Travel Guide Île-de-France Paris



Paris, the capital of France, is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities. Known as "The City of Light" (La Ville Lumière) as well as "The City of Love" (La Ville d'Amour), it welcomes millions of visitors every year, in reverence of its cityscape, culture and lifestyle. With museums housing impressive collections of artworks and sculptures, cathedrals and churches intricately designed, palaces lavishly decorated, hundreds of parks providing green spaces and tranquility, list of events that leave one wanting for more than 24 hours per day to fit everything in, and more importantly, the richness of the cuisine found in this metropolitan city and the most sumptuous feast that one can indulge in, Paris is a mistress after one's own heart.

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. -- Ernest Hemingway, American writer

Even Parisians dedicate their lives to be better acquainted with the city. From one arrondissement to the next, each with its own personality (in as much as its inhabitants), each proud of what their neighbourhood has to offer. From historical squares to major boulevards, from ancient temples to modern museums, the city remains dynamic while retaining what is beautiful from the past.

No stay in Paris will be complete without a visit and a picture of the Iron Lady. That is, the Eiffel Tower. The single most iconic structure that identifies Paris to the world, in 2009, the tower turned 120 years old and the occasion was celebrated all year long with special exhibitions, fireworks and contemporary lightshows.




Paris is shaped like a snail and divided in 20 districts called arrondissements. The first district is in the middle of the snail. As you unroll the shell (in a clock-wise manner), you will go from the Louvre to the Marais, taking your time on the side of the River Seine which crosses Paris from east to west. Walk up the Champs-Élysées and enjoy the city seated at the terrasse of one of the famous cafés. In Montmartre, the painters and the Moulin Rouge offer another touch to a Parisian visit. Stroll around the narrow streets and appreciate the only vineyard in the capital.

Each of the Parisian arrondissements has their own attractions for the millions of visitors that travel in each year. The arrondissements are as follows:

  • 1st (1er) - Louvre
  • 2nd (2ème) - Bourse
  • 3rd (3ème) - Temple
  • 4th (4ème) - Hôtel-de-Ville
  • 5th (5ème) - Panthéon
  • 6th (6ème) - Luxembourg
  • 7th (7ème) - Palais-Bourbon
  • 8th (8ème) - Élysée
  • 9th (9ème) - Opéra
  • 10th (10ème) - Enclos-Saint-Laurent
  • 11th (11ème) - Popincourt
  • 12th (12ème) - Reuilly
  • 13th (13ème) - Gobelins
  • 14th (14ème) - Observatoire
  • 15th (15ème) - Vaugirard
  • 16th (16ème) - Passy
  • 17th (17ème) - Batignolles-Monceau
  • 18th (18ème) - Butte-Montmartre
  • 19th (19ème) - Buttes-Chaumont
  • 20th (20ème) - Ménilmontant

Visitors to Paris may have also identified Parisian neighbourhoods differently from just those based on arrondissements, and here are the main and familiar names.

Palais du Luxembourg, Paris

Palais du Luxembourg, Paris

© Softy

  • Tuileries Quarter is the site of Palais du Louvre and Palais Royal, along with Jardin du Tuileries and Place Vendôme, mainly 1st arrondissement with a hint of 8th (Place de la Concorde).
  • Beaubourg and Les Halles is dominated by Centre George Pompidou and Forum des Halles, between 1st to 4th arrondissements.
  • The Marais is the old Jewish neighbourhood and the gay district of Paris, occupying a large part of 3rd and 4th arrondissements.
  • Quartier Latin, or Latin Quarter, is the center of learning with famous universities (La Sorbonne, Collège de France) and vibrant atmosphere, located in the 5th arrondissement. It was named Latin Quarter because originally students were required to speak Latin.
  • St-Germain-des-Prés in the Rive Gauche is famous for celebrated cafés and literary culture, formed by parts of 6th and 7th arrondissements.
  • Luxembourg sits to the south of Quartier Latin and St-Germain-des-Prés, which its main Jardin du Luxembourg offers an escape from the cityscape, in the 5th and 6th arrondissements.
  • Invalides and Eiffel Tower is where monumental scale attractions are found, in which this wealthy quarter also forms parts of the embassy belt in Paris, in the 7th arrondissement.
  • Chaillot Quarter lies between the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées and is a continuation to the embassy belt, found in the 16th arrondissement.
  • Champs-Élysées plays a large part in the formation of the Historical Axis of Paris, and is found in the lower half of 8th arrondissement.
  • Opéra Quarter is a hub of commerce, bustling with bankers, stockbrokers and major department stores, located between 2nd, 8th and 9th arrondissements.
  • Montparnasse is a former thriving artistic and literary centre in early 20th century with Bohemian lifestyle, with Tour Montparnasse looming high in this quarter within the 14th and 15th arrondissements.
  • Montmartre was a mecca for artists and writers, peppered with cabarets and bordellos, and today thrives on street arts and theatres, in the 18th arrondissement.

River Seine separates Paris into two, the Right Bank (Rive Droite) to the north and the Left Bank (Rive Gauche) to the south. There are two natural islands in the Seine - the larger Île-de-la-Cité where the city was founded, and adjacent to it the smaller Île-Saint-Louis. There is also an artificial island Île-des-Cygnes to the west of the city, where a small replica of the Statue of Liberty stands, facing towards New York City.

The arrondissements of Paris is easily identified in postal codes, which begins with the département number 75. The postal code for the 1st arrondissement is 75001, the 2nd is 75002 and so forth, until the 20th with 75020. In the 16th, the northern part is 75116 while the southern part is 75016. Postal code that doesn't begin with 75 is not within Paris city boundary but refers to the suburban areas within Île-de-France (This is of particular note when choosing budget accommodations - beware of places that claim to be in Paris but have non-75 postal codes).



Sights and Attractions

Main article: Sights and Attractions of Paris

There is much to see and to visit in Paris. First time visitors tend to focus on the main sights, usually also the busiest given their popularity. Below is a list of the top 10 sights commonly featured in lists of favourites. For a more comprehensive listing and visiting tips/strategies, please refer to the main article of sights and attractions of Paris. For additional information and event listing, check the official Paris Tourism website.

Arc de Triomphe

Part of the Axe Historique, the Arc de Triomphe was Napoleon's commemoration of his victory of Battle of Austerlitz. Today it offers a vantage viewpoint of Paris from the top of the triumphal arch while the tomb of the unknown soldier is located beneath the arch to honour the dead of World War I. The arch links to the Axe Historique on the east by way Champs-Élysées, running along to Place de la Concorde, Jardin des Tuileries, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and Palais du Louvre. (M: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile, George V, Franklin D Roosevelt, Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau, Concorde).

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

The Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris is a beautiful and imposing Gothic cathedral that stands on Île-de-la-Cité. Although the hunchback did not actually live here, it was this tale by Victor Hugo that saved the cathedral from destruction and immortalised it in words. Taking nearly two hundred years to build, Notre Dame was completed in 1345. The cathedral was heavily damaged during the French Revolution but then was restored in the early 19th century. Since 2000, a major cleaning effort on the west façade of Notre Dame has been underway, removing centuries of filth mainly from massive industrial activity. This meticulous cleaning process is accomplished with the use of lasers and countless tiny brushes. Today Notre Dame is one of the most popular sights in Paris and of France. There was an unfortunate fire in 2019 and the entire roof and spire of Notre Dame were lost as well as much damage to the inside of the cathedral. It is currently closed to visitors and services with no set date for opening in sight. (M: Cité, St-Michel, RER: St-Michel-Notre-Dame).

Centre Georges Pompidou

The quirky "inside-out" Centre Georges Pompidou features modern art by great artists, among them are Matisse, Picasso, Miró and Pollock. The building was built in such a manner that the escalators, lifts, air and water ducts are all located to the exterior, and in return this allows the creation of a flexible exhibition space inside. At the piazza outside the museum there are often street performers plying their trade, contributing to the buzzing atmosphere in the area. (M: Rambuteau, Hôtel-de-Ville, Châtelet; RER: Châtelet-Les-Halles).


Paris - Champs Elysees

Paris - Champs Elysees

© petecubmia

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, or just Champs-Élysées, is the most prestigious road in Paris. It is one of the most famous roads in the world and also one of the world most expensive ones regarding the renting and buying of real estate. The name is French for Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology, and is sometimes voted as one of the most beautiful avenues in the world. The road is lined with luxury shops, restaurants, small cafés and other interesting places. The avenue is about 2 kilometres long and goes through the 8th arrondissement in the northwest of Paris, running from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor, to the Place Charles de Gaulle in the west, the location of the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Élysées forms part of the Axe historique and since 1975 also is the traditional finish place of the last stage of the Tour de France.

Cimetière de Père Lachaise

The Cimetière de Père Lachaise is Paris' most prestigious cemetery where many celebrities are buried, such as Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde. Set on a wooded hill that overlooks the city, fans of the celebrities flock to the cemetery to pay homage to their idols. For the curious travellers, this cemetery also showcases some rather unusual tomb "designs", from the sculpted bust of Balzac (over his grave of course) to the stone canopy over the graves of Pierre Abélard and Héloïse, to the art-deco winged sculpture for Oscar Wilde. (M: Père Lachaise, Alexandre Dumas).

Disneyland Paris

Originally called Euro Disney resort, Disneyland Paris is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Paris region. The theme park and Disney studios are situated in the Parisian suburbs in Marne-la-Vallée. The parks are packed with a wealth of fairground rides and attractions to suit all ages. Colourful parades take place throughout the day and night shows include fireworks, illuminations and music. Disney fans can meet and dine with their favourite characters, try out the rides or train to become a Jedi at the Jedi Training Academy. It is possible to stay at a Disney themed hotel or you can stay at one of the hotels in the area and get the shuttle into the park. Visiting Disneyland Paris is not cheap but it is magical. As Paris is so well connected, visitors can stay outside of the Disney area and simply spend the day at the resort. Trains run regularly to Marne-la-Vallée from across the city.

Eiffel Tower

La Tour Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower) defines Paris. It is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Europe, if not the world. It is an iron structure built in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition of that year in Paris. It is named after its designer, the famous engineer Gustave Eiffel. Standing at 324 metres tall (including the antenna), it was built by 300 workers who joined together 18,038 pieces of puddled iron (a very pure form of structural iron), using two and a half million rivets. It is still the highest building in Paris and one of the most visited (paid) buildings anywhere on planet earth. More than 243 million people have visited the iconic Eiffel Tower since its construction for the Exposition Universelle of 1889. (M: Trocadéro, Bir-Hakeim, École-Militaire; RER: Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel). You can climb up the tower and even enjoy a meal or a beverage at the onsite restaurant which has panaromic views of the City of Light. Night time visitors will be able to see Paris in all its glory as the illuminations bring the darkness to life.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Affectionately known as Luco by the locals, Jardin du Luxembourg is a green haven in the heart of a bustling city. There are numerous fountains and sculptures in the garden, and the French Senate is housed in the Palais du Luxembourg. It is the perfect place to sit with a book to read, or for picnics with friends, or simply for a family day out. In the summer months, really good ice cream carts are set up by the entrance, so pick a couple of flavours and enjoy the treat while strolling the garden. (M: Saint-Sulpice, Notre-Dame-des-Champs; RER: Luxembourg).


Montmartre Vineyard, Paris

Montmartre Vineyard, Paris

© mtlchica

Famous for its nightlife (the Moulin Rouge is here!) and for being a gathering point of writers and artists, the quarter of Montmartre is very lively nowadays. Its uphill streets, its staircases and its unmistakable and welcoming cafés make this quarter a destination you can’t miss. The neighbourhood is charming, conveying the Bohemian romanticism of Paris. There is also a quaint vineyard in Montmartre. Atop the hill, the most interesting sight is Basilique du Sacré-Cœur (the Basilica of the Sacred Heart) built between 1875 and 1919. The Basilica is accessible through the Montmartre funicular. Caution should be taken at night around Pigalle and Blanche, which is the red light district of Paris. (M: Anvers, Pigalle, Blanche).

Musée d'Orsay

The Musée d'Orsay is best known for its amazing collection of masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (the largest in the world), the two art movements that began and came to prominence in Paris. The works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Gauguin and Van Gogh are all on exhibit here. Sculptures by Rodin, Gauguin, Cavelier and Claudel can also be found here. Other photographs and decorative arts from a similar time span (late 19th century/early 20th century) are also present. The museum is housed in a former train station, the Gare d'Orsay, which is an impressive Beaux-Arts edifice, built in time for the 1900 Exposition Universelle. (M: Solférino, Assemblée Nationale; RER: Musée d'Orsay).

Musée du Louvre

Musée du Louvre is one of the biggest and most famous museums in the world. Housed in the historic Palais du Louvre, the museum was opened in 1793, making it one of the oldest museums in the world. Its exquisite walls house an extensive collection which includes the most famous portrait ever created: Mona Lisa (La Joconde). But the Louvre is much more than just the Mona Lisa. Other notable exhibits include famous sculptures of the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the renowned Code of Hammurabi, and paintings of Delacroix (Liberty Leading the People), Vermeer (The Lacemaker, The Astronomer), da Vinci (Virgin and Child with St Anne, St John the Baptist), and Velázquez (Infanta Maria Margareta). Musée du Louvre draws millions of people each year. (M: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre).


The Panthéon, inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, is the final resting place of France's notables and great heroes, including Voltaire, Rousseau and Zola. This Neo-Classical building was not intended to be a mausoleum, but to replace the damaged church of Sainte-Geneviève, patron saint of Paris. The interior of the building is simply breathtaking, and in the summer months visitors are also allowed to walk around the dome and take in the beautiful view before them that is Paris. (M: Maubert-Mutualité, Cardinal-Lemoine; RER: Luxembourg).


Chez Julien - Paris

Chez Julien - Paris

© lisetteann

Paris has more than a long list of sights and attractions to keep its residents and visitors occupied. Here are some of the activity options.

  • Café Culture - The café culture is undeniable in Paris and there's nothing more pleasant than to sit out by the terrasse with a drink, and proceed to read, or banter with friends, or just watch the world go by.
  • Paris Par Rues Méconnues - Walking tours can help visitors be better acquainted with the city. However, instead of taking a run-of-the-mill tour, consider getting to know hidden Paris with Paris Par Rues Méconnues or request for a free Paris Greeter.
  • Bateaux Mouches - Cruises of River Seine are offered by a number of companies and usually run between 1-2 hours, with multi-lingual commentaries, be it recorded or live. Some cruises also offer lunch or dinner on board, and these cruises take 2-3 hours. Popular operators include Bateaux Mouches, Bateaux Parisiens, Vedettes du Pont Neuf and Vedettes de Paris. These cruises run in a non-stop loop. Anyone looking to do a hop-on, hop-off cruise should go with Batobus.
  • Paris Canal - Canal trips along Canal Saint-Martin are offered by Paris Canal and Canauxrama. They make a good alternative to the cruises of River Seine, and are increasingly popular, particularly among visitors who want to enjoy Paris from a fresh perspective at a leisurely pace.
  • Pari Roller - Pari Roller sees thousands of roller-skaters gather at 9:30pm at Place Raoul Dautry every Friday evening to skate around the city starting at 10:00pm, of which the route changes weekly (the route is published on Thursdays). Not really recommended for new skaters.
  • Paris Rando Vélo - Paris Rando Vélo is an alternative to Pari Roller for anyone who's more comfortable on the bicycle. It also runs weekly on Friday, meeting at 9:30pm and starting at 10pm from Parvis de l'Hôtel de Ville. The group also hosts similar rides on the third Sunday of the month in the morning at 10:30am.
  • Les Bouquinistes - Les bouquinistes along the river peddle a veritable treasure of vintage books, magazines, prints, postcards and other knick-knacks. Perfect for a stroll and browse on a sunny day.
  • Jazz Music - Jazz music is well and alive in Paris, and may this love affair last. Numerous Jazz festivals are organised annually, usually free (or nearly free) for all to enjoy (see Events and Festivals below for more information). Jazz clubs are easy to find in the city, although many are ticketed. Some smaller jazz "caves" have good live performances which are free to enter with the purchase of one drink - it's a bargain.
  • Pierre Hermé - Follow the pastry trail! Paris is home to wonderful, world-famous pâtissiers. Pierre Hermé and Gérard Mulot are but two of them. Some of the other best pâtisseries include Ladurée, Dalloyau, Stohrer and Lenôtre.
  • Hemingway's Paris - Step into the undefined and discover places linked to this famous writer, from addresses of his residences to the famous cafés that were his favourites. Step into Hemingway's Paris.



Events and Festivals

Petit Palais

Petit Palais

© Roni_Paris

Spring: March to May

  • Six Nations - February/March - International rugby tournament between France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Italy. Address: Stade de France
  • Paris Marathon - One of Europe's most popular long-distance running events, it is held annually, usually on a Sunday, from Avenue des Champs Élysées to Avenue Foch via a truly scenic route, first heading eastward to Bastille and Vincennes, then back westward along the Seine towards Trocadéro and Bois du Boulogne
  • Foire du Trône - April/May: two months of funfair extravaganza (the largest in France), compounded with some charms of yesteryear. Address: Bois de Vincennes
  • La Nuit des Musées (Night of Museums) - A European initiative, museums are open from about 6:00pm until midnight for all to visit free of charge.
  • French Open (Tournoi de Roland-Garros) - The world's premier clay court tennis tournament and one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments around the world. Address: Stade Roland Garros

Summer: June to August

  • La Défense Jazz Festival - Free Jazz performances at the Esplanade de la Défense, with the highlight being a Jazz competition to find the best Jazz musicians. Address: La Défense
  • Fête de la Musique - Fête de la Musique, citywide - 21 June - all day and night summer solstice celebrations with free music.
  • Fête du Cinéma - Fête du Cinéma, citywide - late June - movies/films shown at special discounted price.
  • Paris Jazz Festival - Paris Jazz Festival, Parc Floral de Paris - June/July - several weeks of Jazz at the park, with minimal charge to enter the park. There are also music and dance workshops to participate.
  • Tour de France - July - the world's greatest cycling race, culminates each year on the Champs-Élysées. The race runs for three weeks and the final stage that ends on the Champs-Élysées does not usually have any impact on who wins the Yellow Jersey, but it can be of importance in the competition for the sprinters' Green Jersey.
  • Fête Nationale (14 Juillet) - 14 July - commemoration of Fête de la Fédération, with festivities on the Champs-Élysées attended by the President of France and other dignitaries.
  • Cinéma en plein air - Mid July/August: free open air movies that start at sunset (10:00pm-ish), daily except Mondays.
  • Paris Plages - July/August - an annual operation that sees sandy beaches set up along the river Seine. It has proven quite popular since its inception in 2002 and now attracts over 4 million visitors each year. It is in place for about 6 weeks in July and August.
  • Fête de Ganesh - 31 August - colourful street procession and carnival spirit to celebrate the Indian god Ganesh, centres around the Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam Temple.

Autumn: September to November

  • Festival d'Automne - Mid September to December - music, dance, theatre and arts events.
  • Journées du Patrimoine - Mid-late September - Heritage Days take place over a weekend where monuments and sites are open for free visits, with special events, open days and various entertainments.
  • Nuit Blanche (White Night) - Early October - an annual all-night arts festival that sees museums, galleries, churches and other buildings throw their doors open to visitors to discover Paris by night for free.
  • La Fête des Vendanges - Early October - celebrating annual grape harvest (yes, there is a vineyard in Montmartre!) with music, dances, food and drinks, and more amusingly Cérémony des Non-Demandés en Mariage (ceremony to NOT get married to your partner).
  • Salon du Chocolat - Mid to late October - chocolate fair with hundreds of exhibitors selling chocolate goodies, macarons, pastries, ice cream and spices. There are also cooking demonstrations, fashion show (of costumes made using chocolate) and chocolate tasting.
  • Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain (FIAC) - Last week of October - Paris' biggest fair of international modern and contemporary art.

Winter: December to February



© cheznous

  • Christmas Illuminations - December/January: Christmas festivities begin and main boulevards are brightly illuminated with festive lights.
  • Patinoires de Noël - Mid December to late February - free outdoor ice skating rinks at Hôtel de Ville, Parvis de la Gare Montparnasse, and Bibliothèque François Mitterrand (Avenue de France); skates rental available.
  • Fête des Rois (06 Jan 2014) - 6 January - marking the end of Christmas festivities, the slice of the galette des rois from the boulangeries you get may contain une fève, making you a king or a queen for the day.
  • Nouvel An Chinois (Chinese New Year) - End of January/early February - a celebration with colourful parade, lion and dragon dances, and traditional performances.




Paris' climate is tempered by the North Atlantic Current, ensuring the city rarely experiences extreme temperatures. The average yearly high temperature is about 15 °C and yearly lows average around 7 °C. Summers last from June to August when average daytime temperatures are a pleasant 22 to 25 °C and nights are mostly around 15 °C. Winters from December to February are usually above zero during the day, though frost as night is common, especially in January. The record high for Paris was 40.4 °C, recorded in 1948. The record low was -23.9 °C, recorded in 1879. The city averages 641.6 mm of precipitation each year, with no specific season contributing more rain. Snowfall is rare, usually appearing in January or February and seldom sticking for longer than a day. May/June and September are good times for a visit, as the weather is great and you avoid the European holiday season, especially August when the entire population of France seems on the move.

Avg Max6.9 °C8.2 °C11.8 °C14.7 °C19 °C21.8 °C24.4 °C24.6 °C20.8 °C15.8 °C10.4 °C7.8 °C
Avg Min2.5 °C2.8 °C5.1 °C6.8 °C10.5 °C13.3 °C15.5 °C15.4 °C12.5 °C9.2 °C5.3 °C3.6 °C
Rainfall53.7 mm43.7 mm48.5 mm53 mm65 mm54.6 mm63.1 mm43 mm54.7 mm59.7 mm51.9 mm58.7 mm
Rain Days10.29.310.49.410.38.686.



Getting There



© dmetraux

By Plane

There are two major airports in Paris, Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Orly Airport (ORY). Charles De Gaulle is larger and concentrates on international traffic while Orly is more (but not wholly) domestic. A third option, Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA) is used by budget airlines, but is located quite some distance from Paris (85 kilometres).

One smaller airport that is often advertised as being close to Paris is the Paris Vatry Airport (Disney) (XCR) (Châlons Vatry Airport is the official name). Few airlines fly here, including Ryanair from Porto, Stockholm and Marseille.

Charles de Gaulle International Airport
Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) is approximately 25 kilometres from Paris, off to the northeast near the town of Roissy (which is why you will sometimes hear the airport referred to as Roissy). It's one of the busiest airports in Europe, and has hundreds of flights throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport has 3 terminals. Terminal 2 is subdivided into 2A to 2G and 2F again is subdivided into 3 sectors (2F, 2F1 and 2F2). The airport is on both the RER B train line and the high speed TGV train line, making it easy to connect to Brussels and several other places in France, bypassing Paris.

To/from the airport

  • RER B - Paris stops: Gare du Nord, Châtelet-Les-Halles, Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame, Luxembourg, Port-Royal, Denfert-Rochereau and Cité-Universitaire; Duration: 35-45 minutes depending on the stop; Frequency: 10 to 15 minutes; Fare: €9.75.
  • Roissy Bus - Paris stop: Opéra-Garnier; Duration: 45 to 60 minutes (often more, up to 90 minutes); Frequency: 15 to 20 minutes; Fare: €11.00.
  • Les Bus Direct - Formerly the Air France airport bus which leaves every 15-30 minutes (6am-11pm); Line 2: to/fro Arc de Triomphe-Étoile and Porte Maillot, Duration: 45 minutes, Fare: €17/€30 one-way/return; Line 3: to/fro Orly, Duration: 60 minutes, Fare: €21/€36 one-way/return; Line 4: to/fro Gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse, Duration: 50 minutes, Fare: €18/€31 one-way/return.
  • Bus #350 or #351 - to Gare de l'Est (#350) and Nation (#351) are €6, then served by métro lines 4, 5, and 7 (#350) and métro lines 1, 2, 6, 9 and RER A (#351) plus 1 standard ticket needed for métro transfer. 1-day zone 1-5 Mobilis may be used, €17.80. Navigo Découverte zone 1-5 may be used. (See "Getting around" for standard ticket pricing.)
  • Noctilien #N140 or #N143 - for midnight to early morning travel, to/from Gare de l'Est, 4 standard tickets required.

The RER B is the fastest way to travel to Paris and while it is safe in general, care is required particularly for very early or very late rides. Try to avoid empty cars and stay in those with other travellers if possible as the RER passes some unsavoury suburban neighbourhoods.

The CDGVAL is a light-rail shuttle that links the terminals, railway station and parking lots. Started on 4 April 2007, the CDGVAL links all the three terminals (except hall 2G). There is only a single station for Terminal 2, near the rail station, so the walk distance to the more distant halls 2A-2B is more than 500 metres (and both CDGVAL and bus are needed to reach 2G from Terminal 1).

Orly Airport
Paris Orly Airport (ORY) is located southwest of Paris near the town of Orly. It is approximately 19 kilometres to Paris from Orly airport. Although having less flights and destinations compared to Charles de Gaulle Airport, there are still many flights throughout Europe and also to destinations further away, including quite some flights to northern and western Africa as well as to Mauritius and Réunion and other French overseas territories and departments.

To/from the airport

  • Orlyval + RER B - Automatic métro Orlyval to RER station of Antony, then RER B into Paris in northward direction; Duration: Orlyval 4 to 7 minutes, RER B 12 to 25 minutes; Fare: Orlyval €9.30, RER B €2.75. (Navigo passes and Mobilis tickets are not accepted on Orlyval.
  • Orlybus - Paris stop: Denfert-Rochereau; Duration: 20-30 minutes; Fare: €8.70.
  • Les Bus Direct - Formerly the Air France airport bus - Line 1: to/fro Gare Montparnasse, Duration: 35 minutes, Fare: €12.00/€20.00 one-way/return; Line 1*: to/fro Gare Montparnasse, Trocadéro, Etoile/Champs Elysées, the Eiffel Tower and La Motte Picquet/Grenelle. The shuttle no longer stops at Invalides. Duration: 35 to 50 minutes, Fare: €12.00/€20.00 one-way/return; Line 3: to/fro Charles de Gaulle Airport, Duration: 60 minutes, Fare: €22/€37 one-way/return.
  • Go C Paris bus between Orly and RER-C to connect to Paris center - Fare: €1.90 to RER-C at Pont de Rungis. A combined ticket Go C Paris + RER-C train to central Paris is €6.35. Paris Viste Pass zone 1-5 and Navigo Découverte zone 4 are accepted.
  • Bus #183 or #285 - from Orly Sud, to Porte de Choisy (#183) and Villejuif Louis Aragon (#285), both served by métro line 7; #183 requires 3 standard tickets and #285 requires 1 ticket for travel between Orly and the specified métro stations. Transfer to métro will require an additional ticket. (1-day zone 1-4 Mobilis may be used, €12.00)
  • Noctilien #N31, #N131 and #144 - for midnight to early morning travel, to/fro Gare de Lyon, 3 standard tickets.
  • By car, Orly Airport is connected to the A6 autoroute.

Beauvais-Tillé Airport
Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA) is often billed as a Paris airport and used by budget airlines, most notably Ryanair (Alghero, Alicante, Bari, Bologna, Bratislava, Cagliari, Dublin, Girona, Glasgow, Madrid, Marseille, Milan, Oslo, Pisa, Porto, Rome, Barcelona-Reus, Shannon, Stockholm, Trapani and Venice), but also Blue Air (Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca) and Wizzair (Bucharest, Gdansk, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca, Katowice, Prague, Sofia, Timisoara, Warsaw and Wroclaw). The airport is located roughly 85 kilometres out of Paris near the town of Beauvais.

To/from the airport

  • Bus: Buses leave the airport 20 minutes after each flight (or as soon as they are filled) and charge €13 for the 80-minute-journey to Porte Maillot in Paris. Tickets can be bought at either the kiosk just beside the luggage carousel after immigration counters (cash only) or outside the airport (exit the airport, turn right and walk straight on, the ticket counters are just ahead to the right, cash or card). A cab would cost in the order of €120-160 and the small shuttle buses cost around €18 per person. For the return trip to Beauvais, buses leave Porte Maillot approximately 3 hours before flight time. Be there about 10-15 minutes ahead in order to allow time for passengers to board the bus and be filled. Ticket must be purchased prior to boarding at the ticket counter, and queue may be long. In order to save time, buy 2 one-way tickets upon arrival in Beauvais, and use the second ticket for this journey. Tickets may also be purchased ahead online but must be booked at least 24 hours prior to departure.
  • To go to the town centre of Beauvais, you can take the commuter bus provided by the Transports Urbains du Beauvaisis. Ligne 12 goes to Mairie - Zone d’activités des Tilleuls - Tillé - Aéroport. The Airport Shuttle goes to Parc Municipal - Maillart - Cathédrale - Mairie (City Hall) - Gare SNCF - Kennedy - Descartes - Délie - Saint-Germain - Elispace - Airport.
  • Rail: Beauvais train station is situated almost 4 kilometres away, with connections to Paris Gare du Nord, Amiens, etc.
  • There are also many minibus and shuttle services that can bring you to Disneyland Park.
  • Taxis and rental cars are both widely available at the airport as well. The city has fixed official taxi fares from CDG to Paris Right Bank at €50 and to Paris Left Bank at €55. From Orly to Paris Right Bank is €35 and to Paris Left Bank is €30.

By Train

Jardin du Palais Royal, Paris

Jardin du Palais Royal, Paris

© mtlchica

The French Railways operated by SNCF has an extensive network with frequent, fast and comfortable connections to almost any of the major towns and cities in France. From the hub Paris, the TGV (high speed trains) run east to Strasbourg, west to Nantes, and south to Bordeaux, Lyon and Marseille at speeds of approximately 300 km/hour. The Corail Intercité and Corail Téoz both connect Paris to other main French cities not serviced by the TGV, but note that reservations are required for Corail Téoz. Corail Lunéa are night trains operating similar routes to the other Corail services. TER (train express regional) is slower, regional rail service that stops at almost all stations along its operating routes.

For youth/young adult travellers, iDTGV is a new service similar to TGV but available at a lower cost, and ticket reservations and purchases are conducted strictly online. Most of their routes are between Paris and the south of France.

Train tickets may be purchased 3 months ahead of travel, from either Voyages-SNCF (in French) or TGV-Europe (English and other European languages) and the tickets will be delivered to the country of order accordingly. However, online purchase and reservation for TER is not possible. Tickets for iDTGV are available 6 months ahead of travel.

The Eurostar travels between Gare du Nord in Paris and St. Pancras station in London in just two and a half hours. When booking early, the non-flexible tickets can be quite a bargain compared to a flight. It is also time-saving, travelling directly from city to city and negates the extra time for travelling to/fro airports that are located outside of London and Paris. The Thalys travels fast towards Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne.

Tickets must be validated prior to boarding using the composteur machines, usually located in station halls and at the head of each platforms. Failure to do so may incur a fine by the inspector on board. If you are in a hurry to catch the train and fail to validate the ticket, mention it immediately when an inspector comes round.

There are 6 train stations in Paris serving different destinations, and travellers connecting trains in Paris must be aware that often the connection requires a change of the train station so please allocate travel time accordingly.

  • Gare du Nord: trains to London, Belgium, Netherlands, and northern Europe in general
  • Gare de Lyon: trains to southern and eastern France including Marseille, Lyon, French Alps; parts of Switzerland, Italy
  • Gare d'Austerlitz: trains to center and southwest of France including Limoges, Toulouse; Spain, Portugal; arrival of majority of the night trains
  • Gare de l'Est: trains to Luxembourg, Germany, parts of Switzerland
  • Gare Montparnasse: trains to the western and southwestern France including Nantes, Brest, Bordeaux; Spain
  • Gare St Lazare: trains to Normandy.

By Car

Paris is the focus of all roads that originate and terminate here. The main roads leading to/from Paris are the A1/A16 highways in norther directions towards Amiens, the A4 towards Reims, the A13 towards Rouen, the A11 towards Le Mans, the A10 towards Orléans, and the A5 and A6 in southwestern direction towards Dijon. All of them connect to other routes leading to places further away to the south for example.

By Bus

Eurolines serves dozens of destinations from Paris, including domestic destinations and cities much further away, even as far as Russia and Morocco. The stop in Paris is at the Galliéni International busstation (Métro: Galliéni) 28 Avenue du Général de Gaulle, Bagnolet. It is possible to also get tickets here, but it is better to book your tickets in advance on internet in order to avail of special online rates.

By Boat

There are no direction routes to get to Paris by boat/ferry. A common sea travel route normally involves arrival in the north of France (e.g. Le Havre, Caen, Dieppe, Cherbourg) and subsequent connection to Paris either by rail, by bus or by car. From the south of France, a common port of entry is Marseille.



Getting Around

France - Paris - downtown 6

France - Paris - downtown 6

© AC Frieden

By Car

It is advisable to avoid driving in Paris. Traffic is usually extremely heavy and at places like the roundabout at Arc de Triomphe, skills and dexterity are required to manouver along the tens of lanes of traffic feeding in the roundabout. Limited parking also makes trying to find a parking space very difficult. Not only that, often the parking space is also tight, requiring an extraordinary amount of skill in "contact parking". Parking fees, particularly of private carparks, are also very high in Paris.
If you are desperate to rent a car, try companies like Sixt, Hertz, Avis or Budget.

By Taxi

Alternatively there are taxis across Paris but finding one is not always easy. It is common to get them either from taxi stands conveniently positioned (usually near train stations, on main boulevards, near major hotels, popular tourist sites) or by asking your hotel concierge to order one for you. Hailing them in the street is possible although if near taxi stands, they most likely will not stop (nor are they supposed to). If a taxi is empty yet unavailable, it's most likely on its way to collect passengers who have rung for it. (Note: don't try to steal a taxi that someone has called for - it's uncool, and you will also be left embarrassed when the driver denies you the service because you can't provide the correct name.)

A taxi is available if the whole top of the taxi light is brightly illuminated, a dim light signals that the taxi is occupied. Taxi prices are relatively inexpensive and are an easy way to get home after a night out and the metro has closed. The three little bulbs below the "Taxi Parisien" sign indicate which rate is being applied: A (Mon-Sat 10:00am-5:00pm), B (Mon-Sat 5:00pm-10:00am, Sun 7:00am-midnight, holidays all day), and C (Sun from midnight-7:00am). For Paris suburbs, rate B applies 7:00am-7:00pm and rate C applies 7:00pm-7:00am. For the latest rate, check this listing.

By Moto-Taxi

A relatively new initiative to allow exploration of the city on two wheels with the service of a chauffeur, the moto-taxi is supposed to be the middle ground for low emission mode of fast transport. For the "privilege" of avoiding the traffic jam and riding conditions open to the elements (e.g. rain, wind, cold temperature etc), be prepared to pay between €50 to €80 per one hour of chauffeured service. The moto-taxi must be booked ahead with companies that provide them.

By Public Transport

Paris has a great public transit system that is ideal to shuttle tourists to the sites. Depending on where your hotel is, you may be able to walk to many of the sites, but some of the areas are a bit of a hike (e.g. in Montmartre). Services start from as early as 5:00 am and end as late as between 12:30 am to 1:30 am, while Noctilien night buses run in between those late night hours.

Using the métro is an easy way to get around. There is usually a métro station within 500 metres from any location in central Paris. The map of the transit system can be found at the RATP website. There is an interactive map, and a very handy feature that will allow you to enter two addresses, and it will tell you how to get between them.

While newer métro trains have automatic doors, older ones (as well as the RERs) require the users to either push the button or pull the lever by the doors to open them. Similarly, on buses, there are buttons by the doors that need to be pushed in order to get them opened. Passengers may get on the bus from either the front or from the other doors further back.

There are a number of options to purchase tickets. The key options are the Carnet (individual tickets in pack of 10), the Mobilis (unlimited 1-day pass) and the Navigo Découverte (weekly pass). Tickets may be used on all public transport - métro, RER, bus and tram. Please note, for RER travels outside of central zone, correct Île-de-France tickets corresponding to the zones of travel must be obtained. Similarly, bus traveling outside the périphérique will require 1 standard ticket for zones 1-2 and an additional ticket for every zone thereafter (e.g. zone 3 requires 2 standard tickets).

Standard Single Journey Ticket
Standard tickets can be purchased either as a "carnet" (10 tickets for €14.90) or individually (€1.90). In the carnet, the t+ ticket is valid for one journey and allows unlimited transfer between the same mode of transport (e.g. métro to métro, bus to bus), between métro and RER zone 1, and between bus and tram. Other transfers between métro and bus, métro and tram, RER and bus, and RER and tram are not allowed. Individually bought ticket allows métro to métro and métro to RER transfers, but not bus and tram transfers. A single journey time allowance is 2 hours for the métro/RER, and for the bus, 90 minutes is allowed between the first validation and the final validation of the ticket. The carnet is available from the métro/RER stations, the tabac, and selected newsagents.

Mobilis Day Ticket
For unlimited trips in a single day, get the Mobilis. For travel within zones 1-2 it costs €7.50. Please note Mobilis is not valid for travel to/from Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airports on special airport services (i.e. RER B, Roissybus, Orlybus, Orlyval), even if the tickets correspond to the zones where the airports are situated. The Mobilis ticket is used in the normal manner for métro/RER but on the bus, do not insert the ticket into the machine for validation as it will actually render the ticket invalid. It is sufficient to show the ticket to the bus driver when you board the bus. The ticket must also be dated correctly, based on European date notation - day/month/year. You can spend more and get a Mobilis that goes to the outer zones. Zone 1-3 costs €10.00; zone 1-4 costs €12.40 and zone 1-5 costs €17.80. These are good for visiting Fontainebleau or Versailles.

Carte Orange / Passe Navigo
The Carte Orange was discontinued in 2007 and replaced by Passe Navigo. It gives you unlimited weekly trips (they have a monthly version as well) for €22.80 (for zones 1 through 5). It is valid strictly from Monday to Sunday (monthly version from the first to the last day of the month). Ordinary Passe Navigo is only available to residents but visitors may purchase Passe Navigo Découverte at €5. A passport size photo is required for the pass. You then purchase time at the same price as residents.

Paris Visite Card
A tourist Paris Visite card is also available, for unlimited travel of 1, 2, 3 or 5 days in either zones 1-3 or zones 1-6. This transport pass is expensive to buy particularly for a couple of days and when most travellers stay within zone 1 of the city (e.g. zones 1-3 : €12.00 for 1 day, €19.50 for 2 days). However, it does give discounts and reductions to a variety of services, which may be of interest to the pass holder.

(Rates for RATP valid from 1 Jan. 2018 until further notice)

By Boat

A great way to see Paris, is by a leisurely boat ride across the Seine river with Batobus Paris. It runs from February to November, and comes along every 15-30 minutes. It operates on a hop-on, hop-off basis, and stops at 8 locations along the Seine in this direction - Eiffel Tower, Musée d'Orsay, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Notre Dame, Jardin des Plantes, Hôtel de Ville, Louvre and Champs-Élysées, before heading back to Eiffel Tower again. There are several other river sight-seeing cruises that operate in full loops with commentary and without the option to get on and off as desired.

By Foot

Paris is a very walkable city and many of the main sights are close to one another that it's often more pleasant to navigate by foot than to take the métro (which normally means getting stuck underground) or the bus (getting stuck in traffic). Away from the main boulevards, the streets may be small but there'll still always be foot paths for walking. At junctions with pedestrian lights, just walk when the light turns green, because there will still be traffic from some direction which equally have the right to drive along if nobody's crossing the road. At the roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe, if you want to go to the arch, there is an underground passage. Do not even think about trying to run across, even if it seems quiet without much traffic around.

By Bike

Urban Bikes of Paris

Urban Bikes of Paris


Vélib' is the freebike scheme that has been in operation since 2007, and is now adopted as the model for freebike schemes in other cities including Bicloo in Nantes, Vélomagg' in Montpellier and Vélopop' in Avignon.

Pin-and-chip credit card is required to obtain a temporary subscription to Vélib' and to act as a deposit in the event of unreturned/lost bike. The short term subscription rate is €1 for 1 day or €5 for 7 days. The use of the bike for the first 30 minutes is free. Delays in checking the bike in after the 30 minutes will be charged to the credit card, and the rate is as follow (after the free 30 minutes): 1st additional 30 minutes €1, 2nd additional 30 minutes €2, all subsequent 30 minutes €4 each. E.g. a bike taken out for 1h15m will incur €3 charge; 2h15m will incur €11.

In order to avoid the supplementary charges, the bike should be returned to a station within 30 minutes of the initial hire. After checking that bike in, you may either take it out again or take another one out. This resets the time and another free 30 minutes period begins. If a station is full, enter the required information and you'll be allowed an additional 15 minutes to search for a station to return the bike. There should be another station within 300 metres.

By normal convention, if a saddle has been turned around, the bike is likely to be out of order. The Vélib' is operational 24/7, so it is useful late at night or early morning, when the public transport services are very limited or unavailable. Upon returning the bike, please ensure the bike is securely locked on the stand.




Famous cafe

Famous cafe

© CaitlinMcC

Main article: Eating Out in Paris

Paris is known for its fine and luxurious dining, boasting a high number of Michelin-star adorned restaurants. However it also caters to budget conscious travellers, with reasonably priced bistrots, cafés and small restaurants. As a cosmopolitan city, Paris has also adopted a range of cuisine, both from regional French cuisine and international cuisine. Unfortunately, one aspect that needs improving is in catering to vegetarian needs, as dishes are often meat-based.

By law, all restaurants and eateries in France are required to display their menus and the prices at the window or by the door outside their establishments. Most restaurants have special fixed price menus that make dining out more affordable for all. It is also cheaper to eat out at lunch than at dinner. On a typical French day, it starts with breakfast in the morning, followed shortly by lunch at noon. A late afternoon goûter is common to stave off hunger until dinner at around 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

For visitors, it can be terribly easy to have poor dining experiences in Paris throughout their stay, particularly if dining out is constantly at locations close to major attractions of the city. Not only the food would be unmemorable, the price tags are usually hard to justify for the quality received. It therefore pays to search for eateries off the main boulevards, where many of them are usually filled with locals.

An alternative to eating out would be to locate the food markets around the city and buy food that can be eaten on the go or as picnic fare, such as bread and cheese, fruits, freshly prepared ready meal, cured meat, pâtés, and dried fruits and nuts.




Moulin Rouge, Paris

Moulin Rouge, Paris

© epsibz

Paris is a coffee drinking capital and with the thousands of cafés at every corner of the city, it is easy to sit down and order one, while watching the world goes by. Mind, drinking coffee with the sit-down privilege comes with a price, sometimes 2-3 times higher than if you drink it while standing at the bar counter. Some cafés such as Café de Flore, Café de la Paix, Café les Deux Magots and La Coupole are well-knowned and celebrated in their own rights.

Ordering coffee in Paris

  • Café ('kah-fay') - a small cup of expresso.
  • Café noisette ('kah-fay nwah-zett') - expresso with a little milk.
  • Café crème ('kah-fay krehm') - coffee with hot cream.
  • Café au lait ('kah-fay oh lay') - coffee with milk (typically served at home in a bowl for breakfast).
  • Café allongé ('kah-fay ah-long-zhay') - expresso with hot water to dilute the strength.
  • Café Americain ('kay-fay a-meh-ree-kan') - filtered coffee.
  • Déca ('day-kah') - decaffeinated coffee.

Hot chocolate is another perennial favourite, usually thick and creamy, served with an extra portion of whipped cream for good measure. Marshmallows, however, are not common. The preference for tea drinking is on the rise. Often ordering tea means selecting a tea bag from a box with a good variety of tea and tisane, and it would be served with a cup of hot water.

France is renowned for its superior wine industry and it is common to order wine with meals or on an evening out. It is not necessary to order wine by the bottle, as the inexpensive house wine can be ordered by the carafe and is usually of good quality.

The nightlife and bar scene in Paris has something for everyone. From music-thumping disco serving beer and alcopops, to gourmet cocktail bars, and everything in between. There are numerous Jazz bars with live music in Quartier Latin, nightclubs are aplenty in Montmartre, trendy clubs concentrating around Champs-Élysées, and the upcoming favourites among the locals in the areas of Bastille and Canal Saint-Martin.




Paris has accommodation options for every budget, from camp sites outside the city and hostels for the budget travellers, to luxurious 5-star hotels.

You may find it helpful to read our extensive guide on where the best areas are to stay in Paris

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




For EU citizens, there is no visa/work permit restriction as the free labour movement allows them to seek for an employment anywhere in the EU, including Paris. However, in many cases, a proficiency in French language is required. Bi-, tri-, or multi-lingual employees with complete fluency are coveted in major companies.

For non-EU citizens, an appropriate work visa is required and the bureaucracy involved in the process of application can be long and tedious. The visa is usually applied with the assistance of the employer, upon presentation of a work contract and a permission from the French Ministry of Labour. Once obtained, the employee may travel to Paris and within days will need to report to the local Préfecture of Police in order to secure a Carte de Séjour, which is the residency permit in France.

There is a new "Compétences et Talents" (Skills and Talents) residency card currently on offer - please contact your nearest French Embassy/Consulate for information. There is also a particular visa solely for Au Pair, which must be applied prior to entering France.

For English native speakers (i.e. citizens of America, Canada, Australia) there are also positions available as language assistants in French schools. The positions are renumerated by the French Ministry of Education (in 2009, it is €890 per month gross salary) but there is no guarantee that the posting will be in Paris. Language assistants often take up part-time employment to supplement their incomes.

Non-EU students in Paris may be eligible for some part-time employment, although many are likely to work off-the-book as language tutors (particularly for English native speakers), babysitters, bartenders and catering assistants.

For more employment information, as well as guides to relevant permits and employment rights, please consult the employment page by the Mairie de Paris.




Paris offers numerous opportunities for doing a study at one of its many universities but note that classes are in general held in French. Some of the main ones include:

French language courses are the most popular options, and may run from short courses of a couple of weeks to year-long courses that lead to some language proficiency qualifications. Among the top French language schools are:

Those interested in honing their cooking skills will be spoilt for choice, from the prestigious culinary school of Le Cordon Bleu to the fun, one-day classes hosted by food lovers. Some courses are geared more for the professionals, other more casual courses include a tour to the market. Some of the options:

Of course, wine tasting classes - another fun learning side of Paris (and France):



Keep connected


France has one of the best internet infrastructure in the world and high speed internet access is available in all parts of the city. Most of the hotels and hostels also have and offer free wi-fi internet access. Many McDonalds and a number of cafés also provided free wi-fi connection.

Additionally, the Mairie of Paris offers free wi-fi connection for everyone all over the city, of which connection points may be found at parks and gardens, libraries, museums and town halls for each arrondissements. At areas where access point is available, look for the network called "Orange" and select "Paris Wi-Fi 2h" pass. The period of access is dependent on the working hours of the relevant offices and mairies which provide the service.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The international dialing code for France is +33 and the area code for Paris is 01 (mobile phone has the code of 06). French telephone number is made up of 10 digits including the area code, usually written in a set of 5 pairs of digit (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx). To dial an international number from France to abroad, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.

The most common way to obtain cell phone access in France, renting a cell phone, is also the most expensive and inconvenient. There are many cell phone rental companies that offer service for France. You will need to rent a handset for the required amount of time plus pay for the airtime usage. Cell phone rental agencies are commonly found in most international airports.

Another option is to "roam" with your current mobile service provider, the rates will be more of less comparable to the cell phone rental option but the procedure is usually less cumbersome.

The third approach, although the least known, is by far the most cost-effective for obtaining cellular service while in France. Basically, this solution is to use one of the cellular providers in France. One of the greatest benefits with this option is being able to receive unlimited free incoming calls from anywhere in the world.


The post office or La Poste in Paris is also referred to as the PTT. The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for 'outside mail'. Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the 'Tabac' shops and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the départment. In Paris, it would be 75. The last numbers represent the arrondissements.

There are nearly 200 post offices in Paris. They are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.

The main post office in Paris on 52 rue du Louvre, 75001 opens 24/7 and never closes. However, the number of services available during the night is reduced to postal and telephone/fax services only, so banking activities (e.g. buying postal orders) are not available until normal operating hours.

For international package services, you might also check options with companies like DHL, UPS or TNT, which have competitive services and prices and might be faster in most cases.



  1. 1 (last checked March 2012)

Quick Facts


Land Area
86.9 km²
Metropolitan Population
Metropolitan Area
14,518.3 km²
  • Latitude: 48.856667
  • Longitude: 2.350987

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Paris Travel Helpers

  • Beausoleil

    We've visited Paris over a dozen times (I've stopped counting) and we spent a month there for our 50th anniversary and again for our 55th. We love the city and its wonderful public transportation system.

    We're budget travelers who consider Paris a budget destination so if you are looking for suggestions on how to save money and still see romantic, historic, artistic and beautiful Paris, please ask. There are an incredible number of free things to do, cheap transportation options and lovely hotels in the center of the city that don't cost an arm and a leg. Food can actually be cheaper than at home . . . depending on where you live.

    Ask Beausoleil a question about Paris
  • pfsmalo

    Lived there for years and am a frequent visitor.

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  • Lynne Hamman

    Because I visit Paris 4 times a year

    Ask Lynne Hamman a question about Paris
  • Kate T.

    I visited Paris last June 2011. I will go back again June this year, this time for a longer period. Hopefully I can help other travelers by answering queries about transportation, hotels, food, and places to see. While locals would definitely be more knowledgeable, its nice to hear feedback from tourist like me :)

    Ask Kate T. a question about Paris
  • globaltrotter

    I lived there for six weeks on a language exchange when I was 17.

    Ask globaltrotter a question about Paris

This is version 282. Last edited at 0:28 on Dec 31, 19 by Beausoleil. 447 articles link to this page.

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