Paris is served by three airports.
Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) - If you are travelling into Paris from outside of Europe, this will likely be the airport you fly into. CDG is the largest international airport in France and second largest airport in Europe. It is located 16 miles north east of Paris and consists of three terminals (1, 2, and 3). The airport is spread out over a large area, over a mile across and navigating the huge maze can be confusing so allow plenty of time especially to travel between terminals and gates.
Paris Orly Airport (ORY) - The second hub for domestic and international flights handles many of the European carriers. Orly is just 8 miles south of Paris and consists of two terminals, Terminal Sud (South Terminal) and Terminal Ouest (West Terminal).
Paris Beauvais Airport (BVA) - This airport is much smaller than CDG and ORY and is located much further out, over 50 miles north west of the city centre. It is used by a small number of budget airlines such as Ryanair.
Paris is a large city divided into twenty arrondissements (another word for districts). The twenty arrondissements are arranged in a clockwise spiral with the 1st Arrondissement starting in the middle of the city and the following arrondissements spiralling outwards.
Metro - The Paris Metro is a quick and efficient way to cover large distances in the city. The metro runs frequently from 5am - 12:40 am (1.40am on Friday and Saturday). A single ticket costs €1.90 (approx $2.20) or a book of 10 tickets can be purchased for €14.70 (approx $17). Tickets are also valid on the bus, tram and RER networks. Alternatively you can purchase the Paris Visite travel pass allowing unlimited travel for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days. Do not confuse the Metro with the Paris RER, despite looking similar.
View Metro map
RER - The RER (Réseau Express Régional) is a train service that connects the city centre to the surrounding suburbs. RER trains run between 6am - 12.45am every day. The RER train can be quicker and more efficient than the Metro in some situations as it makes fewer stops than the Metro does. A RER ticket can be used on the Metro and vice versa and remember you must keep your RER ticket to hand to exit the gate or turnstile at your destination station.
View RER map
Taxi - Flagging a taxi on the street can prove difficult so your best bet is to find a taxi stand or ask your hotel to call in advance for you. Taxis have to battle the congested streets of Paris and are not the cheapest form of transport. Your journey is charged based on a meter and a minimum fare is applied, the cost of which varies depending on your pick-up location. Credit cards are mostly not accepted so be prepared to pay in cash. If cash is not your thing, Uber operate extensively in Paris.
Walk - Paris is best experienced on foot. Due to the scale of the city it would be very difficult to cover all of Paris by walking but much of it is very walkable and is a great way to immerse yourself in the city.
Jan-Mar - Mid-winter in Paris is similar to that in nearby London. It's cold but snow and sub-zero temperatures are rare. Temperatures struggle to reach double figures (highs of 7-8°C in January and February) until the month of March signals change and the start of Spring.
Apr-Jun - Spring has officially begun and you could mistake May for the start of Summer with temperatures gradually increasing to a daily high of 20°C (68°F). Conditions in Spring can however be unpredictable, some days may be cold and others not with a strong chance of rain during your visit.
Jul-Sep - A Parisian summer is warm and pleasant. July and August average highs of 25°C (77°F) in the day and temperatures drop to the mid-teens by night. As with the rest of the year, rain can be a common occurrence.
Oct-Dec - The days of al fresco dining are gone now as wet weather and cold temperatures set in. October temperatures average 12°C (54°F) dropping to just 5°C (41°F) in December. December is the wettest month with 26mm of rain expected. Night time temperatures can fall below freezing by night.
France use Type E plug with a standard voltage of 230V/50Hz. In most of the world, plugs are male (prongs) and the sockets are female (receptacles for the prongs). However France use something a bit more unique, their plugs have both prongs and a receptacle.
The official currency of France is the Euro (EUR), abbreviated to €. One Euro is subdivided into 100 cents. Cards are commonly accepted however some merchants may have a spending minimum of €10 to €20. When cash is needed, ATMs are plentiful around the city. Note that in France (and other countries that use the Euro currency), when displaying a price, the position of the currency symbol changes as do commas and dots. An amount written in English would be formatted as €99.95 however in France you will typically see this displayed as 99,95 €.
The majority of people in the service sector, waiters, hotel staff etc will often have a good understanding of English as they often deal with many tourists. The language barrier may become apparent with other locals who mostly only speak French. Despite the stereotype of the rude Parisian, people are often friendly and happy to help if you approach them in a respectable manner. As with anywhere, learning some phrases can you get you far:
Eiffel Tower - Of course Paris is home to the Eiffel Tower, perhaps the most famous monument in the world. Its construction was finished in 1889 and reaches 324 metres into the sky. An adult ticket to the top viewing platform starts from €19 (approx $22).
Food - One of the culinary capitals of the world, Paris has an abundance of beautiful, high end French cuisine to enjoy but equally you can find more budget friendly treats from a local boulangerie (bakery). During your visit why not indulge in a French sweet treat like a croissant, pain au chocolat and macarons, or be more daring and try a local delicacy like escargots (snails cooked in garlic and butter).
Romance - Paris is called the 'City of Love' for good reason. It is considered one of the most beautiful and charming cities in the world so it's no surprise it's a popular destination for couples. Take a walk down Montmartre’s cobblestoned streets or along the river Seine with your partner and you may see why.
Lourve Museum - The Lourve is the most visited art museum in the world. It boasts a huge collection of 38,000 pieces of art, most notably Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
Disneyland Paris - The only Disney Park in Europe is located 19 miles east of Paris city centre. Disneyland Paris is not just a carbon copy of Walt Disney World, it features its own unique attractions making it a popular day trip for visitors to Paris.
Bon voyage 👋
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