Ahh, Paris! Known as the City of Lights, Paris is home to world-renowned museums like the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay, stunning architectural feats like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, and unique attractions like the hill of Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge. Beyond that, you’ll find some of the best shopping and food in the world and an array of lesser known but equally beautiful parks and monuments. Whether you choose to spend the day at the Grand Palais or picnicking on the Seine (or both!), you are almost guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience each day of your trip.
Because there is so much to do, you’ll want to pack thoughtfully for the experience so you’re prepared to make the most out of your trip every day. With that in mind, here’s what we think you should have in your bag:
The Right Wardrobe
The weather in Paris can be unpredictable, so you’ll want to be sure to pack accordingly. First of all, make sure to check the forecast for your time away, so you can at least get a sense as to what’s expected. Then, do what you can to prepare for reality to look completely different from the forecast..just in case. For example, it often rains in Paris during the winter and the summer, so pack a raincoat and a pair of rain boots if you can – or at least an umbrella.
Because of the unpredictability, we also recommend layering. Bring a hat in case it gets sunny (or again, you get some unexpected rain). Temperatures and conditions can change throughout the day, and bringing layers and a light jacket (in your daypack!) can make all the difference in terms of your level of comfortability. And if you want to fit in with the locals, we hear they’re pretty into black. If black isn’t your thing, you can try the “no more than 3 colors rule” that Parisians tend to live by…or just wear whatever feels comfortable for you.
The streets of Paris are made for walking. We’re guessing you’ll be spending a good amount of your time doing just that, so be thoughtful about the shoes you bring. While we’re not encouraging you to forego style – this is Paris we’re talking about, after all – we’re saying this is one of those trips you’ll want to put some time into finding options that are both stylish and comfortable. Often, the streets of Paris are cobblestone, so keep that in mind when considering packing heels.
A Day Pack
If you’re planning a trip to Paris, you’ll likely spend a good amount of time away from your hotel and out on the streets, taking in museums, cafes, architecture, and other sites. That means you’ll want to be prepared all day once you leave the hotel in the morning. Proper day trip packing requires the following:
Note: Be sure to keep some of your cash, a form of identification, and all but one credit card at your hotel for safekeeping.
When it comes to finding your way around Paris, we’d be willing to bet you’ll need some help. If you ask us, the best way to get around the city is the old school way – with a map. Plotting your course on an actual, printed map to use as you peruse from monument to museum makes us feel like we’re getting a feel for the city. It also helps to learn a bit more about its layout. If this strikes your fancy, be sure to pack maps that cover the sites you intend to visit.
That said, we’re also completely on board with the more common form of navigation – usually in the form of an app on your iPhone or Droid. If you’re going that route, you’ll of course want to pack your phone, but you’ll also want to make sure it’s ready for use abroad. Check in with your carrier to make sure you can use data internationally, and prepared for the resultant expenses. We’ve also shared in another post about how you can use Google maps offline here.
Even more important than what you’ll pack for your trip to Paris is staying safe while you’re there. To help you out, we put together tips for traveling safely in Europe this summer – check them out here.