Paris Travel Essentials – What You Need to Know Before You Go

It's so very exciting planning a trip to Paris, especially if you don't go very often. There's a lot to think about, of course — where you're going to stay and what you're going to do and what you're going to eat. Those are the fun things.

Then there are the other, more mundane, things you need to know about. You know, things about the currency, visas (you don't need any for France), how tipping works, what to take, what to leave home. To make that stuff easy for you, we've prepared this Paris travel guide covering all those things and more.


Find Hotel Deals for Your Dates in Paris

Check with to find today's sale prices on hotel rooms in every arrondissement of Paris. Save 20% to 30%… or even more!

Booking.Com Paris Hotel Deals
Find hotels in the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain, the Right Bank, the Marais, near the Eiffel Tower.
Search for your hotel

Essential Facts for Visitors

Essential Facts for Visitors

Let's get started with the basics, the things you probably already know but explained in just a bit more detail.

Learn more about the size and geography of Paris, the monetary system in France, how the metric system works, shopping hours, official holidays when things are closed, and lots more.

Impressionists In Paris – What They Painted

Impressionists In Paris

Impressionism wasn't just about fields and flowers and painting en plein aire — although it was all those things. You may not have known that many Impressionist artists lived in Paris for at least part of the time and painted scenes of the city's daily life. Today, we find it fascinating to travel around Paris and visit the sights that those artists painted — and to try to see the scenes with their eyes.

Come with us on a virtual tour of 10 sites in Paris that the Impressionists saw.

The Paris Arrondissements

Paris Arrondissements

Paris is made up of twenty arrondissements — administrative districts, each with a distinct feel and atmosphere. Before you travel, it's a good thing to learn a bit about what's where in Paris, to learn about attractions and sights in each of the arrondissements, and which areas you'll want to pay the most attention to. We've got just the guide for you!

How To Choose A Paris Hotel

How To Choose A Paris Hotel

There are something like 1,500 hotels in Paris — luxury & low end; in all neighborhoods; expensive, moderate, and good values. It really is a confusing choice. We know that, and we know you don't want to stress over a hotel when you're planning your special trips to Paris.

So, we've taken the work out of choosing a hotel. We've narrowed down the 1,500 to the few dozen absolutely top hotels — in all categories, in all price ranges. But, first off, start with our guide to what you need to know when choosing a hotel in Paris. After that, go to our reviews and find the hotel that suits you to a "T". (Remember, we recommend only the best!)

The Weather in Paris – Sunny & Delicious

The Weather in Paris

Paris has a mild climate. Days are often sunny in spring, summer and even autumn, and you should expect some rain in winter. Within those parameters, though, is a fair amount of variation from year to year. For instance, last summer in Paris was fairly chilly and wet, while this summer was sunny and warm — hot, in fact

In our guide to Paris weather we lay out the average temperatures and conditions, month by month, and also include packing tips for each season.


Our Guide to the Travel Guide Books

Guide to the Travel Guide Books

Of course, we like to think that you can find all the travel advice you need right here at Paris Insiders Guide. But we know that sometimes it's nice to hold a book in your hands. Since we've read and used a ton of Paris travel guide books over the years we thought it would be good to share our experience. There are lots of Paris travel books that claim to be perfect for you in one way or another, but here are the ten that score above the rest.

Taxes, Tipping & Etiquette

Taxes, Tipping & Etiquette

Did you know that, as a tourist, you may be eligible for a refund of the 19.6% sales tax? (Called the V.A.T.) The process is a bit complicate, but we take you through it step by step, from purchase to refund.

In this Paris travel guide we also discuss tipping in France (hint: don't do it) and the things you need to know about Parisian etiquette to make you feel like you fit it.

More Information for Travelers

Information for Travelers

There are a few other things about Paris you'll want to know about, and they're covered in this additional guide. Things like the ID you will need, whether or not you need a visa to enter France, health & travel insurance, and customs and duties.

We also discuss bringing along electrical appliances, adaptors and plugs; and even bringing your pet.


Planning a Honeymoon in Paris

Honeymoon in Paris

With romance at every turn, Paris is an incredible place to spend your honeymoon, making it oh-so romantic and a time you will cherish forever.

We'll ashare with you some of the best honeymoon activities The City of Love has to offer — the most romantic hotels, how to skip the long lines, and the top romantic things to do on your voyage de noces à Paris.

Christmas in Paris

Christmas in Paris

We think it's the best Christmas city in Europe. It's also one of our favourite times to be in Paris. There's ice skating and other events at the Hotel de Ville, seasonal lights brighten streets throughout the city, department store windows sparkle with extra-special displays, and foods of the festive season fill the shops and markets.

Learn how to plan you own Noël à Paris and what to do while you're there.

Paris on a Budget

Paris on a Budget

Can those two words ever go together — Paris and Budget? We think they can, with careful planning, budget accommodations, wise spending, and eating & drinking a lot better than you do at home!

So, we've put together a guide for travelers who want to save a few Euros while in the City of Light. If that describes you, be sure to read the article…


The Top Seine River Dinner Cruises

Privilege Dinner Cruise with Hotel Pickup
This romantic dinner cruise includes pick-up from your hotel a 4-course classic meal, and live music. #1 Traveler Choice.
More information…

Marina de Paris Dinner Cruise on the Seine
Cruise down the Seine on a bateau while being served a 3-course gourmet meal prepared by a French chef. Hotel transportation included.
More information…

Paris Travel Planner – Part One

Paris Travel Planner

When you're planning your first trip to Paris, it's nice to have a little expert help. We're happy to share our years of experience. Use our online Paris travel planner to plot every step of your trip, from airlines to hotels to what to do while you're there.

Allons-y, come one, let's make this your best vacation ever.

Paris Activities Planner – Part Two

Paris Activities Planner

In Part One we got you to Paris, found you a great hotel, and tucked you in. Now it's time to make sure you've planned for your Paris activities — even before you've left home.

Paris is a very busy place, so it's important to plan in advance for the things you want to see and do while you're there. One of our best pieces of advice is, don't wait until you get to Paris to decide what you're going to do. You'll either be disappointed because things have sold out, or you'll spend lots of time standing in lines. Don't worry, though. Our activities planner helps you avoid all that and have a memorable visit.

Five Free Paris Planning Guides

Get Our Paris Planning Guides.
A Gift from Us to You.
Bon Voyage !