When is the best time to visit Paris?
Indisputably a hub of culture and art, the City of Light attracts millions of visitors every year. Particularly attractive to UK residents, Paris is just a short plane ride away, making it the perfect long weekend destination for couples looking for a romantic holiday. With no shortage of iconic attractions and beatific parks, you might be wondering how soon you can book your flights! However, before you start packing your bags, it’s important to consider the best time of year for visiting Paris.
Although summer is guaranteed to attract hordes of tourists, Parisians usually abandon the city to go on their own holidays at this time. As a result, some shops and restaurants may be closed (so it’s worth checking the opening hours of particular venues in advance), but there should still be ample choice. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy leisurely strolls around the city and lazy, warm evenings with a glass of wine in one of Paris’ idyllic cafés.
Between November and March, you’ll find yourself in the off-peak season. You’ll be pleased to hear that Paris is a year-round destination, so even though the weather will be chilly, the city will still retain its charm during its coldest months. Take the opportunity to enjoy some wonderful, indoor Parisian delights during the off-peak season, such as ballet performances, operas, or art exhibitions. Of course, Christmas in Paris is magical, and you’ll be able to get into the festive spirit outside City Hall where ice skating takes place every year.
Fashion-lovers will get the most out of Paris during autumn and winter, as this is when the city explodes with Fashion Week excitement – this event attracts a huge amount of visitors from all around the world, so make sure you book your hotel early, if you plan to visit Paris during this season.
Spring and autumn are often considered the best times to visit Paris, as the locals have returned from their summer mass exodus and you’ll get a true insight into the city’s usual ambient atmosphere. You’ll also benefit from fewer crowds and better holiday deals (cheaper all round and less stressful). The transitional seasons can have generally mild and pleasant weather, but always bring waterproof jackets, as the climate can be changeable.
When is the cheapest time of year to fly to Paris?
Luckily enough for UK travellers, Paris is so close to home that you’re likely to get a return ticket for peanuts, even during peak seasons. We’d recommend booking in advance and using our Flight Finder to get the very best deals.
If you’re looking for a bargain, avoid Christmas and summer peak times; instead, aim for the transitional seasons (spring/autumn) to find both cheap air travel and affordable accommodation.
Steer clear of yearly events, such as the previously mentioned Fashion Week and Valentine’s Day, because you can be sure that people will be flooding into Paris for these occasions, and consequently hiking up the prices.
Are there any direct flights from the UK to Paris?
You’ll be hard-pushed to find any flights that aren’t direct to Paris, so you won’t have to worry about hectically transferring planes and cancellations mid-journey! Paris has three main airports:
• Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
• Orly Airport (ORY)
• Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA)
You can fly to Paris from a wide variety of UK airports, including:
• Edinburgh (EDI)
• London Heathrow (LHR)
• London City (LCY)
• Birmingham (BHX)
• Manchester (MAN)
• Belfast (BHD)
• Liverpool (LPL)
• Cardiff (CWL)
Which airlines fly to Paris?
It’s important to analyse all your options, so you can get the travel experience that you want, at a price that you can afford. Here are your main options for direct flights from the UK:
• British Airways
• Air France
• City Jet
• Blue Islands
Are there any low cost airlines that fly to Paris?
There are many low cost and budget airlines flying to Paris, so it’s important to use our Flight Finder to discover which company is offering the best deals at the moment. Some famously inexpensive airlines that fly to Paris regularly include Ryanair and EasyJet.
What’s the best airline to fly to Paris from the UK?
Seeing as the flight is so brief, you’d be mad not to go for the best deal out there – you’ve barely taken off before you’re touching back down again, so the perks of more expensive airlines are fairly redundant! You might be surprised to see that even some extremely reputable airlines offer travel to Paris at prices that match the cheap ‘bare bones’ airline services.
How long is the flight from the UK to Paris?
Flights from the UK to Paris usually last around 1 hour 15 minutes, so there’s hardly any time for a nap before you’ll find yourself in one of France’s airports. The main schedule-ruiner will be airport immigration both ways, so expect long queues and rigorous security. Here are a few things we’d recommend to minimise time spent waiting:
• Sit at the front of the aircraft, so you’re first off the plane.
• Double-check that your passport is biometric – this means you’ll be able to go through the automatic gates, as the chip stored within your passport will just need to be scanned in. Always ensure that the line for this service isn’t longer than the normal immigration queue, as some people are unfamiliar with the automatic gates and can hold up everyone else.
• Travel light, if you can. Turning up with just your hand luggage will mean that you won’t have to wait for your suitcase.
• Pay for fast-track security – it usually only costs you between 3 and 5 pounds and guarantees a shorter waiting time.
How much is a flight from the UK to Paris?
Of course, this will depend on how early you book! Standard return flights usually only cost around £90 from most airports in the UK. During off-peak times, you may be able to find even cheaper fares. Date flexibility will always work in your favour, if you’re trying to get an inexpensive deal.
How far is the airport from the city centre?
Charles de Gaulle - Otherwise known as the ‘Roissy’, it’s France’s largest airport (processing 58 million passengers a year) and you can find it 14 miles (22.5km) northeast of Paris. Charles de Gaulle is Air France’s main hub, so it’s likely that you’ll end up here, if you travel with them.
Orly - Before the Charles de Gaulle airport was built, Orly was the main Parisian airport. It’s situated 8 miles (12.8km) south of Paris and remains the busiest French airport for domestic traffic.
Beauvais-Tillé - Paris’ mecca for low-cost airlines, you’ll have to travel a whopping 53 miles (85.2km) to reach the city centre.
What’s the best way to reach Paris’ city centre from the airport?
Charles de Gaulle
The Roissybus, which is run by the Paris Transit Authority, travels to the Opéra every 20 minutes between 6am to 11pm. It’s a relatively easy way to reach Paris and will cost you €10/£8. In regular traffic, the journey should take 45 minutes to complete, but you might find yourself stuck on-board for 90 minutes, if you hit rush hour.
Alternatively, the Air France shuttle service is a comfortable way to reach Paris, and you don’t need to have flown with their airline to hitch a ride. Line 2 drops you off at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Etoile and Porte Malliot. This service runs from 5:45am to 11pm and leaves at 20 minute intervals, but will cost you €15/£12, which is payable on-board. Line 4 speeds off to Montparnasse and the Gare de Lyon, but these shuttles only leave every 30 minutes, between 7am and 9pm. It will cost you €16.50/£13.5.
To reach these shuttles, you will need to go through different exits depending on your terminal.
Terminal 1: Exit 34
Terminals 2A and 2C: Exit C2
Terminals 2B and 2D: Exit B1
Terminals 2E and 2F: Exit 3
If you’re planning on braving the taxi service, expect to pay a lot of money for the privilege. The journey will take anywhere between 30 minutes and one hour.
Probably the most cost-effective way to reach Paris is on the RER-B line from CDG’s suburban express train. This service runs from 5am to 11:30pm and the trains depart every 15 minutes. Including your metro connection, the fare will cost you €9.25/£7.5 and the journey should take 45 minutes.
Air France is providing yet another service by running buses from Orly to Les Invalides, Charles de Gaulle Etoile, and Montparnasse. Between 6am and 11pm, this service runs every 15 minutes and (again) you don’t need to purchase a flight ticket with Air France to use their buses. All you have to do is pay €11.50/£9.5 and you’re good to go! The journey takes between 30 and 45 minutes – it’s difficult to predict, due to how dependent this trip is on traffic. Here’s how to find the bus station:
Orly South: Exit L
Orly West: Exit B-C
If you’re looking for more options, the Orlybus leaves every 15 minutes for Denfert-Rochereau metro station in Montparnasse. It will cost you €6.90/£5.5.
Orly South: Exit H
Orly West: Exit G
To get the train into Paris, you will have to hop on the shuttle bus from Exit F at Orly South or Exit G at Orly West to reach the station. Trains leave every 15 minutes and the shuttle will cost you €2.60/£2.07, while the train ticket will cost you €3.95/£3.14. You should arrive in Paris after 35 minutes.
Alternatively, you can catch the Orlyval monorail service that runs every 4 to 8 minutes, from 6am to 11pm. If you arrive at Orly South, you should leave through Exit K, and if you arrive at Orly West, you should take Exit W. The fare will set you back €10.90/£8.66, but that includes the transfer shuttle.
This airport is serviced by a bus to the city centre; there is also a railway station that has trains going to Paris eight times a day (this is 2.5 miles/4km away from the Beauvais-Tillé). Often, airline passengers utilise a privately scheduled coach (a journey that lasts 75 minutes). There are also shuttles from here that can take you to Disneyland Park, which is a popular destination for those arriving at this airport.
Image attribution: AcePanno1 | genericface | Enrico Nunziati