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First Time Guide to Paris

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Paris is the city of love and where fashion is not only on the catwalk but also on the streets! In this article, you will find all the best things to do on your first trip to Paris!

The first time I visited Paris, I was sceptical, worried that the city would not live up to its hype. Everyone talks it up so much that I worry I will not love it as much as I should, that the city of love will be an expensive trip that I won’t enjoy. I need not have worried, as it was one of the most magical trips I had taken in a long time, and it was made even more special to have spent it there on my wedding anniversary.

Paris captures the hearts of all who travel there with its timeless charm and romantic ambience, earning its well-deserved reputation as the “city of love.” The enchanting French capital and iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral provide a picturesque backdrop for couples and romantics alike.

The city’s beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets, and intimate cafés exude an undeniable allure that has long been associated with romance. Whether strolling along the Seine River, savouring delectable pastries at charming patisseries, or taking in panoramic views from Montmartre, Paris offers an irresistible blend of culture, history, and romance that makes it an ideal destination for lovebirds and explorers alike.


The Best Guide for Your first Time In Paris

How Many Days To Spend in Paris for the First Time

If you visit Paris for the first time, I recommend spending 4-5 days to soak in the city’s magic truly. This timeframe allows you to visit iconic landmarks at a leisurely pace, explore charming neighbourhoods, indulge in delicious French cuisine, and savour the romantic ambience of the city. With a few extra days, you can take day trips to nearby attractions and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the City of Light.

The Streets of Paris

First Time in Paris Tips

1 Always check the opening times of attractions, restaurants, and shops before your trip. It’s essential to plan and avoid any disappointments due to unexpected closures or limited hours.

2. Visit iconic landmarks at a leisurely pace.

3. Explore charming neighbourhoods and immerse yourself in the local culture and ambience.

4. Be sure to indulge in delicious French cuisine and savour the unique culinary experiences offered in Paris.

5. Consider taking day trips to nearby attractions to enrich your experience and immerse yourself in the City of Light’s rich history and culture.

6. Purchase the Klook Paris Pass for convenience and savings on popular attractions, transportation, and dining. The pass offers skip-the-line access to significant landmarks and discounts at selected restaurants, shops, and activities.

7. Be careful of pickpocketers in high tourist areas.

8. Experience the vibrant local culture by visiting quaint markets where you can savour delicious treats and interact with locals.

9. Immerse yourself in Parisian art and history by visiting lesser-known museums and galleries to discover hidden gems beyond the well-known attractions.

10. Embrace the Parisian café culture by spending leisurely hours at traditional brasseries and cafés, sipping coffee and people-watching as you soak up the city’s ambience.

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Where to Visit Paris for the first Time Visitor

1 Head Up to The Top of the Eiffel Tower

If you’re feeling adventurous, take the time to ride the elevator or climb the stairs to the top for breathtaking panoramic views of the romantic city below. Consider capturing the perfect selfie with the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop, and perhaps even enjoy a tranquil picnic in the nearby Champ de Mars park as you soak in the magic of this quintessential Parisian landmark.

Eiffel tower Paris

2 Explore the Latin Quarter

Known for its vibrant atmosphere, rich history, and charming streets, the Latin Quarter offers a unique experience that captivates everyone. This lively neighbourhood is home to the famous Sorbonne University, and it exudes a bohemian ambience with its plethora of bookshops, cafes, and quaint cobblestone streets.


3 Marvel at the Grandeur of the Notre Dame Cathedral

Visiting Notre Dame Cathedral is a breathtaking and must-do experience for visiting Paris for the first time. As you approach the cathedral, the stunning Gothic architecture and intricate details are genuinely awe-inspiring.

Stepping inside, you’ll be captivated by the grandeur of the interior, with its soaring ceilings, beautiful stained glass windows, and the tranquil atmosphere that envelops you. Climbing to the top of the towers offers a spectacular view of the city, including the iconic gargoyles that watch over Paris. Notre Dame Cathedral is a true masterpiece and a place where you can immerse yourself in history and marvel at the craftsmanship of this architectural gem.

Notre Dame Paris

4 Appreciate the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum

The museum’s grand architecture and sheer size alone are awe-inspiring, making it a cultural landmark that cannot be missed. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply curious about world-renowned masterpieces, visiting the Louvre promises an enriching and unforgettable experience that truly embodies the essence of Parisian art and culture.

In front of the Louvre

5 Enjoy a Cruise Along the Seine River

As the cityscape glides by, you’ll witness the timeless beauty of Paris from a unique vantage point, making it an ideal setting for romantic moments and capturing stunning photos. Whether you opt for a daytime cruise to bask in the natural light or an enchanting evening cruise to admire the city’s illuminated splendour, the Seine River offers a delightful and memorable way to immerse yourself in the heart of Paris.

Cruise along the Seine Paris

6 Visit The Basilque du Sacré-Cœur in Montmarte

As you ascend the steps to reach the basilica, you’ll be greeted with a sense of tranquillity and grandeur. The ornate interior is a sight to behold with its beautiful mosaics and golden ceiling. Take some time to wander around the surrounding area and soak in Montmartre’s artistic and bohemian atmosphere, making your visit to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur a truly memorable experience.

7 Include the Luxembourg Gardens on your Bucket List Items

The Luxembourg Gardens, located in the heart of Paris, offers a serene and picturesque escape for visitors seeking natural beauty and tranquillity. This historic garden, initially created in the 17th century for the Luxembourg Palace, boasts meticulously manicured lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, and charming tree-lined promenades.

You can meander through the lush greenery, admire the stunning Medici Fountain, and revel in the peaceful ambience. The gardens also feature a delightful orchard, a peaceful pond where children can sail model boats, and numerous statues and sculptures dispersed throughout the grounds. Whether taking a stroll, enjoying a picnic on the grass, or simply people-watching, the Luxembourg Gardens provide a serene haven amidst the bustling city.


8 Book a ticket Online to the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe stands proudly at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, and its commanding presence offers a stunning perspective on Paris. Ascend to the top of the arch for breathtaking panoramic views of the city, where you can admire the grand boulevards and famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum.

In Front

9 Shop At The Famous Champs-Élysées

When visiting Paris, exploring the renowned Champs-Élysées is a must for any fashionista. The iconic avenue is a paradise for shopping enthusiasts, boasting an array of luxury boutiques, high-end shops, and flagship stores of famous fashion brands. Strolling along the tree-lined boulevard, visitors can revel in the unique shopping experience while taking in the breathtaking views of the Arc de Triomphe.

From haute couture to chic accessories, the Champs-Élysées offers a rich tapestry of shopping opportunities, making it a prime destination for fashion lovers and leisurely shoppers.

Shopping in Paris

10 Watch the Famous Moulin Rouge Cabaret

The cabaret’s rich history and dazzling performance have earned it a well-deserved reputation as a symbol of Parisian nightlife and entertainment. Prepare to be transported to a world of glamour and allure as you indulge in an unforgettable evening of music, dance, and pure Parisian decadence at the Moulin Rouge.

Moulin Rouge

Paris at night done right ✔️ Paris cruise with apertif 🇫🇷 booked through @GetYourGuide #paris #getyourguidecommunity #getyourguide

♬ original sound – Truly Expat

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First time guide to Paris

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  • Paula Barreca Barnes

    So 17 years ago, my husband and I set off with our little family in tow, embarking on a short-term assignment in Taiwan. Although without any knowledge of expat life or the Taiwanese culture, we took the chance and decided this would be an exciting little adventure; little did we know it changed the direction of our lives forever.

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