My Favorite Paris Tips for Tourists

Since we’ve been back from Paris, there are a few tips I’ve been sharing with anyone and everyone that will listen, and I feel like they made our trip so much more magical.

Notre Dame

We got to Notre Dame right when it opened at 7:45 a.m. I learned really quickly that opening at 7:45 means that it opens for MASS at 7:45, and the towers didn’t open until like 10 a.m.

BUT! The great bonus to this day was the fact that there was NOBODY out in front of Notre Dame (usually there’s a line at least 30 people long in the courtyard in front waiting to get in to the cathedral). AND – while Mass is going on, tourists can still (reverently) mill around the cathedral. I’m not Catholic, but it was a very humbling and spiritual experience listening to Mass in French while admiring the incredible stained glass and architecture that is Notre Dame.

Getting to Notre Dame early in the morning was one of the best things we did in Paris. So peaceful.


Get there RIGHT when the gates open. Then once you get inside the gates, RUN to the Hall of Mirrors. Don’t even worry about the other rooms. Go back and see them later. But the Hall of Mirrors gets PACKED really quickly, and it was so incredible to have the place to ourselves first thing in the morning.

Hall of Mirrors at Versailles
Just look at my ridiculously elated face. This is what the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles looked like for us — literally EMPTY


Hall of Mirrors - After
This is what the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles USUALLY looks like! UGH.

Eiffel Tower

We did the Eiffel Tower right at sunset on our last day in the city and it was breathtaking. The line wasn’t hours and hours long to get up, and when we got back down, we got to watch the tower sparkle right there on the Champ de Mars. I wish I were exaggerating, but I honestly could not have dreamed a better ending to such an amazing trip.

Our view from the Eiffel Tower as we watched the sun set over the City of Lights



Bad Guys and Gypsies

We actually did have a run in with a few, especially out at Sacre Coeur. But if there’s anyone selling string bracelets or asking you to sign a petition, PARTICULARLY at any of the popular tourist sites, ignore them.


For those of you who have been to Paris, was there anything you did or any happy accidents you had that made your trip THAT much more magical? I’d love to hear about them!

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