Paris is an extraordinary, unique city; it remains an incredibly multi-cultural city while retaining a fundamentally French attitude. Full of juxtapositions, concrete paths run parallel to the winding Seine, passing the gothic Notre Dame and glass pyramids at the Louvre, before flowing to the Parisian icon - Eiffel Tower.
Paris' currency is the Euro (€). €1 = £0.83 / $1.10 (as of 2022)
Top 5 things to see
The Icons - Arc de Triomphe, Musée du Louvre & Eiffel Tower
It may seem ultra-touristy, but we’d be remiss to skip these legendary sights. You can stroll the length of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées past the Place de la Concorde to reach the Louvre. Those without a fear of heights will be tempted with a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Tickets start at €17 for adults. Under 18s go free.
Tickets start at €10 - there are many available, so best to check the website linked above.
Home to the Sarbonne, Paris’s Latin Quarter has been a student siren song for centuries. In this lively neighbourhood you’ll find the beautiful Mosquée de Paris, Jardin des Plantes and the Panthéon among lovely jazz bars and bookshop cafes.
Dominating Montmarte’s hilly, romantic streets is the famed dove-white basilica. Climb the 270 steps to reach the architectural wonder to take in some incredible views of the French capital (the view from the top of the dome is even more spectacular) – or take a short but handy trip on Funicular de Montmarte, accessible with a regular metro ticket to skip the steps.
Access to the Sacré-Cœur is free.
One of Paris’s most unique traits is the inner-city islands located on the Seine, connected by the Pont St-Louis. Île de la Cité is home to the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle and the French Revolution-era Conciergerie. On serene Île St Louis you’ll find just a handful of intimate cafes and boutiques lining its charming lanes.
There may not be a department store as beautiful as Galeries Lafayette. Housed under a century-old stained-glass dome, Galeries Lafayette is spread across three floors and inspires romantic visions of vintage Parisiennes browsing the latest fashions. Between shopping, bookable fashion shows, cafes and a rooftop viewing point, you could easily spend your whole day in the classic art-deco building.
Gets you into 50+ venues through 'VIP' entrances round Paris.
2 days = €52.
4 days = €66.
6 days = €78.
Put together your own activities as part of this activity pass. Best to look online for prices (linked above) and tailor to your needs.
Where to eat and drink
To try and do French cooking justice in this segment is pretty difficult. Paris is a melting pot of international cuisine, but finding authentic French cooking isn't too difficult compared to other European cities.
Bistros: Small, family-run neighbourhood restaurants.
Boulangeries: Authentic bakeries, part of French lifestyle!
Brasseries: Former breweries offering regional dishes.
The cost of roaming around Paris really is what you would expect from a major European capital city. Of course the area you're in dictates the price, but generally, Paris is considered slightly less expensive than London.
Coutume Café in Les Invalides is an artisanal coffee roaster and café preparing coffee in a wide variety of methods (from cold extraction to siphon brewing) with a delicious seasonal menu.
Dose, in the Latin Quarter, is a hip coffee shop and juice bar, filled with the city’s creatives and techies. A wide selection of alternative milks, tea, and light bites make it a great place to spend a morning or early afternoon.
Ladurée Picnic, the offshoot of the renowned patisserie, offers luxuriously gourmet picnic food - perfect if you're planning and outdoor midday meal in one of Paris' beautiful parks or by the Seine.
Croq'Fac is a more affordable sandwich bar in the Latin Quarter, serving a wide range of fillings inside your choice of bread.
Le Comptoir du Panthéon, also in the Latin Quarter, is that classic French café you've been dreaming about. It has a creative menu with enormous salads, perfecting for refuelling during your adventures.
Lombem, found in the depths of the beautiful Passage de Panoramas, is a chic bar and grill created by four butchers, dedicated to serving the best French meats and produce. If you’re not ready to go home after dinner – the speakeasy bar has a fantastic cocktail menu served in a vaulted room – complete with a mechanical bull!
Bouillon Chartier should be at the top of your list. Operating since 1896, the beloved bistro is open seven days a week from 11.30am to midnight. Be prepared to go early or wait for a table – there are no reservations so expect a long queue of hungry and hopeful diners at peak dining times.
Two Passports Top Tip
Bouillons are traditional, spacious restaurants designed in the late 19th-century, providing high-quality food at affordable prices. We've listed Bouillon Charter, however there are alternatives which are excellent too: Pigalle, République, Julien, 47. Open until late, you can eat and drink well for 20€. And the interiors are other-worldly. Rich, classical French design transporting you to Paris from a century ago.
For the adults
Le Baron Rouge is a local's favourite in the popular Bastille district. An unpretentious wine bar that screams Paris, bottles of wine and cheese fly round the room to the thirsty Parisians.
Aux PTT is one of the few brasseries near the Eiffel Tower that doesn't cater for tourists. One the iconic Rue Cler market street in the 7th Arrondissement: read our blog post on Rue Cler here. Look out for its Happy Hour, serving delectable camembert cooked in truffle butter, alongside fantastic glasses of wine for just €3.
Le Porte Pot is a jazzy bar on the Left Bank, providing an intimate setting and a great wine selection. Food is also served.
Little Red Door is a must for any cocktail lover or at-home mixologist. The bar is ranked as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars and offers a menu of just 11 spectacular cocktails that change theme and ingredients annually.
Bar Hemingway, at The Ritz Paris, steps you back in time to the Paris of Ernest Hemingway and Fitzgerald, serving classic cocktails.
Tipping isn't required, but you can add an extra euro to your bill if the service was good.
Paris is a well-lit city, but pickpocketing in crowded areas does occur, much like in most major European cities. Be careful of metro stations in the evening, especially Gare du Nord.
Two Passports Top Tip: Happy Hour!
You can find these in heaps of brasseries and wine bars! Generally between 16:00 - 20:00, the prices on wine, beer AND food are slashed by 50%!
And good quality food too: sharing platters, and charcuterie and cheese boards. If you don't have a big appetite, food at Happy Hour could easily see you into the night for more vin!
When to Go
Low Season: November to February
High chances of rain, but still touristic. Christmas markets dotted around the city in December makes it a wonderful time to spend a weekend.
Shoulder Season: March to May, September to October
Weather is pleasant but inconsistent. Book Louvre in advance, and rates for Fashion Week in September and October will be high, so make sure you check dates.
High Season: June to August
Stunning weather to wander the Seine. The Louvre will be heaving and unpleasant, but if you still wish, book months in advance. Tourists will swarm the city, so rates will be high and hotels busy.
How to Get There
Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
The largest airport in France, CDG sits 21m North-East of Paris. If you're flying from outside of Europe, you'll be flying into here (most likely). The RER B train drops you at Gare du Nord and Notre Dame.
RER B Train from CDG to Gare du Nord = 35 minutes for €10.
Roissy Bus to Gare du Nord = 60-90 minutes for €10.
Orly Airport (ORL)
Despite being only 19km south of the city centre, Orly is tedious to travel to and from by train - you'll need to catch the Orlyval metro to Anthony station and change to the RED B or C train. Just get the Orly Bus or even a taxi.
RER B or C Train = 60 minutes for €13.
Orly Bus = 30 minutes for €7.5.
Beauvais Airport (BVA)
The smallest airport located 90km north of the city, BVA serves mainland Europe (and Belfast) with Ryanair as its main airline. You'll need to ride a 15-minute taxi to Gare de Beauvais station to then catch the train to Paris.
SNFE Train = 80 minutes for €10.
Corolis Bus = 75 minutes for €17.
Travelling by train
Eurostar runs from Gare du Nord with trains from Lille, London and Brussels. If you're able to travel in by the train, we absolutely recommend it. Gare du Nord is in the heart of Paris, and you can catch connections to your accommodation from there.
Travelling in the city
Paris has a great network of public transportation options, easily navigated on apps like Google Maps and Citymapper. However, keep in mind that one of the regular transport strikes could throw a spanner into the works. Walking is an option, but if you’ve chosen fashion over function in your footwear, be conscious of how you organise your itinerary.