The French capital is instantly recognisable to frequent or first-time visitors with numerous historical and architectural landmarks. Paris is notorious for exquisite cuisine, chic boutiques and priceless artistic treasures. As one of the most popular locations to visit in Europe, Paris is an ideal destination for a short weekend break.
Most international airlines fly to Aeroport de Charles de Gaulle (CDG), 28km northeast of central Paris. In French the airport is commonly called ‘Roissy’ after the suburb in which it is located. Aeroport d’Orly (ORY) is 19km south of central Paris but, despite being closer than Charles de Gaulle, it is not as frequently used by international airlines.
Another option is catching the high-speed Eurostar train into Gare Du Nord from a number of European destinations including London and Brussels.
Getting around Paris is comparatively easy for a big city. Most visitors combine the efficient metro with walking. Buses offer a good view of the city, but can be hard to figure out and slowed by traffic. More tempting is the city’s communal bike-share scheme, Velib’.
Where to stay
Paris has a huge choice of accommodation, from hostels through to deluxe hotels, some of which rank among the world’s finest. Yet, although the city has in excess of 1500 establishments, you’ll still need to book well ahead during the warmer months (April to October) and all public and school holidays. It is a very compact city, so no matter where you decide to stay you’ll be able to get around the rest of town without too much trouble.
What to do
If there’s one thing that rivals Paris’s obsession with food it’s art, and over 200 museums pepper the city. With an illustrious artistic pedigree – Renoir, Rodin, Picasso, Monet, Manet, Dali and Van Gogh are but a few of the masters who lived and worked here over the years – Paris is one of the great art repositories of the world. In addition to big-hitting museums like the world’s largest, the Louvre, the Musse d’Orsay’s exceptional impressionist collection, and the Centre Pompidou’s cache of modern and contemporary art, magnificent venues host blockbuster temporary exhibitions, while scores of smaller museums house collections in every imaginable genre.
Eating out / Night life
Some cities rally around local sports teams, but in Paris, they gather around the table – and everything on it. Pistachio macarons, shots of tomato consomme, decadent bæuf bourguignon, a gooey wedge of Camembert running onto the cheese plate: food is not fuel in Paris, it’s much more.
Paris has a temperate climate which will be familiar to visitors from the UK and most of the north of Western Europe. Paris is famously beautiful in the spring, and the sprouting greenery, blossoms and flowers bring the city to life between March and May. Temperatures in the spring months climb to a comfortable 20°C but nights can still be chilly so bring a jacket and a sweater.
Destination Guide courtesy of FIA Formula E website.