Introducing the city

£1.00 | 1.14 €

GBP | EUR

Gasoline £1.23 | 1.40 €

One-way ticket £1.67 | 1.90 €

Beer £5.27 | 6.00 €

Main Course £12.31 | 14.00 €

About Paris

The ‘City of Light’ is famed for being a place of romance, culture and beauty. With iconic museums, bohemian boulevards and trendy bistros, Paris remains one of the most visited capitals in the world.

True to its reputation, Paris is often described as one of the most beautiful and romantic cities on earth. With the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Moulin Rouge, the bustling capital of France offers plenty of oh la la for visitors (we hear the food's pretty good too).

Home to just under two and a half million people, Paris is the world's fifth most visited city, attracting nearly 15 million tourists in 2014. Known for its love of culture, art, fashion and dining, the city is a mix of elegant historic buildings, wide tree-lined streets and arty independent boutiques. There are also plenty of cafés, bistros, boulangeries and delicatessens, serving up some of the world's best coffee, croissants, wine and pastries. The diet can wait.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

April: spring has arrived, the weather is mild and the crowds are few.

Paris is great in any season; summertime sees the parks fill with picnicking Parisians, winters are spent in cosy coffee shops with a chocolat chaud while spring and autumn offer mild weather and fewer crowds. The city enjoys a year-round moderate climate; the coldest month is January with an average temperature of five degrees Celsius, while July is the warmest at 20 degrees Celsius. Like much of Europe, the city sees its fair share of rain (the wettest month is May) although these are often only light showers. Heat waves and snow occasionally occur, however these are rarely disruptive.

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Travioor top tips

Museums
Cycle
Walk

Insider Info

  • Many museums are free on the first Sunday of the month (including the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée Picasso). The Louvre is free on the first Sunday of the month from the 1st October to the 31st March.

  • Rental bicycles (Vélibs) are available throughout the city.

  • Several organisations offer free walking tours of the city - try New Europe Walking Tours.

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Food and drink

Main Course £12.31 | 14.00 €

3-Course Meal £43.95 | 50.00 €

Cappuccino £3.02 | 3.43 €

Beer £5.27 | 6.00 €

The Scene

To say Paris is a foodie lovers paradise is something of an understatement; it's regularly referred to as the culinary capital of the world and offers something for every palette and budget. Lunch is a particularly favourite meal; dine like the locals at a neighbourhood bistro where menu staples may include flavoursome dishes of soups, casseroles and traditional savoury tarts. At night (especially on weekends) cafés and restaurant tables spill out onto the street and many eateries serve up traditional dishes such as steak tartare, dauphinoise potatoes and gourmet cheese boards.

No trip to Paris is complete without a taste of French wine; most places offer it by the carafe (500ml), perfect for a tasting and sharing session with the gang. If you're looking for a pre-dinner tipple then many central bars and salons offer happy hour deals, usually from around 4pm to 6pm - we've heard tales of champagne for €3 per glass. Finally, sugar-lovers should visit the Pierre Hermé pâtisserie, which creates mouth-watering sweet treats including a rainbow-coloured selection of macaroons.

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History

Paris’s Story

Around 250 BC, the Parisii (a tribe descended from the Celtic Senones) settled on what is now known as the Île de la Cité in the middle of the River Seine. The town was invaded by the Romans in 52 BC, renamed Lutetia and occupied until the Empire fell some three centuries later. In 508 AD, Clovis I, King of the Franks, made the town his capital and formed the foundation of Paris today.

By the Middle Ages, the city had become the largest commercial hub in Europe; it was also home to one of the world's first universities (which opened in the 13th century) and pioneering Gothic architecture (some of which can still be seen today). After a period of religious upheaval and the subsequent Enlightenment era, the French revolution in 1789 saw the long-standing monarchy dissolved. Since then, Paris has grown in fame, becoming internationally recognised as a fashionable, creative and cultural centre.

Language

Salut | Hello
Merci | Thank you

French

French is the official language of France (and therefore Paris) although many people also speak English or other European languages. Most people who work in restaurants, tourist attractions and hotels will speak a high level of English; signs, museum audioguides and maps are also often translated. Having said that, it's always a good idea to give the language a try, even if it's (very bad) GCSE level French. The following may be useful:

  • Good day: Bonjour
  • Excuse me: Excusez-moi
  • Please: S'il vous plaît
  • Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais?

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Need to know

+33 Dialling Code
+112 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Paris’ metro and RER train system is brilliant and accessible – get a Paris Visite Pass which runs for one, two, three or five consecutive days in zones one to three or zones one to five (prices vary).
  • The city is split into 20 arrondissements (similar to boroughs or districts).
  • Dress smart(ish) if you’re going out for dinner.
  • Lots of shops and restaurants close in August.

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for France here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Art

The art collections - it's pretty cliché but Paris really does have some of the world's finest museums (including the Louvre, the Rodin and the d'Orsay).

2. Left Bank

Spend the afternoon wandering the River Seine's Left Bank, the city's Bohemian hub and spiritual home of Paris' artists, writers and creatives.

3. Eiffel Tower

Visit the Eiffel Tower for a token tourist shot. You can marvel from below or head to the top for panoramic city views; either way, this steel icon deserves a visit.

4. Picnic

If you're visiting in summer, picnic in Jardin du Luxembourg where you can while the afternoon away against the backdrop of formal gardens and the Palace du Luxembourg.

5. Shop

Pick up some take-home goodies. From cute boxes of chocolatier truffles, to luxury goods in Galeries Lafayette - Paris is a shopper’s paradise.


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