My Paris travel guide has tips on where to stay in Paris, the top things to do in Paris, as well as top tips for an unforgettable stay.
Paris in the Spring, Paris at Christmas time, the truth is a weekend in Paris is always a good idea, no matter where you stay in Paris, or when you go. With some of the world’s top attractions, the city of love never fails to captivate.
Living in Ireland, we are so lucky to be able to hop on a flight and be in the city centre in just one and a half hours.
There is nowhere in the world as romantic as Paris and I have trawled the internet to find where to stay in Paris the most romantic hotels in this beautiful city, as well as some great value options, and self catering apartments for family breaks. I have also included the top 10 things to do in Paris to complete my Paris travel guide.
Top 10 things to do in Paris
1. Love the Louvre
The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world, but you don’t need to be an art lover to appreciate its beauty. The iconic glass pyramid that graces the front courtyard is impressive in its own right, and fans of The Da Vinci Code fans will have fond memories of Tom Hanks searching for the remains of Mary Magdalene there.
Once inside you must see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the armless statue of Venus de Milo, however you could spend hours just wandering around the Louvre admiring the various exhibits.
The Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments, so don’t think for a moment you will be able to see everything in one visit. It is best to get there early, as you will need to queue for the top attractions. I suggest pre booking tickets and planning out the areas you want to visit in advance.
After your visit, walk through the Tuileries Gardens, cross the Rue de Rivoli and pay a visit to Angelina. Dating back to 1903, this famous tea house serves decadent hot chocolate and delicious french pastries.
Book independent tour
2. Climb the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the beating heart of Paris and is one of the world’s top attractions. For four decades it held the title of the world’s tallest structure, and no visit to Paris would be complete without visiting this iconic landmark.
It is possible to climb up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower as far as the third floor – if you want to go to the top, you need to use the elevator. You can walk around the tower and enjoy the view from many different angles, but night time is particularly impressive.
Lunch and dinner can be booked at 58 Tour Eiffel which is the restaurant located on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. Note it is currently closed for renovation. If you are wondering where to stay in Paris with views of the Eiffel Tower – check out some of my options below.
3. Cruise the River Seine
A cruise on the River Seine is a wonderful way to appreciate one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals. Many choose to combine a cruise with a visit to the Eiffel Tower, as the banks of the River Seine are just a short stroll away.
The Seine and its riverbanks are a UNESCO world Heritage Site lined with top landmarks including the Eiffel tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Musée d’Orsay, Jardin des Tuileries and the Louvre – you can see them all from a river cruise. The monuments are illuminated at night, and river cruises with dinner included are also available.
4. Visit Notre Dame
After the devastating fire in April 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral is currently closed to visitors, but restoration is ongoing and the stabilising of the structure was completed in November 2020.
The French government hope to have the restoration complete by 2024, just in time for the Summer Olympics. When it is open, make sure to climb the 387 steps to the top of the towers for a panoramic view of the city.
However, it is still worth seeing the exterior of this magnificent building. Walk along the Seine, cross at Pont de la Tournelle to the left bank, and as you approach Pont de L’Archeveche, you will be treated to a beautiful view of Notre Dame, and a wonderful photo opportunity.
5. Walk the Champs Èlysees
Paris is not only renowned for its beauty – it is also the fashion capital of the world. A walk along the Champs Èlysees will treat you to some of the largest luxurious brands in world, such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Guerlain. More recently, high street stores such as Gap, Zara, and H&M have set up shop here.
Of course there is another reason for visiting the Champs Èlysees. Standing at the western end of the Champs-Èlysees, at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, is the Arc De Triomphe. It is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, as well as being one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.
The Arc De Triomphe is there to honour those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
6. Get lost in Montmartre
The authentic village of Montmarte is an art lovers dream. Its cobbled stone streets are brimming with cafes, bistros and art galleries, and it feels like a village within a big city.
The area is best known for the white domed Basilica of Sacre Coeur which is perched on top of a hill, surrounded by street artists and stalls selling local crafts. Montemarte is a must visit, and one of my favourite things to do in Paris.
7. Discover Old World Glamour at Moulin Rouge
For those who enjoy cabaret with a bit of glitz and glamour thrown in, an evening at the Moulin Rouge will not disappoint. The birthplace of the French Cancan, the Moulin Rouge has been imitated in various entertainment capitals, such as Las Vegas and London – but it is in Pigalle, on the outskirts of Montemartre, that the original is located. Dinner can be booked with the show for the ultimate experience.
8. Enjoy Fine Dining for less on a French Food Tour
I love to take food tours on city breaks. They are a great way to explore a new city, and you often discover local bistros and hidden gems that you may never have known about.
French cuisine is arguably one of the world’s best, and there is no better way to try French delicacies than on food tour. From cheese to cassoulet, coq au vin to crepes, try them all on a French food tour.
9. Get Royal in Versailles
The Palace and Gardens of Versailles are the perfect place to visit if you want a break from the city. Located just an hour from Paris, and easily accessible by train, the lavish gardens and spectacular Palace will take your breath away.
There are many buildings to visit as well as extensive gardens and works of Renaissance art. Don’t miss the famous Hall of Mirrors and the Queen’s chamber. Guided and independent tours are available, including bike tours – see range of options below.
10. Do Disneyland Paris
View this post on Instagram
If you are wondering where to stay in Paris so that Disneyland Paris is accesible – you can rest assured that it is within easy access of most areas in the city centre. After a short 35 minutes train journey it is possible to visit one of the world’s best theme parks on a day trip from the capital.
Brave Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror, or enjoy the parades and shows at Disneyland Park. This is one of the top things to do in Paris with kids.
Where to stay in Paris – 5 Star hotels
View this post on Instagram
If you want to know where to stay in Paris for a romantic weekend, then look no further than Maison Souquet. This exclusive 5-star boutique hotel is located in Montemartre and is decorated in a Belle Époque style.
It is rated as Excellent on TripAdvisor and is one of the top hotels to stay in Paris. With only 20 rooms and suites, as well as a private pool and hammam, this is romantic Paris at its best.
The Grand Hotel du Palais Royal
Located opposite the Palais Royal gardens, with most of Paris’ landmarks within walking distance, this 5 star historical hotel is beautifully furnished and offers spectacular views of Paris. It also boasts Spa with Turkish bath as well as a fitness centre.
The Pavillon de la Reine & Spa
Located on the famous Place des Vosges in the Marais district of Paris, this is often described as one of the most beautiful squares in the world.
A romantic hideaway, built in 1612 by King Henry IV of France, this hotel is privately owned and offers the intimacy of a private home, with the elegance of a Grand Palace. There is also a Spa with hot tub and hammam on site.
Regarded as one of Paris’ best hotels, this Parisienne gem was the world’s first boutique hotel and Oscar Wilde’s last home. It is superbly located just 700 metres from the Louvre and just over 2km to the Eiffel Tower – most of the cities landmarks are within walking distance.
There is a hammam and indoor swimming pool on site, as well as Le Bar a popular cocktail bar which has a live jazz night.
The Shangri-La Paris
View this post on Instagram
I am often asked where to stay in Paris for the best Instagram shot, and the Shangri-La wins every time – assuming budget is not an option of course! Overlooking the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine, the views don’t get much better than that.
Once the former home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, this elegant hotel is just minutes from the Champs-Élysées and boasts an indoor pool, spa and a Michelin Star restaurant.
Where to stay in Paris: 4 Star hotels
Hôtel Du Jeu De Paume
The chic Hôtel Du Jeu De Paume is superbly located just 5-minutes walk from Notre Dame Cathedral and 10-minutes from the Marais district. Saint-Michel Notre-Dame RER Train Station which provides direct access to Charles de Gaulle Airport is a 10-minute walk away.
This is a great value choice if wondering where to stay in Paris without breaking the bank.
Hôtel Le Walt
Famous for its stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, this popular design hotel is located less than 1km from Paris’ top attraction. This hotel is also popular with Instagrammers as it offers rooms with an Eiffel Tower view at an additional supplement.
View this post on Instagram
The Bourg-Tibourg is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Paris in the Marais district. Its stylish interiors are both elegant and intimate and it is ideal for a romantic stay in Paris.
The hotel boasts a pretty interior courtyard as well as a garden offering delightful views of the city. This hotel also has family rooms.
Located in Montparnasse, one of the cultural centres of Paris, the Hôtel Léopold is superb value for such a central location. Enjoy breakfast in it’s 1930s-style breakfast room, a drink in its lobby bar, or walk to the Latin Quarter in about 20 minutes.
View this post on Instagram
Rated as Excellent on TripAdvisor and one of the best places to stay in Paris, the Hotel Monge is located in the Latin Quarter and boasts a wellness centre with a hammam and massages.
Where to stay in Paris – Self catering accommodation
Apart’hotel Citadines Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Located in the Latin Quarter on the banks of the River Seine, and just 600 metres from the Louvre, the location couldn’t be better. Each apartment has a kitchenette, however breakfast is also available for a daily charge. This is one of the best places to stay in Paris with kids.
Citadines Trocadéro Paris
Citadines Trocadéro Paris is an excellent choice for families in Paris. Its is located just 10 minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Trimophe. It offers all the benefits of self-catering, with the advantage of a 24 hour reception and concierge to help you explore Paris, as well as the option to enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
2-bedroom apartment in Marais, Paris
Located in the heart of the exclusive Marais district, this modern 2-bedroom apartment has been renovated to a high standard. For families wondering where to stay in Paris in a top class location, this Airbnb should tick all boxes.
Large 2-bedroom apartment in Paris – Sleeps 6
I’m often asked where to stay in Paris, and what area is the best place to stay in. This location between Opera and the Louvre is hard to beat. It is also just 3 minutes walk to the metro. The apartment can house up to six and has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. For families of five or six looking for a home in the centre of Paris – look no further.
How to get there:
Charles de Gaulle is served daily by Air France and Aer Lingus. Transavia fly direct to Orly, and Ryanair flying into Beauvais with coach transfers to the city centre.