Travel to Paris
Flying to Paris
Airlines operating direct flights to Paris from the UK include Air France, British Airways, CityJet, easyJet, Flybe and Ryanair. Given the competition, cheap flights to Paris can easily be found, although prices do peak during school holidays. Airlines offering direct flights from the USA to Paris include Air France, American Airlines, Delta and OpenSkies.
From London - 1 hour 20 minutes; New York - 7 hours 25 minutes; Los Angeles - 11 hours; Toronto - 7 hours 20 minutes; Sydney - 23 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).
Travel by road
Traffic in Paris drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18 years. Speed limits are 130kph (80mph) on motorways, 110kph (68mph) on dual carriageways, 90kph (56mph) outside built-up areas and 50kph (30mph) in built-up areas.
You must carry a national driving licence, the car's registration document and a red warning triangle at all times, or you are liable for a fine. EU nationals taking their own cars to France are strongly advised to obtain a Green Card, without which insurance cover is limited to the legal minimum.
All headlamp beams must be adjusted for right-side driving by use of beam deflectors or by tilting the headlamp bulb-holder.
Automobile Club Association (tel: +33 9 7040 1111; www.automobile-club.org) provides information and might offer reciprocal benefits to members of automobile clubs in other countries.
Emergency breakdown services
Auto Charonne Dépannage (tel: +33 1 4024 0329). On motorways, dial 112.
The Eurotunnel shuttle services (tel: +44 8443 353 535, in the UK; www.eurotunnel.com) allow cars and coaches to cross the Channel Tunnel (journey time - 35 minutes) from Kent in Southern England to Nord-Pas-de-Calais in Northern France. Alternatively, there are numerous daily sea crossings to France.
From Boulogne (near Calais), the A16 leads directly into Paris. The E19 motorway leads from Brussels into Paris (via the A2 and A1). Lille is linked to Paris via the A1. The N10 leads from Bordeaux to Paris, while from Marseille, drivers should take the A7 to Lyon, after which the A6 leads north to Paris.
The majority of international coaches arrive and depart from the main coach station, Gare Routière Internationale Paris-Gallieni, at Bagnolet, 20th.
Eurolines (tel: 0892 899 091, in France only or +33 1 4186 2421; www.eurolines.fr) runs coaches to numerous other cities within France and in other European countries.
Time to city
From Lille - 2 hours 30 minutes; Brussels - 3 hours 40 minutes; London - 6 hours; Bordeaux - 5 hours 45 minutes; Marseille - 7 hours 20 minutes.
Travel by Rail
Paris is well-connected to the rest of Europe by train and has several mainline stations.
Eurostar (tel: + 44 03432 186 186, in the UK; www.eurostar.com) runs high-speed services from London St Pancras station to Paris Gare du Nord.
SNCF (tel: 3635, in France only or +33 892 353 535; www.sncf.com) runs the national railway service, which is fast, efficient and generally reliable. A state-of-the-art high speed railway network (the TGV) spreads out from Paris to most major French cities, including Lyon and Marseille.
From London - 2 hours 25 minutes; Brussels - 1 hour 50 minutes; Nice - 5 hours 40 minutes; Lille - 1 hour; Marseille - 3 hours 35 minutes.
Travel by boat
The most convenient ports to Paris from the UK lie on France’s northern seaboard and include St-Malo, Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre and Dieppe.
Brittany Ferries (tel: +44 330 159 7000, in the UK; www.brittany-ferries.co.uk) operates services from Plymouth to Roscoff; from Portsmouth to St-Malo, Caen and Le Havre; and from Poole to Caen.
Condor Ferries (tel: +44 1202 207215, in the UK; www.condorferries.co.uk) operates from Poole, Jersey and Guernsey to St-Malo.
P&O Ferries (tel: +44 800 130 0030, in the UK; www.poferries.com) sail from Dover to Calais.
The best way for travellers to reach Paris from the ferry ports is by car or by rail. Journey time is at least three hours by car.