For all people in love and all wild souls, for people, who have devoted to art and even for tourist in a culinary adventure – that’s whom Paris is suitable to as it attracts thousands of travelers no matter what they search and what they need to experience. Check out my guide based on personal experience before visiting the city of lights!
About the city of Paris
Paris is the capital of France, as well as the biggest French town. The river of Seine divides the city into two parts – the Left and the Right shore. Mostly popular by the name of City of Love, Paris has been determined as the most romantic place on the earth ever. And the record-breaking number of tourists who visit this charming place is a total proof for such a bold statement.
- Area – 105.40 km²
- Population – around 2.1 million of citizens
- Tourism – nearly 45 million of tourists per year
- Official language – French
- Airport – Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Beauvais
When is the most suitable time to visit Paris?
If you want to enjoy lovely weather in Paris, visit the city in the end of spring or in the beginning of summer. Thus, you will also avoid the highest tourist season, as well as the highest summer temperatures.
- Lowest temperature – around 1°C
- Highest temperature – around 30 °C
- Hottest months – June, July and August
- Coldest months – December, January and February
- Possibility for rain – during autumn and spring months
Public city means of transportation
To get around Paris I strongly recommend you to use the city’s public means of transportation. They public net of transportation in the city, by the way, is famous to be the best one in the whole world – basically due to the fine arrangement and quick speed of getting from point A to point B among the entire Parisian region. The most convenient alternative for you is the subway net that has 16 lines and nearly 400 stations.
If you want to go up the underground travel you can also use the bus net in Paris. There are specially tailored bus lines alongside the entire main thoroughfare in the city. There are also tram lines that are spread across the city’s outskirts.
If you, though, wish to reach any of the local suburbs or the airports outside of Paris, your option is to choose the electrical trains run by Reseau Express Regional (RER).
Speaking of which, you might want to simplify your life while getting around Paris by downloading the super useful app – RATP. It offers you the current and valid information about the Parisian public transportation, as well as the closest station nearby depending on your search, plus – ideas for a route to reach a spot. There are both: a free of charge and paid application version, but, please, note that the paid app is more detailed. Hence, the free RATP version is quite good, too, so don’t underestimate it.
Tip: Once you enter the subway validate your ticket, but on mandatory, keep it during your travel as you might be asked to show it once you get off. This tip refers to all city public means of transportation, too.
If you want to get around the downtown in Paris, you should better give up from the idea of renting a car. It’s not just too expensive, but will slow your tour down especially if comparing it with the alternative of using the subway. Traveling by car is more suitable in case you plan to visit the Parisian suburbs.
They are also good choice to make especially if you visit Paris for your first time and you don’t have lots of days to spend here. The tourist buses pass the top popular attractions in the city. Meanwhile, during a tour you are provided with interesting and detailed information about the sights. Here’s another advantage of using a tourist bus – the stations are all placed on popular places in the downtown. Besides, you are allowed to get off and then, get up back limitless number of times till the ticket expiration time.
Rent a bike
If you are not about to have long-lasting tours, but you want to get deeply inside the Parisian atmosphere, you should better rent a bike. Paris, by the way, has an extremely well-arranged bicycle net. The city offers more than 20 000 bikes for rent and they are spread around the entire city (to be more specific, on nearly 1 800 parking spaces). The bike alleys guarantee you safety and fastness.
Taxis in Paris drive around the specially tailored bus lines. They are, though, extremely expensive to afford. If you don’t need urgent ride or you are not hurrying very much, you should better keep to the public means of transportation.
If you are ok to eat on the go, on mandatory taste the pancakes on the Left shore or some falafel in any of the local European or Arabian neighborhoods. You can also arrange a picnic at the outdoors – just visit the closest supermarket, buy some baguette and paste to feel like a real Parisian guy or girl. I’m sure you’ll be pleased once you taste this simple, but amazing combination. And to go even deeper in Parisian air, better visit any of the local markets where you can literally find anything. I strongly recommend you Marche d’Aligre to the Bastille, Marche de Grenel in the 15th district, but if you are in a mood for even more exotic adventure, go to the African market Dejean in the 18th district.
Or you might be actually looking for an authentic French restaurant? Then, you should have a longer walk to get outside of the places with high concentration of tourist attraction. If you want some classical French coziness, visit La Grange Aux Canards, Bateau le Calife and La Becane A Gaston. And if you are a vegetarian or vegan, better choose Epicure. You can have a glass of wine at a nice environment in La MiN. On the other side, if you want to experience the real taste of an authentic French burger, come to Il Etait Un Square. Visit Cafe Francoeur, Cafe Mericourt and Happy Caffe if you are up to a café and a desert to sweeten your life.
How about experiencing a real culinary adventure? If you are fond of the idea, note that Paris has 9 restaurants with 3 Michelin stars, including the popular Pierre Gagnaire, Le Pré Catelan and Le Cinq. I recommend you to order a degustation wine menu, which is usually available at lunch.
Tip: Note that if the menu in a restaurant is too long, it’s highly possible for the food not to be good at all. Here’s another trick to apply if you want to immediately recognize a good place to eat – see if a restaurant offers the ice-cream made by Berthillon brand. If it’s in the menu, the place is good as the company partners only with reputable and renewed restaurants or cafes.
Besides sightseeing, there are plenty of other amazing things you can do in Paris. For instance, you can have a walk with a boat on Siena, as well as to make a picnic in any of the beautiful local parks. It’s a good idea to go around the local bakeries and groceries in order to dive into an incredible culinary tourism challenge. Take a look at the top favorite paintings made by the most popular local artists. Dance on the street during a live performance or rent a bike and get lost in any of the city’s small streets to understand what it’s like to be here, to be in Paris, for real…
Just because there’s no seaside shore in Paris, doesn’t mean there are no beaches. Right on the some of the shores at Siena you can find lovely places where you can practice some Parisian sunbathing afternoon with a cocktail at hand.
Nightlife and entertainment
Once the night comes, Pairs seems to revive for the second time in the day – for its emblematic nightlife. Chez Moune offers some modern electro-pop sound and unlike most of the local night bars, it’s free of charge to enter it. Hence, this should mean that a big queue will be waiting at the bar entrance.
If you are a fan of Hindi and electro-pop music, Le Truskel is definitely your place. This club is also famous for the fact it’s used for after parties following the concerts arranged in the nearby Olimpia Hall.
Meanwhile, Showcase is a great place, which is literally crouched under a bridge. Here you can dance, drink champagne and enjoy a fantastic night view of siena.
Last, but not least, the emblematic La Machine du Moulin Rouge expects you on three floors. The main dancing used to be the boiler-room of the sublime Moulin Rouge. In all cases, spending even an hour here will put you in Alice’s from the Wonderland shoes!