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Paris tourist guide

Paris is the capital of France and one of the most demanded cities to travel by tourists from all over the world. Here you will find a complete tourist guide in Spanish with the essentials for your trip: accommodation, restaurants, neighborhoods, main tourist places and much more.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

General information

Paris, capital of France, is the city with the largest number of inhabitants in the country. Crossed by the Seine river, it has a privileged location in northern France. Its oldest part consists of two islands: Île Saint-Louis and the Cité Island.

It is known by the nickname “City of Light” (in French, Ville lumiere) due to its fame as a center of arts and education within the European continent, and also for having been among the first to have extensive urban lighting.

Paris tourist map

The tourism figures per year in Paris they are systematically among the highest, along with large world capitals such as London or New York. The annual average of foreign visitors is 15.5 million.

The vast majority of tourists come from Europe, especially from the United Kingdom, followed by Americans, Germans and Italians. On the other hand, Asians also choose Paris as their holiday destination, especially Japanese and Chinese tourists.

Japanese tourists in Paris, France

In addition, since September 2014 Paris hotels charge a € 2 tourist tax per person and night. It is intended to finance the city’s metropolitan transport network.

Main neighborhoods

Paris is divided into a total of 20 municipal districts or arrondissements. The number of each district is indicated with the last two digits of the postal codes of the city and is usually written with Roman numerals, that is, from the I to the XX.

In the surroundings We recommend visiting the Palace of Versailles, Fontainebleu Castle, Mount Saint-Michel, Cheverny Castle or the small town of Trouville-sur-Mer.

Map of the main neighborhoods of Paris

However, there are a number of neighborhoods of special importance and interest for foreign tourists. These are:

Latin Quarter

Its name owes its origin to the Middle Ages, when it was the area where Latin was spoken exclusively. It is one of the main walking areas. Here are the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens and the popular bookstore Shakespeare and Company.

Views of the Latin Quarter or Latin Quartier of Paris

Montparnasse

Here are the famous Catacombs of Paris, the cemetery of Montparnasse and the Montparnasse Tower. It is a residential and commercial area especially. It is located on the left bank of the River Seine, specifically between the Boulevard de Montparnasse and the Boulevard Raspail.

It is an area known for its bars and cafes, as well as the high number of restaurants specializing in Breton food.

Views of the Luxembourg Gardens from the Montparnasse Tower

Montmartre

It is one of the most cultural neighborhoods in Paris, with the Sacre Cœur and the Moulin Rouge, among others, as the main points of tourist interest.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is another key point that can not be missing in your itinerary. In French call Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, is one of the most important religious temples in France. It is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Its architecture is inspired at the same time by the Byzantine and Roman styles.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Montmartre, Paris

Île de la Cité

Here the official foundation of Paris as a city took place. In this neighborhood there are such important attractions as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Le Conciergerie and the Sainte Chapelle, as well as the main restaurants and cafés.

The famous gargoyles or chimeras of Notre Dame, Paris

Trocadero

It is the place that houses the unmistakable Eiffel Tower and the Campo de Marte garden, from which you can take the best photos of the tower. It is the largest urban space in the city.

The Trocadero Gardens are one of the most frequented places by tourists. Its English style composed of several species of trees (among them, beech and chestnut trees), in addition to the excellent views that can be enjoyed from them, make them an ideal place to stop and regain strength.

The Trocadero Gardens in Paris

Butte aux Cailles

If what you want is to know the most alternative and bohemian side of Paris, the Butte Aux Cailles neighborhood is full of street artists, young people of style hipster and, in general, a vintage air. The recommended streets are: Rue Daviel, Rue des Cinq Diamants and Place Paul Verlainn.

Street art in the alternative Butte aux Cailles neighborhood of Paris

Gastronomy

In Paris, as a French capital, you can find a wide range of gastronomic products both local and imported from each of its regions.

The main typical foods of France are:

  • Duck confit: duck meat mixed with garlic and salt. It is taken after having let it rest in the fridge for 36 hours.
  • Coq Au Vin: chicken accompanied by assorted vegetables, bay leaf and wine.
  • Ratatouille: assorted vegetables fried and served on the same plate.
  • Quenelle: semolina pasta mixed with milk, egg and flour, and accompanied by veal or poultry. It is served with béchamel sauce.
Quenelle: typical french dish

For lovers of cheese, France has an almost endless variety of cheeses: Camembert, Roquefort, Brie, Vieux Boulogne … These are just some of the most important, but certainly in Paris you can taste as many types as you want.

On the other hand, pastry is another of the specialties of French cuisine. Crepes are probably the best known dessert internationally, but in the city of light you will also find other delicacies such as:

  • macarons: multi-flavored cookies and colors made with egg white, ground almonds and sugar.
Macarons: traditional dessert in France
  • Tarte tatín: Apple pie in which the pieces are caramelized with sugar and butter.
  • Financiers: biscuits that are usually taken to accompany tea.
  • Pain d’épices: It is a version similar to gingerbread in which a large amount of honey and spices is added, especially anise and ginger.

If you want to taste their bread or typical pastries, you should know that throughout the city there are more than 350,000 bakeries and patisseries. The most famous are the ones mentioned below: Laduree, famous for its macarons; Pierre Hermé or The Pàtisserie des Rèves, whose specialty are cakes Saint honoré or Paris Brest.

Paris pastry shops

Where to sleep

Finding accommodation in Paris is a simple task if you plan ahead. The options are varied, although in general it is recommended to stay in hotels. However, there are other options low cost highly recommended especially if you are traveling as a family.

The cheapest hotels are located around the Charles De Gaulle airport, located 25 km northeast of Paris. Most are very well connected to the center, either by subway or taxi. In this area, the price of the room is around 33 euros per night.

If you are looking for a more central area, the area of ​​the Elysian Fields It is very advisable and has several hotels and aparthotels, both standard and luxury category. In this area the prices are somewhat higher, with an average of € 45 / night in a double room.

Hotel with typical Parisian facade

Most hotels located in the center of Paris have a restaurant and cafeteria and are very well connected to the main tourist attractions of the city both by bus and subway. Breakfast and dinner is usually buffet style.

There are also several hostels They have very good opinions from users who have previously stayed there. Regent’s Hostel, Perfect Hostel or The 3 Ducks They are good examples of this. With an average price of about 23 euros a night, they are an ideal option for young people.

Le Regent Hostel in the Montmartre district, Paris

Where to eat

Paris is an ideal city for gastronomic tourism. However, you should keep in mind that there are three types of restaurants in the French capital depending on the type of food you want to taste:

  • Brasseries: They serve meals not as elaborate as in restaurants. They usually open 24 hours.
  • Coffee shops: Ideal for making a stop and drinking coffee, tea or a snack.
  • Bistrot: They are small restaurants with a family atmosphere. They have a daily menu, which is written on a blackboard or sign at the entrance to the premises. The prices are cheaper (from € 11).
  • Traditional restaurants: specialized in serving typical French dishes, including traditional foods from other French regions. Prices are around € 25-50 on average.
Typical Parisian restaurant

The most popular brasseries are Lip, Tilsitt Y Pente Douce. The main advantage of each of them is that they are located in very central areas: the neighborhood of Saint Germain, the Champs Elysees and the area near the church of the Sacred Heart.

As for traditional restaurants, in the Cordonnerie You will find very varied food and impeccable attention, with quite affordable prices (between 19 and 25 euros per person). In Goumard They are specialists in Breton lobster and oysters with carpaccio if you like sea food.

Goumard restaurant in Paris

Night life

The offer of fun and nightlife is one of the most varied in Europe and adapts to all tastes. The main pubs, cafes and discos are distributed among the most important neighborhoods.

In the neighborhood Saint Germain, specifically on the Boulevard Saint Germain, you can find the most modern premises. It is a good occasion to mix with the Parisians.

The Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris

If you are looking for locals for a younger audience, then we recommend moving between Marais and Bastille, especially in the area of ​​the Rue de Roquette. In Opera and Palais Royal, the locals usually close late in the morning.

The most chic area to go out is located in the Champs Elysées and the Trocadero, with VIP venues focused on more select people.

Aerial view of Paris at nightfall

On the other hand, in the Montmarte area you can find a more liberal and alternative environment, with a wide range of shows cabaret focused on an adult audience.

How to move

There are many options available to move around the French capital. The meter It is usually the preferred option for both tourists and Parisians, since it is the fastest and most comfortable way. The schedule is from 5:30 to 1:00 from Monday to Thursday, and until 2:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Paris metro sign

As for the bus, Paris has more than 60 day and 40 night lines. One of its main advantages is that you can see the urban landscape as we move to our destination. Many lines cross the old town or the Seine quays.

Bus schedules vary by line, although they usually run from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. However, the main ones may become available until 00:30 hours. Night buses are called Noctilien and they operate from 00:30 to 7:00 in the morning.

Getting around the city of Paris by bus

Paris also has several tourist buses Managed by several companies. One of the best known is Paris OpenTour, yellow and blue. The main advantage is that you can go up and down as many times as you want while the ticket is in effect. The price of a day for adults is € 32 and two days € 36.

Another highly recommended option is to move by bicycle. The bike path in Paris covers 300 kilometers. You can enjoy the capital of France by traveling with a rented bicycle. Many rental companies offer the possibility of hiring a private guide.

Cycling through Paris

RER (Réseau Express Regional) It is the name of the regional train network, which in many cases complement some subway journeys through the city center. It is recommended to travel by RER to points such as Disneyland, Versailles or Charles De Gaulle airport.

Depending on the length of your visit, you might want to get a Paris Visit card, which allows unlimited use of public transport in Paris. It is available for periods of 1, 2, 3 or 5 days from a price of € 11.15 (varies by zones).

What to see and do

If your stay in Paris is going to be only one Weekend (2-3 days), the points that can not be missing in your itinerary are those that are in the heart of the city and offer the opportunity to do historical tourism at the same time:

  • Louvre Museum
  • Paris catacombs
View of the interior of the Catacombs of Paris
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Eiffel Tower and Field of Mars
  • Arch of Triumph
  • Elysian Fields

When the visit exceeds 4 days (trips of 5, 6 and 7 days), the range of possibilities expands and we will have more options to know not only the center, but the surroundings of the city. Versailles It is located almost 1 hour from Paris by RER and is one of the most recommended visits, especially in spring and summer.

Gardens and Palace of Versailles

For those families traveling with young children, Disney Land Paris It is the ideal place for everyone to squeeze the trip to the fullest. The good thing is that it is 30 km from Paris, so it is possible to combine urban tourism and enjoy this theme park if your trip will last at least a week.

The Disneyland Paris hotel

Also known as “the city of love”, Paris is an ideal destination for traveling as a couple. One of the key points is the famous padlocks bridge, known as the Bridge of the Arts or Léopold Sédar Senghor Footbridge, in front of the D’Orsay Museum, where thousands of couples have already sealed their love. Taking a romantic boat trip on the Seine River is another possibility.

The Paris Arts Bridge

Fans of shopping can enjoy the impressive Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, the largest commercial area in the western world and the main shopping center in Europe. Much of the clientele he receives are Chinese tourists, followed by Americans and Japanese.

French good taste or savoir-faire It is one of the main characteristics of the products that can be found in this large commercial area. Luxury, especially in the departments of perfumery and accessories, is what you will find. It is worth visiting at Christmas, when the lighting is turned on and a giant tree is planted in the center of the gallery, whose height reaches to the last floor.

Interior views of Galeries Lafayette

Security

There have been several terrorist attacks that the French capital has suffered in the last century. One of the worst tragedies lived by the Parisians occurred in the offices of the Charlie Hebdo seminar on January 7, 2015.

Twelve people and eleven injured were the result of this massacre in which the assailants were identified as members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group. After the catastrophe, people from all over the world joined the cause in social networks and other media with the phrase Je suis Charlie (“I am Charlie”).

Demonstration after attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris

Another attack took place in November 2015, this time in the suburb of Saint-Denis, at the hands of several suicide bombers. The attacks were later claimed by the jihadist organization Islamic State.

All of this, in addition to the Nice attack on July 14 and 2016 or the one in Belgium on March 22, 2016, has meant that the level of citizen security in Paris at the risk of another possible attack.

The highest level of the plan is currently in effect Watch yourself national security throughout the Île-de-France region (Paris). This implies maximum protection and exceptional security measures in the main public places.

National Gendarmerie in Paris

For all this, you can continue traveling to Paris without any restriction and the situation you will find in the city will be absolutely normal.

When to travel

As in most European countries, the best months to visit Paris are June, July and August. At this time of the year the weather is more tolerable, with an average of 25 ° C and sunny days.

Visit Paris during the summer months

You should know that they are the most expensive months to be in high season, as well as the times of the year where the greatest concentration of tourists and, therefore, more queues will be in the main tourist attractions. Therefore, we recommend booking tickets to the Catacombs or the Eiffel Tower at least one month in advance.

However, if you prefer to enjoy its different tourist attractions without burdens or large crowds, then autumn and spring are the ideal seasons, especially in October-November and April-May.

If you are going to visit Paris in ChristmasHere are some useful tips to make your trip a success:

  • Look for a promotional flight + hotel package in advance; This way the flight could be cheaper.
  • There are tours to see the Christmas lighting in the main streets of Paris. It is a very good option to avoid large crowds at peak times.
  • You can eat cheap in any of the Christmas markets outdoors that cross the Champs Elysees.
Christmas market in Paris in December
  • If you decide to skate on ice and go with children, look for one of the tracks where free access for children is allowed.
  • Do not forget that many restaurants remain closed both on December 25 and January 1 (New Year), so book with plenty of time if you do not want to run out of plan.

For its part, travel in summer It has the advantage that you can walk and walk to move from one point to another in the city without spending money on transport, which will help you reduce the budget for your trip.

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