Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
Any time of year! But since you have to make a choice, opt for summer, because the grey autumn and sometimes freezing cold winter can all the same impinge on your enjoyment.
Summer starts with the Fête de la Musique on 21 June, which is something special in Paris, and continues on 14 July, with the Bastille Day parade on the Champs-Élysées and the firework display around the Eiffel Tower. Up to mid-August, the capital is on holiday. Parisians take a break, and the parasols mushroom on the banks of the Seine, as Paris Plage invades the cobbles. It is hot and the café terraces get jam-packed. Note all the same that in August, many small shops and restaurants close for their annual holidays.
For all that, spring is not to be neglected. The mildness in the air often makes strolling about very pleasant. Pop your camera in your pocket and take to the streets, pausing along the way in the flower-decked parks and gardens.
Finally, before Christmas, Paris takes on a festive mood: the store windows of the grands magasins are decorated, Christmas markets come to town, the large avenues are illuminated…
Formalities and useful addresses
Paris Tourist Office – Several branches: 25 r. des Pyramides – 75001 Paris; 29 r. de Rivoli – 75004 Paris; 18 r. de Dunkerque – 75010 Paris (Gare du Nord); Pl. du 11-Novembre-1918 – 75018 Paris (Gare de l'Est); on the terrace, opposite 72 bvd Rochechouart – 75018 Paris
Paris Town Hall – 29 r. de Rivoli – Metro Hôtel-de-Ville – [TEL] 01 42 76 40 40
By plane – Paris Charles-de-Gaulle Airport and Paris Orly Airport – www.aeroportsdeparis.fr
By train – Several SNCF train stations operate trains to Paris: Gare de Lyon (12th arrondissement), Gare de Bercy (12th), Gare d'Austerlitz (13th), Gare Montparnasse (15th), Gare du Nord (10th), Gare de l'Est (10th), Gare St-Lazare (9th).
Most taxis are found near the train stations and main thoroughfares. There are also almost 200 taxi stands on main squares and close to metro stations, as well as 470 taxi stations indicated by a blue Taxi sign.
When a taxi is free, its TAXI sign is lit up (green); when it is occupied, the indicator light is dimmed (orange).
Single number – [TEL] 01 45 30 30 30. Connects you to the closest taxi station.
Vélib' – The formula is simple: you pick up a bike where you like and then park it at any one of the 1 800 stations in the capital and 30 bordering towns. Info: www.velib.paris.fr