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Paris travel guide

Plan a magical experience in France's romantic city of lights.

Famous for being one of the most romantic cities in the world, Paris is so much more than a lover’s urban delight — although it is just that. Once you’ve snapped that iconic Eiffel Tower shot, set your sights on delving deeper into the history and culture of this classical city.

Stroll down the Champs-Élysées and shop its fashion-forward boutiques and wander through the lauded Louvre and marvel at breathtaking displays of human creativity. Then, sink your teeth into a flaky-fresh croissant and refresh with a creamy café au lait.

Finally, settle in to see Paris at night and witness why they call it la Ville Lumière.


Find a cheap flight to Paris

Transportation in Paris

Paris is one of Europe’s most walkable cities, with many top attractions conveniently close together. For instance, you can walk from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower in 45 minutes, seeing all the sights along the way. However, public transportation can get you from point A to point B blister-free. The Paris Métro is inexpensive and easy to use, with stops at all major tourist spots.

Also consider the Batobus boat, which offers transport along the Seine with stops at nine major landmarks including the Louvre and Eiffel Tower. You can also rent bikes at Vélib stations throughout the city to peddle your way around Paris.


Public transportation in Paris

Paris has a subway system that can generally get you where you need to go. It’s called the Métro and includes metro trains, Réseau Express Régional trains (RER) and buses.

  • Good to know: The RAPT app uses geolocation to find nearby public transportation and can show you in real time when transport will arrive. You can also use it to plan the route to your destination.
  • You can purchase a single métro ticket for €1.90 ($2) at ticket offices, metro stations and some tobacco shops. You can also buy a book of 10 single tickets for €16 ($18).
  • A weekly Navigo pass is available for €22,80 ($26), and gives you unlimited access to all forms of public transportation in Paris and the Île-de-France region — with the exception of Orlyval (the light rail that runs to and from Orly airport).

Getting to and from the airport

  • The RER B train runs from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center in 40 minutes. Trains depart every six to 15 minutes and tickets cost €10 (about $11).
  • The Roissybus provides direct transport to the Paris-Opéra district for €11 (about $12).
  • Le Bus Direct connects Charles de Gaulle airport to the Eiffel Tower and the Gare Montparnasse railway station for €17 (about $19).
  • Buses 350 and 351 run from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center. Tickets cost €6 each (about $7).

  • Taxis and Uber

    • Taxi. Hailing a taxi can get frustrating for visitors — especially if you don’t know about the taxi stands around the city. Technically if you’re within 162 feet from a taxi stand, you need to hop in line to get a ride. Taxis won’t always automatically stop for you if you’re on the side of the road. You can also call and book a taxi in advance.
    • Uber. You can catch an Uber from Charles de Gaulle airport to the city center for about €50 to 80 ($56 to $90). And expect to pay between €35 to 50 ($39 to 56) for a ride from Orly International Airport to Paris.

    Paris Métro map

    Get your bearings and plot the smoothest route to your top destinations using the official Paris Métro map.


    Airport transfers

    Airport transfers from both Charles de Gaulle and Orly International airports are a worry-free way to get to Paris quickly.

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    Paris car rental companies

    Renting a car in Paris is not recommended, since it’s usually faster to get around using public transportation.

    But if you’re intent on borrowing a set of wheels, these companies have hubs at Charles de Gaulle:

    • Hertz
    • Sixt
    • Interrent
    • Avis
    • Advantage
    • Dollar
    • National
    • Thrifty
    • TT Car Transit

    Keep in mind not all rental companies are available at every terminal. Use our rental car finder to compare prices and find the best deals.

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    Frequently asked questions

    How much does it cost to rent a Vélib’ bike in Paris?

    A 24-hour Vélib’ pass is 5 (about $6) and gives you access to:

    • A bicycle: Up to 30 minutes free. After 30 minutes, you’ll pay 1 every half-hour.
    • An electric bike: Up to 30 minutes for 1. After 30 minutes, you’ll pay 2 every half-hour.

    Vélib’ stations are available throughout the city, similar to Citibikes in NYC. You can purchase a plan online in advance.

    How much is the Batobus in Paris?
    24-hour passes for unlimited rides upon the Batobus each cost:

    • Adults. €17 (about $19)
    • Adults with the Navigo pass. €11 (about $12)
    • Kids ages 3 to 15. €8 (about $9)

    What side of the road do they drive on in Paris?
    In Paris, as in all of France, people drive on the right side of the road, and the steering wheel is on the left side of the car. So Americans should have an easy transition when renting a car in Paris.

    Is driving in Paris, France different than in the US?
    American drivers in Paris should be aware of the following differences behind the wheel:

    • Priority to the right rule (priorite a droite). In Paris, drivers must yield to vehicles merging into traffic (in the US, it’s the other way around). Be extra cognizant of this while navigating roundabouts and cruising on motorways throughout France.
    • Speed limits. Normal speed limits for roadways in and around Paris are:
      • Motorways. 130 km/hour (about 80 mph).
      • Dual carriageways (divided highways). 110 km/hour (68 mph)
      • Main roads. 90 km/hour (56 mph)

    Also take some time to familiarize yourself with road signs in Paris before taking the wheel.

    Traveling during COVID-19
    The CDC continues to advise caution when traveling within or outside the US, However, it no longer requires self-quarantine or a COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated domestic travelers as of April 2021. International travelers need to get tested three days prior to flying out of the US and within three days after returning, even if you are fully vaccinated. It recommends that you delay travel if you’re not fully vaccinated to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading the virus.

    If you’re planning a trip outside the US, bear in mind that many countries have placed restrictions on US tourists. Check the US embassy website for updates before booking international travel.

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