Need To Know
Practical information & general advice to prepare your trip
Paris is known as the City of Love and as the City of Lights. I'm sure that you'll be able to figure out why during your visit to the capital of France.
Paris has a continental climate characterized by really hot summers and cold winters. Rain is frequent and spreaded all over the year. That's why, when visiting Paris, you should bring an umbrella, raincoat and waterproof footwear just in case.
It's a pretty safe city, there's security all around, but as in every touristic city you should be careful of pickpockets in subways, buses, terraces and crowded places.
Also, there are some neighbourhoods that are known to be quite unsafe, like Saint Denis, Bobigny and Clichysous Bois, but don't worry, there's nothing to see there so you won't get near them.
Meals: French people usually eat lunch between 12 and 2 pm, and dinner between 7 and 10 pm. Most restaurants open from 12 to 3 pm and from 7 to 11 pm, but take into account that kitchens often close at 22.15 pm. However, during the weekend they stay open a little bit longer.
Shops: they usually open from 10 am to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday, but in touristic places like Champs-Élysées, Opera, Le Marais or Lafayette, they often open on Sundays too.
The best way to get from one place to another is by metro or train. I don't recommend buses because they could take too long depending on the traffic.
On weekdays, the metro and RER operate from 5:30 a.m. to about 1:15 a.m. There are two transport cards you could get, besides the single tickets of course.
Paris Visite travel card is valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days for a price ranging from €11.65 to €63.90 (half price for children). It also has some discounts in attractions like the Ópera or the touristic bus.
Navigo travel card is valid for one week or a month and costs from 20,85€ and initially you have to pay 5€ that are non refundable.
Most French people know English, but they will be happy if you try a little bit of French first. So here's a list of easy words for you to get a smile out of people:
- Hello = Bonjour
- Goodbye = Au Revoir
- Please = S'il vous plaît
- Thanks = Merci
- Sorry, I don't understand = Pardon, Je ne comprends pas
Paris has 3 airports and different options of getting to the city center in each one:
- Charles de Gaulle: RER train line B that has stops such as Le Halle,Saint Michel and Gare du Nord. The price is €10,30 and it lasts around 35 minutes. You could also take the Roissybus that gets to the Opera. The price is around €12.50 and it takes 60 minutes approximately. Le Bus Direct will get you to different areas of Paris for 18€, and you could also take a taxi or Uber (approx. €50-60 and 30-40 min)
- Orly: the best way to the city center from this airport is the Orlybus. It gets you to Denfert-Rocheau station in Paris for 8.70€ in 30-40 min and from there you can connect with other areas of the city by metro, bus or train. You could also take Bus Line 1 which will get you to different stops for €12.00 one way.
- Beauvais: this is the furthest airport from the city, so private vans, ubers and taxis are quite expensive. The best option is the Airport bus which will get you to the city center for approx. 20€ in 75 minutes.
Have you just started to plan your trip? Too many things to decide? Too long do it all by yourself? Special needs or wishes? Then, you should plan your trip with a local to get tailored travel plans & advices.