World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > France > Paris

Paris Weather


Local time Paris


Getting around Paris

Public transport

Public transport in Paris is plentiful, relatively easy to understand and (when compared to other capital cities) pretty good value for money. The Paris Metro serves most tourists’ needs. Stops for the main sights and attractions are clearly signposted. Free transport maps are available at Paris metro stations, bus terminals and tourist offices and are usually available as leaflets at most hotels.

To link it all together, there’s the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) (tel: 3424, in France only; an integrated, five-zone system of bus, metro and trains that is both cheap and efficient (except during strikes, which are something of a national hobby). ‘Paris Visites’ offer one-, two-, three- and five-day visitor passes for Paris and its immediate suburbs (zones 1-3), which can include transport to the airports, Versailles and Disneyland Paris (zones 1-5).

For the Paris Metro, one ticket covers one journey, whether you travel for one stop, 20 stops, change trains or fall asleep and wake up at the end of the line. The one great failing, however, is the relative lack of lifts or escalators and the narrow ticket barriers. Trying to get around with prams, suitcases, crutches or wheelchairs is a challenge that you might decide you’d rather skip.

If you know that you’ll be making several journeys on the Metro, you can save money by buying a carnet (a batch of 10 tickets) instead of paying for each ticket one by one.


Taxis in Paris can be hailed in the street or caught at taxi ranks. Tipping is not compulsory but drivers expect around 10%. Taxi firms include Taxis Bleus (tel: 3609, in France only) and Taxis G7 (tel: 3607, in France only; +33 1 4127 6699).


As with most major cities, driving in central Paris is usually more trouble than it’s worth. Most hotels do not have garages, parking is difficult (illegally parked cars are towed away) and traffic jams are frequent. Parking prices vary throughout the city but high and time limited. Besides, with the combination of taxis and public transport, there’s really little need for you to battle the roads yourself.

Paris has an environmental zone within the urban motorway ring road (Boulevard périphérique). It is obligatory for all motorists (also from abroad) to have an emission sticker (Vignette Crit'Air) on the vehicle when driving within the environmental zone.

Car hire

To hire a car in Paris you’ll need to have a credit card, be over 21 (sometimes over 25) and have held your licence for at least a year.

Major companies include Budget (tel: +33 821 230 637;, Europcar (tel: +33 825 358 358; and Hertz (tel: +33 1 4191 9525;

Bicycle hire

Vélib’ (tel: +33 1 3079 7930; is Paris's city-wide bike hire service. The first half hour is free, with low charges thereafter. The 1,800 stands mean you are never more than 300m (1,000ft) away from picking up one of the 23,600 bikes. And besides, is there anything more romantic than seeing Paris by bike?

Browse our Video Guides

Related Articles

City Highlight: Paris

Even if you’ve never been to Paris, you probably have a mental image of it - such is the effect this magical city has had on the world

The best of France

It’s hard not to be enthralled by France – a destination of unrivalled discoveries that’s sure to transcend your every expectation

Featured Hotels


Hotel Dupond Smith

This lush Marais bolthole isn’t obscenely overpriced but will leave you feeling pampered and prepped to take on the area’s myriad coffee stops and macaroon shops. Its furniture is by Phillipe Starck and its wallpaper by Hermes. Sleek and stylish, make sure you dress the part for this classy Parisian hotel.

Ritz Paris

Situated on one of the smartest squares in the city, the Ritz Paris is the capital’s most celebrated hotel and is the very essence of luxury and discretion. The lobby gleams with marble, chandeliers and impressive floral arrangements from designer Djordje Varda, while the oriental carpets, soft to the touch, soak up the sound. It has a magnificent swimming pool and fitness room, as well as a health spa.

Hôtel Arvor Saint Georges

Owner Nadine Flammarion has taken a fresh and fun approach to interior design with bright white walls and splashes of colour bringing out the atmosphere at Hôtel Arvor Saint Georges. Novels, deckchairs and striking art prints contrast with the otherwise Spartan approach. Arvor has 24 rooms and six suites and the location makes it perfect for strolling through Montmartre and soaking up some creative inspiration.

Hôtel Darcet

Hotel Darcet offers 32 modern and comfortable rooms right in the heart of Paris. Perfect for travellers and business people alike, the prices are also very reasonable. The hotel is also conveniently located just a 10-minute walk to Saint-Lazare station.


Hôtel Banke

A new addition to the Derby Hotel chain, Hôtel Banke is a refurbished bank found in the desirable Opera district in Paris. The lobby’s grandiose circular interior, capped with a crystal-domed ceiling, gives way to thickly carpeted hallways and designer sofas. Both single and double rooms are modern and pleasingly functional. The trendiness factor borders on gauche, but with this location who cares.

Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg

The wonderful Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg is a renovated 18th century mansion that feels effortlessly like a Parisian town house. Styled by the illustrious Didier Gomez, the rooms in this 5-star hotel are tastefully finished with Louis XV armchairs, vintage mirrors and beds you can imagine libertine lovers losing whole weekends in. Lunch and cocktails in the hidden courtyard terrace are a must too.