5 Minute Guide to Paris
Paris, the city of love. Its mystique, beauty, and history are known throughout the world. It is a city filled with iconic monuments, arts and culture, and a thriving gastronomical scene. Paris stands as a symbol of romance, of hope, and of love. Here is a quick 5 minute guide to help you make the most of your time in the magical capital of France:
One of the most symbolic monuments in the world is the Eiffel Tower. Originally built in 1889 for Exposition Universelle as a radio transmitter, it now serves as a beautiful icon of the city. Ride to the top of the tower to see 360 degree views of the city or observe it sparkle during its nightly light show. The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris was constructed in 1163 and is one of the most impressive gothic cathedrals in the world. The museums in Paris deserve their own special mention. If you are an art lover, consider buying a Paris Museum Pass to easily visit the most renowned museums: the Louvre (home to the Mona Lisa), Musée d’Orsay, Musée Rodin, and the Arc de Triomphe, the ornate arch built by Napoleon.
Paris has an excellent public transportation system. The metro system, buses, and express commuter trains are easily accessible for tourists to take advantage of during their trip. It is a cost effective way to get around the city, while seeing how locals live. Grab a map from one of the stations or download the free RATP app so you are familiar with the lines and your options. You can pay for single tickets per ride or invest in a Paris Visite Pass. With this pass, you can ride freely on the metro, train, and buses, and it also includes entry to various popular tourist attractions in the city. For most outings, you will probably use one of the metro’s 14 lines for quick trips across the city. You can also use the train, which has fewer stops and quicker travel time between further stops. If you are planning on visiting Versailles or travelling to and from the airport, the easiest way is by the RER commuter train. You can also hop on a river cruise along the Seine and hop off at various spots throughout the city while enjoying the river views. With all of these public transportation options, make sure you also walk as much as your feet allow to really take in the magic the city exudes.
Make sure to be prepared for weather when planning your trip to Paris. Luckily, the weather is generally temperate year-round, although winter can get quite chilly. The best time to visit Paris is in spring (April-June) or fall (September-November), when the weather is pleasantly mild and the city is less crowded. July and August are lovely however they tend to be the worst for crowds, when local Parisians escape the city and tourists swarm. Watch out for travel in May, when the rainy season is strong.
The French, and especially the Parisians, are very proud of their language. The French spoken in Paris is called Metropolitan French and is considered the standard French dialect. Expect to hear French all day, every day with little in the way of English help. It is very important to speak basic French when visiting Paris, as it will make your trip a lot easier and more enjoyable!