Ah, Paris – there’s a reason it’s on everyone’s bucket list! Though there’s so much to explore in the city, it’s surprisingly doable for a long weekend during the off-season. Take a day or two off work during a holiday weekend and experience the culture, art, cuisine, and history without all of the crowds! Come for the Parisian vibes, stay for the croissants, wine, history, and shopping.
NAVIGATING THE LANGUAGE
French is the national language. As a Latin language, some words might be able to be interpreted without previous knowledge of the language. We found most younger people and those who worked in hospitality spoke very good English. The only times where there was a lack of communication were among older French citizens or those further outside of Paris.
However, any language barrier can always be quickly remedied by using Google Translate. While you definitely don’t need to know French to enjoy Paris, here are a few words that are helpful to know while exploring this city:
- Bonjour – pronounced bohn-joor – means hello during the day
- Bonsoir – pronounced bohn-swah – means hello during the evening
- Merci – pronounced mare-see – means thanks/thank you
- S’il vous plait – pronounced sill-voo-pleh – means please
THE BEST PARTS OF PARIS
- The view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe is truly remarkable. Some people rave about going to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but alternatively, you can see the Tower from the top of the Arc! This stop gives you some of the best views of the entire city. We highly recommend skipping the ticket line and buying your tickets in advance before on the Tiqets app.
- Seeing the Eiffel Tower light up in twinkling lights for the first time in the evening is incredibly romantic. Take a stroll towards the Tower right about 30 minutes before sunset then take a seat on the grass or a bench and relax together until the lights come on in the darkness. If you’d like to see the show from within, get tickets in advance here.
- There is simply an unbelievable amount of history in one city! For a place that’s known for its romance, it could also be better known for some of the best museums in the world. Whether you love art, war history, french culture, or have more niche interests, there is something for every level of historical interest. Among the most interesting historical markers are The Invalides, Musée Rodin, the Louvre, and Opera Garnier.
WOAH, THAT’S DIFFERENT!
- Just outside of Paris is the only Disney Park in Europe – Disneyland Paris! It’s Disney, yet uniquely french. We definitely think it’s worth a day trip.
- Did you know there are catacombs under many Parisian streets and churches? Creepy! If you’re interested in touring the walls of bones, check out these tours.
- Eating escargot and sweetbread for dinner at a local bistro. Hands down one of the most unique things we’ve ever eaten in Paris. If you’re an adventurous eater, give the snails and calf pancreas a shot. Why not?
WHERE WE STAYED IN PARIS
- 4-star luxury in the heart of the city
- Book the hotel room called Signature Eiffel Tower with Terrace for the iconic Parisian moments you’re after. The spacious balcony that looks at the street, Parisian rooftops, and of course, the Eiffel Tower.
- The hotel is central and within walking distance of almost everything in Paris.
- Bonus points – the staff members were very kind and friendly!