Below you’ll find useful information on what to do, where to stay and other tips for having a fantastic time in Paris, a selected roundup from a seasoned local (15+ years) and former tourism professional. A range of more detailed articles on the following subjects can be found at these links: restaurants and bars, strolls, offbeat activities, and cool events. You may also like to have a look at my Paris book section of Paris-themed books. I also have a good list of other Paris blogs and websites at this link.
If you’d like help planning your trip, you can read more about my background and services here.
Guided Tours & Travel Services
Spend a few hours (or a few days) touring with me. I’ve been living in Paris for over 15 years and I’ve been leading neighborhood and history tours off and on for many of those. I specialize in Montmartre, but I also love the Marais and the Left Bank. I can design romantic-themed or custom tours to suit your interests, email me for a quote here.
Context Travel organizes the best in expert-led small group and private tours for the “culturally curious” in Paris and over 30 cities around the world. You can tour the Louvre with art historians, the markets of Paris with chefs, Versailles with a university professor and explore many other fascinating thematic subjects or historical topics.
Journalist Heather Stimmler-Hall has been running the insider and informative Secrets of Paris website since 1999. She shares her amazing knowledge of the city through her custom designed tours, trip planning services and travel writing workshops organized throughout the year.
Journalist Bryan Pirolli, Ph.D. and Craig Dearden share their years’ experience in touring and hospitality as well as passion for Paris via their tours at The Gay Locals. Not just for gays or tours of the Marais, just gay-friendly, and these two are just friendly in general, and extremely smart and knowledgeable about Paris.
Long-time Paris resident Monique Wells of Discover Paris! leads excellent and insightful tours on African-American history in the City of Light, called Entrée to Black Paris™ These tours and activities are for travelers of all ethnic backgrounds who might be interested in delving further into this fascinating topic. Their tour clients include independent travelers, small groups, and university study-abroad programs. More information on their site here.
Lisa Buros-Hutchins, a licensed travel agent, brings her vast knowledge, experience and rolodex to organize your whole trip to Paris and even further afield via her companies Your Paris Experience and Your World Experience. If you want VIP access to places, the best table in top restaurants and first-class service, she can make it happen.
Classes, Cool Activities & Skip-the-line Tickets
Located right in the center of Paris, La Cuisine Paris organizes a range of cooking classes led by chefs, highlights include their market tour + lunch, marcaron class and one specifically on souflées (I’ve been dying to try it!).
If you’re serious about wine, you’ll thoroughly enjoy spending a few hours with Preston Mohr of Paris by the Glass. An exceptionally knowledgeable, passionate and personable sommelier, Preston organizes private wine tastings and tours to France’s wine regions, he also leads group tastings and tours through partner companies.
If you’re like a good and entertaining introduction, stop in at O-Chateau or their new interactive wine experience at Les Caves du Louvre (which you can read more about here). The sommelier led tastings are engaging and fun, or you can sample some excellent wines at their wine bar.
The Chamber is the very cool private cocktail club, an extension of 52 Martinis meetups. A membership is definitely worthwhile, however, many events are open to non-members and a higher price. It’s a great opportunity to meet locals, travelers all the while learning about cocktails, wine and other tasty French things.
Don’t want to waste precious time on holiday waiting in lines? You can now book a number of museum, monuments and other attractions in Paris online via the great site Tiqets. It’s easy to use, all in English and you’ll have your e-tickets in a matter of minutes. See Paris tickets here and they are also in various other European cities and New York City.
Accommodation & Smart-Phone Rentals
A Condé Nast selected villa expert, Perfectly Paris offers fantastic service and a nice range of apartments mostly in the Montmartre area of Paris.
Haven in Paris has a wide selection of refined apartments located in the city’s nicest neighbors like Saint Germain, the Marais, Parc Monceau and Montmartre. They also have a wonderful blog on Paris, HiP Paris.
My readers can get an additional 10% off hotels thanks to my special discount code! Agoda has thousands of excellent hotel deals in Paris and around the world. Apply AGODAJTMN when booking. Start searching here.
Turn your data switch off and sign up for an Insidr Paris smart phone for your stay. A great new service, they provide smart-phones preloaded with useful Paris apps, local tips, thematic guides and even a chat service with friendly locals whom you can source suggestions/advice from.
Safety & Avoiding Scams
Paris is quite the safe city, however, there are situations of petty crime, mostly pickpocketing. If you are traveling to Paris for the first time you may like to have a look at these very useful videos by Safety Scouts. Created by a former Paris police officer, the little videos help travelers avoid scams with very useful and easy to apply tips.
Sometimes you do all the safety precautions and take extra care of your belongings but still somehow end up losing it to theft. TINZ has put together a useful guide to see if the lost item is covered or not. These tips help you find out what is covered so that you know what lies ahead.
Moving to Paris or Living Like a Local
Expats Paris is a great way to live like a local in Paris, if you’re passing through town or are settling here. It’s a lively and active community of expats from all over the world (and French people) that organizes a variety of social events every month from professional networking to afterwork drinks.
If you’d like to also speak like a local during your trip or especially if you’re coming to Paris for a few months or longer, Frantastique has an interactive and entertaining program of online French lessons, not your average boring grammar lessons! They offer my readers a free 1 month trial (wow!), more info here.