Paris has a timeless familiarity for first-time and frequent visitors, with instantly recognizable architectural icons and priceless artistic treasures. The wrought-iron spire of the Eiffel Tower, the glamourous Champs-Élysées guarded by the Arc de Triomphe, the gargoyled Notre Dame cathedral, bridges spanning the Seine and art nouveau cafes are etched in the minds of anyone who has visited the city – and the imaginations of those who are yet to.
Despite being one of the world’s major metropolises, Paris’ quartiers are like a patchwork of villages, constantly evolving to be discovered and re-discovered. Awaken your artistic spirit at the incomparable Louvre, bargain hunt at the Marché aux Puces and enjoy the view at the Basilique du Sacré Coeur with a pain au chocolat. Paris is the ideal destination for pre and post conference day-trips.
How to get to Paris
If you’re arriving by air, you’ll touch down at one of Paris’ major airports, Charles de Gaulle or Paris Orly. Both airports are within easy reach of the capital, Charles de Gaulle being 23km to the North of Paris and Paris-Orly being 14km to the South. For security reasons, left-luggage services are not available at Paris’ airports.
Getting around Paris
Paris is extremely well connected and getting from A to B is very easy. Whether you take the metro, the bus or the RER suburban trains, the whole city and the Ile-de-France region are well covered.
A quick and easy way to travel around the city, as well as the best value. The Paris metro has around 300 stations, their entrances marked by a big yellow “M”, and 16 lines, numbered from 1 to 14, 3 bis and 7 bis.
- Each line has a colour, which you’ll find on signs in the stations and on all the RATP ( Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) maps. Connections between lines make your journey easy to plan.
- For an idea of your journey time, allow an average of 2 minutes per station and add 5 minutes for each connection.
- Each line has two directions, indicated by the terminus station at each end (for example: Balard/ Créteil). The different directions and connections are clearly displayed on blue and white signs on the platforms and in the tunnels.
- Maps of the public transport network are available free of charge at the ticket offices, as well as at all the information centres of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau. Large scale maps are also displayed on the platforms and at the entrance to each station.
A single metro ticket costs EUR 1.80, and can be used for one journey, including all connections. White-coloured tickets can be purchased singly or in a book of 10 (“carnet”) for EUR 14.40, at the ticket offices or machines in metro stations, and also in some tobacconists. Keep hold of your ticket until you have completed your journey, as you may be asked to show it if tickets are being inspected. If you cannot produce proof of payment for the ticket inspectors, you may risk paying a fine. This ticket, valid for zones 1 and 2, allows you to travel anywhere in Paris, and even beyond, since it will take you to the end of each metro line, even if it is located in zone 3 (as for example La Défense on line 1).
The metro operates every day from around 6:00 to 0.30. The times of the first and last trains vary depending on the point along the line that you are departing from. Trains are less frequent on Sundays and public holidays.
Please find more information here:
The RER is a huge rail network covering most of the Ile-de-France region. It consists of 5 lines referred to by the letters A, B, C, D and E. Within Paris, the RER operates in more or less the same way as the metro, except that you need to put your ticket through the automatic barriers a second time on the way out. If your RER station has a connection with the metro, you can use the same ticket for the whole journey.
Using the RER is faster than the metro because stops are less frequent, you can cross Paris in 15 minutes. It operates every day, including public holidays, from around 6:00 to 0.30. The regularity of the trains is similar to the metro, although you may have to wait longer for trains to certain suburban destinations. Screens on the platforms display the departure times of the next trains, and notice boards indicate the full timetable.
In the RER, as long as you remain within the city limits, tickets and prices are identical to the metro (RER stations also have their own ticket offices and machines). If you are travelling beyond the city limits, you need to ensure that you are in possession of a ticket or a pass which covers your whole journey up to your destination in the Ile-de-France region. If not, you will not be able to go through the automatic barriers on arrival and you may be liable to a fine. The RER ticket also covers your journey and any connections within Paris (zones 1 and 2), on your outward and return journeys.
More information can be found here:
17,000 taxis operate in Paris, day and night. Official taxi drivers should have a specially-equipped vehicle with the following:
- An illuminated ‘Taxi Parisien’ sign on the roof of the taxi
- A display meter showing the cost of the journey
- A display at the rear of the vehicle and visible from the exterior which enables the monitoring of the daily duration of use of the vehicle
- A plate fixed to the front right-hand wing of the vehicle bearing the license number.
Anyone claiming to be a taxi who does not have a specially-equipped vehicle is illegal.
The minimum journey charge is fixed at EUR 7.
Main taxi firms in Paris:
More information on taxis can be found here: