Paris is said to be the city of lights but I think it is the city of love. Everything about Paris is romantic. The architecture, the history, the Siene river, cafes on every corner, and amazing food and wine at every turn will dazzle just about anyone.
Paris is just one of those cities that I feel like you need to visit at least once in your life. It has something for everyone. If you love exploring cobblestone streets, there is plenty for you. If you love history and architecture, then you are going to be in love. If you love shopping, fashion, and culture then you are going to be in heaven. Foodie? Paris is known for their cuisine for a reason!
Paris is a city that you can visit at anytime of the year. Each season brings something special and unique to your trip. Spring with flowers blooming everywhere is a sight to see. Winter in Paris is dark and broody which makes you feel like you just stepped into Les Miserables and makes for great pictures of the well known sights. So not matter what time of year you go, you are bound to be amazed.
Notre Dame from the Siene
Accommodation – There are two routes to staying in Paris which will affect your budget. The first option is staying in a hotel. There are many options in many different price ranges, you could stay in a hostel which would be your cheapest option. Then there are hotels ranging from mid-price to luxury.
Here are some hotel recommendations for every budget.
Budget: Hotel Maxin Quartier Latin is located on the left bank of the Siene and in the hip Latin Quarter which is home to great food, art, and history. It is also right by the Metro so you can get wherever you need to go! Starts at $89 USD.
Mid range: Hôtel Du Jeu De Paume is where I stayed during my last trip. It is located on the charming and scenic Ill Saint-Louis. It is a 5 min walk to Notre Dame and 10 minute walk to the Metro. It was clean and comfortable and the location is to die for! Great cafes and shops a few steps away. I would definitely stay there again. Starts at $220 USD.
Luxury: Hôtel de Crillon – This historic gorgeous hotel is perfect for a night of luxury with some rooms having a grand view of the Eiffel Tower. Located in the 8th district and near Champs-Elysées and the Lourve. Starting at $1000 USD.
The second option is using HomeAway and VRBO. There are many affordable options all over the city in great neighborhoods whether you want to stay near tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower or you want to say off the beaten path. Some great neighborhoods to stay in are Saint-Louis, Latin Quarter, and Saint Germaine.
Food – This is one my favorite things about Paris. They have cafes on every corner where you can get a pain chocolat and some coffee. I love to just sit outside the cafe and people watch while sipping my coffee.
They have an abundance of bakeries and restaurants to choose from. The restaurants tend to be on the mid to higher end for cost. You have to get the macarons at the famous Le Macaron Ladurée Paris, they will blow your mind.
For the best restaurant recommendations head here.
You can stop off at one of the many small épicerie (grocery) stores and stalls and get bread, cheese, and wine and have a picnic which can help control costs.
Transportation – Many of the typical tourist destinations are within walking distance from each other. Paris has a pretty well laid out public transportation, the Metro, that is easy to navigate and get around for a modest price.
While very touristy, talking a walk on and walk off bus is a great way to see Paris and save money on transportation and see the sights.
Suggested daily budget – $200-$350 USD for two people (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a mid range hotel or Airbnb, eating out for lunch and dinner with some alcohol and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)
This pass gets you into a whole slew of museums and points of interest for one fee. The pass includes The Louvre, Palace of Versailles, Musée d’Orsay, Sainte-Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe, and the Panthéon among many others. A 2 day pass costs €53 and a 4 day costs €71. The other nice thing about this pass is it allows you to skip lines for these attractions, saving precious time to see other things!
Use booking.com to find deals on hotels in centrally located places like the 1st Arrondisement and 7th Arrondisement where you will be within walking distance from many attractions. Whatever you can’t get to through walking, you will be able to jump on the Metro.
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Items I am glad I had while in Paris