I’m currently planning another Europe trip, and after reflecting back on past trips, I thought I would make this Guide to Visit Paris using what I’ve learned on previous visits.
Here are a few things I’ve learned during my time in Paris that should also help you along on your next trip.
Tips on Visiting The Louvre
The Louvre is possibly the worlds most famous museum. The place is absolutely massive and includes some of the most priceless art pieces and artifacts that you’ll ever see, including the Mona Lisa.
Because of its prestige, the Louvre is always swarming with tourists. The lineup to enter can be well over half an hour long, especially during the summer months. Here’s a couple of tips to help you beat the crowds.
- Take advantage of “Night Hours”. The Louvre is open until 6pm on most days of the week, but it is open for longer on both Wednesday and Friday until 9:30pm. If you visit after 6pm on Wednesday or Friday you have a much better chance of avoiding swarms and having a much more relaxing walk through.
- If you can’t make it to The Louvre on a Wednesday or Friday, admission is free on the first Sunday of the month during low season (October to March).
- The main entrance is through the glass pyramid, but this is not the only entrance. If you are visiting the Louvre in the daytime, it may be quicker to enter through the Porte des Lions, it isn’t far away from the main Pyramid entrance but it is often not crowded. I can try and explain where it is, but if you ask a local when you are in the same court as the pyramid it would be a simple point.
Paris is a massive city, and you can’t just buy a hotel near the Eiffel Tower and think you can walk or cab everywhere. You’ll 100% want to invest in a Metro Pass. The Metro is the Paris underground system which will quickly get you around the city. A single ride costs €1.70 but as a tourist I would highly recommend you buy a Zone 1-3 Pass if you will be staying in Paris for 3 days or longer.
A 3 Day unlimited ride pass costs €24.10 and a 5 Day pass sells for €34.70. I could easily use the Metro 10 times a day, so for me, the pass is highly worth buying instead of purchasing singles.
Start your Stay With a Free Walking Tour
I love to start a visit to a new city in Europe with a Free Walking Tour. The tour guides are normally locals or people who have lived in the city for a number of years. They are normally young, fun, and very enthusiastic! I’ve gone on the free walking tour in Paris and was blown away each time. If you enjoy the tour, you simply tip the tour guide at the end when it is over. I will say I am getting paid $0 for telling you this – I just honestly think this is the first thing you should do when you arrive, check out information about the free tours here.
Visit the Eiffel Tower at Dusk
We recommend you time your visit to the Eiffel Tower at dusk, that way you can spend some time atop the tower in sunlight, and also be on top of the tower as it glistens with lights in the night time. If you are someone that likes to stick to a schedule, you can simply Pre-Purchase your ticket for a certain time.
Don’t Look like a Tourist
Yes, you’ll look like a tourist, but don’t look like someone that has no idea that crime exists.
Guys, keep your wallets in your front pockets, or better yet, only carry one credit card and some cash.
Ladies, keep your purse ahead of you.
Don’t let anyone try and give you a friendship bracelet, or say they found a ring that you dropped. Just like any other major European city, Paris has its fare share of scam artists.
Visit Cathedral Notre Dame Early
Notre Dame is actually the most visited landmark in Paris, even more than the Eiffel Tower. The cathedral opens to the public at 8am and we suggest you arrive about that time before hoards of people begin lining up around 10am. If you can, it is best to avoid visiting during Catholic holidays such as Easter.
Finally, Have a Bottle of Wine Alongside the Seine
What better way to end a trip than buying a cheap bottle of wine and drinking it along the Seine river which runs through the heart of Paris. Think it’s cheesy? You’ll find the riverside is scattered with locals sitting and enjoying wine and the company of their friends. Just another thing that makes Paris, Paris.