Paris is a city everyone should visit at least once. Seeing firsthand the Eiffel Tower, eating French croissants for breakfast and window shopping at Champs-Elysee – all these things will give you goose bumps as you are living in a dream.
You should always plan in advance in order to have a good trip to Paris. For suggestions on things to do and to see in the French capital check out my 3-day Paris itinerary. Besides that you also need to know how to get the best out of your trip. So here are my top 10 tips for an amazing trip to Paris:
#1. Get a Paris metro map
As much as I love walking and I think it is the best way to experience a city, the metro in Paris will save you a lot of time and effort. That’s because most of the affordable hotels in Paris are far from the main attractions and you will have to move a lot in order to see everything from your bucket list. Get a Paris metro map before your arrival and get to know the metro stops near your hotel and the main sights you will visit.
#2. Get a carnet for the metro
Carnet is a package of 10 tickets you can use in the Paris metro. Buying them will save you some money as their price is 13,70€ and the regular price of the single ticket is 1,70€
#2. Plan ahead – get a city map
Getting familiar with the city is going to help you a lot when you arrive. Before I visited Paris I already knew my way around. That way I didn’t waste time to wonder where to go next, what’s the building on the left and if I will have enough time to go to the next sight. So get your Paris city map and spend some time checking where things are.
Planning ahead also includes thinking of how to get from your arriving airport in Paris to the city center. There are many convenient ways, i.e. getting a taxi or booking a trip with a shuttle bus company in Paris. Just make sure to check in advance so you are prepared according to your budget and time.
#3. Free things to do
If you are travelling to Paris on a budget you can save a lot of money on some of the most iconic places. Knowledge is power, and in our case this is completely true.
Most of the attractions in Paris are free for all such as the Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame or Luxembourg Gardens. Also, nobody can stop you from having a nice picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower which is one in a lifetime experience as well. There are also many free walking tours in Paris you can join and save money.
Other than that, many of the iconic sighs in Paris offer free submissions to its visitors. Here is a list of some of them:
- Free for under 26 EU citizens: Musée du Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Orangerie, Panthéon, Arc De Triomphe and other National museums.
- Free only on the first Sunday of each month: The Louvre, Musée Rodin, Musée Picasso, Musée d’Orsay and others.
- The Louvre: also free for all under-26s, from any country in the world, on Friday evening from 6pm to 9.45 pm.
- Arc de Triomphe: free on the 1st Sunday of the month between 1 November and 31 March. Free entry for under 26s from the European Union
- Palace of Versailles: first Sunday of months from November to March, under 26 EU citizens
#4. Buy food from local supermarkets and make sandwiches
If you have limited days in Paris one of the best ways to maximize your time is to eat on foot. Buy products from local markets the day before and make some sandwiches you can eat while waiting on the queue for entering the Notre Dame, for example. This will save you a lot of time for sightseeing.
#5. Consider a holiday package
Sometimes in order to have the most amazing trip you can let someone else take care of it. Surf the internet for some France tour packages, such as the ones from HolidayMe.com, and check out if some of them are good enough to meet your criteria for an amazing trip to Paris.
#6. At Disneyland
If you are going to visit Disneyland Paris, be prepared – buy ticket online, get a map and create an “action plan”, ie what rides are you going to visit first, in what order, etc. Read my whole post about Disneyland which will help you plan your visit.
#7. At the Louvre
The Louvre is a must see when you are in Paris not only because of the famous Mona Lisa portrait but also because of the thousands of other significant pieces of art. To make your visit even more enjoyable you should be ready.
First, skip the entrance line and save yourself an hour of waiting by entering from some of the “secret” entrances such as Porte de Lions or the Mall entrance. Second, get a map of the Louvre and plan your visit ahead.
#8. At the Eiffel Tower
Don’t make the rooky mistake of waiting at the 3-hour long line for the Eiffel Tower. Simply buy your tickets in advance and enjoy the beautiful Paris landscape from the top.
#9. Know what’s working
Imagine you take a 30 min detour to visit another sight from your bucket list in Paris but when you get there, you see it isn’t working. Avoid the disappointment by simply checking out what’s working and when. Here’s a list of just some of the attractions in Paris who are closed on Mondays and on public holidays:
- Closed on Mondays: Musée d’Orsay, Musée de la Monnaie, Petit Palais, Musée Rodin, The crypt of Notre-Dame, The Palace of Versailles, etc.
- Closed on public holidays: The crypt of Notre-Dame, Musée Victor Hugo, etc.
You can see the full list of weekly closing days of cultural sites in Paris here.
#10. Get to know your neighborhood
When you are in Paris you won’t spend all of your time sightseeing and taking pictures. Of course, that’s what you came for but there is another important place you should get familiar with – the neighborhood you are staying at.
Get to know in advance are if there any good restaurants to eat, bars to have a drink and meet locals, is there a supermarket, a bakery and a pharmacy nearby.
As we said earlier, knowledge is power and the more information you have about the place the more options you will have to spend your amazing trip to Paris.
Are you ready for your Paris holiday? What are you most excited about when visiting the French capital?
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Marissa Tejada | October 21, 2015
I love Paris. Your pics bring back memories. Good tip on knowing when things are working! Can’t wait to go again.
Maria | Author | October 22, 2015
Yes, going to Paris again is one of my future plans!
Skip the line Eiffel tower | May 28, 2019
I really like your first tip “Get a Paris metro map” xD !! I totally agree, it so important to know where and how you go to Paris and its quarters ! And having a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower it’s a really good experience !