Paris is my favorite city in the world. Every where you look is breathtaking, the food is delicious and the vibes are magical. There are endless things to do, see and eat in Paris. There are countless hotels to choose from. Paris is a big city and it can be overwhelming trying to plan an itinerary for visiting, especially if you only have a few days. If you’re like me and want to see the pretty views, drink delicious hot chocolate, eat yummy steak frites and stay at luxurious boutique hotels, keep on reading. I promise you will agree, this is the best Paris travel guide book out there.
Where To Stay in Paris
Paris is made up of 20 different arrondissements or neighborhoods. Each arrondissement is unique so let’s talk about the best locations to be as a tourist.
1st: Louvre This is going to be your touristy area within walking distance of lots of the major attractions in the city. Being the 1st, it’s centrally located and a good option for first time visitors.
3rd and 4th: Le Marais Where all of the action is. With plenty of shopping, restaurants and nightlife, it’s always crowded with people but definitely feels less touristy.
6th: Saint Germain A truly iconic area with tons of cafés, restaurants and shopping. On the touristy side but for good reason.
8th: Champs-Élysées Where you’ll find some of the most luxurious and iconic hotels and shopping. Other than the lovely hotels, I do find this area to be a bit boring, especially at night.
The Best Paris Guide Book
There are endless options to fill your days in Paris. In my opinion, the best Paris travel guide book has a mix of everything. My most controversial opinion is to skip a lot of the well-known museums and attractions. For example, unless you are super into art, do not waste your time visiting The Louvre. I also think shopping on Champs-Élysées is overrated. It’s full of tourists and most of the stores can be found in any major city. I much prefer to stick to the more authentic European and French boutiques you can only find in Paris. With that said, here is what I do recommend when visiting Paris:
What To Do in Paris:
- Seine River Cruise A great way to see the city and some of its history. I suggest choosing a cruise around sunset for optimal lighting and to get there early for a good seat. For a more luxurious experience, take a 2.5 hour dinner cruise with delicious food and great live music.
- Eiffel Tower In my opinion, it’s worth going up to the summit and having a glass of champagne at the Champagne Bar (with one caveat: booking a ticket to skip the line.) My suggestion would be to go during the day. While being up there at night is certainly magical, you can’t see much of the city when it’s dark. At night, I prefer to admire the Eiffel from afar as it sparkles (which happens the first 5 minutes of every hour from sundown until 11pm).
- Paris is home to some of the most beautiful museums and palaces with absolutely stunning interiors. These are the museums I’d recommend spending your time at.
- Europe is known for their flea markets. In Paris, these are called brocantes. Stroll through the open air flea markets and antique shops to find vintage designer and other hidden gems.
- Eat a baguette. It doesn’t matter where or when. The streets are lined with boulangeries serving freshly baked baguettes and other pastries. When you’re hungry, pop in and grab one on the go. You can eat it as you’re walking to your next destination.
- Try the famous hot chocolate. It’s important to note that all of the iconic, popular cafés will have a long wait. It’s completely up to you if you think it’s worth the wait. I can also guarantee you will be able to find the same, if not better, quality hot chocolate from a lesser known café. And it will be cheaper.
The Best Paris Guide Book: Where To Eat
Isn’t this why everyone travels to Paris? I pretty much plan my daily itinerary around which restaurants I’ll be eating at.
- Don’t focus only on the restaurants you see all over social media. These will most likely be over priced and filled with other tourists. Try to find local places that serve authentic French fare with a true Parisian vibe.
- There are a few upscale restaurants near the Eiffel Tower that offer unbeatable views. These will be your expensive restaurants because you’re paying for the experience and the view, not just the food.
- If you’re looking for a more budget friendly option, anywhere with Bouillon in the name will be much more affordable. A bouillon serves traditional French cuisine at affordable prices. These date back to 1855 so some of the interiors can be quite stunning. Just keep in mind the food quality will be a lot more average.
Nightlife in Paris
Paris comes alive at night.
- Speakeasies are very popular in Paris. Many restaurants will have stairs or a door leading to a secret bar.
- Find some live music. I absolutely adore enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine while listening to live music. There are plenty of live pianists and jazz music in Paris, even in the speakeasies.
- Le Marais is my favorite place for casual, young nightlife. The streets are lined with terrace seating and people standing in the streets until late into the night.
I hope this helped you with where to start when building your perfect Paris travel itinerary. For all my suggestions, you can download the full, best Paris travel guide book here! It’s complete with 44 pages of how to spend your time in Paris and has a bonus feature of a downloadable Google Map with over 330+ locations saved by category.