Known as the City of Light, Capital of Fashion, and the City of Love, Paris is the cosmopolitan capital of France. One of Europe's most densely populated cities, there are 2.2 million residents within the city limits and 12 million total residents within the metropolitan area. From fashion and cuisine to historical landmarks, Paris should be on your bucket list if it isn't already. Before you join the 45 million annual visitors, read the Paris tourist info collected in this travel guide.
When to visit
There is never a bad time for you to visit Paris as there is always something going on in the City of Light. The calendar year kicks off with the Maison & Object furniture and interior design trade fair in January. February marks the le nouvel an chinois (Chinese New Year) celebration in several districts within Paris. March offers the first of two fashion weeks, Spring Fashion Week, that take place annually.
Other notable events worth taking in when you visit Paris include the French Tennis Open (May-June), La Fete Nationale (Bastille Day) on July 14th, and beginning of the Christmas season on the third Thursday of November with the release of Le Beaujolais Nouveau.
Located in Western Europe along the Atlantic Ocean, Paris enjoys a maritime climate the results in cool winters and warm summers. Snow is uncommon in Paris, with the average high during even the coldest month of the year hitting 43 degrees F (6 C). Spring and fall are characterized by cool temperatures and wet conditions. Summer is the best time of year to visit Paris. The average high during mid-summer months is 77 degrees F (25 C).
A better question to ask yourself would be "what can't I do in Paris?" Like many other global capital cities, Paris has so much to do that it would be impossible to take it all in during one visit. For the sake of this travel guide, you'll find a majority of the must-do activities included.
A highlight of the summer months is the annual Cinema en Plein Air. This outdoor cinema event takes place at the Parc de la Villette in July and shows films on the 9th largest inflatable screen in Europe. Other must-do activities include the city's incredible music festivals of Rock en Seine (August), Techno parade (September), and Jazz a la Villette (September).
If you do nothing else during your visit, don't forget to try out the myriad of amazing cuisine options. One of the world's culinary capitals, Paris has the second highest concentration of Michelin restaurants behind only Tokyo, Japan.
Most people cannot come to Paris without seeing the city's impressive icons like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Paris is home to roughly 70 museums, including the Louvre, which counts the Mona Lisa among its impressive artistic displays.
If you want to step outside the box, consider visiting the city's infamous catacombs. Here you'll find the exhumed remains of roughly 6 million people who were moved from overflowing cemeteries across Paris. There's no better view of the city than that offered from Sacre Coeur. The church is located at the highest point in the city, offering stunning views of the entire city.
Tips & Recommendations
• Paris is considered one of the world's safest cities. Nevertheless, exercise caution in low-income neighborhoods at night.
• Parisians are often labeled rude or arrogant. A difficult fact of life in the City of Light is dealing with a constant stream of tourists. Be patient and polite when interacting with Parisians. After all, they deal with 45 million people like you each year.
• Parisians dress conservatively, despite the city's status within the fashion world. Bright colors can attract the wrong attention in areas such as the 9th and 18th arrondissements (districts).
• Try the flea markets. Paris has three famous flea markets along the city's outskirts, each offering antiques and second-hand goods.
• Consider a ParisPass. This prepaid entry card offers entry and queue jumping at 60 attractions around the city.
Hotel Oscar is located close to Gare Saint Lazare, for convenient transportation connections. Parc Monceau and École Militaire can be reached on foot from here. You can walk to Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Faubourg du Roule and Eiffel Tower from here. Need a place close to Palais des Congrès? This accommodation is just a short distance from it.
BP Apartments - Canal St. Martin is a small, intimate property where you'll enjoy personalized attention. Buttes Chaumont and Place de la République are accessible by foot from this accommodation. You'll easily access all the city has to offer: Gare de l'est provides public transit connections throughout Paris. Le Parc de Bercy is just a short distance from here.
For easy travel, Bed and Breakfast CHEZ MARIE is a short distance from Charonne Metro Station. Good to know: This accommodation is close to Bastille. You'll be a short distance from Le Marais Area, Place de la République and Belleville. Be assured that Opera Bastille is easily accessible.
For easy travel, B&B Legendre is a short distance from Gare Saint Lazare. Moulin Rouge and Parc Monceau are close enough to reach on foot from here. You'll be centrally located near landmarks such as Montmartre and Barbes. Aquaboulevard is close to this property.
For easy travel, Bed & Breakfast Pompidou Chic is a short distance from Arts et Métiers Metro Station. Porte Saint Martin, Porte Saint Denis and Place de la République are within a short walk from here. Bastille and Odéon are recommended favorites. One of the Paris monuments close to this establishment is Place des Vosges, which is 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from here.
Bed & Breakfast Chez Claudine is located close to Gare Montparnasse, for convenient transportation connections. If you like exploring the city on foot, this location is an excellent choice, as Montparnasse and Parc Montsouris are walk able from here. Not far away, Aquaboulevard offers fun times.
The roomy Camping Indigo Paris Bois de Boulogne in Paris offers agreeable hospitality and guest services. Book a comfy 4-star room here. Bois de Boulogne is one of the easily accessible attractions from here. Aquaboulevard is an entertaining option for your Paris visit.
Its 2-star rating makes AMHôtel Italie a good option for budget lodging. Gare d'Austerlitz is an easy jaunt from this location. The popular attraction Parc Montsouris is walking-distance close. The holiday accommodation is perfectly located for visiting Le Parc de Bercy.