Paris: Things to know

All your pre-visit and on-location info, from when to go and how to get there to visas and vaccinations. As a rule, it’s relatively easy on the visa, while the best of the city’s famous café culture is had in latish spring and early autumn



Time zone

Central Europe Time (GMT+1)


Euros (EUR€)

Country dialling code



Generally mild but can be wet. Paris is warm between June and August (15-25C/57-77F), while the temperature rarely drops below 0.5C/25F in winter

When to visit

July/August can be crowded with tourists while Parisians go on hols, and some venues close. In April/May, and September/October, Paris looks at its best, exhibitions peak, and you can sit outside at café tables


Visitors from outside the European Union or European Economic Area may need a short-stay visa, but this is waived for citizens of many countries, including the US, Canada, Australia and Japan – find out more here


None required


Type E (two-pronged)


A 12-15% service charge is usually included on the bill. There’s no obligation to tip but you can leave a few euros for good service


Call 112, or 12 for emergency medical help, 17 for police and 18 for fire and rescue services

Tourist office

Paris has several tourist offices, which offer help with booking hotels, transport and activities. Click here for locations and contact details. The central office is at 25 rue des Pyramides

Getting there

Airlines and airports: Charles de Gaulle is the main international airport served by major carriers as wells as charter flights. The smaller Orly Airport also handles international flights


Trains run from Charles de Gaulle and Orly to the city centre. You can also take the RER B train from Charles de Gaulle to Gare du Nord or Saint Michel/Nôtre Dame. From Orly, take the OrlyVal train to Anthony, then change to a RER B train for central Paris. If you’re interested in hiring a car, search options here, otherwise buses and taxis are easily available from both airports –there are a huge number of options for each method, but as a guide taxis from either airport will cost around €50 and take about an hour, obviously depending on where you’re travelling to, while buses usually require changes, but set you back closer to €10

Getting around

Public transport: The Metro is fast and efficient, and free maps are available from Metro information booths. The city is also served by high-speed RER trains. At peak times, buses can be a better option

Cabs: Go to a cab stand, rather than trying to hail a car on the street; fares vary according to the time of day. Otherwise, Uber is a good alternative

Hotel Offers

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