Paris is the capital city of France and is located on the north bending arc of the river Seine. The Paris metropolitan area is large and contains around 11 million people. The city is world-renowned for its food, culture, fashion, and arts. The city’s narrow, winding streets and centuries-old buildings are unlike anything in the United States. Known as the “City of Lights”, most associate the city with romance.
When I visited Paris: Many times
My Posts About Paris:
- First Thoughts on France
- Not So Gay Paris
- June in Paris
- My Ten Favorite Cuisines
- My Ten Favorite Museums
A Short History of Paris
Believed to have been settled before 4200 BC, Paris has a rich history of conquest, epidemics, revolution, and war. Paris played host to the most notorious events of the French Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille. The city was occupied by the Germans in World War II but escaped relatively unscathed – unlike most major cities in Europe. In the 1970s and ’80s, the city experienced a lot of multicultural growth as an influx of immigrants came to France.
How To Travel to Paris:
By Plane: International passengers will almost always fly into Paris-Charles de Galle Airport (CDG). One of the largest airports in the world, CDG is a hub for Air France, Delta, and EasyJet and is serviced by almost all major carriers. Orly Airport (ORY) is serviced by Air France and regional carriers.
By Train: Like the rest of Europe, France is easily accessible by train. Paris lacks a central railway station and instead has six major train stations. Unfortunately, they are not connected, so plan ahead and buy a map upon arrival in Paris. The main train company servicing Paris is SNCF (the French national railway authority). A popular trip for tourists, you can travel from London to Paris by train on Eurostar
By Bus: Service from many major cities in Europe is provided by Eurostar
Travel Information for Paris
Currency: – Euro
Official Language(s): French
WiFi Availability: High
Airports – Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Paris – Orly (ORY)
Visa Required? Citizens of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union do not need a visa. Citizens of other countries can get a 30-day visa upon arrival in Paris.
Driving: Renting a car is not recommended. Traffic is dense and pedestrians and drivers often change lanes without prior indication.
City Navigation: Paris is divided into 20 districts called arrondissements. Beginning at Notre Dame, they spiral clockwise from the center of the city.
Mass Transit: The city of Paris is well served by its underground train system. The Métro subway has 16 lines and is marked by large “M” signs throughout the city. A map and information about the subway and their supplemental bus routes can be found here.
International Driver’s License Accepted? Yes.
Crime: Relatively low.
Electrical Adapters: 220..230V, 50Hz. Outlets: CEE7/5 (protruding male earth pin), accepting CEE 7/5 (Grounded), CEE 7/7 (Grounded) or CEE 7/16 (non-grounded) plugs
Paris Trivia: Paris was the stage for the first person to take to the skies. Marquis d’Arlandes lifted up in hot air balloon for a 20-minute ride on November 21, 1783.
Travel Distances to Paris:
- New York City 3,632 miles (5,844 km)
- London 213 miles (343 km)
- Berlin 545 miles (877 km)
- Sydney, Australia 10,538 miles (16,959 km)
- Havana, Cuba 4,804 miles (7732 km)
Things to Do in Paris:
- Comprehensive list of Things to do in Paris
- The Paris Pass – Buying this pass will get you into 60+ attractions in Paris as well as a bus tour.
- The Louvre
- Notre Dame Cathedral