12 – TRANSPORTATION
Visiting Paris for the first time and you want spend one day in Paris, also asking your self this question : “Things i wish i knew before going to Paris“,
Well, we’ll cover all you need to know before visiting Paris, including where are all the major Paris attractions, the Best time to visit Paris, Where to stay in Paris and for how long, public transportation, how much things cost, power plugs and outlet styles used in France, best apps to use, best views of Paris, and other practical information.
The best time to visit Paris is in the spring from April to June, or in the fall from October to early November. At these times of the year, the weather is mild, and the tourist crowds are relatively small.
Early December, January, and February are the cheapest months to visit Paris. Probably, the least convenient time to visit Paris is August, when there are crowds everywhere.
But don’t worry, since Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, you’ll have a great time regardless of the season.
And how can you figure out the best days and hours to see the attractions?
Just check Google to see how crowded a specific location is at a certain time of day. Of course, we recommend going early during the week and in the morning
Some of the best neighborhoods to stay in Paris are:
If you want to save some money, you can stay a little farther away from these areas. Just be sure to check if there is a metro station nearby so you can easily reach the city center.
The average price of a hotel room in Paris is around 170 EUR or 190 USD per night. For budget hotels, prices average around 100 EUR or 112 USD.
Again, these are all the average prices, and the ranges for different hotel categories are quite wide.
However, with a little research online, you can get better deals, especially if your dates are flexible and you don’t travel in high season.
Many travelers stay in Paris for three days and try to see the highlights of this beautiful city in this short period.
While you can visit most major attractions of Paris in three days, if you don’t want to be in a hurry, we recommend staying at least one or two extra days.
Paris is situated in the northern part of France, on the river Seine. For orientation, let’s start with the Eiffel Tower. North of the Eiffel Tower you will find Arc de Triomphe, and the famous shopping street Champs-Élysées.
Les Invalides, containing museums and monuments related to the history of France as well as Napoleon’s tomb is located east of the Eiffel Tower.
The two most famous museums in Paris, the Louvre Museum and the Musée d’Orsay, are located close to each other, on opposite sides of the Seine. The Centre Pompidou, a complex housing the National Museum of Modern Art, a library, and a music center, is about a 15-minute walk from the Louvre Museum.
If you go south of Place Georges Pompidou, you’ll find Île de la Cité, where the Notre-Dame Cathedral is located.
South of Notre-Dame you will find the Luxembourg Gardens, Montparnasse, which offers an amazing view of the city, and the Catacombs of Paris, underground ossuaries holding the remains of more than six million people.
The Canal Saint-Martin is located northeast of the city center. Père Lachaise Cemetery is situated in the eastern part. Montmartre, famous for the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and Moulin Rouge, is located in the north.
The financial district La Defense, Europe’s largest purpose-built business district, is located in the west.
Normally, you will arrive at one of the following airports: Charles de Gaulle Airport the city’s main international airport, Orly airport, or Beauvais-Tillé and smaller Châlons Vatry airport which are mostly used for low-budget airlines.
There are seven major Train stations in Paris, one of which is Gare du Nord, the hub for arrival in and departure from the city via local rail systems and Eurostar.
Versailles, the principal royal residence of France until the start of the French Revolution, is situated approximately 12 mi. or 20 km from the center of Paris. while Disneyland is around 25 mi or 40 km from the city center.
Paris is a big city. To get a better sense of the distances, a 2.2-mi or 3.5-km walk from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre Museum takes about 45 minutes. If you walk and take the public transportation, it takes about 35 minutes. In addition, a 3.3-mi or 5.3-km walk from Arc de Triomphe to Notre-Dame takes about 1h and 10 minutes, whereas a combination of walking and using the public transportation takes about 20 minutes.
Here is a list of useful apps:
Google Maps also lets you download maps, which is a great option if you don’t want to use roaming.
Lime to rent an electric scooter.
A great way to discover Paris, is to join a walking tour, organized by professional guides who know a great deal about the city’s rich history.
Some providers even offer free walking tours. However, at the end of the tour it is recommended to make a donation.
Paris offers “The Paris Pass”, which allows you to save money if you plan to visit several museums and other attractions and want to skip the line at some sites.
Paris can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.
Try to avoid restaurants next to major tourist sites. On average, a coffee costs between 3 and 6 EUR.
The price of an inexpensive restaurant meal ranges from 10 to 20 EUR for lunch and 15 to 25 EUR for dinner.
A glass of wine costs between 4 and 6 EUR, a beer between 5 and 8 EUR, and a soda between 3.50 and 5.50 EUR.
At a bakery, you’ll pay at least 1 EUR for a croissant and about 1.40 EUR for a delicious macaron, 3 to 7 EUR for a takeaway crêpe.
For a list of the best inexpensive dining places, such as Le Bouillon Chartier, Le Bistro des Augustins, and Crazy Pasta.
Service charge is included in your bill so tipping in not mandatory. Still, a 5-10% tip is appreciated at restaurants.
And leaving pocket change is considered acceptable at cafés and bars.
Paris has an Oceanic climate with cold winters and hot summers. Rain is frequent all year round. Although temperatures typically range between 37° and 50 °F or 3° and 10 °C, it can be snowy in the winter. Because Paris is located in northern Europe, the days get shorter in late October and November. Plan accordingly to enjoy your day trip or outdoor activities as much as possible.
The weather in the spring is unpredictable, with temperatures ranging between 45° and 68 °F or 7° and 20 °C.
Summers are humid, with possible thunderstorms during the day.
Usually, temperatures range between 57° and 79 °F or 14° and 26 °C,but the humidity can make Paris feel warmer.
On some days, the temperature rises above 90 °F or 32 °C. In the fall, temperatures vary widely, from 43° to 70 °F or 6° to 21 °C.
The temperature and weather can be different at the time of your visit, so remember to check the weather forecast before you travel.
Paris is among Europe’s most crowded cities. You can feel this when you’re on the metro during rush hours or at a museum like the Louvre on the weekend. Despite the crowds, it normally doesn’t feel hectic in Paris.
The language spoken in Paris is, of course, French.
Here are some French expressions that always come in handy:
Bonjour, or hello, good day.
Au revoir: Goodbye.
Merci: Thank you.
Je ne comprends pas: I don’t understand.
Excusez-moi: Excuse me or Sorry.
To get to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport, use any of the following options:
metro and trains, bus, taxi, Uber, transfers and shuttles or a car rental.
For Orly airport you can use train, bus, taxi, Uber and shuttles, and car rentals.
If you’re arriving to Paris by train, you will normally arrive at Gare du Nord station, which is, as the name suggests, located in the northern part of the city.
Check which train stations is closest to your specific destination in Paris.
If you are arriving in Paris by car, consider booking a hotel or an apartment with parking space or a garage nearby.
Parking at a public car parks costs from 2.5 EUR to 4 EUR per hour while daily rates range between 15 EUR and 48 EUR.
Paris is well-covered with public transportation. However, you’ll still have to walk a lot, so bring comfortable shoes.
Metro or underground, tram, RER suburban express train and suburban railway, bus, and night bus.
The city is divided into zones. For the city center a one-way ticket costs 1.90 EUR.
Price of Paris Visit ranges from €12 to €65.80 depending on zones covered and duration. Of course, you can always use Taxi, and there are many other means of transportation in Paris, such as Hop On Hop off buses, boat rides, bikes, electric scooters, etc.
Here are some other things you should know for a nice and easy experience in Paris:
It is totally safe to drink tap water in Paris. There are hundreds of free drinking water points throughout the city, including traditional Wallace Fountains.
There are around 400 automatic public toilets in Paris. They are high-tech, self-cleaning, and mostly free.
If you’re coming from outside Europe or from the UK you will probably need a special European travel adapter to charge your phone and other devices. We recommend purchasing a travel adapter before traveling to Paris.
In fact, it is worth buying a universal travel adapter so you can use it in other countries too.
the Number one choice for international travelers to and from the US when it comes to travel adapters.
The adapter we use the most is the Ceptics Mini Travel Power Strip. With multiple attachments, it allows us to charge up to four devices at once, which is convenient considering most hotel rooms have only few outlets.
Also, we can just bring the right attachment in a pouch.
You can purchase a prepaid SIM card to access the Internet on your phone.
Alternatively, you can consider renting a mobile hotspot. If you’re from the US and travel a lot, consider using Google Fi.
Like most other European cities, Paris uses the Euro. At the time of making of this video, 1 EUR is worth approximately $1.14 or £0.89. Check the exchange rate before traveling.
Paris uses Central European Summer Time or GMT+2. Most countries in continental Europe also use this time zone.
Paris is generally a safe destination, but there are some neighborhoods to avoid, especially at night.
And typical for all major cities around the world, beware of pickpockets, especially around major attractions.
You can enjoy amazing views of Paris from one of the following places:
Sacré-Cœur, Eiffel Tower, Montparnasse, Arc de Triomphe, Galeries Lafayette.