Paris Travel Guide: Must-Visit Attractions and Hidden Gems

Charles Nagy Oct 05, 2023
55 People Read
Paris
Table of Contents
  1. Arriving in Paris
  2. Neighbourhoods in ParisandWhere to Stay in Paris
  3. ExploringParisthrough Iconic landmarks
  4. Things todoin Paris
  5. Hidden Gems
  6. Getting to Know French Cuisine andits Delicacies
  7. What are the top French dishes?
  8. Shopping in the Fashion Capital
  9. Capturing the Best Moments for Instagram Memories
  10. LGBTQ
  11. Fun Facts about Paris

Paris, France

Paris

Are you thinking about a romantic city trip with your partner? Or are you looking just to explore Paris? Look no further than visiting Paris, the most beautiful and romantic of cities! A city where couples embrace the Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden), the French history or stroll hand-in-hand along the Parc de la Villette. From sipping café au lait on a terrace at sunset to taking a one-of-a-kind guided tour around iconic monuments like The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and The Arc de Triomphe - there's something for everyone in this vibrant capital of France. Join me as I take an adventure through French culture, cuisine, art, and beyond!

Paris, France

It was my first visit to Paris, and I can not begin to tell you how magical this city is. I was so happy to be here with Pedro.

From iconic sights and impressionist art to the cobbled streets and hidden gems, there are things to do in Paris and discover around every corner. The city is full of stained glass windows, culture and history – from famous sites like the Louvre and Musée D’Orsay, to unique galleries and boutiques tucked away in winding alleyways. I was in awe of all the wonderful things this city has to offer.

I also had the opportunity to experience some of Paris’s famous cuisine. From warm baguettes and freshly brewed coffee in the morning, to delicious street food like crepes and waffles, it was clear why France is known for its culinary delights! I even sampled a few traditional dishes such as steak-frites and escargot. Without even realizing it, I was on a food tour. While drinking the finest French wines and eating the most delicious French foods, I felt as if I were Marie Antoinette, living my best life, and Pedro was my King Louis XVI.

Paris

Paris

No trip to Paris is complete without sauntering along the Champs-Elysees, kissing my Pedro while Im perched over the Place de la Concorde, or taking in the breathtaking cityscape from atop the Eiffel Tower. I can’t help but feel that my time here was far too short, and I will return soon. 

Paris

Arriving in Paris

I took the Thalys with Pedro. The Thalys is a train takes you from Amsterdam Central Train Station to Paris railway station in only four hours. We were only 10 minutes away from our hotel once we got to Paris.


Once in Paris, you will find plenty of transportation options to get you where you need to go. Welcome Pickups picked us up right outside the station and took us directly to our hotel Maison Saintonge, which is located in the beautiful Le Marais district.


We also found the metro system to be extremely efficient and user-friendly. However, we enjoyed renting bikes and scooters to get around the city. Uber or Lyft are two ways to rent this or you can rent a scooter which a lot of locals are riding.


Paris, France

Neighbourhoods in Paris and Where to Stay in Paris

Paris is a bustling city with many neighbourhoods, each offering its own unique character. The Latin Quarter is great for students and those who want to be close to all the nightlife. The Champs-Elysées has some of the best luxury hotels in the world, while Montmartre is more relaxed and artsy. Saint Germain des Prés has beautiful old churches and cobblestone streets, perfect for a romantic stay. For something a bit more residential, try out Le Marais district with its cobbled laneways and historical monuments. There are plenty of hotels, apartments, and Airbnb to choose from no matter where you decide to stay!

Paris, France

The following are some of my favorite Paris hotels in districts I love

Here is an article listing more of my hotel choices according to hotel rating.

Latin Quarter

Champs-Elysées

Montmartre

Saint Germain

Le Marais

Maison Saintonge

Exploring Paris through Iconic landmarks 

Paris is a city full of culture and history, making it the perfect destination for exploring some of the world's most iconic attractions. From the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame Cathedral, visitors can experience the grandeur of these landmarks in person. A trip to Paris wouldn't be complete without a stroll through the majestic Champs-Élysées or a visit to the Louvre Museum. And for those looking for something off the beaten path, there are plenty of hidden gems scattered throughout this beautiful city that are sure to delight. No matter where you go, your journey will be filled with an abundance of beauty and enchantment.

Champs-Élysées

Things to do in Paris

From my experience, I wouldn't try to cover too much of the city in a short time frame. You have too many fabulous things to see and explore here, so I recommend choosing one, two, or three things to see and do. Make sure you leave yourself some time for getting lost in the cobble streets, people-watching, and enjoying the culture of France.

A trip to Paris would not be complete without a guided tour. You can customize your time in Paris by finding a tour guide that is right for you and a guide that speaks the language you understand.

Here are my top Paris tours.

Here's a list of the top French museum you can visit. All of which are more than just art museums.

  • Louvre Museum - Louvre Museum Guided Tour with Skip the Line Entrance

    • You can see more than just the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Discover Van Gogh, the French Revolution, contemporary art, Louis XIV, and 19th Century French Art. This museum is a must-see for any art lover, and tickets are available online. It's best to book something online before you visit the Louvre Museum as there are plenty of tours and skip-the-line options.

  • Musée d'Orsay - Musée d'Orsay Guided Tour with Options

  • Cluny Museum - National Museum of the Middle Ages

  • Palais de Tokyo

  • Musée des Arts et Métiers

  • Paris Sewer Museum

Adding these to your list of "things to do in Paris" if you are not looking for a large museum but want to get your fill of fine art.

You can add these parks and gardens to your "Things to do in Paris" list. You can find a local guide to walk around with. It will add value to your time in Paris to hear about the parks.

  • Champ de Mars

  • Place des Vosges - beautiful park with lots of little boutique galleries all around. This is a great place to spend the afternoon.

  • Bois de Boulogne - Lovely park to spend the day, pack a picnic and ride your bike around.

Paris, France

Paris France

Paris, France

Hidden Gems

Paris is full of hidden gems that are worth exploring. Some of the more unknown attractions include the Paris Catacombs, which feature a fascinating underground labyrinth of bones and tombs; the Musée Carnavalet, which has an extensive collection of artifacts related to the city's history; and the Luxembourg Gardens, a stunning park filled with lush greenery and beautiful fountains. For those looking for something out of the ordinary, there's also the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, a unique public park on top of a hill featuring spectacular views of Paris.

Paris Catacombs

Getting to Know French Cuisine and its Delicacies

French cuisine is renowned for its rich and decadent flavors that take you on a journey around the world. From classic dishes like coq au vin and crepes to regional specialties like bouillabaisse and Normandy-style cider, these dishes are sure to tantalize your taste buds. And let’s not forget the desserts! Take your pick from classic tarts, profiteroles, or macarons; the options are truly endless. Along with savoring the delicious food, being immersed in French gastronomy also means learning about different local ingredients and traditions. So go ahead – explore the cuisine of this beautiful country and get to know its unique delicacies!

What are the top French dishes?

The top French dishes include Coq au Vin, a stew made with chicken, mushrooms, and red wine; Bouillabaisse, a Mediterranean fish stew; Crepes, thin pancakes usually filled with sweet or savory fillings; Ratatouille, a vegetable dish usually served as a side; Tarte Tatin, an upside-down apple tart with caramelized apples; and Cassoulet, a hearty bean and meat stew. Other popular dishes include Croque Monsieur and Quiche Lorraine. Bon Appétit!


Here's a list of some of my favorite Restaurants in Paris


Here's a list of some of my favorite bakeries in Paris


You can take French Cooking classes alone or with your partner if you want to get fancy and become a French cook or baker. I took a 2-hour bread-making class in Paris with Pedro, and it was fantastic!

Cooking Class

Shopping in the Fashion Capital

Shopping in Paris is a must-have experience. Being the fashion capital of the world, you'll find couture clothes, designer handbags, and accessories. The best neighborhoods to explore are Le Marais for vintage and luxury stores, Champs-Élysées for high-end outlets, BHV for general shopping, Rive Gauche for antiques, and the streets around rue de Rivoli for budget shopping. Another great way to save money is to visit local markets and street vendors. You can often get one-of-a-kind pieces without shelling out top dollar. Whether you're splurging or penny-pinching, Paris has something special in store for all shoppers!

Capturing the Best Moments for Instagram Memories

Paris is a dream for Instagrammers! From the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame, the city offers endless opportunities for breathtaking photography. Here are some of the best spots for capturing those perfect Instagram moments: The Louvre Pyramid, Musee d'Orsay, Sacre-Coeur Basilica, Luxembourg Gardens and Canal Saint Martin are just some of the must-see places with iconic views. Head over to Montmartre or up to the Arc de Triomphe for beautiful skyline shots. And don't forget to keep your eyes out for hidden gems and quirky street art - you never know when you'll find an unexpected shot that will skyrocket your followers!


Musee d'Orsay


Eiffel Tower

LGBTQ

Paris is a very LGBT-friendly city and welcoming to all orientations. LGBTQ people are treated with respect, acceptance and kindness in the French capital. The Marais neighborhood is especially known for its vibrant gay scene and has a number of bars, clubs, cafes, galleries and shops that cater specifically to the LGBT community. From traditional French cabaret shows to stylish gay-friendly nightclubs, there's something for everyone! And if you're looking for something new and different, check out the eclectic offerings at Palais Maillot and Bataclan Theatre. Whether you're looking for an adventure or just some fun – Paris has it all!


Here's a list of the best spots for LGBTQ people:

Bars

Clubs

Gay Saunas

Gay Pride


Fun Facts about Paris

It's a city full of culture and history, but some fun facts can make your trip even more enjoyable.

Eleven random fun facts about Paris:

  1. The Louvre Museum contains over 35,000 pieces of art!

  2. The Eiffel Tower was saved from destruction by an unlikely hero - Gustave Eiffel himself!

  3. The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is the most expensive shopping street in the world.

  4. Each day over 23 million croissants are consumed in Paris.

  5. Père Lachaise Cemetery - Largest cemetery in Paris.

  6. There are over 400 bridges crossing the River Seine.

  7. You can take a boat ride through the Catacombs of Paris - the underground cemetery filled with millions of bones!

  8. The traditional chip stands in Paris serve French fries called "pommes frites."

  9. There are over 500 parks, gardens, and nature reserves around Paris.

  10. Montmartre is home to one of the oldest windmills in Europe at Moulin de la Galette.

  11. The city bird of Paris is the white stork!

Catacombs

Paris is absolutely a beautiful place to visit and explore. With its museums and monuments, cuisine, and vibrant culture, one can easily appreciate why Paris is called the "City of Lights". Every corner of the city holds an adventure for visitors - from seeing the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum to trying delicious French pastries! Don't rush your time in this amazing city, as wandering around its streets can prove just as rewarding as seeing any one of its incredible sights. Even if you already have a checklist of things to do, take a day or two just to stroll around and enjoy yourself; it's ok to get lost in the magical beauty of Paris. Whether this is your first time visiting there or a returning trek, enjoy every second of your stay.

Au Revoir et Reviens!

PARIS

Louvre Museum

Effile Tower

Paris France

Table of Contents
  1. Arriving in Paris
  2. Neighbourhoods in ParisandWhere to Stay in Paris
  3. ExploringParisthrough Iconic landmarks
  4. Things todoin Paris
  5. Hidden Gems
  6. Getting to Know French Cuisine andits Delicacies
  7. What are the top French dishes?
  8. Shopping in the Fashion Capital
  9. Capturing the Best Moments for Instagram Memories
  10. LGBTQ
  11. Fun Facts about Paris