This itinerary of Paris will help you plan your first trip to France. Stay in bed or at your local café as you visit Europe virtually. As the world shut down during the covid-19 pandemic, France went virtual. Why France? Well, Paris is known as the place to be for many artists (or the place Americans fall in love with). Tour Paris and see how you feel.
While waiting for your vacation to Paris, you can start planning! Tour the infamous art museums, palace, and practice French all at home. Whether you have dreamed of Paris or never considered visiting, try this itinerary. Grab take out from your favorite local French restaurant a spend a virtual day in France. Keep reading for your first-timers itinerary of Paris:
Start Your Morning in Paris at the Eiffel Tower
Start your virtual tour at the Eiffel Tower while sipping café au lait. When your breakfast is ready, stream this 360° Tour of the Eiffel Tower. Pair your coffee with a baguette and jam or butter or go straight for the pastries. Find a local patisserie like Les Madeleines in Salt Lake City or a proper café au lait from JJ Boulangerie at Paris Las Vegas. Or bake your own gluten-free baguette at home. You can even order gluten-free baguettes from Schär. The choice is yours!
Arguably the most popular building in France, the Eiffel Tower is a must. Even if you just drive by, it is a part of the skyline in Paris. While initially disliked by locals, the Eiffel Tower is now an icon of French civic pride. Tip: Purchase a time-stamped ticket online in advance when you visit the Eiffel Tower in person.
Visit the Catacombs of Paris
Next, visit the catacombs on your itinerary of Paris. More than just a wall of bones, the Catacombs reminds us of the fragility of life. These limestone mines were reused to bury the dead as Paris grew and the land became scarce. Remember: As you walk around Paris, you are also walking above the remains of millions.
Okay, not all the tunnels are filled with bones (Catacomb mushroom, anyone?). On this virtual self-guided tour, you will see simple tunnels. Before this place became a tourist attraction, bones were pilled floor to ceiling. The bones you do see were arranged to impress & attract visitors during Napoleon’s time.
Tour the Catacombs of Paris to hear the stories and history of the world’s famous city. Tip: Purchase a timed ticket online in advance when you visit the Paris Catacombs in person.
Walk the Streets of Paris
Following this, it is time to grab some fresh Parisian air. Walk around Montmartre, the painter’s neighborhood. Van Gogh and Picasso lived in this area. In this video, you experience a first-person perspective of Paris. Many Americans are not used to walking around a town, but this is a must in Europe.
Walk around this area of Paris to see the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. You will have a great view of the city from there. Tip: When visiting in person, you may want to take the funicular instead of walking up the hill.
Then, head over to Place du Tertre and purchase some art. Many people love to have their portraits done by the local artists in this area. The Place du Tertre a famous art square, where artists can wait 10 years to have their permit approved to paint there. Walk Paris’ Montmartre to Sacré-Coeur.
Visit Paris’ Gold Star, The Louvre
Next, you must visit The Louvre on your visit to Paris. And no, not just because Beyonce and Jay-Z rented it out. But because the Louvre is a big deal. The Louvre houses over 35,000 artworks from all over the world. Wait – You thought those sculptures were from Vegas? No, most of the originals are in Paris. Plus, the Louvre has one of the largest ancient Egyptian collections in the world. Tour The Louvre online.
Stop in the Denon wing to see the Winged Victory of Samothrace. This is a Hellenistic statue from Greece with a lot of mystery. You will also find the Mona Lisa in this area. Plan for at least two hours IRL! Even better: Schedule an entire day and head out to the Sully wing to see the Great Sphinx of Tanis. There are cafes and restaurants on-site so spending an entire day at the Louvre is doable.
A visit to the Louvre is a must at least once in your life. No shade if you play “Apes***.” on your headphones while walking the grounds. Tip: Once again, pre-order your tickets online in advance and check when the wing you want to see is open. Some are only open on certain days of the week.
Explore the Gardens and Park of the Palace of Versailles
While technically not in Paris, Versailles is another must-see on your trip. This may be the most opulent of sites that dominate French history. And no, Marie Antoinette never said “let them eat cake” (Britannica). Her house is here, hidden away in the gardens.
While touring virtually, you can visit the park of Versailles. The Estate of Versailles is over 3 square miles. When you do visit in person, consider renting a golf cart or hiring a bike tour. This is another huge property, so make time to get here. Read a little bit in advance to see if you are a gardens person or if you prefer to see inside the Palace of Versailles. Tip: Bring a jacket if you tour the palace, it gets quite drafty. Tour Versailles virtually
In brief, visiting Paris virtually is something you can easily add to your list of activities. Order Parisian-inspired food and plan a picnic at home. Then you can surprise your family at the end with a surprise trip! There are many things to do in Paris in person when you do visit. Tour the Eiffel Tower or catacombs on your own before your trip to decide what you want to do. Virtual tours make the planning part easy.
Virtually touring Versailles may help you choose which spots you genuinely want to visit. Are you a garden person? Or would you rather walk the hall of mirrors? Whatever your travel style may be, these virtual options will prepare you for a fantastic Paris itinerary.
The Basics – Paris, France
Best Time to Visit:
Summer (June to August) has great weather but is the most crowded.
How to Get There:
Most long-haul international flights fly into Paris-Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG)
Those already in Europe can travel to Paris from London, Amsterdam or Lille via high-speed train (Eurostar).
You don’t need a car in Paris, use their public transport or walk
Bike Share through the Vélib’ app
Public Transport – Use the metro or bus system (RATP)
French is the national language
Grand Hotel du Palais Royal (close to the Louvre)
Hotel Moliere (7 min walk to the Louvre)
The People Hostel – Paris 12 (near public transport, great for walkers)
What to Eat:
Crepes from Coffee Crêpes (gluten-free & vegan options, English speakers)
Green Juice & Protein Bowl from Wild & The Moon (dedicated gluten-free, vegan options available)
Waffles sans gluten from Yummy & Guiltfree (dedicated gluten-free)
What to Read:
Rick Steves Pocket Paris by Rick Steves
Buy on Bookshop
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