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Paris Travel Information

Paris - the very name conjoures up a multitude of images. Pavement artists in Montmartre's lively Place du Tertre, evening cruises down the majestic Seine under the famous bridges, dusty bookstalls along the Left Bank and Bohemian restaurants in the Latin Quarter - and you still haven't begun to describe this wonderful city!

Eiffel Tower

This is a city of romance, elegance, light and life, where you can promenade along the Champs Elysees at dusk or take in a razzle dazzle cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge, one of the many superb cabarets in town.

Whatever your style and whatever your budget, Paris has something to suit everyone, and is sure to delight you time and time again!

Please find below some helpful travel information regarding flights and travelling to Paris.

Paris Travel Information by Hessle Travel

Undoubtedly one of the world's great cities, France's capital has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of sights and attractions, from the iconic Eiffel Tower and world-famous Louvre to the dramatically Gothic Notre Dame and the swanky shops and cafes of the Champs-Elysees.

An amble within a 0.8km (0.5mls) radius of the central hub of the Place de la Concorde with its fountains and 3,000-year-old obelisk offers monuments, museums, grand boulevards, formal gardens such as the Tuileries, superb 18th-century colonnaded mansions and a plethora of cafe terraces where one can sit and watch the world go by.
And when you are tired of walking, river boats called "bateaux mouches" are a memorable way to see the city, particularly atmospheric at night. The snaking River Seine bisects the city, creating a left (Rive Gauche) and a right (Rive Droite) bank. The left (south) bank is synonymous with the arty Bohemians of the Latin Quarter, while the right (north) bank is associated with conservatism and commerce.

The city is divided into 20 districts called "arrondissements" – each with its own distinct personality – and is enclosed by the "Peripherique", or ring-road motorway. 2 million people live within this area, which is only a maximum of 12km (7.5mls) across, with another 8 million in the suburbs beyond.

In north-central France, 205km (128mls) from the sea at Le Havre. 298km (186mls) south of Calais. 14.5km (9mls) north of Orly international airport; 26km (16mls) south west of Charles de Gaulle international airport.

Straddling a loop in the River Seine at a historically convenient crossroads for trade.

There are around 1,500 hotels of all categories, from luxurious palaces to small family-run places. Prices are generally lower than in London but one of the great luxuries in Paris is space, so unless you are in a traditional palace, a room is likely to be small for its price.

Some self-catering apartments and aparthotels are featured by tour operators as an alternative to traditional hotels. Straightforward apartment buildings are usually referred to as "residences". However, some trendy small hotels include the word in their name when, in fact, they offer only normal hotel rooms.

Daytime: Sightseeing, art galleries and museums; strolling along the banks of the Seine with its beautiful bridges. A museum pass for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days allows unlimited visits to all 60 of the city's museums and monuments at reduced cost.

Nightlife: A densely packed, year-round schedule of festivals, theatre, ballet, opera, cinema and classical or pop concerts; old favourites such as the Moulin Rouge and Lido; wide choice of bars and nightclubs, mainly around St Michel, Pigalle and especially Les Halles; Bastille for music and piano bars.

There is a lively club scene and music from most parts of the world can be heard. Sophisticated nightlife doesn't get going until after midnight and on Saturdays traffic jams on the boulevards are quite common at 2am.

A bewildering range of restaurants with something to suit any taste or pocket; set menus represent particularly good value. Dinner in the evening is more of an event and correspondingly more expensive than lunch. National dishes, such as duck a l'orange and steak in Bearnaise sauce, are often found in British restaurants; for the more adventurous, there are snails and frogs' legs.

Healthy eating, however, seems to have passed the French by: sauces laden with butter and cream feature heavily, and popular desserts include rich chocolate mousse, creme caramel and pungent cheeses while patisseries sell exquisite pastries, from flaky croissants to tartes aux pommes (apple tarts). The best-quality ethnic cooking comes from the French regions, N Africa and Vietnam, reflecting the city's cultural mix.

Large, enticing department stores on both sides of the river include the traditional Bon Marche, the sophisticated Samaritaine and the sprawling Galeries Lafayette. Renowned fashionable shopping areas include the rue Faubourg Saint Honore, the Madeleine, the Left Bank and the Grand Boulevards.

The Golden Triangle, between the Champs Elysees and the Seine, is the most prestigious area with boutiques of the most chic designer names. For trendy boutiques look in the Marais, Place des Victoires and rue Etienne Marcel; it's also worth exploring the jazzy, middlemarket Forum des Halles shopping centre and innumerable small independent shops. Many street markets and at weekends sprawling flea markets (most fairly commercial) are found at points on the Peripherique.

Half day: River trips, day and night; panoramic bus tours, day and night; visits to famous cabarets.

Full day: Impressive Versailles chateau and gardens; Chartres; Disneyland Paris.

The incredibly efficient, frequent and reasonably priced Metro is augmented by express trains labelled RER (Reseau Express Regional), an efficient bus network, 2 suburban tramways and taxis. Several ways of securing advantageous fares are advertised at Metro stations and most tobacconists. A "carnet" of 10 Metro tickets offers significant savings.

A Paris Visite pass, valid for Metro, bus and RER trains for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days, is good value. Free maps of the public-transport systems are available at Metro stations. 15,000 taxis operate in the city, with fares considerably lower than in London. A frequent bus service operates between Charles de Gaulle airport and the centre.

The Eurostar terminal is situated at Gare du Nord.

Paris is cosmopolitan and urbane, and there is something here for practically everyone; it is particularly popular for romantic weekends throughout the year. The downside is the traffic, the hustling pace of life and the prices. Paris can be reasonable – with good housekeeping, but it is easy for expenditure to spiral out of control in the main tourist areas.

Getting There

Direct flights from most UK airports are available and with the launch of Eurostar services it heralded a whole new era of fast, comfortable rail travel options to Paris.

Travelling on the Continent at speeds of up to 186mph in air conditioned comfort, this is an exciting way to enjoy a seamless journey to Paris.

Getting Around
The Paris Metro, RER and bus services provide an excellent, frequent and good value way to see the city.
If you are not in a hurry take a bus and benefit from a sightseeing tour at the same time!

Must See
There's so much to see and do in Paris that we recommend planning your trip before you go.
Make sure you see all the major sights, but also visit the Latin Quarter in the streets around St Severin, stroll along the Seine between Pont de la Concorde and Notre Dame including the two islands, and visit the Tuileries Gardens and the Bois de Boulogne.

Must Do
Apart from sightseeing, Paris museums are a must. See the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, visit the galleries at the Musee d'Orsay or take the kids to the Science and Industry Museum at La Villette.
If you fancy a bit of shopping, Paris is the city for you - top boutiques are in rue du Faubourg St Honore and in St Germain, department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps are open Mon-Sat 0930-1830, or try the weekend flea market at Porte de Clignancourt.

Visit the many galleries of Paris

To Relax
Paris' cafe society is second to none, and the Cafe de la Paix in the Grand Hotel by the Opera is one of the most famous.
For restaurants, try the areas around St Germain, Montmartre or the boulevard du Montparnasse - look out for the 'Plat du Jour' and the Menu Prix Fixe for good value dining.
For a special occasion take in one of the famous cabaret shows.

Book your city break to Paris with Hessle Travel.

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