Ahh Paris… The City of Lights and Love.
I’ve been to Paris quite a few times now… and every time I’ve gone has been so special. Paris is like no other place.
Paris is a place you should visit more than once. The first time to see all of the touristy must-sees, and the second to find an area you love and to further explore it (and others!).
I’m going to split my first timer’s guide into a couple different sections: Museum Musts, Where to Go, How to Get Around, and What to Eat!
And if this is your first time in France, here are 28 things to know!
Obviously, the Louvre is a must! This museum is possibly one of the most iconic ones to date, and there is SO much to see in there! This is where incredibly famous paintings and sculptures are stored, like the Mona Lisa (though honestly, the other art is more impressive!).
My favourite museum in the world (and thus, Paris) is the Pompidou. Oh my goodness the art in here is amazing! I go every single time I’m in Paris, and I’ll never get sick of the beautiful contemporary/modern art exhibits.
Musée Rodin is another good one for a sunny day- The Thinker is so much more beautiful in person, as well as Rodin’s other pieces. Strolling around the gardens is amazing.
Obviously, there are LOADS of museums in Paris and you can find others that suit your interest. For example, there are typically some amazing fashion exhibits that come and go. Recently there was a pop-art exhibit around. If you have a certain style of art that you fancy, find the right museums for you! The above three are my personal must-sees.
If it’s a particularly rainy week when you’re visiting, or if you’re planning on going to a few museums (I recommend), the museum pass is a great buy.
Where to Go
The Champs-Elysées is possibly the most famous street in Paris, and some would argue it’s the most beautiful! It’s a great street to walk down. It’s located in the 8th arrondissement.
The Marais is another must see. It’s located in the 3rd arrondissement. This is what you think of when you think of “Old Paris.” There are so many amazing cafes, streets, boutiques, and hidden gems in this area.
The Latin Quarter may be incredibly touristy, but it’s such a fun place to go! All the touristy places are touristy for a reason, hey? It’s easy to get a cheap bite of food here, as well as souvenirs.
Montmartre is in the 18th arrondissement. It’s a lively, charming area with loads to do. My favourite things to do are visit the Sacre Cour and go to Sympa (a massive clothing store with brand new, and sometimes brand-name) stores. You can find some amazing clothes here.
As for exact sights to see, your first time in Paris should be filled with the touristy stuff! The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Sacré-Cœur, and loads of museums should be at the top of your list! You could also head to Disneyland Paris if you’re a Disney fanatic.
How to Get Around
My favourite way to get around Paris is by walking! I love to take detours, as there are always small streets to walk down or little corners to check out.
However, Paris is a BIG city, and if you need to get around quickly, the metro and bus are really convenient. The bus can take quite a while in traffic, but you can hop off any time you see something interesting.
If you’re going to be travelling on the metro/bus quite a lot, I recommend the Navigo Card, which you can read more about in this post.
Taxis are also an option, but they get pricey quite quickly.
What to Eat
Food! Always my favourite section.
If you’re looking for some cheap eats in Paris, go to the Latin Quarter and pick up a massive kebab for about 5 euros! You can also get crepes there.
When in Paris, you must go to a little boulangerie to buy baguettes and pain au chocolats! I promise you, they are even BETTER than everyone says. Make sure you eat the baguettes with real butter.
Chocolate and cheeses are my favourite must-eats in Paris! Make sure you go to a speciality shop to find some really great things to try.
Before trying Ladurée macarons, I thought they were so overpriced! But okay, I’ll admit, after trying them, I realised they were totally worth the hype.
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