Paris can be overwhelming for visitors with its myriad of attractions, museums and streetside cafes. Here’s how to get the best of the city – from the main attractions to hidden gems.
Paris draws in millions of tourists every year with its chic cafes and the Eiffel Tower synonymous with romance.
But it can easily get overwhelming. There are enough landmarks to easily fill up days of sightseeing, massive museums and tempting sidestreets with cozy restaurants.
Here’s my guide to Paris to experience all the must-sees – and get a feel of the city’s authentic, everyday life.
4 things to do in Paris:
1. Find a unique hotel with personality
A small, cozy hotel with an original aesthetic and personable service can make your Paris experience feel unique. Because nobody wants to get lost in the tourist crowd.
2. Take time to wander
Nothing helps you get to know a city as quickly and closely as a long and loosely planned wander.
Set aside an afternoon to just wander – whether that’s the neighbourhood around your hotel, your favorite district or Montmartre.
The city is much more than a collection of iconic landmarks. The more you explore the narrow sidestreets, the more you’ll long to return for another slow travel Paris experience.
3. Linger over dinner
Walking for hours will leave you exhausted. And since you can’t do much sightseeing when it’s dark, the evenings are perfect for slowing down and people-watching while taking in local cuisine.
4. Save time with a bus tour
The BigBus Paris sightseeing tour (about EUR 30) gets you an all-day ticket for a double-decker bus that goes to all the major landmarks with recorded commentary. You hop on and off anytime, exploring at your own pace.
Touristy? Yes – but also extremely convenient.
The bus doesn’t really make you feel like a tourist. French rap plays on your earphones as you wait on the top deck for the bus to start. During your ride down the Champs Elysees, the recorded guide gives funny anecdotes about French personalities and politics, and snippets from daily life.