The City of Light is an incredible destination, and many agree as 30 million visit this world capital of art and culture every year. Many of those people make the short trip from the United Kingdom across – or under – the Strait of Dover. Several of the world’s most famous museums and monuments call Paris home, and this densely wooded capital of France is home to 478,000 beautiful trees and 400 amazing parks and gardens.
Although there are some pretty amazing attractions in Paris, the one that stands above the rest – literally and figuratively – is the Eiffel Tower. This structure was built for the 1889 World’s Fair, and it has become one of the world’s most iconic symbols. It stands 324 metres tall and was the world’s tallest structure until 1930.
The museums here are amazing. The Louvre is the most visited one in the world, and it lives up to its reputation. The selection of simply amazing pieces of art available for viewing here is breath-taking. Art enthusiasts will also enjoy visits to Paris’ other popular museums. The Musee d’Orsay, the Musee Rodin, the Musee Picasso and Musee Marmottan Monet are among those that stand out.
Notre-Dame Cathedral, an incredible example of French Gothic architecture, is a popular destination that is located on the Ile de la Cite, one of the two Parisian islands that lie in the Seine. The Arc de Triomphe is located at the western end of the Champs-Elysees, one of the most famous streets in the world. The Champs-Elysees is known for its selection of upscale shopping.
There are two major airports that serve Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. Although both receive a significant number of flights from cities located throughout the United Kingdom, most fly to Charles de Gaulle airport. Airlines that fly to Paris from the U.K. include Air France, British Airways and easyJet. Airports in the United Kingdom that offer flights to Paris are located in Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne.
The easiest way to get to Paris from Charles de Gaulle Airport is to take the RER B train. They leave every 7-15 minutes depending on the time and the day of the week. Travellers are taken right into the heart of Paris in about 30-35 minutes. The Roissybus service is another option as it travels non-stop from this airport into the city.
Those travelling into Paris from Orly Airport may take Orlyval shuttle to the RER B train at Gare d’Antony. Travellers may then take that train into the city. The RER C train may be accessed at Pont de Rungis – Aeroport d’Orly via a different shuttle. The Orlybus takes passengers into Paris as well.
Eurostar offers a convenient option for those travelling from London as its trains take a little more than two hours to make the trip from St. Pancras railway station to Gare du Nord. Trains depart at least hourly throughout the day. The cost ranges from about £35 to £100 each way. The prices generally rise as the departure date nears.
A United Kingdom national may enter France with a passport and stay for as long as desired. Citizens of several countries outside of Europe may also travel to Paris with just a passport. These travellers, however, may only remain in France and the entire Schengen Area for 90 days or fewer in any 180-day period. Residents of some countries outside of Europe require a visa to enter in addition to a passport.
Local Laws and Transportation
The legal age to drink alcohol in France is 18. Smoking is not allowed in public buildings or on public mode of transportation. Those with a valid driver’s license from their home country may drive in France. Do note that drivers drive on the right side of the roads in France.
Visitors can get to just about anywhere they want to go to in this romantic city by taking the Metro. The rapid transit system consists of 303 stations and 214 kilometres of track. The RATP also operates bus routes that operate throughout Paris and its suburbs.
One of the best times to visit Paris is the summer as many of its residents are away on holiday at that time. Travelling in the winter, however, allows visitors to truly experience Paris – and its residents – while also being able to visit many of the city's tourist attractions without the lines that are often present at other times of the year.
The climate in Paris is just a couple of degrees warmer than London in the summer and a couple of degrees cooler in the winter. Summer high temperatures average 25 degrees; winter high temperatures average 7 degrees. About 50 millimetres of precipitation fall every month.
Image attribution: AcePanno1 | genericface | Enrico Nunziati