The Extensive Guide to Paris, France for First Timers

“All that can be found anywhere can be found in Paris.”
Victor Hugo, 1881

Paris, the capital city of France, is split into 20 arrondissements, with the river Seine cutting through the city’s centre. It has always been a popular destination for travellers. Having been based in France for the first half of this year, I have been in and out of France several times and have spent considerable time hanging out with Parisians, exploring alone and travelled as a couple with my boyfriend.

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As such, I’ve decided to provide a guide with whatever knowledge I have about Paris, in the hopes that my insider knowledge would make it easier for you to plan your Paris trip, especially if it’s your first time.

Because Paris is one of the densest cities in the world, both population- and attractions-wise, I’ve split this post up by location to share each location’s attractarions and food highlights.

Are you camera- and tummy-ready?

Read: Paris, France- Spring Edition!

1st Arrondisement

1. Palais Royal

A picturesque palace where you can find iconic striped pillars that are of different heights. I’ve seen this in pictures and I was supremely excited to have chanced upon it while exploring around the Louvre.

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2. Louvre

The world’s largest museum. Expect never-ending crowd and queues. Want to catch this pyramid without hordes of people? Come at dawn, when the world is silent.

Paris, France

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3. Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden)

Feed the pigeons, lounge by the fountain. Learn to make peace with time here.

Paris, France

4. Pont des Arts (Love lock bridge)

It was underwhelming for me, because the locks are now covered by wooden boards to prevent further addition of locks on the bridge.

Paris, France

Food to check out:

1. Berthillon

Situated on Ile de la Cité, the island in the middle of the River Seine. Not much reason to come on this island, if only for this famous ice cream shop. Exact location here.

2. Bistrot Victoires

Cheap and good classic French food. You can find 10€ duck confit in this restaurant. Exact location here.

Read: Versailles; Day Trip from Paris, France

2nd Arrondissement

1. Vendôme

A square filled with some of the biggest brands of watches and jewellery. vendôme

2. Rue de la Paix

Street filled with everything branded you can imagine. Walk along this street if only to witness the grandeur of the architecture and sniff the lavishness of the air.

Rue de la Paix

4th Arrondissement

Metro station: Châtelet

1. Rue de Rivoli

Popular street among the young to do shopping at

2. Hotel de Ville (Paris’ Town Hall)

Be dumbfounded by the splendour of this building.

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3. Cathédrale Notre Dame

Paris, France

4. Place des Voges

One of the famous parks in Paris with symmetrically-lined trees, surrounded by the remarkable Parisian building designs.

*IMG_3288 place des vosges

5. Bastille

14 July is the French national day and also called Bastille Day. It is traditionally considered as the symbol of the French Revolution and on this day, many will gather around this monument to celebrate.

*IMG_3285 bastille

Food to check out:

1. Rue des Rosiers

A happening pedestrian street that is lined with cafes. It is nicknamed gay street, and is also part of a Jewish quarter. Come here with an empty and adventurous stomach, and soak in the atmosphere of one of Paris’ liveliest streets. They have a famous falafel shop on this street. Just spot the shop with the longest queue!

Read: 6 Things You Didn’t Know About France

6 Comment

  1. Wow there are so many beautiful places to see! I have always wanted to go to Paris. Hopefully I will soon 🙂

  2. Genie says: Reply

    that was an insanely extensive and comprehensive list! I’m heading to Paris for the 3rd time this winter and will definitely take note of your recommendations

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