Ohhh Paris! You’ve been waiting for this trip since… You can’t even remember! And the moment has finally come: Passport is ready, tickets are bought, and you’re flying to the City of Lights in a few days.
Now has come the time when you need to pack and “catastrophe”… You have no idea what to bring to Paris! Back-pack or suitcase? Flats or running shoes?
Well no worries young travelers. At Woyago, we’re experts in receiving travelers from North America and we’ve got you covered.
Packing lists are a must when traveling, especially if you’re going abroad. And we know how to pack wisely for a trip to Paris.
So let’s level down the stress so you won’t forget anything important and not go to bed at sunrise the night before your flight unpacking and repacking over and over again.
Follow our guide and discover what to pack and what not to pack when visiting France’s capital, including clothing, toiletries, electronics, travel documents and other items that may come in handy during your visit!
Items & Accessories Paris Packing list
Let’s start our Paris packing list with what you’ll need for your trip. Packing light is the key to a comfortable and relaxing travel experience, so we’ve put together an appropriate list of items and accessories that can help you fully enjoy Paris… Or at least some day soon!
Luggage and travel bags
First item on the list, and probably one of the most important, is obviously your luggage or traveling bag.
There are two things to consider:
One – the suitcase you will carry during your trip, and potentially while going to other European cities. Choose a resistant case (durable outerwear) and preferably with a suitcase with 4 wheels so it can easily move around.
If this is your first time to Europe, one thing that may surprise you is how many hotels and apartments don’t have elevators! And this is especially true for many historical sites and buildings.
So keep in mind the size of the suitcase you choose, because you may have to carry it up a few flights of stairs.
Two – the bag you will carry during your city walking adventures and to go shopping or any other activities.
You’ll carry it all day, everyday, so you’ll want something that’s comfortable. We recommend a small and light backpack so that the weight is split between your two shoulders and you have your hands free for any activity! Make sure it has some secure and hidden pockets to keep any valuable belongings or money.
A fanny pack
You could also bring in your luggage a fanny pack. Often used by travelers, fanny packs are waist bags you can always keep an eye on.
Secure and extremely practical to keep all your money, phone and important documents or ID in a handy way, trust us, it will be your best companion while visiting Paris.
And as a bonus it’s quite fashionable these days!
Still nervous about wearing a fanny pack. Strap it across your shoulders on an angle instead.
Credit and debit cards are probably the most convenient way to pay in Paris. You will find that many shops, restaurants and even museums are cash-free – especially since the extra-measures the French government implemented to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
More commonly used in France, the debit card is ideal for paying anything “direct” such as food in a restaurant or shopping.
However, if you’re renting a car or booking a hotel, it’s always safer to pay those with a credit card.
Take into account that stores might not always accept American Express cards so make sure to bring a Visa or Mastercard if you have.
Note that you may incur extra fees when paying with a foreign bank and currency.
We recommend that you call your bank before the trip to let them know you will be traveling to France. You should also talk about transaction fees and exchange rates if possible so you know in advance what charges you could expect on top of your purchases. This should help avoid any bill surprises!
Cash money – but not too much!
For your trip to Paris, bring some cash with you but don’t over do it, especially when you travel to a foreign country.
It’s never safe to walk around with a huge amount of money, and when you travel as a tourist, you might be a potential target for robbers, so be aware. Never take all of your money with you or save it in the same spot.
It’s common for food trucks, local markets and other smaller shops, to only be able to pay by cash, so it’s always a good idea to bring some. But do consider that you will also have your payment cards with you and if it’s necessary, you could still withdraw more from an ATM in Paris.
A foldable travel umbrella
Nothing worse than getting caught in the rain in Paris!
We all dream of those long and passionate kisses with a Parisian under the rain, but let’s face it, chances of this movie scene happening are slim!
So don’t forget your umbrella, especially if you travel in fall or winter! If you do meet someone, you could still throw it theatrically away! 😉
If you go to the City of love during spring or summer, it’s probably not necessary.
Pro tip: Check the current weather in Paris a few days before leaving to help you decide if you should take it or not. This might also help in choosing your clothes!
A reusable water bottle
Make sure to pack a reusable water bottle. Very convenient while travelling, you can carry it around all day and refill it.
Not too small, not too big: Around 25 ounces should do it!
Using a reusable bottle will not only help you save money compared to buying bottled water all the time, it’s also ecologic to do so!
Pro tip: Know that you can bring on a reusable water bottle in the plane, but it has to be empty before passing the security checkpoint – so it’s sometimes better to just fill it once you are in the boarding area.
If you’re planning to go during Summer, you might be out in the sun a lot, so make sure to pack your sunglasses.
In Paris, even if it’s not as hot or sunny as somewhere else in Europe, chances are you’ll still want to enjoy some nice strolls outside so bring your shades!
A sleep mask and some earplugs
Noise can be an issue in some neighborhoods of Paris. Old buildings, slim windows, happy crowds, outside parties and terraces… Many reasons can affect the tranquility of your sleep and rest. But none of which will be a problem if you come equipped!
If you’re sensitive to noise, just pack some earplugs and a sleep mask for your hotel room or airbnb. If you plan on sharing a dormitory in a hostel, don’t even consider it, just pack them!
Pro tip: Keep them in an accessible part of your luggage so that you can use them during your flight and get a good night’s rest while crossing the ocean!
Clothes you need to pack for Paris
After the accessories, here are the few tips we have on clothes that you’ll need to pack for Paris.
Packing light is the most convenient as you can easily find a place to do your laundry somewhere in the city, so make sure you only bring the essentials.
Other than the classic and obvious clothes to add in your Paris packing list such as t-shirts, pajamas, underwear, shorts and dress for summer or tights and warm jackets for winter, we gathered here a few more tips.
Let’s start this list from top to bottom: pair of jeans or pants, a trench or rain jacket, a pashmina, a black dress, walking shoes or sneakers and a sweater.
Find below some explanations as to why:
Several pairs of jeans/pants
We suggest you pack some pairs of pants or jeans if you’re going to France. Pants are great at fending off the chilly winds during winter or cool summer nights.
Pants are comfortable and they will suit any type of visit so make sure to have this must-have in your luggage!
A trench/rain jacket
If you are going to Paris in fall or winter, you’ll need a raincoat if you’re not an umbrella person!
Trench coats can also keep you warm during windy days and nights and represent another option!
A Pashmina/Large scarf
Bringing a pashmina is always a good idea. Whether you visit Paris during Spring/Summer or colder months, a pashmina will come handy to cover yourself up, to keep warm or even for some old-school glam!
A pashmina is also a great option for covering up while visiting museums or churches in the summer time.
For a night out in Paris with your new French friends, you could try wearing one as a shawl or even dress up like Audrey Hepburn from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s!
Pro tip: If you travel in winter, make sure to bring some gloves, a hat and warm socks too as it can get very cold – usually up to 32°F!
A little black dress
A black dress is one of the essentials of your Paris packing list. Simple and elegant, use it if you want to look trendy and feel comfortable at the same time!
Packing one of those will then be an easy choice as you can use it for a night out, a romantic dinner, a fancy brunch and much more!
A Light jacket/Light blazer
There will be times when you might not want to show much skin while walking in Paris. The weather can change quickly so having a light jacket or blazer with you is always a nice idea and gives you a Parisian style!
Pro tip: If this is for a business trip, we suggest you pack blazers! From October to March, you might consider a padded jacket to keep you a bit warmer.
You might be walking a lot in Paris, so you will need some good walking shoes or comfortable sneakers.
Packing light is essential but we suggest you pack at least one pair of comfortable walking shoes that will help you get through those long days of sightseeing.
Overall, for a small trip during summer, you might also consider a pair of sandals or flats. Whereas for a winter trip, you might want to bring warm and flat boots that do not fear the snow.
Unless you are planning to go to a special event, you do not have to pack a pair of fancy high heels. Usually, Parisian women are showing a relaxed but still trendy fashion style.
A sweater – or more!
You might want to pack one sweater or several if traveling after September as Paris can be very cold at times.
If the weather is nice, wear it on your shoulders and tie the sleeves up-front like you might have seen on some golf players. This will give you a fresh and elegant style. And when needed, you have a handy ally to fight the cold!
What should you not wear in Paris?
When in Rome, do as the Romans do! – So when in Paris…
What you need to know is that Parisian women usually wear elegant clothes, yet relaxed. If you want to dress like a local, you might wanna be well dressed but also comfortable to enjoy your many visits and long walks wandering the incredible Haussmannian streets.
Don’t wear extravagant or valuable jewelry
A ‘Paris look’ is sleek so avoid wearing too many accessories or clothes with bright colors and prints.
Pare down to what is really necessary – a small bag, a watch or an elegant pair of earrings for example. Do not bring or wear expensive or valuable jewelry.
Don’t bring any high-heels
Like stated before, you also want to leave at home your high-heeled shoes. We can assure you, those will be no help while getting up the Montmartre hill to visit the Sacré-Coeur Basilica!
Don’t pack any swimwear
While packing for Paris, consider if you will visit any nearby cities. If the answer is a no, then you won’t need a swimsuit as there is no great option for you to swim in the city.
Don’t wear any fancy handbag
For your own safety, we don’t recommend that you walk around Paris with fancy and luxury handbags. Like we stated earlier, better keep it simple and hands-free like a small crossbody bag or an urban backpack.
Must-have items when packing for a trip abroad
As for any other trips, there are a few essentials you must have when travelling abroad. Here are a few reminders of what to take with you:
Passport and visas
This is an essential item on the Packing List For Paris. Your passport is your key to France, so make sure it’s current and valid.
Always bring photocopies of your passport that you can place in any bags you own, in case you lose your passport or one piece of baggage.
Check with your airline and local authorities for up to date information about other entry requirements. Or better yet, check with your travel agency.
Additional items to consider on your Packing List are simply the tickets, itinerary and other travel documents. It’s good to have them in a small folder or envelope.
You should also know the name and address of the hotel that you are staying at or the Airbnb address you will be sleeping in.
Make sure to also make a copy of every important document and reservation.You never know when you might need them!
Another thing to tackle while packing: get travel insurance.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry! Packing insurance can protect you in case of loss, theft or damage including baggage, medical expenses and dental care.
You’ll want to be covered during your entire stay abroad, no matter how long it is!
Cell phone, cable, charger & headphones
We can’t live without them anymore, so we imagine this is not even worth mentioning. But here it goes: Don’t forget to pack your cell phone, preferably one that has an international plan and is unlocked. You can find out the details by calling your provider or checking their website.
It will be handy to have it unblocked so you can always stay connected with family, friends or new acquaintances but to also use data to search for your way around, do your check-in and so on.
A few public Wifi spots will be available at the airport and in the city if you do not have any data access.
Also think about packing your cable, charger and headphones and bring the necessary adaptors too!
No Paris packing list is complete without a camera! And we mean any type of camera – from a simple phone cam to a more complicated DSLR.
Believe us, the city is so wonderful that you’ll want to capture every single moment of your vacation!
Pro tip: Remember to bring extra memory cards, batteries and chargers for your battery-operated items.
In case you are an avid user of your mobile phone, camera or any other electronic device, you might also consider packing a power bank.
Pro tip: Verify the battery before you pack it!
Last but not least, do not forget to bring an adapter!
This item might not be on your Paris packing list yet but it’s highly recommended to take one as electrical outlets are different in France and USB plugs are not that common.
If you travel abroad often, this small investment will quickly pay off! 😉
Travel toiletries kit
When packing for Paris, think about some travel-size toiletry items that fit in your bag and don’t take up too much space. If you travel in June, July or August, think about bringing sunblock!
First aid kit
The first aid kit is one of those must-have things when packing for a trip. Having it in your suitcase can help you avoid more serious issues while on your trip.
A student card is a great packing list addition to any trip abroad if you are still holding one.
It might give you discounts at restaurants, tours and bars or even help to get free entrance in the museums around town!
Pro tip: Make sure to check student prices before paying or booking anything!
Pen & notebook
Another one of our packing tips: Don’t forget to include some note paper and a pen. These two things can prove really useful while abroad.
There are many interesting sites you may just have to write about. Keeping note will help you keep track of all the places you want to visit and make sure they remain intact in your memory for a long time!
Masks, hand gel & Covid Test
Since 2020, other essentials when traveling the world are a small-size hand gel sanitizer, several masks – including at least one chirurgical, mandatory for the plane – and a negative Covid PCR-Test.
Pro tip: Make sure to book your test in advance so you can get your results on time before heading to Paris.
A few last tips to help you pack for Paris
Pack pre-made outfits
When getting your luggage ready, remember to pack outfits and not individual pieces. You might want to spend some time to analyze your Paris packing list, see if your garments’ selection comes together nicely.
If a piece is not fitting into your several outfits, it simply doesn’t have its place here.
Choose clothes you can wash easily
Remember, you’re only going to visit Paris for a few days – not to participate in a Fashion show. You need to think practical and this includes picking clothes that can be washed easily in the machine and are fast drying enough in case you need to re-use them during your trip!
Lay out all of your clothes
All planned clothing should be laid out on the bed before packing it – this will help avoid wrinkling as well as ensure that there’s room in the suitcase (or backpack).
Organize your bag
Packing clothes with like colors together makes them easier to find later on during your travels. Packing underwear separately from other clothing prevents it from being mixed up and also keeps it smelling fresh.
Pack light to bring souvenir clothes
Don’t forget to pack light in order to bring back home the few extra fashion items that you purchased in France!
Yes, because after all, Paris is also one of the world’s fashion cities…
Own your style
In the end, remember that the most important thing is that you own your style.
Even if you follow our Paris packing list very carefully, we also want you to feel comfortable and confident while visiting the French capital.
Trust your intuition! You know better than anyone what are the ideal items that will make you feel at ease and that you should take to Paris or not!
Packing appropriately can be difficult, especially when traveling abroad.
As a conclusion, keep in mind that picking clothes that are lightweight, easily washable and practical is always a good start!
You also want to check the weather in France beforehand to adapt your list accordingly and make sure you have the correct essentials with you!
And ultimately, it’s also about finding something that works best for you!
We cannot wait to see you around Paris and we would actually be very happy to walk you through this beautiful city with one of our Parisian guided tours. Make sure you check those out before starting your luggage preps!
À très bientôt!