Paris, the City of Light, has attracted travellers of all types to its streets. It beckons history buffs wanting to delve into its rich and complex past, and burgeoning artists wanting to explore its galleries and sketch along the banks of the River Seine. It is a home for fashionistas wanting to get the latest haute couture designs, a mecca for foodies keen to try the famous French cuisine, for kids wanting to experience the magic of Disneyland Paris, and for romancing couples looking for that perfect weekend away.
Things to do in Paris, France
Paris can be a little overwhelming due to its sheer number of attractions, but to truly get a taste of this city you must parse out the things you most want to do, and save the rest for when you come back a second time.
For your first visit, you should stroll along the River Seine where you will come across most of the celebrated monuments and sites of the city. Start on the northwest bank by the notorious Bastille where so much of Paris’ history was wrought. Cross the river, and you will pass the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, a incredible piece of Gothic architecture that has featured in literary masterpieces such as Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Past the cathedral, you will walk past the Musee d’Orsay and the impressive Louvre, which is known most widely for exhibiting Leonardo da Vinci’s most celebrated work: the Mona Lisa. The bend in the river will then lead you past the Grand Palais and then finally, to the pièce de résistance, Paris’ most iconic monument, the Eiffel Tower.
But Paris isn’t all about its sites, of which there are too many to list, it is about living life, and the French know how to live. Head to the 11th Arrondissement and indulge in the city’s trendiest restaurants and bars, enjoy the gorgeous parks, like Le Jardin du Luxembourg, or situate yourself in the atmospheric Latin Quarter where you can explore the bookshops, boulangeries and bistros, that all add to Paris’ immortal charm.
Best time to visit Paris, France
- Paris is lovely all year round, but the best time to go is spring (March-May) or autumn (September-November) when the season hasn’t reached its zenith and temperatures aren’t sweltering.
- Peak time are the summer months of June, July and August, expect highs of 25°C, and many more people.
- Winters are chilly, but very pretty. Make sure you bring layers, as the lows can sink to 3°C.
Best time to book
- For flights to Europe, it is best to leave at least 15 weeks between booking and flying to get the best deal.
Expect to pay
- Euro (EUR).
- For a coffee by the River Seine, expect to pay at least 3.50EUR ($5.20).
Arriving in Paris, France by plane
- There are several airports that service Paris, such as Orly (ORY) and Beauvais-Tille (BVA), but Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) is the premier transport facility in the city. Most major international carriers, such as Qantas, British Airways, Air Canada, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, United, Etihad Airways, American Airlines, Air France and Virgin Australia service this airport.
- Charles de Gaulle International Airport is situated 25km outside of the centre of Paris, but the transport links between the two are excellent. Passengers will find unlimited free WiFi, lots of duty free shops, a variety of food outlets, as well as ATM and banking facilities.
- All major Australian cities operate routes to Paris, usually via Dubai (DXB), Doha (DOH) or Singapore (SIN).
- As France is part of the Schengen area, you will be issued a 90-day stay upon arrival. However, it is important to double check this information before you fly, as only the individual nation can give you the latest updates on visa requirements, which you can find here.
Transportation to city centre
- Taking a taxi to the centre of town can cost upwards of 60EUR ($90).
- The public transport in the city is excellent; passengers can take the RER B blue train line for 10EUR ($15).
- Hiring a car is easy, you can do this through the airport, or via our car hire tool. If you’d prefer not to drive, you can also organise and airport transfer through our site.
Where to stay in Paris, France
- The Latin Quarter is a great bet for all types of budgets, not least because it is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Paris and has lots of eateries and bars.
- Montmartre overlooks the whole of Paris and feels like an entirely different pocket of the city. This part of town is great for its nightlife, and very close to the Moulin Rouge.
- Book in the Opera District if you want to be central, and push the boat out.
Useful tips before you go
- If you plan to take the metro, buy a carnet of 10 tickets for around 14EUR ($21) for ease.
- Make sure you book your accommodation and reservations for any high-end restaurants well in advance.
- And take a river cruise down the Seine, it will sail past most of the city’s most spectacular monuments, and is a great way to see the city!
Flexible where you fly? Search nearby airports for bigger savings.
Airports near Paris Charles de Gaulle
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