Paris is a fantastic city to explore as a solo traveler. Its village-like neighborhoods and boulevards studded with iconic monuments, museums and shops, and city culture that moves from quiet cafe time to buzzing nightlife make it perfect for urban strolling. And as one of the world’s most visited cities, it’s well set up with guided tours that take you behind the scenes.
This four- to seven-day itinerary is a starting point for solo travelers to discover the City of Light. In partnership with Delta Vacations, we’ll show you how to Go Beyond the Flight and get more from your vacation experience. Here you’ll find just a sample of accommodations available through Delta Vacations that are perfect for solo travelers – plus easy transfer options and, most importantly, one-of-a-kind activities both on and off the beaten path.
Whether it’s an elevated experience at a well-known tourist destination or an under-the-radar gem, there’s something special for everyone in the City of Light.’
Day one – Art and architecture around the Seine
For an unforgettable introduction to Paris, start with a stroll along its beautiful waterway, the Seine, which flows through the city’s heart. A wonderful exploratory loop on the Right Bank leads you west along the riverside quai des Tuileries, passing the sculptures, green lawns, ponds and fountains of elegant gardens the Jardin des Tuileries.
At the vast square place de la Concorde, you’ll get a panorama of the spire of the Eiffel Tower and the golden church dome of military complex Hôtel des Invalides both rising across the river, and a straight-shot view up the glamorous avenue des Champs-Élysées, lined by luxury shops and cafes, all the way to the another defining Parisian landmark, the Arc de Triomphe.
Heading north, then east reveals more luxurious shops along rue St-Honoré and nearby place Vendôme, home to the legendary Hôtel Ritz Paris, with restaurants, bars, famous cookery school and entrenched place in Parisian history.
The gleaming glass pyramid marks the entrance to the Louvre, the world’s most visited museum, with a whopping 35,000 exhibits displayed across almost 8½ miles of gallery space. A guided tour of the Louvre is an invaluable way to navigate this historical monument, a former medieval fortress then royal palace that’s now crammed with ancient treasures, including antiquities such as the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace, sculptures by Michelangelo, and priceless paintings such as da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.
Less than 10 minutes’ walk north, the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, highlights the opposite end of the artistic spectrum. This spectacularly converted former grain market and stock exchange now showcases billionaire François Pinault’s world-class collection of contemporary art.
The surrounding area through to the Sentier neighborhood, Paris’ garment-making district and a burgeoning hub of city life, is loaded with great restaurants and bars for solo travelers to hang out. It’s centered on and around rue Montorgueil – the one-time oyster market of Les Halles, the former wholesale markets here, with a legacy of superb food shops, such as Stohrer, a beautiful patisserie dating from 1730 with exquisite pastries and cakes. Corner bistro Le Compas has a wraparound terrace for watching the world go by.
On laneway rue du Nil, Frenchie Bar à Vins has no-reservations wine-bar dining at the counter or at high tables in an atmosphere prime for mingling with others. You can continue on the night in this central part of Paris at venues like Experimental Cocktail Club, for expert mixes and DJ tunes.
Day two – Discover Paris’ northern neighborhoods
Paris’ hilly northern neighborhoods, around the 9e, 10e and 18e arrondissements (city districts), are home to some of the most happening creative enterprises, including artisan workshops and eco-responsible bistros that are packed ever since opening. So where to start? A guided food tour of Montmartre can introduce you to the best foodie boutiques. Taste the true spirit of the neighborhood at local shops selling cheeses, wines, cured meats, crepes and pastries.
Searching out lesser-known museums when traveling by yourself turns up some real finds. There are plenty to unearth in this area, from exhibitions in galleries like Halle St-Pierre, near the domed, hilltop basilica Sacré-Cœur, to the Musée de Montmartre, in a 17th-century mansion where artists including Renoir had their studios, which gives you an insight into the area’s history and the hedonism of its 19th-century heyday, including can-can at Montmartre’s storied cabaret, the Moulin Rouge.
For dinner, popular trattoria Pink Mamma has seating around the horseshoe-shaped bar that’s perfect for solo diners. It has its own speakeasy (with the ingenious name No Entry); other cool cocktail bars like Lulu White are located a few footsteps away on rue Frochot.
Afterwards, catch a show or concert at fabled Folies-Bergère (frequented, in its day, by Charlie Chaplin, WC Fields, Stan Laurel, Josephine Baker and Ernest Hemingway, among others). Or head to nightclub La Machine du Moulin Rouge, in the Moulin Rouge’s former boiler room.
Day three – Bastille and Le Marais
Paris comes to life at its bustling, aromatic street markets, when residents shop for fresh fruit, vegetables, cheeses, seafood like freshly shucked oysters and all sorts of delicacies. If you can time it for a Thursday or Sunday (from 7am to early afternoon), Marché Bastille is one of the largest and liveliest in the city.
Any day of the week except Monday, the nearby Marché d’Aligre not only has a street market but also a covered market, Marché Beauvau, with gourmet food stalls, and, on the square out front, a small, treasure-filled flea market, the Marché aux Puces d’Aligre. The markets are perfect for pulling together a solo picnic, and the surrounding streets teem with boulangeries (bakeries), cafes, restaurants and wine bars like sociable Le Baron Rouge.
From Bastille, a sublime solo walking route is along the Promenade Plantée (aka Coulée Verte René-Dumont), high up along a former railway viaduct now planted with fragrant roses, lavender and shady trees, which was the inspiration for New York’s High Line. Beneath your feet at street level, the viaduct’s arches house design studios and workshops.
The elevated walkway is a neat way to reach Ground Control, a cultural center that’s awesome for meeting locals and like-minded travelers. An old postal sorting centre at train station Gare de Lyon, it’s now transformed into a post-industrial hub of food trucks and makers’ shops along with workshops, pop-up festivals and concerts.
For more art in post-industrial surrounds, don’t miss the incredible digital displays at the Atelier des Lumières, where you’re immersed in world-famous artworks projected on the bare walls of a former iron foundry.
Nearby is the dining and nightlife strip of rue Oberkampf. Otherwise, it’s a short hop to the small streets of Le Marais, which are chock-full of atmospheric restaurants, bars and late-opening shops.
Days four to seven – Other neighborhoods and highlights
Spending four or more days in Paris gives you time to make at least one trip out of the city. If you’re traveling between April and October, an inspirational option for anyone interested in art or gardens is taking a Giverny bus tour with guide to see the charmingly preserved house and beautiful bloom-filled gardens of impressionist artist Claude Monet in the small Normandy village of Giverny. You’ll see his ponds and studio where he painted his famous water lilies. Because it’s these, rather than his works that are the draws here, it’s closed during the winter months. (If you want to view Monet’s art, Paris has you covered: the Musée d’Orsay is the national gallery for impressionist art; the Musée de l’Orangerie was created by Monet to feature his enormous Water Lily murals; and the delightful Musée Marmottan Monet, in a former hunting lodge, has the world’s largest collection of his works.)
Any time of year, a fabulous guided trip outside Paris is Champagne tasting in Reims – a charming provincial town in the namesake region of Champagne famous for its hillsides dotted with vineyards. Tour a world-renowned cellar like the one at Moet & Chandon, and learn about the science, the history and the tradition of this rich region. Have a tasting with a vineyard view, before taking a bottle or two back to Paris with you.
With more time to run on your vacation, you can explore more Parisian neighborhoods like the Left Bank’s student-filled Latin Quarter and chic, boutique-filled St-Germain, and the Right Bank’s Canal St-Martin and gentrifying Belleville, near the undulating Parc des Buttes Chaumont. All are perfect for solo explorations.
Where to stay in Paris for solo travelers
Paris has a superb range of hotels that cater to solo travelers’ needs. Getting to and from the airport with your luggage is a breeze with private sedan transfers you can book through Delta Vacations.
If it’s your first time in Paris, the 8e arrondissement is a perfect base for sightseeing. Right near the Champs-Élysées, close to the Eiffel Tower, Hotel Vernet has elegant boutique rooms with contemporary interior styling and five-star services including 24-hour room service.
Also a short walk from the Champs-Élysées and Eiffel Tower, Le Dokhan’s is a cozy boutique hotel from the early 1900s features antique woodworking and period furniture. Its bar has the largest Champagne menu in Paris, with 240 different choices.
Tucked in a Latin Quarter backstreet moments from Paris’ geographic and spiritual heart, Notre Dame (which you can see from some rooms), Maison Colbert Meliá Collection occupies a 16th-century building with elegant interiors inspired by impressionist artist Joaquín Sorolla.
Handy for market shopping in the Bastille area, Hotel Paris Bastille Boutet - MGallery by Sofitel is a one-time chocolate factory with its original 1926 mosaic-tiled façade and art deco canopy, timber-paneled hallways, and wellness facilities including a gym, beauty treatment rooms and an on-site swimming pool.
Why this partnership?: Delta Vacations is reinventing itself – your miles are worth more when you use them toward your vacation, so you can do more. Choose from flights, stays, rides and activities all over the world, all in one place.