Paris

Travel Guide
Eiffel Tower showing a sunset, a monument and heritage architecture

From an afternoon picnic in the Luxembourg Gardens to a night at the opera, France’s romantic capital offers both simple pleasures and extravagant splurges.

In true French style, Paris combines the classic and the modern. Classic landmarks include the ancient Notre Dame cathedral, Arc de Triomphe the Eiffel Tower, and contemporary architectural achievements such as the La Défense district.

The city is divided into 20 arrondissements, or districts, which spiral clockwise from the city’s center. Paris is also split by the river Seine into the Left and Right Banks. Each arrondissement and area of Paris has its own character and flair. Le Marais is best known for medieval architecture, intimate wine bars and a diverse community. Luxembourg has a special old-world charm, enchanting gardens, and proximity to the upscale St-Germain-des-Prés. Montmartre is famous for its cobbled streets, the Moulin Rouge and magnificent Basilique du Sacré Cœur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart).

Paris is easy to navigate, either by the quick Metro system or taking your time by foot. Meandering through the winding streets, it’s easy to see the French passion for food and wine. There are open-air produce markets, patisserie windows piled with croissants and macaroons, and wine shops with offerings from regional vineyards. Restaurants of all kinds abound: traditional silver service venues, sidewalk cafes and rustic coffee houses.

Paris has fostered many artistic talents, including Édith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, Claude Monet and Coco Chanel. It’s known the world over for its museums and galleries such as the opulent Musée d'Orsay and the Pompidou Centre’s National Museum of Modern Art. For performance art, spend an evening at the beautifully decorated Palais Garnier, also known as the Opéra de Paris. Internationally renowned opera and ballet companies perform here regularly.

Fashion, too, is ingrained in the Parisian psyche. Stroll along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to find some of the most revered fashion houses in the world, including Lanvin, Hermes and Dior.

Visitors overwhelmed by all that Paris has to offer should head to the Champs-Élysées. Here you can wander and enjoy the beauty of this famous tree-lined boulevard, stop at Ladurée patisserie for a macaroon, or visit La Maison Guerlain’s shrine to perfume.

For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Paris page.

Paris Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Paris

Holiday Inn Express Paris - CDG Airport, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Paris - CDG Airport, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
5 Rue du Voyageur, Roissy-en-France, Val d'Oise
The price is $86 per night from Dec 21 to Dec 21
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Paris Nord 2 International Business Park, Aeroville Shopping Center, and Usines Centre Outlet ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,974 reviews)
"The directions for getting from CDG to the hotel via the "airport shuttle" were not as explicit as they could have been (we arrived in the late evening and, for one thing, could not see the hotel from the PR parking lot; it was also confusing once we got to the PR stop to go up the elevator and over ..."

Reviewed on Dec 6, 2021

Holiday Inn Express Paris - CDG Airport, an IHG Hotel
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
4 out of 5
18 avenue de Suffren, Entrée au 22 rue Jean Rey, Paris, Paris
The price is $251 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 2
Located in 15th Arrondissement, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars. Place du Trocadero and Avenue Montaigne ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (970 reviews)
"Good location, with metro stations nearby if you want to move around and avoid Paris' crazy traffic. Eiffel Tower just a couple of blocks down the street; great view at night. Lots of restaurants around; restaurant on site. Rooms look great."

Reviewed on Dec 7, 2021

Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
citizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle
citizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle
4 out of 5
7 Rue de Rome, Roissypole, Terminal 3, Tremblay-en-France, Seine-Saint-Denis
The price is $91 per night from Jan 9 to Jan 9
Situated near the airport, this boutique hotel is 4.7 mi (7.6 km) from Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre and within 12 mi (20 km) of Parc Astérix and Parc ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (2,248 reviews)
"Perfect for an overnight stay to ensure you are close to the airport."

Reviewed on Dec 15, 2021

citizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris
Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris
4 out of 5
53 Ter Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris, Paris
The price is $170 per night from Dec 17 to Dec 17
This family-friendly Paris residence is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Pont Neuf, Notre-Dame, and Rue de Rivoli. Luxembourg Gardens ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (2,738 reviews)
"Great experience and wonderful people, warm and welcoming."

Reviewed on Dec 5, 2021

Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris
Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées
Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées
5 out of 5
74 avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris
The price is $293 per night from Jan 16 to Jan 16
Located in Paris City Center, this luxury aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Champs-Elysees and Avenue Montaigne. Arc de Triomphe and Grand Palais are also ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (351 reviews)
A hotel with Great location
"My stay was great. The only thing was the cleaning girls are not the same level. Some will not do everything. For example; they don’t add to the coffee and tea machines supplies such as sugar, milk or tea. In fact one of the milk was so hard which means it was not replaced for at least one year. ..."

Reviewed on Aug 28, 2021

Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées
Les Jardins du Marais
Les Jardins du Marais
4 out of 5
74 Rue Amelot, Paris, Paris
The price is $173 per night from Dec 20 to Dec 20
Located in Paris City Center, this spa residence is within a 10-minute walk of Canal Saint-Martin and Rue de Rivoli. Centre Pompidou and Notre-Dame are also ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (2,119 reviews)
"Great location lovely central private garden/courtyard"

Reviewed on Oct 4, 2021

Les Jardins du Marais
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Paris

Getting around Paris is very easy. The famous Paris Metro network is comprehensive, with around 300 stations covering all the key parts of the city. Metro tickets are also valid on other public transportation types, including city buses, the tramway and the RER suburban trainline. Hail a taxi if you are in a rush. Renting a car in Paris isn’t necessary, but you might want to have one for daytrips. Visit the Autonomous Parisian Transportation Administration (RATP Group) website. Browse Paris rental cars.

Best time to visit

Paris is a very popular destination at any time of year, but summer in particular can get very busy. Beat the crowds by visiting between September and November or between April and June. Although August is one of the most popular months, this is when temperatures soar and most Parisians are away on vacation. Christmas in Paris is romantic, but make sure you bring warm clothes.

Popular places to visit in Paris

Top things to do in Paris

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Paris

Cities near Paris