Visions of the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, delectable cheese, fresh baguettes, and chocolate are dancing in your head  – inspiring your decision to whisk off to Paris and experience that certain je ne sais quoi.

As a backpacker, off-the-beaten-track travel and typical outdoor wear – shorts, t-shirts and hiker shoes – seem like the norm. Paris, however, is a different story. Perhaps you’re unsure – or even intimidated – about fitting into this fashion mecca as a budget traveler.

Fear not! We have your ultimate Paris survival guide with specifics tips on what to pack for Paris for being practical and stylish – while fitting everything you need into a carry-on size backpack. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Let’s get started, oui?

The Ultimate Paris Packing List

Ultimate Packing List – Best Backpack
Ultimate Packing List – Best Backpack

Nomatic Travel Bag

  • Capacity > 30L
  • Price > $299
Ultimate Packing List – Best Suitcase
Ultimate Packing List – Best Suitcase

Nomatic Navigator Carry On

  • Capacity > 37L
  • Price > $400
Ultimate Packing List – Best Camera
Ultimate Packing List – Best Camera

GoPro Hero 9

  • Resolution > 5k
  • Price > $400
Ultimate Packing List – Best Rain Jacket
Ultimate Packing List – Best Rain Jacket

Arcteryx Beta

  • Price > $500
Ultimate Packing List – Travel Insurance
World Nomads Travel Insurance
Ultimate Packing List – Travel Insurance

Insurance From World Nomads

  • Price > Click For a Quote

There really isn’t a need to over-pack for Paris. The chances are, you will be staying for only a few days and mostly eating out. Therefore, the clothes on your pack plus a change will almost in itself be enough. But let’s take a closer look at what to bring to Paris.

black backpack
Storage options are very important.

Best Luggage For Paris: AER Travel Pack 2

You don’t need to pack too much stuff for a Paris trip. There are no weather extremities and the chances are you are not headed to Paris on a camping trip. Therefore this AER backpack is fully featured, big enough to hold an extended weekend of clothing, and tough enough to last years of travel abuse. 

I have taken the AER Travel Pack 2 on multiple trips and since then it has risen has in the ranks of my go-to travel backpacks. 

Check out our AER Travel Pack 2 review to learn more.

Is This the Best Daypack EVER???

We’ve tested countlessday packs over the years, but the Tropicfeel Shell is something else. There are a lot of flashy backpacks on the market but not many come with a detachable wardrobe.

Weatherproof, eco-friendly, durable, feature-loaded, and comfy as fudge brownies: these are just some of the words people might use to describe the Tropicfeel Shell. But we just call it bloody beautiful.

Learn More • View on Tropicfeel
Nomatic Carry On Pro

Best Suitcase For Paris: Nomatic Carry-On Pro

Backpacks not your thing? That’s ok. Our friends at Nomatic are back again with a great alternative to their badass Travel Bag; the Nomatic Carry-On Pro. 

This suitcase is ultra-durable, sleek, and comes with a handy tech compartment for transporting your laptop and other electronic bits. Nomatic has been an industry leader when it comes to travel gear and that reputation is reflected in the quality build design and functionality of the Carry-On Pro suitcase.  These things fit all you nee for a Paris trip but are a bit of a pain in the ass to carry on and off the metro.

Check out our Nomatic Carry-On Pro review to learn more about this epic suitcase. 

go pro hero 9 black

Best Camera For Paris: GoPro Hero9 Black

For most of us, our smartphones now feature cameras with stunning photo capabilities.

But… if you are an aspiring photographer who wants to take next-level photos and video beyond iPhone selfies, I recommend going with an action camera like the GoPro Hero9 Black.

It does deliver pro-quality video and gives you a bunch of a different angle options and shooting speeds to work with for photos (including a selfie-mode).

Think of a camera purchase like this as a long term investment that will have you capturing epic shots well beyond your time exploring here. If you are looking for something cheaper for video specifically, check out these epic GoPro Alternatives.

Best Sim For Paris – HolaFly eSim

The good news about Paris is that there is extensive 4g and 5g Internet coverage, taxi apps and food delivery apps. Phone connectivity is good if you have a working sim – but, your native SIM card will most probably not work and so you will not be able to access any of this online goodness until you rectify that particular situation.

You can waste time hanging around phone shops queuing to get a plastic sim or you can simply install a eSim onto your phone before you leave home. You just access the HolaFly site, choose the relevant package, download it and off you go – you are online the moment you land at the airport.

eSims are easier to set up and better than the environment than plastic sims. The downside is that not all phones are eSim ready.

Wandrd Packing Cubes
Wandrd Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes For Paris – Wandrd Packing Cubes

In case you have never used them, packing cubes are little compression cubes that allow you to neatly pack clothes in in order to help facilitate better packing. They allow you to pack more stuff, and to keep it all better organised.

For the longest time, I thought that packing cubes were a superfluous indulgence, but boy was I wrong. Now I never travel without a few.

These ones from WANDRD are great quality and excellent value for money. Get them on your Paris packing list now!

What To Pack For Paris Checklist: Personal Gear

Paris does experience seasons. Spring and Autumn are generally pleasant, summer often sees a stifling heatwave and winter can inspire some serious cold snaps. Still, I expect that you will have something in your wardrobe for all eventualities so deciding what to wear in Paris shouldn’t be too tough.

However, do bear in mind that Parisians dress quite smartly (although somewhat blandly IMO) so cargo shorts mixed with socks and sandals will earn you some of that world-famous French snootiness.

Paris Checklist

If you’re still wondering what to bring to Paris then these top picks are a good starting point.

Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero

Best Walking Shoes For Paris – Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero

Visitors to Paris have a tendency to underestimate the amount of walking that is part of the day to day Paris experience. But the city is huge and the main attractions are very spread out. Whilst pubic transport is good, there is still a lot of walking to be done. In fact, exploring the Louvre alone clocks up a fair few miles. Besides, Paris is simply one of this cities best explored on foot.

I admit that most shoes that are also good for hiking are not the most attractive pieces of footwear and bearing in mind that Paris is still a fashion capital, that kind of matters. But they are some of the most comfortable and deliver good ankle support for a long day of walking about town. These ones not too garish and will just about fit in in chic Paris.

Check out the women’s Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie

Best Jacket For Paris: Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Depending on when you’re visiting Paris, you’ll be in need of a warm jacket. Granted if you visit Paris in the summer you probably won’t need to bring this. But from October temperatures plummet in the city and you’ll be happy to have this ultra-warm down jacket with you. 

It weighs just under a pound and provides an excellent weight to warmth ratio. If you don’t go for one of the super bright colors, it is pretty stylish and city-worthy also. 

If visiting Paris in the winter, then consider something even thicker.

Check out our best travel jackets article for more inspiration. 

Osprey Daylite Plus

Best Daypack For Paris – Osprey Daylite Plus

The days spent exploring Paris can be long. Therefore taking a good daypack like this small backpack is often a good shout. They are great for carrying water, hat’s and jackets and for packing sandwiches for lunch. We love Osprey products and this daypack is our personal pick if you are packing for Paris.

The Osprey Daylite Plus has a mesh-covered panel to keep your back cool and fresh by minimizing contact with the back of the pack itself and allowing air to get between you and the pack.

Check out our full review of the Osprey Daylite plus for more details.

Additionally, you can attach it to other Osprey packs in case you want to add more capacity and carry just one piece of luggage… but the reviews on this feature are mixed.

packable travel medical kit

Travel First Aid Kit

You don’t need to tote around half a pharmacy, but a well-stocked first aid kit should be in all our backpacks. Stuff happens on the road and it’s inconvenient and embarrassing when you can’t manage small situations like a cut finger or hangover migraine.

You can tuck this lifesaver away in a forgotten pocket – and it’ll be there when you need it.

Tip: Add a few bits and pieces to the first aid kit after you purchase it, like extra headache medicine, any personal meds you need (like allergy pills), whatever you take to calm your stomach and a few more plasters.

Travel Insurance From World Nomads

A banner creative for World Nomads travel insurance

It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.

There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!

Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉

Pacsafe belt

Money Belt – By Pacsafe

Whilst Paris is not particularly dangerous, petty crime and pickpocketing does still happen and tourists are sometimes targeted.

Therefore it is always a good idea to use a money belt to hide your cash just in case something does go wrong.

As well as this, take care on the Metro, in busy tourist spots, and also take good care of your bags.

Hydroflask Vacuum Bottle 32 oz.

Waterbottle – Hydroflask Vacuum Bottle 32 oz. 

Packing a reusable water bottle is probably the best thing you can personally do to combat single-use plastic bottle use whilst traveling. There is simply zero need to buy plastic water bottles.

In theory, the tap water in Paris is fine to drink. However, I spent a lot of time in the city and found it does not agree with me personally at all. What I do is buy a big water bottle from Lidl (under $1) and fill my day flask each morning before I head out.

We love the Hydroflask Vacum Bottle for its quality and because it keeps cold water cold for many hours and vice versa for hot beverages. This bottle is the ideal water bottle to get not just for your Paris trip but for daily use. Please don’t be that person buying plastic water bottles. We are all judging you…especially mother earth. 

If you go with the Hydroflask, you’ll probably never need to buy another waterbottle again. 

The Basic Stuff To Pack For Paris

On top of the essential items listed above, here is an additional suggested checklist of what to pack for a Paris trip;

tips to save money in paris
  • 1-2 pairs of comfortable pants/jeans
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts (summer/late spring)
  • A few pairs of socks
  • (Sexy) underwear x 2/3
  • Ladies: a few dresses, pants, outfits, or desired lady apparel for a night on the town.
  • Dudes: A few collard shirts or something half-way decent for a night on the town.
  • Smartphone with a good camera for photos if you are not bringing an actual camera
  • Portable power bank for charging your phone on the go
  • Phone charger
  • Copy of your passport just in case
  • Cash (not too much, there are ATM machines everywhere!)
  • Packable Towel

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    Final Thoughts on What to Pack for Paris

    Ok, friends – there you have it! Your complete Paris survival guide for what to pack for Paris with a helpful 22-needs packing checklist, including our breakdown of the seasons and how to pack for each. We hope you’ve found our packing tips for women and men helpful, along with our advice on what not to pack and what bag to carry all the stuff you do pack.

    Focus on packing smart – with a stylish edge. Remember that just a few classic items, mixed and matched correctly, will get you a long way. And remember those things that will keep you comfortable and safe!

    So, now all you have left is to get out there and have an epic time – au revoir!

    Bye for now, but not forever!

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