Paris is a dream destination for many people. Famous Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, glass pyramid of the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral inviting you to look for the hunchback – all these places attract thousands of visitors every year. Not without a reason – Paris is a beautiful city indeed.
I visited Paris in autumn 2018 for the second time. And only for the second time I fully appreciated its beauty. I think everybody should visit Paris and have their own opinion about it – that means, you included 🙂 I prepared this Paris trip planner so it is easy for you to organize your own trip.
If you’re planning your trip to Paris, check my full guide to spending the best weekend in Paris 🙂 You can also download the trip itinerary in a convenient travel planner I designed. This will also give you access to my Secret Travel Resources Database with all extra resources 🙂
Paris Trip Planner Step By Step
Paris Trip Planner Step 1: Flights
You can travel to three airports in Paris: Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais. Charles de Gaulle and Orly are located fairly close to the city center. Beauvais is an airport where budget airlines like Wizzair and Ryanair land and it is located 80 km from Paris.
Check the best connections to Paris from your country / area and see which options are the most affordable or the most comfortable. Don’t assume that budget airlines will for sure be the best options – sometimes you can get a deal on AirFrance or Lufthansa and fly with them cheaper than with any budget airline! 🙂 I like to compare flight prices on Skyscanner.
Paris is also well connected with many European cities with trains and buses.
Check this 4 day Paris itinerary for ideas what to do in the city!
Paris Trip Planner Step 2: Getting There From The Airport
Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
The best way to get from CDG airport to Paris is RER B train. It takes 40 minutes to get from the airport to Nothern train station – Gare du Nord. Trains are scheduled every 15 minutes from 5 am till midnight and one way ticket costs 10,30 EUR. Check this site for detailed schedule and prices.
Another way is to get on Roissybus. The bus will take you closer to the center – it will drop you off at Paris Opera. The journey lasts around 1h and one way ticket costs 12 EUR. Prices and detailed schedule are here.
The cheapest option is to take a city bus number 350 or 351 but the journey takes around 2 hours . The bus goes all around Paris suburbs. If you have time, it can be an interesting opportunity to see some places outside of the city center 🙂 One way ticket costs 6 EUR. Check the detailed schedule here.
If you’re arriving to Beauvais airport, the fastest and definitely best way to get to Paris is Beauvais shuttle. The journey lasts around 1h15 min and the ticket costs 15,90 EUR one way or 29 EUR return ticket. Buses leave from Paris Porte Maillot parking lot. Check the website for more details.
To get to Paris from Orly airport you will need two means of transportation – Orlyval tram and RER B train. Orlyval connects the airport with the train station. Ticket RER + Orlyval costs 13,25 EUR. Check this website for more details.
Paris Trip Planner Step 3: Metro & Public Transportation
During your trip to Paris you will most probably need to use the metro. As a tourist, you have a couple of ticket options:
Paris visite travel pass gives you a possibility to use all public transportation with no limits (metro, RER train, bus, tram) from 1 to 5 days in zones 1-3 (Paris) or 1-5 (Paris and connections to Versailles, Disneyland and airports). It’s a perfect option if you plan to use public transportation a lot or if your hotel will be outside of the city center.
We used Paris visite travel pass for two days for zones 1-3. Additionally we had to buy tickets from/to CDG airport.
If you don’t plan to use public transportation a lot, you can go for single tickets or a 10 rides ticket in one zone. You can use it to travel between zones too but then you’ll use up as many tickets/rides as many zones you cross.
You can also get Mobilis ticket for one day and use all public transportation in chosen zones.
For me, Paris Visite Travel Pass was great – we could take a metro even for one station when we felt tired or cold, I didn’t have to check how many zones we’re crossing or count how many times we used the metro. However, next time I would consider getting the ticket for 10 rides. We didn’t have to use the metro more than 10 times during two days. It would have been cheaper – I’d just have to pay more attention 😉 Compare the costs, consider your way of traveling and choose the best ticket for your trip to Paris 🙂
Paris Travel Planner Step 4: Book Tickets To Attractions
Before going to Paris make sure you have tickets to the most popular sights booked in advance. You can also get on a hop on hop off bus in Paris. This way you will save A LOT of time. Queues are huge, trust me! Especially if you decide to visit Paris in the summer.
If you plan to go up the Eiffel Tower, book your ticket here. This way you will avoid the queue to the cash desk. However, you will still have to wait in a long line to security control.
Personally I don’t recommend going up the Eiffel Tower. I’ve been up there during my first visit and I think it’s not worth it. Why would you want a panorama of Paris if you don’t see the biggest symbol of it? 🙂 I think it’s better to go on the Arc de Triomphe or Montparnasse Tower and admire the skyline with the Tower. But if you want to go – make sure to book in advance 😉
In such case, consider treating yourself with something special, such as lunch on the first floor of Eiffel Tower 🙂 It’s a great experience and it is not expensive, considering the location. We paid 70 euros for two course meal with wine for two in a regular restaurant close to Centre Pompidou – and we didn’t have desserts and THAT view! Check it out 🙂
Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph)
An AWESOME viewpoint and I think you’ll miss a lot if you decide to skip it. You can admire the symmetry of Paris, you notice many characteristic points of the city, Eiffel Tower included (I took cover photo of this post from there too 🙂 ). You’ll also learn what’s the meaning of sculptures on the Arch. The only issue is that you need to climb a long set of narrow stairs so it is not available for people with disabilities.
Book your ticket here and smile to all tourists queuing to get theirs in the cashpoint 😉
If you plan to visit one of the biggest art museums in the world and see the most famous pieces of art – Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo – buy your ticket to Louvre here.
If you feel like having a special tour around the museum you can check out this exciting night tour >> 🙂
Even though the queue to buy tickets to Montparnasse Tower wasn’t long, buying the ticket in advance gave me a possibility to go there exactly when I wanted – right before sunset 🙂 You can get your ticket here.
Other tours and attractions
Paris gives you endless options of interesting tours! It is called The City Of Lights so I’d highly recommend you to go for a night cruise on the river Seine and amire the lights 🙂
Paris Trip Planner Step 5: Wine
For two days in Paris we visited two places to taste French wine and cheese. Paris Trip Planner wouldn’t be complete without this advice 🙂
Le Vin En Bouche – I learned while writing this post that they have two places – a restaurant and a “cave” – wine cellar 🙂 We were in the “cellar” and it’s a tiny place led by a nice German guy who knows it all about French wines. He gave us a great beaujolais and we had to get more for takeaway! You can communicate in English easily, which isn’t that common in France 😉 I highly recommend you the “cave” and I guess the restaurant will be good too. Let me know if you try it!
Le relais du vin – a cosy place where you can also grab a good meal. I loved that food magically appears in a wardrobe and waiters sometimes disappear in a cupboard… 😉
France is famous for their wine and you can taste it everywhere. If the above two places aren’t on your way, just google “bar a vin Paris” and your map will cover in pins 🙂
Also check this guide for first time visit in Paris where you can learn a lot of practical information about the city 🙂
Paris Trip Planner Step 6: Food
I haven’t had enough time to try too many interesting restaurants in Paris so I’ll recommend you an article of other fellow bloggers who checked Parisian cuisine well 🙂
Also don’t forget about the amazing opportunity to have lunch on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower 🙂
Paris Trip Planner Step 7: Accommodation
Hotel des Buttes Chaumont – we stayed in this comfortable hotel. It’s just a 15 minutes walk from Gare du Nord train station and the closest metro station is 2 minutes away. If you want to get tasty croissants for breakfast, you’ll find a great bakery right across the street 🙂 The room was clean and comfortable, met all our expectations. We had no problems to check-in after midnight, the reception works 24/7. It takes around 30 mins to get to the city center from there. I recommend this place if you’re looking for affordable hotel close to a metro station.
Hotel Cluny Sorbonne – perfect location, you can easily walk to some of the best sights of Paris, like Notre Dame or Louvre. Rooms are clean and cosy. It’s a perfect place for you if you like to live in the city center for a fairly affordable price.
Europe Hotel Paris Eiffel – a hotel located just 10-15 minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower. You can even see its top from some of the rooms 🙂 Rooms are nicely designed, the staff is friendly and helpful. It’s a place for you if you love to live in the best location possible 🙂
I hope you found this Paris trip planner helpful and that you will have a great time in Paris.
Check my full itinerary of a weekend in Paris and bring back the best memories 🙂
If you’re interested in other parts of France too, I highly recommend you to visit a lovely region of Alsace! Check out my posts from there and get enchanted:
- 8 Amazing Things To Do During One Day In Strasbourg
- Kaysersberg. A Phototrip To The Favorite Village Of French People
- Hiking Around Three Lakes In The Vosges
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