Whether you are studying abroad in Paris for a semester or only have one weekend in the City of Lights, don’t miss our tips for making the most of your time in Paris. FYI: We know you won’t want to leave.
1. See the City on Foot
Take the Metro for long distances, but don’t spend too much time trying to jump around. Try to see things close enough to each other that you can stay above ground and see even more in between your destinations. One suggestion: Start with Notre Dame Cathedral then walk along the Seine to the Latin Quarter, Jardin des Tuileries, and Grand Palais, and see the art vendors, scenic views, and iconic bridges on the way.
2. Quality Over Quantity
Yes, Paris is full of “must-sees,” but it’s not worth trying to see them all in a few days if you don’t get to take the time to savor the experience. Prioritize your to-do list with a variety of different museums, landmarks, and restaurants. Enjoy quality visits, not a large quantity of items checked off of a list.
3. Choose Your Own Adventure
Feeling obligated to see what everyone else has? Don’t! The Louvre may be popular, but you might enjoy Musée d’Orsay’s collection more. If art museums aren’t your thing, see more parks and gardens or go to a soccer game to make the most of your time in the City of Lights.
4. Enjoy the View from Above
No matter how much you walk, you’ll have to get an elevated view to see Paris and all of its beauty. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe while already visiting these Paris icons, or hike up Montmartre to the Sacré-Cœur to watch the sunset before the city lights up.
5. Dine Out(side)
Parisian life is a wondrous sight in itself, so take advantage of the people-watching opportunities by sitting at an outdoor table at a café or setting up a picnic on the grass at the Champ de Mars or Jardin du Luxembourg, or by Canal Saint-Martin. You can save money and time by stopping at a market or bakery and eating lunch outside instead of in a restaurant.
6. Relive Your Favorite Film or Time Period
Walk in the footsteps of your favorite author or movie character, or stand where those history lessons actually took place. See where American literary expats hung out at Shakespeare and Company, check out Amelie’s café in Montmartre, or stroll through the Jardin du Palais-Royal.
7. Don’t Forget Your Student ID & a Copy of Your Visa
Many of Paris’ famous museums and landmarks are free for students or young adult European residents (ages 18-25). A photo copy of your visa will qualify you as an EU resident for free admission to places like the Louvre, Palace of Versailles, and Sainte Chapelle!
Not ready to say au revoir? We agree with Audrey Hepburn that Paris is always a good idea. Checkout our programs for internships and study abroad in Paris.