- the connoisseur's guide to France
- Stay and get round in Paris
- France beyond Paris
- More useful pages
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- ► IMPORTANT
- COVID-19 information for Paris.
Bars and restaurants will remain closed in France until at least April.
After that, the speed of the hoped-for progressive return
to normal will depend on whether the spread of the virus remains under
control, and on the rate at which the population can be vaccinated. At
a convervative guess, Paris should be largely open again for tourism by
June 2021, though some restrictions and social distancing rules may
stay in place for a good while after that.
Some museums and art galleries are open, but
rules apply. Whether they remain open in the coming months of 2021
depends on whether the covid-19 virus is kept under control.
or the Paris
or other options or buying tickets à la carte ??
To compare the passes, the prices and what is
included just click here
PARIS ! City of lights, city of love, and one of the most
visited cities in the world.
city with a proud and very ancient history. Originally founded in the
third century BC, on an island in the middle of the Seine, it was the
capital city of a tribe known as the Parisii, who gave it their name.
In Roman times, the city expanded beyond the
islands in the Seine, and became known as Lutetia
During the decline of the Roman Empire,
northern France was overrun by a Germanic tribe called the Franks,
whose new kingdom - part of the Holy Roman Empire - became
known as West Francia
with its capital at Paris.
In the early Middle Ages, West Francia
and Paris grew in importance as a European city. By the
12th century, when Notre
was built on the largest of the
islands in the Seine, Paris was the
capital of one of the most
Notre Dame Cathedral - as it was until 15th April 2019, and
as it will be again.
powerful kingdoms in Europe, and its
importance as an international city has never waned.
Many of the great buildings of Paris,
such as the Louvre
and the Panthéon
date from the 17th and 18th
centuries when royal power in France was at its peak. Yet the "shape"
of modern Paris was largely determined in the mid 19th century, when a
radical city-planner, Baron Haussmann, was given the job of opening up
the old city with its narrow twisting streets. Haussmann designed a
city criss-crossed by broad tree-lined boulevards
apartment buildings – which is essentially the Paris we know
added for the Universal Exhibition of 1889.
Though the city walls are long gone, central
Paris is now known as "Paris intra-muros", or Paris within the walls,
which is the area with almost all the main tourist attractions.
Where there once stood city walls, there is now the
"boulevard périphérique" or inner ring road,
clearly visible on the
map. Beyond that the modern
city of Paris extends in all directions.
On this and
other pages, discover the
About-France.com visitor guide to Paris, providing you with all you
need to know when planning a trip to this magnificent city.
Paris info and pages on
IMPORTANT: Eiffel Tower :
of the Paris passes include the Eiffel
pass offers a second floor Eiffel Tower ticket for 15 €
But a second floor ticket is only 11 € on the official Eiffel
Tower site !)
Tower access must always
be purchased separately, or as part of certain specific
tours . Buy your Paris
or your Paris Pass
online, then buy Eiffel tower ticket
online from the official site. See Eiffel
GETTING AROUND IN PARIS
Paris is not
place to visit by car. Parking can be an expensive nightmare (though
less so than London), and the city has a great public transport
network, with a fast underground or subway network that stretches well
The public transport system includes buses, the underground and
, some modern tram
the RER (regional express rail).
If you plan to use public transport, it may make
sense to buy one of the passes that includes it.
For more information about using the excellent public transport network
in Paris, see
more ideas on keeping down your travel costs, visit the Budget
Tourist transport :
In addition to hop-on hop-off tour buses (see tourist passes
there is a range of other travel options for tourists. Apart from
taxis, other more picturesque options include pedicabs and rickshaws,
tours by historic 2CV
(the iconic little
French car), Segway
tours, bike tours
and walking trips.
There is also a city-wide bike share system known
as "Velib". How to make use of this system is explained on the Budget Paris
Make the best use of Public transport
in Paris 2021
When visiting Paris, if you plan to use
the metro or the bus from time to time but
less than six times in a day,
for a "carnet"
Car-nay). This is simply ten standard tickets at a reduced rate
16.90 for ten in January 2021), and can be bought from the ticket
dispensing machines at any metro station, from ticket offices at those
metro stations that have them, and from other Paris transport offices.
Carnet tickets have no date limit, and
can be shared among members of a group. If you have some left over at
the end of your stay, keep them for next time. They are valid on buses,
the metro and the "RER" within the cental area, and on metro and RER
journeys they allow as many changes as you want.
take care.... Don't keep too many traditional paper tickets over; they
are currently being phased out, and should disappear from Paris public
transport later in 2021 - just as they have from some other cities.
Visitors can already buy a rechargeable ticket
called a "Navigo easy",
which is aimed at tourists and occasional users; but unlike a carnet of
ten tickets that can be shared between ten people if you want, each
traveller must have his or her own Navigo Easy ticket... so for a
family of four that's 8 Euros up front for the passes, before you've
even put any journeys onto them. The Navigo Easy card can be loaded up
with standard metro tickets (buy them by ten and they are cheaper....
but ten must be on one card, to get the cheaper rate, unlike carnets) ,
and also with Orly and CDG airport tickets, and day passes (zones 1 and
2, or zones 1 - 5). However they cannot yet be loaded with point-to-point
tickets out into the suburbs (though this should come in due course). So if you're staying in, for instance,
Maisons Laffitte, on the RER A line in zone 3, you'll need to buy
separate paper tickets for the journey into central Paris and out again
each day – which will be cheaper than a zone 1-5 day pass, unless you
plan to spend much of the day in Paris taking lots of bus and metro
What will happen later in 2021 when paper tickets
supposedly come to an end ? No-one seems to know the answer to this
Just one important point to note: while you can change metros or change
buses on a standard journey ticket, you can't change from a bus journey
to a metro journey, or vice-versa.
Though the Metro is
mainly an underground system, several parts of the network are above
ground, and offer an interesting way to see Paris from well above
Neither a standard Paris metro ticket nor a central Paris pass are
valid on the RER for travel into the suburbs,
notably for travel to Charles de Gaulle or Orly airports.
such destinations, you must buy a specific ticket.
Specific destination tickets and carnets are available at all metro
stations, and from automatic machines which accept credit cards.
Carnets can also be bought in some main French railway stations outside
your way in the metro.
This is no big problem. Using the maps available, check the line number
terminus station of each line you want to take. If you need to change
routes, follow the "Correspondance" signs on the platform and through
the foot tunnels; these indicate the line numbers and the termini. Just
follow the right one. The RATP (Paris transport authority) provides
free maps which are usually available in hotels, metro stations and
use the trains
or hire a car
at a location on the outskirts
, to avoid having to drive in the streets of Paris.
See tips on car hire on the
outskirts of Paris
. Click here for travel to and from Paris airports
TIP - Train or
bus from the airport:
speaking, the RER train
service is fast, and cheapest. See Paris
If you arrive by air in Paris for a day trip, buy the 1 day "Paris
visite" visitor pass for zones 1-5, which includes the airports. that
way you also have unlimited public transport during your
day in Paris
Changing trains at "Chatelet
metro hub. Chatelet is the biggest interconnection station on the Paris
metro system: three main RER (Regional Express Rail) routes cross here,
notably B (for the
airports) and A (serving the Gare de Lyon and Disneyland). If you are
changing from a southbound "B" train to a south/east bound "A" train,
(for instance, coming from Charles de Gaulle airport and heading for
Gare de Lyon or Disneyland, a common combination), just cross the
platform. The same goes if you are taking these routes in the opposite
direction (for example coming from Gare de Lyon and heading for Charles
de Gaulle airport). Nothing could be simpler!
For other changes, follow the indicator boards, having noted which RER
or metro routes you want.
Your ticket. Always keep your ticket until your journey is finished,
even if it is just a single journey ticket. If you use the RER in the
central urban area of Paris (which you can do, of course), you will
need to put your ticket through the machine both to get onto the
platforms and again to get out of the RER area.
There are plenty of taxis available in Paris, though prices
high by world standards (less than Los Angeles, but more than San
Francisco). There is also an Uber platform for Paris.
Buses and metros:
With a day ticket, you can take buses and metros as much as
want. If using a single ticket, you can in theory you get a
single ticket and explore the inner Paris network all day.
Click here for Paris
: Eiffel tower
Notre Dame, the Louvre, Montmartre
Moulin Rouge, and