The Ultimate Travel Guide to Paris
Paris, capital city of France, is one of the most important and influential cities in the world. Indeed, it was ranked the second most visited city in Europe after London. Paris is the symbol of the French culture and elegance represented, for instance by its museum or the Paris Fashion Week. It will be hard for you to resist its charm because it is a place that exudes sophistication and style and there is always something to discover or things to learn. For sure, you will fall in L♥VE with this city !
Table of content
- About Paris
- When to go to Paris ?
- How to get to Paris ?
- 10 Amazing Things to do in Paris
- Where to store your luggage in Paris ?
I) About Paris
Language: French is the most spoken language in the city, but some people may speak English or other European languages.
Currency: The French currency is the Euro, which is currently exchanging at 1.11 US Dollar. If you want to exchange money, you will need your identity document. You can find multiple exchange offices around the city center. Otherwise, there is a multitude of French and foreign banks, that are usually opened from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, they may be closed at lunchtime. Most international credit cards are accepted, although is it wise to carry some cash as small retailers may not take cards or notes over 100€.
Climate: The weather in Paris is quite mild for most of the year, with a reasonable amount of rain throughout the year. Between November and February, temperatures rarely get above ten degrees Celsius, so dress well. July and August are usually the hottest months in Paris, with Heatwave and temperatures reaching forty degrees.
II) When to go to Paris ?
You can really go anytime because every season represents Paris differently and every season has its charms and pitfalls. However, winter is lovely because you can avoid the crowds and avoid waiting to visit the monuments. But, going to Paris in the spring or the summer can be a completely different experience. There will be more tourists, for sure, but you will be able to enjoy places like Monet’s Gardens and Versailles with flowers and birds singing.
Moreover, French people love sunny days and you will see a lot of them going for a drink after work or sitting in a nice restaurant on the weekends. Keep in mind though, that Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. So, no matter what time you visit, there will always be tourists and some crowds.
III) How to get to Paris ?
Whether you are leaving or coming to Paris, there are many options for you.
Charles de Gaulle airport
Charles de Gaulle airport is located in Roissy-en-France, 14,29 miles north-east from Paris.
Different ways from the airport to reach Paris:
- Bus 2,3,4
- RER B
Many buses operate from the airport Charles de Gaulle, serving Terminals 1 and 2. A one-way ticket costs €17 and can be purchased directly from the driver or at automatic ticket machines.
The RER B is also available, it connects the airport to Paris in 33 min and departures daily from 3:02 am to 1:53 am, every 4 to 15 minutes, from Terminals 1,3 and 2 ABCDEF. It goes direction Gare du Nord, Châtelet-Les-Halles, Saint-Michel-Notre Dame and Luxembourg. The ticket costs €9.75 for a single ride.
If you prefer to take a cab, six taxi companies serve the airport at an average cost of €50 to €60 to central Paris, with a 15% increase in night fares, on Sundays and public holidays. However, waiting for a cab can sometimes be long, so it might not be the best option.
If you want to discover how to save time at CDG Airport and at what time to arrive, you can read the corresponding article.
The Orly airport is located in Orly and in Villeneuve-le-Roi, 8.1 miles south of Paris.
Different ways from the airport to reach Paris:
- Bus 1,3
- RER B
Buses 1 and 3 are departing from the South Terminal, exit L and West Terminal, exit D. The Bus 1 is heading towards the Montparnasse station, the Eiffel Tower, Trocadéro and Champs-Elysées. A one way ticket costs €12 and can be purchased directly from the driver or at automatic ticket machines. The Bus 3 goes direction Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and a ticket costs €21.
The other option to get to Paris can be The RER B. You take the tram Orlyval from Orly to Antony Station and then you switch to take the RER B from Antony Station to go to Gare du Nord. Combined ticket Orlyval \ RER B costs €12,50 and the journey will be 44 minutes long.Find out where to park at Orly airport with our article.
Getting around Paris
To wander around Paris, the Paris metro is highly recommended because it is easier and less expensive than a cab. The city is large, so walking might not be always feasible. There are 16 lines of metro and a single ticket costs €1.90. If you stay multiple days in Paris, it is recommended buying a pass for the number of days you will be there. The little Parisian tip, if you are scared to get lost, is to download the app Citymapper. This app will help you navigate through the city and know which option to choose to go where you want to go.
- Gare d’Austerlitz
- Gare de Bercy
- Gare de l’Est
- Gare de Lyon
- Gare Montparnasse
- Gare du Nord
- Gare Saint-Lazare
The Austerlitz station is located on the left bank of the Seine in the 13th district. This station is used by some 30 million passengers annually and is connected to the metro line 5 and 10. To wander in Paris peacefully, find your luggage storage at Gare Austerlitz Train Station.
The Bercy station is a railway station, but a bus station also exists, 10 minutes away by foot. It is located in the Bercy area of the 12th district, close to the Bercy sports Arena. It is also close to the Gare de Lyon Train Station. Access from the Paris Metro is by Line 6 or 14 to the Bercy Metro station.
Paris Gare du Nord is located near Gare de l’Est in the 10th district and offers connections with several urban transport lines, including Paris Metro, RER and buses. It is the station for trains to Northern France and to international destinations such a Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. If you want to catch the Eurostar train, then you can pick it up at this station. If you need to store your suitcases, find a luggage storage at Gare du Nord Train Station.
If you want also to visit Paris hands-free, you can book a luggage storage in Paris or in every location you desire.
IV) 10 Amazing Things to do in Paris
1) The Louis Vuitton Foundation
The contemporary museum has 11 galleries dispatched on 3 levels, which introduce different fashion collections, exhibitions and artist interventions. The Foundation is not only a museum, but it is also a place for debates and master classes. If you are passionate about fashion and you want to discover the reminiscences of French elegance, you need to visit this museum. One adult ticket costs €16. It is a reasonable price if you want to discover the LVMH world.
2) Louvre Museum
The Louvre is one of the museum the best known by travellers and the most popular. It is the world’s largest museum with 675 000 square feet of works from almost every civilization on earth. The three most popular exhibitions are the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory. It is definitely a must-see. But, make sure to buy your tickets in advance because the waiting line in front of the Louvre is always enormous. Be aware also that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays and that if you want to avoid the crowds, you can go visit the museum close to opening or closing hours. One ticket for the museum costs €12.
If you want to enjoy the museum without your luggage, find a luggage storage at Louvre Museum.
3) The Eiffel Tower
One of the iconic monuments of Paris. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second level. The top level is an observation deck accessible to the public. Tickets can be purchased to climb by stairs or by taking the lift to the first and second level. The climb from ground level to the first is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first to the second level. Although, there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift. If you want to buy a ticket stairs+lift, it will cost you €19,70. You have multiple price ranges that you can go check on the website.
The best way to visit this monument, is without your luggage. Find a luggage storage at Eiffel Tower.
4) Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is located at the western end of the Champs-Elysées, at the centre of the square Charles de Gaulle. It honours those who fought and died for France during the French Revolution, with the names of all French soldiers inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. There lies also, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. It represents each unidentified soldiers who fought for France.
5) Avenue des Champs-Elysées
The Avenue is in the 8th district of Paris, near the Arc de Triomphe and it is known for its theatres, cafés, and especially for its luxury shops. You can have also the chance to catch the Annual Bastille Day military parade there.
6) The Basilique du Sacré-Coeur of Montmartre
The Basilique du Sacré-Coeur is a Roman Catholic church and the second most visited monument in Paris. It stands at the summit of Montmartre and is the highest point in the city. So, make sure to put on some good sneakers, because you will have to walk a little to reach the top. You can also step inside the church to discover lovely architecture and paintings.
7) The Galeries Lafayette view
Galeries Lafayette is a renowned shop in France where you can find luxurious pieces and some in a middle-range budget. It is worth going there during sales, but especially for the great view offered at the top, to the terrace. From there, can see Paris from a whole different perspective.
8) Palace of Versailles
The Palace was the principal Royal residence under Louis XIV from 1682 until the start of the French Revolution. It is located about 12 miles southwest of the centre of Paris and is now a UNESCO Heritage Site, especially for the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors. To have access to the entire domain, the ticket costs €27. You can also visit the Salon du Chocolat which is located at Porte de Versailles.
9) Musée d’Orsay
If you want to take great pictures, go to the Musée D’Orsay. It is an old train station and holds some of the world’s greatest art painted by artists like Monet, Manet, Renoir or Van Gogh. The art there is focused on the period of 1848-1940.
The best way to visit this museum, is without your luggage. Find a luggage storage at Orsay Museum.
10) Notre-Dame de Paris
The medieval Catholic cathedral in the 4th district was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The roof of Notre-Dame caught fire in April 2019 and the nearby environment has been contaminated. So, if you want to enter the cathedral, you will have to wait until Spring 2024 to have the chance to see its charms.
V) Where to store your luggage in Paris ?
If you are waiting for your Airbnb or hotel room to be available but you don’t want to visit Paris with your luggage, you can book a luggage storage in Paris. with Eelway. Drop off your bags or suitcases in our partner network of shops and hotels. There is no minimum or maximum storage time. Most of our luggage storages in Paris are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Your luggage is sealed and insured, this way you can visit Paris peacefully.
You can also find luggage-storage in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Paris Orly airport and to the Paris Gare du Nord Train Station.
PARIS CHARLES DE GAULLE AND PARIS ORLY AIRPORT
The prices per item according to the time of the deposit are the following :
|Duration||Accessories||Carry-on-bag||Check-in baggage||Other baggage|
|2th, 3rd, 4th Day||+€5 per item and per day||+€8 per item and per day||+€10 per item and per day||+€20 per item and per day|
|From 5th Day||+3€||+€4||+€5||+€8|
There are luggage storages in all Terminals :
Terminal 2 ABCDEF
Location : Level 4 of the Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2-TGV Train Station
Open : 6 am to 9:30 pm - Monday to Sunday
Tel : (+33)1 48 16 02 15
The Detonating substances, flammable materials, hazardous chemicals, gases and materials of self-defense are forbidden in your suitcases.
If you need to make a transfer or you have a connection between CDG airport and Orly and you don't know where to start, here is an article on how to get from CDG to Orly Airport, which will help you see trought.
OTHER LUGGAGE STORAGES
You can store your luggage around major train stations and monuments. Train stations almost always have lockers for left luggage, but it is not always well secured and there is a long waiting time. It is also more expensive as an outside luggage storage.
Most popular luggage storage stations in Paris :
- Gare du Nord
- Gare de l’Est
- Gare de Lyon
- Gare Montparnasse
You can also store your luggage near museums because most museums around Paris have a very strict no luggage policy. It’s therefore crucial before heading to a museum that you check the website of the museum before going.