Paris Guide in 10 Steps

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efore the trip, I had a mental image of Paris based on how it was told in movies, books, or stories I heard. Almost everyone and everything speaks highly about the city (even people who have not been there), perched so high up on a pedestal, like a distant star people dream about. I was curious why Paris is such a hot destination, so just like anyone who is planning to visit Europe for the first time; the City of Lights is on my list.

When in Paris: A Quick Guide to Enjoy the City of Lights

We had six days of rain and shine discovering the Parisian streets, happily getting lost, spotting the Eiffel Tower from a distance, loving Parisian food, and taking as many photographs as we can. Paris was exactly how I imagined it and more better. It’s hard not to fall in love and it doesn’t matter if it’s a cliché, Paris delivers.

Paris Guide in 10 Steps

No, the city is not perfect. Just like any other metropolis, there are pickpockets, trash scattered on streets and homeless people. But these are just tiny nuisances. Nothing compared to the sophisticated charm that is unique to Paris as a whole – where arts are not just in museums, but a way of life.

There’s definitely a lot of interesting things to do and experience in Paris, but if you happen to only have a limited time in the city, here are a few recommendations to help you make the most out of it.

#1 Stay in 7th arrondissement.

This neighborhood is located in the heart of Paris – near the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay, Rodin Museum, River Seine and a beautiful street market, Rue Cler. It has a relaxed ambience that allows you to enjoy nice architecture and genuine Parisian charm. It is filled with boulangeries, cafes, specialty shops, restaurants, cheese and wine, and other local finds.

#2 Make use of Paris Metro.

Paris is most beautiful when explored on foot but if you plan to save more time, make use of the Paris metro. It’s old and conventional but an efficient and cheap way to get around the city. There’s nearly a close by station anywhere that is worth exploring too for its graffiti and wall arts. If you plan to stay in the city for a few days, you can get a carnet (10 tickets at €14,10 vs €1,80 for single-use ticket) or a one-day pass (€12,30).

Paris Guide in 10 Steps

#3 Eat your heart out.

Just like everything else in the city, food in Paris is art. The tempting window displays of pastries and macarons, the melt-in-the-mouth croissants, the tummy-filling baguettes and endless choices of cheese and wine – they are all hard to resist. Eat and enjoy the food as much as you can, the streets of Paris are great for burning calories anyway.

Paris Guide in 10 Steps

#4 Walk across Pont des Arts.

This is the pedestrian bridge along River Seine that is also known as the “Love Lock Bridge”. Since the weight of the growing number of padlocks had affected the structure of the bridge, the government have decided to remove the locks (they transferred a portion of it on a nearby cemented sidewalk) for everyone’s safety and replaced it with cool graffiti arts.

Paris Guide in 10 Steps
The sugary white Sacré-Cœur Basilica

#5 Relive scenes from Amélie on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur.

Hike the steps of the sugary-white church for yet another impressive view of Paris. It’s located at the highest point in the city, Montmarte, which also happens to be Paris’ bustling quarter for best Parisian arts (Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso used to live here), culture and cinema-worthy laneways.

#6 Take a seat and linger at Jardins de Luxembourg.

With people reading a good book beside a fountain, locals running around for their fitness routine, lovers spending quality time while holding hands or children floating sailboats on a pond, it’s easy to spend a day wandering in this huge garden. Enjoy the garden’s picturesque landscape with some snack and company.

Paris Guide in 10 Steps
View from Arc de Triomphe

#7 Climb the Arc de Triomphe.

If you want a great view of Paris from above, forget about the Eiffel Tower and climb Arc de Triomphe instead. For a lower price, you can get a panoramic view of Paris including the Eiffel Tower itself.

Paris Guide in 10 Steps
The ever grand Musée d’Orsay

#8 Visit Musée d’Orsay.

This old railway station now houses a large collection of impressionism and post-impressionism masterpieces in the world. Think about the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet. Along with other artists, they started independent exhibitions that made them famous during their time. To see their actual works in person takes those Arts and History textbooks (that used to doze me off) to life.

Paris Guide in 10 Steps

#9 Stroll around the Louvre Museum.

You probably already know that a visit to Paris is not complete without seeing the Louvre Museum. This museum is massive! A day is definitely not enough to see each and every artwork inside it but you can still play outside and take creative shots that make the giant glass pyramid seem small.

Paris Guide in 10 Steps

#10 Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle.

After touring the grounds of Eiffel Tower, find a good spot nearby (I love the view from Trocadero) and watch the tower illuminate gold lights on the night sky. There’s a sparkling lights show that perform five minutes of magic every hour after nine so make sure to be there to witness it.

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” -Ernest Hemingway

What’s your favorite city in the world?

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  • So inggit, my ultimate travel destination! Your photos are love. Stalking your France trip now!

    http://www.beadeegee.com

  • Dahrren Dominguez

    Will take note of these tips in hopes that one day I’d get to visit Paris as well! It’s sooo beautiful! <3

    ♥ Da | The Diary Queen

  • It feels so good to relive the dream of going to Paris someday. Thank you for this post. It’s really an eye-opener for those who want to go to Paris but don’t know how to start. Hihi :) How much did you spend on food specifically the macarons? They said that food in Paris is expensive but worth the shot since it’s healthy. I am reading “My Life In France”, a memoir of Julia Child. Do you know her? It gives me a glimpse of how she lived and how Paris was like in her time. :)

    Augustin Ra | Indie Spirit

    • Macarons are expensive since it’s like an “art” in Paris. But other breads are cheap and they have huge portions. I could hardly finish a baguette. :)) But then, my point of comparison could be different since I’m living in an expensive city too.

      I’ve heard about Julia Child but haven’t read the book. How was it? Let me know if it’s worth a shot, I’m open to recommendations. :)

      • I’m not yet finished with the book since I want to indulge myself with fiction these past few days but I’ve read a few pages already and I’m enjoying it. I get to know more about France in her time and some french words. Oh, don’t forget the food! I have to google translate all of ’em just to discover what food I already am reading. Hahaha! I think travelers should read it. :)

        • Ahh, now this book piqued my interest. I love French food. They are simple and yet so complicated to make. Haha!

  • My Ultimate Travel Destination. I’m looking at your photos and how you describe each places.. ah.. I’m so jealous.

    IMAGINE.CREATE.SHARE

  • Two Nerds Travel

    We went to Paris two years ago, and we loved it! It wasn’t without its faults, like you mention, but had so many great qualities to make up for it. There are several things on your list that we didn’t get to see in our 4 days there, too, like the Musee d’Orsay, so we’ll have to go back soon! I’m craving those macarons already. :)

    • Me too! I love the bread and pastries in Paris. And there’s just so much to see and do in the city that a few days or even weeks of stay won’t be enough. I’m hoping to come back as well! <3

  • This made makes me want to book a flight to Paris sooooo bad, but I can’t really afford it yet. :( Can I ask how much your budget was for your Paris trip?

    xx, Richel Goes Places

    • I’d say that the most expensive you’d have to save for is the flight, other expenses should be okay. It would be expensive of course if you convert to PHP but it’s cheaper or the same if you’d spend in Singapore. I remember we only have approx. 50K PHP pocket money for the two of us. That brought us to France, Belgium, Netherlands and Iceland for 17 days. If you’re only visiting Paris then you won’t need that much. :) We slowly paid for our flight and accommodations before the trip so hindi masyado mabigat sa bulsa. Hehe.

      Richel, I hope you don’t let the cost stop you from going there. :)

      • I’m definitely going to Paris – one way or another. Already planning for a month-long Eurotrip for 2018/2019! Just want to get an idea on exactly how expensive it’ll be. Thanks for replying, Melai! :)

  • Hazel Asoy

    These photos makes me want to visit Paris. This is one of my dream destinations ever.

  • Paris delivers — totally agree with this line! :)

    Even when I’ve heard and read so much about it and seen so many pictures of it, actually being in Paris was one of the greatest experiences ever. And oh, the food. Yes, definitely ate my heart out when I was there. I have to go back for the Musee d’Orsay though. I don’t know what I was thinking when I didn’t squeeze that into my trip.

    Great pictures!

    • Thanks Liz! Yeah, we had great experiences in Paris as well. It’s like being in a movie set. :)
      Musee d’Orsay is so grand, it doesn’t look like an old railway station.

      There’s always time to go back. ;)

  • I’m in love in Paris even when I haven’t been there yet. Would take these guides in mind.

  • Paris is a definite YES! Of all the cities I have visited I still find myself most looking forward to returning to Paris and exploring more of its streets and neighborhoods. So glad you recommended Musée d’Orsay – it is wonderful too, and just as worthy as the Louvre.

    A tip for anyone with limited time: Purchase the Paris Pass. It allows skip-the-line access to both the Louvre and Orsay (along with a slew of other Paris sights). We arrived just as the Louvre was opening its doors and the ticket line was already wrapped around the building. And that’s a massive building!

    Along with recreating the scenes from Amélie I would also recommend sitting on the steps of Sacré-Coeur at sunset and watching the lights come on over Paris.

    • Thanks for the additional tips Linda! We did purchase the Paris Pass and it was truly helpful. We saved a lot of time by not queuing up and we were able to revisit some places too (like the Arc de Triomphe which we visited during daytime and at sunset). We’ll have to go back and chase sunset at Sacré-Coeur though. We were trying to avoid the crowd that’s why we went in the morning but your photos are rather convincing!

  • Amazing! I love your photos and from what I’ve read, you truly enjoyed Paris. Just like most people, Paris, to me, is also a dream — and I really hope it won’t remain just a dream forever. Gotta save up for it, not just the travel but the visa stuff, etc. ;)

    • It also took me a while to save and plan for this trip! I used to think that it’d cost me a lot but it’s actually not that bad. But maybe that’s also because I live in one of the most expensive cities. ;) I hope you get to go with your son. Paris is also family friendly. <3

  • Amazing blog post, you have a lovely way of writing and I feel like I can stroll through Paris with no problems.

    – Seyra x
    http://www.pavementsarerunways.com/

  • Anja – Live and Let’s Go

    The first time I went to Paris, I wasn’t amazed by it. But the second time around I really loved it! I stayed in Marais, which has incredible food, cozy little bars and just a very relaxed atmosphere. One thing I’d like to add to your list is to just sit outdoors on a little bistro or café, with a glass of wine and a croissant and just soak it all in. It’s great people watching and for me it helped me to really see Paris beyond the usual tourist spots.

    • Thanks Anja! That’s something I planned to do (to dine al fresco and let time pass by) but didn’t have the chance because the weather was very tricky the time we went there. I want to try to picnic, too. :)

      Marais is a vibrant neighborhood. I’d consider staying there when we go back.

  • Klipdrifters Trail

    Beautiful post! We loved watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle and trying the different foods while traveling Paris.

  • lauren

    A movie I love that always makes me yearn to visit Paris again is – surprisingly – Ratatouille! Even as a cartoon, there’s just something so wanderlust-filled about it. Great tips for a first-timer. When I went about 7 years ago, I was on the Eiffel tower at night and it started to sparkle – much to my shock! Nobody told me the Eiffel Tower sparkled, haha! So it was a beautiful surprise and a beautiful memory.

    laurensomewhere.com

    • Ahh, Ratatouille! Right it was in Paris! I love that movie but my memory didn’t remind me that! I will have to go and watch it again! ;)

      I knew that the Eiffel Tower would sparkle but I have no idea of the timing. So I was surprised too when it happened. It was magical!

  • Untold Morsels

    I’ll never get tired of Paris. There is always something new to discover. Everyone has their own experience of this magical city. Wish there a little piece of Paris in every corner of the world

    • Me too! The city is just so dreamy and full of character. No wonder, famous people in our history is connected to Paris in one way or another.

  • Your photos are gorgeous! I still have yet to visit this beautiful city. I love pastries so those store windows will make it so hard to resist!

  • Great tips. It reminds me of my Paris trip quite a lot although I stayed in the 16th arrondissement. Very residential and wonderful views of the Seine from the bathroom. :)

    • That neighborhood is also near Eiffel Tower, right? I love the view from Trocadero and I remember we found a nice boulangerie and a weekend market in the area. :)

  • I guess husband and I did most of the things in this list except climbing the Arc de Triomphe, was too tired to climb na.

    Melai, after watching the movie Me Before You, I want to visit the little square called Place Duaphine hehehe. Hindi pa ako naka moved-on sa movie.

    • I love the view from Arc de Triomphe! We climbed it twice at different times of the day. I don’t know, I feel sluggish when I go to work pero pag nagttravel, parang ang dami kong energy! Haha!

      Was the movie shot in Paris?? Ay gusto ko yan! I haven’t seen it pa. Pati sa movies, ang dami kong backlogs. Hehe. When I watched Midnight in Paris, feel na feel ko ung locations like “uy, we’ve been there!”.. :))

      • Nope, it was mentioned lang in the movie. Kaya na curious din ako. Before the movie ended pinakita lang sya pero saglit lang. Hay Paris, endless discovery talaga.

  • Ulli Tomczyk

    Nice to read the post of someone who wasn’t disappointed by Paris. I love this city also :)

  • Ivana Leturia

    Great tips! I visited Paris for the first month last March and I loved it. Many people don’t know you can climb to the top of Arch de Triumphe and it has the best view!

  • Christina

    I just love Paris. I think I can keep going back and never get sick of it. Great tips! Definitely handy to use the Metro and reserve you energy for sightseeing.

  • OMG you have nice shots!!! GAAAAHHHH this is #bloggoals<3 I wish to visit Paris someday!

    xx,
    Kai // http://www.intensity-miles.net

  • I’ve been to Paris twice and have yet to try a Parisian macaron. I’m missing out! Also the views from Arc de Triomphe are priceless, one of my favorites of the city.

  • Nice entry! Love the Paris photos!

  • Clarisa

    Lovely photos! Paris is my ultimate dream destination. I hope I can visit the city soon! <3

    Clarisa, helloclarisa.com

  • Loving all your photos Melai! :)

    I am currently planning our second honeymoon and all your post are very helpful :)

    • Oooh I just saw this! When are you planning to go?
      Enjoy your honeymoon! <3