7 Tips for a Weekend Magnifique in Paris

You are here

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.

Recent news & press

Jan 22 10:39am

Where They Are Today: IES Abroad Alum Amanda Vandiver, Mobile Tech Start-Up Manager

by Victoria Bruick

Alum Amanda Vandiver (IES Abroad Melbourne, Fall 2012 | Texas Christian University) shares how her study abroad experience in Australia gave her the courage to move across the country to pursue her career goals.

Read more
Jan 19 3:47pm

Introducing Our Spring 2018 IES Abroad Correspondents

by Victoria Bruick

We’re excited to have 41 IES Abroad Correspondents sharing their writing, photography, video, and other creative projects with us in Spring 2018. Check out some of our favorite Correspondent quotes (so far!)

Read more
Jan 19 3:23am

Top 10 Study Abroad Instagram Photos from December 2017 & January 2018

by Natasha Brower

During the past two months, our students (both past and present) have been reflecting on their incredible experiences while studying abroad.

Read more
Jan 18 11:04am

We Did It Again: IES Abroad Ranked Top Study Abroad Organization by GoAbroad.com

by Victoria Bruick

IES Abroad has been named GoAbroad.com’s Top Study Abroad Organization for the second year in a row – the only organization to win this honor twice!

Read more
Jan 18 3:25am

IES Abroad 2017: Year in Review

by Victoria Bruick

From entering a strategic merger with The Study Abroad Foundation to awarding the most financial aid in our history, we’re excited by the work we accomplished in 2017, and we're motivated to continue providing students worldwide experiential learning opportunities in 2018.

Read more
Jan 16 12:00am

IES Abroad Shanghai Students Explore the Food, Culture, and Traditions of Taiwan

by Justin Agrelo

Last month, IES Abroad students studying abroad in Shanghai with the Shanghai - Economy, Business, & Society Program received the unique opportunity to visit Taiwan and explore its rich food, culture, and traditions.

Read more