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Say “Oui!” to Picture Perfect Paris (and beyond!)

Eiffel Tower Hi there, Eiffel Tower!

All eyes will be on Paris this summer as the 2024 Summer Olympics make their way to The City of Light.

If you’re planning a trip to cheer on swimmers in the Seine River or watch volleyball with a view of the Eiffel Tower, I want to help!

Paris is one of the most famous European destinations from CVG and with good reason. It’s easy to get to (with even more flights being added later this year), easy to navigate even if you don’t speak French, and offers a chance to visit some of the most famous spots in the world.

Paris Terrace The perfect start to a day in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower… and much more!

Any first-time visit to Paris will probably include visiting the city’s most iconic landmark. At over 1,000 feet high, the real Eiffel Tower is three times bigger than the one at Kings Island. There are also multiple ways to ascend to the viewing platform at the top. If you want to save a few bucks and are physically able to, you can climb the 674 steps from the ground to the “second floor.”

The stairs of the Eiffel Tower The climb to the top takes a little extra time but offers unique views.

It makes for a pretty cool experience: fewer people, a chance to pause and enjoy the view on the way up, and the opportunity to appreciate the intricate design of the Tower. You can also take an elevator from the ground to the top.

We decided to visit at sunset and enjoyed a daytime and nighttime view.

Paris at Night A stunning view from the Eiffel Tower.

There are plenty of famous places to check out. Make sure to grab a ticket in advance for The Louvre. Originally a 12th-Century fortress, it is the most visited art museum in the world. And for good reason. It houses some of the most iconic works of art, including the Mona Lisa, Venus De Milo, and The Raft of the Medusa.

Louvre A perfect activity for a brisk, cloudy morning.

We chose the very first time slot and immediately made our way to the Mona Lisa, then the Venus De Milo. This allowed us to view both works before the massive crowds moved in.

Jay at the Louvre (Left) All alone with the Mona Lisa. (Right) The façade of The Louvre.

Make sure to allow plenty of time to see as much as you can; it’s a huge space with thousands of pieces on display.

About five years ago, a massive fire heavily damaged one of the world’s most famous examples of French Gothic architecture, the Notre Dame Cathedral. Since then, over 1,000 people have worked tirelessly to restore the 860year-old building to its former glory. The building is scheduled to reopen to the public this December, but the exterior can be viewed anytime.

The Notre-Dame de Paris The Notre-Dame de Paris (before the fire of 2019)

If you have time, try strolling by during the day and again at night to truly appreciate its beauty.

Continue walking along the Seine River to appreciate the beauty of Parisian homes and neighborhoods. Stop into a cafe for a bite to eat or a pastry (just don’t eat while using public transportation).

Siene River A cloudy day along the Seine River

Other stops on your trip might include the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Moulin Rouge, Musee d’Orsay, Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysees. I recommend checking out the TripAdvisor top things to visit page here to decide what you’d like to do before arriving.

Moulin Rouge

Paris is a perfect destination any time of year.

The city makes a great vacation choice for anyone, whether it be a honeymoon, a couples getaway, family trip, an excursion for a solo traveler, or just a last-minute escape. As the seasons change, so do the events and things to see around town.

Paris Street A bustling street in the city

January through early March offer great value. Flights are cheaper, accommodations are plentiful, and tourist attractions have shorter lines. Spring break sees an increase in tourism as families look to visit while their kids are out of school, and the number of visitors continues to increase into summer. July is generally the busiest month for tourists. August is busy, too.

Paris in Summer Summertime is magical

Longer days and nicer weather attract visitors from around the world. Prices will be a bit higher, and you’ll want to book hotels and attractions well in advance.

The Pantheon Dome The Pantheon Dome during Christmas 2019

When September rolls around, so do the deals. The crowds thin, and the weather is still nice. Christmas in Paris is beautiful with decorations and markets to visit around town.

Christmas Market in Paris A Christmas market with Notre Dame in the background

Paris makes a great “home base” to explore France.

Thanks to an excellent public transportation system, including high-speed trains, Paris is a great place to begin or wrap up a trip around France.

Lyon Hello, Lyon!

Take a two-hour train ride south and experience the city of Lyon. We really enjoyed it. It’s a big city but has sort of a smaller town feel than Paris. (Kind of like Cincinnati!) A trip in November was perfect for us; the weather was comfortable, the crowds were small, and we were able to see some remaining fall colors while the Christmas markets were gearing up.

Rhone River in Lyon A beautiful view along the Rhone River in Lyon

Continue just another hour south by train, and you’ll experience the magnificent medieval town of Avignon. I can’t say enough about this incredible gem in the Provence region of France. The town looks like a fairytale around every corner, complete with a 14th-century papal palace appropriately named the Palais des Papes.

Avignon Avignon is gorgeous

The city has a beautiful river, excellent cafes and shops, and friendly people.

We booked a small group tour of the Provence area, which ended up being a private tour with an excellent guide because it was the low season. The views, history, and tastes of the region are unlike anything else.

Provence Region The Provence region in late fall was perfect

Accommodations are easy to come by and are more affordable than larger cities like Paris. Much like any European city, expect smaller, cozier hotel rooms. Bonus: terraces!

Hotel Room We’re all about a good terrace!

Paris is easy to get to from CVG!

I’ve often mentioned my favorite flight from CVG is Delta’s non-stop service to Paris. And it still is! Here’s why.

  • It’s currently offered three times per week, and beginning May 23, 2024, it will be offered seven days a week.
  • It leaves at 6:05 pm, which can save you valuable vacation time. Work pretty much a full day, head to the airport, hop on board, and enjoy dinner shortly after takeoff. After dinner, pop on your eye mask and headphones, get some sleep, and wake up around 8:00 am Paris time, ready to greet the city!
  • You can often find a great deal on this flight during off-peak times or by booking ahead.

One-stop flights are offered daily on American, United, Delta, and Air Canada as well.

Louvre architecture The architecture of The Louvre is beautiful.

Planning on traveling to Paris during the Olympic Games?

Awesome! It will be an incredible experience in a world-class city. Here are a few things I’d recommend.

  • Book your flights now. Or better yet, yesterday. If you’re having difficulty finding flights, try flying into London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, or other nearby cities, and book a short flight from there.
  • Book your accommodations now. (Again, yesterday would have been better.) Paris can get pricey during the summer months. Add in a major event like this, and finding a place can be challenging. Consider looking outside of the main core of the city and in an area with good public transit access to get you into the city. There will also be competition venues throughout the Paris region—and all of France—so figure out what interests you most and plan accordingly.
  • Beware of ticket deals that seem too good to be true. Make sure to purchase tickets directly from trusted sources.

Keep an eye on the Jay’s Deals page for a great deal on your next flight. We love visiting Europe and sharing our adventures at @JayKruzOfficial on Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter).

I’ll see you in a cafe in Paris this summer!