Everything You Need to Know About Paris

Everything You Need to Know About Paris

Paris, the ultra-cosmopolitan French capital, known for its world-famous art collections and vivacious energy continues to be a desired destination among travelers. Paris simply has magical way of leaving an impression on everyone. Nearly everyone in the world romanticizes Paris, whether it’s for the Eiffel Tower, Musée du Louvre, or for the fact that it has been home to countless revolutions, and kings named Louis. But before venturing into this stunning landscape, read through this week’s Travel Guide for a more efficient navigation around Paris.

Photo by kla4067

City Basics

From the Airport. Paris is a major hub for many airlines, making it a great starting point for your upcoming European vacation.

Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG), one of the largest airport in Paris is about 22 Km northeast of the city. From here you can take the RER B train, a 45-minute ride to central Paris through stations like Châtelet-Les Halles for €10 ($13.45), and make a transfer to the Paris Métro lines.

Orly Airport is about 19 Km from central Paris. Unlike CDG, it does not lie directly on a main train line, but buses connect fliers to the Pont de Rungis station on the RER line C for €2.50 ($3.36, 10 min). While the Orlyval shuttle train takes travelers to the RER line B through Anthony station for €7.40 ($9.95, 8 min).

For visitors, wanting to taxi their way into the city, this method takes up to 40 minutes and can cost roughly around €40 to € 86($53 – $115). Make sure to carry some cash with you since credit cards are rarely accepted.

Getting Around Paris. The Metro Line which consists of 300 stations on 16 lines covering the main areas of central Paris is the most convenient option for travelers. From Sunday to Thursday it runs from 5:30 AM to 12:40 AM, and 530AM to 140AM on Fridays, Saturdays and days before a holiday.

Day Pass: €11.90 ($16.62) for one adult

For a detailed travel itinerary, the RATP offers a route planner which allows you to enter street addresses and station names.

Tipping. Service charges are often included in restaurant bills, so they generally don’t have high expectations. But you can show your satisfaction with a gratuity in the 5% to 10% range.

Where to Stay

Before booking your accommodations, note that the historical center of Paris is divided into 20 neighbourhoods also known as arrondissements. Each district is a little village within the city with its own history, culture, and way of life. Try to find accommodations in the areas that interests you most.

Le Marais – Le Louvre (Arrondissements 1, 2, 3, 4)

Ideal for shopping and museum aficionados, this district is a great mix of trend and culture. Located in the centre of Paris with access to major tourists destinations such as the Le Louvre Museum.

Latin Quarter – Saint Germain des Prés (Arrondissements 5, 6, 7, 13)

Home of the famous La Sorbonne University, this district is perfect for the thinkers and idealists of our generation. Walk the streets of this district and have a taste of the scenic inspiration behind literary geniuses, Fitzgerald and Hemingway.

Champ Elysees – Trocadero (Arrondissements 8, 9, 16, 17)

Get a view of the Champs- Élysées and Grand Boulevards, or find the world-renowned Eiffel Tower, this district has all the major pieces of monuments and symbols that make Paris such a compelling destination to travelers.

Bastille – Oberkampf (Arrondissements 10, 11, 12)

The perfect spot for budding designers and vintage-lovers, this district offers a nice mix of cafes, lounge restaurants and ecstatic dance floors.

Montmartre – Sacre Coeur (Arrondissements 18, 19, 20)

This district is suitable for travelers looking for some romance. In here, everyone paints, wears a beret and sings to accordion music. If you want to fall in love with Paris even more, this is the area for you.

For a detailed selection, please visit our Paris Hotels page.

Major Paris Attractions

Eiffel Tower

A must-see for anyone visiting Paris, the Eiffel Tower was supposed to be a temporary exhibit for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World Fair). Its popularity thankfully assured its survival after the fair.

Opening Hours

  • From June 15 to September 1, the lift and stairs are open from 9AM to 12:45Am (11PM for the top), with last admission at midnight
  • The rest of the year, the lift is open from 9:30Am to 11:45PM (10:30PM for the top), while the stairs are open from 9:30AM to 6:30PM, with last admission at 6PM

Entrance Fee

  • Lift entrance ticket (valid up to the 2nd floor) €8.50 ($11.42)
  • Lift entrance ticket to the top €14.50 ($19.50)
  • Stairs entrance ticket (valid up to the 2nd floor) €5 ($6.72)

Photo by photophilde

Musée du Louvre

Constructed as a fortress by Philippe-Auguste in the early 12th century and rebuilt in the mid-16th century as a royal residence, Musée du Louvre is today’s largest museum in the world.

Opening Hours

  • Open every day except Tuesday, January 1, May, and December 25
  • Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 9AM to 6PM
  • Wednesday, Friday: 9AM to 9:45PM

Entrance Fee

  • Ticket for the Permanent Collections, €11 ($14.83)
  • Ticket for Exhibitions in the Hall Napoléon, €12 ($16.18)
  • Combined Ticket, €15 ($20.22)

Admission is free to the following visitor categories (with valid ID or proof of entitlement)

  • Visitors under the age of 18
  • 18-25 residents of the European Economic Area
  • Teachers of art, art history, and applied arts
  • Artists affiliated to the Maison des Artistes or the AIAP
  • Unemployed individuals
  • Disabled visitors and their guest

Also receive free admission on the first Sunday of each month and on July 14.

Arc de Triomphe

Built between 1806 and 1836, the triumphal arch is in honour of those who fought for France. It stands at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the “Place de l’Étoile.”

Opening Hours

  • April 1 to September 30: 10AM to 11PM
  • October 1 to March 31: 10AM: 10:30PM
  • Normal Entry Price, €9.59 ($12.93)

Champ Elysees Avenue

A popular street in Paris beautifully lined with cinemas, cafes, and shops. It is where presidents and soldiers strut their stuff on Bastille Day and where the large national parties are celebrated.

  • Museums are open from 10AM to 6PM (close on Monday or Tuesday)
  • Shops are open from 9AM to 7PM
  • Restaurants are open from 11:30AM to 2PM and from 7:30PM to 11PM

For more information about Paris, feel free to contact one of our expert travel agents at tripcentral.ca. What are you still waiting for? Let the best time of your life start today!

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