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How To Travel In Paris As A Tourist


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Teresita Wideman



Welcome to the enchanting city of Paris, a destination that captures the hearts of millions of tourists each year. Known as the “City of Love” and famous for its breathtaking landmarks, culinary delights, and artistic heritage, Paris offers a truly unforgettable experience for visitors from around the world.


Steeping in history and culture, Paris is home to iconic attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. But beyond the well-known landmarks, the city also offers a vibrant atmosphere, charming neighborhoods, and a rich tapestry of art, fashion, and gastronomy.


As a tourist in Paris, you have endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the city’s unique ambiance and indulge in its many delights. Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, food lover, or simply looking for a romantic getaway, Paris has something for everyone.


But before embarking on your Parisian adventure, it’s important to equip yourself with valuable information and useful tips to make the most of your trip. In this guide, we will delve into the essentials of traveling in Paris as a tourist, from getting there and finding accommodation to exploring the top attractions and savoring the local cuisine.


So, grab your beret, pack your bags, and get ready to soak up the magic of Paris. Let’s dive into the details and discover how to make your visit to the City of Love an unforgettable experience.


Getting to Paris

Paris is a major transportation hub, making it easily accessible from various parts of the world. Whether you’re arriving by plane, train, or bus, here are the main options for getting to Paris:

  1. By Air: Paris is served by two major international airports: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Orly Airport (ORY). These airports are well-connected to numerous cities worldwide, with a wide range of airlines offering flights to Paris. From the airports, you can reach the city center by train, bus, or taxi.
  2. By Train: If you’re traveling from within Europe, taking the train to Paris can be a convenient and scenic option. The city has several train stations, including Gare du Nord, which is one of the busiest train stations in the world and serves as a hub for Eurostar trains from London. The French railway network, SNCF, provides efficient and comfortable train services to Paris from various destinations.
  3. By Bus: Many bus companies offer routes to Paris from different European cities, providing a budget-friendly option for travelers. Buses usually arrive at the major bus terminal, Porte Maillot, located in the western part of the city. From there, you can easily access the city center via public transportation.

Once you have arrived in Paris, you’ll find an extensive transportation network within the city to get around. The Metro, Paris’ subway system, is a convenient way to navigate the city, with numerous stations covering the entire city. Additionally, buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services are readily available for getting around Paris.


It’s worth noting that Paris is a pedestrian-friendly city, and many of its attractions are within a comfortable walking distance from each other. Exploring the city on foot allows you to fully immerse yourself in its charm and discover hidden gems along the way.


Now that you know how to get to Paris, let’s move on to the next section and explore the various accommodation options available in the city.


Accommodation in Paris

As a popular tourist destination, Paris offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels to cozy boutique guesthouses, here are some popular choices for accommodation in Paris:

  1. Hotels: Paris is home to a plethora of hotels, ranging from luxurious five-star establishments to budget-friendly options. The city boasts renowned hotels such as The Ritz Paris, Hotel Plaza Athénée, and Le Meurice, known for their opulence and world-class amenities. Additionally, there are numerous boutique hotels that offer a unique and intimate experience. When choosing a hotel, consider factors such as location, proximity to attractions, and the level of comfort and services provided.
  2. Apartments: Renting an apartment in Paris is a popular choice, especially for those looking for a more independent and immersive experience. There are various platforms and agencies that offer apartments for short-term rentals, allowing you to enjoy the comforts of a home-away-from-home during your stay. Renting an apartment gives you the flexibility to cook your meals, relax in a spacious living area, and experience the daily rhythm of Parisian life.
  3. Hostels: If you’re traveling on a tight budget or prefer a sociable atmosphere, hostels are a great option. Paris has numerous hostels scattered throughout the city, offering affordable dormitory-style accommodations and shared facilities. This is an ideal choice for solo travelers or those looking to meet fellow travelers and exchange experiences. Hostels often organize social events and provide communal areas where guests can interact and make new friends.
  4. Bed and Breakfasts: For a more personalized and charming experience, consider staying at a bed and breakfast (B&B). Paris has a range of B&B options, typically located in residential neighborhoods, offering cozy rooms, home-cooked breakfasts, and the chance to connect with local hosts. This is an excellent choice for those seeking a warm and intimate atmosphere.

When choosing your accommodation, consider factors such as location, proximity to public transportation, and the neighborhood’s vibe. Popular areas for tourists include the Marais, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the Latin Quarter, known for their atmospheric streets, vibrant café culture, and close proximity to major attractions.


Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak seasons, as Paris tends to get crowded with tourists. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the season, so it’s worth comparing rates and reading reviews before making your final decision.


Now that you have an idea of where to stay in Paris, let’s move on to the next section and explore the convenient public transportation options available in the city.


Public Transportation in Paris

Paris is renowned for its efficient and extensive public transportation system, which makes it easy for tourists to navigate the city and reach their desired destinations. Here are the main options for public transportation in Paris:

  1. Metro: The Paris Metro is arguably the most popular and convenient way to get around the city. With 14 lines and hundreds of stations covering Paris and its suburbs, the Metro allows you to travel quickly and efficiently. Each line is color-coded and numbered, and trains run frequently throughout the day. Metro tickets can be purchased at automated kiosks in stations, and it’s advisable to get a rechargeable Navigo card for multiple trips.
  2. Buses: Paris also has an extensive bus network that covers areas not served by the Metro. Buses are a great option for reaching specific destinations and enjoying a scenic drive through the city. Bus stops are clearly marked, and schedules can be found at each stop. You can use the same ticket or Navigo card as the Metro for bus rides.
  3. RER: The Réseau Express Régional (RER) is a regional commuter train system that connects Paris to its suburbs and nearby cities. The RER lines intersect with the Metro at certain stations, providing an easy way to travel outside of central Paris. RER trains are also useful for accessing popular attractions such as Versailles and Disneyland Paris.
  4. Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Taxis are readily available in Paris, and you can easily hail one on the street or find them at designated taxi stands. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are also widely used in the city. Taxis and ride-sharing can be more expensive than public transportation, especially during peak hours or at night, so it’s recommended to familiarize yourself with the approximate fares and choose the option that suits your needs.

For a hassle-free way to get around Paris, consider getting a Paris Visite Card or a Navigo Pass, which offer unlimited travel on public transportation within certain zones and durations. These cards can be purchased at Metro stations and are valid for use on the Metro, buses, RER trains, and certain other modes of transport.


It’s worth mentioning that Paris is also a walkable city, and many of its attractions are within a reasonable distance from each other. Walking not only allows you to soak in the city’s charm but also gives you the opportunity to discover hidden gems along the way.


Now that you know how to navigate the city, let’s move on to the next section and explore the top tourist attractions that Paris has to offer.


Top Tourist Attractions in Paris

Paris is a city filled with iconic and world-renowned attractions that leave visitors in awe. From architectural wonders to renowned museums, here are some of the top tourist attractions you shouldn’t miss when visiting Paris:

  1. Eiffel Tower: No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Located on the Champ de Mars, this iron lattice tower is an iconic symbol of the city. Take an elevator or climb the stairs to the top for breathtaking views of Paris.
  2. Louvre Museum: The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world and is home to thousands of masterpieces, including the famous Mona Lisa. Explore the museum’s vast collection of art and immerse yourself in centuries of history and culture.
  3. Notre-Dame Cathedral: Located on the Île de la Cité, Notre-Dame Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Admire the intricate details of the facade, climb the towers for panoramic views, and step inside to marvel at the grand interior.
  4. Sainte-Chapelle: Known for its stunning stained glass windows, Sainte-Chapelle is a hidden gem nestled on the Île de la Cité. The vibrant colors and intricate designs of the windows create a breathtaking visual experience.
  5. Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur: Explore the bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre with its charming streets, artists’ studios, and the majestic Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Climb to the top of the hill for a panoramic view of Paris.
  6. Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe: Stroll down one of the world’s most famous avenues, the Champs-Élysées, lined with shops, cafes, and theaters. At the western end, you’ll find the iconic Arc de Triomphe, offering a commanding view of the city.
  7. Palace of Versailles: Just a short trip from Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a must-visit. Marvel at the opulence and grandeur of the former royal residence, explore the iconic Hall of Mirrors, and wander through the splendid gardens.
  8. Musee d’Orsay: Housed in a former railway station, the Musee d’Orsay is renowned for its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces. Discover works by Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, and many other celebrated artists.
  9. Seine River Cruise: Take a leisurely cruise along the Seine River and admire the city’s landmarks from a different perspective. It’s a perfect way to relax, enjoy the scenery, and take in the beauty of Paris.
  10. Latin Quarter and Luxembourg Gardens: Wander through the vibrant Latin Quarter, known for its bohemian atmosphere, student life, and lively cafes. Nearby, you’ll find the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

While these are some of the top attractions, Paris has so much more to offer. Don’t forget to explore the charming neighborhoods, discover local markets, and indulge in the city’s renowned culinary scene.


Now that we’ve explored the top attractions, let’s move on to the next section and delve into the culinary delights and dining options that Paris has to offer.


Exploring Parisian Cuisine and Dining Options

Paris is a culinary paradise, drawing food lovers from around the world with its exquisite cuisine and diverse culinary scene. From classic French dishes to international flavors, here’s a taste of what to expect when exploring Parisian cuisine:


French Cuisine: Indulge in traditional French dishes such as Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguignon, and Escargots. Treat yourself to a buttery croissant or a delicate macaron from a local patisserie. Don’t miss the chance to savor a classic French cheese plate accompanied by a glass of fine wine.


Parisian Cafés and Bistros: Paris is famous for its pavement cafés and bistros, where you can enjoy a leisurely meal while soaking up the charming atmosphere. Start your day with a café au lait and a freshly baked baguette, and later, savor a hearty plate of steak frites or a flavorful Niçoise salad.


Street Food: Paris boasts a vibrant street food scene where you can find a variety of delicious treats. Grab a crêpe filled with Nutella or savory ingredients like ham and cheese. Sample a warm and buttery croissant from a stand, or try a tasty falafel sandwich in the bustling Marais district.


Fine Dining: For an unforgettable culinary experience, indulge in the gastronomic delights of Paris’ fine dining restaurants. Explore the city’s Michelin-starred establishments, where talented chefs create innovative and artfully presented dishes using the finest ingredients.


International Cuisine: Paris is a melting pot of cultures, offering a diverse range of international cuisines. From Indian and Thai to Italian and Japanese, you’ll find an array of flavors to satisfy your palate. Venture beyond French cuisine and discover the global food scene that Paris has to offer.


When it comes to dining, Paris offers options for every budget and occasion. From casual eateries to elegant restaurants, you’ll find a variety of dining establishments to suit your preferences. It’s always a good idea to make reservations, especially at popular restaurants or for special occasions.


Don’t forget to immerse yourself in the local food culture by exploring neighborhood markets, such as Rue Mouffetard and Marché des Enfants Rouges, where you can find fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and more. Join a food tour to discover hidden culinary gems and learn about the stories behind Parisian dishes.


Remember to try new flavors, embrace the dining etiquette, and savor the exquisite tastes that Parisian cuisine has to offer.


Now that we’ve explored the culinary delights, let’s move on to the next section and discover the shopping opportunities that await you in Paris.


Shopping in Paris

Paris is a fashion capital and a shopper’s paradise, offering a wealth of shopping opportunities for every style and budget. From luxury boutiques to quirky vintage stores, here’s a guide to shopping in the city:


Champs-Élysées: Stroll down the famous Champs-Élysées, lined with flagship stores of renowned international brands. Here, you’ll find iconic names such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci. Don’t miss the chance to explore the upscale department store, Galeries Lafayette, showcasing a wide range of luxury brands under one roof.


Le Marais: Known for its trendy and eclectic atmosphere, Le Marais is the place to go for unique fashion finds. Explore the narrow streets and discover independent boutiques, vintage shops, and concept stores. This vibrant neighborhood also offers a diverse range of art galleries, specialty shops, and charming cafés.


Saint-Germain-des-Prés: Located on the Left Bank of the Seine, Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a chic district with a rich intellectual and artistic history. Explore the stylish boutiques, high-end designers, and art galleries that line the streets. This area is also known for its antique shops, where you can find unique furniture, jewelry, and decorative items.


Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré: This exclusive street is home to luxury fashion houses and high-end boutiques. Browse through the collections of renowned designers and experience the epitome of Parisian elegance. From haute couture to fine jewelry, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré showcases the best of luxury shopping.


Les Grands Magasins: Paris is renowned for its grand department stores, where you can shop for everything from fashion and accessories to home décor and gourmet food. In addition to Galeries Lafayette, don’t miss a visit to Printemps, another iconic shopping destination offering a wide range of products from renowned brands.


Flea Markets: For a unique and vintage shopping experience, head to one of Paris’ famous flea markets. The most popular is Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, where you can discover a treasure trove of antiques, vintage clothing, and quirky collectibles. Bargaining is common practice at flea markets, so be prepared to haggle.


When shopping in Paris, keep in mind that many stores close on Sundays, so plan your shopping excursions accordingly. Additionally, be aware of potential value-added tax (VAT) refunds for certain purchases made by non-EU residents. Look for the “Tax-Free” logo or ask the salesperson for more information.


Whether you’re looking for high-end designer pieces, trendy fashion, unique vintage finds, or distinctive French souvenirs, Paris offers a shopping experience like no other.


Now that we’ve explored the shopping scene, let’s move on to the next section and discuss some safety tips for tourists in Paris.


Safety Tips for Tourists in Paris

Like any major city, Paris has its own set of safety considerations for tourists. By following a few simple precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to the City of Love. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas. Keep an eye on your belongings and be cautious of pickpockets. Avoid displaying valuable items and keep your bags zipped and close to your body.
  2. Use reliable transportation: Opt for licensed taxis or reputable ride-sharing services when traveling around the city, especially late at night. Avoid unmarked taxis and be cautious of unauthorized individuals offering rides.
  3. Stay in well-lit areas: When exploring the city at night, stick to well-lit and populated areas. Avoid empty or poorly lit streets and parks. It’s always a good idea to travel with a companion, especially in unfamiliar neighborhoods.
  4. Stay updated on travel advisories: Before your trip, check for any travel advisories or warnings related to Paris. Stay informed and follow any advice or guidelines provided by your embassy or official authorities.
  5. Secure your accommodations: Choose reputable and secure accommodations. Ensure that your hotel room or rental apartment has proper locks and safes for storing your valuables. Use hotel safes for passports, extra cash, and important documents.
  6. Use ATMs and currency exchanges with caution: Be cautious when using ATMs or currency exchange services. Use ATMs located in well-lit, populated areas and be aware of any suspicious devices or individuals nearby. Use official currency exchange offices or banks for safe and reliable currency exchanges.
  7. Respect local customs and laws: Familiarize yourself with local customs and laws to avoid any misunderstandings or legal issues. Be respectful of cultural norms and dress appropriately, especially when visiting religious sites.
  8. Keep important documents safe: Make copies of your passport, identification, and important travel documents. Keep one set of copies with you and store another set in a secure location, separate from the originals. Consider using a money belt or hidden pouch to keep your documents and money secure.
  9. Stay connected: Keep your phone charged and have emergency contacts programmed. Having a local SIM card or an international roaming plan can be helpful in case of emergencies or if you need to contact authorities.

By following these safety tips, you can have a worry-free experience while exploring the beautiful city of Paris. Remember to trust your instincts and seek assistance or advice from authorities or hotel staff if you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe.


Now that we’ve covered safety tips, let’s move on to the next section and discuss Parisian etiquette and cultural norms to help you navigate the local customs with ease.


Parisian Etiquette and Cultural Norms

When visiting Paris, it’s important to respect the local customs and adhere to cultural norms to ensure a positive and respectful interaction with the city’s residents. Here are some etiquette tips to keep in mind:

  1. Greetings and Politeness: When entering a shop, restaurant, or any social setting, initiating with a polite “Bonjour” (or “Bonsoir” in the evening) is customary. French people appreciate politeness, so using “S’il vous plaît” (please) and “Merci” (thank you) goes a long way in interactions.
  2. Dress Code: Parisians tend to dress stylishly and take pride in their appearance. Consider opting for smart casual attire when dining at restaurants or visiting cultural sites. Avoid wearing shorts, flip-flops, or sportswear in formal settings.
  3. Cafe Culture: French cafes are an integral part of Parisian life. When dining at a cafe, it’s customary to sit outside on the terrace, enjoy your drink or meal leisurely, and people-watch. Avoid rushing or asking for the check immediately after finishing your meal.
  4. Queuing: Parisians take queuing seriously. Whether you’re waiting in line for a museum, attraction, or to order food, make sure to respect the queue and wait your turn patiently. Pushing or skipping the line is considered impolite.
  5. Table Manners: French cuisine is renowned for its culinary traditions. When dining, it is polite to keep your hands on the table and avoid placing your elbows on it. Remember to say “Bon appétit” before starting your meal and keep pace with the rest of your dining companions.
  6. Speaking French: While many Parisians speak English, attempting to speak a few basic French phrases will be appreciated. Start with greetings, “please,” and “thank you,” and politely ask if the person speaks English before launching into a conversation.
  7. Tipping: In France, a service charge is typically included in the bill at restaurants, cafes, and bars. However, leaving a small amount as a tip, particularly if you received exceptional service, is appreciated. It’s customary to round up the total or leave 5-10% of the bill.
  8. No Smoking: Paris has strict smoking regulations, and smoking in public indoor areas, including restaurants, cafes, and public transportation, is prohibited. Look for designated smoking areas or step outside to smoke.
  9. Parking Etiquette: If driving in Paris, be mindful of parking regulations and restrictions. In designated parking areas, pay attention to the signs indicating parking times and fees. It’s advisable to use paid parking lots or garages rather than parking on the street, which can be challenging and subject to fines.
  10. Museums and Cultural Sites: When visiting museums and cultural sites, follow the guidelines provided by the staff. Avoid touching the exhibits unless specifically allowed, and refrain from using flash photography when not permitted.

Respecting the local customs and etiquette helps to create a positive experience and fosters a sense of cultural appreciation. Embrace the Parisian way of life, immerse yourself in the city’s charm, and enjoy the rich cultural heritage that Paris has to offer.


Now that we’ve explored the cultural norms, let’s move on to the next section and discover some exciting day trip options from Paris.


Day Trips from Paris

While Paris itself offers an abundance of attractions, taking a day trip from the city is a great way to explore the surrounding regions and experience more of France’s beauty. Here are some exciting day trip options from Paris:

  1. Versailles: Just a short 30-minute train ride from Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a must-visit day trip destination. Marvel at the opulent palace with its ornate interiors, explore the vast gardens, and learn about the fascinating history of the French monarchy.
  2. Giverny: Visit the enchanting village of Giverny, located about an hour from Paris. This is where the renowned artist Claude Monet lived and painted his famous Water Lilies series. Explore Monet’s house and stroll through the stunning gardens that inspired his masterpieces.
  3. Fontainebleau: Journey to the charming town of Fontainebleau, approximately one hour south of Paris. Discover the grandeur of the Château de Fontainebleau, a former royal residence. Explore the vast grounds, admire the beautiful architecture, and immerse yourself in history.
  4. Champagne Region: Wine enthusiasts will enjoy a day trip to the Champagne region, located about an hour and a half east of Paris. Discover the picturesque vineyards, visit renowned Champagne houses, and indulge in tastings of this famous sparkling wine.
  5. Normandy: Travel to the historic region of Normandy, situated a few hours northwest of Paris. Explore the D-Day landing beaches, pay homage at the American Cemetery, and visit the striking UNESCO-listed Mont-Saint-Michel, an island abbey rising from the sea.
  6. Loire Valley: Embark on a day trip to the charming Loire Valley, known for its magnificent châteaux and picturesque landscapes. Visit notable castles such as Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, or Château de Amboise and immerse yourself in the region’s rich history.
  7. Provins: Step back in time with a visit to the medieval town of Provins, located southeast of Paris. Explore the well-preserved ramparts, wander through the narrow streets, and visit the impressive Provins Castle. Don’t miss the chance to witness the medieval-inspired shows and events.
  8. Reims: Venture to the city of Reims, approximately one hour and 20 minutes from Paris. Known as the “Coronation City,” Reims is home to magnificent Gothic cathedrals and prestigious Champagne houses. Explore the historic center, visit the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral, and indulge in Champagne tastings.
  9. Disneyland Paris: Perfect for families or anyone seeking a fun-filled day, Disneyland Paris is located just outside the city. Experience the magic of Disney with thrilling rides, enchanting shows, and the beloved Disney characters.
  10. Monet’s Gardens in Etretat: Travel to the breathtaking coastal town of Etretat, known for its stunning cliffs and natural beauty. Visit the mesmerizing gardens that inspired Monet’s paintings and take in the dramatic coastal views.

Whether you’re interested in history, art, wine, or natural beauty, there’s a day trip option from Paris to suit your interests. Plan your itinerary and transportation in advance, and make the most of your time exploring the wonders just a short distance away from the city.


Now that we’ve covered day trip options, let’s conclude our guide to traveling in Paris with a summary of all we’ve discussed.



Exploring Paris as a tourist is a truly magical experience. From its iconic landmarks and world-class museums to its delectable cuisine and fashionable streets, the city offers a wealth of delights to captivate any traveler. By following the tips and advice provided in this guide, you can make the most of your visit to the “City of Love” and create cherished memories.


Start your journey by planning your transportation to Paris, whether it be by air, train, or bus. Once you’ve arrived, choose from a range of accommodation options that suit your budget and preferences. Navigate the city with ease using the efficient public transportation system, which includes the Metro, buses, and RER trains.


When it comes to attractions, Paris never disappoints. Visit iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural heritage and discover hidden gems in charming neighborhoods like Montmartre and the Latin Quarter.


Indulge in Parisian cuisine, from classic French dishes to international flavors, and enjoy dining experiences at stylish cafés, bistros, and fine dining restaurants. Engage in some retail therapy by exploring the chic boutiques of Le Marais and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, or admire the grandeur of luxury brands on the Champs-Élysées.


As you navigate the city and enjoy its offerings, remember to prioritize your safety by being aware of your surroundings, securing your belongings, and following local customs and laws. Respect Parisian etiquette, greet with politeness, and absorb the city’s unique cultural norms.


Take advantage of the city’s proximity to other stunning destinations by embarking on day trips to places like Versailles, Giverny, or the Champagne region. Expand your horizons and immerse yourself in the beauty of the French countryside.


In conclusion, Paris is a city that has captured the hearts of travelers for centuries. With its rich history, cultural heritage, and unparalleled charm, it promises a memorable experience for visitors from around the globe. So pack your bags, embrace the magic of Paris, and let the City of Love weave its spell on you.