Paris   Travel Guide

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33 Best Things to Do in Paris, France

If it's your first visit to Paris, you'll probably want to spend some time at the world-renowned  Eiffel Tower , the Louvre (home of the "Mona Lisa") and the Notre-Dame. Don't miss out on other notable city jewels either, such as the Musée

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Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)

U.S. News Insider Tip:  For the best photo opportunities of the Eiffel Tower, head to Place du Trocadéro. (Just expect to contend with some crowds!) – Nicola Wood, Senior Editor

Designed and constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (the World's Fair), the Eiffel Tower was always meant to be a temporary structure, but it has skirted demolition twice. The first time, in 1909, the tower was kept around because of its potential as a transmission tower (an antenna was installed atop the tower). Gustav Eiffel, chief architect of the Eiffel Tower, had a variety of scientific experiments tested on the tower with the hope that any discoveries would help prolong its lifespan. One of these included a wireless transmissions test, which the tower passed with flying colors. During World War I, the Eiffel Tower's transmission capabilities enabled it to intercept communications from enemies as well as relay intel to troops on the ground. The second time the Eiffel Tower was almost destroyed was during the German occupation of France during World War II. Hitler planned to get rid of the tower, but never ended up going through with his plan.

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Musée du Louvre Musée du Louvre

U.S. News Insider Tip:  The Louvre is free for all visitors on the first Friday of the month after 6 p.m. (except in July and August), and all day on Bastille Day (July 14). – Laura French  

If you only had time to visit one museum in Paris, it should undoubtedly be the Musée du Louvre. That's because the Louvre is not only widely considered to be one of the best art museums in Europe, but one of the best in the world. The museum first opened its doors in 1793 and features more than 35,000 works of art on display. Here, you can get up close to a variety of art from different time periods and cultures. The Louvre features everything from Egyptian mummy tombs to ancient Grecian sculptures (including the renowned Winged Victory of Samothrace and curvaceous Venus de Milo). There are also thousands of paintings to peruse as well. Masterpieces such as "Liberty Leading the People" by Eugene Delacroix, "The Raft of the Medusa" by Théodore Géricault and Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," the museum's biggest star, can be found here.

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Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) free

Note that the cathedral sustained significant damage as a result of a fire on April 15, 2019. Its wooden roof and spire collapsed during the fire. The cathedral remains closed to the public until further notice. It is set to reopen in December 2024. In the meantime, visitors can peruse a new exhibit that debuted in March 2023 called, "Notre-Dame de Paris: at the heart of the construction site." Located in an underground facility in front of the cathedral, the free exhibit highlights the ongoing construction work at the site, including the expertise of the workers, as well as some remains from the fire and works of art from the cathedral.

Like the Eiffel Tower , the Notre-Dame Cathedral is seen as a Parisian icon. Located along the picturesque River Seine , the Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered a Gothic masterpiece and is often regarded as one of the best Gothic cathedrals of its kind in the world. Construction of the famous cathedral started in the late 12th century and final touches weren't made until nearly 200 years later. Once you get an eyeful of the cathedral yourself, you'll start to understand why it took so long.

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Champs-Élysées Champs-Élysées free

Musician Joe Dassin once sang "Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Élysées," which translates to "There's everything you could want along the Champs-Élysées." And he's right. Paris' most famous boulevard – stretching more than a mile from the glittering obelisk at Place de la Concorde to the foot of the Arc de Triomphe – is a shopper's mecca. Along its wide, tree-lined sidewalks, you'll find such luxury stores as Louis Vuitton and Chanel rubbing elbows with less-pricey establishments like Adidas and Zara.

While the Champs-Élysées is no doubt a shopping paradise, recent travelers noticed the price tags at most stores can be pretty high. And the more affordable options are constantly swamped with people. The Champs-Élysées itself is no different. Because this is such a famous street in Paris, expect there to be crowds galore, both during the day and the nighttime. Still, many travelers enjoyed taking in the Champs-Élysées' bustling atmosphere and observing both locals and tourists come and go. Some recent visitors said a trip to the Champs-Élysées is not complete without a stop at Ladurée, the city's famous macaron shop.

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Arc de Triomphe Arc de Triomphe

Situated at the western end of the Champs-Élysées , the towering Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoléon to honor the Grande Armee during the Napoleonic Wars. The arch, which is the largest of its kind in the world, is adorned with several impressive, intricately carved sculptures. Underneath the arch, travelers will find the names of the battles fought during the first French Republic and Napolean's Empire, as well as generals who fought in them. Travelers will also find the famous tomb of The Unknown Soldier. The unknown soldier currently buried there is meant to represent all the unidentified or unaccounted for soldiers who lost their lives during World War I. The flame that was lit when the soldier was laid to rest has not extinguished since it was initially lit in the 1920s, and is rekindled every night at 6:30 p.m. by a member of the armed services.

Aside from admiring the arch, visitors can climb to the top and take in the Parisian panorama. Most visitors are wowed by the immense size of the structure and recommend ascending to the top for the spectacular Paris views. Visitors caution that you'll have to wait in line to get to the top and the climb, which is made up of hundreds of stairs, can be a serious workout. Others strongly cautioned against trying to cross the roundabout to get to the Arc. Instead, take the underground tunnel near the metro that leads directly to the base of the structure.

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Latin Quarter Latin Quarter free

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you're in the area, check out the Grand Mosquée de Paris, next to the Jardin des Plantes. It's a beautiful mosque with a hidden-away courtyard, and there's an atmospheric tearoom attached that serves Middle Eastern sweet treats. – Laura French

Architecture lovers should not miss the Latin Quarter. Also known as the 5th arrondissement, the Latin Quarter is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Paris. Its narrow cobblestone streets, winding whimsically through the larger city grid, recall its medieval history. Why does this densely packed neighborhood of attractions, shops and restaurants retain this unique character? It escaped Baron Haussmann's planning reform of the city, thus retaining a more ancient ambience.

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Best Paris Tours

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Paris Tours

18 Best Paris Tours of 2024: Food, Versailles & More

Jan. 19, 2024

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Seine River Seine River free

You won’t have much trouble finding the Seine, as it flows directly through the heart of Paris. The river is perhaps one of the most famous waterways in the world and an attraction in itself. It's also useful for more practical reasons: It flows from east to west, dividing the city into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. Knowing where you are in relation to the Seine can help you find your way around during your trip.

For tourists, the waterway mostly serves as a photo backdrop, but it is a lifeline for locals. It's a reliable water supply, a major transportation route and vital for many kinds of commerce. It has also served as a source of sustenance for many fishermen dating back to the third century. In 1991, the Seine River was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural significance in both the past and the present.

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Musée d'Orsay Musée d'Orsay

U.S. News Insider Tip: Visit on the first Sunday of the month for free entry (when it’s also free to enter the Centre Pompidou, Musée de l'Orangerie, Musée du Rodin, Musée Picasso and several other attractions). – Laura French

Although the extensive Louvre may appear to get most of the Parisian limelight, recent travelers seem to enjoy the Musée d'Orsay more. Travelers say the museum is much more manageable than the often-overwhelming Louvre and note that there are also significantly fewer crowds here. Many visitors confidently report that you can easily get through this museum in a few hours. As for the art, travelers loved the museum's colorful collection of paintings as well as the building itself, with many calling the Belle Epoque architecture of the d'Orsay a work of art on its own.

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Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) free

U.S. News Insider Tip:  Pick up picnic provisions at a nearby farmer's market, such as Marché Raspail, to enjoy in the gardens. –  Ann Henson, Assistant Managing Editor

A warm-weather oasis that offers the simplest of pleasures, the Luxembourg Gardens provide ample green space (60 acres) for sun-soaking and people-watching, plus there are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained. When the city bustle becomes too overwhelming, meander around the paths and formal gardens, or just relax with a picnic. Kids can float sailboats at the Grand Basin, ride ponies, take a spin on the merry-go-round, or catch a puppet show at the on-site Theatre des Marionnettes. Adults might delight in the on-site Musée du Luxembourg, the first French museum that was opened to the public. Though with 106 sculptures to its name, including a replica of the Statue of Liberty, the Luxembourg Gardens could easily be considered an open-air museum itself.

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Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Coeur) Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Coeur) free

Rising high above Paris, the Sacré-Coeur (meaning "Sacred Heart") looks more like a white castle than a basilica. Towering over the eclectic neighborhood of Montmartre (once a hangout for Paris' bohemian crowd), this Roman-Byzantine, 19th-century masterpiece is easily recognized by its ornate ivory domes. As blanched as it may appear on the outside, the basilica's interior is a sight worth beholding: The ceilings glitter with France's largest mosaic, which depicts Jesus rising alongside the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc.

You'll also likely be left in awe with the panoramic views found from atop the Sacré-Coeur's outdoor staircase. But for an even better photo-op, climb all 300 steps to the top of the dome. The dome is accessible to visitors every day from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mass is held multiple times a day every day.

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Centre Pompidou Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is one of the most visited cultural sites in Paris. But keep this in mind – and recent travelers attest to this – if you're not a fan of modern art, you probably won't enjoy this museum. The Pompidou is all modern and contemporary art (think cubist, surrealist and pop art, among others). Even its exterior is a little "out there," with its insides (piping, plumbing, elevators, escalators, etc.) exposed on the outside.

Inside the inside-out museum, you'll find one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world (more than 120,000 pieces of art are in its complete collection). The most notable attraction within is France's National Museum of Modern Art, which features works from 20th and 21st-century artists. Here, you can find big names such as Matisse, Picasso and even Andy Warhol. Also within the Centre Pompidou is additional exhibition and entertainment spaces as well as a library, rooftop restaurant and cinemas.

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Jardin des Tuileries Jardin des Tuileries free

U.S. News Insider Tip: While you’re here, don’t miss Angelina, just across the street on Rue de Rivoli. This historic, belle epoque-style salon de thé opened in 1903 and serves excellent French delicacies and pastries alongside its famous, indulgently rich hot chocolate. – Laura French

Centrally located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, the Jardin des Tuileries is a free public garden that spans approximately 55 acres. Though it was initially designed solely for the use of the royal family and court, the park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1991 (as part of the Banks of the Seine) and has been open to the public since the 17th century.

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Sainte-Chapelle Sainte-Chapelle

Nowhere in Paris does stained-glass windows quite as well as Sainte-Chapelle. The panes – dating back to the chapel's construction in the 13th century – depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible in vivid color. Sainte-Chapelle, which took just seven years to build, is a treasured example of French Gothic architecture and originally held Christian artifacts acquired by Louis IX. The building underwent a rigorous restoration between 2008 and 2014 and now welcomes visitors every day of the year except Christmas Day, New Year's Day and May 1 (France's Labor Day). Admission costs 11.50 euros (about $12) per person ages 18 and older. Audio guides are available in English (among other languages) for an additional 3 euros (about $3.50). 

Recent travelers say the chapel is a true masterpiece and not to be missed, though some visitors did note it was smaller than they anticipated. Still, they say it's worth taking your time to have a closer look at each of the stained-glass windows, as they all tell a different story. Some travelers also recommended touring the Conciergerie next door, a palace turned prison that was erected in the 14th century. If you plan to tour both sites, consider purchasing a joint ticket for 18.50 euros (about $18.50).   

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Pantheon Pantheon

Situated in the Latin Quarter – or the 5th arrondissement – of Paris, the Panthéon is a large church and burial ground with a storied history. The structure was completed in 1790 at the start of the French Revolution, and it served as a mausoleum, a church and an art gallery throughout its early years. In 1851, scientist Leon Foucault installed the Foucault pendulum within the building to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. The pendulum was removed and replaced a number of times, and a replica was installed in 1995 and is still in operation today. The Panthéon also contains a crypt where a number of important historians, philosophers, scientists and writers are buried, including Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Marie Curie.

Most recent travelers loved seeing the museum's noteworthy gravesites and Foucault's pendulum. They also recommended taking a dome tour for exceptional views of Paris; you’ll see the Eiffel Tower from the top, as well as many other well-known landmarks. Still, some visitors said the admission fee is too high.

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Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris

A masterpiece of architectural opulence, the Opéra Garnier – also known as the Palais Garnier – still exudes the opulence it radiated in the late 1800s. This palpable sense of intrigue and mystery that permeates the opera is due in part to its awe-inspiring Old-World interiors as well as Gaston Leroux, the author of "Phantom of the Opera," for which the Garnier served as his inspiration. Leroux claimed the phantom was indeed real, successfully incorporating real life opera occurrences (such as the chandelier falling and killing a bystander) into his fiction. The Garnier's lack of a robust historical record, as well as Leroux's writing talents, have left many wondering if there really was a dweller that lurked beneath the opera. Staff have claimed otherwise, but say with the opera's very real underground "lake" (water tank), it's easy to see how the story could be so convincing. Without Napoleon III, who was responsible for commissioning the opera, Leroux's tale may never have never come to fruition.

The best way to fully experience the Palais Garnier is by purchasing a ballet or opera ticket. Remember to book your tickets several months in advance, as performances are highly coveted. If you won't be in town for a performance or aren't up for forking over the oftentimes high price of a performance, you can explore the building's magnificent interiors on your own.

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Le Marais Le Marais free

U.S. News Insider Tip: On Place des Vosges, Paris’s oldest square, you’ll find the former house of Victor Hugo, which is now a museum that’s free to enter. – Laura French

Straddling the 3rd and 4th arrondissements (districts), Le Marais is one of Paris' oldest and coolest districts – so cool, in fact, that French writer Victor Hugo (author of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Les Misérables") called it home. With all of its cobblestone streets, stately stone architecture and tucked away courtyards, it's easy to feel as if you're strolling through medieval Paris. Back in the day, Le Marais housed some notable French royalty. King Henry IV was the one responsible for the construction of the Place des Vosges, Paris' oldest square. And Louis XIV called this neighborhood home for a while until he decided to move his family and court to Versailles . Much of Le Marais also survived the destruction of the French Revolution.

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Versailles Palace (Chateau de Versailles) Versailles Palace (Chateau de Versailles)

U.S. News Insider Tip: In summer, the palace hosts weekend fountain shows in the gardens, featuring music and special effects; come on a Saturday night to see the best, with grounds lit up to magical effect and a firework display at the end. – Laura French

The Château de Versailles, the sprawling palace and former seat of power, is located 10 miles southwest of Paris in Versailles. Every year, nearly 10 million travelers make the trek from Paris to bear witness to the chateau's world-famous grandeur in person. But between all of the gold figurines, dramatic frescoes and cascading crystal chandeliers you'll no doubt find in bulk throughout the chateau, you might be surprised to learn that King Louis XIV's extravagant former residence had pretty humble-ish beginnings.

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Musée Rodin Musée Rodin

A hidden jewel in the city, the Musée Rodin is actually the former residence of famed 19th-century sculptor Auguste Rodin. But in the place of furniture and kitschy lawn ornaments are Rodin's emotive sculptures, including The Walking Man, The Kiss and The Thinker, among many more. In addition to the sculptures, the museum houses 8,000 of the artist's drawings in its collection – a fraction of those are on display –  as well as an area dedicated to the work of his muse and mistress, artist Camille Claudel. Visitors will also get to view pieces from the Rodin's personal art collection, including paintings by Van Gogh.

Recent travelers found Rodin's sculptures to be nothing short of stunning, and highly recommend a visit even if you don't consider yourself an art buff. Another big favorite, and for some visitors as much of a highlight as the art, were the beautiful on-site gardens. To travelers, the gardens, in combination with the museum's manageable size, created a serene and peaceful atmosphere not easily found at other top Parisian museums.

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Saint-Germain-des-Prés Saint-Germain-des-Prés free

The arts abound in Paris. Although visual art gets the most attention here, the city is also a historic literary center. Saint-Germain, in the 6th arrondissement, is known as a 19th- and 20th-century intellectual hub. Here, great writers, thinkers and artists mixed and mingled in their homes and nearby establishments. Anyone battling writer's block will want to spend an afternoon wandering its picturesque streets, stopping by famous literary cafes or enjoying one of the museums located in the neighborhood's borders.

After filling your mind at the Musée Delacroix, Musée du Luxembourg or Musée de Mineralogie, unwind at Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore. The former was visited by everyone from Ernest Hemingway, Simone de Beauvoir, James Joyce, Jean-Paul Sartre, and more recently, Julia Child. Nearby Café de Flore opened in the 1800s as well, and claims visitors from Leon Trotsky to Albert Camus to Picasso. Sartre worked from here – using the space as a historical Starbucks – while New Wave celebrities like Bridget Bardot or fashionista Karl Lagerfeld graced its seats later on, in the 1960s. There are plenty of mouthwatering pastry shops and bridge views, too. Recent visitors noted that this is a perfect neighborhood for strolling, shopping or staying – there are plenty of upscale hotels . Many of the best Paris tours also include guided walks through the neighborhood.

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Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann free

Whether or not you plan to shop, the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann department store is a sight to be seen. What started as a small novelty shop in 1893 has since grown into an approximately 750,000-square-foot megastore containing hundreds of brands, from budget-friendly options like Levi's and Carhartt to high-end labels like Prada and Cartier. And while you might be dazzled by the unending collection of fashionable goods, don’t forget to look up. The pièce de résistance of the luxury bazaar is the stunning neo-Byzantine glass dome 141 feet above the ground. There's also a glass walkway on the top floor of the building that allows the bravest of visitors to stand above all the action below. 

Several recent visitors called Galeries Lafayette the most beautiful shopping center in the world, pointing out that even if you aren't there to buy luxury products, the stunning building is a destination in itself. They also recommend going up to the roof of the complex (accessible from the eighth floor), which is open to visitors free of charge, to take in breathtaking views of the city below. From the roof, you'll be able to spot the Eiffel Tower , Sacré Cœur and Notre Dame .

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Paris Catacombs (Les Catacombes de Paris) Paris Catacombs (Les Catacombes de Paris)

Not every inch of Paris is as romantic as you think – in fact, the Catacombs are downright chilling. Prior to the creation of the Catacombs in the late 18th century, Parisians buried their dead in cemeteries. But as the city continued to grow, burial grounds ran out of space, graves started to become exposed and stunk up surrounding neighborhoods. The limestone quarries located 65 feet beneath Paris eventually became the solution, providing ample and safe space for the city's deceased loved ones. It took years to move millions of bodies from all the Parisian graves.

Today, the solemn, skull-and-boned lined tunnels weave beneath the heart of the City of Love, beckoning to visitors with an interest in the departed. The catacombs stretch for miles all over the city, but visitors are only allowed to access about a mile's worth for 45 minutes at the Denfert-Rochereau (lines 4,6 and RER B) metro station. Trying to access the catacombs at any other entrance throughout the city is illegal. You'll want to wear sturdy footwear as the paths inside are full of gravel, uneven and even slippery in some sections. What's more, you'll have to descend 131 steps and climb 112 steps back up. As such, the catacombs are not wheelchair-accessible. And because of the attraction's unique nature and popularity, expect a queue.

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Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise) Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise) free

A cemetery as a tourist attraction? If any city can pull it off, it's Paris. Covering nearly 110 acres of the 20th arrondissement (district), the Père-Lachaise Cemetery is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. It's also Paris' largest green space. Père-Lachaise is a maze of cobblestone pathways lined with leafy, cascading trees which perfectly shade the striking 19th-century burial chambers that permeate the grounds. Aesthetics aside, Père-Lachaise is one of the world's most famous burial grounds: Everyone from Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison to Edith Piaf and Gertrude Stein can be found here. Make sure to pick up a map before you venture in, there are more than 100,000 burial plots here (exact estimates vary dramatically).

Travelers admitted the main reason they made the trek to Père-Lachaise was to visit the famous faces buried here, though after discovering the enchanting grounds, they were happy to stay and wander. Visitors found the architecture of the individual tombstones and burial chambers to be stunning, especially with the many dramatic statues included with the plots. Others particularly appreciate the overall peaceful atmosphere of Père-Lachaise. Because the cemetery is so big, visitors say it's unlikely you'll be sharing lots of space with fellow visitors or tourists at any given time.

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Bateaux Mouches Bateaux Mouches

For those who want to cruise down the Seine River , hopping on one of the six Bateaux-Mouches boats is a go-to option. Just about any meal you can think of is offered as you glide along the river – or as the company puts it, Paris's "most beautiful avenue." There are also hourlong cruise-only trips, for those who want to efficiently view some of the city's most iconic sights, including Notre Dame and the Musée d'Orsay . These cruises are among the best Paris tours . Combo tickets that include a bus tour or a cabaret show are also available.

Travelers who recently took a cruise loved the views from the boat and the informational nature of the tour. Many people took a night cruise, which was frequently lauded for its romantic atmosphere. However, a few visitors expressed disappointment with meal portions and the check-in process.

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Musee de l'Orangerie Musee de l'Orangerie

An extension of Musée d'Orsay , Musée de l'Orangerie features a wide selection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. It is best known for its enlarged "Water Lilies" paintings by Claude Monet. The eight massive paintings are divided across two oval rooms that are filled with natural light from a glass roof. Monet increased the size of these paintings with the intention of fully immersing viewers in their beauty, especially after the hardships of World War I. Beyond the "Water Lilies" series, Musée de l'Orangerie houses the Jean Walter-Paul Guillaume collection, which features works by artists like Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse and more.  

Museum visitors – especially Monet fans – said this gallery is a must-see. They were pleased to discover it was a relatively small building, meaning it can be seen fairly quickly if you short on time. The smaller space also translates to less crowds, which many museumgoers appreciated.

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Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck

U.S. News Insider Tip: Walk about 10 minutes around the corner and you’ll find the Montparnasse Cemetery – a fascinating alternative to Père Lachaise , home to the burial places of artists and intellectuals, including Jean-Paul Sartre, Samuel Beckett, Guy de Maupassant and Charles Baudelaire. – Laura French

The Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck claims to have the best views in Paris – and once you reach the top, it's easy to see why. The lower deck stands more than 650 feet high and overlooks major attractions, like the Eiffel Tower , through floor-to-ceiling windows. Travel another 32 feet upward to the rooftop terrace, and you'll find panoramic vistas of the City of Lights 365 days a year. On a clear day, you can see as far as 25 miles in every direction.

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Moulin Rouge Moulin Rouge

If you're looking for the famed Parisian nightlife experience, Moulin Rouge will likely fit the bill. The legendary cabaret club opened in 1889, wowing crowds with dazzling dancers, free-flowing Champagne and outrageous elements like a gigantic model elephant in the garden. With its rich history and extravagant performances, Moulin Rouge has become an important staple in the City of Lights.

On a night at the Moulin Rouge, visitors can be wined and dined while watching talented burlesque dancers adorned in feathers, rhinestones and sequins. (The costumes are known to be a bit risqué, so travelers should note that the venue may not be the most suitable for children.) While many recent travelers felt that the show was a spectacular must-see while vacationing in Paris, others felt it was overhyped and overcrowded. However, those who opted for the dinner show said the food was fantastic with top-notch service to match.

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Parc des Buttes-Chaumont Parc des Buttes-Chaumont free

Paris is home to many beautiful public parks, where visitors and locals alike relax in grassy squares during periods of pleasant weather. Parc de Buttes-Chaumont's 61 acres boasts this – plus a lake, a suspension bridge and walking paths – and a dark history. Its name comes from the bare hill once occupying the site. Stone was mined here, sewage dumped and even horse carcasses discarded. When Napoleon III renovated Paris in the 19th century, it was selected as a large park site, and the artificial lake created. That transformation also washed away its medieval reputation as a gallows. Known as Gibbet of Montfaucon at that time, the bodies of people executed in the city were sometimes displayed here for months on end.

If you can put that history behind you, cross the Gustave Eiffel-designed suspension bridge, or ascend the hill with the Temple de la Sybille for beautiful views of Montmartre. Inside the hillside, quarrying created a cavern. Napoleon's park builders took the opportunity to add a human-made waterfall to the 65-foot-tall space. Summer visitors will especially enjoy the misty reprieve from Paris's heat and humidity.

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Conciergerie Conciergerie

Located next to Sainte-Chapelle , the Conciergerie was once a royal residence for various French leaders. At the end of the 14th century, King Charles V and the rest of the palace's inhabitants moved to new residences at the Louvre . The abandoned building was then turned into a new parliament and office space for the kingdom. However, during the French Revolution (and for many decades thereafter), the Conciergerie served as a prison compound to hold both political and common criminals. Most famously, it held Marie Antoinette, the fallen queen of France, in the weeks before she was executed by guillotine in October 1793. In the 19th century, Antoinette's cell was transformed into a chapel, and in 1914 the entire building was deemed a historic monument and opened to the public.

Recent travelers said the site is a delight for history buffs. Still, others noted that if you aren’t particularly interested in the French Revolution or Marie Antoinette, you may find the empty jail cells and barren halls a bit dull. All visitors are given a "HistoPad" (available in six languages) to help enhance their experience. The iPad allows visitors to see what the rooms would've looked like centuries ago with the help of augmented reality, 3D reconstructions and interactive functionalities.What everyone seemed to agree on was the medieval architecture, which is said to be stunning both inside and out.

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Rue de Rivoli Rue de Rivoli free

One of the most famous shopping streets in Paris, the elegant Rue de Rivoli is lined with neoclassical buildings housing designer boutiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants built into historic arcades. Named after Napoleon's victory at the Battle of Rivoli and stretching from Place de la Bastille in the east to Place de la Concorde, it's where you'll find the Louvre , the Jardin des Tuileries , Hôtel de Ville (Paris's elaborate city hall) and other attractions. It's also home to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville – an elaborate department store founded in 1856. Other shops range from affordable brands like Sephora, L'Occitane and Mango to high-end designer stores and local French boutiques.

Recent travelers highly recommended strolling along the street to browse its historic arcades and shops, and many were impressed by the elaborate architecture. They also enjoyed the quiet atmosphere; the street went car-free in 2020, with only pedestrians, cyclists, buses and taxis now allowed here (its former lanes have been turned into a wide bike path, so it provides a welcome respite from the city's at-times hectic traffic). Others said it was a great spot for people-watching, although some said the shops can feel a little commercial.

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Bois de Vincennes Bois de Vincennes free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Come in the summer to catch the Paris Jazz Festival, when the Parc Floral hosts performers from Paris and beyond. – Laura French

Used as a royal hunting ground from the 12th century, this scenic, easterly refuge is Paris's biggest park, sprawling nearly 2,500 acres (making it nearly three times larger than New York's Central Park , and slightly bigger than its westerly sister, the Bois de Boulogne). It's home to verdant woodland as well as the Parc Floral, a botanical garden with its own mini golf course and various other family-friendly attractions. You'll also find four artificial lakes in the park – boats are available to rent on the Lac Daumesnil – alongside the Parc Zoologique de Paris, several cafes and restaurants and the Château de Vincennes, a lavish former royal residence built in the medieval era.

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Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen free

Set on the northern edge of Paris and home to the highest concentration of antiques dealers in the world, this famous flea market is a must for anyone looking to browse and buy vintage treasures. Spread across twelve covered markets and five streets, the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen houses everything from 17th-century furnishings to vintage jewelry, designer clothes, art, books and beyond. When your feet need a break, there are also a handful of restaurants.

At its heart is the Marché Vernaison, an eclectic mishmash of nearly a million objects, spread across nearly 100,000 square feet and selling pretty much anything you can think of. Equally unmissable is the Marché Dauphine, which sells books, vintage records, clothes and more in a huge pavilion, and the Marché Paul Bert Serpette, an upmarket spot specializing in avant-garde interior design that's seen everyone from Julia Roberts to Mick Jagger grace its floors.

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Louis Vuitton Foundation Louis Vuitton Foundation

Open to the public since October 2014, the Louis Vuitton Foundation is the brainchild of the LVMH Group (which owns luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton) and famed American architect Frank Gehry. In addition to the art gallery, Gehry also designed the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles , among other renowned museums, university buildings and residences. Outfitted with curved panels of glass and smooth concrete, the foundation's daring and modern design stands out among Paris' abundance of centuries-old buildings. Inside, you'll find collections of modern and contemporary art housed in both permanent and temporary exhibits. The museum's goal is to promote art and culture on the outskirts of Paris, and it succeeds by attracting more than 1 million visitors each year. 

Though the museum is a bit off the beaten path in the Bois de Boulogne in the 16th arrondissement, visitors loved taking in the architectural wonder and its surrounding gardens, as well as the unique exhibits inside. One common criticism was that the building was a bit far from the nearest metro station (about a 15-minute walk), so keep that in mind when planning your visit.

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Musée Jacquemart-André Musée Jacquemart-André

Note that the museum is currently closed for renovations until September 2024.

There are seemingly endless opportunities to view art in Paris. With so many options, visitors can select their favorite type of art, architecture or neighborhood to explore. The Jacquemart-André Museum on Boulevard Haussmann – located less than a mile east of the Arc de Triomphe – offers the best experience to those who love opulent Second Empire-style architecture or Italian Renaissance art, Flemish masterworks, and 18th-century French art. Built toward the end of the 19th-century by Edouard André and his wife Nélie Jacquemart, the mansion bills itself as the finest private art collection in the city, displaying works in richly decorated period rooms.

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36 Hours in Paris

By Laura Cappelle Updated June 22, 2023

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A view over over Paris's rooftops, as the sky is turning a soft pink and purple. The pointed Eiffel Tower is visible in the distance, rising into the sky.

There is a reason Paris remains among the most visited cities in the world. Its scenic, walkable neighborhoods have been shaped by centuries of cultural and political history, and any short visit will involve tough decisions. Monuments like Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tower need no introduction. Instead, this guide presents a different side of the French capital: under-the-radar spots in the popular Montmartre hilltop neighborhood, smaller museums without crowds and a taste of Paris’s diverse performance scene. And it’s easier to get around: As the city gears up for the Summer 2024 Olympics, the first it is hosting in a century, the venerable subway (the métro) is undergoing a makeover, with extensions to several lines. Spot the layers of urban transformation underway — while staying alert to the millefeuille of art and architecture you’ll encounter everywhere.


  • The Gustave Moreau Museum is an under-the-radar house-museum that opens the doors to the studio of the 19th-century painter with a visionary flair for mythological subjects.
  • Madame Arthur has become the cancan-free cabaret of choice for many Parisians, and a symbol of France’s thriving drag scene with its resident troupe of singers and musicians.
  • The Petit Palais , an underrated gem on the Paris museum circuit, takes visitors on a delightfully random tour of centuries of French art history.
  • The Parc de la Villette is a sprawling urban park with quirky playgrounds and a range of sports activities and cultural venues, like the Paris Philharmonic and the Cité des Sciences .
  • The Montmartre Cemetery , under a viaduct, is the slightly anarchic resting place of numerous painters, authors and performers, including Vaslav Nijinsky.
  • The Jardin des Plantes is a vast botanical park that started life as a royal medicinal garden in the 17th century. It is home to superb greenhouses and the National Museum of Natural History .
  • The Grand Mosque of Paris , with architectural highlights that include a hand-sculpted cedar door, welcomes visitors to its patio, tea room and hammam.
  • The Odéon – Théâtre de l’Europe , a prestigious Italian-style theater with a varied program, offers English surtitles for its Saturday performances.
  • The Caveau des Oubliettes hosts live music under the stone ceiling of what was once a medieval prison in St.-Germain-des-Prés.
  • The small ​​ Musée de la Vie Romantique offers a taste of Paris’s Romantic-era artistic salons, with a floor devoted to the trailblazing 19th-century female author George Sand.
  • La Verrière , inside the 19th-century InterContinental Paris le Grand Hotel, is a luxurious cafe with plush armchairs under an arresting glass roof.
  • Le Bar à Bulles , half-hidden behind the windmill of the Moulin Rouge, is a colorful, theatrical bar and terrace.
  • Le 975 is an elevated bistro offering smart twists on French cuisine in a quiet part of Montmartre.
  • Polissons serves imaginative dishes derived from traditional French gastronomy in Montmartre, with a six-course mystery menu.
  • Bistrot Mee brings visual flair to Korean cuisine in a Zen-like, elegant environment.
  • Aki Boulangerie offers a Japanese spin on French desserts, like yuzu- or matcha-flavored éclairs.
  • Une Glace à Paris is an award-winning ice-cream shop in the Marais district, with some left-field flavor combinations.
  • Pierre Hermé is synonymous with excellent high-end macarons and has many locations throughout Paris.
  • Bouillon Racine , a stylish Art Nouveau brasserie, serves well-made French classics like snails and blood sausages.
  • Ventrus is a portable, eco-friendly restaurant that currently brings guest chefs to the Parc de la Villette.
  • Jardin 21 is a casual open-air bar and restaurant that doubles as a vegetable garden and community space, open from May to September.
  • Mam’zelle Swing is a vintage shop specializing in fitted 1920s to 1960s women’s clothing.
  • Clara Vintage offers luxury retro fashion for women and a selection of men’s accessories.
  • Lapin Boutique Vintage has reasonably priced consignment pieces with striking shapes and colors.
  • The Hôtel des Saints-Pères exudes old-world sophistication, and has a long history of welcoming artists to St.-Germain-des-Prés: The painter Francis Bacon was once a regular. Each room (from 220 euros, or $240) has personalized decor with paintings, drawings and sculptures. Guests in the Junior Suite Signature (from €400) sleep under a rediscovered 17th-century fresco that stretches across the ceiling.
  • Hôtel Mademoiselle is a cozy, stylish three-star hotel with a cute courtyard for breakfast, conveniently located within walking distance of Gare du Nord (Paris’s Eurostar terminal, with good connections to the airports) as well as Montmartre. Rooms from €150.
  • With four central locations, the People is a budget-friendly option for travelers, with bright, welcoming lobbies, on-site restaurants and rooftop cafés in select hostels. Its flagship in the Marais will take you close to the historical city center. Dorm beds from €50, with private rooms also available.
  • Paris has stringent regulations to curb short-term rentals on websites like Airbnb, and landlords can only rent residential properties for a maximum of 120 days a year, otherwise they have to be converted into furnished tourist accommodations. Locals will appreciate it if you stay at professionally run hotels and hostels.
  • Paris’s neighborhoods are highly walkable , and strolling from attraction to attraction is the best way to encounter unexpected slices of history. The local subway (the métro ) is a generally reliable option, and will take you to many destinations more quickly than taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber, which often run into traffic. Paris’s bicycle-sharing system, Vélib’ , has grown more convenient since new bike lanes have been installed in recent years.

An opulent indoor lounge with a spectacular glass roof. There are armchairs and dining chairs, tall lamps and palm trees placed around the large room.

More From 36 Hours

Have a weekend to explore a destination we’ve got the perfect travel itinerary..

Paris: A different side of the French capital reveals smaller museums, under-the-radar spots in Montmartre and a diverse performance scene .

Montreal : Climb a mountain, wander the waterfront and enjoy a smoked-meat sandwich  in a city with a surprise around every corner.

Cartagena: With a limonada de coco in hand, explore two walkable neighborhoods over a weekend  in this coastal Colombian city.

Glasgow:  Take in Gothic architecture, green riverside walks and a global banquet  in Scotland’s largest city.

Chicago:   ​​ Cycle miles of urban trails, tour a restored Frank Lloyd Wright masterwork and catch golden hour  along Lake Michigan.


Discover All About Paris: Ultimate Guide 2023

Buse Yıldırım

Buse Yıldırım

Paris, France’s capital, is a city of romance, art, culture, and history. Paris is a must-see location for first-time visitors, thanks to renowned buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, and the Louvre. In this article, we’ll look at some of the tips to make your trip easier while you are looking for the best activities and things to do Paris, places to visit Paris, and transportation Paris alternatives for first-time visitors in Paris .

We asked locals for their advice to help out travelers visiting Paris for the first time!

Things to do in Paris

Places to visit in paris, restaurant in paris, transportation in paris, museum pass programs in paris, shopping areas in paris, mobile applications locals use in paris, frequently asked questions.


  • First, climb the Eiffel Tower: This is one of Paris’ most recognizable attractions and provides breathtaking views of the city. It is a must-see for any first-time visitor.
  • Secondly, visit the famous Louvre Museum: This is one of the world’s most famous museums, and it houses some of the world’s most famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
  • Take a walk along the Seine River: This is a terrific opportunity to see some of Paris’s most iconic sights while also taking in the mood of the city. You can find many tours related to these things to do Paris activities.
  • Romantic walk in this city of lights: Take a leisurely stroll along the Seine River at sunset for a romantic and picturesque experience.Pack comfortable shoes, as many of the top attractions in Paris require a lot of walking!

Local Tip About Using Coins in Paris

Nearly all restaurants and shops accept credit cards. This is very rare to have a cash-only shop these days. However, it is very common to see in restaurants and cafes a minimum limit to reach to be able to use a credit card. Usually 10-15€. Below this limit, you will have to pay in cash and they have the right to refuse your card. So don’t go completely cashless and always carry 20-50e in cash to avoid awkward checkouts.


  • Notre-Dame Cathedral: A well-known Paris landmark and a fine example of French Gothic architecture. Don’t forget that it is under construction so that you can visit only outside.
  • The Arc de Triomphe is another legendary Paris monument that offers breathtaking views of the city from its summit.
  • The Champs-Élysées is Paris’ most famous thoroughfare, lined with shops, cafes, and theaters. Off the main road, ake sure to visit Montmartre or Le Marais, two of Paris’ lesser-known areas.


  • There are various famous restaurants in Paris such as L’Ambroisie, one of the Michelin-starred restaurants being close to Notre-Dame. It has a lovely setting and provides traditional French food. This restaurant is definitely on the places to visit Paris list.
  • Another option is Le Comptoir du Relais: A popular bistro in the Saint-Germain district. It’s well-known for its delicious food and laid-back atmosphere.
  • Let’s come to the local advice: French cuisine is famous for many things that you should try escargot, ratatouille, and crème brûlée in some traditional French food venues.

Local Tips for Tipping Guide in Paris

  • Need to know part: In France, there is a different case between the Service and the Tip. The service is automatically included in the prices of all cafes and restaurants, this is the law. You will usually not see it in the details of your bill, it amounts to 12% of the prices you see in the end.
  • P.S: For the waiter to get paid, you do not have to tip, there is already service included. The tip comes on top.
  • You can leave money at the end to reward a waiter you appreciated, or to make a nice gesture. This is only to validate a service you enjoyed and is up to you since there is no culture of tips.


  • The “Navigo Pass” is the most practical and cost-effective way to get to Paris. It works with all kinds of public transportation, including buses, trams, metro, and RER since Paris has a fabulous public transportation system.
  • It is available at the majority of tube stations. This is a quick and cheap way to get about town.
  • Apps for smartphones: Locals in Paris use a range of mobile apps for public transportation Paris to help them navigate the city. Among the most popular are Google Maps, Citymapper, and Moovit.

Local Tip for Public Transportation Paris

Make sure to have your comfortable shoes with you, because you are going to walk a lot between top attractions and public transportation Paris!


  • The Paris Museum Pass is an excellent choice for visitors because it offers free admission to many of Paris’s best museums, including the Louvre and the Orsay Museum, as well as savings on other attractions and public transit.
  • Another alternative is the Paris Passlib’ , which provides free admission to numerous museums and other sites as well as a transportation Paris card.
  • The Champs-Elysées: This is one of Paris’s most famous shopping districts, with many luxury brands and high-end businesses.
  • The Marais is a popular Parisian area noted for its independent boutiques and vintage businesses.
  • The Galeries Lafayette: This is one of Paris’ most famous department shops, famed for its stunning architecture and high-end merchandise.
  • The Rue de Rivoli is another prominent shopping route in Paris, including everything from department stores to independent boutiques.
  • RATP (Paris Metro) app called Bonjour . It will help you get directions and a map. It also comes in very handy to buy tickets and top up your travel pass directly from your phone with the NFC. You can also do it on the machines in the station.
  • SNCF to get train tickets and follow up with information related to the arrival of your train.
  • Buying a virtual Sim card or a prepaid sim card is recommended. TravelWifi , and Orange Holiday are some examples.
  • UBER works for the need for taxis.
  • UBEReats and Deliveroo are used to order food from restaurants.
  • Getir is useful for groceries.
  • Velib App could be handy for free cycles in the city.
  • The easiest is to use Lime for electric scooters and bikes everywhere. Easier to use than the Velib. Tourists love it.
  • Skyscanner and Ryanair can be used to chase cheaper flight tickets.
  • Booking and Airbnb are used for accommodation planning and bookings.
  • Ticketmaster is highly used when looking for event tickets.


Paris is a city that caters to a wide variety of interests, including those interested in art, culture, history, and shopping. Paris is a must-see for any traveler because of its historic sites, renowned museums, and delectable cuisine. Take advantage of the city’s public transit system, purchase a museum pass, and install a local mobile app to make the most of your time there. Have a safe journey!

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Paris: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Table of Contents

Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Jackie

A visit to Paris is more than a mere vacation; it’s an immersion into a world of romance, art, and culture. From the grandeur of its iconic landmarks to the charm of its cobblestone streets, Paris offers a magical escape that lingers in your heart long after you’ve bid it au revoir.

Paris, often dubbed the “City of Love,” is a place that captivates the hearts of millions with its romantic ambiance, rich history, and iconic landmarks. Whether you’re strolling along the Seine River, savoring exquisite cuisine at a charming bistro, or gazing at the Eiffel Tower, Paris offers a unique blend of culture, art, and sheer beauty that’s bound to leave an indelible mark on your soul. In this guide, we’ll take you on a virtual journey through the streets of Paris, France , highlighting must-visit attractions, hidden gems, culinary delights, and practical tips for making the most of your unforgettable trip.

Paris Travel Guide

Things to see and do in paris.

Paris offers an abundance of attractions and activities to suit every traveler’s interests. Here’s a list of must-see and must-do experiences to make the most of your visit:

Take a Free Walking Tour

GuruWalk provides an exceptional opportunity to explore a city with the guidance of knowledgeable locals who will take you to the most fascinating spots. The best part? The tours are completely free! However, it is highly recommended that you show your appreciation to the guide by giving them a payment at the end of the tour based on how much you enjoyed it.

Visit Sainte Chapelle

Step into a realm of transcendent beauty at Sainte-Chapelle , an architectural masterpiece nestled within the heart of Paris. This captivating Gothic chapel was built in 1242 and was originally the seat of Royal power from the 10th to the 14th century. It enchants visitors with its ethereal atmosphere and unparalleled 1,113 stained glass windows. As sunlight filters through the intricate kaleidoscope of colors, the air becomes infused with a mesmerizing play of hues that dance upon the stone walls. Each pane of glass tells a vivid story, depicting biblical scenes and celestial narratives that seem to come alive in the delicate interplay of light and shadow.

Mom and I outside of Sainte Chapelle in Paris

Walk Through The Conciergerie

Adjacent to Sainte Chapelle and within the Palais de la Cité, the Conciergerie holds a somber history. It once operated as a prison during the French Revolution, witnessing the incarceration and execution of countless prisoners, including the infamous Marie Antoinette. Roaming its halls and cells, visitors might sense the gravity of its past and the lingering echoes of those who endured its confines. Serving as a poignant reminder of France’s darker historical moments, this site is a compelling stop for those intrigued by the Revolution—after all, one might wonder if the ghosts of the past still dwell within its walls.

Pause at Notre Dame

Amid its meticulous restoration, the enduring presence of Notre-Dame Cathedral stands as an indelible emblem of Parisian history and architectural grandeur. While the cathedral’s interior currently remains veiled from sight, its exterior emanates an enchanting allure, drawing admirers from all corners of the globe. Gazing upon its ornate façade evokes a journey through time, tracing the intricate craftsmanship spanning centuries. The meticulously carved sculptures and statuary weave narratives of faith, culture, and artistic brilliance, each figure an homage to the deft hands and visionary minds that fashioned this masterpiece. Beyond its artistic splendor, Notre-Dame’s significance reverberates deeply within Paris’ annals, bearing witness to royal coronations, historical events, and the enduring spirit of a city that has endured both triumph and tragedy.

The iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, completed in 1345, has achieved renown for its pioneering use of flying buttresses in architectural design. Adorned with intricate carvings and statues, these buttresses feature a profusion of gargoyles and water spouts. The cathedral’s interior is equally awe-inspiring, with a slender staircase of 387 steps ascending to the bells and gargoyles, affording an unparalleled vista of the city. As you descend, a visit to the crypt below unveils historical ruins preserved since its 1965 creation. Notably, our guide informed us that Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation as Emperor transpired within these hallowed walls in 1804.

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Outside, pause to marvel at the intricate artistry of the gargoyles and carvings adorning the cathedral’s front—a breathtaking tableau of craftsmanship.

Get Here Early

You can go into Notre Dame on your own for free, or you can pay for a guided tour.  Either way, my travel tip for Notre Dam is get there early in the morning to avoid huge crowds inside. It opens up to the public at 7:45, so I would try to get there by 7:00 at the latest.

Update on Notre Dame

Notre Dame underwent renovation and restoration in April 2019. Tragically, a fire broke out and engulfed the cathedral for 15 hours, causing severe damage. Efforts are still underway to stabilize the structure and prevent any possible collapse, but it won’t be finished until sometime in 2024. As of August 1, 2023, the cathedral is still closed to visitors and is expected to remain so until it reopens in 2024 . For the latest updates on the restoration project, please check Notre Dame’s website .

Me outside of Notre Dame Paris France

Enjoy Sidewalk Cafes & Beautiful People

Walking along the enchanting streets of Paris is akin to a surreal reverie. The wafting scent of freshly brewed coffee wafting from quaint sidewalk cafes and the vision of vendors skillfully crafting delectable crepes on street corners weave an ambiance of culinary enchantment. It’s a familiar sight to witness Parisian women adorned in chic and graceful attire, accompanied by men sporting stylish hats that exude a timeless charm. Yet, the true standout is the city’s impeccable tidiness, transforming every stroll into a delightful exploration, where the pleasure of discovery is elevated by the sheer purity of the surroundings.

A street in Paris

Place a Lock on the Pont des Arts

The Pont des Arts, nicknamed the Bridge of Locks of Love, serves as a beloved destination for couples to immortalize their eternal affection by fastening a padlock onto the bridge and casting its key into the Seine River. Regrettably, in 2015, the locks were removed by authorities, prompted by concerns over the bridge’s structural integrity under the weight. Yet, undeterred, visitors persist in adorning the bridge with fresh tokens of love, resulting in a resplendent display of over a million locks gracing the Pont des Arts. This enduring tradition of Locks of Love has crystallized into an iconic emblem of romance, captivating the hearts of countless tourists who consider it an essential Parisian experience.


Cruise the River Seine

As darkness embraced Paris, the city gracefully transformed into the embodiment of its moniker, the City of Lights. Opting for a champagne cruise on the River Seine, we embarked from a spot conveniently opposite Notre Dame. The cruise took us on a journey down to the Eiffel Tower and back, all for an approximate fee of $30. For those seeking a more formal dining affair, dinner cruises were also on offer. Our senses were treated to an exquisite panorama: the night-lit splendor of Notre Dame, the enchanting glow of the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. We meandered under the arches of several elegant bridges, the illustrious Port Alexandre III amongst them. And then, a sight to behold – the pièce de résistance, the Eiffel Tower, a radiant beacon illuminating the entire vicinity. This cruise is unequivocally a must for anyone traversing the streets of Paris. Even in the warmth of August, the night breeze bore a chill, prompting the wisdom of carrying a light jacket to ensure absolute comfort.

Eiffel Tower at night from River Seine Paris France

Eiffel Tower

A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without visiting the famous Eiffel Tower . This tall structure is a symbol of the city’s charm and allure. Standing beneath it is awe-inspiring, and going to the top gives you a fantastic view of Paris. From there, you can see the city’s rooftops, landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre, and the winding River Seine. It’s a breathtaking experience that captures the essence of Paris’ beauty and history.

For those aiming to reach the summit, it’s advisable to arrive early to bypass lengthy queues. Regrettably, we missed out on tickets due to the substantial lines. However, there are strategies to circumvent the wait, such as pre-purchasing tickets online . Additionally, the renowned restaurant atop the tower, Jules Verne , is highly regarded, albeit somewhat pricey. Securing a reservation at the restaurant presents another excellent option to ascend the tower without enduring the lines.

Just keep in mind that the Tower opens at 9:00 a.m. and the ticket prices vary depending on the level you wish to go up to.

Admire the Bridges of Paris

Paris brims with enchantment and allure, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the array of captivating sights. Beyond the renowned Eiffel Tower, a plethora of exquisite landmarks beckons exploration. Among these, the Pont Alexandre III stands out as a dazzling gem, adorned with opulent gold accents that form a splendid backdrop for photos, offering a striking view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. This bridge is adorned with intricate sculptures, ornate streetlamps, and delicate carvings, creating an essential destination for both tourists and locals. A leisurely stroll along the Seine unveils mesmerizing cityscapes from the riverbanks, while other remarkable bridges like Pont Neuf, Pont de l’Alma, and Pont des Arts await your discovery.

Ponte Alexandre III Bridge Paris with Eiffel Tower in Background

Shop Champs-Elysees

Make sure to set aside ample time for shopping along the Champs-Elysées—it’s a worldwide icon for good reason. The avenue’s grand stretch is flanked by exquisite high-end fashion boutiques and charming cafes, creating the ultimate shopping experience in Paris. While there, don’t miss a visit to the Arc de Triomphe at the avenue’s western end, a poignant monument honoring France’s fallen soldiers that is a must-see attraction. Moreover, the avenue boasts theaters and cinemas, offering an ideal locale to catch a captivating show or movie.

Champs-Elysees in Paris

Visit Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysées is one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris, offering a breathtaking view of the city from its top. It is a symbol of France’s military history and a tribute to the soldiers who fought and died for the country. You can pay your respects to the fallen soldiers by visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc.

visit paris 2023

Climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe is an unforgettable experience, but be prepared for a workout as there are 284 steps to reach the top. If you don’t want to climb all the way, you can take the elevator to the mid-level and then climb the remaining 64 steps. However, the views from the top are well worth the effort, especially on a clear day when you can see the entire city stretching out before you.

To avoid the long queues at the entrance, it’s recommended to book your tickets online in advance or join a guided tour .

View from Arc de Triomphe

Have a Treat at Laduree

Laduree is a must-visit cafe during your trip to Paris. Request a table outside to enjoy the picturesque view of Champs-Elysees. You must try their chicken salad sandwich; trust me, it’s out of this world! Even though it’s just a chicken salad, it will leave you dreaming about it for days to come. Their desserts are a work of art, and you’ll be in for a treat just by walking into the place. The unique desserts and Macarons at Laduree are a must-try, and I can guarantee they will leave you drooling for more.

Mom and I having dessert at Laduree in Paris France

The museum you just have to see first is, of course, the world famous Louvre .  The Louvre is open every day, except for Tuesday, from 9:00 am to 6pm. On Friday, The Louvre is open until 9:45pm. The entry fee is about 17 euro if you order your ticket online ( but get that Paris City Pass!! ).

Admission is free every July 14th for everyone. In addition, 18 year olds, art teachers and other visitors can enter The Louvre at no cost. See if you can visit The Louvre for free here.

The Louvre is a central landmark of Paris and is on the right bank of The Seine. There is over 782,000 square feet inside the museum and holds approximately 38,000 works of art from prehistory to the 21st century. The Louvre was originally a fortress and remnants of the fortress can still be seen in the basement. You can spend an entire day and never see everything inside, but make sure you see the Mona Lisa… you wouldn’t believe how small it is!! Oh, and don’t forget to look up at the ceiling… it’s incredible!!

Louvre Museum in Paris France

Jardin des Tuileries

Adjacent to the Louvre, you can find the tranquil Jardin des Tuileries, which was once the private garden of the royal family. With its beautifully manicured lawns, blooming flowers, and serene ponds, the park is the perfect place to take a break from sightseeing and enjoy a picnic. The iconic Ferris wheel at the end of the garden offers a bird’s eye view of Paris and is especially magical at night.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat after your picnic, Angelina is a must-visit patisserie located just across the street from the park. Their famous hot chocolate, L’Africain, is a decadent and velvety smooth drink that is not to be missed. Pair it with one of their delectable desserts, such as their signature Mont-Blanc pastry made with chestnut cream and meringue, for a truly indulgent experience.

Beautiful park at The Louvre

Musee d’Orsay

Located on the Left Bank of the Seine, the Musee d’Orsay is housed in a former railway station from 1898, and showcases a diverse collection of French paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum is renowned for its stunning collection of impressionist and post-impressionist artworks, including masterpieces by Van Gogh, Monet, and Degas.

If you want to visit the Musee d’Orsay, plan ahead and book your tickets online to avoid the long lines. And if you’re on a budget, mark your calendar for the first Sunday of the month, when admission is free for all visitors. Just be aware that the museum can get quite crowded on free admission days, so arrive early to beat the rush.


Musee Rodin

Dedicated to the works of renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin, the Musee Rodin opened its doors in 1919. With over 6,000 sculptures and artworks on display, including masterpieces like The Thinker, The Kiss, and The Gates of Hell, this museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. The serene and tranquil garden outside the museum, filled with greenery and sculptures, is a lovely place to relax and unwind after exploring the museum’s exhibits. Don’t miss the chance to visit this gem of a museum on your next trip to Paris.

Statue of The Kiss at Rodin in Parks

Get Out of the City

Take the train to montmartre.

During our brief 4-day stay in Paris, we managed to make the most of it by taking a couple of train excursions to Montmartre and the Palace of Versailles. Montmartre is a charming district well-known for its nightlife, featuring popular attractions such as the Moulin Rouge and the Sacre-Coeur, a stunning church. Walking down the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, we were entertained by the street performers and enjoyed sampling various delicious French pastries. Check out my other post detailing our train journey to Montmartre .

Windmill topped Moulin Rouge Montmartre Paris France

Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles, a symbol of France’s grandeur and opulence, is an absolute must-see if you have some time to spare. The palace was once a hunting lodge and later became the home of the Kings of France, including Louis XIV, who transformed it into a magnificent palace with grand halls and opulent rooms adorned with gold and crystal chandeliers.

But the palace is not the only attraction at Versailles; its gardens are a masterpiece of landscape architecture, covering over 800 hectares of land with fountains, sculptures, and beautifully manicured lawns. You can easily spend an entire day strolling through the gardens, admiring the statues and fountains, and even renting a rowboat to float on the Grand Canal.

If you’re interested in art and history, the palace also houses an impressive collection of over 60,000 works of art that showcase the rich cultural heritage of France. From paintings and sculptures to furniture and tapestries, the collection spans over five centuries of French history.

To get to Versailles from Paris, you can take a one-hour train ride and spend the entire day exploring this magnificent palace and its surroundings. Check out my post on how to plan a perfect day trip to Versailles from Paris for more information .

Versailles Palace and GArdens Paris France

Save Time and Money with The Paris City Pass

Michael and I are not museum people, but the museums in Paris have to be seen, and I think we did them all in three days!!!  As I stated above, out of all the travel tips I give you here, this is the most important one – before you go to Paris, order a Paris City Pass .  Do NOT order the Paris Museum Pass – this is different in that it does not let you use public transportation for free.

The Paris Pass can be purchased online.  The Pass will get you into over 60 museums and attractions in Paris, including Versailles and The Louvre, and the best part is you don’t have to wait in the crazy long general admission line!  The Paris Pass not only gets you into all the attractions and museums, it provides “fast track” entry, a free day on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours, AND a free travel card!!!  You can travel all across central Paris on the metro, trams and bus, and get into all the museums and attractions with this little pass.  You will save over $100.00 on ticket costs alone!  Seriously, you need this!

Suggested Museum Itinerary with the Paris City Pass

The price of the pass varies from about 109 euros to 209 euros depending on whether you choose a 2, 3, or 4 day pass.  There is no discount for senior citizens, but there is a discount for children and teenagers.  My suggestion is to get the 4 day pass if you will be there for 4 or more days just because there is so much to see and do, and the 4 day pass is really the best value.  My recommendation for those 4 days are:

  • Day 1 :  Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour so you can get an idea of where things are and what you’d like to go back and see;  The Louvre; and Notre Dame
  • Day 2 :  Musee d’Orsay; Sainte Chapelle; and a French wine tasting in the Louvre Caves
  • Day 3 :  Versailles; and if you have time, Montmartre and Sacre Coeur
  • Day 4 :  A boat ride down the Seine (do this at night – stunning); Arc de Triomphe; and Rodin Museum

Suggested Tours for Paris

Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches with Cider Tasting and Lunch

Guided Climb of the Eiffel Tower

First Day in Paris Discovery and Orientation Tour

Paris Champagne Tasting for Foodies

Cooking Class

See all tours provided by Viator for the city of Paris.

Annual Festivals and Events

Plan a trip around one of Paris’ many festivals and events .

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Paris is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) months when the weather is mild, and the city is adorned with blooming flowers or vibrant autumn foliage. These seasons offer pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, and a perfect backdrop for leisurely strolls along the Seine, café hopping, and exploring the city’s iconic attractions without the peak summer tourist rush or the winter chill.

How Long Should You Spend in Paris

The ideal duration to fully experience the enchantment of Paris would be around 5 to 7 days. This timeframe allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral, while also leaving room to explore charming neighborhoods like Montmartre and engage in leisurely activities like savoring exquisite cuisine in local bistros, wandering through markets, and enjoying relaxing walks along the Seine. With this amount of time, you can strike a balance between ticking off must-see sights and indulging in the city’s romantic ambiance and cultural offerings, ensuring an enriching and unforgettable Parisian experience.


Is Paris Safe?

Paris is generally a safe destination for travelers, but like any major city, it’s important to exercise caution and stay vigilant. While petty theft, particularly in crowded tourist areas, can occur, taking common-sense precautions like safeguarding your belongings, avoiding poorly lit or isolated areas at night, and being wary of scams can help minimize risks. Stay informed about your surroundings, adhere to local customs and laws, and consider using reputable transportation options.

Estimated Budget

For a top-tier experience, target a daily budget ranging from $300 to $520, particularly if frequenting Michelin-starred restaurants. Planning a 5-day trip for two to Paris? Anticipate spending around $250 per person or $500 for the couple. Alternatively, for those on a more budget-friendly excursion, aim for approximately $140 per person or $280 per couple for the duration of the trip.

Photo shoot with model on a bridge

How to Get to Paris

Getting to Paris is relatively easy, thanks to its well-connected transportation network and central location in Europe. Here are some common ways to reach Paris:

Paris is served by two main international airports: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Orly Airport (ORY). These airports have extensive flight connections from around the world. From the airport, you can easily reach the city center via airport shuttles, taxis, or the efficient Parisian public transportation system. See how to get the best deals on flights .

The high-speed train system , known as the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse), connects Paris to major cities across France and Europe. The central train stations in Paris are Gare du Nord (for Eurostar connections to London and Brussels), Gare de l’Est, Gare de Lyon, and Gare Montparnasse.

Long-distance buses , such as Eurolines and FlixBus , offer affordable options for traveling to Paris from various European cities. Buses typically arrive at the city’s main bus terminal, Gallieni.

If you’re driving , Paris is well-connected to major highways and roadways. Keep in mind that navigating the city’s traffic and parking can be challenging, so it’s advisable to research parking options in advance and consider using public transportation once you’re in the city.

DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT , and make sure your passport is up to date! Most countries will not permit you to enter unless your passport has more than six months remaining before it expires.

Do you need a Visa or Vaccinations ?  

With , you can check to see what documents you will need to enter France, and you can apply right there for expedited travel documents, including visas and health declaration forms.

Getting Around

Paris has a great public transportation system that includes buses, metro lines, and trains that can take you all around the city. Here are some tips for getting around Paris:

  • Metro: The Paris Metro is the fastest and most convenient way to get around the city. There are 16 lines that cover the entire city and run from early morning until late at night. You can buy a single ticket, a pack of 10 tickets, or a pass for unlimited travel for one day or several days.
  • Bus: The bus system in Paris is also extensive and can be a good option if you want to see the city above ground. Buses run from early morning until late at night, and many of the routes run through the city center and popular tourist areas.
  • Train: If you want to travel outside of Paris, trains are a good option. The SNCF operates trains from Paris to many other cities in France, as well as to other countries in Europe.
  • Walking: Paris is a beautiful city to walk around in, and many of the major tourist attractions are located within walking distance of each other. You can also rent bikes or take a guided bike tour to see more of the city.
  • Taxis and rideshare: Taxis are available throughout Paris, but they can be expensive and difficult to find during peak travel times. Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are also available in Paris and can be a more affordable and convenient option for getting around the city.


Where to Stay in Paris

Paris is a city with many different neighborhoods, each with its own character and charm. Here are some popular areas to stay in Paris :

  • Marais : The Marais is a trendy and historic neighborhood in the heart of Paris, known for its charming cobblestone streets, fashionable boutiques, and art galleries. It’s a great area to stay in if you want to be close to the city center and some of the major tourist attractions like the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Pompidou Center.
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés : Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a stylish and upscale neighborhood on the Left Bank of the Seine, known for its designer boutiques, cafes, and jazz clubs. It’s a great area to stay in if you’re looking for a more sophisticated and romantic vibe.
  • Montmartre : Montmartre is a bohemian and artistic neighborhood located on a hill overlooking the city. It’s known for its winding streets, cafes, and iconic landmarks like the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. It’s a great area to stay in if you want to experience the more bohemian side of Paris.
  • Latin Quarter : The Latin Quarter is where we stay when in Paris. This is a historic and vibrant neighborhood known for its lively cafes, restaurants, and bookstores. It’s a great area to stay in if you want to be close to some of the major universities and museums like the Sorbonne and the Pantheon.
  • Champs-Élysées : The Champs-Élysées is a prestigious and luxurious avenue in the heart of Paris, lined with high-end shops, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a great area to stay in if you’re looking for a more upscale and glamorous experience.

My travel tip for accommodations in other countries is to get a rental property so you can immerse yourself in that city’s culture. Our favorite resources for finding the best deals on hotels, B&B’s and rental properties are either VRBO , Agoda or . Once I find a place that I think will be the right fit for us, I then cross-check it with TripAdvisor’s reviews just to be sure the reviews are pretty much the same. Read more about finding and booking accommodations .

Our apartment in Latin Quarter

Where to Eat

Here are five highly recommended restaurants in Paris that offer a range of culinary experiences, from traditional French cuisine to modern twists on classic dishes:

  • L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon: Located in the Saint-Germain neighborhood, this Michelin-starred restaurant offers a contemporary and interactive dining experience. Chef Joël Robuchon’s inventive dishes are served at a counter, allowing you to watch the culinary magic unfold before your eyes.
  • Le Comptoir du Relais: Situated in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, this cozy bistro serves authentic French comfort food with a modern twist. Chef Yves Camdeborde’s menu features seasonal ingredients and a warm ambiance, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • Chez L’Ami Jean: For a taste of hearty Basque cuisine, head to Chez L’Ami Jean in the 7th arrondissement. Known for its convivial atmosphere and generous portions, this restaurant offers dishes like confit duck leg and traditional Basque piperade.
  • Le Bistrot Paul Bert: Experience the charm of a classic Parisian bistro at Le Bistrot Paul Bert. Located in the 11th arrondissement, this restaurant serves up traditional French dishes in a nostalgic setting, complete with vintage decor and an extensive wine list.
  • Septime: A trendy and innovative dining destination, Septime showcases modern French cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients. The tasting menu changes regularly, reflecting the chef’s creativity and commitment to delivering a unique gastronomic experience.

Watch These Popular TV Shows and Movies Filmed in Paris

Paris is a popular location for movies and TV shows, and has been featured in many famous productions over the years. Here are some examples of movies and TV shows that were filmed in Paris:

  • Midnight in Paris (2011): This romantic comedy, directed by Woody Allen, takes place in Paris and features many famous Parisian landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Seine River, and the Rodin Museum.
  • Amélie (2001): This French romantic comedy takes place in Montmartre and features many iconic locations in the neighborhood, such as the Sacré-Coeur Basilica and the Moulin Rouge.
  • Ratatouille (2007): This animated film tells the story of a rat who dreams of becoming a chef in Paris. Many famous Parisian landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral, are featured in the film.
  • Les Misérables (2012): This musical film adaptation of the classic novel by Victor Hugo takes place in 19th-century Paris and features many famous Parisian landmarks, including the Panthéon and the Sainte-Chapelle.
  • The Bourne Identity (2002): This action film features several scenes that take place in Paris, including a car chase through the streets of the city.
  • Emily in Paris (2020): This TV series follows the adventures of a young American woman who moves to Paris for work. The show features many famous Parisian landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum.

These are just a few examples of the many movies and TV shows that have been filmed in Paris over the years. The city’s beautiful architecture and rich history make it a popular location for filmmakers from around the world.

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11 must-see exhibitions in Paris this autumn

"chagall, paris-new-york", at the atelier des lumières.

*From February 17, 2023 to January 7, 2024

A figure of modern art, Marc Chagall is the guest of honor of the immersive exhibition "Chagall, Paris-New-York" throughout the year 2023 at the Atelier des Lumières , a digital art center in Paris. Monumental projections to rediscover the works of this cosmopolitan artist: The Blue House, Paris by the Window, The Wolf and the Stork and the ceiling of the Garnier Opera. Paul Klee, a major painter of the first half of the 20th century, is the subject of a second exhibition: a poetic escape where the visitor discovers some of the 10,000 paintings and drawings of this artist who was greatly influenced by music and opera.

Visit the Atelier des Lumières (External link)

"Eternal Mucha" at the Grand Palais Immersive

*From March 22 to November 5, 2023

In collaboration with the Mucha Foundation, the Grand Palais Immersif offers an immersive and interactive exhibition to rediscover an avant-garde artist whose work continues to inspire contemporary designers. The exhibition tells the visitor the story of Alphonse Mucha, a figure of Art Nouveau, and his humanist ambition in three acts: as a master of poster design in Paris; at the turning point of his career in 1900, when he became heavily involved in the Paris Universal Exhibition; and through the presentation of his monumental works, notably The Slavic Epic, which develops a vision of Slavic history as a pacifist model of the world that resonates today more than ever.

Visit the Grand Palais Immersif (External link)

"Naples in Paris. The Louvre invites the Capodimonte Museum".

*From 7 June 2023 to 8 January 2024

From Michelangelo to Raphael, the great names of Italian painting will be on display at the Louvre in 2023 as part of a partnership with the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, a former hunting residence of the Bourbons of Naples. From the Grande Galerie to the Salle de la Chapelle and the Salle de l'horloge, the Louvre will be transformed into a Neapolitan palace from June onwards with more than 60 masterpieces from the Farnese and Bourbon collections.

Visit the Louvre (External link)

"Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso" at the Musée du Luxembourg

From 13 September 2023 to 28 January 2024

Would Pablo Picasso have enjoyed the same success without the support of his friend and modern art collector Gertrude Stein? Probably not. 50 years after the death of the Spanish genius, the Musée du Luxembourg is celebrating this unparalleled friendship based on complicity and a taste for creativity. The paintings of the master of Cubism, including Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, seem to be in dialogue with the poems of the American writer. The exhibition also sheds light on Gertrude Stein's relationship with avant-garde artists such as Henri Matisse and Jean Cocteau, while highlighting the role of Picasso's work on the figures of the Pop Art movement such as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg.

Visit the Musée du Luxembourg (External link)

Nicolas de Staël at the Musée d'art moderne de Paris

From 15 September 2023 to 21 January 2024

Somewhere between figuration and abstraction, Nicolas de Staël's work occupies a special place in the history of art. This autumn, the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris will be staging a retrospective of his work. 200 paintings, drawings, engravings and notebooks are on show, including several acclaimed masterpieces such as Parc des Princes and Agrigente, as well as works exhibited for the first time in France, providing a new perspective on her work.

Visit the Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris (External link)

"Amedeo Modigliani. A painter and his retailer" at the Musée de l'Orangerie

From 20 September 2023 to 15 January 2024 .

This is one of the most eagerly awaited exhibitions of autumn 2023. Starting this autumn, the Musée de L'Orangerie will be exploring the artistic and friendly ties between Amadeo Modigliani, the master of the Expressionist movement, and his dealer, Paul Guillaume, who played a decisive role in the artist's international career in the early 20th century. With iconic portraits, controversial sculptures, female nudes and biographical accounts of the collector, we rediscover Modigliani's revolutionary work in a new light.

Visit the Musée de l'Orangerie (External link)

"Azzedine Alaïa, couturier collectionneur" at the Palais Galliera

*From 27 September 2023 to 21 January 2024.

A renowned designer, Azzedine Alaïa was also a great collector. A priceless treasure trove of 20,000 pieces by the great French and international couturiers was kept in the greatest secrecy until his death in 2017. Jeanne Lanvin, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Gabrielle Chanel, Madeleine Vionnet, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Thierry Mugler... Around a hundred of these designer pieces can be discovered this autumn at the Palais Galliera as part of a brand new exhibition. The icing on the cake is a visit to the Museum of Modern Art, opposite the Palais Galliera, where visitors can admire three stage costumes designed in 1919 by Henri Matisse for the Ballets Russes.

Visit the Palais Galliera (External link)

"Van Gogh at Auvers-sur-Oise: the last months" at the Musée d'Orsay

From 3 October 2023 to 4 February 2024

Every exhibition devoted to the work of Vincent Van Gogh is an event. This autumn's exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay is no exception. For the first time, the exhibition focuses on the last two months of the artist's life, spent in Auvers-sur-Oise, in the French Vexin Regional Nature Park near Paris. This was a productive and pivotal period, as the Dutch master produced 74 paintings and 33 drawings, including some of his greatest masterpieces such as Le Docteur Paul Gachet, L'église d'Auvers-sur-Oise, and Le Champ de blé aux corbeaux. Rural landscapes, still lifes, portraits, representations of the village, 40 paintings and 20 drawings by Van Gogh are to be discovered in the context of this exhibition, including the unique series of works in the elongated double-square format.

Visit the Musée d'Orsay (External link)

"Mike Kelley: Ghost and Spirit" at the Bourse de Commerce Pinault Collection

*From 13 October 2023 to 19 February 2024

Inspired by punk and underground culture, Mike Kelley was one of the most influential American visual artists of the late 20th century. Ten years after his death, the Pinault Collection is revisiting his subversive, innovative and unclassifiable work. His wryly humorous sculptures, large-format plush toys highlighting the excesses of consumer society, and miniature cities under glass ( kandors ) are all on show.

Visit the Bourse de Commerce Pinault Collection (External link)

Mark Rothko at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

From 18 October 2023 to 2 April 2024

Mark Rothko, a leading figure in Abstract Expressionism, is the guest of honour at the Fondation Louis Vuitton this autumn in a retrospective exhibition retracing his work through 115 paintings from major international collections. From urban landscapes and ancient myths to surrealism, the tour follows the painter's artistic evolution towards abstraction, as illustrated by the Multiformes series, characterised by suspended masses of colour and superimposed rectangular shapes. The exhibition also includes two major installations, including a recreation of one of the rooms in the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and a set of bright red murals intended for the Four Seasons restaurant, which the artist eventually kept.

Visit the Fondation Louis Vuitton (External link)

"Picasso: Drawing to Infinity" at the Centre Pompidou

*From 18 October 2023 to 15 January 2024

The Centre Pompidou is in turn paying tribute to the work of Picasso 50 years after the death of the master of Cubism, with an exhibition devoted to his drawings. Visitors can see 1,000 works, including the artist's notebooks and several series of engravings. Visitors can revisit the career of the Iberian genius by delving into his private life, from his beginnings to his last works.

Visit the Centre Pompidou (External link)

8 must-see exhibitions to celebrate Picasso in 2023

These iconic new venues in Paris are not to be missed

Getting to Paris 

A thirst for culture

The most beautiful exhibitions to discover this autumn

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Paris city guide: Where to eat, drink, shop and stay in the French capital

Widely regarded as the most beautiful city in the world, paris has the timeless appeal of a chic trench coat. destination expert anna richards lays out where to go and what to know on a city break, article bookmarked.

Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile

Best in glass: Take a stroll around the Louvre

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I s it possible to talk about Paris without using superlatives? Home to more museums and more galleries than any other city in the world and more than 100 Michelin-starred restaurants, Paris’s reputation precedes it.

From cobbled streets and steep stairways in Amélie Poulain’s Montmartre, to the polished marble walkways of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, to street art and community cultural centres in edgy Belleville, each of Paris’s quartiers has a distinct personality. Confused by the seemingly haphazard numbering system of the arrondissements ? Escargots aren’t just on your plate; the city is numbered like a spiral snail’s shell, starting in the historic centre.

The scent of fresh crêpes cooked on a street corner, sunlight bouncing off the tin roofs of the city’s iconic Haussmann buildings, beautiful and fashionable Parisians with small waists and even smaller dogs... combine it all together and it’s hard not to fall under the city’s spell.

Read more on France travel :

  • The ultimate travel guide to France
  • How to spend a day in Quartier de la Roquette, Paris’s trendiest micro-neighbourhood
  • A Paris local’s guide to the best under-the-radar sights in the French capital


  • Cheap hotels in Paris 2022: Where to stay for value for money
  • Best boutique hotels in Paris 2022 for style and location
  • Best hotels in Paris for 2022

As the city prepares to host first the Rugby World Cup this September, then the Olympic Games in 2024, new hotels, museums and restaurants are popping up in abundance. With 16 Eurostar services per day shuttling visitors between central London and Paris in little more than two hours, there’s never been a better time to visit.

Here’s what to do, where to stay and what to eat to experience the French capital in style, be it your first visit or your fiftieth.

Best things to do in Paris

Eiffel tower.

Absorb Paris’s breathtaking landscapes atop The Eiffel Tower

Don’t ignore the classics, they’re popular for a reason. The Eiffel Tower (€28.30 with lift access, open daily) is arguably the most recognisable landmark in the world, and first-floor restaurant Madame Brasserie reopened its doors last year, serving up quintessential French cuisine with a view.

The Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou

Art gallery must-dos include the Louvre (€17, closed on Tuesdays); allow for at least half a day there and go with an itinerary in mind, as the collection of more than 5,000 works of art can be overwhelming. There’s also the Musée d’Orsay (€16, closed on Mondays) for the world’s largest collection of Impressionist art and the building itself, a Beaux-Arts railway station, plus modern art oddity the Centre Pompidou (€15, closed on Tuesdays), which looks like a giant hamster cage has been dropped among the Haussmann buildings.

Alternative art spots

Newcomer l’ Atelier des Lumières dazzles (€18, open daily). A multi-sensory experience, its rotating exhibition uses AI to turn the walls and floor alike into a giant green screen to bring artworks to life, all set to music. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to jump inside a painting, this is it.

Check out innovative art daubed inside 59 Rivoli

Art doesn’t have to come with a million dollar price tag, as the collective at 59 Rivoli are keen to demonstrate (free entry, donations encouraged, closed on Mondays). Originally an illegal squat, the six floors have become a rich and ever-changing tapestry of murals, sculptures and political statements. Visitors will likely see the artists in residence at work (or chatting over coffee).

Before the French decapitated their monarchs and banned religious symbols, some of the world’s most opulent churches and palaces were built in Paris. The Château de Versailles (€21.50, closed on Mondays), with its hall of mirrors, perfectly coiffed gardens and 2,300 rooms, boggles the mind. Strapped for time? Visit Musée Jacquemart-André instead (€16, open daily), a 19th-century mansion with a private art collection and opulent rooms.

Sacre Coeur

Notre Dame is still recovering from the 2019 fire and remains closed to the public, but the Sacré-Coeur (free entry, open daily) is arguably more impressive, and views from the basilica steps are some of the finest in Paris. The Grand Mosque (free entry, closed to the public on Fridays) has a beautiful walled courtyard garden.

Stroll 30 minutes from the Arc de Triomphe to get to the Bois de Boulogne

Bois de Boulogne

Craving green spaces among the gold-gilded buildings? Pack a picnic and spend the day at Bois de Boulogne.

Best time to visit Paris

There’s never a bad time to visit Paris. Equally gorgeous when the banks of Canal St. Martin come alive on long summer days, and when the Eiffel Tower seemingly pierces brooding winter storm clouds, this is a city for all seasons. For the best rates, travel mid-week and avoid school holidays. Many museums are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Where to stay in Paris

Notoriously expensive and overwhelming in choice, accommodation in Paris is a minefield, and risks setting you back a month’s salary.

Our favourite hostel for solo travellers is The People – Paris Nation . It’s well-located, clean, comfortable, and has a rooftop bar for those all-important sunset views.

Rooms available from {{#price}} {{price}} per night {{/price}} {{^price}} Check availability for dates and prices {{/price}}

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Hotel Amenities

Health & wellbeing.

Casting off a once seedy reputation, Montmartre is now a hotspot for artisan bakeries, international cuisine and quirky galleries and bookstores. Hotel Rochechouart epitomises old-world glamour. The art deco dining room looks like a Hemingway haunt. Forget cramped chambres de bonne (maid’s rooms), the top floor suites here are palatial in size. The rooftop bar has unparalleled views of the Sacré-Coeur.

Hôtel Dame des Arts has arguably the most enviable location in the city. Running with the theme of spectacular rooftops, this one is so close to the spires of Notre Dame, Quasimodo could have jumped it. Elegant, with an onsite gym and sauna and deliciously perfumed with the hotel’s signature scent, it makes you feel like the main character in a romantic Parisian movie. Saint-Michel metro is literally steps away.

Hotel Dame des Arts in one of Paris’s most desirable locations

Read more of our reviews of the best hotels in Paris

Where to eat in Paris

Gone are the days of the French capital refusing to serve anything that isn’t marinated in wine and grave accents.

For a grab-and-go lunch, head to Babka Zana in Montmartre. Sandwich flavours such as leek, artichoke and feta make a croque monsieur look bland, but the highlight is dessert, with babka combinations like pistachio and mandarin.

If you’d prefer a sandwich that’s a little more French, join the monochrome hipster brigade that frequents Paperboy Paris in the Latin Quarter. Canteen vibes, excellent coffee and plenty of veggie options.

For a classic wine bar experience that won’t decimate your wallet, Chez Nous in the 6ème has reverie-inducing cheeses, friendly, informal service and is perfumed with the heady aroma of truffle. Wine from the extensive menu is free-poured at your (pint-sized) communal table.

Fine with splashing out? Septime (one Michelin star) is refined and elegant, with uncompromisingly excellent modern French cuisine. Reserve well in advance.

Where to drink in Paris

An unflattering reputation for “bad coffee” has done a 180, and Paris’s café scene went from laughing stock to latte heaven. Seine-side Wake Up Café hires exclusively ex-convicts to help get them back on their feet, and serves up a mean brew.

Meanwhile, for a top-quality cuppa with a wanderlust-inspiring selection of indie travel magazines, head to minimalist and chic Bonjour Jacob .

Find a terrasse for an outdoor drink

For cocktails with a Parisian panorama, Le Perchoir Ménilmontant (Wednesday to Saturday) is the place to be. On the seventh floor of an industrial building with regular live music events, it’s hard to beat for vibes. Le Perchoir also has bar-restaurants in Le Marais and Porte de Versailles.

Dance the night away in unpretentious Le Piano Vache (closed Sundays) in the Latin Quarter. Always busy, slightly grimy and with regular jazz nights, pints are (by Parisian standards) inexpensive.

Where to shop in Paris

Unless your wallet is deeper than Paris’s catacombs or you have a penchant for overpriced tourist tat, avoid the Champs-Élysées. For cheese (check customs rules or prepare for Poldark-style smuggling missions), the city’s oldest covered market, Les Enfants Rouges , has a vast fromagerie (and is an excellent spot for a leisurely lunch and wine).

Convenient for passengers travelling by Eurostar is Marché Saint-Quentin (under 10 minutes’ walk from Gare du Nord), which among the varied street food stands has excellent local produce.

Thrift shop kings and queens, Les Puces de Paris Saint-Ouen (Friday mornings and all day Saturday to Monday) is the largest flea market in the world... but take cash as the queues at the sole ATM make the Louvre look unpopular.

Pick up local cheese at one of the city’s markets

To pick up unique items of clothing, prints and organic food, head to vegan concept store and café Aujourd’hui Demain . For homewares, quirky fashion and an excellent used bookstore-cum-café, go to three-storey treasure trove Merci . Check the label before you pay; bargains are hidden among clothes made from bath towels with €200 price tags.

Travel essentials

How to travel around paris.

The metro system is comprehensive, and tickets cost €2.10/trip. Contactless payment isn’t possible; buy a carnet of 10 tickets from the machine or a rechargeable Navigo card (€5) to save queuing.

Architectural highlights

The entire city is an architectural masterpiece, but for sheer splendour, our pick is Versailles.

What currency do they use?

What language do they speak, should i tip.

France doesn’t have a big tipping culture, but Paris, which sees so many international tourists, is the exception. Around 10 per cent is appreciated.

What’s the time difference?

What’s the average flight time from the uk.

1 hour 15 minutes, but save time and CO2 emissions by travelling with Eurostar (just over two hours).

What’s the best view?

The top of Montparnasse Tower. The problem with the view from the Eiffel Tower is that Paris’s main landmark isn’t in it!

Insider tip?

Paris has heaps of festivals, but one of the best free events, the Fête de la Musique , falls annually on the Summer Solstice (21 June in 2023). Giant stages along the Seine and buskers and bands on every corner showcase Paris at its most festive.

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visit paris 2023

Is Paris Safe in 2024 and Beyond? And Should You Travel to France Now?

Last Updated on January 19, 2024

Is Paris safe to visit? Why my answer is a resounding "Yes".

Many travelers want to know whether Paris is still safe to visit– and their concerns are understandable. Following isolated terrorist attacks and occasionally-violent street demonstrations in recent years, as well as a global pandemic, worries about the safety of the French capital have become more common.

But the truth is that Paris generally remains a safe destination, and with some precautions in mind all visitors should feel comfortable traveling to the capital. Read on for the latest information on travel advisories and precautions to take when visiting France, and for my full safety tips for anyone planning a trip to Paris.

I start by covering some of the topics most likely to be on travelers’ minds, followed by more long-term safety issues and concerns. You can use the “Explore This Article” tab below to directly navigate to the information of most immediate interest and use to you.

Explore This Article

Current Safety Advisories for Paris & France

The US State Department currently shows a yellow, Level 2 travel warning for France, corresponding to the advice “Exercise increased caution” and citing risks including terrorism and potential civil unrest. See the full advisory here .

Traveling from another country? To see current safety advisories for your country of origin and specific safety tips from your Embassy or Consulate in France, see this page.

Statistically Speaking, Paris Remains Very Safe

A market street in Paris. Image: Alvaro Maltamara/Creative Commons

The Economist-sponsored “Safe Cities” report for 2021 ranked Paris as the 23rd-safest major city in the world out of 60– making it almost exactly middling. And while the city has admittedly taken a significant knockdown in global city safety ratings due to recent terrorist attacks and other factors, violent crime is still generally uncommon in the capital.

OSAC, the US Bureau of Diplomatic Security,  notes tha t tourists are generally safe in the city, and that street crime such as pickpocketing remains the primary concern. These notes are particularly striking and paint a clearer picture of the sorts of crimes visitors need to be most on guard against:

According to the Violent Crime Risk Index (ViCRI), a resource for urban-level violence risk data and ratings, Paris ranks as a class 2 city on an 11-point index scale measuring homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, and rape risks. Street crime, however, is a concern, most notably in areas frequented by tourists. Consular officials throughout France report that U.S. travelers are frequently victims of pickpockets, swarm and grabs, or scams. (OSAC, France Country Security Report, available here )

To break it down a bit, Paris ranks a “2” on a scale reaching up to “11” when it comes to violent crime. Moreover, violent crimes rates in France are  roughly on par with Canada’s , and are three times lower than in the US.

According to French government statistics, even when taking into account deaths from terrorist attacks, the homicide rate in Paris per 1,000 inhabitants between 2015 and 2017 was only 0.019 (0.014 if you exclude the attacks).

You get my drift. Violent crime, and especially the sort that threatens lives, is relatively rare in Paris.  Gun violence there is astronomically lower than it is in comparably sized cities in the US.

And while the US State Department website advises that tourists remain aware of their surroundings and exercise caution due to potential terrorist threats, take note:  they don’t recommend cancelling your trip or avoiding the city.

My conclusion? Yes, there are some risks that can’t be denied.  Most large metropolitan cities, including London and New York, carry similar risks in our globalized world. Should you avoid setting foot in these places altogether?

Everyone has to make choices that they feel comfortable with, but from my perspective, you’d be greatly overestimating the dangers you face by doing so.

Pickpocketing is the Most Common Crime Affecting Tourists in Paris

Louise Moillon, "Market Scene With a Pick-pocket". (Oil on canvas, first half of 17th century). Public domain/Wikimedia Commons

I’ve talked about the unlikelihood of tourists becoming victims of violent crime in Paris. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t risk being targeted for petty street crimes that can still make your trip a nightmare.

Pickpocketing is by far the biggest threat to visitors, so you should learn how thieves operate and take all the precautions necessary to avoid being targeted.

How to Avoid Pickpockets in Paris? 

Pickpockets operate in predictable and often highly organized ways, targeting tourists in crowded and popular areas. Often, they get away with your wallet or purse so quickly that you barely feel a thing. To keep this from happening, take these steps: In any crowded place (busy lines, congested metro cars, open spaces full of tourists snapping photos), take extra care with your belongings.

It’s best to carry a bag or purse that you can wear crisscrossed around your chest, with pockets and valuables hugged to your front and in plain view. If you wear a backpack, don’t leave wallets, cash, passports or other valuable items in the front compartments.

Only bring as much cash as you’ll likely need for the day, and maybe even less.  100 Euros or so is a good limit to aim for. Traveler’s checks can easily be exchanged for Euros at the American Express office on Rue Scribe (Metro: Opera).

If you must carry larger amounts of cash, consider wearing a money belt .

It’s always preferable to leave passports , large amounts of cash and other valuables in a hotel safe, if possible.

Never leave your bags or suitcases unguarded , even for a minute or two. Not only do you run the risk of them being swiped up by thieves between two blinks of an eye: they can also be legally confiscated and destroyed by security forces, under current safety regulations in public spaces.

What About ATM Thefts and Other Scams? 

In addition to pickpockets, tourists are often targeted by scammers and thieves in other ways. ATMs/cashpoints are particularly vulnerable spots. Never allow anyone to linger nearby when you take out cash, and guard against prying eyes.

Never let anyone “help” you with a transaction at an ATM, or otherwise interfere with it. Ask the intrusive person to back off, and if they refuse, find another place to take out cash.

Around popular tourist attractions including the Sacre Coeur, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, merchants operating illegally are known to aggressively “persuade” tourists to buy their wares.

This often involves putting an object or trinket in your hand or inviting you to “try on” a bracelet.

Related: Our Top Tips for Avoiding Common Tourist Scams & Traps in Paris 

Once you give in, a demand for payment often follows. Avoid this by refusing all advances from such “vendors” and not allowing them to place any items in or on your hand.

General Safety Concerns: Putting Your Risks Into Perspective

Modern life is a constant game of risk negotiation-- but it's important to put potential risks into perspective.

With what seem to be frequent reports of violent incidents in the capital over the past few years, it can indeed feel scary to be a visitor these days. But there have been exaggerated accounts in some media outlets about the dangers tourists face when visiting Paris.

But in a modern world where there are many complex risks to weigh and negotiate all the time, it’s important to put those risks into perspective. It’s not about discounting potential danger. It’s about recognizing that life must go on– and that living in fear shrinks your world and its possibilities.

So before you cancel your trip or decide on another destination out of fear that you may be the victim of a terrorist attack or some other form of violent crime, read through my advice below.

As I’ve said elsewhere, Paris greatly depends on tourism to thrive as a city. It would be catastrophic to its livelihood to see too many people stay away and renounce all the capital has to offer out of a disproportionate sense of fear.

That said, staying informed about potential risks is an important part of feeling empowered as a traveler. Below are a few notes on recent incidents and safety concerns for tourists in the capital, with guidance on whether they warrant postponing or canceling your trip.

December Terrorist Attack Outside the Eiffel Tower

On December 3rd, 2023, an assailant armed with a knife and a hammer attacked and killed a German-Filipino tourist on the Quai de la Grenelle near the Eiffel Tower . Two other people, a British national and a French national, were injured in the attack.

According to Reuters, French President Emmanuel Macron characterised the events as a terrorist attack, after the 26-year-old suspect, a French national, was found to have released a video shortly before the attack pledging allegiance to the Islamic state. He is currently in custody, as are three other people connected to the suspect.

French authorities have not yet concluded whether the suspect was acting alone or not, though he was known to security services for potential social ties to known terrorists, according to the Associated Press. He had also been monitored for psychological problems.

Europe more broadly remains on high alert for what is says is an elevated risk of both coordinated and “lone wolf”-style terrorist attacks from Islamist militants, amid severe conflict in the Middle East.

Paris has also been significantly increasing its security measures in the run-up to the Paris Summer Olympics in 2024.

To our knowledge, no embassies have modified their safety advisories for France in response to the attack.

Covid-19 Cases & Deaths in France & Current Travel Safety Regulations

In France, according to updated  data from the French government , there have been over 40.1 million confirmed cases since January 2020.

As of January 15th, 2024, over 167,642 people have died from COVID-19 in France. Most patients were elderly and/or had pre-existing conditions.

Im recent months, daily hospitalizations and deaths have remained quite low compared to the acute phases of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021– owing in part to high vaccination levels, an ongoing booster-dose drive in the country, and potentially milder infections from the Omicron and subsequent variants.

On August 1st, 2022, France lifted most Covid-related restrictions on travel and travelers . There are no longer any paperwork or formalities to complete to arrive in mainland or overseas France, and no Covid-19 certificates or proof of vaccination are required at this time, irrespective of country or area of origin.

However, should a dangerous variant become of major concern, France reserves the right to reinstate health measures such as vaccine certificates or passes for travelers from at-risk countries.

You can find updated information on current entry requirements and restrictions for France at this page on the France Diplomacy website . Please do consult that site in addition to this page for the most recent guidelines; while we do aim to update this page as frequently as possible, the regulations have been changing frequently.

While it may indeed seem as if the pandemic is essentially over in France, regulations and restrictions might change quickly in the event of a new variant of concern or hospitals becoming overwhelmed in response to a spike in cases.

Make sure to watch the situation carefully if you plan to travel to France in the coming weeks and months, including from within Europe.

“Gilet Jaune” (Yellow Vest) Protests & French Transport Strikes

Starting in late December 2018, smaller groups of “gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) protestors  staged demonstrations in Paris, almost exclusively on Saturdays. Some saw demonstrators throw rocks, burn cars and break store windows. But starting in late May 2019, the protests simmered out , in part due to a much heavier police presence.

Since late 2019, the protests have occurred sporadically and at a much smaller scale. They are not currently a concern for travelers to the capital or elsewhere in France. Even when civil unrest was at its peak in 2018 and 2019, it’s important to remember that tourists have not been injured or otherwise endangered by these protests.

Protecting Your Health in Paris

Paris pharmacies can be identified by their bright, flashing green crosses.

No one intends to get sick or suffer from an accident while traveling, but preparing for such unfortunate events will give you peace of mind and save you from outlandish medical costs.

Many international travel insurance policies cover up to millions of dollars in medical costs and liabilities, and can offer peace of mind.  You can compare and purchase travel insurance policies here (via World Nomads).

[World Nomads provides travel insurance for travelers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using the link above. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.]

Emergency Numbers to Keep With You in France If you run into a medical or other emergency, call one of the toll-free numbers below from any phone, and contact your embassy. It’s wise to print out these numbers and keep them with you at all times: Medical Emergencies & Accidents: 15 Fire brigade: 18 Police: 17 SOS Médecins (on-call doctors): 01 47 07 77 77 SOS Dentaire (dentists): 01 43 37 51 00 SOS burns: 01 58 41 41 41

Note that in most cases, calling “15” is the best thing to do in a medical emergency. If you have been the victim of a violent crime or other crime, it will be necessary to both inform the French police and to file a report with your embassy.

If you need a pharmacy in Paris, identify them by their green flashing crosses. Most neighborhoods in the city have at least one pharmacy within a few blocks’ radius. These pharmacies are open late or 24 hours a day , in case you need to seek advice from a pharmacist or purchase medical supplies late at night.

This can especially be useful to know if you’re traveling with a young baby or toddler, since young ones sometimes require quick treatment, and pharmacists are often able to provide expert advice or recommend and sell over-the-counter medications that you can’t buy directly off the shelves.

Safety for Pedestrians in Paris 

While Paris is generally a very pedestrian-friendly city– the local government has been working to increase the number of car-free zones around the capital in recent years– drivers can be aggressive, posing a danger to walkers.

My advice? Take a defensive approach when crossing streets and busy intersections, checking for cars even when the light is green and/or when you have the right of way.

In areas that appear to be pedestrian-only, watch out for cars and aggressive motorcylists: some areas that are “car-“free” still allow motorcyclists, service vehicles and cyclists.

What About Driving in Paris? 

I generally advise against trying to drive in central Paris. Parisian drivers can be aggressive and unpredictable (by many standards), and traffic conditions are often congested and unpleasant.

If you have to drive, your international driver’s license and insurance must be up to date. Also make sure you understand the local rules of the road.

And unless you’re used to European traffic circles, you should avoid, at all costs, driving around busy traffic circles such as the one at the Place de l’Etoile on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées.

If you do opt to take a taxi, whether within the city or to the airport and back, make sure you only use reputable companies. Never accept a ride from a taxi that doesn’t have an official “Taxi Parisien” sign atop its roof and a visible meter inside. You may be overcharged or otherwise scammed, if you do…

Read related : How to Use Airport Taxis in Paris (& Avoid Getting Overcharged)

Why to Register & Keep in Touch With Your Embassy

Place de la Concorde circa 1968, with the American Embassy in Paris to the left of the obelisk. Credit: Roger W/Some rights reserved under Creative Commons 2.0 license

It’s always wise to register with your embassy ahead of your trip and to keep their contact details with you at all times.

In the event that your passport is lost or stolen, you experience a medical emergency or a crime, or are in the city at the time of a dangerous event, registering will ensure that you’ll be able to get in touch more quickly with your embassy and to receive help from them. This is a good list of world embassies and their contact details. 

Once at your embassy’s site, read through any relevant travel advisories for Paris and France and find out how to register as a citizen traveling abroad before your trip.

Are There Dangerous Places to Avoid in Paris?

I wish I could argue that Paris is entirely safe in all circumstances, but sadly, there are a few places that you’d probably be best off avoiding at night, especially for women and solo travelers.

Gangs are known to operate in some of these areas, and hate crimes have been reported around them in the past.

Take special caution late at night around the following metro stops and surrounding areas (and perhaps avoid altogether when traveling alone after dark) : Chatelet les Halles, Les Halles, Pigalle, Couronnes, Belleville, Place des Fetes, Porte de St Ouen, Porte de Clichy, Gare du Nord, Stalingrad, Jaures, and Crimée. Please note that this is not a definitive list: you should probably be cautious in all areas of the city after nightfall, or when crowds disperse.

Also note that this is NOT a list of so-called “no-go” zones in Paris. From my perspective (and it’s one shared by most locals), these simply don’t exist within the city limits.

All 20 arrondissements in Paris (city districts) are generally safe , as long as you take some precautions in the areas mentioned above, and do so everywhere at night. Remember, “posh” areas can be remarkably empty after dark, so paradoxically you may be more vulnerable in these.

Unfortunately, I also advise against traveling to the Northern suburbs of Paris after nightfall.  Violent crimes and hate crimes are more frequent in these areas, as is gang activity.

It pains me to advise this as I don’t wish to stigmatize any communities or places, but from a standpoint of tourist safety, these areas are probably best avoided at night.

Advice For Women, LGBTQ+ and Minority Travelers

While Paris is generally a tolerant and diverse place that is welcoming to people of all colors, creeds, sexual orientations and gender expressions, there are occasional cases of harassment or even assault.

Women , especially when traveling alone or in small groups, should take extra care at night, especially when alone. Avoid places with poor lighting and few people roaming the streets. Safety is in numbers.

Also, be aware that French men sometimes read smiles or extended eye contact as permission to flirt or make sexual advances. With strangers, it’s best to assume a neutral stance that clearly says “I’m not interested”.

If a man makes unwelcome or aggressive advances in the street or in other public places, firmly say “non”, refrain from smiling, and walk away. Call the police if you are followed or the harassment continues, and retreat to a public cafe or other crowded place if necessary.

People of color generally have nothing to fear in Paris, a city with remarkable ethnic diversity. Nevertheless, hate crimes are not unheard of.

If you are a victim of an attack that you feel is racially motivated, report it to the police, your embassy, and if necessary to French watchdog SOS Racisme: + 33 (0)1 40 35 36 55

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and non-binary visitors are generally safe and welcomed in the capital, which harbors a large and vibrant LGBT community. That said, there has sadly been a spike in reports of homophobic attacks in Paris over the past couple of years, and in the areas I mention above as being potentially less safe after dark, it is advisable to be extra cautious.

Read my guide on homophobia in Paris over at TripSavvy for tips on staying safe, including for LGBT couples. If you are attacked, report it to the police and to your embassy, and state clearly if you believe the attack was a hate crime.

Related: How to Celebrate LGBT Pride Month in Paris? 

Advice for Jewish and Muslim Travelers

Jewish visitors may have read that Paris has become unsafe for them. It can’t be denied that antisemitic attacks have been on the rise in recent years, with targets including synagogues, places of business and Jewish individuals.

Sadly, from 2018 such attacks are reported to have risen sharply . And in 2023, they have unfortunately skyrocketed in France , against the backdrop of the Israel-Gaza conflict that broke out in October. As a result, it pains me to say that visitors should take extra precautions at this time.

These attacks have been met with increased police protection of Jewish schools, places of worship and other sites important to the Jewish community.

While safety concerns are warranted, I want to stress that Paris has one of the largest Jewish communities in the world: one with a deep history that’s very much part of the cultural fabric of the city.

The vibe is generally welcoming and you shouldn’t fear visiting the city. It’s also important to know that there have been no recent reports of attacks against tourists of Jewish faith (nor am I aware of any to have occured in recent history). Nevertheless, it’s probably a good idea to take some precautions, particularly in the areas I mention above.

While I regret advising it, it may be best, late at night and in the aforementioned areas, to remove visibly religious symbols and clothing items. Always report it to the police and to your embassy if you are a victim of an antisemitic attack. SOS Racisme can also help.

Muslim visitors may also fear attacks from Islamophobic individuals . Since 2015, there has been, according to numerous organizations, a sharp rise in attacks on Muslim places of worship and individuals.

Tourists of Muslim faith should not fear visiting the capital, however. Again, there is a large community here and most people are welcoming.

As always, though, if you experience harassment or violence make sure to report it to the police, your embassy, and perhaps to SOS Racisme: (+ 33 (0)1 40 35 36 55).

While attacks on tourists of Muslim faith are exceedingly rare, it is important for victims to be heard, have their experience accounted for, and to seek the help they need.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you book products or services though this site, it comes at no cost to you, but will help fund more free, in-depth content here at Paris Unlocked. Thank you. 

Courtney Traub

Courtney Traub is the Founder and Editor of Paris Unlocked. She’s a longtime Paris resident who now divides her time (as well as she can manage) between the French capital and Norwich, UK. Co-author of the 2012 Michelin Green Guide to Northern France & the Paris Region, she has written and reported stories for media outlets including Radio France Internationale, Reed Business Information, WWD, and The Associated Press. She has also been interviewed as an expert on Paris and France by the BBC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Le Figaro, Matador Network and other publications. In addition to pursuing an insatiable interest in French culture, history, food and art, Courtney is a scholar of literature and cultural history whose essays and reviews have appeared in various forums.

11 thoughts on “ Is Paris Safe in 2024 and Beyond? And Should You Travel to France Now? ”

can one travel a few days bw 16-23 dec 2019, flying from paris to nice, then flying back to paris without too much trouble or expense?

Yes, that’s entirely feasible. The flight is only about an hour long and many low-cost carriers offer very good fares if you book in advance. Check Easyjet, Iberia, and even Air France for sales on that route. Bon voyage!

This is positive news. Thanks for the update. Hopes are high that things return to normalcy soon. I love to travel to France during the summer, and I think it will be easier by then. I do go through travel blogs to understand the precautions we need to take enough steps to travel safely.

Considering that I want to travel to Europe one day this really helps me. Who doesn’t want to save money especially when you’re already on a trip. Thanks for the tips.

The topic of this blog is a question in my heart right now. I am eager to know this since I am getting bored at my home. Finally I came to an answer that yes it is safe to travel to France now. I will know find the list of best places to visit in France and after that I will start the process of online France Visa UK so that I can get it one time for my travelling with my kids and family.

I am from Singapore and am considering visiting France with my wife and 2 toddlers (ages 2 and 4) at the end of this year 2021 for Christmas. Thought it would be nice to let me kids experience a winter Christmas for a change. However I am concerned with how French people or Parisians view Asian tourists. Do they stigmatise them given how COVID-19 has been dubbed the “China virus” in the US? And are there any safe distancing measures in place for restaurants or museums in France (e.g. dine in no more than 2 pax at a table etc)? Are there any other pointers I should be aware of if we want to explore visiting beyond Paris to other parts of France during December? Thanks!

Hi Eric, thanks for reading and for your comment. While prejudice does sadly exist in Paris/France, tourists are very rarely the subject of attacks and harassment, and you can be rest assured that with some sensible precautions, you will feel safe and secure traveling there. I do understand your anxiety, but please know that Paris in particular is an incredibly diverse, cosmopolitan city, and again, as long as you follow some essential safety tips and guidelines , you have nothing to fear.

As to your second question, yes, there are currently safety measures in France to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “Health passes”, or vaccine passports, are required to enter most public spaces (or visitors must show proof of negative tests). Masks are also still required in all indoor public spaces including public transportation, shops, museums etc. You’ll find all the relevant, updated info in the link above.

Have a wonderful, safe trip, and thanks again for reading! –Courtney

This article is so helpful and thank you for your time in writing this. I am from the US and traveling to Paris with my boyfriend February 2022. We both are fully vaccinated and may get booster shots if recommended to travel Paris. However, friends are telling me that France might go in lockdown again. What are your thoughts?

So glad to know you’ve found this helpful, Jessica. I wish I could predict what might happen next, but the Omicron variant of the virus is a real wild card. I don’t think anyone knows what might happen in the coming weeks and months in terms of travel restrictions. If you’re not comfortable with the uncertainty of that, I do recommend delaying your trip. Typically, since the pandemic began winter and spring have proven tough, with a reprieve in late spring through early fall. Perhaps if at all possible it would be best to try to reschedule your trip for that period? All the best!

My husband and I are visiting France in late March/early April 2022, spending time in Paris, Bordeaux, and the Dordogne. Your site has been so helpful as we plan our trip. We are both fully vaccinated against COVID and received our boosters in mid-October. As I understand the current vaccine pass requirements, we are okay to travel to France (we’ll need to get the vaccine pass either before we leave or when we arrive). Is that right? Thanks for your help.

I’m sorry to bother you as I know you yourself asked a question you would like answered….my husband and I are traveling to Paris late May. We are fully vaccinated and boosted, what is the “vaccine pass” you are referring to? Thank you in advance for your reply

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12 Best Things To Do In Paris in Fall In 2023 (+The Weather, Where To Stay & What To Pack)

Planning to visit Paris in fall ? This guide will show you all the unique things to do in the fall in Paris plus the practical tips for an amazing trip!

From strolling through the beautiful parks of Paris and marveling at the red, orange, and yellow-hued leaves, feeling a gust of wind while sitting by the Seine and holding onto your loved one a little tighter, drinking specialty hot chocolate with cinnamon, marshmallows, whipped cream, and more, being blown away by the new art exhibits at the museums to getting chills on your spine as you spend Halloween amongst the Paris catacombs, Paris in Fall is like a dream that you can actually experience!

View of the Eiffel Tower in fall from Pont de Bir-Hakeim

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With the wine harvest season, cafés serving signature coffee and hot chocolates, the spooky season with cemeteries, the catacombs, and more, your autumn in Paris will be one for the books!

Fall is actually one of the best times to visit Paris! The summer crowds have disappeared, Parisian shops that had closed to take their summer holidays in the south of France reopen and a new Paris covered in fall colors is reborn.

fall leaves with a Seine river view

Though the days start getting shorter and chilly, fall in Paris is pretty much still enjoyable if you plan your visit well.

So, to help you plan your trip better, I am sharing with you this complete guide to enjoying Paris in the fall. Whether you’re just spending one day , a weekend in Paris , or a week, this guide will give you all the info you need.

Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips

WHERE TO STAY Best Eiffel Tower Views:  Hôtel Le Walt  (9.0) Luxury stay:  Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel  (8.2) Mid-range stay:  Hôtel Eiffel  (8.7) Budget Stay:  People – Paris Bercy  (8.9) Apartment Rental:  Résidence Charles Floquet  (9.1)  

BEST GUIDED TOURS Louvre Museum guided tour : (4.5/5) Seine River Dinner Cruise : (4.7/5) Montmartre Walking Tour : (4.8/5) Le Marais Walking Food Tour : (4.5/5) Versailles Guided Tour : (4.8/5) Eiffel Tower Guided Tour : (4.4/5) 

  • Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
  • Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook .
  • Don’t forget a universal travel adapter , a travel neck pouch , and comfortable walking shoes .
  • Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit many attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
  • Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.

Psst… Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads .

Fall Weather in Paris

Eiffel towe in fall

Fall weather in Paris is a good mix of warm, sunny days and enough breeze to make every moment cozy and romantic.

Coming second to summer, Paris in Fall is a favorite among tourists, especially those in Europe. With average temperatures ranging from a high of 17°C (62°F) to a low of 8°C (46°F), you’re sure to feel the winds.

During the fall months ( September , October , and November ), the temperature varies widely, with the weather getting colder closer to the end of November.

Paris street in Fall

The city is also notorious for rain during this time of the year, with an average of 8 days of rain at two inches per month.

And if you want to catch a Paris sunrise , in the autumn, the sun rises between 07:25 am – 08:09 am (depending on the exact fall month) which is doable for most people unlike in the summer when you’ll need to wake up at around 5 am to catch it.

But if sunsets are your gem, they’re between 05:12 pm and 08:05 pm (November – September respectively)! Say hello to shorter days!

Temperatures in Paris in Fall

Eiffel Tower framed in fall leaves

To get an idea of the weather and how to best prepare for it, let’s get into specifics about the temperature in each fall month.

  • Paris fall temperature in September: 21°C (70°F) high and 12°C (53°F) low.
  • Paris fall temperature in October: 16°C (61°F) high and 10°C (50°F) low.
  • Paris fall temperature in November: 11°C (52°F) high and 6°C (43°F) low.

Now that you know what the weather is like in Paris in autumn, let’s look at where to stay for a perfect trip to the city of love .

Where to Stay in Paris in Fall

If you’re looking for ideas on where to stay whether budget-friendly, mid-range or even luxury during your stay in Paris in Fall, here are my professional recommendations!

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Budget Accommodation

The People Hostel – Paris 12: Featuring a beautiful expansive terrace and all essential amenities at a reasonable cost, The People Hostel – Paris 12 is the perfect stay for budget travelers. It is located in close proximity to Ópera Bastille, The Louvre, and the glorious Notré Dame Cathedral. With impeccable service and rooms for all kinds of travelers; those going solo and prefer dorm rooms, private rooms, or family rooms for huge groups, there’s no better place to stay without breaking the bank than at this place!

>>>   Check rates and availability on   <<<

Mid-range Accommodation

Hotel Duquesne Eiffel: This hotel is in the proximity of the Iron Lady, Champs de Mars, and Les Invalides, as well as the Ecole Militaire Metro Station, giving you easy access to the entire city! With quaint rooms with a typical Haussmannian balcony offering a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower , accommodating staff, and a lovely bar lounge, it is the perfect hotel for your stay if you’re traveling on a mid-range budget!

Hôtel Regina Louvre

Luxury Accommodation

Hôtel Regina Louvre: If you’re looking to sleep in style, at Hôtel Regina Louvre , you’re sure to have the perfect Parisian stay! Located in the city’s heart, in the museum, shopping, and art district while also overlooking the Louvre, its opulence is at its finest. Here you’ll be within walking distance of the famous Parisian landmarks and get a chance to feel like a royal in the city of light.

Apartment Rental

Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées: Equipped with large suites for short and long-term stays, this apartment is located on the famous Champs – Élysées, automatically positioning you amid the city’s most popular districts. The suites are well-furnished, with a living room, kitchenette, bedroom(s), and even an ideal Parisian balcony overlooking the famous Parisian street, the Champs – Élysées.

If nothing caught your attention in the above recommendations, you can go through my list of Paris hotels that give Eiffel Tower views or these hotels near the Louvre museum .

If a homey stay is what you prefer, I also have articles on rental apartments with Eiffel Tower views , luxury rental apartments in Paris , or these budget-friendly apartment rentals in Paris . There is a wide variety to choose from!

Things to do in Autumn in Paris

Here is what you shouldn’t miss while visiting Paris in Autumn!

1. Chase the fall foliage

Chasing the fall foliage is one of the things to do in fall in Paris

There’s nothing better than taking a walk in Paris’ autumnal colors, and with a plethora of public parks and gardens, there is plenty of fall foliage to enjoy.

You can choose from favorites like Jardin des Tuileries , Buttes-Chaumont , Place des Vosges , Luxembourg Gardens , and many others. For even more fall colors, head to Bois de Boulogne , a forest on the outskirts of Paris.

With river streams, paved walkways, and various trees clad in orange and yellow, Bois de Boulogne is the ultimate outdoor experience in autumn in Paris.

Besides the parks, some parts of the banks of the Seine also put on a beautiful display of fall colors which create a beautiful reflection on the river’s water.

Another area that you shouldn’t miss while chasing fall foliage is the area around Pont de Bir-Hakeim . From here, you can enjoy the beautiful fall colors with a backdrop of the Eiffel Tower!

With pleasant weather when the sun is out, a stroll in a Parisian garden or at the banks of the Seine in the fall is unbeatable!

2. Picnic in the autumnal-clad gardens

Picnicking in the autumnal-clad gardens is one of the best things to do in Paris in fall

A picnic in the city of love is an excellent idea at any time of year, but with the golden and orange-colored foliage, slightly chilly winds, and spectacular sunsets, a Parisian picnic is a must at this time of the year.

Be sure to carry a picnic blanket to sit at one of the many Parisian parks, all the picnic essentials, and your camera to make sure that you capture your memories!

But if you don’t feel like packing a picnic on your own, many Parisian cafes offer ready-to-pick-up picnic baskets with everything you might need.

3. Appreciate Paris’ Art and Culture by Attending local autumn events

Appreciating Paris' Art and Culture is one of the best things to do in Paris in Autum

Visiting Paris in the Fall is so popular because of the number of local autumn events that are organized!

Fun for locals and tourists alike, you’ll get a chance to participate in events like Journées du Patrimoine (the Heritage Days) in September where landmarks and monuments open their gates for people to learn about France’s heritage for free , Nuit Blanche , which is the city’s all-night art festival on the first Sunday of October that lets people enjoy exhibitions at museums and private art galleries and enjoy various concerts, all for free. There are also several more that celebrate the art and culture of Paris!

The city also hosts the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) where galleries put on a contemporary art show in the Temporary Grand Palais for 4 days in October.

If you’re an art enthusiast, you’ll truly enjoy fall in Paris as it comes with lots of art-themed festivals and events!

4. Explore the art museums

Exploring the art museums is one of the best things to do in fall in Paris

Parisians often believe that Autumn is, in fact, a new start for the city, as they all reclaim their city back from the tourists that take over it during the summer.

Besides this, it’s also the time of year when new exhibits go up at the museums, and the art scene in the city is renewed.

After a summer of packed museums, when in Paris in Fall, be sure to visit the museums (The Louvre, Centre Pompidou, and others) and truly immerse yourself in the art of Paris without the long queues that come with summer.

But even though the lines are shortened, it’s still better to buy skip-the-line tickets in advance.

Some of the tickets you can buy in advance include this skip-the-line ticket to the Louvre , this Centre Pompidou ticket to have access to both the permanent and temporary exhibits, this Orsay museum ticket , and many others.

You can also check out my complete list of Paris skip-the-line tickets that will save you time. But if you’re traveling on a budget, then you can opt for the free Parisian museums instead.

5. Visit the catacombs for the spooky season

Visiting the catacombs for the spooky season is one of the things to do in Paris fall

Lying beneath the ground are Paris’ Catacombs , 320 kilometers (200 miles) of tunnels full of underground ossuaries that preserve the remnants of over six million people.

It is a memorial for the thousands of unnamed Parisians whose bodies couldn’t be buried in the overflowing cemeteries of the 1720s.

Here, you’ll also be able to catch sight of beautiful sculptures that were sculpted by a member of Louis XV’s army decades before the remains were moved in.

With the catacombs leaving you with an eerie feeling all year, visiting them in the spooky season will be ten times more exciting!

But before you go, be sure to buy this Catacombs skip-the-line ticket to save time. And if you want to learn more about this unusual place, I recommend booking this guided tour which comes with a knowledgeable and friendly tour guide.

With this tour, you’ll also have a chance to visit some secret places that are only accessible if you go with a guide.

6. Drink wine and celebrate the Grape harvest season

Celebrating the harvest season is one of the things to do in Autumn in Paris

Though Paris is famous across the globe for a plethora of things, its wine is definitely one of them!

If you’re holidaying in the city and wondering what to do in Paris in the Fall, your answer is to drink wine and celebrate the grape harvest season!

Many events take place to celebrate the harvest; the most popular of all being Fête des Vendanges ( Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival ) which takes place in October in Montmartre.

During this festival, food and drink stalls are set up, there are dance and music performances, fireworks, and even a parade.

You can even get a chance to visit Vignes du Clos Montmartre which is the only remaining vineyard in Paris but only if you book this tour of Musée de Montmartre since it comes with a visit to the vineyard.

You can also partake in Le Grand Tasting , which happens at Grand Palais, or Beaujolais Nouveau Day, a wine-tasting ritual in November all across the city!

7. Immerse Yourself in the coffee and hot chocolate culture of the city

Immersing Yourelf in the coffee and hot chocolate culture of the city is one of the things to do in Autumn in Paris

Known worldwide for its coffee and hot chocolate, there’s no better time to fall in love with Paris’ hot chocolate and coffee than in the Fall.

With petit gorgeous bistros and cafés sprinkled all across the city, you must take advantage of the chilly weather by always having a hot cup of something in your hand.

Though you’re spoiled for choice, some of the best places to grab a hot chocolate in the city are the Angelina (pair it with their Paris Brest and you’ll say Oh La La), Jacques Genin (for their thick and delicious hot chocolate), and Carette (if you visit the one at the Trocadero, you’ll be able to enjoy your hot chocolate with a view of the Eiffel Tower).

You’ll also be able to get world-class coffee (in whichever form, from cold brew to cortado) at nearly any reputed café you visit, but one you shouldn’t miss is Caféothèque if you want to enjoy your coffee by the Seine!

So, grab that coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy Paris fall in style! You can also check out this list of the best coffee shops in Paris to know where to go.

8. Celebrate Halloween in Paris

Celebrating Halloween in Paris is one of the best things to do in Paris in Autumn

If you’re in Paris in autumn and happen to be visiting during Halloween, there are so many ways to make your spooky day as unique as everything in Paris is.

You can choose to visit the ​​ Manoir de Paris , Paris’ famous haunted house located in the 10th Arrondissement, or visit a theme park like the Parc Astérix or Disneyland Paris (which are a little out of the city), or spend some time at local Halloween parties!

The town is usually overcome with feelings of love and light, but on the night of 31st October, you’re sure to have a spooky night (especially if you go to the haunted house).

Irrespective of whichever activity you choose for Halloween day or night, be sure to taste Parisian chocolates even if you don’t go trick-or-treating!

9. Take a food, chocolate, or patisserie workshop

Taking a food, chocolate, or patisserie workshop is one of the things to do in Paris fall

There’s no better time than Paris autumn to immerse yourself in the Parisian culture of pastries, chocolate, and other French foods !

The Fall is when many products like wine, seasonal veggies, truffles, and more take over the market, and what better way to celebrate that than to take a culinary workshop to learn a tad bit about authentic French food ?

If savory dishes aren’t your beat, you can always set up a workshop with any of the several chocolatiers all over Paris to dabble in the sweet side of things and taste a lot of it as part of the job, too!

With so many traditional delicacies that you’ll find nowhere else in the world, there’s no better time to learn from chefs who’ve been serving world-class food for years and spend some time indoors in case the weather isn’t too nice!

If you’re down for that, you can opt for this chocolate workshop at Edwart Chocolatier (the best if you ask me), or this pastries workshop that will teach you how to make various desserts.

And if learning how to make baguettes and croissants has been on your Paris bucket list , you won’t go wrong with this fun baking workshop .

But if you prefer savory to sweet, this cooking workshop (that comes with a 3-course meal) will be the best fit for you.

10. Pay Your Respects at a cemetery

Paying your Respects At A Cemetery is one of the things to do in Autumn in Paris

Though not everyone’s cup of tea, the cemeteries of Paris are as beautiful as they come.

With a sense of love and admiration in the air, Paris’ cemeteries have magnificent tombstones, some even with stained glass windows, cobblestoned pathways, sculptures, and more.

Besides being beautiful, all covered in the red, and orange hues of autumn, several cemeteries in Paris are the final resting place of well-known figures of art literature, and culture.

For example, the Père-Lachaise cemetery which is the biggest cemetery in Paris is the final resting home to Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, Édith Piaf, Jim Morrison, and many others.

It is free to visit but if you want in-depth knowledge, you can book this guided tour for an incredible cemetery experience.

There are also other smaller cemeteries like Passy Cemetery in the 16th arrondissement , Montmartre Cemetery in the 18th, and Montparnasse Cemeter y in the 14th where you can take a stroll, feel more connected to those you love, and pay your respects to the dead.

But for a full fall foliage experience at a cemetery (weird as it may sound), head to Père-Lachaise Cemetery .

11. Go on a Ghost Tour

Going on a Ghost Tour is one of the best things to do in Paris in Autumn

Another activity that you usually wouldn’t get a chance to do unless you’re in Paris in the Fall is to take a ghost walking tour.

Though usually the city of love and light, the city does have a dark, spooky, and sinister side that you can unravel on your mysterious adventure.

You can pick from several services that offer the ghost walking tour and learn the parts of Paris’s historical stories that are often hidden away.

If you’re brave, enjoy the spooky season, and want to go in-depth into Paris’ mysterious and dark past, this mysterious night walking tour of Paris is the perfect activity for you.

12. Watch a show at a Parisian theatre

Watching a show at a Parisian theatre is one of the things to do in fall in Paris

Theatre is a lifestyle in Paris, and you surely should catch a show at a famous Parisian theatre whenever you get the chance.

However, in the Fall specifically, not only can the weather be flippant (so watching a show indoors will be perfect), but Fall is also a time of culture and art renewal for the city.

You can catch a show at Palais Garnier or Théâtre du Palais-Royal , which are the most famous theatres in the city, or you could visit the uncommon but still splendid ones like Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse and Théâtre Edouard VII to have a night of Parisian theatre that you’ll remember for years to come.

What to Pack for Fall in Paris + What to Wear

what to pack for Paris in winter

With rapidly changing weather and so many different kinds of excursions that you can do during the autumn months in Paris, it’s paramount that you pack the right essentials.

So to help you prepare, here is a brief on what to pack for Paris in the Fall .

Trench coat/Leather jacket : Since Paris in fall comes with chilly temperatures, you’ll need to carry either this trench coat or this Leather jacket to keep warm while walking the streets and once again, feel as fashionable as Parisians are.

Scarf : Parisians love scarves and you should take one like this if you want to keep yourself warm while remaining fashionable.

Woolen socks : I love these woolen socks as they not only keep your feet warm but also dry.

Me in Bois Boulogne in fall

Comfortable Walking shoes : To be able to walk on the Parisian streets with ease, as the weather can be a little flippant during this time of the year, you’ll need to carry comfortable walking shoes. These boots will look super cool in your fall photos but you can opt for sneakers as well.

Windproof Travel Umbrella : Make sure you’re prepared in case of rain and avoid getting drenched by taking this windproof travel umbrella .

Universal Travel Adapter : To be able to charge all your devices with ease wherever you go, I recommend taking this universal travel adapter . This European travel adapter works well in Paris too but it’s very limiting if you travel to other countries with different power outlets.

Camera : To capture photos of your Parisian autumn that you’ll cherish for decades.

Day pack: This daypack from Osprey will help keep all your daily essentials close to you at all times but you can also opt for this cute backpack if you prefer looking cool and chic.

Portable power bank : To charge your phone and all your other devices while you’re on the go, I recommend taking this portable power bank .

Passport/ID : For obvious reasons.

FAQs About Visiting Paris In the Fall

Things to do in fall in Paris

What is Paris like in fall?

Paris in fall is crispy and rainy! The weather is starting to get chilly oscillating between 17°C (62°F) and 8°C (46°F) but you also get some sunny afternoons!

The leaves start changing into beautiful hues of yellow and orange which create a beautiful sight.

As for the crowds, they start to die out, especially at the end of the season.

Is October a good time to go to Paris?

There is no wrong time to go to Paris, but October presents several advantages.

Very few crowds, low costs of travel, and above all unique activities like chasing fall foliage which is at its best in October. In brief, yes, October is a good time to go to Paris.

Is Paris Nice in the fall?

Arc de triomphe in fall

Yes, Paris is nice in the fall! It’s a bit chilly with some sunny days to enjoy outdoor activities.

Is Paris better in spring or fall?

This entirely depends on what you’re looking for! For fall colors, go in fall, but for cherry blossoms, go in spring.

The weather is closely similar though spring tends to be warmer, especially on the days approaching summer. The crowds are also a bit similar but spring tends to receive more people than fall.

Which month is Autumn in Paris?

Fall in Paris and France in general officially starts on 22 September and goes all the way through November until 22 December.

Final thoughts on the Best Things to do in Paris in the Fall 

The city is magical all year round, but there’s something about the warm drinks held with glove-clad hands, the misty Seine on a rainy day, cuddling into your partner when it suddenly becomes breezy, eating hot and authentic French food that makes the idea of visiting Paris in Fall irresistible.

So, pack your scarves, and soak in the autumnal air of Paris as soon as you can!

NEVER TRAVEL TO PARIS WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make when planning a trip to Paris is to forego Travel Insurance ! You might think that it’s expensive, but when you think of how much it will save you when you lose your valuables or even get sick, then you’ll know that it’s NOT that expensive! Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads .

Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris

  • What to do in Paris at night
  • Best things to do in Paris in January
  • How to spend Christmas in Paris
  • Fun facts about Paris
  • Best things to do in Paris in Spring
  • Where to find the best views of Paris
  • Big mistakes to avoid in Paris
  • What to Pack for Paris
  • Skip the line tickets for Paris’ popular attractions
  • Interesting jokes about Paris
  • Paris captions for Instagram
  • Famous quotes on Paris

Was this post on the best things to do in Paris in autumn helpful? Then please consider sharing it with others.

Traveling to Paris in the fall and looking for what to do? This post will show you all the best things to do in the fall in Paris for an amazing time.| Paris in fall| Paris in Autumn| Autumn in Paris| what to wear in Paris in fall| what to pack for Paris in fall| what to do in Paris in fall| Paris in Autumn photography| reasons to visit Paris in fall.

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Esther is the face and voice behind Dreams in Paris! She has always been obsessed with Paris even before she moved there. She has lived in Paris for a couple of years, and that obsession has not changed! That love for Paris, plus her passion for writing led to the birth of Dreams in Paris! She now shares all the practical tips and guides she’s picked along the way to help you plan a memorable trip to the city of love! You can learn more about her here !

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Things to Do in Paris, France - Paris Attractions

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Things to Do in Paris

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Paris Seine River Dinner Cruise with Live Music by Bateaux Mouches

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Sailing test events

From 9 to 16 July 2023, the first test event organised by Paris 2024 took place in Marseille, on the site of the Roucas Blanc Marina where the Olympic sailing events will be held in 2024.

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Impact 2024 International: 80,000 people in 19 African countries will benefit.

Thanks to the cooperation between the French Development Agency and Paris 2024

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Paris 2024 reveals the routes for the Olympic road cycling

On Tuesday 4 July, Paris 2024 revealed the routes of the Olympic road cycling time trial and road race events.

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The Cultural Olympiad reveals the Art Posters for the Olympic Games Paris 2024

The Cultural Olympiad is an artistic collaborative venture which will consist of events and performances until 8 September 2024, the day of the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games Paris 2024.

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Paris 2024 unveils its Triathlon and Para triathlon courses

In line with its goal of showcasing sports and athletes in the capital’s most beautiful settings, Paris 2024 has today revealed the courses for the Olympic Games triathlon and the Paralympic Games Para triathlon.

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Paris 2024 unveils its testing programme

The Organising Committee is launching its testing programme this summer at several of its venues due to host next year’s Olympic and Paralympic competitions.

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Paris 2024 opens application for volunteer program

On Wednesday 22 March, Paris 2024 opened the application portal for the volunteer programme for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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ArcelorMittal becomes an Official Partner of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Drawing on its know-how and innovative power, ArcelorMittal will manufacture some of the key symbols of the Paris 2024 Games

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3.25 million tickets sold during “Make Your Games” pack sales phase

Already the largest ever sale of tickets in France

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Paris 2024 commissions designer Mathieu Lehanneur to create the Olympic and Paralympic torches and cauldrons

The torch design will be unveiled later this year

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Marseille will welcome the Olympic flame as it begins its journey through France

In spring 2024, the Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay, sponsored by Coca-Cola and the BPCE group, with its two major banking networks Banque Populaire and Caisse D’Epargne, will begin its journey through France starting in Marseille, host city of the sailing and football competitions.

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Paris 2024 announces Paralympic Games Event Calendar

World’s best athletes to compete in 22 Para sports and 549 events across 11 days of thrilling competition!

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Generation 2024

Paris 2024, the CNOSF and the Civic Service Agency allow 57 young people on Civic Service missions to travel to 33 countries

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Paris 2024 launches charitable ticketing scheme with the support of ‘Secours Populaire’

True to its ambition to open the Games to as many people as possible, Paris 2024 has created a number of initiatives so that those who may normally miss out on major sporting and cultural events can attend the Games in person.

Paris 2024 Board of Directors approves balanced budget

The Paris 2024 Board of Directors, who met today at the Organising Committee’s headquarters, adopted the Organising Committee’s multi-year budget following the third budgetary review.

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Ticketing process for the Olympic Games Paris 2024

The first phase of the ticketing process for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will open on 1 December.

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A large majority of French people appreciate the mascots of the Paris 2024

Launched on 14 November, the Paris 2024 mascots are appreciated by 75% of French people. This enthusiasm reaches to 83% among children aged six to 17.

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Paris 2024 will mobilise 45,000 volunteers

Today, Paris 2024 unveils its volunteer programme for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Thousands take part in historic Paralympic Day celebrations at Place de la Bastille

On Saturday 8 October 2022, tens of thousands of people came together to celebrate he first Paralympic Day, organised jointly by the Organising Committee for the Olympic

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Paris 2024 reveals routes for Olympic Marathon and Mass Event Running

Paris 2024 today unveiled the routes for the Olympic Marathon and the two races – a 42.195 km course and a 10 km course

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Official ticketing website of the Paris 2024 games

Games wide open! Be prepared to live a memorable experience, to connect with athletes in the heart of incredible venues and to participate in unforgettable ceremonies.

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Paris 2024 – Thomas Jolly appointed Artistic Director of Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies

Paris 2024, in collaboration with its stakeholders, has chosen Thomas Jolly as the artistic director of the four opening and closing of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024.

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The official exclusive hospitality provider of the olympic and paralympic games Paris 2024

Together with the Organizing Committee of Paris 2024, we present you an innovative range of unmissable travel and hospitality experiences to elevate your Olympic and Paralympic Games journey.

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Paris 2024 to join UNFCCC’S u0022Race to Zerou0022 Campaign

Paris 2024 will formally join the u0022Race to Zeou0022 campaign, a United Nations Framework…

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Accor becomes an Official Partner

Accredited personnel will enjoy the full extent of Accor’s savoir-faire as it greets and provides…

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Sodexo becomes Official Paris 2024 supporter

Its subsidiary Sodexo Live!, which is set to provide catering at the Athletes’ village, will serve…

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Paris 2024 supports the campaign WeThe15

WeThe15 campaign is a symbol of the fight against the discrimination facing people wit…

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Learn to swin in Seine-Saint-Denis

All summer long, swimming lessons will be offered to 2,000 children aged 4 to 12.

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Games’ live

Experience a foretaste of Paris 2024 three years before the Games.

Ibrahim Hamadtou, joueur de para tennis de table

All about the Paralympic Games

From August 24 to Septembre 5, Tokyo hosts the XVI Summer Paralympic Games.

The Games Ticketing

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Ticket sales policy

In 2024, Paris will host the biggest event in its history, for Games that promise to be truly unforgettable.

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Paralympic Games ticketing

Your chance to get your tickets to experience the Encore of the Paris 2024 Games!

Marathon Pour Tous

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Discover the Champions Park

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Celebrating the Games throughout France

In 2024, the Games will offer a groundbreaking celebration of sport for the whole world.

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An Olympic ceremony like no other

The opening ceremony will be the greatest popular celebration of sports, right in the heart of Paris.

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An unprecedented Paralympic ceremony

A celebration away from the traditional stadium setting – right in the heart of Paris.

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The Paris 2024 Shop

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More about the official stores

Featured products, official shops, our commitments…

Practical information for Games ticket holders

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Practical information on accessibility

Do you have a ticket for people with disabilities or wheelchair users and would you like to prepare your visit?

Questions & Answers

In the spotlight.

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Job and internship offers

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Competition venue concept

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Mass Events

Paris 2024 Marathon Pour Tous

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History of the Games

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Discover Paris 2024 partners

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  • Cast & crew
  • User reviews

Coup de Chance

Melvil Poupaud, Niels Schneider, and Lou de Laâge in Coup de Chance (2023)

Two young people's bond leads to marital infidelity and ultimately crime. Two young people's bond leads to marital infidelity and ultimately crime. Two young people's bond leads to marital infidelity and ultimately crime.

  • Woody Allen
  • Lou de Laâge
  • Niels Schneider
  • 20 User reviews
  • 65 Critic reviews
  • 61 Metascore

Official Trailer

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  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

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Perfect Days

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  • Trivia Speaking to the actor Alec Baldwin over Instagram Live in June 2022, Allen suggested that his 50th film - previously said to be a drama similar to Match Point (2005) - was likely to be his last.
  • There is a 2010 French language comedy movie called Potiche (2010)

Alain Aubert : We'd like to be able to control everything but in reality we have very little control.

  • Connections References The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Soundtracks Fortune's Child Written and performeb by Nat Adderley

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The Independent

The most exciting new train journeys across Europe for 2024

I t’s getting increasingly easy to travel around Europe flight-free, thanks to a host of new train routes launching at a time when certain governments are going all out to reduce aviation-related emissions. France, for example, has banned domestic flights where rail journeys of less than two and a half hours are possible, and the EU plans to double its spending on high-speed rail by 2030.

New routes launching in 2024 range from inter-city services making twin-centre holidays in Europe a breeze to sleeper trains putting top ski resorts in easy reach of cities such as Amsterdam. On this occasion, our focus is on routes between destinations on the continent, although new rail connections will soon benefit those of us in the UK – Eurostar rival Evolyn recently announced plans to launch a high-speed Channel Tunnel rail service between London St Pancras and Paris Nord in 2025.

Here are the current hot tickets for anyone planning to ride the rails in 2024.

Read more on rail travel :

  • The most unforgettable train journeys around the world
  • All aboard the new train route exploring Mexico’s Mayan heartlands
  • Is this the age of the overnight sleeper train?

Brussels to Prague with European Sleeper

Launch date: 25 march 2024.

European Sleeper’s night train service from Brussels launched in early 2023 but rail infrastructure work meant it could only reach Germany’s capital – until now. From March 2024 it will run from Brussels to Prague , with a journey time of around 15 hours and stops in Amsterdam and Berlin . Keep an eye out for more European Sleeper routes – including ones between the Netherlands and the French Alps, and Amsterdam and Barcelona – in 2025. A word of warning – don’t expect turndown services and chocolates on your pillow. There are three classes of cabin, and the trains are best described as pre-loved – European Sleeper has relied largely on decommissioned train carriages which have been given a quick spruce-up and brought back to life. On the plus side, the company has promised new trains – and perhaps even a chocolate on your pillow – in the near future.

Berlin to Paris with ÖBB Nightjet

Launch date: 11 december 2023.

If a decommissioned German train carriage doesn’t do it for you, this next option might sound more appealing. In early December 2023 ÖBB Nightjet launched its new Berlin to Paris route, which operates three times a week and stops in Strasbourg, eastern France . Cabin options range from a seat in a standard compartment to slick bunkbed couchettes with room for up to six people and, at the top end, mini cabins for solos and couples. It’s also worth noting that ÖBB Nightjet plans to turn the route into a daily one in late 2024.

Amsterdam to Austria via Germany with TUI’s Ski Express

Launch date: 23 december 2023.

Getting to Austria’s ski slopes will become even easier this winter, thanks to TUI’s new Ski Express service, which connects Amsterdam with Austria via Cologne and Frankfurt. Cabin options range from economy to comfort private – book one of these and perks include a sink (OK, not necessarily the most exciting of amenities, admittedly) and steward service. But a word of warning for those prone to missing their stop – if you’re Austria-bound, it’s worth remembering that the train splits in the Austrian city of Wörgl, before serving two different skiing hotspots: Austria’s Tyrol and Salzburger Land regions.

Liège to Maastricht via Aachen with Arriva, SNCB and NS

Launch date: december 2023.

This particular train, which will operate a tri-country route between Belgium , the Netherlands and Germany , and is a collaboration between three train companies, has been a long time coming. The route was unveiled in 2019 but Belgian authorities scuppered plans for it to pass through the country due to safety concerns – more specifically, the insistence that all trains would need a European safety system known as ETCS. It’s finally being rolled out in December 2023, and Liège and Aachen’s status as major hubs for high speed trains means the service will make it much easier for travellers to access a large number of additional cities, including Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Brussels and Paris.

Brussels to Amsterdam with SNCB and NS

Launch date: december 2024.

Full disclosure – this one has been around for a while, but its status as one of Europe ’s most popular train routes is the reason train companies Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and Belgian carrier SNCB have announced the number of services will be doubled this time next year. New trains have also been ordered for the route, and fewer stops on the additional services launching in December 2024 will mean shorter journey times. Passengers can expect to travel between the two cities in just under two hours, slashing 45 minutes off the current travel time.

Rome to Cortina d’Ampezzo with FS Treni Turistici Italiani

Launch date: 15 december 2023.

Getting to Italy’s powder stashes is much easier from winter 2023, thanks to a new night train which connects Rome with Cortina d’Ampezzo, one of Italy’s most snow-sure ski resorts. Cabin options on this new route range from single-bed cabins to six-person sleepers, and the train has a dining car and bar. The 220-bed sleeper train will leave Rome at 9.40pm every Friday, arriving in Calalzo, a short bus ride from Cortina d’Ampezzo, at around 8am the next morning (this early start is why we suggest resisting grappa-fuelled all-nighters at the train’s bar).

Paris to Madrid with FS Italiane Group

Launch date: late 2024.

The exact launch date of this new service is yet to be confirmed, although we know it’s currently due to launch in late 2024 and will be run by Italy’s national state-owned railway, Trenitalia – a subsidiary of FS Italiane Group. Trenitalia’s high-speed Frecciarossa (meaning red arrow) trains will be used for the route and with a top speed of 249mph, it’s thought journey times will come in at just under seven hours. Brioche for breakfast and torrijas at tea time? Sounds like a no-brainer.

Northern and southern Italy with Orient Express

First, to clear things up: this particular Orient Express isn’t the Orient Express company which became Belmond in 2014 but a separate entity (owned by hotel behemoths Accor) which specialises in luxury trains and will soon branch out into hotels.  Confused? Us too. But back to the important stuff. Orient Express will launch a new seriously luxurious train, La Dolce Vita , in 2024. The exact dates are yet to be confirmed, but there will be six routes on offer and this luxury train line won’t be about high-speed train travel , but about carefully curated itineraries which meander between destinations in northern and southern Italy, including Rome and Venice , where the Orient Express group will unveil its first hotels in 2024.

Read more on our selection of rail trips

From news to politics, travel to sport, culture to climate – The Independent has a host of free newsletters to suit your interests. To find the stories you want to read, and more, in your inbox, click here .

Rome to Cortina d'Ampezzo with FS Treni Turistici Italiani (13).JPG


News | France and Ukraine to sign a security agreement…

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News | France and Ukraine to sign a security agreement in Paris in the presence of President Zelenskyy

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PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron will sign a bilateral security agreement with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday in Paris as part of a trip that will also go through Germany, the French presidency said in a statement.

It did not release specific details about the agreement, to be signed at the Elysee presidential palace.

Macron said earlier this year that France was negotiating a bilateral deal on the model the one Ukraine recently agreed with the United Kingdom, which covers 10 years.

This will be the third visit by Zelenskyy to Paris since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago, following those in February and May 2023, the statement said.

The French presidency said the visit will be an opportunity for Macron “to reaffirm France’s determination to continue to provide unwavering support to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, over the long term and with all its partners.”

Both leaders will discuss the situation on the front line, Ukraine’s military, economic and humanitarian needs, as well as negotiations on the country’s efforts to join the European Union, which France fully supports, the statement said.

Ukraine’s presidential office on Thursday said Zelenskyy will visit Germany, where he will meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and France on Friday.

He will also participate the next day to the Munich Security Conference and will hold bilateral meetings on its sideline, including with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Czech President Petr Pavel, Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

More in News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed a bilateral security agreement with Germany and plans to sign another with France. It's a strong signal of long-term support as Kyiv works to shore up Western support nearly two years after Russia launched its full-scale war. The Ukrainian leader me tGerman Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin Friday and was continuing to Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron. The bilateral security and long-term support agreements follow a security agreement between Ukraine and the U.K. signed last month. Zelenskyy will continue Saturday to the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of high-ranking security and foreign policy officials, where he plans meetings with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris among others.


News | ukraine’s zelenskyy signing security agreements with germany, france as kyiv shores up support.

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    Discover All About Paris: Ultimate Guide 2023 Buse Yıldırım January 24, 2023 Last Updated: April 7, 2023 0 5 minutes read Buse Yıldırım A global citizen, eager to travel where she has not travelled yet. Paris, France's capital, is a city of romance, art, culture, and history.

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    A visit to Paris is more than a mere vacation; it's an immersion into a world of romance, art, and culture. ... As of August 1, 2023, the cathedral is still closed to visitors and is expected to remain so until it reopens in 2024. For the latest updates on the restoration project, ...

  8. Top exhibitions to see in Paris in 2023

    From Chagall to Van Gogh and Alphonse Mucha, the greatest artists in the history of art are coming to Paris in 2023. From the Louvre to the Musée d'Orsay, the great Parisian museums are hosting magnificent masterpieces that will delight culture lovers. Here is our selection of must-see exhibitions to discover during a stay in Paris.

  9. The best Paris exhibitions in 2023

    Paris' 2023 cultural calendar promises a new season of surprising collaborations, refreshingly modern takes on old classics, and exhibitions that just might help visitors see the world differently.. If this is the year you promised to immerse yourself in art, Paris is the place to do it. To mark the 50th anniversary of Picasso's death, for instance, a British menswea

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    Paris has heaps of festivals, but one of the best free events, the Fête de la Musique, falls annually on the Summer Solstice (21 June in 2023). Giant stages along the Seine and buskers and bands ...

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    Brandon Shaw Last Updated: October 29, 2023 Everyone knows that you need to see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and take a journey to Versailles while in Paris, but is there not more to see!? Of course, there is!

  12. Best Time to Visit Paris By Month & Season

    Best time for museums: December through February is the best time to visit Paris to check out the city's museums, as queues are much shorter, and you can escape the rain and cold while enjoying art from around the world. If you're a museum lover, don't miss the Museum Pass, which can save you a lot of money depending on your itinerary.

  13. Paris Bucket List: 40 Epic Things to Do in Paris

    Stroll along the Champs-Élysées, dine at an outdoor café, enjoy the views from the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, say hi to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, and day trip to Versailles. These all top the list of the best things to do in Paris, but there are also neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

  14. Is Paris Safe to Visit in 2024 & Beyond? Top Tips & Advice

    Traveling from another country? To see current safety advisories for your country of origin and specific safety tips from your Embassy or Consulate in France, see this page. Statistically Speaking, Paris Remains Very Safe

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    Travel Stories France Paris When is the best time to go to Paris? Alexis Averbuck Oct 1, 2023 • 6 min read Paris offers a travel experience for every time of year © Sam Edwards / Getty Images As one of the world's dreamiest destinations, Paris never disappoints.

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    Picasso National Museum, 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris. From March 7 to August 27, 2023. I BOOK MY VISIT-"Money in Art, the exhibition" at the Monnaie de Paris. At the Money of Paris, an exhibition questions the representation of money in works of art. A fascinating analysis, from Antiquity to today, on themes such as the representation of ...

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