Renowned as being the city of love, Paris is famed as being the world’s most romantic city, but there is so much more to Paris than a city steeped in romance. The city’s boulevards which are lined with historical monuments, its beautiful boutiques, and classic bistros, and its traditional museums combined with its more modern tech start-ups, design stores, quirky wine bars and cocktail lounges, and multimedia galleries are what makes this city such an incredible place to visit and explore.
There four things that make Paris well, Paris, and these are the iconic architecture, the glorious food, the stylish boutiques, and of course, the creative treasures. Paris is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most incredible cities, and not just for loved-up couples but also for solo travelers and family groups. It’s one of Europe’s most enthralling destinations because of the amount that it has on offer to see and do – there is nowhere quite like Paris.
Paris is the city that inspired countless renowned authors to pen some of their most imaginative works, from Victor Hugo to Ernest Hemmingway. It is also the place where most of the significant art movements of the past 50 years have been born. To top it off, Paris is where classical music, jazz, and theatre have thrived.
If you’re planning a trip to Paris sometime soon, a word of advice – plan like crazy. Why? Because you could, quite literally, spend weeks exploring Paris. When you’re heading off to somewhere like Paris that has numerous attractions to offer, planning your time really pays off. Paris is so much more than the city of light and love, so here’s how to make the most of any trip to this incredible place.
Put at least one museum on your radar
When it comes to choosing a museum to visit on your trip, The Louvre is an obvious choice. It’s an incredible place complete with three wings packed full of history dating back to Greek times. Of course, being such a popular place, The Louvre almost always has huge queues, which can mean waiting in line for hours to get in, that’s why it can be beneficial to plan your visit in advance and book queue jump tickets from sites like The Paris Guy.
Not keen on seeing The Louvre, alternatively you could visit the Musee d’Orsay which houses some of the city’s most incredible Impressionist painting. There’s also the Musee Picasso and the Musee Rodin, both of which are smaller but no less impressive.
Stroll along the river Seine
Fancy spending some time outdoors? Then a stroll along the river Seine could be a great option to consider as it’s one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time outside in this incredible city. A great place to start is at the Jardins du Trocadero – you can see some incredible views of the Eiffel Tower from here.
If you choose to cross the river, there’s the Berges de Seine, a pedestrianised area which is often filled with bouquinistes – aka second-hand book stalls. You can walk down this route towards the Cathedrale Notre-Dameon, which is another impressive sight.
Don’t forget Montmartre
Montmartre is a must-see location when in Paris. It might be a highly popular hilltop sight, but the crowds don’t tend to impact how beautifully charming this place is. It’s a fact that no visit to Paris, regardless of how long or short, would be complete without exploring Montmartre. While there, you have to climb the steps to the Scare-Coeur – it’s incredible views are a must see.
Be quintessentially Parisian and have a picnic
If the sun is shining, there’s nothing more Parisian than having a picnic. Pack a hamper full of gourmet treats – or better yet, buy a readymade picnic from one of the many delicatessens that span this city – and head to the Jardin du Luxembourg. The best street to head to for picnic supplies is Rue Montorgueil, a shopping street lined with cheese stores, bakeries, and patisseries serving all many of incredible cakes.
See the Marais
The Marais are made up of a network of ancient streets that have a distinctly different feel to the rest of Paris. Originally the Jewish area of the city, this area is now known for its beautiful boutiques and an incredible array of independent galleries. In the Haut Marais area, you will find a selection of modern cocktail bars; there’s also the Marche des Enfants Rouges here. While in the south of this area, you will find the Place des Vosges – a beautiful sight that you don’t want to miss.
The east quarter of Paris has changed significantly over the past few years and was once the rather run-down district just east of Canal St-Martin. But today, whether you are looking for a fantastic coffee shop, a quirky bistro or a night out, the east side of Paris is a must-visit location.
You can explore the Bassin de la Villette, go for a walk through Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, or have a picnic there on sunnier days. The east area of Paris has plenty on offer, whether you plan on visiting in the daytime or at night.
Explore the modern art scene
Paris might be famous for its classical artworks but what about the modern art scene? Paris actually has a pretty incredible of modern art as well as more classic artworks, so if you’re a fan of this type of art, you want to make sure that you explore the modern art scene while in this amazing city.
The best places to visit to see a wide range of modern art are the Musee d’Art Moderne which is located in the Pompidou Centre. Here you can see works by the likes of Pollock, Picasso, and Matisse. For more challenging exhibitions, the Palais de Tokyo is a great place to visit – the artwork here is extremely unique and insightful.
Discover little-known gems
What’s fantastic about Paris is that it has many little-known gems packed into it. These are the kinds of things that unless you’ve lived in Paris or know someone who has, you wouldn’t know. That’s why, when you’re in Paris, if you can make friends with some of the locals, you will find it far easier to find all of Paris best-kept secrets.
Whether you’re a huge fan of ancient history, are mad about installation art, or have a real passion for cooking, you are guaranteed to find a little gem somewhere in Paris. There’s so much more to Paris than you will find in the travel books, which is why exploring and seeing where the locals recommend is so essential to making the most of your time there.
Be a smart traveller
To save money, be financially savvy and sightsee on a Sunday. Did you know that on Sundays in Paris entry to most big museums is free, or is free every first Sunday of the month? Of course, this will mean rather large queues, but if queueing for free entry allows you to see more of Paris then it is definitely worthwhile doing so.
Paris is one of those cities that can be easily explored in a manner of ways. Travelling on foot is one option, as is travelling by bicycle. However, for longer journeys, public transport can be a useful way to get around. The best way to get around is via the metro or by bus, depending on which mode of transportation you prefer.
Did you know that on Sundays and Mondays many restaurants in Paris are closed? That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to carefully plan your meals and determine where you will eat when so that you aren’t left without anywhere to have dinner.
When it comes to your accommodation, there are various options to consider, from fancy five-star hotels to more budget-friendly options.
For the epitome of luxury, Hotel Plaza Athenee is one of the grandest hotels in Paris, complete with lavish features, Eiffel Tower views, and a Michelin star restaurant.
For a more decadent stay, Le Bristol is the hotel of choice for many celebrities because it’s wonderfully glamorous.
For a beautiful location, the Le Meurice, located next to the Jardin des Tuileries is one of the most beautiful 5-star hotels in the city, with the staff going above and beyond to cater to your every need.
For a more budget-friendly option, camping can be a great choice. Did you know that you can camp in the centre of the city? At Bois de Boulogne there is a campsite with room for around 500 tents, in addition to space for campervans and caravans. You can easily walk into the city from here, and staying here won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Paris is one of the world’s most famous cities. While it’s known as being the city of love, Paris is so much more than a location for a romantic break away. It’s a city with real depth to it – there is so much on offer to see and do here.