Paris Travel Guide

Paris France

From the Eiffel Tower to Notre-Dame Cathedral, the “City of Light” has something for everyone.

Paris may be the capital and economic engine of France, but it is above all the embodiment of romance. Turn off her grand Haussmann boulevards onto smaller shop- and cafe-lined rues to channel the centuries of artists and dreamers who migrated or were born here, giving the world Impressionism, Ladurée macarons and “Les Misérables.” Ernest Hemingway famously called Paris “a moveable feast,” referring not just to its sensuous cuisine but its history, architecture, love of the arts and communal drive to gather in cafes, parks and riverbanks. Dig into this feast over a weekend or a week in the “City of Light”.

travel tips

When to go

SPRING
On the third Saturday of each May, museums across Paris, from the Louvre to the Decorative Arts Museum, fling open their doors, for free, until 1 a.m. during La Nuit des Musées.

SUMMER
July brings a month of celebrations to the French capital. Bastille Day, July 14, marks French National Day with parades and fireworks. The Tour de France concludes with its final ride down the Champs-Élysées. And from mid-June to the end of July the Paris Jazz Festival stages free concerts each weekend in the Bois de Vincennes botanical garden.

FALL
Parisians turn their attention to cultural matters during the annual Paris Autumn Festival, featuring theater, dance and music performances held in venues across the city from mid-September to December.

WINTER
The off-season in Paris is a great time to have the Louvre to yourself. Bring an umbrella and a scarf and skate at one of the pop-up ice rinks or linger over un chocolat chaud (France’s answer to hot chocolate) in one of the city’s legendary cafes.

Transportation

While readily available, taxis are a luxury in Paris. The underground Metro and RER light-rail trains connect the city; the latter connects to both of Paris’ airports. Paris was an early adopter of bike sharing, and its Velib bikes, posted at 1,800 stations, help fill the mass-transit gaps and provide a scenic way to travel. For the ultimate joy ride, glide along the Seine in a glass-enclosed Batobus ferry that stops at nine stations throughout the heart of the city.

Insider tips

  • Since the terrorist attacks of 2015, few museums allow visitors to leave backpacks in their cloakrooms. They don’t allow oversize bags in the galleries, either, so the best advice is to pack lightly, and to be patient with the extra security checks.
  • Generally speaking about speaking, the French are sensitive. Do not start a conversation in English expecting an English response. Always start with bonjour (“good morning”) or bon soir (if it’s evening), and ask Parlez-vous anglais? (“Do you speak English?”). Whether they do or not, you will at least get credit for trying.
  • The Paris Greeter service connects visitors with volunteers who lead complimentary two- to three-hour tours of a neighborhood. They choose the locale, not you, so let serendipity take charge and keep an open mind.

where to stay

Radisson Blu

Characterized by attention to small details and a Yes I Can! service philosophy, Radisson Blu is delivers a positive and personalized service in stylish spaces.

top attractions

Eiffel Tower

Pay homage to the French landmark that’s worth the inevitable wait.

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Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

Come for the architecture, stay for the stories—religious and secular.

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Musée d'Orsay

Appreciate as much Impressionism as fits in a train station.

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Arc de Triomphe & Champs-Élysées

Soak in the grandeur of Paris along one of the world’s great avenues.

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Musée du Louvre

Audit Art History 101, without the final quiz.

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Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Play in a garden for enfants of all ages.

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