Paris

Paris is the capital city of the French Republic. Today it is one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, fashion and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major cities.


Population: 2.2 Million (In 2008)
Size: 105 Sq Km
Language(s): French

Activities

Viator VIP: Palace of Versailles Small-Group Tour

Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes
$272.98 View more

Moulin Rouge Show Paris

Duration: Varies
$105.92 View more

Paris Pass Including Entry to Over 60 Attractions

Duration: Flexible
$146.32 View more

Skip the Line: Eiffel Tower Tour and Summit Access

Duration: 90 minutes
$64.42 View more

Viator Exclusive: Versailles and Marie-Antoinette

Duration: 5 hours
$125.57 View more

Best of Versailles Day Trip from Paris including Skip-the-Line and Lunch

Duration: 8 hours
$216.20 View more
View all activites

Accommodation

Search and book hotels in Paris, France

Hotel Montpensier Paris

12, Rue de Richelieu, Near Galeries Lafayette

758 Reviews

USD 92.52

Timhotel Le Louvre

4 rue Croix des Petits Champs, Near Palais Royal

769 Reviews

USD 96.51

Baby

1 Rue Chenier, Near Forum des Halles

244 Reviews

USD 77.02

ibis Paris Maine Montparnasse 14ème

160 Rue Du Chateau, Near Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art

595 Reviews

USD 80.64

ibis Paris Alésia Montparnasse 14ème

49 Rue Des Plantes, In Paris (14th Arrondissement)

1392 Reviews

USD 84.72

Hôtel Agora

7 Rue De La Cossonnerie

284 Reviews

USD 125.95

Hôtel Troyon

10 Rue Troyon, Near Arc de Triomphe

202 Reviews

USD 160.7

Pavillon Nation

13 Boulevard De Charonne, In Paris (11th Arrondissement)

427 Reviews

USD 119.25

Hôtel Perreyve

63 Rue Madame, Near Luxembourg Palace

201 Reviews

USD 100.42

Hôtel Ducs D'Anjou

1 Rue Sainte Opportune, Near Notre Dame Cathedral

336 Reviews

USD 111.14

Events in Paris

Guide for Paris

Neighborhoods

The city of Paris is divided into 20 districts called arrondissements, numbered from 1 to 20 in a clockwise spiral from the centre of the city (which is known as Kilometre Zero and is located at the front of Notre Dame)

1st (1er). The geographical centre of Paris and a great starting point for travellers. The Musée du Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme, Les Halles, Palais Royal, Comédie-Française, and Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel are all to be found here.

2nd (2e). The central business district of the city - the Bourse (the Paris Stock Exchange), Opéra-Comique, Théâtre des Variétés, Passage des Panoramas, Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens and the former Bibliothèque Nationale are located here.

3rd (3e). Archives Nationales, Musée Carnavalet, Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, Hôtel de Soubise, the Former Temple fortress, and the northern, quieter part of the Marais can be found here.

4th (4e). Notre-Dame de Paris, the Hôtel de Ville (Paris city hall), Hôtel de Sully, Rue des Rosiers and the Jewish Quartier, Beaubourg, Le Marais, Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville, Mémorial de la Shoah, Centre Georges Pompidou, l'atelier Brancusi, Place des Vosges, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Saint-Jacques Tower and Parisian island Île Saint-Louis can be found here.

5th (5e). Jardin des Plantes, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Musée de Cluny, The Panthéon, Quartier Latin, Universités, La Sorbonne, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Église Saint-Séverin, La Grande Mosquée, Le Musée de l'AP-HP can be located here.

6th (6e). Jardin du Luxembourg as well as its Sénat, Place Saint-Michel, Église Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Germain des Prés can be found here.

7th (7e). Tour Eiffel and its Parc du Champ de Mars, Les Invalides, Musée d'Orsay, Assemblée Nationale and its subset administrations, Ecole Militaire, and Parisian mega-store Le Bon Marché can be found here.

8th (8e). Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, le Palais de l'Elysée, Église de la Madeleine,Jacquemart-Andre Museum, Gare Saint-Lazare, Grand Palais and Petit Palais can be found here.

9th (9e). Opéra Garnier, Galeries Lafayette, Musée Grévin, and Folies Bergère can be found here.

10th (10e). Canal Saint-Martin, Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est, Porte Saint-Denis, Porte Saint-Martin, Passage Brady, Passage du Prado, and Église Saint-Vincent-de-Paul can be found here.

11th (11e). The bars and restaurants of Rue Oberkampf, Bastille, Nation, New Jewish Quarter, Cirque d'Hiver, and Église Saint-Ambroise can be found here.

12th (12e). Opéra Bastille, Bercy Park and Village, Promenade Plantée, Quartier d'Aligre, Gare de Lyon, Cimetière de Picpus, Viaduc des arts the Bois de Vincennes, and the Zoo de Vincennes can be found here.

13th (13e). Quartier la Petite Asie, Place d'Italie, La Butte aux Cailles, Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), Gare d'Austerlitz, Manufacture des Gobelins, Butte-aux-Cailles and Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital can be found here.

14th (14e). Cimetière du Montparnasse, Gare Montparnasse, La Santé Prison, Denfert-Rochereau, Parc Montsouris, Stade Charléty, Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, and Paris Catacombs can be found here.

15th (15e). Tour Montparnasse, Porte de Versailles, Front de Seine, La Ruche and quartiers Saint-Lambert, Necker, Grenelle and Javel can be found here.

16th (16e). Palais de Chaillot, Musée de l'Homme, the Bois de Boulogne, Cimetière de Passy, Parc des Princes, Musée Marmottan-Monet, Trocadéro, and Avenue Foch can be found here.

17th (17e). Palais des Congrès, Place de Clichy, Parc Monceau, Marché Poncelet, and Square des Batignolles can be found here.

18th (18e). Montmartre, Pigalle, Barbès, Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, Église Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre, and Goutte d'Or can be found here.

19th (19e). Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Parc de la Villette, Bassin de la Villette, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Cité de la Musique, Canal de l'Ourcq, and Canal Saint-Denis can be found here.

20th (20e). Cimetière de Père Lachaise, Parc de Belleville, and quartiers Belleville and Ménilmontant can be found here.

La Défense. Although it is not officially part of the city, this skyscraper district on the western edge of town is on many visitors' must-see lists for its modern architecture and public art.

Beyond central Paris, the outlying suburbs are called Les Banlieues. Schematically, those on the west of Paris (Neuilly-sur-Seine, Boulogne-Billancourt, Saint Cloud, Levallois) are wealthy residential communities. Those to the northeast are poorer communities, often populated by immigrants.

Getting Around

General info

  • Paris is made for walking, this is the only real way to explore the city in any depth. Stroll the streets and absorb the sights and smells. On almost every block you will find something of interest -- a Belle Epoque shopping arcade, a Renaissance square, a medieval rampart. After walking through an arrondissement, stop in a cafe for coffee and a spot of people-watching.
  • The majority of Paris's public transport is run by RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens). Paris and its suburbs are divided into six travel zones, and the city itself is covered by zones 1 and 2.
  • RATP tickets are valid on the Métro, bus, and RER. You can buy tickets over the counter or from machines at most Métro entrances. A single ticket costs EUR 1.70 and a carnet of 10 tickets costs EUR 12. Tourists can benefit from a Paris Visite pass, which offers unlimited travel in zones on bus, Métro, and RER, and discounts on some attractions. A 1-day pass for zones 1 to 3 costs EUR 9.30, 2-day pass EUR 15, a 3-day pass EUR 21 and a 5-day pass EUR 30. Slightly cheaper is the 1-day Mobilis ticket, which offers unlimited travel in zones 1 and 2 and costs EUR 6.10. For travelers under 26, look out for the Ticket Jeune, which can be used on a Saturday, Sunday, or bank holiday, and which provides unlimited travel in zones 1 to 3 for EUR 3.40.
  • If you're staying for a while, it's worth getting the Navigo Découverte, a swipe card that you can buy at most stations for EUR 5. You must provide a passport photo, but once you have the card it offers unlimited travel in the relevant zones. The weekly tariff (which runs Mon-Sat) for zones 1 and 2 is EUR 18, and the monthly tariff (which runs from the first to the last day of the month) is EUR 60. Additional details for public transport and bookings are available here 


Bus

  • Buses are obviously slower than the Métro. The majority run from 6:30am to 9:30pm (a few operate until 12:30am) and service is limited on Sundays and holidays. You can use Métro tickets on the buses or you can buy tickets directly from the driver (EUR 1.80). Tickets need to be validated in the machine next to the driver's cabin.
  • There is usually a map of the bus route at the bus stop, which lists all of the stops, highlights which stop you are currently at, and indicates the direction of travel.  Each bus route has a different number and a corresponding color. Inside the bus, the next stop is usually written on an electronic panel on the ceiling of the bus. Press the red button when you want to get off.
  • At night,after the bus and Métro services stop running, there are a number of night bus lines called Noctilien. Most of the lines leave from Place du Châtelet and pass by the main train stations, crossing the city's major streets before leaving Paris for the suburbs (Mon-Thurs every hour 12:30 am-5:30 am; Friday to Saturday every 30 min.). Although often a little rowdy, the night buses are usually quite safe. Tickets cost EUR 1.80 if bought from the driver but travel passes are valid. 


Train

  • A suburban train system, RER (Réseau Express Regional), passes through the heart of Paris, traveling faster than the Métro and running daily from 5:30 am to 1 am.
  • This system works like the Métro and requires the same tickets (if you stay within zones 1 and 2). The major stops on Paris's Right Bank, linking the RER to the Métro, are Nation, Gare de Lyon, St-Lazare, Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile, Gare de l'Est, Gare du Nord as well as Châtelet-Les-Halles. On the Left Bank, RER stops include Denfert-Rochereau, St-Michel, Invalides, and Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel.
  • The five RER lines are marked A through E, and each line corresponds to a different color. Different branches are labeled by a number, for example the C5 Line serving Versailles-Rive Gauche. Electric signboards next to each track outline all the possible stops along the way. Make sure that the little square next to your intended stop is lit.


Metro

  • Métro is the fastest and most efficient way to get around Paris. All lines have a different number and color, and the final destination of each line, which will tell you which direction the train is going in, is clearly marked on subway maps, and in the system's underground passageways. The Métro runs daily from 5:30 am to 12:40 am (last departure at 1:30 am Fri-Sat).
  • The Metro map can be found here; more details are available at the RATP website 
  • To locate your train on a map, find your destination, follow the line to the end of its route, and note the name of the final stop, which is that line's direction. In the station, follow the signs for your direction in the passageways until you come to the right platform.
  • To change lines follow the signs saying Correspondances, which usually indicate the numbers of the other Métro lines. Some stations such as Châtelet-Les-Halles, République and Montparnasse-Bienvenüe require long walks. Don't follow a Sortie (exit) sign, or you'll have to pay again to get back on the train.
  • At the turnstile entrances to the Métro, insert your ticket and pass through. Hold onto your ticket as you occasionally need it to change trains or exit a station. There are also occasional ticket checks on trains in Métro stations.


Boat

  • The Batobus is a 150-passenger boat that operates along the Seine, stopping at such points of interest as the Eiffel Tower, Musée d'Orsay, the Louvre, Notre-Dame, and the Hôtel de Ville.
  • The only fare option available is a day pass valid for either 1, 2, or 5 days, each allowing as many entrances and exits as you want. A 1-day pass costs EUR 13 for adults, and EUR 7 for children 16 and under.
  • Boats operate daily (closed most of Jan) every 15 to 30 minutes, starting between 10 and 10:30am and ending at 4:30pm from November to March, 7pm in April and May and September and October, and 9:30pm from June to August. The timetable changes slightly every year so it's always worth double-checking on the website.


Taxi

  • Taxis are comparatively cheap especially at night when there are no traffic jams to be expected. There are not as many taxi cabs as one would expect, and sometimes finding a taxi can be challenging. In the daytime, it is not always a good idea to take a taxi, as walking or taking the metro will often be faster.
  • Your best option for finding a taxi is often to wait at a station de taxis. Located across the city, you'll find a station de taxi by looking for a blue sign saying TAXI above a turquoise column.
  • The flag drops at EUR 2.20 and the rates are then based on time and zone. From 10am to 5pm you pay EUR 0.89 per kilometer, from 5 pm to 10am you pay EUR 1.14 to EUR 1.38 per kilometer. Journeys within Paris usually cost between EUR 6 and EUR 20, and there is a minimum fee of EUR 6.00.
  • You're allowed several pieces of luggage free if they're transported inside and are less than 5 kilograms (11 lb.). Heavier suitcases carried in the trunk cost EUR 1 to EUR 2 apiece.
  • For radio cabs, call or reserve on the internet: Les Taxis Bleus and Taxi G7.

Eat / Drink

Local

French gastronomy, which was added in 2010 by UNESCO to its lists of the world's "intangible cultural heritage”, is best experienced in Paris. Some typical French dishes (haute cuisine included) that you should try while in Paris are

 

  • Crepe: Regardless of whether they are sweet or savory or filled with cheese or ham or Nutella, crepes remain the best street food in Paris. They are also one of the cheapest food options available.
  • Escargot: Arguably the best-known French cuisine appetizer, it comprises of snails with champignons or button mushrooms, seasoned with butter, garlic, parsley, and other herbs.
  • The Chateaubriand or Filet Mignon: This tender cut of prime steak is seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and then pan-seared over high heat.  This highly recommended dish is generally served with a bérnaise sauce and sautéed vegetables and potatoes,
  • Cuisses De Grenouille: Another well-know gourmet delicacy of France, this dish is made of frog legs seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice and then breaded and deep-fried in olive oil.
  • Ile flottante: Meringue floating on a bed of vanilla custard makes for one very tasty desert!


Gourmet

Paris has 10 Michelin three-star restaurants and numerous two-star and one-star venues. Some of the famous gourmet restaurants include:

 

 


Vegetarian

While vegetarian food is not as mainstream in Paris as it is in some other global cities, there are plenty of options for people of this dietary persuasion. Some well recommended vegetarian eateries include:

 


Drink

Wine

A trip to Paris is not complete without a glass of "vin"!

France is the largest producer of wine in the world and has some of the most globally renowned wine regions including Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, Champagne, the Loire, and Alsace. Wine is an integral part of the French dining experience and most traditional dishes are paired with the drink.

You should be aware of the Appellation contrôlée / Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOC / AOP) system used for classification of wines. This sign on the label of the wine bottle generally indicate that the wine is of good quality, and has come from a specific region. Popularly used terminology includes:

  • Crémant: Sparkling wines from Burgundy, the Loire valley, the Jura or Alsace.
  • Cru bourgeois: These are wines from estates in the Medoc and Haut Médoc regions. Generally speaking this label on a wine bottle indicates good quality and a good value for money proposition.
  • Grand Cru: This label can only be used by the best estates in the Médoc region, which produce some of France's best-known wines.
  • VDQS, or Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure: These are medium to good quality wines produced in certain Mediterranean areas and the Loire valley.
  • Vin de pays / European IGP (Indication géographique protégée label- PGI in English): This represents the top-end of everyday drinking wines.
  • Vin de table: These are ordinary table wines.

While the experience of winetasting is highly recommended, you can get a much better deal for the same wines from the local supermarket.

 

Coffee

Experience Paris’ famous café culture while grabbing an espresso at one of these famous cafés:

Staying Connected

  • Phone cards, such as Lebara, are available from most "Tabacs" but make sure you know where you can use them when you buy them.
  • The city of Paris provides with free Internet access via 400 Wi-Fi access points throughout the city, including many public parks. Look for the network called 'Orange' on your laptop or PDA device.
  • Other options include Starbucks, which is (not always) free. There is also McDonald's, Columbus Café, and certain Indiana Café locations. There is also the Wistro network, which independent coffee chains offer. You can search by arrondissement.