Ouh la la! So many monuments, museums, parks, shops, restaurants, and bars…so little time! Take a deep breath: Ten days is enough time to see the city and get a feel for the Parisian Lifestyle. We’ve come up with some tips and tricks to help you avoid tourist traps while optimizing your time in the beautiful capital.
You want to see it all, we know. However, it would take years to discover every nook and cranny of the city. The best way to get the most out of your stay is to organize your days around themes or quarters. Sure, a trip to Paris necessitates visiting certain world-famous monuments, but try to think beyond these mainstream attractions! You’ll get a much better glimpse into the Parisian way of life, we promise. Don’t be afraid to prioritize according to your interests. Remember, quality outweighs quantity and you’ll never see everything.
Different arrondissments have different personalities. Central paris (1st-4th arrondissements) is home to the ‘Bourgoisie-Bohême’ and comprises the trendy Marais and Montorgeuil quarters. In contrast, the 11th, 18th, 19th, and 20th have traditionally been described as more working class and ethnic, but are also becoming quite gentrified.
If you want a typical day of shopping head to Boulevard Haussman in the 9th Arrondissement. In the mood for a more refined experience or a celebrity spotting? Then spend some time on the chic boulevards of the 7th and 16th arrondissements.
Why not start your trip with a stroll along Paris’ lifeline? Spend your first day walking (or cycling—see Paris by Velib’) along the Seine. Stop at the sights of your choice as you work your way from west to east, starting by the Pont de l’Alma, where Princess Diana’s fatal car accident took place. Be sure to squeeze in a picnic on the banks of the Seine along the way! If you make it to the Bibliothéque Nationale, you’re in for an evening treat as the peniche boats along the Seine are fun spots for a night out.
Unless you’re particularly recalcitrant, you probably won’t leave Paris without at least having seen the Eiffel Tower. Expect a 15 to 20€ charge as well as long lines for each of the levels. If you’re content admiring this French symbol from below, why not plan have a little picnic on the Champs de Mars? Use the your extra time to check out some of the museums in the area (i.e. Le Palais Tokyo, Le Musée du Quai-Branly, Le Muséee Rodin, visit the Invalides, or do some gourmet grocery shopping in Rue Cler nearby.
You should pencil in at least three days to see the big sights. A visit to the Louvre, Tuileries, and surrounding areas will take about a day. Head to the Quartier Latin, Pantheon, Jardin de Luxembourg, and St. Germain on the second day. On your third day, work your way from Chatelet to the Place des Vosges, stopping at the Centre Pompidou, if you wish.
Set aside two or three days for East Paris. Explore the Buttes Chaumont and Canal Saint-Martin one day, and save Bellevile, Père-Lachaise, Bastille circuit for the next. Maybe even check out some of the following on the third day: the Jardin des Plantes, Mosquée de Paris, Institut du Monde Arabe, Chinatown in the 13th, or the Buttes aux Cailles also in the 13th. You’ll see a side of Paris that most visitors neglect!
You may want to dedicate one day to shopping (with kids ?). Want a traditional experience? Why not go to Galleries Lafayette in the 9th or Le Bon Marché, the worlds first department store, in the 7th. In a quirkier mood? Head to Montmartre or the Etienne Marcel area for a more unconventional experience.
We suggest that you leave your last day free. You may want to return to that cute store you spotted earlier in the week, finish up another wing of the Louvre, or maybe even catch a movie. You never know what whims Paris will spark!
Romain was AMAZING!!! I will 100% be recommending him to our friends! Our Louvre tour was one of my kids favorite things we did and they said it was because of Romain.
Highly recommend. Private tour is a great way to get more personalized insights on Paris history. Guide was very knowledgeable. Will definitely use again.
We have done several tours with Localers and they are definitely worth the money! We are pretty independent travelers, but there is no substitute for local knowledge. Localers has the best guides!
I did 2 tours with Localers and would enthusiastically do more when I return to Paris. The main reason is the quality of the tours themselves, the fact they are authentic experiences, and you learn so much!
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