This post was last updated on July 26th, 2016
Paris is easily one of our favorite cities in the world. Our most recent visit to the magical City of Lights was when we were completely nomadic—and living entirely out of our backpacks. Paris was still just as magical as could be, but since we were pretty much coming from the Arctic, that meant we didn’t quite have all the right clothes and accessories we normally would have packed…
That said, due to the popularity of our 50 Cool Things To Do In Paris article, we regularly receive quite a few Paris packing questions. So, here you have it: our ultimate Paris packing list for couples.
If you’re wondering what to pack for a trip to Paris, then this post should do the trick.
The Ultimate Him And Her Paris Packing List
Plan according to the season you’ll be traveling in! You’ll be thankful you brought the right clothes. :-) Check out this awesome guide to Paris’ weather for more information!
– End of March – June: Spring – 4 C to 20 C / 40 F to 68 F
– End of June – September: Summer – 13 C to 24 C / 55 F to 75 F
– End of September – December: Autumn – 5 C through 21 C / 70 F through 68 F
– End of December – March: Winter – 1 C through 7 C / 34 F through 45 F
Remember, simplicity is your friend! If you want to blend in, at least a little bit, avoid major tourist fashion mishaps and dress like a Parisian! We could all take a little bit of advice from the fashionable French, anyway. :-)
Parisians keep it simple and wear mostly neutral colors. Swap out too-tall high heels for a more manageable but equally sophisticated shoe, and trade in your strappy sandals for a basic flat. Men: stick to leather shoes and ditch the sneakers. Just like the ladies, keep it classy, don’t overdo it, and you’ll quickly master dressing like a Parisian man.
– A few pairs of nice jeans: this will be your staple.
– Light, cotton shirts in a variery of neutral colors: Mix and match these key elements with every outfit. You’ll blend right in.
– Layer, Layer, Layer! Consider bringing a quality blazer, or two to throw over your neutral cotton shirt.
– A few scarves: Men, you have been formally allowed (in fact, encouraged) to wear a scarf with your outfits. Many Parisian men wouldn’t be caught dead without one, especially in chillier months.
– A Suit: It’s a bold move with limited packing space, but you might be thankful you have it when you see the way Parisian men are dressing on a night out. We say splurge on one ritzy night out on the town.
– Leather shoes: No sneakers. Pack a casual but sleek leather shoe. Or, at least stick to a comfortable neutral walking shoe that can be dressed up or down.
– Skirts: Stick a few flowy skirts in the bag and leave the shorts at home. Many French women prefer the sophisticated look that comes with dresses and skirts, as opposed to shorts.
– Dress: That little black dress may have been made for Paris. Black should be the staple of your French wardrobe. Simple dresses are great for Paris because they can be played down during the day and dressed up for a night out.
– Jeans: A casual French outfit would be jeans with a solid-color cotton tee.
– Blouse: Bring a few classy blouses to go with your skirts. Keep them neutral in color!
– A Good Book: Perfect for days etched away in the cozy confines of an endearing French café sipping coffee and noshing on macarons. Even if you love your e-readers, there’s something romantic about curling up with an actual book in Paris.
– French Language Guide: Whether you speak fluent French or can hardly utter a proper ‘Bonjour’ the humble attempt of at least trying to speak the local language will go a long way. There’s nothing that shuts down potential connections with locals like a foreigner spouting out English and expecting everyone to adhere to their needs.
– Wine Bottle Opener: You’ll want to have one of these handy for those impromptu moments of romantic inspiration that tend to strike frequently in this city of love. While you’ll easily find corkscrews in Paris, why not pack your own so you’re already prepared for a picnic in the park?
– Passport: Duh. ;-)
– Visa: If required by your country.
– A Few Euros: It’s always a good idea to have a few notes tucked away for an emergency. We always suggest getting a bank card that allows you to withdraw money from ATMs with no foreign transaction fees, that way you can avoid the poor rates at money conversion booths. We use Charles Schwab and love it.
– Credit Cards & Driver’s License: Grab your usual short stack of plastic squares for just-in-case moments.
– A Well-Organized Cross Bag: Or something to stick it all in. Remember pick-pocketers and travel mishaps happen; pack wisely, and don’t put all your valuables in one bag. A cross bag might be a good investment and come in handy later if you anticipate yourself carrying around your tablet, a few books, and your camera.
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– A Larger Bag For Shopping Days: If you plan on doing some shopping (as all Paris visitors should) it would be good to bring a medium backpack or larger bag to stick your prizes in. A backpack or bag will allow you to explore the city by foot, picking up your favorite finds and continuing on your way without skipping a beat. Plus, a trendy, neutral-colored bag will spruce up any outfit. :-)
– Sunglasses: Bring a backup pair, just in case! After purchasing a pair of Maui Jims, I’ll never go back to any other brand. I can talk all day about my Maui Jims, so drop me a line if you want to know why I love them. No, I’m not a brand ambassador or anything, I’m just a little obsessed with them.
– Scarves: The “flowier” the better. Scarves are an absolute must to complete any Parisian outfit. Especially when you’re wearing all neutrals, a scarf has the power to dress up or dress down any outfit. Plus, weather in Paris can be a bit unpredictable, and many buildings tend to be a little drafty. Pack at least 3-4 light weight scarves to mix and match with every outfit.
– Jewelry: Bring a few key classics, with one or two statement pieces at most. Remember, keep it sophisticated and classy.
– Cell Phone: Check with your carrier and try to get your phone unlocked. You can save a fortune by purchasing a French SIM card instead of a pricey international data plan.
– European Adapter: Save a few bucks by purchasing one of these ahead of time.
– Memory Card: Or two. Or three. :-)
– Necessary Chargers: The winner for ‘most likely to be forgotten.’
– A Pack Of Batteries: If you have any electronics that require them.
Always travel with Travel Insurance. Unfortunately on our trip to Paris, our super expensive DSLR camera was stolen. Luckily our travel insurance helped us to cover some of the replacement costs. You never know what could happen! We always use World Nomads as our travel insurance provider.
– Toiletries: Make an on-going list a few weeks before your trip so that you don’t forget anything necessary for your daily routine.
– Wet Wipes/Hand Sanitizer: Public restrooms are slim pickin’ in Paris; it’s always good to have a few of these handy.
– Makeup: The French are all about simplicity. You won’t need a whole lot of fancy makeup eating up precious space. Grab your go-to’s, try to use neutral colored eye-shadow, and maybe bring one or two bold lipsticks for a pop of color every now and then.
Where To Stay
We used our reward points to stay at the ultra convenient Park Hyatt Vendome right in the middle of the city just a few blocks from the Louvre. It is truly a hotel that befits a romantic getaway to Paris.
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