Skip to main content.
Guides

Everything You Need to Know to Experience Paris Like a Pro

Hotel search

Instantly recognizable landmarks, world-famous museums, romantic cafés, and the fine art of joie de vivre all contribute to Paris's unique charm. From haute couture to haute cuisine, the French capital has long been the seat of creative European innovation, and continues that tradition today in all facets of culture and art.

Best time to travel

 

Paris has an oceanic climate that's indicative of Western Europe. Overall, it's mild and moderately wet, with hot summers, cool and dark winters, and in-between seasons with unpredictable, varying temperatures. High season starts in early April and runs through October, and brings with it higher prices and throngs of tourists. While you may not encounter the best weather during low season, you'll be warmly welcomed with events like Le Grand Tasting wine fair and traditional Christmas markets.

Not to miss

 

This is a city whose excitement is as much rooted in its past as its present. You can stroll through history at nearly every turn, taking in sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Sacré-Coeur Basilica, while museums like the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay tell the story of France's illustrious artistic heritage. Paris is a sensorial city, so spend some time living like a local by sitting on the steps of Montmartre, or strolling along Canal Saint-Martin on a Sunday afternoon.

 

Getting around

 

Paris has 2 international airports: Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris-Orly (ORY). Many national and international travelers arrive at one of the city’s major train stations, which include Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon. Once in the city, aim for getting around mostly on foot - the entire city can be traversed in a couple of hours - or by using the popular Vélib' bike share system. But if you have more distance to cover, the intricate, color-coded Metro is fast and efficient. Taxis are plentiful, and can be hailed on the street or found at a taxi stand.

 

Cuisine

 

Paris is home to many of the world's Michelin-starred restaurants, which serve up some of the most authentic and creative regional dishes, as well as innovative fusion cuisine. To save some money, opt for lunch instead of dinner, as the afternoon prix-fixe menus are more reasonable. For a more casual dining experience, pull up a chair at a bistro or brasserie, known for their simple, meat-centric dishes and raucous, crowded atmosphere. And don't pass up the opportunity to pop into a boulangerie for an afternoon pick-me-up of a macaron and a coffee.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Parisians are friendly and outgoing, despite what the movies would have you believe. All it takes are basic manners - they are sticklers for "s'il vous plait" and "merci" - and a little respect - always use the formal "vous" ("you") when addressing strangers. You'll see a wide variety of races and cultures in the streets of Paris, and open displays of affection, whether heterosexual or otherwise, are accepted and ubiquitous. Service is included in your bill, so tips are not obligatory, but a couple of extra euros are always appreciated.

 

Fast facts

 

  • Population: 2340000
  •  

  • Spoken languages: French
  •  

  • Electrical: 230 volts, 50 Hz, plug type C, E
  •  

  • Phone calling code: +33 1
  •  

  • Emergency number: 003