If you are planning to visit Paris soon, we strongly advise you to prepare your visit well in order to save time and money and especially not to miss a show, a visit or an exhibition that cannot be ignored.
First of all, you have to admit that it is totally impossible to see and do everything in a few days. It is therefore necessary to select the museums and monuments that you absolutely want to see and to choose an accommodation close to the different chosen sites.
After having established a circuit corresponding to your criteria, it is important to book your hotel room but also the tickets to the shows, attractions and museums. This way, you avoid the risk of finding a closed door and wasting time in endless queues.
What to visit in Paris?
We can only repeat ourselves, the number of Parisian sites to visit is impressive and you will quickly realize that you need to spend a lot of time in the capital to discover them all. Moreover, exhibitions and other cultural activities are legion and it is often preferable to visit these temporary events and to put, temporarily, the permanent collections aside.
If you come to Paris for the first time, it is obvious that you must see its most famous monuments such as Notre-Dame, the Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre basilica, the Eiffel Tower, the Père Lachaise cemetery, the Invalides or the Pantheon.
However, we advise you to punctuate your visits with a few walks to discover the charm of the banks of the Seine, the “village” of Montmartre or the Medici fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens.
It is then time to discover the masterpieces as well as the documents and objects retracing the history of Paris and France housed in the museums and curiosity cabinets of the capital. Let’s not forget that the works of the greatest painters, sculptors, draftsmen and photographers are exhibited in the rooms of the various Parisian museums. Science and technology, world art and design are also abundantly represented.
After visiting these world-famous sites and museums, it is time to discover more unusual and intimate places.
It is sometimes by chance, at the bend in the road that you get to know this different Paris, a forgotten Paris that offers its visitors a moment filled with emotion.
You will discover for example the last vestiges of medieval Paris well hidden among the large buildings conceived by the baron Haussmann. The fortification tower of Jean Sans Peur reminds us that the capital was far from being a safe place and that it had to be defended not only against the English armies but also against the lusts and plots orchestrated within the royal court during the Hundred Years War.
Paris is also a cosmopolitan place and for this reason you will visit places of worship as different and surprising as the Russian Orthodox church on the rue de Crimée, the Buddhist center of the “Citadelle of Light” hidden in the Bois de Vincennes, the Great Pagoda, witness of the colonial exhibition of 1931 or the Sri Lankan temple of Ganesh
After a long day of sightseeing, take advantage of your evening to have dinner in one of the many restaurants of the capital. We advise you to book your table well in advance if your choice is a famous establishment such as the Tour d’Argent, the Fouquet’s, the Boeuf sur le Toit, the Jules Verne or the mythical Maxim’s which was frequented by many personalities such as Marcel Proust, Mistinguett, Sacha Guitry or Jean Cocteau.
Then it’s time to head to the theater or cabaret to continue your Parisian evening.
Paris prides itself on offering high quality shows to its visitors. From previews where the whole of Paris must be present to revues presented by the dancers of the Moulin Rouge, Lido, Michou or Crazy Horse cabarets, we bet you will find what you are looking for.
And to end the evening before returning to your hotel, the trendy bars of Pigalle invite you to discover their universe.
Getting around Paris
Paris is a city of more than 2 million inhabitants (more than 12 million including the population of the urban area) and it is very difficult to get around by car and to park in the center of the capital.
Fortunately, the public transport network is particularly well developed, which allows you to move quickly, easily and safely from one point to another in the city:
The metro operated by the RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) is a vast public transport network of more than 200 kilometers that serves the whole of Paris via 302 stations divided into sixteen lines.
It is therefore very easy to reach the main tourist sites. The metro runs from 5:30 a.m. to 1:15 a.m. (2:15 a.m. on Saturdays and the eve of public holidays), which allows night owls to get home after a night out at a show or restaurant.
Buses, streetcars and RER
The metro network is complemented by bus lines that run in the city center and the inner suburbs. There is also a night bus service called “Noctiliens” which transports passengers from 0:30 to 5:30 in the morning, thus taking over from the metro and daytime bus lines.
In addition, a dozen tramway lines run on the outskirts of Paris and in the inner suburbs.
The RER (Réseau Express Régional) lines of the Île-de-France region are part of the Transilien network. They integrate the old suburban lines and a more recent underground network.
These lines allow you to travel quickly and reach areas outside of Paris that are not served by the metro.
Finally, if you arrive in Paris by plane, it is possible to take advantage of a shuttle bus service linking Orly and Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airports to the city center.
If you choose public transport, we recommend you choose the “Paris Visite” package, which allows you to travel quickly and cheaply on the entire RATP network.
Cabs and car rental with driver
If you prefer, you can also use a cab or car rental service with driver. It is possible to hail a cab on the street or pick it up at a station, but we advise you to check that the car is equipped with a lighted sign on the roof, a time stamp on the rear deck, a plate with the vehicle’s number on the front right fender and a meter indicating the fare. If this equipment is missing, it is a clandestine cab. Ideally, you should order a car through a central reservation system. Some private cab applications can also allow you to travel cheaply and easily.
In anticipation of your stay
To sum up, we advise you to prepare your stay by selecting the monuments, museums, shows, … corresponding to your desires. In order to help you in your choices, we suggest you discover the main attractions of the city in our magazine.
Then you have to book your tickets and tables in order not to be caught unprepared on the day of the visit.
You just have to establish a circuit and to locate the subway or bus stations serving the places to be visited.
Don’t forget to book your accommodation as early as possible to ensure that you are close to the sites you have chosen and to get the best value for money.
Don’t forget that depending on the hotels, restaurants and shows chosen, the budget can vary greatly.
We wish you a pleasant stay in Paris.