- Discover Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral | The Eiffel Tower | Arc de Triomphe | Champs Elysees | The Louvre | Musee de Orsay | Musee des Egouts de Paris | Jardin de Tuileries | Luxembourg Palace | Crepes | Palace of Versailles
The capital of France, and its largest city; what can be said about the City of Love that has not been said already. It’s a city that for the most part lives up to its excellent reputation. There are so many recognisable landmarks here to see, so many things to do. But first just walk the streets, breath it in. It’s a truly beautiful city and one you will be sure to fall in love with and visit again and again.
Notre Dame is a wonderful Gothic Cathedral, it’s a must see. Highlights include the organ, the stain glass windows, and the bell tower.
Monday to Saturday 7:45 am – 6:45 pm
Sunday 7:45 am – 7:30 pm
Built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for the World Fair, the Eiffel Tower was only meant to be temporary but was so popular it has remained to this day. Great views from all levels; be sure to queue early.
Monday to Sunday 9:00 am – 11:45 pm
Adults Second floor/top €11/€17
12 – 24 Second floor/top €8.50/€14.50
Concessions Second floor/top €4/€8
Situated at the top of the Champs Elysees, the Arc was built to commemorate the fallen in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a soldier from the First World War lies underneath the arch along with the eternal flame which was lit to remember all the unnamed soldiers killed in that war and now also in World War II. Climb to the top to experience wonderful panoramic views of Paris.
Monday to Sunday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm
The Avenue de Champs Elysees is 2km long and full of shops, restaurants and more. It’s great to walk day or night. Catch a dance troupe or buskers performing on the street as you go.
Home to many famous masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo etc, it also has collections from all over the world. 6 million people visit here every year. It’s closed on Tuesday. Many people head across the river on this to visit the Museum d’Orsay so try not to as it will be too busy. It’s free for EU citizens who are under 26 and all u18s. This is also true for most museums in Paris.
Monday to Sunday (excluding Tuesday) 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
The Louvre is free to enter for under-18s and members of the EEA (EU, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein), as well as the unemployed and disabled.
The museum is free to enter for all on the first Sunday of the month.
On the left bank of the Seine is a must visit museum housed in a former train station. The museum is famous for its collections of impressionist artists such as Monet and Van Gogh.
Tuesday/Wednesday 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday 9:30 am – 9:45 pm
Friday - Sunday 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
The Museum D’Orsay is free to enter for under-18s and members of the EEA (EU, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein), as well as the unemployed and disabled.
The museum is free to enter for all on the first Sunday of the month.
This is a little know museum near the Eiffel Tower. It is a museum of Sewers. You can visit a section of the underground sewerage system. Fascinating, if a little smelly.
Monday - Wednesday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday/Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuileries Garden is a fantastic public garden located near the Louvre Museum. It's a peaceful park in the middle of a hectic city with restaurants, cafes, fountains, sculptures and a beautiful Ferris Wheel from where you can enjoy views of the Champs Elysees and The Eiffel Tower. This is especially impressive at night.
On the south of the Seine is Le Jardin du Luxembourg, where the Luxembourg Palace is. It's a really beautiful place to walk around and enjoy the views. The park is very peaceful and a welcome break from the hectic city. If you have kids they can rent little sail boats in the pond.
Twenty metres underground of Paris are the Catacombs; the final resting place for over six million Parisians. Bones were transferred here from surrounding cemeteries which were overflowing. The tunnels were originally quarries. The Catacombs stretch for miles, however only a small portion is open to the public. There are only 200 people allowed down at any one time. The tour takes around 45 minutes.
Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 8pm
When in Paris you have to try a crepe with nutella, banana, jam or many other fillings. They are delicious. Pick one up from a street vendor.
The Palace of Versailles is absolutely massive and crowded but don’t let this put you off seeing possibly the most beautiful residence in Europe. Built by Louise XIV, the French royal family resided here until the French Revolution in 1789. Get there early!
Low Season: 9:00am to 5:30pm
High Season: 9:00am to 6:30pm
Prices start at €15 and go up from there depending on what you want to do. There are shows, guided tours and exhibitions.
If you would like to download this guide to your phone, tablet or PC for use offline, click on the link below:
Make sure you attempt to Speak French. Say hello (Bonjour) and goodbye (Au Revoir).
Charles de Gaulle Airport
To the north east of the city. There are three terminals. Trains leave every few minutes from T3 to Gare du Nord and other stops in the city.
An hour and a half or so from Paris City Centre, this airport is used by Ryanair and other low cost carriers. You will have to get the shuttle bus to Port Maillot Station at €15 each way, pricey but the only realistic way of getting to the centre. The queue for the buses can be quite long.
Flight times to Paris
Dublin 1.5 hours | London 1 hour | Hong Kong 12 hours | New York 7.5 hours | San Diego 11.5 hours Sydney 20.5 hours
There are 7 main train stations in Paris serving different parts of Europe. Make sure you know which one you are arriving into.
There are 16 metro lines, look for the “M” sign. Trains are usually only 2-3 minutes apart. The lines are named according to the names of their terminal or destination stations. The lines are colour coded. There are also five commuter train lines onthe RER, A, B, C, D, and E. The Metro is very easy to use and costs around €1.70/$2 each way.
Get around on foot as much as you can, there is so much to see by walking, pop in and out of cafes, shops and famous buildings.
It wouldn’t be advised to rent a car for the city. It can be very difficult to get around.
It might be worth renting a scooter however as these can be great for getting around and are a lot of fun as well.
Paris is actually safer than most cities of its size. Pickpockets are definitely a problem however. Take care when on the Champs Elysees and when travelling on the metro. It’s always good practice to leave as many valuables and cash as you can in your safe in your hotel room. If not a money belt is a good idea.
Riots and unrest have been known to occur from time to time in Paris. The advice here is if you see anything kicking off, leave the area, and don’t stand around trying to take videos or photos.
You will see from time to time soldiers with machine guns walking around the city. These are part of an anti-terrorism strategy. Most large cities have terrorist threats hanging over them these days.
For women travelling alone on the metro at night sit in the carriage nearest the conductor. There can be gangs of young men hanging around the metro stations late at night so take care.
Crimes against women or tourists are for the most part crimes of opportunity, so don’t give criminals the opportunity to make you a statistic. Use common sense and be vigilant and you will be fine.
The European Health Insurance Card is valid here for citizens of E.U. member states. This will cover you in the case of an emergency but remember that you should still have health insurance as the EHIC will not cover everything.
The emergency number is 112.
Paris to Dublin - 1.5 hours
Paris to London - 1 hours
Paris to Hong Kong - 12 hours
Paris to New York - 7.5 hours
Paris to San Diego - 11.5 hours
Paris to Sydney - 20.5 hours