Paris Travel Guide (2023): What to Expect
If you are planning on traveling to the city of light in 2023, this Paris travel guide is meant to help you understand a few things you should know before your trip. As the city prepares for the 2024 Olympics, continuous recovery from the global pandemic, and civil disturbances on the horizon for the planned increase in the retirement age, many things are happening that may impact your trip.
For example, there will be new transportation options available and several major landmarks are under construction. The good news and there are a lot of new things to visit and see, and several significant re-opening of old favorites.
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Sure. Paris is always a good idea. But maybe some times are better than others! I know that we were been stuck at home for two years and we are all a bit antsy to get back out there. Paris is a dream destination for many. A bucket list trip they no longer want to hold off on, years have been stolen from our lives and we have time to make up for.
If Paris is where you want to go, I say go for it. BUT I do want to provide information so that this can be the best Paris travel guide that serves you and that will help set expectations as to what it will be like to visit Paris in 2023.
I have been to Paris more than 50 times. During every month and every season. We often stay 1-2 weeks and move around the city to experience different arrondissements. All that to say I have some experience.
Also, I love all my expat friends that live in Paris, living the day-to-day in the city of light, but there is a different experience when you are visiting as a tourist than living as an expat or a local. Every time I return it is as a visitor, with fresh eyes, new experiences, and lots of snags. Hopefully, you will avoid some disappointment by reading this post.
My intent isn't to discourage you from visiting Paris. I just want you to take off the rose-colored glasses for a moment, reset your expectations, then you can quickly shove them back on! I am providing an overview of what to expect in Paris in 2023 (not an update to the usual information about Paris). I hope this information helps make your trip planning easier!
D'accord? Bon ! On y va ! (Okay? Good! Let's go!) with this year's Paris travel guide!
Here is what you need to know about visiting Paris in 2023!
Okay. This is not unusual for France in general, especially during the months of May and October. But this year, there is an extra round of strikes around France's retirement pension reform that began in February and will continue throughout the spring which will impact your trip to Paris.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Most of the time strikes = public transportation issues.
- That means the metro (RER), trains (SNCF and RER), buses (RER), and sometimes taxis too.
- Make sure your airport transfer is secured well in advance of any possible transit strikes. By pre-booking an airport transfer, you won't be stuck without transport and the hotel will take care of providing updates concerning delays or disruptions that may occur.
- One thing I do is head to the CDG area the night before my flight so that any possible delays will not force me to miss my flight. I love the Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel but have also stayed at the Paris Marriott Charles de Gaulle Airport Hotel and citizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
- For air travel, 95% of the time international flights are not impacted. However, as soon as you arrive in France, you may have issues if you have inner-France connections to other French airports.
- BUT you may have trouble getting to the airport on the day of a strike. Taxis will not be able to get through demonstrations at the airport and will drop you off in inconvenient locations and you will have to walk! My best advice is to ask the taxi driver to drop you off at Ibis Paris CDG Airport it is a 5-minute covered walk to Terminal 3. Or the citizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
- You can check when and where major strikes and demonstrations are taking place with this site: C'est la Grève. It is in French, but you can use an online translator. It is pretty self-explanatory.
- Before heading out of your hotel check in with the front desk or concierge. They usually know where and when protests are planned. You do not want to be inadvertently swept up into a demonstration.
- Avoid the large public areas called “Places”, especially around Place de la Republique, Place de la Bastille, Place d'Italie, and Place de la Concorde.
- Tune into France24 online. It is in English and can help you keep track of what is going on in real-time. Also, try Gov.uk.
- Download the Citymapper app for the latest transportation updates. This savvy app will keep you up-to-date on train and transit info, providing alternative routes when necessary.
There are over 70 construction projects going on right now in Paris leading up to the 2024 Olympics and it impacts a lot of major sites. Things will be closed, views will be blocked, and it’s a real mess, so be prepared for that!
Here is an absolutely essential resource from the Paris.fr website you will need it if want to know where major construction is taking place by arrondissement. It is in French, but there is still information you can gather even if you don't speak English. And you can use an online translation tool to get you a little further.
Probably most painful for first-time visitors to Paris will be the construction of the garden between the Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower. If you are someone who looks at Google Street View, which the Misadventures family does a lot, the images are outdated, so you would never suspect that anything was amiss.
If you are dreaming about all those awesome Instagram-worthy photos of the Eiffel Tower from the Palais De Chaillot sorry to disappoint you, but there is only one teeny slice of the area where you can still take photos and you will have to fight to get a good spot!
This is an enormous project (you can get more info, in French, here and here) that is going to take a while to complete.
As I mentioned this is happening throughout Paris at all the major sites, like the Louvre:
This Paris travel guide is about preparing you for the current situation so you will not be surprised! The bright side? There are literally thousands of places to visit in Paris. There is no shortage of awesome things to see.
And if you want to see some of the major sites, you just need to get a little creative and maybe brush up on your yoga, as you may have to twist your body in some unnatural ways to get that shot!
If you decide to go the Airbnb route ask if there is any major construction on the street. One of the 2 apartments we stayed in last October was completely blocked by construction and we could never get a taxi to take us home! On top of that, they were expanding the metro station and light rail so accessing the metro turned out to be a real pain. Read all the reviews for the apartment!
If you are staying in a hotel, call or email them to ask the same question about construction. The last thing you want is to spend money on a nice hotel and then not get the view you want (or worse). Mr. Misadventures and I splurged on a hotel for 24 hours so we could get their rooftop terrace view of the Eiffel Tower only to arrive at the hotel and learn it was closed for construction…le sigh…
- The Opera Garnier may be splendid on the inside, but the front is covered up by a huge billboard. The facade is undergoing renovation and the project will not be completed by the 2024 Olympics.
- As you likely know, Notre Dame was destroyed in a fire in April of 2019. At the time French President Macron promised it would be completed by the time the Paris Olympics open in 2024. Construction is on-track and in 2023 the spire will be going up (no confirmed date at the time of writing). Notre Dame “should” open for the Olympics although complete restoration will not be done until 2025.
- If you are interested in seeing some of the relics that were saved in the fire, the Louvre will have them on special display during the fall of 2023.
- The [once beautiful] Ponts des Arts was supposed to be closed for [much needed!] renovation in 2022, but apparently, the oak the city of Paris wants to use is impacted by supply chain issues and the project has not started. Once they have the wood, it is supposed to take 8 months, so be aware of this!
- Started in 2022, the Place de Catalunya in the 14th arrondissement began an ambitious project to develop an urban forest with greenery and vegetated sidewalks. Impact, there are closures of sidewalks and streets in the area.
- The Centre Pompidou is closed and will not re-open until 2025.
- There is only one Olympic venue actually within the city of Paris and that will be the l’Arena Olympique in Porte de la Chapelle in the 18th arrondissement. Construction has been going on for quite some time and is expected to be completed (barring further supply chain issues) in December of 2023, so be aware of this site if you are in the area.
- The Porte Maillot area in the 16th arrondissement has been undergoing significant construction due to an extension of the RER E station that is expected to be completed in “2023” so if you are staying in that area you may be impacted.
Taxi drama at CDG Airport
Because of all the construction and street closures traffic is absolutely horrific so that severely impacts travel times in taxis when going from here to there in the city. PLUS there is a new phenomenon at the airport that I witnessed. Depending on the time of day I saw taxi drivers at the airport rejecting people going to the city (mind blown) because there is a set fare from CDG to Paris and depending on traffic taxi drivers lose money.
- Flat rate to the left bank: €58. The left bank is these arrondissements: 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, and 15th.
- Flat rate to the right bank: €53. The right bank is these arrondissements: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th.
Start off by making sure to get in an official taxi queue/line. (NOTE: licensed “Taxis Parisiens” (Parisian taxis) park outside the baggage claim areas in each terminal). Only get into a taxi that has an illuminated rooftop sign (it's a green light). And make sure it has a meter!
Also when you do get in the cab, confirm the 50 Euro tariff, don’t get scammed!
If it is the first time you are visiting Paris or if it has been a while you need to be aware that there are a lot more bikes than there used to be. More bike lanes too. They can be a real hazard in overcrowded areas, so please be aware of them. You may not realize you are walking on a bike path which could potentially cause an accident. Be on the lookout for them at all times!
The old-style paper tickets, that you could be in a set of 10 known as a carnet, are gone forever. This has been replaced by the Navigo Easy Pass which you can have on your phone if you like. I recommend the Bonjour RATP app for you to get all the latest info. And check out my Paris metro guide.
This is a global phenomenon due to the pandemic. Many restaurants around the world have closed including probably some of your favorites in Paris. Make sure you double-check online to ensure that the business is still open.
If you are heading to Disneyland Paris, Planet Hollywood, and King Ludwig’s Castle are closing, and the new The Royal Pub opened in February. The Rosalie restaurant opening has been pushed back to the end of 2023.
Places like the Louvre are introducing limits on the number of people they allow to visit. They are going to be capping the number of visitors to 30,000 people per day. If you are visiting, I highly encourage you to buy your tickets ahead of time.
The Good News: What to Do in Paris in 2023
This Paris travel guide is not all doom and gloom! During 2022, Paris was opening back up and a lot of annual events were either not returned, still virtual, or with a small hybrid footprint. In 2023, many events are back in full swing!
Here are just some of the things you can look forward to:
- The Bourse de Commerce Museum opened during the pandemic in May of 2021 so many people have yet to visit. The first Saturday of the month, the Bourse de Commerce opens from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for FREE.
- Museums you can visit for FREE on the 1st Sunday of the month:
- Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine
- La Cité de la Céramique de Sèvres
- Musée de Cluny
- Musée d'Archéologie National
- Musée de la chasse et de la nature
- Musée de la Grande Guerre
- Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace
- Musée de l'Histoire de l'Immigration
- Musée de l'Orangerie
- Musée d'Orsay
- Musée des Arts et Métiers
- Musée du Quai Branly
- Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer
- Musée Guimet
- Musée Gustave Moreau
- Musée National d'Art Moderne
- Musée National Picasso
- Musée Rodin
- The Musée d’Orsay will have a special Van Gogh exhibit featuring Vincent Van Gogh works from the last two months of his life, in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris. It runs from October 3 through Jan 2024.
- Fashion! In 2023, Paris will host 6 fashion shows:
- Men's Fashion Week is January 17 – 22 and June 20 – 25
- Ready-to-wear fashion weeks featuring Chanel, Christian Dior, and Louis Vuitton are February 27-March 7 and September 25-October 3
- Haute couture weeks when brands show their most creative pieces are January 23-26 and July 3-6
- It may come as a surprise, but the French excel at judo with many Olympic champions! The Paris Grand Slam takes place Feb 4th and 5th with athletes trying for their Olympic qualifications. Held at the Accor Arena. There is usually something going on at the arena to pique your interest!
- The only female chef to be awarded 3 Michelin stars in the US, Dominique Crenn (her award-winning restaurant is in San Francisco) will be taking the helm at the restaurant in the La Fantaisie hotel (in the 9th arrondissement) in the spring.
- Also after a long closure for renovation, the La Tour d’Argent will also reopen on March 2nd.
- In a rare loan to France, the “Ramses the Great & the Gold of the Pharaohs” exhibit will run at the Grande Halle de la Villette from April 7 to September 6.
- If you are looking for a hotel in Paris, here are some new ones to check out (err, or check into!):
- Hôtel Dame des Arts in the 6th arrondissement opened at the beginning of February
- Le Grand Mazarin in the 4th arrondissement opens June 15
- citizenM Paris Opera in the 2nd arrondissement opened in March
- Maison Delano opens April 1.
- Too Hotel in the 13th arrondissement has interiors by Philippe Starck, this hotel occupies the top 8 floors of one of the tallest buildings in Paris!
- Hilton Garden Inn Paris La Villette opens in May in the 19th arrondissement.
- The annual Museum Night (Nuit des Musées) that is celebrated throughout Europe takes place on May 13th. All participating museums offer free admission!
- Nuit Blanche (White Night) will be June 3. This is a major art and cultural event where contemporary art is on display in the streets of Paris from dusk to dawn.
- After 7 years of renovation, the Théâtre de la Ville in the 4th arrondissement will re-open in September of 2023.
- Heritage Day will take place on September 16 and 17. This is the opportunity (if you can handle the lines) to visit the Élysée Palace, the Assemblée Nationale, and other spots not typically open to the public.
- The Maison Gainsbourg, the long-awaited museum dedicated to the legendary singer Serge Gainsbourg opens on September 20th. You must book tickets online and they are available for Sept 20 through Dec 31st at the moment.
- If you are a rugby fan, the 2023 Rugby World Cup will be held from September 8 through October 28 at the Stade de France.
As of spring 2022, a ban on heating open terraces with heat lamps came into effect. Look for places that now offer heated seat cushions (some made by the French company called Cuchot). Look for signs that say “Coussin Chauffant.” 2023 is the first winter that you will see them in the first months and last months of the year.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Paris in 2023! To ensure a smooth trip, be sure you know where construction is happening and plan accordingly. Hopefully, this travel guide to Paris updated for this year will help you have the trip of a lifetime!
Here is more information to help you plan your trip.
If you want my FULL Paris Travel Planner with sheets for:
Trip Overview | Travel Budget | Accommodation Tracker | Transportation Tracker | Activities Planner | Pre-Trip Planning | Places to Visit | Itinerary Overview | Daily Itinerary | Arrondissement Guides | Road Trip Planning | Packing List | Outfit Planner | Expense Tracker | Souvenirs & Gifts List | To do List | January-December Planning Calendar | Paris Bucket List Checklist | and Travel Journal Pages
100 pages! Available for $9.99.
Here are additional Paris travel guide information, tips, and tricks for every month of the year:
PARIS IN: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec
And here are guides to the individual Paris Arrondissements:
Paris Arrondissement Guide | 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th | 6th | 7th | 8th | 9th | 10th | 11th | 12th | 13th | 14th | 15th | 16th | 17th | 18th | 19th | 20th
And if you are looking for packing advice, I've got you covered!
With a little planning, your trip to Paris is sure to be a success!
How about you? Are you planning to travel to Paris in 2023? How can I help?
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- Look for fares using sites like Skyscanner or Expedia.com.
- For France (Paris) coming from the West Coast, I typically fly Air France or United. From the East Coast, I typically fly Air France or Delta.
- If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. Not only will you have a spot to relax before your flight and charge your devices, but you can eat and drink for free (without paying crazy airport prices!)
- I use Expedia.com, Booking.com, and Hotels.com to find lodging. Always check the reviews on TripAdvisor before booking!
- If you want to stay in a rental, look at VRBO and Plum Guide.
- For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. When traveling in Europe, I use AutoEurope to make reservations. They find the best rates and allow you to compare different car rental agencies. I typically book with Sixt.
- For transportation from the CDG airport to anywhere within Paris, consider pre-booking with Get Transfer. It is one way to be stress-free and you can request an English-speaking driver.
- Tours + Atractions
- I book tours with companies like Viator and GetYourGuide. Both have a wide variety of activities for every travel style. Other companies to look at include Tours by Locals and Withlocals.
- If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City.
- Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational-based activities.
- If you are looking to buy tickets to attractions, check out Tiquet.
- Don't Forget Travel Photos
- One of my favorite things to do is to get photos taken of me while on vacation. Flytographer is a great option with photographers all over the world.
- Peace of Mind
- It’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threats, or cancellations. I always travel with insurance and would recommend SafetyWing, SquareMouth or Travelex Insurance are good options.
- Should you have any trouble with flight delays to the extent you feel you deserve compensation, I encourage you to check out and use AirHelp. I used them and for 1 claim I got compensated (transparency: a 2nd claim did not, but I was still glad I tried!).
- Check out Le Shop for my digital travel planners and Paris planner!
It sounds like getting around could be a pain but still so much to see and do.
I always love reading your posts. You always have a great travel insight about whats going on every where. I hate to see Paris is under a lot of construction but down the road, it will be worth it.
I so love Paris. This is good to keep in mind. I won’t be going this year, but I am going in 2025 I think.
I would love to go to Paris. I’m sure the construction kind of gets in the way, but I would still go. I have always wanted to visit Paris.
I would really love to go and visit Paris! I would love to take my family there!
These are good traveling tips. Paris sounds like a place that I want to visit.
I love museums! Paris sounds like a fun city to visit!
OH wow, thanks for the heads up. I wouldn’t have expected so much of the beautiful city to be blocked off from construction all at once!
I am impressed of how many times you have been to Paris. You are definitely an expert!
All the construction sounds a little disappointing since there are so many spectacular sites to photograph! But I would still return to Paris!
Wow! You’ve just given us some valuable information and detailed one to know what’s happening in Paris this 2023! But nonetheless, Paris is Paris it’s an amazing and great place to visit!
Thanks for this great post.
Maybe it’s the right time to go to Versailles then 😉 There can be a lot of people too so It’s good to go book and go early. Very easy to to with RER C.
And I recommend the Crêperie La flottille (https://laflottille.fr/en/). It’s at the back of the park and you can’t drive there so … need to walk a bit but it’s magic.
@Dominique, merci! I will be heading back to Versailles again in September, so I will try your crêperie recommendation!
This is great information, thank you for sharing. I think I’ll be postponing my Paris trip until after the Olympics.
Thank you for this blog. I had no idea there was so much construction going on. Do you know if the Trocadéro will still have the wall up by August this year? I looked at the sites you provided but other than by 2024 I haven’t been able to find an end date for construction. Merci 🇫🇷😊
@RosaLinda, I am working on getting this answer as well, I have a trip in September and I am hoping it is cleared, stay tuned and I will reach out to you!