Weekend in France without tourists

We visited Paris during the French Yellow Vests protests of 2019, so a lot of my experience with France might be very different.

Time to visit

January is the low tourist season, which made a great time to visit. Cheap flights ($350 RT from SFO), cheap hotels, and most importantly no lines at tourist attractions.

Getting around

CDG airport is pretty far from the city. The lines at the first set of ticket vending machines as you exit the airport can be too long as everyone gets in the first line they see. However there are more machines as you walk to the train, which had no lines at all. Also trains usually take less time than Uber from airport.

We used the app Chauffeur prive [similar to Uber] to get around. There was 20 EUR worth of free rides for new users, and we were a group of 3, so most of our local travel was practically free.

Most of what we did was local touristy sight seeing, as we only had a weekend, before we had to leave for Amsterdam.

We checked out the following places in Paris

Eiffel Tower


One more Google office!

Arc de Triumph

Another classic Paris attraction.

Louvre museum

Spent a better part of the day at the museum.

The biggest surprise was the room with Mona Lisa was completely empty. No tourists. Unfortunately my understanding of art is poor, so I took a selfie and continued walking.

Lots of other interesting art at the museum.

For me Paris was great, lots of good food, and definitely somewhere I’d prefer going during the off-season again to save on travel costs and avoid the crowds.