Paris is an amazing city. The many monuments, museums, food, drink and street life are sure to please even a traveller with a dislike of cities. Driving is not for the faint hearted, but can be a good buzz once you get used to it.
Many prefer to stay in hotels or hostels in the city itself, as the atmosphere is a great part of Paris. Seeing the many sites on foot is also much easier if you are staying in the city. Inner city accommodation will not offer parking, especially for large vehicles, so consider parking out of the city (see ‘Free parking’ below).
If you are staying at a campsite take public transport or walk into the city.
Inner city hotels or hostels
For many the best experience of Paris comes from staying in an inner city hotel or hostel. Parking will be impossible so consider leaving your vehicle (see ‘Free parking’ below) or try and find secure long term parking.
Out of city hotels
Many out of city hotels offer free parking. This is the best option if you do not want to leave your vehicle. You can then take public transport or walk into the city. Be sure to check the hotel parking can accommodate a large camper van or motorhome before booking.
Parking anywhere in metropolitan Paris is a problem. Every street is being made a metered zone. Even the outer districts such as 17e have parking meters on every street.
If you are camping at a site, take public transport into the city. Ask at your site for directions.
The large park at Bois De Boulogne (west of 16e) has many large roads that are not metered. Head for the ‘Musee National Des Arts Et Traditions Popularies’ and park on ‘Rue De Mathma Gandhi’. The 5 km (3 mile) walk to the central zone of Paris will take about 1 hour, but you will pass the Arc De Triomphe (the big one, there is a smaller copy at the end of ‘Musee De L’ouvre’, and walk on the Champs Elysees.
Street camping is not recommended in Paris. You can try in the ‘Bois De Boulogne’ park (see ‘Free parking’).
There are many, my recommendations are:
- Eiffel Tower – Stunning views, unique monument.
- Musee Du L’ouvre – an amazing art gallery, housing the Mona Lisa.
- Notre Dame – a beautiful atmospheric cathedral. Climb the towers so see Quasimodo’s legend and the bell.
- Arc De Triomphe – the view from the top is worth it.
- Musee D’Orsay – a great art museum
- The many sites
- The food
- Coffee, wine and beer
- The street vibe and bustle
- Busy traffic
- Very busy in summer