Imagine strolling around with your love, hand in hand, walking side by side with couples just as in love as you are, some hugging, some kissing. Looks like this was another scene from a movie, right? Wrong. This is the scenario you can expect to see when in Paris, the most romantic city in the world. Whether it’s rekindling the fire with your hubby, proposing to your girlfriend, or just immersing yourself in Renaissance culture and modern fashion, there are many reasons why Paris should be the city of your choice.
When to Visit
With its Mediterranean climate, the best times to visit Paris are during springtime (from April to June), and during fall (September to November). Because Paris summers are hot and dry, tourists are advised to stay away from these months (July to August) because of its high volume of people traffic – travelers coming in and Parisians heading out for vacation.
Getting around Paris
One of the best ways to go around the “City of Light” is by foot. Just be on the lookout for dog manure though, as they are everywhere!
Biking and motor biking around Paris are also good ways to see the cityscape. Bike rentals are available at a rate of $12 per day, to $33.50 for the entire weekend. Motorbike rentals, on the other hand, start at $80.
Travel through the Metro train is another way to roam around the city, though it is less recommended since the travel time is same of walking. There are no sights to see with Metro travel too, since the trains run underground. A single-journey ticket costs $2.06, so getting a carnet (ten tickets) will save you more since it only costs $17.29, bringing the per-ticket rate to $1.73 (updated 2020).
Riding a bus is also an option, the Paris L’Opentour Bus is recommended for tourists though. You can stay as long as you want, or get off if you need to. A day pass costs $17 for children and $34 for adults (updated 2020) . Taxicabs are available, but they are difficult to hail though, especially in the morning. The minimum fare is around $2.80(updated 2020). Do take note that there is an extra fee for baggage handling.
Of course, what would your Paris vacation be like without a peek on these attractions. Do not go home without seeing all the places in this list!
1) The Louvre
The Louvre is perhaps the most majestic museum in the world, being home to priceless masterpieces by the greatest artists of all time – Michaelangelo, Rembrandt and Caravaggio, to name a few. The architecture of the museum is just as impressive, with a historical palace overlooking a modern-day glass pyramid. This extravagant relic hub, located along Galerie du Carrousel, offers tickets ranging from $14-$20.
2) Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is almost always the first thing that comes to everybody’s mind when the word “Paris” is blurted out. Built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel, this tall iron structure along Champ de Mars is such a sight to behold, especially during nighttime. Stairs entrance ticket costs about $12, while the lift entrance ticket up to the 2nd floor is at $18. To enjoy the spectacular view at the Eiffel paramount, purchase the lift entrance ticket to the top ($22) (updated 2020).
3) Arc de Triomphe
Known as the epitome of Parisian elegance, the Arc de Triomphe is a fortress built by Emperor Napoleon to honor France’s military strength. Located along Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe is a free photo stop for everyone. However, if you want to take the elevator up to the arch, you need to pay a fee.
4) Chateau de Versailles
Do you want to know how it feels like to be a king, living in a grand castle? You can daydream about this at Paris’ famed Chateau de Versailles. It has been the backdrop of many historical events, from being the abode of King Louis XIV, to being the location where the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Get the most out of your tour at this bastion along Place d’ Armes by purchasing the “Passport,” which costs around $22-30 (updated 2020).
5) Notre Dame Cathedral
This Cathedral, situated along Place du Parvis de Notre Dame, is considered the most majestic gothic structure of all. Built in a span of two centuries, it was left in neglect until prolific Victor Hugo used it as his backdrop in his novel, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” When in Notre Dame Cathedral, do not forget to climb the top to see the gargoyles (fee costs $9.70) or visit its eerie yet fascinating archaeological crypts (admission price is $4.30).under restoration as of April 2020
6) Musee d’Orsay
Located at Rue de la Legion d’Honneur, a bridge away from the Louvre, is Musee d’Orsay. It houses artworks produced from 1848 to 1914. Here you can marvel at the works of art of illustrious masters such as Van Gogh, Monet, Lautrec and Delacroix. Getting in will cost you around $15 (updated 2020).
7) Seine River
The Seine River, which borders Paris, is a great attraction for those who want to chill out and spend a romantic cruise with his significant other. You can roam through the scenic river by hopping on a tour boat that departs from Pont Neuf. Passes starts at $16 (updated 2020).
8) Pere-Lachaise Cemetery
A tour which includes a trip to the cemetery might sound morbid, but if you are headed to this cemetery along rue du Repos, it will feel like you are taking a walk along Hollywood’s Avenue of the Stars. After all, Pere-Lachaise is the resting ground of many renowned icons, such as Moliere, Gertrude Stein and Jim Morrison. Perhaps the best thing about this cemetery is that you can take pictures of these famous people’s headstones for free.
Paris’ Top Restaurants
Apart from its romantic vibe and cultural heritage, another thing that makes Paris famous is its food. Make sure to drop by these haunts to experience a great gastronomic treat:
1) Le Meurice
Glamorous interiors and godly grubs – these make Le Meurice the top-seeded restaurant in Paris. Headed by visionary Chef Yannick Alleno, this fine-dining restaurant along Rue de Rivoli offers world-class food at exorbitant prices (an average of $264 per meal).
This 3-star restaurant is the baby of multi-awarded Chef Pascal Barbot, formerly of the French Pacific Fleet. Located along Rue Beethoven, L’Astrance features sumptuous delicacies, mirrored walls, elbow room and excellent service. Lunch costs about $107; expect to pay about $264 for dinner.
3) Huitrerie Regis
While most top Parisian restaurants are pricey, you can expect to enjoy fine food at Huitrerie Regis for under $47. This restaurant along Rue de Montfaucon is widely-renowned for its fresh oysters as well as Loire valley white wines.
The restaurant, which can be found along Petits-Champs, is revered not only for its food, but for its impeccable interiors as well. Although it is headed by an English Chef who goes by the name of Mark Williamson, Maceo offers truly Parisian entrees. Prix-fixe menus range from $44 to $64.
Spring is the brainchild of American Chef Daniel Rose, who now calls Paris his second home. Spring is seated at Rue Bailleul, and is famous for its cuisine du marche menu. Entrees come in at an average of $200, while the offerings from its Buvette (wine bar) cost about $67. Closed as of April 2020
Attractions? Check. Food? Check. Now before you leave Paris, there is something else you need to do in order to make your trip complete – shop ‘til you drop! As the Fashion Mecca of Europe (maybe even the world), a tasteful consumer will have a blast on any of Paris’ top boutiques:
1) Avenue des Champs Elysees
With the Arc de Triomphe to greet you, Avenue des Champs Elysees proves to be the best shopping destination in Paris. Here, you can get your hands on designer items from Chanel, Dior and Azzaro, among many others.
2) Faubourg Saint-Honore
Located in the Louvre-Tuileries commune, this famed fashion haunt is one of the best places to go for scrutinizing buyers. Its blocks are littered with designer boutiques of Hermes, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent… and the list goes on.
3) Boulevard Haussman
Known as the Paris Department Stores District, Boulevard Haussman offers a dizzying array of well-stocked department stores. Some of the most famous malls along this strip are Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, where you can find anything from top designer boutiques to gourmet food stores.
4) The Marais
Looking for unique and exotic products? Then make sure to visit the Marais, home to stores that specialize in fine art, unique jewelry and eclectic fashion items.
5) Paris Flea Markets
Shopping in Paris does not necessarily mean that you need to spend thousands of dollars over designer items. You can still take an affordable souvenir home by visiting Paris’ renowned flea markets. The most famous is Saint-Ouen, which has been operating since the 19th century. As the largest flea market, Saint-Ouen sellers can provide you odd items, antique furniture and vintage clothes at a reasonable price.
Where to Stay in Paris
By now, you should have an idea that the French capital is quite an expensive city to roam around. Check out these hotels. They are among the least costly, most convenient, and equally comfy.
1) Absolute Budget
Its name already says it all, but at least in this case, quality doesn’t mean sub par. This hostel cuts corners in terms of size, but its makes up with its light and cheerful ambiance. The private rooms are really worth the extra money, as they are spacious and equipped with their own bathrooms. This is a humble residential district near Père Lachaise and Belleville’s artist ateliers. Room rates start at $193 (for twin rooms) and $238 (for private rooms) (updated 2020).
Address: 1 rue de la Fontaine au Roi,
2) Campanile Paris Tour Eiffel
Campanile boasts a highly strategic location– just 500 meters to the Eiffel Tower and less than 2 km from the Louvre, the boutique line Champs Elysees and Trocadero Gardens. There is free wireless Internet in all public areas. Room rates start at $82 a night (updated 2020).
Address: 30 Rue Saint Charles, 75015 Paris
3) Hotel La Manufacture
Offering a close proximity to the Latin Quarter and the Place d’Italie Metro stop, there is no reason why Hotel La Manufacture shouldn’t be considered. From here you can also walk to cinemas, restaurants, shops, and a host of dining and shopping options. Room rates start at $298 a night (updated 2020) .
Address: 8 Rue Philippe de Champagne, 75013 Paris.
4) Pavillon Villiers Etoile
Located between Parc Monceau and the Square des Batignollesa, and a quick walking distance to the Arc de Triomphe as well as many other attractions in central Paris, the Pavilion features a simple, contemporary theme that appeals to business travelers and vacationing guests alike. Room rates start at around $107 a night (updated 2020).
Address: 6 rue Lebouteux, 75017 Paris.
5) Hotel Derby Eiffel
A smaller three-star hotel with only 43 rooms, Hotel Derby Eiffel is within a short walking distance to the Ecole Militaire Metro stop or the Parc de Champs de Mars. Despite its small size, the hotel still hosts both a bar and restaurant. Room rates start under $303 a night (updated 2020).
Address: 5 Avenue Duquesne, 75007 Paris.
6) New Candide
New Candide is known to offer special amenities, such as baby sitting service, beauty salon, doctor on call, dry cleaning and laundry service, and high-speed Internet access. Nearest Metro stop is Voltaire. If you drive, parking is available at additional cost. Room rates start at $138 a night (updated 2020).
Address: 3 Rue Petion, 75011 Paris.
7) Port Royal Hotel
This modest but proud little hotel situated at the the edge of the Latin Quarter has been owned by the same family for four generations, lauded over the years for their meticulously clean rooms and warm, hospitable service. Room rates start at $103 (updated 2020), which is quite a steal for its excellent location, right near tthe Mouffetard market and the Jardin des Plantes. Note that credit cards are not accepted and only ground floor rooms have air conditioning.
Address: 8 boulevard Port Royal, 5th,
Romantic, iconic, historic – there is nothing more you can ask for while in Paris. With its innate beauty and romanticism, the “City of Lights” is sure to give you some the best times of your life.