Paris Travel Blog: Table of Contents

Where, How?
Paris on C&C
Best Time To Visit Paris
Personal Notes
Where to Sleep
Let’s Eat!
Let’s Go For a Drink
What to See and Do
Tipping in Paris
Common Scams & What to Avoid
C&C’s Google Map of the City

Paris Travel Blog: Where, How?

Paris, France, West Europe, Europe

Population: 2,229,621 (2013)

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Airport(s)

Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG)Orly (ORY), Beauvais (BVA)

Airport Notes:

CDG is located 35 km north-east of Paris. It has three terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3; all of which are connected by a CDGVAL shuttle train that is free to use. Terminal 2 is huge and is divided into 2A through to 2G. The latter is on a separate building and is only accessible by navette or bus in roughly 15 minutes. NOTE that this is a gigantic, chaotic, but very modern airport. Getting from terminal to terminal can take longer than the expected 15 minutes. For security reasons, some connexions might require you to get out of the airport completely and then back to the main entrance to check-in all over again. Expect longer transit times than normal.

Orly is a regional airport that’s a hub for many budget airlines, including Aigle Azur, Air France’s Joon, French Bee, HOP!, Transavia France and Corsair International. It’s located about 20 km south of the city.

Beauvais airport is 100 km north of Paris and isn’t very well connected to the city. Yet it’s still used by both Ryanair and Wizz. Try to avoid this airport if you can.

Transportation to-and-from the airport: For Charles-de-Gaulle, you may use the RER commuter train; line B that has stations found at T3 and T2. There are trains to the following stops: Gare du Nord, Châtelet-Les Halles, Saint-Michel Notre-Dame, Luxembourg, Port-Royal, Denfert-Rochereau and Cité Universitaire every 7-8 minutes.

There are taxis that travel to the city at a flat-rate. Better yet, get an Uber. They are pretty common and charge slightly less. There is the Roissybus service that also connects all terminals to the city. It is pretty cheap but subject to traffic jams during rush hour. There are Air France buses to Porte Maillot and Montparnasse in Paris. If you would like to get to a specific destination, there is a shared shuttle service. There are also a couple of non-shared limo services that can be booked in advance online. They include Top Paris Transfer, LeCab and Paris Airport Service to name a few.

Orly airport is connected to the RER system, either from Antony station – where a shuttle train called Orlyval takes passengers to-and-from the airport – or from Pont de Rungis – Aéroport d’Orly station, then using a shuttle bus. Taxis are also available.

Beauvais airport is connected to the city by shuttle bus, which drops passengers off at the Porte Maillot station. Porte Maillot is a RER and metro station that’s in itself on Paris’ edge. Regular travel time should be around 1h 15min but is subject to Paris’ unpredictable traffic. And, of course, taxis will be much more comfortable, quick and expensive.

Intra-City Transportation

Paris is very walkable and for a couple of reasons best explored on foot. It is a terrible idea to rent a car.  You may instead use the city’s excellent underground rail system referred to as Métro. There’s also a very effective commuter train called the RER that runs parallel to the métro. Cycling is the best way to sight-see and explore the city’s many riversides. The bus system is very tourist-friendly. Taxis aren’t as many as you would expect and may be hard to find. You are therefore better off booking one.  The best way to see the city at night is aboard a boat on the Seine called “bateau-mouche” for bee-boat. They’re called that way because their curved windows look like bee eyes. Its grand boulevards and open spaces can also be viewed and explored form a scooter or motorbike.

A Note on Taxis: Use taxis at night, when there is no traffic. During the day, you are better off taking the metro or walking.

Just like anywhere, Uber is cheaper and safer. If you don’t already have an account, use this link and get 15 dollars off your first ride!

Neighborhoods

Take a look at my ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PARIS’ NEIGHBOURHOODS!

The city is divided into 20 districts called arrondissements numbered from 1 to 20 in a clockwise spiral from the city’s center. Each arrondissement is unique and has its own set of attractions to offer.

The 1st is the city’s geographical center and the best place to start with The Musée du Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme, Les Halles, Palais Royal, Comédie-Française, and Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel found here. The 2nd is Paris’ CBD and home to the Bourse (the Paris Stock Exchange) and a couple of theatres and opera houses. To the west are Les Banlieues, wealthy residential areas and to the north-east are poorer communities occupied by immigrants.

Navigation tips: Take note of Métro stations as you pass them. The Métro network is very extensive and there are basically always lines passing underneath the city’s major boulevards. If you get lost, you may therefore find your bearing by strolling along a major boulevard until you find a station.

More About Paris on C&C

Best Time To Visit Paris

Average Monthly Minimum And Maximum Temperatures

Average min and max temperatures in Paris, France
Average min and max temperatures in Paris, France

Average Monthly Hours Of Sunshine

Average monthly sunhours in Paris, France

Average Monthly Rainfall Or Snowfall

Average precipitation (rain/snow) in Paris, France

Paris Travel Blog: Personal Notes

What’s This Place About?

Paris is simply one of the greatest, most fascinating, most interesting, craziest places on Earth. It’s a gigantic city – a lifetime probably wouldn’t be enough to completely explore this whole place. It’s also an extremely diverse place. There are people from all of France – ex-colonies and beyond. It’s one of the food capitals of the world. It has a never-ending history and the sightseeing is simply beyond compare in the world. There’s no other place like that in the world. There’s also many sides to Paris. There are two in particular that I like, one which is the historical, architecture and food aspect – all the things that we already know about. Then the second side that I like is how Parisians actually live: what they do, how they do it, and their day to day life is one that is also absolutely fascinating to me.

Paris Travel Blog: What’s Great and Fun?

Listen, having fun in Paris can be expensive. But Paris is a hub for the best food in the world, the best chefs in the world, and definitely the best wine because all the wine in France end up there. The best cheeses are available for the same reason. It’s the capital so all the best of France is all together at the same place. It probably has the greatest architecture in the world. If you want to go visit architecture masterpieces, this is probably the number one place in the world to go. It has the coolest sights. It’s one of the only cities in the world where I’ve already been once and I still try to go visit and do a little bit of sightseeing every time I’m there.

Personal Anecdotes

There are plenty, I’ve visited Paris at least ten times. However, if there is just one that I can tell, for me Paris was my very first trip when I was 18 years old. Just stepping out of the plane and wandering around for the very first time in my life outside of North America was just like being in a movie. I remember watching movies with my mother by Louis de Funès such as La Traversée de Paris and La Grande Vadrouille. I don’t especially remember what the movies were about, but I do remember the visual aspects of the city. Some movies with Jacques Brel in them, or even one of my favorite comic strips, Gaston Lagaffe, all took place in Paris. Just seeing how the city was drawn in the comic strips, it was just like being in the comic strips or in the movies to just be walking around this wonderfully beautiful city for the very first time. So, every time that I go, it still is very nostalgic for me.

Paris Travel Blog: Paris Itinerary 5 days

Please take a look at my ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PARIS’ NEIGHBOURHOODS before picking a place to stay!

Paris has a lot to offer in terms of accommodation. Be it for the young or the just young-at-heart, a lone traveller or with the family in tow. Options include: Parisian palaces, unusual hotels, youth hostels, hotels, aparthotels, budget accommodation, alternative accommodation, camping, B&Bs and furnished rentals. If you a want quick fix to the query of Paris itinerary 5 days, this would be it.

Parisian palaces like The Shangri-La and The Mandarin Oriental offer the best there is in upscale hospitality with gastronomic restaurants, palatial rooms and concierge service. This is perhaps the best answer to the question of Paris itinerary 5 days.

Hotels like Caron de Beaumarchais and Seven Paris offer residents an original experience by incorporating the ‘unusual’ by playing with aspects such as the furniture, location, decoration or atmosphere.

Though legendary, Paris is pretty affordable with accommodation choices for everyone! Youth hotels like Auberge de jeunesse Yves-Robert  and the Woodstock Hostel are most ideal for young travellers. Their basic facilities and low prices are balanced out by the friendly atmosphere. There are far too many options on Paris itinerary 5 days. All you have to do is keep eyes and ears open.

Just like everywhere, Airbnb is a very interesting option. If you’re not already a  member, you can use this Airbnb link to get $40 off your first reservation.



Booking.com

 

Paris Travel Blog: Let’s Eat!

Paris Travel Blog: Famous Foods and Specialties

  • Baguette
  • Steak-frites (steak and fries)
  • Croque-monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich moistened with Béchamel sauce)
  • Duck confit (tender duck thighs cooked in their own fat)
  • Jambon-beurre (halfed-baguette smeared with butter and garnished with cooked ham)
  • Tartare (raw beef in a light mustard-egg-yolk dressing)

The Best Drunk Food

  • Kebabs!

Paris Travel Blog – Our Suggestions – Dishes And Restaurants

Everybody knows that Paris is one of the culinary capitals of the world. France is the birthplace of fine dining; of Escoffier, Bocuse, Robuchon, and hundreds more; it has the best wines and the best cheeses in the world. And Paris is the country’s capital, where everything from every corner of the country can be found.

There are hundreds of spectacular restaurants in the city. Of course I can’t list them all here.

When you a make decision on Paris itinerary 5 days, check also about the restaurant options.

I’ve written a blog post about eating in Paris. I seriously recommend every single one of these restaurants.

There are plenty of ultra-classic places to eat in the Ville Lumière. Here are a few:

La Rotonde, Le Dôme, Le Select, Le Relais de l’Entrecôte and La Coupole are all on the same street corner. They’re pretty much all overpriced and service is bad, but it’s such a blast from the past!

L’Arpège, l’Astrance, le Meurice, and Pierre Gagnaire are just a few of the best restaurants in the world. They’re some of the most expensive, too.

I’ve always wanted to go to Frenchie.

Wadja is a cool little bistro. It’s not too expensive, either.

Le Barav has awesome wines and a great atmosphere altogether.

Septime is a modern French restaurant. Not too expensive either.

And I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Paris Travel Blog: Let’s Go For a Drink

What Do the Locals Drink?

Wine, Whisky and cocktails

Drinking in Public

There are places that do not allow consumption of alcohol like Jardin du Carrousel, Jardin du Palais Royal, Jardin du Luxembourg, Champs de Mars, Parc Monceau, Buttes Chaumont, Avenue Breteuil as well as parks owned by Ville de Paris – with the exception of licensed establishments.

Away from restricted areas, it is very Parisian to drink on the Canal Saint-Martin next to the Seine.

Paris Travel Blog: Our Suggestions – Bars and Pubs

Please note that a lot of restaurants double as bars after dinner service, which means that many people end up using restaurants as pubs.

There are thousands upon thousands of awesome watering holes in Paris. I have a few favourites, and on top of that, I’ve asked a friend who’s a local to give me her suggestions. Here they are!

If you want to make the best choice on Paris itinerary 5 days, you need to know the location of the best bar in the city. It is always better to keep both near as much as possible.

Le Repaire de Charonne  – Les Triplettes de Belleville (obviously) – La Cave de Belleville – Le 50 – le Gravity – Demain c’est Loin

And a few of mine: Le BaravLa TrinquetteINAROLe FouAu Clair de Lune (grungy spot with a foosball table) – Le Dernier Bar avant la Fin du MondeZéro de ConduiteGalway Irish Pub (I visit this place each time I’m in Paris just because it’s possible to sit at a table outside, in front of the pub, and have a pint right on the Seine!)

As regular readers of this column know, I don’t know anything about clubs. Sorry!

Paris Travel Blog: What to See and Do

Of course it is common knowledge that a trip to Paris is incomplete without a visit to and a photo opportunity at the Eiffel Tower for proof that you were there.

Musée d’Orsay housed under one of Paris’s ancient but grand Beaux-Arts railway stations has the world’s largest collection of Impressionist masterpieces by big names such as Cézanne, Van Gogh and Monet.

If you like museums, Musée Rodin is a must-visit. It is one of the city’s most beautiful museums and has its share of masterpieces in addition to lovely grounds. Musée Picasso is also immensely popular.

Away from the bustle of the city, tucked away behind a 17th century palace are the Palais-Royal Gardens, one of the city’s best-kept secrets.

Rising above the Bois de Boulogne is the most charming addition to Paris’s skyline, Fondation Louis Vuitton.

The Luxembourg Gardens are just the place for a picnic to get some sun or for an afternoon stroll.

While you are at it, stop by Musée de Luxembourg and take a look at its art exhibits.

Take a walk on Ile Saint-Louis and sample one of Bertillon’s – Paris’s most famous ice cream maker – delicious flavors of handmade ice cream.

See Paris aboard a bateau mouche on the Seine.

Get to see the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory at the Louvre; the world’s greatest art museum.

At Cathédrale de Notre-Dame, the symbolic heart of Paris is where Napoleon was crowned and other royalty wedded. It is always better to decide on Paris itinerary 5 days after checking the connectivity to the places that you want to visit in the city.

If you like things designer and French brand names, head over to rue Saint-Honoré.

 

Tipping in Paris

Just like in most of Europe, no tip is expected but you are free to do so as a nice gesture. It is normal to tip 7-10% of the total amount of the bill at restaurants.

Paris Travel Blog: Common Scams & What to Avoid

Common Scams

There are so many. Paris has become scam city. Anything you have in mind, you’ll probably find it in the French capital, scam wise.

Pickpockets

It’s a never-ending stream of pickpockets, I’ve never seen as many pickpockets in my entire life. They’re everywhere; in public transport and in most of the main transportation hubs including the train stations. The Gare du Nord is absolutely an anthill of pickpockets. But anywhere in the metro as well, on the escalators, in shopping malls… Anytime when people are in close proximity. Even on the bridges where all the tourists end up being. There are tiny hands everywhere and the police will do nothing. If you are a victim of pickpocketing, even if you catch the person in the act and bring that person to the police, they will be upset with you, not the pickpockets.

Taxis

I’ve always tried to avoid them because it’s an expensive city, but to be honest I was very lucky whenever I did. I’ve never had any trouble. They were always very nice with me and always got me from point A to point B as affectively and as fast as they possibly could.

Crime

There are more and more muggings. Even though it’s at a lower rate compared to the United States, it’s still extremely high if you compare it to Europe

Problematic Neighborhoods

Listen, there are plenty of problematic neighborhoods in Paris. Everything around Gare du Nord, so that means the 18th and 10th districts, should be avoided. Gare du Nord and the metro station Barbès – Rochechouart are definitely to be avoided as much as possible. St Denis is another neighborhood that should be avoided completely. Statistics show that the 1st arrondissement is the most violent by far. You have to always be careful especially at night. Muggings happen too. There are a lot of sexual assaults in that part of town.

When you decide on Paris itinerary 5 days, be sure to avoid these places.

How to Stay Safe: Tips and Tricks

I suggest you take a look at my common scams guide.

READ MORE: Travel Canada Advisory for France.

Paris Travel Blog: C&C’s Map