Paris City Guide

Paris is the city of art, romance, indulgence, and passion. It’s also the city of strife, death, and racial tension. Everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by stories, myths, and history. It’s almost haunting. There’s a mysticism that surrounds the city’s history, leaders, iconic architecture, café culture, and fashion that fuels Parisian wanderlust all over the world. 

Every traveler will come to the City of Lights. And, depending on what you’re looking for, it may enthrall you, or disappoint you. Paris is flooded with tourism. If you come to gawk at the well-known sights, you may leave feeling frustrated by the long lines and crowds. But, if you come to Paris with a light agenda and the freedom to explore, Paris will likely enchant you.

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Paris City Guide

Paris City Guide Overview

  • Where to Stay in Paris
  • Paris Travel Basics
  • What to Experience in Paris
  • Where to Eat & Drink in Paris
  • Paris Day Trip: Versailles
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Eiffel Tower from afar, Paris

Where to Stay in Paris

Budget | Les Piaules is a clean and cozy hostel close to the edgy Belleville neighborhood. Les Piaules features an on-site bar and rooftop lounge. There are private as well as female and mixed dormitory rooms. 

Mid-Range | Select Hotel is a fine hotel located in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Rooms are small but comfortable. The staff is friendly and helpful. 

Luxury | Le Roch Hotel & Spa is a five-star boutique hotel worthy of hosting queens. It’s located 600 meters from Opéra Garnier and 700 meters from Louvre Museum. The hotel features beautifully designed rooms, an indoor swimming pool, spa and wellness center, and an on-site restaurant.

Parisian architecture

Paris Travel Basics

Région: Île-de-France

Population:  2,241,346

Tipping Etiquette: In bars & cafés, round up to the nearest Euro. In restaurants, you can tip 10% (if the service is good). 

Water Quality: Tap water is safe to drink.

Getting Around:

  • Walk. The best way to explore Paris is on foot.
  • Public Transit. The Paris Metro is the fastest and most efficient way to navigate Paris. When you arrive, buy a packet (“carnet”) of 10 tickets to save time and money.  These carnets can be purchased at a ticket office, or a ticket machine in the metro station. A single ticket will take you anywhere within the city of Paris, including both the Metro and RER transit lines. Note: the Metro network serves Paris, and the RER train system serves Paris and its suburbs.

Districts: Paris is divided into 20 districts, called arrondissements. These arrondissements spiral out clockwise from the center of the Paris, Île de la Cité.


He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo.

Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic. Nothing is more sublime.





Victor Hugo

What to Experience in Paris

Our favorite things to see & do
Le Train Bleu Restaurant in Paris
Le Train Bleu

Lunch at Le Train Bleu

Le Train Bleu (“The Blue Train”) is located in the Gare de Lyon train station. It’s far more than a restaurant; it’s a visual feast. The walls and ceilings are covered in frescoes, framed by gold gilded carvings and moldings. The interior is further enhanced by chandeliers and midnight-blue upholstered furniture. Each of the 41 paintings illustrates a different destination that a traveler could reach via the PLM Railway Company in the early 1900s.

Completed in 1901, Le Train Bleu served as a prestigious buffet. It was built by the railway company to showcase travel, luxury, and technical innovation. Coco Chanel and Brigitte Bardot were two of the many Parisians that dined here regularly.

We recommend coming here to celebrate a special occasion. The main dish will cost between 35 EUR and 46 EUR (try not to cringe).

  • The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner.
  • The bar is open daily for breakfast, small meals, and drinks.
  • Reservations are recommended (you can reserve a table on their website).

Address: Le Train Bleu, 1st floor, Gare de Lyon, Place Louis Armand, 75012 Paris, France

Le Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris
Le Jardin du Luxembourg

An Afternoon in Le Jardin du Luxembourg

The Luxembourg Gardens might be the most inviting place in Paris. On a sunny day, you can spend the day here, relaxing with a book, picnic or group of friends. The area around the pool and palace is especially beautiful. It’s encircled by 20 white statues of French queens and distinguished women. It seems extremely fitting given that a woman, Queen Marie de’ Medici, was responsible for orchestrating the creation of the gardens and the royal residence in the early 1600s. The Luxembourg palace serves today as the meeting place for the French Senate.

Location: The gardens are situated between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter.

Galerie Vivienne, Paris

Wandering through Hidden Passages

Paris has a number of pedestrian passageways that connect the city. Between the late 18th and mid-19th centuries, city planners created approximately 150 covered passages that served as early shopping arcades. Here, Parisians could take shelter from the weather and the commotion of the streets as well as shop, dine and drink. These galleries are characteristically bright, because of their glass ceilings. Today, there are about two dozen passages in existence. We visited:

Galerie Vivienne – Built in 1823, this light-flooded space is enhanced by its elegant floor mosaics, oval doors, glass roof and plants. This is a great place to relax and drink a glass of wine on a cold day. Entrance: 4 Rue des Petits Champs, 2nd

Passage Jouffroy – You can find this passage by navigating to Musée Grévin, Paris’s wax museum. It’s narrow, crowded, and rather cute. You can buy toys, walking sticks, books, and postcards here. Entrance: 10 Boulevard Montmartre, 9th

Passage Brady – Also known as “Little India,” Passage Brady houses a number of Indian, Pakistani, and Mauritian businesses. Come here if you’re seeking spices, flavorful food, exotic goods, and something a bit different. Entrance: 43 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin, 10th 

Passage de l’Ancre – This is an open-air passage that connects Rue Saint-Martin and Rue de Turbigo. Lined with potted plants and colorful storefronts, this hidden gem is quiet and not frequented by many visitors. Entrance 223 rue Saint-Martin, 3rd

After you explore these hidden passages, make sure to visit Paris’ most iconic architectural spots.

Soccer Match at Parc des Princes, Paris, France
Parc des Princes

Watching a game at Parc des Princes

For a night out with passionate locals, head to Parc des Princes to see Paris Saint-Germain play. Allot extra time (at least one hour) for security checks. The stadium has a capacity of 49,000, so there will be tons of people trying to get in the stadium.

Paris Boulangerie

Where to Eat & Drink in Paris

Du Pain et Des Idées [Bakery]

Traditional bakery with a magical interior. There’s no interior seating, but you can sit outside.

Address: 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 10th

Éric Kayser [Bakery]

Delicious pastries. There are over 20 Éric Kayser boulangeries in Paris, which means a mouth-watering pan au chocolat is just around the corner.

Breizh Café [Crêperie]

Savory and sweet crepes. Better than average crêperie.

Address: 109 Rue Vieille du Temple, the Marais

Frenchie to Go [Deli]

Definitely more NY than Parisian. Popular and crowded. Pulled pork sandwich is to die for.

Address: 9 Rue du Nil, 2nd

Les Deux Magots [Café]

Traditional café. Expensive Coffee. Only come here to sit outside, people watch, and relax over a glass of wine. Attracts lots of tourists, because Les Deux Magots was regularly frequented by the city’s literary and artistic elite: Elsa Triolet, Louis Aragon, Picasso, Hemingway, etc..

Address: 6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, St-Germain des Prés’

Loustic [Coffee Shop]

Hip coffee shop that serves a young crowd. Good place to socialize, or study.

Address: 40 Rue Chapon, 3rd

L’Épi Dupin [Restaurant]

Intimate French restaurant. Environmentally-conscious chef. Delicious and artistic cuisine. A three-course fixed menu is 39€.

Address: 11 Rue Dupin, 6th

Fish Club [Restaurant]

Excellent service, beautiful decor, and delicious fish.

Address: 58 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Les Halles


Le Train Bleu [Fine Dining]

Breathtaking interior. Come here to celebrate a special occasion.

Address: Le Train Bleu, 1st floor, Gare de Lyon, Place Louis Armand

Versailles Gardens

Paris Day Trip: Versailles

Located about 20 kilometers from Paris, Château de Versailles was a royal residence of French monarchs for just over 100 years. Versailles is most often associated with King Louis XIV (the Sun King) because he moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles in 1682 and transformed it from a hunting lodge to a grand showcase of French art and architecture. Versailles continued to be the seat of political power until the French Revolution (1789) when the royal family was forced to return to Paris.

Getting Here from Paris. To get to Versailles, you’ll take the RER C train. The round trip cost from Paris to Versailles is 7.10 EUR.

How much time do you need? When visiting Versailles, allot a full day. There’s a lot to see beyond the royal apartments and the hall of mirrors. We recommend checking out these attractions:


Gallery of Coaches

Located in the Great Stables, the Gallery of Coaches showcases majestic ceremonial coaches. These ostentatious horse-drawn vehicles are artistic masterpieces. You’ll see the marriage coach of Napoléon I, the coronation coach of Charles X and the funeral coach of Louis XVIII, among others.


Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet

The Queen’s Hamlet is situated in the park of Château de Versailles, close to the Petit Trianon. Built in 1783 for Marie Antoinette, the Hamlet served as a place of leisure and privacy for her and her friends. The Hamlet is comprised of meadows, streams, a pond, gardens, a farm, rustic cottages and a Temple of Love. This type of model farm, which evokes the feeling of being in the countryside, was fashionable among the French aristocrats at the time.

Wandering through Hameau de la Reine paints a slightly different picture of Marie Antoinette. She wanted her own private space where she could escape prying courtiers and her own structured life. In the hamlet, she played dress up as a young shepherdess. It seems that she sought simplicity, freedom, and peace – all of which are represented in the pastoral setting she created.


Grand Trianon

This pink marbled palace was built at the request of King Louis XIV as a retreat for himself and his official mistress, Marquise de Montespan. She actually bore him 7 children and was said to have great influence at court. At the single-story château, the King could invite guests and enjoy light meals away from the arduous pomp of court life.

If you’re interested in visiting other castles close to Paris, read next: the Best Castles Near Paris

Coronation Coach of Charles X, Versailles
Coronation Coach of Charles X
Versailles Royal Apartments
Royal Apartments
Grand Trianon, Versailles
Grand Trianon
Marie Antoinette's Hamlet, Versailles
Marie Antoinette's Hamlet
Marie Antoinette's Hamlet, Versailles
  • What a trip to Kotor, Montenegro, looks like. 🇲🇪😄📷
👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more travel tips.
#montenegro #montenegro🇲🇪 #montenegrotravel #montenegrotrip #visitkotor #oldtownofkotor #kotormontenegro #bayofkotor #bokabay #kotorbay #kotoroldtown #kotortravel #balkans #balkanstravel #europetraveldestinations #europetravel #europetrip
  • Our favorite places eat and drink in Kotor, Montenegro:
1. Boutique Hotel Hippocampus for a slow and delicious Montenegrin breakfast @hippocampushotel
2. Restaurant Galion for fish @galion_restaurant
3. Platanus Kotor for their “Montenegro platter” with Njeguški pršut (dry-cured ham) and Njeguški sir (cheese from Njeguši) @platanus_kotor
4. Moritz Eis for their gelato @moritzeis
5. The Nitrox Pub & Eatery for craft beer @nitroxpub
6. BBQ Tanjga in Kotor for kebab skewers, grilled meats and vegetables @bbq_tanjga
7. Little Bay for their salads @little_bay_restaurant
8.Pekaras AS near the River Gate for their Börek
9. “Ladovina" Kitchen & Wine Bar for their wines @kotorskaladovina
🇲🇪 Save this post for future reference. 
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  • Best hikes in Kotor, Montenegro 🇲🇪 
1. Vrmac Ridge Trail
2. Ladder of Kotor
3. Pestingrad Peak
4. Kotor Fortress (Kotor City Walls)
👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more hiking tips.
#montenegro #kotor #kotorbay #bokabay #bayofkotor #dinaricalps #montenegrohiking #montenegrotravel #kotorhiking #kotorhikingtrail #kotorfortress #travel #hiking #europetravel #europedestinations #hikingmontenegro #adriaticsea
  • The most popular thing to do in Kotor is hike up to the Kotor Fortress.
The Kotor Fortress stands on the San Giovanni Hill (St. John Hill) at 260 meters above sea level, overlooking the Old Town of Kotor and the Bay of Kotor.
The Kotor Fortress is part of a medieval fortification system that encircles the Old Town as well as the adjacent hillside. These fortifications consist of gates, bastions, towers, and defensive walls (ramparts). 
It takes 45 minutes - 1 hour to hike up the 1350 steps to the fortress (aka St. John’s Fortress / San Giovanni Fortress).
There are two entry points within the Old Town of Kotor. The easiest one to find is close to the River Gate/North Gate. 
Entrance Fee: 8 EUR
#kotor #kotormontenegro #montenegro🇲🇪 #bayofkotor #bokabay #montenegrotravel #montenegrotrip #kotortravel #visitkotor #kotorfortress #kotorcitywalls #afarmag #tlpicks
  • Pestingrad summit view of the Bay of Kotor and Vrmac in Montenegro 🇲🇪
Trailhead: Etno Selo Sveti Georgije, Krstac 
Distance: 5.7 km out-and-back
Time Needed: 2:30 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss: 243 meters
Difficulty: Difficult
Minimum Elevation: 927 meters
Maximum Elevation: 1027 meters
#montenegro🇲🇪 #montenegro #visitmontenegro #montenegrotravel #montenegrotrip #visitkotor #kotorbay #kotor #bokabay #dinaricalps #pestingrad #montenegrohiking #kotorhiking #kotorhike #bayofkotor #hikingblog #hikingblogger
  • Five years ago, we traveled to Montenegro for the very first time. We rented a car and spent two weeks hiking in the mountains and exploring the coast. 
To date, it was one of the best and most seamless trips we’ve ever taken. Ever since, we’ve been longing to return to Crna Gora and specifically Kotor Bay. 
This May, we finally returned to Kotor. We spent 5 nights in Kotor and 2 nights in Perast. It was slow, unhurried trip, which made us fall in love with Montenegro all over again.
In the next days, I’ll be sharing our favorite hikes, restaurants, and experiences. 
I’ll also update our 2 week road trip itinerary with new tips and insights.
The biggest disappointment of the trip was Budva. In the last years, huge tasteless developments have mushroomed all around the coastal town. According to our Kotor walking tour guide, the former Mayor of Budva (now in jail) illegally distributed permits to Russian developers. It’s atrocious! 
The Budva Riviera is still beautiful south of Budva’s immediate vicinity.
#montenegro🇲🇪 #montenegro #visitmontenegro #montenegrotravel #montenegrotrip #visitkotor #kotorbay #kotor #bokabay #dinaricalps #vrmac #tlpicks #afarmag