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- Things you should know
- What to Do in Paris
- Where to Eat in Paris
- Nightlife in Paris
- Where to Stay in Paris
Things You Should Know About Paris
How to get to Paris
Paris is easily accessible by train, plane, or car depending on where you’re coming from. My favourite way to get to Paris from the UK is via the Eurostar departing from St. Pancras multiple times daily and arriving right in the middle of Paris at Gare de Paris-Nord train station (perfect for a quick weekend in Paris trip). Your other option is flying to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
How to get around Paris
Paris has an extensive public transport system that includes buses and trains. The underground subway system is called the Metro. You can buy tickets from the machines at the stations or the ticket window (if the station has one). The transport website has all of the details here, but in summary, a single trip ticket will cost you around €1.90 and a day pass is around €5.80.
Best Time to Visit Paris
Wondering what month is best to visit Paris? This will depend on personal preference as Paris experiences your standard four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter). If you choose to go in summer, the hottest month is July with an average temperature of 20°C (68°F) but can reach up to 25-30°C (77-86°F). The coldest month of the year is January at 5°C (41°F).
Currency used in Paris
The currency used in Paris is the Euro and cash or card are acceptable forms of payment.
Other Helpful Advice about Paris
Another thing you should know about Paris is that it’s divided into twenty districts referred to as arrondissements. The twenty arrondissements are arranged in the form of a clockwise spiral starting from the middle of the city.
You may have heard some negative things about Paris, so let’s address that as well. You might be wondering, is Paris dirty? Firstly, don’t let people put you off by saying “Ah but Paris is so dirty”, it’s a city, literally every city is a bit dirty. Also, if you’ve ever been to countries in places like South East Asia, South America or the Middle East trust me, you’ve seen much much worse.
Secondly, Parisians have this bad reputation of being rude so you might be asking yourself, “Are all Parisians rude and will I have an awful time?”. I’ve never had an issue with people being more rude to me in Paris than any other place in the world. Again, you’re in a city, some people are just going to be rude for no reason. If you’re visiting Europe for the first time, be sure to put Paris on the list, trust me you won’t be disappointed.
Must See Sights and Things to Do in Paris
If you’ve come here looking for things to see and do on your weekend in Paris trip, I’ve got you covered! I’ve suggested a few of the must see tourist stops but also some hidden gems of Paris you might not necessarily have thought of.
This is one of my favourite markets in Paris. It’s only open on Sunday and Thursday mornings from 8:30-1:30 so make sure you plan accordingly. It’s a local favourite and not overwhelming like some of the bigger markets but still has a wide selection of cheese, wine, food stalls, and random goods or souvenirs.
This is the second-most visited monument in Paris and for good reason. Firstly, it is located at the summit of one of the most famous neighbourhoods in Paris, Montmartre which means it has views of the entire city and you’ll get to visit one of the most famous, historical, artistic neighbourhoods at the same time. Secondly, it’s one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen in my life. I was actually moved to tears the first time I visited.
I mean, duh, you have to visit. Now, how you choose to see the Eiffel Tower is up to you. Your first option is to buy a ticket to go up the Eiffel Tower itself (don’t worry, there’s a lift). Tickets can be purchased here directly from the website. Prices for adults range from €11-27 and €6-14 for children. Another option would be to book a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower with Get Your Guide.
You’re next option would be to picnic near the Eiffel Tower in one of the surrounding parks. The Champs du Mars is the perfect place for this. Paris has no shortage of cheese shops or boulangeries (bakery) so pop in and grab yourself some brie and a baguette, a nice bottle of French red, and take in the view. You can do this either day or evening. If you didn’t already know, the Eiffel Tower sparkles for 5 minutes on the hour every hour after nightfall until 1:00 a.m. It truly is a magical site to see.
Your final option is to book a hotel with views of the Eiffel tower. My friend Jackie has a great list of hotels on her blog here so check it out!
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is a monument located in the middle of the 16th, 17th, and 8th arrondissements which honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It’s a cool monument to visit with great view of the city.
If you’re looking for some piece and quiet from the hustle and bustle, Luxembourg Gardens is a lovely place for a stroll or a picnic.
One of the most famous sites in Paris is Notre Dame, located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. It’s considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.
Shopping in a Parisian Pharmacy
Parisian women are world renowned for their beauty routines and secrets. What better way to discover some for yourself then to head to a local drug store or pharmacy and check out the products. This is actually how I found my favourite makeup remover.
Wine Shopping in the Local Supermarket
Whenever I go to a foreign country, one of my favourite things to do is pop into the local supermarket and check out the food. Forget the expensive fancy wine shops (well actually, those are nice too), some of the best wine in Paris can be found for €5 a bottle in the local supermarket (or supermarché as they say).
The Best Places to Eat in Paris
You can find an exhaustive list of my favourite restaurants in Paris in my Instagram guide, but I’ve also listed my top favourites from the list here.
This is definitely not a statement I take lightly, but this is probably my favourite restaurant in the entire world and hands down my favourite restaurant in Paris. I send every single friend that visits Paris here. If you only eat at one place during your weekend in Paris trip, make sure it’s here. Located next to St. Germain metro station in the 6th arrondissement, this tiny hole in the wall French bistro serves up the most authentic, rich, and classic French cuisine. The menu changes daily and is written on a chalkboard. Unlike some places you come across, the staff are so incredibly friendly they’ll help translate the menu for you. You honestly can’t go wrong with anything you order here, but my favourites are beef bourguignon, chateaubriand, entrecôte, potato dauphinoise or mashed potatoes, and of course any of the red wine.
Located in Bastille, this is where you’ll find the best French onion soup of your life.
Another lovely French restaurant serving Provençal-style dishes. The service is also friendly and welcoming plus they have an extensive pastis list which is a traditional anise-flavoured spirit and aperitif from France.
A delicious crêperie in Oberkampf selling both sweet and savoury crepes.
Literally any Boulangerie in Paris
Where to go out in Paris
No weekend in Paris trip is complete without a stop in a wine bar. Le Barav is a lovely wine bar located in Republique. It’s a great place for trying new French wines, small sharing plates, and people watching.
This place kind of has it all, restaurant, cocktail bar, event space, brunch spot. It’s just a really cool place with rustic-chic vibe and an outdoor terrace right on the canal.
This is where I go when I want to dance and just have a great night out. It’s definitely not for everyone as it has quite a bit of character. I’d describe it as a a grimy, hole in the wall, dive bar.
Where to Stay in Paris & The best Neighbourhoods in Paris
To get the most our of your weekend in Paris trip, you’ll want to stay in the heart of the city. Where you should stay will depend on what type of neighbourhood you’re after, so I’ve broken it down for you below.
Firstly, I usually stay around the 3rd and 4th arrondissement in the neighbourhoods of either Le Marais, Oberkampf, or République. This is where many young professionals live which makes it quite lively and full of choice for restaurants and bars. It’s also very LGBTQ+ friendly! Bastille is also a good choice located just nearby in arrondissement 11 and tends to be slightly cheaper.
Montmartre is one of the most famous neighbourhoods known for it’s artistic history. Here you’ll find café lined streets, quaint multi-coloured houses, and of course, the Moulin Rouge and the Sacre Coeur.
Lastly, if you’re looking for 5 star service and price is no object, check out the likes of Saint-Germain-des-Prés with the Luxembourg Gardens right on your doorstep.