Paris needs no introduction. It’s synonymous with food, culture, fashion, and architecture, rarely disappointing those who visit. Despite being the dream destination for millions of people each year, the French capital still has plenty hidden secrets to offer beyond the Eiffel Tower and its world-class museums. In Paris our travel guide we share our favorite spots, from traditional to up-and-coming.
People from all over the world are drawn to its cutting-edge fashion, art, and culinary scenes, as well as a certain je ne sais quoi that appeals to all kinds. While the attractions are plentiful on any Paris trip, this is an insider's city, steeped in a rich history of riots and revolutions. Every quarter is unique and, though the summer is the most popular season to visit, each time of year is compelling in its own way.
From the hilly cobblestoned streets of Montmartre with its rich history of Belle Époque artists and cabarets, to the quickly gentrifying neighborhood of Belleville, arts and culture are steeped in the city’s DNA. Parisians sometimes joke that they visit museums as often as they go to the bathroom, and to truly understand Paris you have to immerse yourself in the city’s artistic culture. Beyond the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, you can get your culture fix at the renovated Picasso Museum and the new Fondation Louis Vuitton, not to mention dozens of small museums and galleries.
Shopaholics will delight in the city’s myriad options, from chic department stores like Le Bon Marché to famed boutiques like Deyrolle. To make the most of your trip, it's best to have a sense of the places you'd like to explore when you visit Paris. Read on for ways to make the City of Lights your own.
Best Time to Visit Paris
There is no “right” time—warmer months mean picnics and parks, but also crowds. During colder months skies are grey, but there are fewer tourists. There are events year-round, from outdoor summer concerts to holiday extravaganzas in the winter.
The ever-expanding metro and RER train systems transport Parisians just about anywhere they want to go. It’s cheap and efficient; a single ticket costs $2 and day passes start at $14. Taxis and buses are also easily accessible, but locals will walk or grab a Vélib bicycle if they don’t have far to go.
January is the coolest month with an average temperature of 41°F (5°C). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 68°F (20°C).
Know Before Visiting
Paris is a diverse, evolving city, so leave many of the Hollywood stereotypes at home. Try to speak French a bit and dress a little nicer than usual, but in the end, relax. Even Parisians wear sneakers—albeit fashionable ones.