When you think of romantic weekend breaks, Paris is probably the city that comes to mind first. This is one of the easiest cities to fly to from Ireland as cheap, direct flights depart from Dublin and Cork (view direct flights from Ireland to Paris). Within 2 hours, you’ll be on the Seine, strolling around the Louvre or shopping in Marais, café and croissant in hand. The best time to visit Paris is usually in August and September when the crowds diminish, but the temperature lingers at 20°C+. If you’re here for the museums and galleries, winter is a great time to visit to avoid the queues and make the most of the window displays on the Champs- Elysees!
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A weekend in Paris
There’s lots to do over the weekend in Paris. Start by checking into an affordable hotel in the centre, then head out for dinner in Montmartre (one of the most ‘French-feeling’ neighbourhoods). On waking, stroll down Champs Elysees and grab coffee at Ladurée (the best macarons in Paris), before using the metro to get to one of Paris’ best flea markets, Marché de Montreuil. You can grab a cheap breakfast here before rummaging the racks of clothes and trinkets, then move onto Galeries Lafayette – this is the place to go shopping in Paris. Use your afternoon to relax on the banks of the Seine with a bottle of wine, and check out the Moulin Rouge in the evening. On Sunday, visit the Louvre early (it’s the best time to go to avoid crowds), and use the rest of the day to explore Paris by boat or by bike. Our quick local's guide to Paris is perfect to take on your city break!
Best places to shop in Paris
Louvre & Ile de la Cité (1st arrondissement)
The Louvre and Ile de la Cité are the main shopping neighbourhoods in Paris. Forum des Halles and Rue de Rivoli are perfect for finding well known favourites like Zara, Mango and Calzedonia. If you’re looking for perfumeries, boutiques and designer shops, look no further than the Montpensier and Valois galleries in Palais Royal.
The Marais (4th arrondissement)
Le Marais is the best area for boutique shopping, with cool concept stores, French beauty brands and outlets like Sandro and Acne. This arrondissement is close to The Louvre, just go north from Rue de Rivoli.
Opéra & Grand Boulevards (2nd & 9th arrondissements)
Opéra is the best place to go if you have the family in tow and you need central shopping in Paris. Galeries Lafayette is the biggest and most impressive department store in Paris, with stunning window displays and shops for every budget.
Insider’s tips for Paris
The best time to visit the Louvre
If you have a European passport and you are 18-25, your passport grants you free entry. The Louvre is open every day but Tuesday.
How to visit the Eiffel Tower
You can buy tickets to go up the Eiffel Tower online, but the most impressive view of the Eiffel Tower is on the ground.
The best view point in Paris
The view from the top of the Notre-Dame gives a panoramic view of the river and the Eiffel Tower.
Where to eat in Paris
Croissants, baguettes and cheese are all very cheap to buy here, but when you’re eating out the dish to order is steak frites, or escargot.
Which airport to fly to in Paris
There are 3 airports in Paris: Beauvais, Charles de Gaulle and Orly.
How to get around Paris
Use the metro. This is the cheapest way to get around Paris.
This information is correct as of February 2017.