro line 1 takes you to several stations along the avenue, so you can start from anywhere. However, the most beautiful place to start your stroll is Place de la Concorde. You can then walk the two kilometers to the Arc de Triomphe at a leisurely pace – and enjoy the view from above!
04 Paris Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise
The boat tours offered by Bateaux Parisiens are probably the best known, and not without reason: the service on board leaves nothing to be desired and you will be spoiled with a delicious a la carte dinner. What I particularly like about these boats is that all the windows are glazed, giving you a breathtaking panoramic view of the banks of the Seine, which, by the way, has been designated a UNESCO cultural heritage site. The route takes you along the Hôtel des Invalides, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and through the city’s many beautiful historic bridges. The tour departs at 20:30, lasts 2.5 hours and is offered almost daily. The meeting point is centrally located at the Eiffel Tower. Vegetarian options are of course provided.
05 Moulin Rouge
The Moulin Rouge in Paris has been famous all over the world, and not just since the hit film of the same name. Famous for its wicked shows (at least by earlier standards), the vaudeville theatre has been around for over 130 years! Back then, the settlement was a village clearly remote from the city centre, its appearance marked by countless mills. In 1889, one of these mills became home to an establishment that caused a sensation in quiet Montmartre: the Moulin Rouge. Despite its secluded location, it quickly became the meeting place for Parisians in search of a dance. However, the characeristic red colour of the mill should never be associated with the red light milieu: Founder Joseph Oiler simply chose the most striking colour he could think of. Since the 1950s, the Moulin Rouge has been world-famous for the red-clad cancan dancers who perform their shows here every evening. Over 600,000 visitors a year attend the magnificent performances at the Moulin Rouge. It is one of the most famous sights in Paris.
While the cabaret shows remain an extraordinary spectacle, the red windmills of this inordinately famous theatre are a must for photo collections. Even if you don’t catch a show, you will enjoy seeing one of the iconic images of Paris. The best time to take photos is after dark.
Tips for your Paris vacation
Before your Paris holiday, you first need to decide how you want to travel to the city. There are several ways to get to the French capital, all of which differ in time and convenience.
The easiest and fastest way to get to Paris is by plane.
What is the best time to travel to Paris?
With a wide range of museums and attractions, Paris is worth a visit at any time of year. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip.
From April to September, Paris is a popular holiday destination – except August, as it gets very dry and hot here and many residents are on holiday themselves, so the city is a bit in standby mode and some restaurants and shops are closed. In the other months you can expect pleasant summer temperatures, but of course also the biggest tourist crowds.
From October to March there is much less going on – but of course the weather is also rather grey and rain showers are not uncommon. Nevertheless, the city is absolutely worth visiting during this time, as you simply have more peace and quiet and the charm of the city remains even in the rain!
Basically, you’ll never have sub-zero temperatures on your Paris holiday and several rainy days every month. Temperatures throughout the year average between 3°C and 26°C, although in high summer it tends to be dry and hot.
Public transport in Paris
Paris has one of the largest metro networks in the world, which is why the metro is also the most popular mode of transport in the city. However, with over 300 stations with different lines and ticket options, using the metro is not always easy for tourists to understand.
Since the metro takes you underneath the city, it is often worth it if you know exactly where you want to go and are looking for the fastest way to get there. In this case, it is sufficient to buy the normal single ticket+, which is also available in a 10-pack if you want to travel more frequently.
To get from one sight to the next and to get to know the city better, it’s also worth taking one of the Hop-On-Hop-Off Busses. The buses stop at up to 16 stations, where you can get off and on again as often as you like.
3 days in Paris or longer?
In the end, the only question is how many days you should plan for your Paris holiday, and you have already roughly completed your travel planning. There is, of course, much to discover in the French capital. If you only want to get to know the most important sights and the charm of the city, 3 days in Paris are enough.
If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland Paris, you should allow five days. If you want to get to know the city in detail, you should definitely plan a week and come back if you fall in love with it.
Food in Paris: specialities and more
First things first: while you are enjoying your Paris holiday, you must of course drink a glass of French wine! But the city has much more to offer than that, as it is considered the gastronomic centre of France. On every corner you will find restaurants, cafés, brasseries, bistros, pâtisseries and boulangeries.
Of course, baguettes and croissants are typical, and you’ll find them in a boulangerie, which is more or less a bakery. If you are looking for the popular Macarons or other sweet dishes, you should look for a pâtisserie.
To avoid going hungry, there are a few things to keep in mind. Many restaurants serve lunch between 12 and 2 pm and then close their doors again until dinner at 7 pm. So don’t leave too late to get lunch. Also, always ask a waiter to assign you a table.
Good to know
In Paris, you pay the bill per table, not per person. Just leave the tip of about 10% on the table after paying.
If you want to eat one of the famous baguettes in Paris, you should know that the French don’t cut the bread, they break it. So if you’re a tourist and don’t want to stand out, you know what to do.
Popular Food Tours in Paris
Shopping in Paris
Paris is an absolute fashion city and this is reflected in the shopping opportunities. The city’s most famous shopping street is the Avenue de Champs-Élysée, which stretches over two kilometres from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. For a long time, the Champs-Élysée was particularly known for the many posh boutiques of well-known brands such as Chanel or Louis Vuitton, but now affordable shops such as Zara and H&M have also found their place on the popular shopping mile.
The French city is also known for its many shopping centres. First and foremost is the oldest department stores’ in Paris, the Galeries Lafayette. Another nice shopping street is Rue de Rivoli, which is close to the Louvre and Notre-Dame.
More Paris Shopping Tips
Money-saving tips for ParisParis is not necessarily the cheapest destination in Europe. So, of course, here are a few tips on how you can still get there on a budget.
Paris has several sightseeing passes – from cheap to expensive, it’s all here. The passes get, for example, free use of public transport or entry to various sights.
Some passes also get priority access, for example to the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower. Each pass has different benefits. That’s why we’ve already taken a look at all the Paris Passes for you. Click through to find out which pass is right for your trip:
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Otherwise, we can only give you the tip to book everything you can in advance. Either you get the tickets cheaper that way or you save at least the waiting time on site.
Other highlights in Paris
As we’ve already told you, there’s a lot to discover in Paris itself. However, there are also some day trips and more highlights in and outside the city that might inspire you for your Paris holiday.
- Disneyland Paris: Obwohl das Disneyland Paris etwas außerhalb der Stadt liegt, qualifizieren die jährlichen Besucherzahlen den beliebtesten Freizeitpark in Europa zu einer der Top Sehenswürdigkeiten bei einer Paris Reise. Das Disneyland besteht aus zwei Parks, dem Disneyland Park und den Walt Disney Studios. Für Kinder wie Erwachsene ist es ein traumhaftes Ausflugsziel. Buy your ticket for Disneyland Paris online beforehand, as not only will you often get better prices, but you’ll also be able to enjoy your day at the park to the full.
- Palace of Versailles:The Palace of Versailles served as Louis XIV’s palace. Today the palace, which lies a good 20 kilometres outside the city, is famous worldwide and served as a model for numerous castles. The magnificent building is one of the most popular destinations outside Paris.
- Musée d’Orsay:The Musée d’Orsay is popular above all for the building itself, regardless of its valuable art collection. What was originally a railway station now displays all facets of Impressionism over five floors. Among them are also works by Van Gogh or Monet.
- His Boat Trip & Lights Bus Tour: Discovering Paris from the Seine has a completely different charm than walking through the city. Especially in the evening, when the city begins to glow, a trip to the Seine is worthwhile. On a subsequent bus tour, you can enjoy the lights of the city from a different perspective.
- Tour Montparnasse:The Tour Montparnasse building looks absolutely unspectacular from the outside – it does catch the eye because of its height, but the skyscraper is not a real feast for the eyes. In fact, however, from the roof terrace you have one of the best views over the whole of Paris, as you can see the city including the Eiffel Tower from above.
Hotels in Paris
Where you stay during your holiday in Paris depends entirely on your personal preferences. A fancy hotel in the city centre is of course not cheap, but definitely recommended. To experience Paris like a local and save some money, an Airbnb is a great alternative.
Hotels near attractions
If you are looking for a hotel with one of Paris’ many sights in the immediate vicinity, then these articles will definitely be of interest to you:
Boutique hotels, hotels with a view or pool
Want something a little out of the ordinary? Check out the best boutique hotels, hotels with a roof terrace or hotels with a pool in Paris.:
Paris Hotels by Category
The question is, of course, in which district you would like to stay during your stay in Paris. However, this is really a matter of taste. The Montmartre district is considered the entertainment district and is very popular with tourists. The Marais and Bastille districts are a little more central. The student quarter Quartier Latin also has its advantages, especially for young people.
More about Paris
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I love traveling! Whether it's the Australian outback, the fjords of Norway or city trips to the most beautiful cities in the world like Paris, Singapore, Barcelona or New York - I'll write down my best tips so that your trip will be a very special highlight.