Cole Porter wrote it and Frank Sinatra sang it: “I love Paris in the spring time, I love Paris in the fall, I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles, I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles”. We couldn’t have put it better: this is an exciting, vibrant and interesting city in any season. Bear in mind that many shops and restaurants close during August when their owners head off on holiday - though it does mean the city is relatively empty. Sales are on in January and June.
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PARIS: BY AIR
From the UK: carriers include British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, BMI, Flybe, TUI, Aer Lingus and Air France.
Within Europe: try Vueling, Ryanair, Air France, easyJet, Eurowings and Fly SAS.
From the USA: XL Airways France and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
By train from the UK: The Eurostar whisks you straight into Paris Gare du Nord from London St Pancras and Ashford.
Don't even think about driving around Paris; street parking is metered and limited, and carparks cost upwards of EUR 20/day.
ON FOOT: This is the best way to see Paris. Our hotel reviews indicate approximate walking times from each hotel to the nearest sites of interest.
BY METRO: The 14 lines are open from 05.30 until 00.30-ish, and a carnet of 10 tickets – also valid on buses – is good value at around EUR 10. For longer stays, you can invest in a Pass Navigo which can be topped up at any station.
BY RER (express rail): Handy for longer journeys, especially from the airports to city centre.
BY BUS: Slow in rush hour but above ground for views. Services slow after 6.30pm, but some night buses run. Pay with coins or using a ticket from your carnet (above). See the RATP website to plan your metro/bus trip, buy advance tickets etc.
BY TAXI: Not too pricey, but often hard to hail on the street (look for a white roof light, or ask your hotel to book one). There are always taxis at Gare du Nord, if arriving by Eurostar.
OTHER: There are also bateaux-mouches (tourist boats) plying up and down the Seine; a funicular and a local minibus service in Montmartre; and two suburban tram lines.