Paris!!! My second favorite place in the world after NYC but trust me, visiting Paris and Eiffel Tower was my dream since I was a child. This city has great museums, food, coffee, wine, cheese, and most important are people. We got so much love from locals that we felt like we belonged there.
To plan Paris trip first thing, you should check is Visa requirement. To visit Paris, you need Schengen Visa. You can check your eligibility here.
Once you know that you are eligible or have a valid visa next big question is how long we should stay. Honestly you can spend 3 days, 1 week or even more as long as you want. But for us I planned 5 days for Paris as we visited 3 other countries in the same trip.
During our stay we visited following attractions:
The Iron Lady located on Champ de Mars is must to visit when in Paris. It is not just a visit but an experience to have. Thankfully in our stay I didn’t miss a single day without seeing this beauty.
To go to the top of the Eiffel tower you need to get a ticket. Timed ticket can be booked up to 3 months in advance but are very difficult to get – as it gets sold really fast. I didn’t get tickets online but thankfully when we visited; we didn’t spend much time in the line. But keep in mind that especially in summer you might need to wait for 2 to 3 hours in the line just to get tickets.
Normally there is a long line for elevator access so if you are physically fit and want to save time then climb up to second floor using stairs. And from second floor you can use elevator to go to the top.
There is a light show every evening after sunset for every hour which last for 5 minutes. Don’t miss it, as it is spectacular.
Light show at Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars
Best View of Eiffel Tower:
Champ de Mars
Pont de la Concorde
Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck
It is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris. We visited this museum in the morning and I booked timed tickets online. This museum is huge and is impossible to see each and every corner although it has fantastic collection so you have to decide your priorities. We spent around 7 to 8 hours here but in the end, it was very exhausting. There are few things which you should not miss in the museum. This link would be helpful.
Visit Mona Lisa Painting first thing in the morning cause later in the day it gets very crowded.
Arc De Triomphe
It is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle. You can go to the top of the arc. It gives beautiful panoramic views of city. You can book tickets for this online here.
It is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris. There are a lot of steps to climb. You can get a hill tram up, but it doesn’t go all the way to the top. There can be a bit of a queue to go inside but it moves quickly. You will see thousands of visitors sitting on the stairs there. This place also gives beautiful views of the city. The street below this has lots of food options and gift shops.
We had awesome crepes in Creperie Broceliande. Do visit this place you won’t regret it.
Les Invalides & Napoleon’s tomb
It is a beautiful monument and there is military museum and a tomb of Napoleon. The museum is very big. We spent around 3 hours over here. Ticket was €12. You can get ticket information here.
Notre Dame Cathedral
It is a medieval Catholic cathedral and a must to do in Paris to admire its architecture, stone carvings and stained-glass windows. Entrance is free but there is often long line but don’t worry line moves quickly.
It is a royal chapel with gothic architecture. It has beautiful stained-glass work. Please see its picture in the album. You will get price and hour information here. We spent 1 hour over here.
This garden is near Louvre museum. You can have a nice walk in this garden. But honestly, we took long break sitting here after exhausting walk in the Louvre museum.
Palace of Versailles
Visit to this royal palace is truly a rewarding experience. It has amazing architecture, great interiors, beautifully designed gardens with fountains, flower beds, canals and groves. This palace is outside main city and you will need to either use public transport or get cab. With train it takes around 45 minutes to an hour to reach there. Also you will find long line outside the palace. I would suggest allocating entire day for this attraction. And then you can spend evening in Paris.
There is musical fountain show on some days of the week. I would recommend planning for the palace accordingly. You will get that information here.
This scenic river embodies all that Paris represents. It is at the center of the city and gives amazing views. You can also do Seine River Cruise. We didn’t do any cruise, so I don’t have any recommendations. We just enjoyed sitting at river bank; sink-in all the beauties around us. River itself is not at all clean though!
It is a monument and building in the business district of La Défense. It is easily accessible by Metro. I feel that it represents modern Paris. There is not much to do in this area though. There are some shopping centers which were closed when we visited this place. I would say If you’re in the area, check it out, but don’t make a special trip.
There are 5 zones in Paris which you get train tickets for. Most of the attractions are in 3 zones except Palace of Versailles, Sacré-Cœur. So when you buy train pass you can select as per your itinerary.
This one is from self-experience and very important: Don’t keep train pass near mobile as it has magnet in it which doesn’t work if it comes in contact with phone. We spent 2 hours at airport struggling with access issue and changed pass two times and then finally came to know about this.
Most of the train stations does not have elevators and you need to carry luggage through stairs which was really painful.
Beware of pickpockets. They are everywhere. Don’t entertain strangers asking for help and don’t keep important things in bag pack.
Buy tickets for popular attractions at authorized sites only. There are many scams out there.
Most of the city will be closed on Sunday.
Learning few common words in French will help communicate with locals better.
Carry some local currency with you as not all places accept cards.
Recommended Restaurants/ Pâtisserie
Du Pain et des Idees (Must try “Escargot choclat pistache” and croissant)
Au P’tit Grec (Best Crepes)
Ladurée (Best Macrons)
L’ Eclair de Genie (Eclairs)
L’As du Fallafel (Best Fallafel)
La Petite Rose des Sables (small family style authentic French restaurant. Highly recommend it)