Sure, everyone knows Paris is the city of romance, fashion, unbeatable cuisine and some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, but here are some important information, figures, and trivia that you might not know:
Country: France, of which Paris is the capital city.
Geography: Northern central France.
Urban planning: Paris is divided into 20 Arrondissements
Population Approximately: 2.2 million, making it the 3rd largest city in Europe.
People: Parisians or, in French, Parisiens/Parisiennes
Time Zone: UTC +1
Currency: Euro (€)
Electricity: 220V. Double, round-pin wall sockets.
Weather: See our page on when to visit Paris
Business Hours: Most Paris museums are open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, though some smaller museums may close from noon to 2:00 pm for lunch. Offices are generally open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, though hours may vary. Large stores open from around 9:00 or 10:00 am to 6:00 or 7:00 pm, while smaller stores may close around lunchtime.
Emergencies: Dial 112
Did you know? Paris has the world’s most famous cemetery, often referred to as the “Grandest address in Paris”. At the Cimitiere du Pere-Lachaise you can pay homage to such figures as Georges Bizet, Gertrude Stein, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and legendary Doors rocker Jim Morrison.
If there is one city in the world whose people take their meals seriously, that is none other than Paris, France. French cuisine, in general, is revered from the world over – and there’s no better place to enjoy this than by visiting one of the many Paris restaurant options that you have when visiting the “City of Lights”.
Paris Restaurant Options
Paris is the place where all the culinary action is happening. Upscale restaurants may boast of having the best French chefs in the world but if you’re the type of foodie who wants to be surprised, then you can just walk in at one of the many Paris restaurants and allow your palate to be teased by exquisite French cooking.
So what are the restaurant options if you want to have the best dining experience? Basically, you can take your pick from family-run restaurants that are scattered all over town.
There’s also the Taillevent and Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire, two of the best places to eat in Paris.
Finally, if you don’t want to bust your traveler’s budget, you can plan a meal in one of the many intimate restaurants in the city and still experience French cuisine at its best.
Paris Restaurant Prices
Naturally, the gourmet meals in hotels and upscale restaurants will set you back quite a bit. However, if you’re going the money-saving route, you can try the prix-fixe menu. Here, you will get several choices from the appetizer to the main course and dessert – but the prices are way cheaper than ordering individual items off the menu.
If you have already sampled the local French cuisine and you are itching to try some good old Italian, Japanese, Middle Eastern or Indian dishes, there are also establishments that specialize in these types of cuisines.
Paris Restaurant Hours
Don’t expect too much when eating breakfast in Paris, the typical meal includes coffee, a bagel or croissant, and fruit. Lunch is served from noon to about two in the afternoon.
Do not go looking for a restaurant which will serve you a full meal at three in the afternoon because this is when they prepare for the evening customers.
Dinner is served at around eight, but the Paris restaurants are open for customers starting at five or six in the evening.
No matter which part of the world it is that you are in, there will surely be an advertisement for an ‘authentic French‘ restaurant where the finest French cuisine is being served. If you enjoy dining in these establishments, how much more gastronomic will your dining experience be if you will visit the restaurants located in the City of Lights itself?
Why French Cuisine is Popular the World Over
You only need to hear about the exquisiteness of gourmet food to have an idea as to why French cuisine is popular the world over. Some tourists even flock to the city with the local haute cuisine as their main reason for going!
Staple Foods Items in Paris
So what are the most exciting and mouth-watering food items that you can get to sample in Paris? There are the staple food items like the exquisite cheeses, coffee, baguette, croissant, and of course, the exquisite appetizers and main dishes cooked up by French chefs.
But don’t think that you should limit yourself to eating French food. There are also Japanese restos where you can get cheap sushi, as well as fine Italian restaurants offering antipasto buffets.
Everything that You Need to Know about Paris Restaurants
The good thing about savoring French cuisine is that you’ll never know what to expect. The meals here can be as lavish as an eight-course gourmet meal from an appetizer to desserts – or it can be as simple as a ‘walking lunch’ where you can get to sample treats from one food establishment to another.
Now, depending on your budget, there is a myriad of dining options that you can choose from when visiting Paris. Let’s say your hotel does not offer breakfast, you can visit other hotels which offer a breakfast special, or you can walk through the patisseries which offer bread and croissants.
You can also assemble a picnic for yourself. Visit a grocery store that has a wine section, get a decent bottle of Bordeaux then go to a cheese store which is called a fromagerie. Finally, grab a baguette from a boulangerie and stop by the patisserie for the dessert. That’s a complete, exquisite meal which you can feast on right there in Paris!
Finally, those who would like to have French cuisine dining experience, there are a lot of restaurants, baby bistros and outdoor food markets that you can visit. You can also look for regional restaurants where you can sample a different culinary delight that features the local specialty of the region.
Whether you want to home in on sumptuous French cuisine or if you’re the type to try something new in terms of food – you will never be disappointed with your options when dining at the City of Lights!
Taking a trip to the French capital is not complete without visiting Disneyland Paris. The hotels are surely magical, of course – but Disneyland is different! Your Paris trip will be better with it.
All you have to do is go to the area called Marne-La-Vale. This is the place where Disneyland is situated. It is twenty miles from the middle of the city.
A fast train ride will easily take you to Disneyland Paris. There are many Paris hostels that have the route to this amazing place for children and grownups. When you go to Disneyland Paris, try to meet Mickey Mouse! After doing so, go on an exciting ride on the roller coasters.
The entire site is four thousand and eight hundred hectares worth of fun. Don’t you think this is something worth maximizing? There is something for everyone at Disneyland Paris. There is a lot in store for children in Disneyland Paris. They can have fun meeting their favorite Disney icons. Some children even ask them for autographs.
What to Bring
The visitors are advised to bring a pen and pad paper with them. In a few years, your kids will treasure the signatures of Mickey and friends.
And of course, a digital camera is a must! Take thousands of pictures while in this magical place. You will surely have fun reminiscing about them later on.
Meeting the Disneyland Characters
Be very wise about meeting these characters. Some are only found in specific areas of the theme park.
As such, you should try to go around as much as you can! There are even some that are in the Walt Disney Studios area. It really pays to explore it as much as you possibly can.
For example, Mickey and Minnie Mouse are just on Toon Street. Sulley of Monsters Inc’s fame is at Disneyland Park. If you want to meet Winnie the Pooh, you can go to Fantasy land.
Woody and Jessie from Toy Story are a hop and skip away at Frontierland. Disneyland Paris also has a lot of eat-and-greet opportunities. While you have your meal, you can share it with Cinderella, too!
Going to Paris, France will never be complete without touring among the different shops. However, there’s just a lot to tour around and a day may not even be enough to see everything. Aside from the number of shops, you can visit, each of these shops also has a gem of their own hiding someplace among the racks.
Just to let you know though, Paris is one of the shopping meccas you can find on the planet. Therefore, it’s inevitable that you have all these Paris shops luring you in for the purchase. So before you go off and visit each of these boutiques and stands you must have a well-formed out plan that considers the following important points:
1. Budget – Allot a budget before you cruise along with shops. This will help you gain more control over your spending. Do not bring in extras so you do not get tempted to go beyond your limit. Also, make sure that your budget is just enough for the time you will get to spend looking through Paris shops.
2. Schedule in mid-trip – If you are visiting Paris for your vacation, cruising along these shops is better done during the middle of your stay. When you do it soon as you land in Paris, you might spend most of your time among the shops that you haven’t seen yet because of the shopping urge. On the other hand, when you do it on the last day of your trip you might just end up cramming and not enjoying the experience.
3. Take a practical companion – shops are best experienced with someone. Whether this someone is a better half, a relative, or friend, the important thing is you bring someone along with you who would not mind all the walking and shop-hopping. also, having someone along with you as you tour shops helps you control your spending and give you more perspective on your chosen purchases.
4. Plan what you want to buy – To avoid yourself from getting overwhelmed with what these shops have to offer, plan the items you will buy beforehand. At least this only leaves you with the option to choose what item style you should eventually purchase. Walking aimlessly between shops is not just exhausting but also extremely tempting. The last thing you wanted to do is make so many purchases our of shops, but that which you do not really need.
Paris fashion is as cool as it gets. When you’re in the city, fashion is one of the things that you should definitely look out for. The place is known for its designer labels and all of those eye-popping clothes that you don’t get to see that often. Also, top dressers and models themselves rely on what’s the hippest thing to hit Paris fashion before they begin adapting a new fashion statement.
But no matter how impressive Paris fashion seems to be, one thing remains true though. It’s something that costs a lot. Of course, we’re talking about designer labels here so it would be one big mistake to think that you’ll get them just as easily as you spot them. Designer boutiques are found all over Paris and most specifically right at Champs Elysees.
Look Before You Buy
Paris fashion requires smart buying techniques. No matter how much budget you have, if you go on a designer splurge you may well end up as bankrupt in the end. So before you buy that sophisticated French trench coat or refuse to remove those strapped sandals on your feet, take a good look at the corresponding price tag. Chances are you’d surely do a double-take and leave your mind blank once more as you see the price you have to pay for authentic Paris fashion.
By looking around first, you get to see everything that is offered by the city’s fashion. In the process, you get to have a shortlist of your desired clothes and their corresponding accessories. One thing about Paris fashion is that it gets too overwhelming at first but if you take your time, you will get used to it and have your eyes trained more.
Go Out With a Definite Budget
If you can help it, it’s better if you have cold cash when experiencing fashion here. Should you really bring your good old credit card, make sure you only bring just one and not with a credit limit that definitely raises the roof. Paris fashion can easily nudge you to become an impulse buyer. So to avoid having that unwanted nudges ebbing inside of you, better bring only an amount that is necessary for you.
You should also experience the city’s fashion with someone who’s more of a practical shopper. At least you have one other person to remind you of your cash or credit limit. It would also be a nice experience for the person because basking in Paris fashion is also basking in the place’s culture.
Paris offers numerous modern and trendy bars where you can enjoy a cozy afternoon drinking wine. But if you want to experience an old fashioned French bar scene, you have to visit traditional Paris bars.
Traditional bars are less known so you will be able to enjoy their relaxing atmosphere and quaint surroundings. You can also enjoy the company of local Parisian wine lovers in these bars.
So here are some of the most elegant traditional bars you can find in Paris. Spend some lazy afternoons in these bars to feel the traditional French lifestyles.
The Melac Wine Bar
This is a very old wine bar at rue Leon Frot. You can taste the traditional vintage southern French wine in this bar. The place is not spacious but it is not crowded. You can also enjoy personalized service from its owners and staff.
The atmosphere at Melac is very subdued and quiet. When you order wine, don’t forget to try Melac’s traditional cheese. The cheese here is really tasty and they match well with the vintage wine.
Try to visit the bar on every 13th of September. The owner hosts a wine party on that day so you can enjoy a whole afternoon of free wine drinking.
The Legrand Wine Bar
If you want to visit a turn of the century bar, then the Legrand wine bar is perfect for you. The Legrand is one of the oldest Paris bars and still maintains a traditional cellar for its wines. It is known in Paris as the Caves Legrand.
The Legrand offers spacious drinking places and you can enjoy its rich collection of French and international wines. You can also select a vintage from its cellar and drink it at the bar. You can also try Legrand’s different collections of chocolates and truffles.
You can find Legrand at rue des Petits Champs. The nearest Metro Station is the Bourse.
La Palette Wine Bar
La Palette is the most popular and the best bar you can find in the vicinity of the Left Bank. You can sip wine at the side street veranda of the La Palette and enjoy watching people pass by.
This is a very spacious bar where you can meet artists and fine arts students. Your choices of vintage wines at La Palette are limited but they are the finest in Paris.
Traditional Paris bars can offer a unique experience for you. You should never fail to visit them to get a taste of old-fashioned Paris.
Paris clubs start to wake up from 11 PM and close until everyone is exhausted from the party. You will surely have a grand time in Paris if you hop from one club to another.
You can find numerous night clubs in the Bastille area and at the Latin Quarter. These are the most popular party places in Paris at nighttime. You can also enter the clubs in these areas quite easily.
You can find the classiest Paris clubs however on Rue de Ponthieu. The clubs in this area are very upscale and sometimes they turn away guests. You have to dress properly so you can impress these Paris clubs.
Here are some of the classiest Paris clubs that you can try if you want to spend an enjoyable night in the city.
Le Sens Club
You can find Le Sens at the heart of Rue de Ponthieu. Happy Hour at this club starts at 12 midnight. You can see famous celebrities and fashionistas at Le Sens.
When Happy Hour begins, Le Sens will be bustling with party people as disco and pop-rock music reverberates from its superb sound system. This is not a very large club. However, overcrowding is not a problem at Le Sens because the management controls the number of guests who can enter.
Clubs near Champs Elysees
If you head to Avenue de Champs Elysees, you will be able to find several fantastic Paris clubs there that will welcome you warmly.
The Le Queen club is a gay and lesbian hub that boasts of excellent funky music and astonishing disco lights. Some nights you can enjoy the retro themes of the Queen club. This club also features the techno sound of the 80s.
Just around the corner is the Showcase Club. You can find this club under the Pont Alexander III Bridge. This magnificent bridge serves as the perfect backdrop of Showcase. You can easily spot this night club because the Alexander Bridge is an awesome structure.
You can enjoy the company of young Parisians at the Showcase club. Students and young professionals frequent this club. You can also watch live concerts at Showcase which features local, European, and international bands.
The DJs at the Showcase club are the best disco headmasters in Paris so you can certainly enjoy a night of dancing and merrymaking there.
There are still other excellent Paris clubs that you can go to. Simply take a walk at the grand boulevards of Paris and you can find a night club waiting for you.
Biking & Rollerblading
If you are heading to Paris for a tour, take your to-do lists now and include biking and rollerblading in Paris. Maybe you will argue that you can do these activities in your own place; well, yes, of course, that’s very much possible but keep in mind that Paris’s place is different. So, you can also expect to obtain a different kind of experience.
Paris a Place for Biking and Rollerblading
Surely, you already have an idea as to how Paris looks like—the environment and maybe even the people. With that, it is easy for you to imagine how ecological, convenient, and healthy the place of Paris is for biking and rollerblading.
Basically, the area comes in small size so you will enjoy a high concentration on either biking and rollerblading activities. The streets here virtually feature its own visual interest and charms, which can be fun to tour around through the use of bike or rollerblades.
More importantly, you can trust that doing such activities on the streets to be truly safe. This is because Paris has placed a lot of highlights on pedestrianized streets and there are numerous paths here that are reserved for cycling and rollerblading.
Specifically, there is a bicycle lane near the Lama Bridge in the Seine. This place is closed for any automobiles during Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM for the program they called city-run Velib, making the place an ideal spot for cyclers and rollerbladers.
There are ideal spots you can follow when biking and rollerblading. The first spot you can consider is in Chantilly, which features a pleasant and plain canal-side path without any traffic. The second one is beside the Marne River; this place features a beautiful set of flowers and woods.
The third ideal place to spend your biking and rollerblading activity are in Paris parkland, a traffic-free place that also features amusing and slow ramble paths. Another place is in Versailles, which is definitely a lovely place. Apart from the chance to go around to the famous Chateau of Versailles, you will also enjoy the peaceful suburban streets.
Of course, don’t forget to experience biking and rollerblading along the Seine River on Sunday. This place presents a varied route through residential landscapes, villages, exurbs, as well as farmland.
Apart from being glamorous spots for biking and rollerblading, the above-mentioned areas are also safe for these two activities since many of these present loop continuations. Surely, you would never regret having included these two activities in your to-do lists once you reach home.
Making the body beautiful is big business here in Paris. This is why you should never be surprised on the sight of numerous dance workouts, aerobics classes, including anti-stress fitness programs when you come into this city. Gyms in Paris are definitely scattered all throughout the city as well.
Spotting a Gym in Paris
Certainly, fitness is highly being valued here. Numbers of fitness clubs schedule their activities including their offered lessons. One of the high-class gyms you can find in the place is the Gymnase Club and Garden Gym. These two are really expensive because of the extensive features they presents; but no problem if you think you only have a limited budget, you still have a lot of gyms to choose from in the place.
Things to Note When Looking for a Gym in Paris
When you look for a gym in Paris, it would be best if you will not join the one that is already overcrowded, unless you love to be in-crowd. You can shell out a reasonable amount even in a relaxed gym.
You can note that sometimes, those gyms that have virtual monopoly normally have an upmarket brand. An example of this gym is the Club Med, which has Club Med Waou as its upmarket brand. The term Waou is actually translated as “wow,” which conveys magnificence—maybe in pricing or in the setting.
Good thing, you can always expect that many gyms in Paris normally offer tasteful decoration and proper organization to create a less busy atmosphere for their members. In fact, numbers of these gyms turned out to be splendidly Parisian. Splendid in decorations as well as in featured activities.
Another thing you need to consider when selecting for a gym is the availability of nonchalant exercise. Simply because when you enjoy a nonchalant exercise, you can also see yourself glowing rather than perspiring. It will also be ideal if you are going to have an awesome coach with you definitely.
It is equally important to find a relaxed and lighthearted coach who does not act as a French Foreign Legion. Look for a coach who will require you to have eighty abdominal crunches at least, if a little exaggeration is allowed.
The Wonders of Gyms in Paris
Anyhow, many of the gyms here in Paris are operated by large companies such as Gymnasium and Moving. However, only members are allowed to use the center.
You would miss something wonderful if you are not going to join in one of the best gyms here because apart from the great activities, Paris gyms also include saunas, Turkish baths, and solariums that are truly luxurious. Such a feature is a mark of the popularity of gyms all throughout the city.