How to Pack for a Week in Paris

October 31, 2022

Paris Cafe

The most common questions I get in my inbox and my Instagram DMs are packing related. I think Paris can seem tough or intimidating to pack for because the French are often perceived as so effortlessly stylish and Americans fear sticking out. 

I started sharing my Paris packing lists back in 2018 and have kept doing so because I know they are often helpful when it comes to deciding what to pack – particularly season by season. I generally stick to a few self-imposed rules when it comes to packing for Paris and my formula is down rather pat at this point but if you’re heading to Paris for a week – this post should also be helpful to both inspire and help you plan.

How to Pack for A Week in Paris

We all know that Paris is one of the most popular destinations in the world. It has a culture of its own, boasts some of the leading museums in the world and attractions like the Eiffel Tower, has some of the most awarded food in the world and frankly it is an amazing place to visit – no matter the month.

As the founder of Paris, Perfected, I have helped countless people plan their trips that often includes packing guidance as well. Whether you’re going to Paris for a week for work or for vacation, this guide should give helpful tips.

Be sure you check to see if where you’re staying has an elevator. Many places don’t and you’ll want to plan (and pack!) accordingly should you need to be carting suitcases up narrow stairwells. 

How To Pack For A Week In Paris

How to Pack for A Week in Paris

Consider the weather

Of course the biggest consideration when packing is the weather. Be sure to check the weather as you are packing! It is more unpredictable than ever these days.

So often I get asked “what’s the weather Paris like in October” or the likes and frankly I can’t predict the weather so a weather planner will be your best friend in planning. 

Usually a few weeks out from my trip I begin looking at the weather to see how things have been – has it rained a lot? Has it been colder in the evenings? 

But essentially global warming has made answering questions about the weather in Paris month to month very difficult. I’ve had summer like weather in October and I’ve worn a winter coat in October in Paris. 

Prepare for rain

And regardless of the time of year you can almost always expect it to rain in Paris. But fear not, as I’ve got you covered: What To Do in Paris When It Rains.

Don’t forget to have a good umbrella (this is the one I bring) in your suitcase and also I never go to Paris without a trench coat.

Consider getting around

Be sure you check to see if where you’re staying has an elevator. Many places don’t and you’ll want to plan (and pack!) accordingly should you need to be carting suitcases up narrow stairwells. 

Additionally, if you plan to use public transport like the metro and will have your suitcases with you, many Metro stations don’t have elevators so you’ll need to be able to lift your luggage up stairs. I’ve done this on occasion and it is brutal.

Stick to a color palette

I always stick to a color palette when I pack for trips but especially with Paris. I want my looks to be stylish yet comfortable and extremely ready for mix and match wear. I’ll pack a blazer that can go with jeans as easily as it can go over a dress or pair with dress shorts or dress pants. 

I’m a neutrals person when it comes to my wardrobe so usually my looks fall in a variety of color palettes such as: Black/Ivory/Camel or Black/Cream/Navy.

How to Pack for A Week in Paris

Don’t forget the power of accessories

Parisians are famous for their purposeful accessories and so often we forget to pack them. A silk scarf can be donned on your bag or around your neck to switch up the look of the sweater you’ve backed. Or a broach could add a bit of glam for evening on the blazer you also wore during the day time.

Be thoughtful when planning what shoes to wear

I’ve heard of so many people being unprepared to walk so much in Paris. Paris is a city best explored on foot and I usually clock on average 25,000 steps a day when there. Be sure you’re not bringing new shoes with you that still need breaking in. Prioritize comfort but also give consideration to what shoes in Paris will not have you looking like a tourist. Say it with me: comfortable shoes are a must.

The Best Shoes to Wear in Paris

And know that cobblestoned streets are common in Paris so you’ll want to leave the stilettos at home. I think the pair of shoes you bring is one of the most important decisions you can make when packing for a week in Paris.

Make a packing list

As you prepare for your trip begin writing down in your Notes app on your phone the pieces you’d like to bring. Then reference that list when it comes time to pack so you won’t over pack.

Write down your outfits

I always write down my outfits for both daytime and evening when I go to Paris. This ensures I actually wear what is in my suitcase and don’t forget what’s in there. This also helps me not overpack. I have friends who also try on and take photos of the outfits they’re packing to have handy on their phone.

How to Pack for A Week in Paris

Paris Packing List

Clothing
Mix and Match Outfits

As mentioned above, a little planning can go a long way. For a week in Paris I recommend you bring at minimum, several pairs of pants that can be dressed up or dressed down, dresses or skirts for evening, a trench coat, a leather jacket or other layer depending on the time of year, blazers or tweed jackets, one pair of shoes for evening and 2-3 pairs of comfortable shoes for daytime. 

Toiletries
ToiletrY PRODUCTS

I like to buy minis of my morning and evening skincare routine products to bring with me. I store them all in Truffle cases that you can see in All My Travel Essentials.

Earplugs

Paris is a city after all and you may run into noisy neighbors or garbage pick up so I always travel with a pair of earplugs.

Documents
Passport

But of course! Remember you’ll need to bring this with you to fly but also to do any luxury shopping (for VAT refunds) and to check into your hotel.

Vaccination Card

You likely won’t need this moving forward but I keep mine in my passport cover just in case.

License

Carding isn’t really a thing in France but since you won’t want to be out and about with your passport it is good to have your license with you – especially should you need to go to the doctor or hospital.

I like to keep photos of all my important documents on my phone in a folder so I can easily access them.

Plaid Blazer Tweed Fall Outfit in Paris

Electronics
Converter

Remember that Paris is on a different electric system so you’ll need converters and things like your Dyson Airwrap or steamer or blow dryer won’t work even with a converter. Leave them behind and instead bring dual voltage electronics.

This is the dual voltage curling iron I use when in Paris.

Charger

If you’re like me, you likely won’t see much of the inside of your hotel room because you’ll be out exploring Paris. So having a portable charger is a must! This one is my preferred model as it is slim enough to fit in purses without taking up much space.

AirTags

If you also worry about losing your luggage, buy a few Apple AirTags and pop them into your suitcases so you can track your luggage. 

Tripod

If you want to capture family photos or the likes and don’t have time or the budget for a professional photographer – don’t forget the power of a handy tripod to do so!

Fan

Paris is getting hotter and hotter every summer due to global warming. And air conditioning isn’t widely available throughout the city. So if you run hot and are visiting in the summer, I’d recommend you bring a portable fan to help cool off.

How to Pack for A Week in Paris

Layers
Jackets

Even if it looks like it may be really warm, evenings in Paris can be on the cool side or museums can be overly air conditioned in the summer. Be sure to have some sort of long sleeved item with you – whether that be a cardigan or a lightweight jacket.

Bags
Duffle

I always bring this collapsable duffle with me when I go to Paris to fill up with whatever shopping I do. It fits a lot and easily goes over your suitcase handle as well. I’ll bring it back with me along with the tote I bring on the airplane as my personal item.

If your luggage is over weight you will endure an extra cost so it is a good idea to have a back up bag in case you need to put overflow from your suitcase in there.

Luggage

Good luggage is a must. I swear by Away luggage. I have the Bigger Carry On, the Medium and the Large which is my preferred suitcase for when I spent time in Paris. They fit so much! The link included should score you $20 off of your first purchase if interested!

And don’t forget to add luggage tags to them, too!

Paris Cafe

I hope this post helps you prepare for your trip to Paris! No matter the time of year, the city of light is magical and I hope you enjoy your week there!

And if you need more help with your travel to Paris – I would love to work with you when you book a bespoke Paris, Perfected plan with me!

 

 

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