Paris is one of the most-travelled to cities in the world, and with good reason – the city is filled with beauty everywhere you look, with vibrant architecture, great shopping hubs, and amazing food. If you’ve always wanted to visit Paris, but aren’t sure of how to plan your trip, don’t worry because we’ve created a comprehensive checklist for you to follow:
Start by picking the right time to visit:
In order to get the most out of your trip, you should start planning by identifying the right time to visit Paris! Different seasons bring out their own flavours in the city, which is why it’s important to note that the best time to visit depends largely on the experiences you want to have!
- Summer (June – August) – The summer months are wonderful in Paris, especially if you’re someone who enjoys taking romantic strolls. As this is a peak travel season, you’ll find that there are a lot of tourists in the city, which is why it makes sense to book your flights and accommodation in advance. If you plan your travel to Paris during this season, make sure that you are in the city on Bastille Day as the celebrations will take your breath away!
- Autumn (September – October) – The Autumn season truly enhances the beauty of Paris. With the weather still comfortable and cool, and fewer tourists milling about, you’ll get to experience shorter lines at most tourist attractions. If you plan to drive to the countryside, you’ll see beautiful autumnal landscapes, with trees turning orange and red, and the wind carrying leaves away.
- Winter (November – February) – The winter season sees the city free from tourists, so if you want to enjoy an authentic experience without feeling like most attractions are filled with too many people, then you should travel during the winter season. If You plan your trip to Paris in winter, You’ll get to enjoy Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Paris – and this will be an experience that you will never forget! If you travel to Paris during February, may get to experience the iconic Paris Fashion Week (which also takes place during September).
- Spring (March – May) – Watching the season turn in Paris is a wonderful experience, with trees becoming greener and small spring blossoms dotting Paris’s beautiful parks. While the early portion of spring does see rainfall, it’s quite less, so you should still be able to plan a few outdoor activities if you like.
Plan your transport:
If you plan your travel to Paris by flight, keep in mind that this city has three airports. The most popular one is the Charles de Gaulle International Airport, which is located only 28-kms away from the center of the city. The Orly Airport, on the other hand, is 19-kms away from the center of the city, however, this is not commonly used by international flights. Finally, the Beauvais Airport is located 75-kms away from the central area of Paris, and this is mostly used by low-cost airlines flying in and out of Europe. Do check which airport your flight is going to land at so that you can plan your trip properly!
If you’re travelling to Paris by bus, keep in mind that the bus network is well-connected with a range of cities in Europe. The Gare Routière Internationale de Paris-Galliéni can bring you to the city from almost all the major capitals in Europe.
If you’re planning to travel to Paris by train, keep in mind that there are six railway stations that connect Paris with the rest of France and the European continent. These stations include:
- Gare du Nord (receives international trains)
- Gare d’Austerlitz (receives trains from Madrid and Barcelona)
- Gare de Lyon (receives trains from Switzerland, Italy and Spain)
- Gare de l’Est (receives trains from Germany and Moscow)
- Gare Montparnasse (receives trains from Portugal and Spain)
- Gare St-Lazare (receives trains from Normandy)
Choose your accommodation wisely!
When you are thinking about planning a trip to Paris, one of the first things you need to sort out for yourself is the accommodation. Paris is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, so you will find a wide range of hotels in the city that are appropriate for different budgets. The tariffs of these hotels will also fluctuate on the basis of the season when you visit – for instance, they will be at their highest during the peak season (summer months), and lowest during the low season (winter months). Therefore, if you have a shoestring budget, it makes sense to travel during the winter as you will be able to stay at luxurious accommodations for a fraction of their normal price.
Another thing that you should consider is whether you want to stay at an AirBnb accommodation. You might get access to some of the most stunning rooms in the city if you choose this route, and often, AirBnb’s listings range from luxurious to budget-friendly options! Young travellers may also want to stay in youth hostels, as these are very affordable and let you meet other like-minded travellers who are in the city.
Make a list of the attractions you want to visit!
Finally, when you are planning your trip to Paris, you must make a list of all the different attractions in the city that you’d like to see. Based on their locations, you can then craft an itinerary that helps you see a maximum number of places in one day. This way, you’ll make the most of every single day that you spend in Paris!
Paris offers a myriad of experiences for travellers that you’ll want to remember for the rest of your life. So, while you’re in the city, contact a local photographer to document every moment of your trip! If you want photographs that you’ll cherish forever, get in touch!