Paris, France

For some, planning a trip is a painful exercise and trying to package everything together is a tirelessly boring task. This is why some Travel Agents make huge profits, package it all up and sell it for a profit. But it really doesn’t have to be that way. There are many reasons why we decide to pack our bags and fly off somewhere, maybe for culture, warmth, sun, history or a once in a lifetime trip to tick that really cool thing off our bucket list. Just make sure you get the most value, not necessarily the cheapest deal.

TotalGuide is continuing to help millions of travellers per year get the most out of their trips and although there is already a huge amount of information on our website already, we thought it was best to try and help those who may be stuck for ideas on how to book a trip to Paris.

Start with Why?

With flights and transfers covering over 17,000 airports worldwide, travel has never been easier. You can literally pack your bags and book a flight to any one of earth’s 195 countries scattered over 7 continents. So why Paris?

For most visitors, Paris offers up a huge dose of culture as well as being visually stunning with delicious food. But there are other cities out there that give you to the same thing, so what is it about Paris that makes you want to go?

You’ll probably already know the answer to this question, but it’s an important one to ask. It’s so easy to see a great deal on a city break and jump at the chance, without giving it a second thought.

There are so many great things to do in Paris (Check out A TotalGuide of Attractions in Paris) but the Eiffel Tower, Mona Lisa at The Louvre and the grave of The Doors frontman Jim Morrison at Père Lachaise Cemetery are some of the most popular. 

Or it could be a romantic break where you are hoping to propose to that special someone, you will want it to be perfect. If you haven’t decided on a spot then can we suggest either the Pont-Alexandre-III bridge, Eiffel Tower or Tuileries Gardens? If you’d prefer to do it over dinner then head over to the TotalGuide of Restaurants in Paris to find the perfect restaurant or maybe overlooking Paris at sunset, if so check out the rooftop bars in our TotalGuide to Nightlife in Paris.

If you are planning a trip to Paris and you already know what you want to do then great, just make sure that you know how long it will take to see what you want to do. Que jumps or allocated times are really good so you don’t have to worry about wasting time lingering in mile-long queues (in the rain). 

Whatever your reason for booking a trip to Paris, you won’t be disappointed.

So, when?

It seems really obvious doesn’t it, you know what you want to do in Paris so book your cheap flights and pack your bags?

Sometimes timing is everything, but in Paris the weather is not really guaranteed. You could plan for August and it can rain or come in April and bask in glorious Parisian sunshine. 

If you are visiting the countless museums in Paris then timing isn’t a worry as almost all of the museums in Paris are indoors. 

But it is something to think about. We like to use the analogy of the Japanese blossom tree, it attracts millions of visitors per year but it’s only in bloom for two weeks in April, so if you want to see the blossom tree then you really only have a small window of opportunity to see it.

Plan and book ahead of time. You can check out weatherxxxxxx

Who’s Going?

Another important aspect to consider on your trip is who is going with you. A romantic break away as a couple will be totally different from a trip away with friends or family. Almost all of your trip will at some point revolve around who you with. From where you stay to where you eat for dinner, to what you want to see on your trip.

Couples will love Paris for its romantic feel and boutique hotels but friends or family breaks will also be a blast, just consider what options are available to you before you go. 

Foodies will love Paris and French food in general. Some of the best restaurants in the world are located in Paris so whether it be for a special occasion, a romantic dinner or a sophisticated soiree with friends, Paris has you covered.

Getting to Paris

By Air

Paris has 2 airports, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to the north and Orly (ORY) to the south. Both have excellent transport links to the city centre.

Major airlines that fly to both CDG and ORY include British Airways, EasyJet, Air France, Vueling, KLM, Lufthansa, SAS and Iberia. Click here to find flights.

For information on the best way to get to Paris from either CDG or ORY, please see below.

By Train

Paris can be accessed by train from many cities from within Europe to its main station Gare du Nord. Train travel can be inexpensive and it also saves you money on transfers from the airport as Gare du Nord is located within the city centre. You can find information, prices and timetables to Paris here.

If you are considering stopping off in Paris whilst travelling around Europe via train, then check the prices for an Interrail ticket as savings can be made on a weekly or monthly pass rather than individual ticket prices.

By Car

Driving in Paris isn’t recommended. The road system incorporates medieval roads, boulevards and frequent roundabouts without road markings. But if you are road tripping and are curious about Paris then we suggest you ditch your car as soon as you arrive and leave it there until you leave. For prices and car parks available on your dates head over to Parkopedia.fr for the best rates. 

Getting to Paris from Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport

The cheapest option is to get an RER Train. This route takes around 35 minutes and costs €10,30 per adult and €7,00 for children. You can buy your RER train ticket in advance here or by visiting the ticket office or ticket machine within the terminal. You can pay via cash or card in either. Trains run every day between 05:00 -12:00 departing every 5-15 minutes. 

If you are visiting the ticket office avoid TGV Intercity Tickets, this office only sells tickets for mainline trains. The ticket office you need will say Paris Tickets or Billets Paris.

Once you’ve bought your tickets lookout for signs reading vers Paris (To Paris) or RER B and the usual platforms 11&12 (voies 11&12)

For hotels within central Paris you’ll want to get off at either Châtelet Les Halles, St-Michel Notre Dame or Luxembourg but check which your hotel is closest to first.

The slowest option is the Roissy CDG shuttle bus which takes approximately 1hr 15 and costs €18,00. Drop off and pickups are from either the Eiffel Tower or Champs Elysées, you can pre-book your tickets for the shuttle bus to Paris here.

Taxis are the most convenient way of getting to Paris from Charles de Gaulle, especially after a long flight but you need to book ahead to save costs. Generally, taxis from CDG to Paris city centre will cost around €60,00-€70,00, do not pay anything more than that. You can book a taxi in advance here. The taxi company Uber also operates in Paris and offers slightly cheaper fares in less busy times but remember it can spike at busy times too.

Another option is to ask your hotel if they offer a free pick up from the airport. Some may arrange it for you on their local rates and some high-end hotels may provide it for free. It is worth asking before you book your transfers in advance.

Check times of your arrival first, RER trains and Busses do not run through the night

Getting to Paris from Orly (ORY) Airport

There are no direct RER trains from the terminal to Paris so you will have to take a short ride on the free Orlyval shuttle which connects the RER B train to Paris.

The RER train will take you to either Denfert-Rochereau, Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame or Gare du Nord stations and will cost €12,10 and take 25-35 minutes. Trains run frequently every 4-7 minutes from 06:00-23:35 every day. You can book your RER ticket in advance here.

You can jump on a bus to Paris from Orly and it will cost you €9,50. The bus departs outside Terminal 4 (door 47d at Bus Stop 5) and will take you to Denfert-Rochereau in 25-30 minutes. Buses run between 06:00 – 00:30 from the airport and they come every 8-15 minutes. You can take a transfer from Denfert-Rochereau to other parts of Paris either by metro or RER. You can buy your tickets from the OrlyBus ticket kiosks or book in advance here.

Alternatively, you can get to Paris from Orly via taxi. Generally, taxis from Orly to Paris city centre will cost around €35,00, do not pay anything more than that. You can book a taxi in advance here. The taxi company Uber also operates in Paris and offers slightly cheaper fares in less busy times but remember it can spike at busy times too.

Another option is to ask your hotel if they offer a free pick up from the airport. Some may arrange it for you on their local rates and some high-end hotels may provide it for free. It is worth asking before you book your transfers in advance.

Check times of your arrival first, RER trains and Busses do not run through the night

Where to Stay?

It’s mind-boggling having to look through search engines trying to find the best deal on hotel rooms in Paris and then checking Trip Advisor for the reviews, that’s why we cut out all the hard work for you.

Each and every hotel in our TotalGuide to Hotel Rooms in Paris has been personally approved by TotalGuide and there is a room in there to suit every budget.

Car Hire

Driving in and around the streets of Paris is not recommended. However, if Paris is only part of your journey and you would like to hire a car to explore other parts of France then it can be a very pleasant experience.

The Champagne regions of Reims and Epernay to the east are only 1hr 30 minutes away by car. A medium sized car would cost around XX for a 2 day hire through XX

Local Food

French cuisine is some of the best in the world so when in Paris you will not have to go far to find sumptuous, mouth watering food. 

There are a staggering 628 restaurants within France boasting at least one Michelin Star and Paris does not shy away from its fair share. There are 122 restaurants bearing a Michelin star in Paris, 10 of them having all three.

But good food isn’t all about a Michelin star and for some it is just an exaggerated waste of money. To get the low down on our picks for the best places to eat in Paris, whether you’re on a budget or want to splash to cash on Michelin starred dining then head over to A Total Guide to Restaurants in Paris

How much will it cost?

This, of course, depends on all the questions raised above, but we don’t want to leave you hanging so we’ve put together a guide below on costs for previous trips to Paris. 

Beware, Paris isn’t cheap.

Prices based on 2 persons for a 2 night weekend, excluding flights

3* Hotel –
Transfers from Airport –
Breakfast x 2 –
Lunch x2 –
Dinner x2 –
Eiffel Tower –
Catacombs –
Pere Lachaise Cemetery –
The Louvre –
River Seine Tour –

Total 

Use a currency conversion website here for a total cost in your country’s currency