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Exploring Paris: Essentials and Best Daypack for Paris Sightseeing

One of the most important things to know when you visit Paris is what to pack for the whole trip and what to pack in a day bag. That’s why on our tips for visiting Paris, we could not forget writing about the best sightseeing bag and the best daypack for travel in Paris Like a Local.

During your first time in Paris, most days will be a mixture of activities including Paris sightseeing, Paris museums, galleries or cafe hopping around the city. One of the best tips when visiting Paris is to pack light, with few travel essentials. On this post, we give you our Paris Travel Essentials List for Paris sightseeing and some suggestions to choose the best daypack for travel. Most of the products proposed below are the same products that we use ourselves for exploring Paris. And we can tell you that living in the City of Lights 330 days a year, we know something about it! 😉

READ MORE –  What to Wear in Paris (Fall-Winter)

READ MORE –  Why Paris is always a good idea

 

VISIT PARIS (PARIS SIGHTSEEING): BEST DAYPACK 

LEATHER TOTE BAG

If you are visiting Paris for a few days and you don’t plan any hike around, go chic and take your tote bag for exploring Paris. This extra large everyday carryall tote is my favorite Paris sightseeing bag when I am downtown for just a few hours. I use this bag for activities like museums, shopping, meeting friends or for short walks. I like its casual style and there is plenty of space inside for my day trip essentials, with an inner pocket for small items. This leather tote bag is also available in black.


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How to visit Paris. Tips for Visiting Paris


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PARIS SIGHTSEEING: TRAVEL ESSENTIALS LIST

In addition to normal bag contents which consist of wallet, phone, documents, and keys of your apartment in Paris, we don’t go anywhere without our cameras (more about this below), a coffee travel mug (good for when we can’t skip the line in Paris) and sunglasses.

Also, it is a good idea to pack in your sightseeing bag a foldable umbrella (it rains a lot in Paris) and some snacks. Finally, we always have black chocolate (70%+ cocoa means a few calories and lots of magnesium for our brains) in our bags.

Personally, I always carry a small Moleskine notebook to write some thoughts or inspiring quotes, especially when I visit a museum or exhibition. I have the Moleskine Classic Notebook, the same model used by Picasso or Hemingway just to name a few. On the pictures below I suggest the Moleskine City Notebook dedicated to Paris.

Click here to Download our Paris Essentials List for FREE now!  

 

PARIS SIGHTSEEING TRAVEL ESSENTIALS LIST: CAMERA / COFFEE TRAVEL MUG / SUNGLASSES / FOLDABLE UMBRELLA / CHOCOLATE / NOTEBOOK + PEN


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PARIS SIGHTSEING: OUR CAMERAS

 

CANON 5D MARK III

 

This is our main camera, a Canon 5D Mark III. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a professional camera, grade 22.3 megapixels, full-frame digital single-lens reflex (DSLR).  This is one of the best professional cameras on the market right now. It is like the Ferrari in the cars’ world. Canon recently launched a newer version of Canon 5D, the Canon 5D Mark IV, but everybody agrees that it is not as good as the Canon 5D Mark III.

This is a very expensive camera and I only recommend it if you want to get serious about photography. Also, it is quite heavy (1.5kg) so not everybody is ready to carry that weight for taking pictures. When I travel, the Canon 5D Mark III is like my shadow: it wanders with me, eats with me, hikes with me (this is the hardest part, especially in high altitudes or long multi-day hikes!) and sleeps not far from me. You can buy the Canon 5D Mark III separately (only the body). I bought that same kit on the first picture in the carousel (with an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens). 

In Paris, I carry this camera only for Paris day trips or when I want to enjoy Photography in Paris. Actually, I am cheating a little bit here: this camera does not go inside my backpack, it has its own Lowepro bag (shown on the carousel above). Sometimes I also carry an EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, when I want to have some fun with macros.

If you like Canon cameras but you prefer a less expensive model, we have a couple of friends who are very happy with a Canon 70D

 

PANASONIC DMC-TZ70

I am a Canon big fan but when my little Canon became too old I decided to try with Panasonic. In the past, I had a Panasonic bridge and I loved its Leica lens, my pictures were always very colorful! The Leica lens was the main reason why I decided to buy another Panasonic this time.

I chose the Panasonic DMC-TZ70 for its already fantastic reputation. In regards to its predecessor, the TZ60, it has fewer pixels (12 million pixels against 18 million pixels) with the same size of the sensor. This means that the individual pixels are larger which make it better at night.

To be honest, I am still getting used to this new camera but I feel already that I did a good choice. I carry this camera everywhere in Paris when I am “in a mission” but also when I go to work or private events (one never knows what I will find on my way, Paris is always a moveable feast!). And yes, this camera goes into the Lowepro case shown above first, and then into my Paris sightseeing bag 😉


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VISIT PARIS (EXPLORING PARIS & AROUND): BEST DAYPACK FOR TRAVEL

FJALLRAVEN – KANKEN CLASSIC PACK 

 

This 16L vinylon backpack is the bag that I use for long explorations in Paris or day trips around Paris. Iconic Fjallraven backpack is in vogue in Paris, and almost everybody seems to have the red one. The brand is a little bit expensive but the backpack is made of top quality materials, it is dirt resistant, water resistant and you will use it for years if you want. Another cool thing about this daypack is a sleeve that fits most 15” laptops so it is perfect for digital nomads I would say! Honestly, I think this is the best daypack for travel around Paris.


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EXPLORING PARIS & AROUND: TRAVEL ESSENTIALS LIST

Planning for day tours in Paris or Paris side trips requires similar Paris travel essentials than the ones mentioned above but with a few extra necessities. When going on a full day tour it is also nice to add a bottle of water and some snacks (apart from the chocolate). Also, we usually pack a scarf or a light cardigan, depending on the season. The cardigan is good to have in case the temperature drops while you are out for the day.

EXPLORING PARIS TRAVEL ESSENTIALS LIST: CAMERA / COFFEE TRAVEL MUG / SUNGLASSES / FOLDABLE UMBRELLA / CHOCOLATE / NOTEBOOK + PEN / BOTTLE OF WATER / SNACKS /  LIGHT CARDIGAN / SCARF / E-READER / POWERBANK

If our day tours involve long train journeys, I also like to carry my E-reader (more on this below) for some entertainment on the train. Then, having a power bank in the backpack comes very handy.


 

EXPLORING PARIS & AROUND: OUR E-READER

We have the All-New Kindle Oasis E-reader .  We chose to buy this specific E-reader because it’s the best of Kindl (Amazon format), with a high resolution display (7″, 300dpi) for an optimal font presentation. This E-reader suports JPEG, GIF, and PNG formats  and comes with Audible, which is a plus.

If you are looking for an E-reader but you prefer to spend less money on it, a good alternative is the Kobo Aura H2O Waterproof E-reader The Kobo Aura H2O has a resolution of 265 ppi for a very good font presentation. This E-book supports JPEG, GIF, PNG formats.

 


Now you know how to visit Paris for a few hours or day trips. We hope that you liked this post on Paris Essentials when exploring Paris. Please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google + or Flipboard.

 

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  • Megan Jerrard
    01/23/2018 at 11:02 pm

    I like the idea of going chic with a leather tote – this to me is what Paris is all about! And I love the idea of traveling around Paris with an e-reader (a) I’m thinking this could be fabulous for having travel guides / sightseeing information loaded onto it, but (b) nothing sounds more incredible than relaxing along the Seine with my favorite read. Thanks!

  • Hannah
    01/23/2018 at 10:11 pm

    Two snaps for both being a Canon fan and a Moleskine fan! I carry my 70D along with two prime lenses as what I call my ‘handbag camera’, as it is lighter than my 5! I’ve had moleskines for years, and have a Paris specific one, that I have been adding to every trip! This is a great comprehensive list – thank you!

    • WorldInParis
      02/01/2018 at 10:58 am

      Both a classic, Canon and Moleskine are the best! 😉

  • Rosemary
    01/23/2018 at 5:18 pm

    These are great tips for getting the most out of your Paris stay. The day bags are awesome but would want to make sure they are secure enough from pickpockets. The e-reader is a great way to carry your guide book around. Great suggestions. Thank you!

  • Skye Class
    01/23/2018 at 1:14 pm

    Well, I can’t say I would use the tote or clothes, but the Canon 5D III and moleskin notebooks are definitely on my wishlist. I just lost my notebook recently with all my notes from the year, and I’m a little devastated, so getting a new one is important at this time.

    • WorldInParis
      02/01/2018 at 11:00 am

      I need to do the male version of this post next time, lol 😉

  • Janine Thomas
    01/22/2018 at 2:14 pm

    What great tips! Funny, I also have a moleskin notebook that I carry around when I travel. I always forget about an umbrella.I think that I should take your advice and invest in a foldable umbrella! I just usually hope that the weather will be perfect and as you have said….. it rains a lot in Paris!

  • Anu
    01/21/2018 at 6:44 am

    The most important thing in my bag is my mobile phone, my wallet with some money and a water bottle. This is followed by cameras and kindle. If it a place where I am unlikely to get vegetarian food then it is some nuts in a box. I used to travel with a DSLR but switched back to a lighter camera as it is getting too tough to carry it in all places.

  • Danik
    01/20/2018 at 6:14 pm

    Great tips here especially the cameras. Not sure if I could fit in woman’s clothing..he he. Those bags at the top of the post look ideal especially if putting some picnic items on a summers day and then sitting on the grass underneath the Sacre-Coeur and checking out the view.

  • Fiona Maclean
    01/20/2018 at 12:24 pm

    I use a Panasonic micro 4/3rds camera for all my travels. It’s a lot lighter than a bridge or full size dslr. I’ll be interested to hear what you think when you’ve got used to it for a while. And I completely agree with the recommendation of a tote – it looks chic but seems to have infinite packing space!

  • Michelle
    01/20/2018 at 12:15 pm

    Great info about the best items to pack when exploring in Paris on a day trip! I love carrying a tote bag on sightseeing trips in cities – they are so comfortable to carry around and can hold so much! Great ideas for what to take on the trip too, I especially like the coffee travel mug!

    • WorldInParis
      01/24/2018 at 12:11 am

      Yes tote bags can be like Mary Poppin’s bag but I do my best to keep it light. There’s lots of walking in Paris!

  • Sab
    01/20/2018 at 11:49 am

    I have a Kobo, too and I can second it, love this ebook reader! I haven’t been to Paris yet (despite I traveled to more than 60 countries!) but I will bookmark your guide for my ext trip to France, this is very useful! Thanks for sharing!

    • WorldInParis
      01/24/2018 at 12:10 am

      Cool to know that you are also happy with your Kobo! 🙂