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Packing list for Paris last update: 5th of July 2022 by Lena

 

Salut Paris Traveler! Is your trip approaching, and you start to wonder what to pack for Paris? You’ve come to the right place! 

I put together a Paris Packing List for you with the most important Paris must-haves that you need to bring, no matter what. 

 

Is this your first trip to Paris? You will be certainly interested in these articles, too:

Eiffel Tower in Paris
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, on a beautiful autumn day

However, I won’t bore you with a detailed packing list down to what socks to pack for Paris and which dress is the most Parisian. This post is not about style, it is about essential travel items that are either unarguable necessary in Paris, or will simply make your trip to France’s capital easier. 

I listed all Paris travel essentials Below, but of course, not all will apply to you. Just go through the list of Paris travel checklist and make sure you’ve got everything you need for your trip.

 

What to Pack for Paris? Our Paris Packing List!

Most items that make it on your Paris packing list are personal, of course. But there are a few things to bring to Paris that everyone should consider, either because they are Paris travel essentials that are required or because they make your Paris day-to-day travel experience smoother. 

What to pack for trip to Paris?
Keep your luggage organized

 

Technical Items to pack for Paris

Quick List: Portable ChargerHeadphonesConverterTravel Adapter

Traveling without technical equipment is very unusual nowadays. If it exists at all! You will, of course, pack your mobile devices and all sorts of cables. Maybe also a camera, a blow-dryer, or any whatnot. 

To keep your technical things organized, get a cable organizer! It’s a real game changer when protecting your equipment. 

Make sure to keep those on your radar, too:

 

Portable charger/ Powerbank 

In many cities, USB ports to charge your devices are easily available:  in restaurants, café’s, even in busses. Well, Paris is not one of them. Hence, it can be really stressful to see your phone battery slowly dying without a plug to recharge it. 

Especially if you use your phone as a camera to snap beautiful Paris pictures! Your battery will decrease rapidly, and you’ll hardly make it through the day without recharging your phone. 

To be on the safe side, have a portable battery ready in your bag. 

→ see all offers for portable chargers on Amazon

 

Personally, I am using this portable charger from Anker as my travel power bank. It’s small enough to fit in any pocket, it’s light, and has enough power to charge my Iphone13 up a couple of times.


 

Headphones

→ Get these headphones for good value for money

Since tourists can travel to Paris again, many visitors ask if audio guides provide headphones or do they need to bring their own? It certainly depends on the provider, but you need to ask yourself if you really want to use the ones they give out for free?

I don’t even want to start talking about hygiene. The biggest pain point is their horrible quality! You’ll hear mostly your environment and not too much of the audio guide story that you’re trying to listen to. Plus, often the headphones are not working correctly, do not fit your ear, and fall off all 20 seconds. 

You are better off adding your own personal headphones to your Paris packing list!

→ buy headphones easy on Amazon

 

Personally, I love my  Apple AirPods, but they won’t help much when packing for Paris. When buying headphones to bring to Paris, make sure that they have an aux-in plug. Most audio guide devices are not equipped for Bluetooth connections, so you have to get back to good old cable headphones. 


 

Travel Adapter

→ Get this adapter for the best value for money

A travel adapter is one of the most important things to take to Paris. Simply, because if you are not using Type C plugs in your home country, you won’t be able to use the French power sockets to charge your devices. 

If you’d ask me which adapter to get, I’d recommend this one. I have had it since 2017, and it still works perfectly ever since.

→ Order your travel adapter with USB today on Amazon

IMPORTANT: You can use this travel adapter only for devices like phones, cameras, laptops, etc. Everything that is not dual voltage requires a Voltage Converter. 


 

Travel Voltage Converter

→ Get this Voltage Converter for the best value for money

You might wonder now if you need to add a Voltage Converter to your list of things to bring to Paris. European devices run on 220V, American and Canadian on 110V. Most modern devices like phones and tablets are dual voltage devices, and you can use them everywhere. 

However, if you want to use your blow-dryer, shaver, or hair straightener tool in Paris and that runs on 110V (like many in Canada and the US do), then you need a voltage converter.

 

The converters are not the cheapest and truth be told, you still risk either ruining your hair dryer, blowing a fuse, or causing a power cut in the entire hotel.

It’s best if you simply pack a blow-dryer that isn’t equipped for dual voltage. Honestly, buying a dual voltage hairdryer is way cheaper than using a converter and risking an outage. 

 

Tuileries in Paris
Prepare your trip now and relax later when in Paris

Travel and Paris must-haves

Quick Links: Travel CubesHeadphonesDown JacketSmall Umbrella

I remember the days when traveling and packing for Paris meant dragging bulky and unhandy suitcases around. There was nothing practical about packing and the invention of a rain jacket, that you could squeeze in a bag and strap around your waist, was revolutionary. 

Paris Pack list
Travel Cubes are changing the way you pack and travel

But we’re in 2022 now, and whether you are packing for a last-minute trip or planning longer ahead, there are plenty of convenient items on the market to ease your traveler’s life. Here are a few.


 

Packing Cubes

→Order practical packing cubes on Amazon

Packing cubes are nothing else than little square bags that are fitting perfectly in your luggage and are helping you to keep your bag in order. Honestly, they are a true game-changer!  Click here to see the different sizes available!

 

 

 

 

 

→Order these practical packing cubes on Amazon


 

Lightweight Down Jacket

→ check here to see the down jacket that comes at the best value for money

The weather can be tricky in Paris, especially when traveling to Paris during shoulder seasons. It might be warm and sunny, or it might be cold, stormy, and wet.

To be on the safe side, I always travel with a light down jacket. They are light enough to fit in every luggage and warm enough to carry me through surprise weather changes. They are even so packable that they fit in my purse!

There are plenty of down jackets available on Amazon – all colors, with or without a hood. 

 

If you need some spot-on tips for a certain travel time, check out our seasonal guides:

 


 

Rain Coat or a small Travel Umbrella

→ This is one of the smallest umbrellas available currently

Depending on the season, you might have a bit of rain. Don’t worry too much about it, though. It rarely rains an entire day in Paris.

But you should always be prepared to find yourself in a shower. While you can certainly bring a raincoat, I’d recommend a little travel umbrella. This one is so small, that it fits in your purse. 

→ Order this umbrella on Amazon

 

The biggest benefit of an umbrella is that you can easily pack it away when it stopped raining. 


 

Comfortable Walking Shoes

Even though Paris has a reputation to be very chic, most people wear sneakers and flats in their daily life. But you know what? I wrote a whole article about the best travel shoes for Paris, but to make it short: Pack comfortable shoes for Paris! 

 

Paris Packing List: Documents & Insurance

Depending on where you are traveling to Paris, you need to make sure you have all the necessary documents to enter France. 

 

Passport and Visa

The passport is obvious, but still don’t forget it! If you are traveling to Paris from the Schengen countries, your ID card is enough. However, if you are from a country that is NOT part of the Schengen area, you require a passport, that is valid for at least 3 months after your departure date.

Even though many citizens can travel to France without a Visa, it doesn’t apply to everyone. You can check here if your citizenship requires a Visa.

which visa do I need for Paris


 

From 2023: ETIAS 

If you are traveling to Paris from outside the Schengen Area from a visa exempt country, you are required to apply for ETIAS as a pre-traveling authorization process, similar to the American ESTA. 

ETIAS will launch probably in January 2023 and become mandatory for travelers from May 2023.

Simply put, travelers from visa-exempt countries will need to register online before trips to Europe. It will become a mandatory travel document and allows you to stay up to 90 days in the Schengen Area. 


 

Covid-19 Requirements

Since June 2021 travelers are allowed to enter France again. However, regulations and requirements are changing quickly. I am trying hard to keep my website up to date, but it’s surely not the right place to find information on government decisions.

I advise checking this page for the latest information when it comes to traveling to France during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Do you need travel insurance for Paris?
Travel Insurance is something you needwhen traveling abroad

 

Travel Insurance (important!)

→ get a free and quick quote from World Nomads here

Before traveling to Paris, make sure that you have Travel Insurance! If you are not covered, for example by your credit card company, make sure that you take precautions.

I recommend getting a FREE quote from World Nomads. They are my go-to travel insurance and cover as well many COVID-19-related events.

Why buy travel insurance from World Nomads.com?

  1. Backed by specialist insurers and global assistance partners
  2. Buy Online, even if you’ve already left home
  3. Buy more cover and claim online while traveling
  4. Covers a range of adventure sports and activities
  5. Give a little back and support a community development project

All of the information provided about travel insurance is a brief summary only. It does not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions of the travel insurance plans described. Coverage may not be available for residents of all countries, states or provinces. Please carefully read your policy wording for a full description of coverage.


 

Student ID

If you are a student, by no means forget your international student ID! It can grant you many benefits, for example, discounts at attractions and activities! 

If you are a holder of a European student ID and under 26 years old, you even are granted free access to all national museums and monuments in Paris, for example, the Louvre or the Arc de Triomphe. But also the Château de Versailles or the Centre Pompidou.  

Paris Louvre Pyramide
Louvre Tip: Visit as early as possible and as a student, you might have free entry!

Credit Cards

Back in the days, money was often the biggest worry of travelers – where to get it, how much to take, and what’s the exchange rate? Luckily, that’s not really needed anymore. First, there are plenty of ATMs in Paris, you basically have one on every corner. It’s in most cases cheaper to withdraw than to exchange money at the exchange office.

Furthermore, you can pay with credit cards in almost every store. Contactless payments are accepted in most stores for payments up to €50. I recommend checking with your bank though how much/and if they charge for withdraws and credit card payments outside your country.

where to withdraw money in France


Good to know: The most common credit card in France is VISA and you won’t have any issues paying with them. Mastercards are normally accepted as well.

However, if you own an American Express, you might run into issues, as they are often not accepted in Europe. In this case, it’s best to have a backup credit card at hand. 


 

Your Attraction Tickets

Quick Ticket Link: Eiffel TowerLouvreSeine CruiseCatacombsChâteau de Versailles

 

If you want to visit a site or an activity in Paris, I strongly recommend purchasing your ticket in advance. I cannot insist on it enough: buy your tickets in advance!

It sounds weird, but even the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre can be sold out. I had the experience not that long ago when I spontaneously wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower with my son – sold out for the next 10 days to come! 

The most popular and booked out in advance sights are the following – click on them to see if there are still tickets available on your travel dates.

 

Maison Rose in Montmartre
The Maison Rose in Montmartre – no ticket needed but a reservation

Pro Tip: Most tour operators are accepting mobile vouchers, so there is no need to print them out, however, not everyone does. Please double-check if a print-out is required.


Medication and Prescriptions

If you are traveling to France with prescription-only medication, you should bring (a copy) of your prescription with you. Just in case and to avoid trouble at the airport.

Keep in mind that the regulations are way stricter in France (and Europe, generally) when it comes to over-the-counter medication. Especially compared to the US!

Many medications are available only on prescription, and things you can buy freely in the US are often not freely available in France.

Pharmacy in Paris
France is stricter in over the counter medicine than the US for example

However, talking about pharmacies! If you are keen to shop outstanding French beauty products for an affordable price, you definitely should visit a Pharmacy in Paris! To get an idea of what is awaiting you, see our article about the most famous French pharmacy beauty products!

I am always amazed about the painkillers that are sold in drugstores in the US – in France it stops at 1g Paracetamol, just to give you an example. Hence, if you need something in particular, with or without a prescription, you better bring it with you.

 

FAQ Paris Packing List

Can I use the plugs in France?

France is using plugs Type C and E, the US A and B. To plug your US devices (Mobile Phones and such) into French power sockets, you require a Travel Adapter. If you want to use your blow-dryer or hair straightener that is NOT running dual voltage, you also require a Travel Converter

Where can I charge my phone in Paris?

There are only a few USB chargers freely available in Paris. It’s best you bring your own power bank to be on the safe side.

Do I need a Visa for Paris?

It depends on the passport you’re holding. You can verify your specific requirements here.

Can I use my American Express card in Paris?

American Express is not widely accepted, except in big stores and expensive restaurants.

Do I need travel insurance for traveling to France?

If you need to apply for a Visa for the Schengen Area,  Travel Insurance is a requirement. You can get a free quote here. Travel Insurance is not mandatory for US citizens. 

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