Source: ©Anastasia Collection via

Welcome to Paris

Find all the most important information about the most visited city in Europe. With us, you will learn how to organize the perfect trip through Paris. We will describe for you the most important cultural institutions and symbols of Paris, how to book tours through the city, find and book the perfect accommodation, enjoy French gastronomic specialties and discover the best parts of French tradition. Enjoy the rows that represent fairytale Paris. Use helpful information to organize your dream trip and delight yourself with an unforgettable experience.

The most important information about Paris

Paris, often call the City of Light, is the capital of France, and popular tourist place. Here you'll find everything you need to know about Paris.
  • History of Paris - The first people who settled on the banks of the river Seine, considering what the history books tell us, were a Gallic tribe in the 3rd century B.C. Paris became the capital of France in 987 A.D. The most famous ruler was Louis XIV, also known as Louis the Great or the Sun King. Paris was the place where the French Revolution started. It was occupied by Nazis in 1940, but it was freed on 25 August 1944. Today it is one of the leading global cities.
  • Geography and time zone - Paris is located in northern central France, on the banks of the river Seine and it includes two islands: Île Saint-Louis and Île de la Cité. It's lowest point is 35 m above sea level, and it’s highest is a hill Montmartre with 130 m. Time zone in Paris is GMT +1.
  • Climate - Paris’s climate is Western European oceanic climate affected by the North Atlantic Current. That means that the summer days are warm and pleasant, with a few days of temperatures above 32 °C, and during the spring and autumn days are mild and nights are fresh. During the winter the temperature is usually low but above freezing. 
  • Demography - According to the official French statistical agency, the estimated population of the City of Paris was 2 206 488 as of 1 January 2019. It is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Most of the people who live in Paris were either born there or moved from another part of France. However, there are also people from Algeria, Portugal, Morocco and Tunisia, among other countries.
  • Tradition and culture - What is this city unique for? Paris is known as the City of light or the City of Love. It has unique architecture, culture, cafés, food, wine, art and rich history. It has been a source of inspiration for a lot of writers, artists and filmmakers. It is also the home of the Eiffel Tower, which is one of the sights that Paris is best known for.

City Travel Tips for Paris

Here are some general facts, tips and advice that help you prepare for your trip to Paris.
  • Official Language and other languages spoken - The official language is French. In the tourist area, you could come across people who speak English.
  • Entering the city: Procedures and requirements - There are no special procedures when entering Paris, but there are some requirements when you’re entering France. No matter what transportation you’re using, you’re going to need to show your identity papers, declaration of goods and payment of duties and taxes, declaration of money you’re carrying (if you’re carrying an amount equal or greater than 10,000 euros), goods subject to special procedures and they are going to check if you’re carrying any prohibited goods.
  • Money Tips - If you’re traveling alone, the average price of a 7-day trip to Paris would be around 1,250 euros. When it comes to sightseeing, you should consider getting the Paris pass, which is an all-inclusive pass that allows you to visit all of the city’s major attractions, over 75 of them, and skip the line. It is a bit pricey, but you should weigh your options and decide if it’s the right move for you. You can save money by visiting the sights that have free entry days, using public transportation and buying a carnet of metro tickets. There are also a lot of free walking tours in the city that you should take advantage of. Currency - The currency that is used in the whole country is euro.
Important Numbers
  • Country Dialing Code Prefix - The dialing code for the whole country is +33.
  • SAMU (Ambulance): 15
  • Police: 17
  • Fire: 18
  • General Emergency: 112
Useful apps, free travel map
  • Moovit, which is a public transportation app that has an interactive system.
  • Map of Paris offline in case you don’t have wi-fi.
  • The TripAdvisor app can be handy when you’re trying to decide where to stay and where to eat and drink. 
  • Secrets de Paris is a free app that allows you to discover all of the unusual places in Paris.

When to visit Paris?

The best time to visit Paris is from June to October when you can enjoy either the summer or the autumn weather. During the Christmas holidays, you can enjoy the decorations throughout the city. Summer is the most crowded one, though, and the most expensive one, so it might be better to visit during autumn while the weather is still lovely.

How to get to Paris?

Paris is very well connected because it’s the second most visited capital of Europe, so you can get to it by plane, train, bus, or car.
  • Plane - Paris has three airports - Charles-de-Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais.
  • Bus -  Eurolines is one of the major bus operators in Paris, as well as Megabus.
  • Train - Gare du Nord, the railway station in Paris, is the busiest in Europe and the hub for trains arriving and departing Paris on the Eurostar.

Tourist attractions in Paris?

Paris is home to some of the world's most popular and well-known attractions. Below are some of the most famous spots: 
  • Eiffel Tower - the symbol of Paris. It is the most visited monument with an entrance fee in the world. It is located on the Champ de Mars and was constructed from 1887 to 1889. It is open from 9:30 to 22:45 and you can see the ticket prices on their website.
  • Louvre Museum - the most visited museum in the world. It is the home of Mona Lisa, among other known works of art. It is located in the city’s 1st. arrondissement. It is open everyday except Tuesday. The working hours are from 9 am to 6 pm and the ticket price is 17 euros.
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral - a medieval Catholic cathedral. It is most notable for its size and architectural style. It is located in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The opening hours are from Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 6 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm. The admission is free, but the ticket to visit the tower is 8.50 euros and to visit the crypt it’s 6 euros.
  • Arc de Triomphe - one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It is located at the western end of the Champs-Elysées. It was built in an honour of those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
  • Musée d’Orsay - a museum located on the Left Bank of the Seine and housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station. In it, you can see mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914. The museum is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 to 18:00, and on Thursday from 9:30 to 21:45. The ticket price is 16 euros.
  • The Centre Pompidou - houses cultural venues, libraries and a museum. It is located in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement. It is open every day, except on Tuesdays, from 11 am to 10 pm. You can find the ticket price information on the website of the center.
  • Sacré-Cœur - the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica. It is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre. It is open every day from 6 am to 10:30 pm, and admission is free.
  • Palace of Versailles - a former royal residence west of Paris. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. The Palace and the estate of Trianon are open every day except on Mondays. The Palace is open from 9 am, and the estate of Trianon is open from noon. The Park and Gardens are open every day and access to the Gardens is free except on days of fountains shows. You can see the ticket prices on their website.
  • Champs-Élysées - an avenue that is located in the 8th arrondissement. It is 1.9 km long and 70 m wide. There you can find theaters, cafés, and luxury shops. It is also the finish of the Tour de France.
  • Sainte-Chapelle - a royal Gothic chapel. It was the residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century. It is located on the boulevard du Palais. From 1st April to 30th September it’s open from 9 am to 7 pm, and from 1st October it’s open from 9 am to 5 pm. The ticket price is 11.5 euros.

Activities for tourists in Paris

Paris is a big city with a lot to see and visit. Whether it's the sightseeing, shopping or attending festivals, Paris has it all.
Best tours - you should take advantage of the guided tours like:
  • Vélib bike tour - Paris is a big city with many attractions to see so probably one of the best ways to tour it is by bike. The Vélib bikes cost 5 euros per day, and you can design your tour any way you like.
  • Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Sightseeing Cruise - this tour can include live music and enjoy Paris from the river, while having fantastic food. The prices start from 6 euros for a basic boat tour to 192 euros for the dinner show cruise. You can book the tickets on the Bateaux Mouches website.
  • Paris walking tour - see all of the classic sites of Paris. There are plenty of free walking tours and private tours, tours with attractions and food tours. You can find all of them on Discover Walks website.
Best Shopping - The best places for shopping in Paris are:
  • Louvre and Tuileries district, where you can find designer fashion shops like Versace, Hermes, and Saint Laurent, home furnishing shops, vintage shops, jewelry, art, and quality cosmetics shops.
  • Boulevard Haussmann and the Grands Boulevards, where you can find old Parisian department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
  • the Marais, where you can find high-fashion, vintage stores that sell unique jewelry, antiques and art.
  • Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées, where you can find designer stores like Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton but also trendy global chains like Zara. The kids will especially like the Disney Store in the “Champs”.
Events and festivals - Paris hosts a lot of events and festivals throughout the year. The most popular ones are:
  • Paris Fashion Week, where you can see from designer presentations what fashion is in the season at the moment.
  • Fête de la Gastronomie, a national event that illustrates the richness and diversity of French gastronomy. It is held in September.
  • Roland Garros, a tennis tournament that gathers the best tennis players in the world. It is held over two weeks, with the beginning in late May.
  • Fête de la Musique, Music Day that takes place on 21 June. On that day everyone plays music outside in their neighborhoods or in public places and parks. Also, there are free concerts where musicians play for fun.
  • Versailles Masquerade Ball, where people wear full baroque costumes of the highest quality and masks. It is held in June.
  • Bastille Day, national day that marks the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille on July 14. There are speeches, military parades and fireworks.
  • Cinéma en Plein Air à la Villette, a festival where you can watch movies under the stars. It is from mid July to mid August.
  • Rock en Seine, a summer festival where 40 thousand visitors can enjoy live music of some of the most famous artists.
  • Jazz à la Villette, jazz, hip-hop, soul and funk music festival that is held at the beginning of September.

Accommodation in Paris

Since Paris is a tourist city, it has a lot of different accommodations. The prices are influenced by the type of accommodations, the amenities and the location. 
  • Hotels - this type of accommodation varies from 47 to 1506 euros per person per night. It can be all-inclusive, with breakfast or without meals. One of the most famous hotels in Paris is Ritz Paris in the 1st arrondissement whose lounge is named Bar Hemingway, after writer Ernest Hemingway who was a frequent guest there.
  • Hostels - the prices vary from 20 to 120 euros. There are rooms with one to eight beds.
  • Vacation apartments - this type of accommodation varies from 56 euros for a studio apartment to 1378 euros for apartments with more bedrooms.

Best restaurants in Paris

Paris is known for its croissants, escarcots, macarons, street food, and cheese. We have selected some of the most famous places in Paris, where you can enjoy delicious french specialties. 
  • Where to eat? - Paris has a lot of places where you can eat, cheap and expensive. You can eat classic French food in bistros like Chez Dumonet, Le Comptoir du Relais and Bistrot Paul Bert, or in restaurants like Au Pied de Cochon, A la Biche au Bois and Restaurant Allard.
  • Where to go out?  - Paris nightlife is vivacious. The areas in Paris with many bars and nightclubs are Pigalle, Oberkampf and Le Marais. You can find a lot of bars all across Paris like a cocktail bar Candelaria, the Marais or Max y Jeremy.

Public transport in Paris

Paris has very efficient public transport that RATP runs. While you are in Paris you can use different types of public transport: 
  • The Metro will take you anywhere in the city. You can get free metro maps at ticket offices in stations. Metro tickets cost 1.90 euros each and they are valid for every type of transport from RATP services.
  • Trains - RER suburban express train interconnects with the Metro inside Paris. You can find the map here.
  • Buses - you can find the map for buses here.
  • Trams - you can find the map for trams here.

Frequently asked questions about Paris

What country is Paris in?

When should I visit Paris?

What is Paris famous for?

Is Paris safe?

What time zone is Paris?

Is Paris expensive?

What do you need to enter Paris?

What is the best way to get around Paris?

The most important information before going to Paris?