When people think Paris, their mind automatically gravitates toward the Eiffel Tower and the Lourve. Fashionistas might add Chanel to the list. However, the city of lights has so much more to offer. You could spend a month there and still not see everything.
If you’re planning an extended trip to Paris, the usual tourist hotspots are only going to take up a few days of your trip. Here’s where to stay and what to do when spending a month in Paris.
Where to Stay in Paris
Don’t make the same mistakes that countless travelers have made before: booking an accommodation near the Eiffel Tower. Sure, this approach works if you have a quick stopover and want to see the tower before moving on, but it’s not ideal for extended visitors as it’s set quite far apart from the rest (and best) of Paris.
Paris is broken into many neighborhoods, or “Arrondissements,” similar to the boroughs of New York. Here are three of the best neighborhoods to stay in while visiting Paris for a month.
Champs-Élysées, also known as 8th Arrondissement, is ideal for those who like to live in the lap of luxury. This beautiful neighborhood is home to some of the best dining experiences in the world, as well as shops for many high-end designer brands. Luxury Retreats rentals in the area are even named for famed french designers, like Hermès.
In addition to shopping for your favorite designer brands, Champs-Élysées is home to one of the must-see tourist attractions in Paris: Arc de Triomphe. Climb up the Arc at night for an incredible view of the city below, including the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Walk along the famous Seine river, catch a show, and enjoy this beautiful home base for touring Paris.
Le Marais, the 4th Arrondissement, is trendy and hip, flawlessly blending old Paris with new. Its narrow, cobblestone streets are perfect for strolling around. Le Marais is home to the oldest covered market, Marché des Enfants Rouges, where you can purchase a variety of foodstuffs, and stock up on cooking supplies while mingling with locals.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is located in Le Marais. While the site is currently closed due to the devastating fire of 2019, plans for restoration are in place. It’s still worth walking up to the area.
Another attraction worthy of mention in Le Marais is the Musée National Picasso, home to more than 500 pieces of Picasso’s art. With plenty of inspired boutique cafes and bars, Le Marais is the perfect place to stay during an extended visit to Paris.
Arrondissement 14, or Montparnasse, is ideal for those who don’t just want to visit Paris for a month, they want to live in Paris for a month. This isn’t a trendy tourist area; it’s a place the Parisians call home away from the things that make the city famous. If you want to immerse yourself in the culture without being too far from the attractions, this is the neighborhood for you.
Despite being a non-tourist area, Montparnasse has an artistic sub-culture. It’s where Hemingway, Picasso, and other famed artists would escape to when they wanted to focus on their craft. Many young artists have followed their footsteps. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes, as well as some beautiful architecture to look at. Montparnasse is excellent for those traveling on a budget.
Day Trips From Paris
While Paris is filled with things to see and do, you’d be doing yourself a great injustice by staying within the city. There are some amazing day trips you can take from Paris proper to get a taste of France.
You can’t miss the Palace of Versailles, a sprawling architectural dream with stunning gardens and interesting history lessons. A trip to Paris isn’t complete without spending a day at Disneyland. Head to Normandy to pay your respects to those lost in the war then venture to the breathtaking Mont Saint-Michel, which might be the inspiration for the castle in Beauty and the Beast.
Finally, venture out to the Champagne region, where you can drink some of the world’s finest wines and feel positively bubbly.
Spending a month in Paris will fly by. With so much to see and do, both in the city and a short trip away, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime.