Known as the ‘The city of lights’ (La Ville Lumiere), ‘the city of Romance’, ‘the culinary capital of the world’, Paris is one of the most amazing places you will ever visit.
More than six million people visit France’s capital every year. There are not many cities on earth that capture the hearts and imaginations of travelers like Paris. There are countless unique things to see and do you’ll never get tired.
Paris has an artistic vibrancy and exudes enchantment which entices visitors, and the imaginations are etched in the minds of those who are yet to visit. The city is marked by stunning views, wide tree-lined boulevards, and parks or gardens present in almost every corner. No visit to France is complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower; another impressive attraction is the Louvre museum which is the world’s most diverse and extensive collection of pre-20th-century art such as the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa.
The Parisian way to see the city is on foot, so leave your map and wander the meandering streets through neighborhoods like the charming Marais and the Tuileries. Paris is the ideal destination for pre and post conference day-trips.
How To Get To Paris.
The major airports in Paris are the Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Both airports are close at hand to the capital, Paris-Charles de Gaulle is 23km away from the North of Paris, and Paris-Orly is 14km away from the South.
How to get from both airports to Paris
Getting from CDG and Paris Orly airports to Paris is very easy; there are a lot of choices to choose from based on your budget and convenience. You can get to Paris from both airports via train, bus or taxi.
Although taxis are more expensive than trains and buses, they are worth it because of the comfort and convenience which they offer. Taxis can be taken from all the terminals at both airports. The airport has so many signs that indicate where the nearest taxi stand is and there are so many taxis to choose from.
Uber, Chauffeur privé, OuiCar or Bla Bla Car are some of the ridesharing apps for fast, reliable rides in minutes day or night you can use from the airport. The advantage using these services is that the only thing you have to do is tap to request a ride, a driver comes to pick you up and it’s easy to pay with your credit card.
The airports make use of the “Réseau Express Régional” popularly called the RER, is a train system serving Paris and its suburbs. After getting your luggage, look for a “Gare” sign with a train symbol. Gare simply means station. At the gare station, you can get your ticket via the ticket vending machine or at the ticket counter. After purchasing your ticket follow the signs to the platforms and check the electronic board for departure times and platform numbers. The trains are cheaper than taking a taxi, but they depart every 10-15mins.
Several buses are available from both airports to Paris to help avoid the problems of stairs and luggage in the trains. Bus companies like Roissybus and Le Bus Direct are available to carry you from the airport to different locations in Paris. Bus tickets can be purchased via the ticket vending machine or at the ticket windows, and they are reasonably cheap.
Getting Around Paris
Paris is remarkably well connected, and going from one place to another is very easy. Whichever mode of transport/getting around you choose, the whole city and its suburbs are well covered.
This is the Parisian people’s second home. It is very quick and easy way to travel around the city with, and it offers the best value for your money. The Paris metro has around 300 stations, 14 lines, and 62 connections; their entrances marked by a big yellow “M”, and the lines numbered. The lines have separate colors making it easy to connect with them.
It is important to keep your tickets safe until you have completed your journey, you may be asked to present it if tickets are being checked. If you cannot produce your ticket for the ticket inspectors, you may risk paying a fine.
The metro operates every day including Sundays, with a time frame of around 5:00 to 2.00 so you should avoid traveling during late hours. The times of the first and last trains differ depending on the point along the line that you are leaving from.
The bus network with its 300 routes perfectly matches and complements that of the metro. The buses have special lanes along the main roads which have improved journey times due to lesser traffic jams. Taking a bus is sometimes quicker than using the metro.
Buses work from Monday to Saturday from 7:00 to around 21:00. Some buses also work in the evening from 20.30 until 0.30, especially those that begin at train stations (Also see the Night bus map). The bus is an excellent choice for those who like to get around quickly and sightsee simultaneously. You can also find double-decker buses with an open top that gives a great view of the major sights in Paris. However, these buses make regular stops in selected places and are ideal for only sightseeing.
Paris has about 16,000 taxis that operate day and night. The taxis will take you wherever you want to go; however, this comes at a much higher price than buses and trains. Make sure that any taxi you want to take has an illuminated ‘Taxi Parisien’ symbol on the roof of the taxi and also, a display meter showing the fee for the journey. Anyone claiming to be a taxi and does not have these things on his vehicle is illegal.
You can as well use a ridesharing app to move around Paris.
Driving a car in Paris is awesome regardless of whether it is rented or your personal car. Just a few reminders: in Paris, you can only drive on the right; you must use your seatbelts on both the front and back seats; sounding your horn is not allowed, and remember to come with your international Green Card insurance. Avoid using the designated bus lanes else you’d be fined. Always check for speed limits wherever you go in Paris as they differ from place to place.
There are different boat companies in Paris like Bateaux Parisien, Batobus, and Bateaux –mouches that cruise up and down the rivers offering fantastic views of Paris’s finest monuments. They are cheap too. They cruise and stop at places like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Champs-Elysees. They are ideal for those who want to discover a new way of exploring Paris and enjoying breakfast or dinner in the City of Light.
Over to you!
How do you move in and around Paris?
Let’s have a chat down in the comments section.
Do you want to receive some awesome articles about the joys, challenges, and lessons learned from expatriation adventures in Paris every week?
Don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at anytime.
Latest from Michael Bahati
- Internship Opportunities: Become An Expats Paris Projects' Champion
- Expatriation: When your mental health starts declining & What to do about it.
- Paris-based Expat Influencers Reveal The Podcasts That Make Them Smarter
- Champs-Élysées Film Festival: 6 of the greatest cinematic works
- 30 Life Lessons Expats Learn But Keep Forgetting