Getting to Paris, France

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The city of Lights is full of different means of transport to allow you to reach it and move around it. With flights arriving there from 10€ to 15€ within Europe or 25€ from the UK, or by high speed train starting at 20€, or buses from 15€ from European countries. Moving around Paris is simple using the Metro Network with tickets from 2€, bikes from 5€ per day, taxis from 7€.

Paris Key Information

Bridge Alexandre III

Paris is the second most visited city in the world and it has welcomed 19 million people in 2019. The city of lights is home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the world such as the the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur (The Basilica of the Sacred Heart), the Versailles Palace, the Louvre Museum, Disneyland Paris, and many more.

Often, tourists find themselves caught in large strike waves while enjoying their trip to Paris. As such, it is highly recommended to have backup plans when moving around or getting to the city. In the event of a strike, it is likely that the metro and the bus system will get paralyzed. Consider alternative means of transportation, taxis, private transfers, or even bikes and kick scooters (called trotinettes).

When driving any type of motorcycle, wearing a helmet is required for all.

Arc of Triumph

English is not widely spoken in France. It is heavily recommended to learn helpful and basic sentences as well as the basics in politeness. When entering any type of store or taxi, it is always important to greet the staff or the driver with a "Bonjour" (Hello), "Merci" (Thank you) and "Au revoir" (Good bye).

Parking your car in Paris can be both difficult and expensive. From Monday to Saturday, from 9am until 8pm, parking your car will cost you 4€ per hour in the center of Paris or 2.40€ per hour in the suburbs. The parking spot is paid at the parking meters using the "Paris Carte" (which can be obtained from any tobacco shop), a credit/debit card, or the Pay-by-Phone application. The machine will then issue you a ticket, which needs to be placed prominently on your windshield. Payment for parking on public roads is limited to 2 hours. Parking at the same location is limited to 6 hours.

The tricky part

Paris Metro

The metro in Paris does not operate in the middle of the night and the system shuts down at about 12:30am. All lines resume their operations at 5:30am. Thankfully, The "Noctilien" buses operated by RATP go around most areas of Paris during the night, from 12:30am until 5:30am with rates from 2€. Route Maps and Timetables are available online.

Tipping is always a question mark when going abroad. Although it is not required in France, it's always appreciated if the service provided was great!

While Paris is considered to be a safe city to stroll around in, it is important, as always, to remain aware of your surroundings. Pickpockets sometimes go around crowded and popular spots and tourists are especially targeted, keep your belonging close to yourself.

Some suburbs in Paris are also better left unvisited, especially the "cités". Cités are neighborhoods in which crime tends to be somewhat more prevalent and may not be the safest place for tourists.

Getting to Paris

Paris is gifted with great domestic and international transportation infrastructures. The many Airports, railway stations and of course roads will let you arrive quickly and easily in the city.

Paris has 2 major airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly both about 10km away from the city center, and a smaller one, Beauvais airport, about 60km away and mainly used by low-cost airlines. Charles de Gaulle and Orly are connected to Paris by the RER trains (a ticket costs about 10€).

There are 7 major railway stations in Paris, connecting all of France as well as several major European cities and capitals, including London, Amsterdam, Brussel, Luxembourg, Munich, Milan, Zurich, Barcelona, and many more. Train tickets tend to be more expensive than some low-cost airlines.

There are many bus routes going from and to Paris and the costs are usually low. Buses are a great option if saving money comes first and if flying isn't an option. Blablabus/Ouibus and Flixbus are popular coach services options.

Taxis are not allowed to directly pick up passengers near airports, queues are dedicated to this, look for the nearest one.

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Map from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris

By Car

Getting to Paris by car is very easy as the city is very well connected to the rest of France and Europe. On the other hand, circulating within Paris is much more difficult and parking is expensive (about 25€ per day), not to mention the constant traffic jams. Toll costs will vary greatly depending on the route and can be calculated on the Autoroutes website belonging to the professional association of motorways and roads.

  • From London: the estimated journey time is 6 hours going through the Channel Tunnel by car train, in Folkestone in the UK to Calais in France. There are 60+ crossings per day, tickets cost about 55€ and can be bought in advance via Eurotunnel. Once arrived in Calais, get on the A16 going through Amiens, all the way to Paris. The estimated toll fare is 20€.
  • From Brussels to Paris: the estimated journey time is 3 and a half hours, via the E19, A2, and A1 highways. The estimated toll fare is 15€ for a sedan.
  • From Lyon: the estimated journey time is 5 hours, via the A6 highway. The estimated toll fare is 30€ for a sedan.
  • From Nantes: the estimated journey time is 4 hours, via the A11 highway. The estimated toll fare is 35€ for a sedan.
Driver at Place de la Vendome

The Frugal Option

Flixbus France

Blablabus (an SNCF company, also formerly known as Ouibus) and Flixbus are popular bus companies in Europe and they offer great coverage in France with their many bus routes. With 5 buses departing daily:

  • From Lyon: tickets cost about 15€ for a 6 hour trip with the earliest bus departing at 5am and the last one departing at 11pm.
  • From Nantes: tickets cost about 15€ for a 6 hour trip with the earliest bus departing at 7am and the last one departing at 4pm.
  • From London: tickets cost anywhere between 15€ and 30€ with an estimated journey time of 10h. First service is at 7am and the last one at 11pm.
  • From Brussel: tickets cost about 10€ to 15€ and the trip lasts about 4h. First service is at 9am and the last one at 8pm.

Flixbus France

International flights within Europe tend to be quite cheap and Paris is no exception.

  • From London: fares rank between 25€ and 45€ (1 hour flights).
  • From Brussel: prices are a bit higher with the lowest rates around 280€ (1 hour flights).
  • From Rome: the lowest fares start at 25€ (2 hours flight time).
  • From Madrid: fares start at 25€ but prices can go as low as 11€ (2 hours flight time).

The RER B is the cheapest option to reach Paris from either CDG or ORY. Tickets can be bought at ticket machines / ticket booths at the terminal. From Charles de Gaulle, an RER ticket costs 10€ and it takes less than 1h to arrive in the city centre with trains every 15 minutes from 4:50am to 11:50pm.

If you are landing at Orly Airport, first get aboard the OrlyVal shuttle train and then transfer onto the RER B train at Antony train station. The journey time to Paris is estimated to 30 minutes and the total fare is 12€ (Orlyval + RER). The RER B runs from 6am to 11pm between Orly and Paris.

High Speed Train to Paris

Using the train network by SNCF (France's National Railway company) is also an option, although it tends to be (much) more expensive than flying there if you don't book in advance (at least one month before the date of your ride) or for journeys during the low season.

It is recommended to arrive at least 1h before the train's departure as the train's doors are closed 30 minutes before departure (10 minutes for Business Premier passengers).

  • From London: the lowest fares are around 60€ to 80€ (high season) and 50€ to 60€ (low season) with a journey time estimated around 2 hours with Eurostar.
  • From Brussels: the lowest (and usual) fare is 30€ to 35€ (high and low season).
  • From Barcelona: Usually operated in conjunction with Renfe (Spain's national railway company), fares range from 65€ to 90€ and the journey time is estimated to be anywhere between 6h30 to 9h, depending on correspondences.
  • From Rome: the lowest fares hover around 200€+ (high season) and 160€ to 200€ (low season). The journey time is estimated to 12 hours with correspondences in Rome, the Cisalpino in Milan, and the Lyria TGV in Switzerland to Paris.
Rides to Paris starting at $62

Private Transfer Options

Prebooking a professional driver to help you get to your destination may be the best choice when opting for comfort and ease of use. Mozio's local pre-checked partners offer a wide range of options for all budgets and number of passengers.

  • From either CDG or Orly Airport to downtown Paris, prices start at 55€ for either a private sedan or van, 65€ for a private SUV, or 195€ for a private bus.
Private Transfers starting at $62
Private Drivers in Paris

The Mozio Recommendation

Flights can be especially cheap in Europe and many low-cost companies operate many different domestic and international routes. When coming to Paris from Europe, we highly recommend taking a plane for both their affordability and the very short journey time.

You can also hop on a taxi, Uber, or book a private ride for the last mile to reach your destination, even if it is at a higher fare. Taxis from CDG airport to Paris are calculated at a flat rate and cost 55€. An Uber from CDG to the center of Paris costs about 45€. Taxis from Orly airport to Paris are also calculated at a flat rate and cost 35€. An Uber from Orly to the center of Paris cost about 38€.

If you are landing in Beauvais Airport, use their shuttle bus to quickly arrive right at the Eastern entry of Paris, just a kilometer away from the Arc de Triomphe with a fare of 15€ for adults and 10€ for children (free for children younger than 4 years old). Taxi from Beauvais airport are more expensive calculated at a flat rate of 170€. Fares get higher at night (after 7pm) and a ride will cost 210€.

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Grand Palais

Moving AROUND Paris

Metro and Trains in Paris

Metro, Buses, RER (Express Regional Network), tramways, taxis, bikes, car rentals, scooters, etc... Moving around in Paris is easy with widely available public transportation. Alternate means of travel include bike rentals and the "Vélib", Paris' bicycle sharing system, as well as the newly popular electric scooters booked through apps.

The Frugal Option

Ticket T+

The cheapest way to get around Paris is by using the public transportation system. This includes the metro, buses, RER, and tramway, as well as the Montmartre funicular.

The T+Ticket. Priced at 2€ and bought directly from RATP points of sale, counters, and ticketing machines located neat the metro, bus, and tramway stations, as well as some catering areas for TGV lines. This ticket will let you get on any transportation method. To use the ticket just validate it before hopping into your transport and use it for the next two consecutive hours on the metro and RER network (from the first validation) and for 1:30 hours on the bus and tramway network (between the first validation and the last validation). Each time you need to switch between the bus or tramway, you must re-validate your T+ ticket.

RER Station at CDG Airport

If you're staying for a longer period, getting the "Paris Visit" travel card will allow you to ride freely on the public transportation system as many times as you wish. Rates vary depending on the duration of your pass:

  • For 1 day 12€ for adults and 6€ for children (under 12 years old). For the Greater Paris area (suburbs and airports), the fare is 25€ for adults and 12€ for children.
  • For a 5-day Paris visit card, the fare is 38€ for adults and 19€ for children. For the Greater Paris area, the fare is 65€ for adults and 32€ for children.
  • The Paris Visit travel card can be bought at ticket counters and through ticket vending machines in all RATP stations, or online from Paris's Official Website.

Metro

With its 302 metro stations, every location in Paris is accessible within a 5-minute walk from a station.

Paris' Metro operates from 5:30am to 12:30am, from Sunday to Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, but also for days preceding holidays, the metro closes at 1:40 am. With metros every 2 minutes during peak hours, and every 5 minutes outside of them and every 10 minutes at night. Taking the RER/subway may prove quicker during rush hours as traffic jams are likely to happen.

Typical Art Nouveau Metro Entrance

Bus

The bus system usually runs from 7am to 8pm during the week with frequencies and schedules varying depending on the line and route but accessible through the RATP site. Buses usually run every 10 to 15 minutes on the main lines. It should also be noted that some bus lines may not operate on Sundays and holidays.

Tramways

The tramway lines run outside of the city's core and are simply an alternative to the metro system between early in the morning until 11pm or 12:30am depending on the line.

Bikes

The "Vélib", a large-scale public bicycle sharing system in Paris. About 15.000 bicycles are available in the 1.000+ stations scattered all over the city and its surroundings.

1-day and 7-days passes are available for purchase on Velib's website:

  • The 1-day pass costs 5 € for 1 bike, up to 15€ for 5 bikes at the same time.
  • The 7-days pass costs 15€ for 1 bike, up to 75€ for 5 bikes at the same time.

For both passes, a 1€ additional fare is charged for an electric bike, and additional charges will be incurred for rides longer than 30 minutes.

Many bike rental shops, such as eCityBikes and Holland Bikes, also operate in Paris. Most businesses will offer 1-day bike rental options for about 20€. It is to be noted that Paris may not be so bike-friendly. Using a bike can even be dangerous because of the very intense traffic.

Velib Sistem in Paris

Scooters (Trotinette)

You will find that many scooters are available just about everywhere in Paris. Lime, Bird, Flash, Bolt, Hive, Voi, Wind, and Tier are some popular brands that operate in the capital.

To get on a scooter, simply download the scooter's company app. Enter all the needed information, pay, and you're all set! Picking up a scooter usually costs 1€ and about 15 cents for each minute of usage.

Note: It is illegal to use scooters on the sidewalks in Paris. Getting caught by the police while riding on the pavement will result in a 140€ fine or more.

Taxis and Rideshare Apps

Parisian Taxis

Taxis are widely available in Paris, they can be spotted with a "Taxi Parisien" sign on top of the car. Waiting for a taxi near a taxi stand (look for the blue taxi signs) may prove quicker than hailing one in the street. Taxis do not always accept cards so have cash available. You can also call 01 45 30 30 30 to request information on the nearest taxi terminal.

The minimum fare for a taxi is 7€. You will be charged an additional 3€ for more than 4 passengers and 1€ for every extra piece of luggage exceeding two.

Prices are calculated by the kilometer at 1.10€ between 10am and 5pm on weekdays. Between 5pm and 10am and during weekends, the cost per kilometer is 1.40€.

Ridesharing apps such as Uber are widely available in Paris with reasonable fares. A 3km ride, from the Louvre museum to the Eiffel tower, costs 12€. A 10km ride, from one edge of the city to the other, costs 30€.

Are Rideshare & TaxiApps Readily Available In Paris?

  • Uber

    Uber

    Available
  • Bolt

    Bolt

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  • G7

    G7

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  • LeCab

    LeCab

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  • Lyft

    Lyft

    Not Available
  • Cabify

    Cabify

    Not Available
  • Grab

    Grab

    Not Available
  • FreeNow

    FreeNow

    Not Available
  • GoJek

    GoJek

    Not Available
  • Didi

    Didi

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Car Rental Options

There is a car rental office for about every kilometer in Paris. There you will find popular car rental companies such as Sixt, Enterprise rent-a-car, and Thrifty. Paris' Charles De Gaulle airport offers a wide range of car rental options, available in both terminals 1 & 2. These include but are not limited to EuropCar, Sixt, Hertz, Enterprise rent-a-car, and many more. You will also find the popular brands in Orly: Hertz, Sixt, EuropCar, and Thrifty all have offices in the airport. Beauvais has a more restricted number of options. Still, Sixt, Avis, and a few more have their offices set up in the airport.

Renting a vehicle can cost anywhere between 150€ for 1 week of car rental during the high season, and 100€ during the low season.

The minimum age required to drive and to rent a car is 18 years old. It is to be noted that some companies may have age restrictions set to 21 years old and sometimes more, and additional fares may also apply to younger drivers. It is highly recommended to check all these details when planning your journey to Paris with the different agencies.

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Day Trips Around Paris

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris

By train to the Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy train station, situated just 2 minutes away from the amusement park. Free shuttle buses connect the station to the Disney hotels as well.

  • From Charles de Gaulle airport, you may either take either a direct TGV train to Marne-la-Vallée station, or get on the RER B train to Paris, and then switch to the RER A at the Chatelet Les Halles station, all the way to Disneyland.
  • From Orly airport, also get on the RER B train to Paris, and then switch to the RER A at the Chatelet Les Halles station, all the way to Disneyland.

Pro Tip: buy both the tickets for your arrival as well as your departure, at closing time the lines are long for buying train tickets directly at the park's station. Leave your shopping at the Disney Village for the last minute, shops remain open late and this helps you avoid the crowded first few trains departing the parks towards Paris.

Shuttle bus services running daily between the park and CDG and Orly airports are available from 23€ for adults, 10€ for children, and for free for babies of less than 2 years.

Disneyland Paris

Prebooked through Mozio, many local partners offer private rides on different types of vehicles depending the number of passengers from and to Disneyland Paris.

  • From Charles de Gaulle: prices start at 65€ for a sedan, 85€ for a van, 75€ for an SUV, and 200€ (12 passengers) for a private bus.

  • From Orly: prices start at 75€ for a sedan, 100€ for a van, 75€ for an SUV, and 215€ (12 passengers) for a private bus.

  • From Beauvais Airport: prices start at 150€ for a sedan, 165€ for a van, 200€ for an SUV, and 425€ (12 passengers) for a private bus.

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Versailles

Parks of Versailles

Versailles is most famous for its royal palace and gardens built under king Louis XIV, classified as a historical monument and UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the second most visited monument in Paris's region Ile de France, second only to the Louvres Museum.

Getting to Versailles is easily done by train. From Paris, the RER C will directly take you to the Palace of Versailles in just 1 hour for 7€ the round-trip. The Palace itself is just 10 minutes away from the metro station

From CDG, the RER B & C will take you to Versailles the fastest. The journey time is estimated to 1h30. Get aboard the RER B in Paris and then switch to the RER C at Saint Michel / Notre-Dame station, toward Versailles Rive Gauche - Chateau de Versailles. A round-trip journey costs 24€.

Prebooked through Mozio, a number of professional drivers can take you to Versailles.

  • From Charles de Gaulle: prices start at 70€ for a sedan, 75€ for a van, 100€ for an SUV, and 225€(12 passengers) / 645€ (30 passengers) / 840€ (53 passengers) for a private bus.

  • From Orly: prices start at 55€ for a sedan, 75€ for a van, 55€ for an SUV, and 265€(20 passengers) / 545€ (30 passengers) / 740€ (55 passengers) for a private bus.

  • From Beauvais Airport: prices start at 125€ for a sedan, 145€ for a van, 165€ for an SUV, and 465€ (12 passengers) / 670€ (30 passengers) / 865€ (55 passengers) for a private bus.

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Loire Valley

Loire Valley

Known as the Garden of France, the Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that enchants visitors with fairy-tale like castles, exquisite gardens, charming towns, and unforgettable wine.

Loire Valley is not just one place, rather it’s a region along the Loire River which spans 170 miles, so before discussing how to get Loire Valley, you must first know which castles you want to see and where you will base yourself.

The main cities people stay in when exploring the Loire Valley are Tours, Amboise, Blois, and Orleans. Here are the closest châteaux near the cities mentioned above.

If you are looking to visit the four C’s (Chaumont; Chambord; Cheverny, Chenonceau) which are the most popular châteaux, it is recommended to stay in Blois. It’s also convenient to start from Blois if you are considering doing a day trip to Loire Valley from Paris, as you can see at least 2 of the popular castles.

Chambord Castle at the Loire Valley

The fastest way to get from Paris to the Loire Valley is by train. France is well connected by a network of trains which are both efficient and fast (TGV). You can purchase tickets in advance online on the official website. It is highly recommended to book well in advance to get the cheapest price. Prices can be as low as €10 or as high as €90.

  • Tours: The fastest train from Paris takes about 1:15 hours and departs from Paris Montparnasse train station daily. Most trains terminate at St. Pierre de Corps, where you get off and take a five minute shuttle to Tours.
  • Blois: Direct trains from Paris Austerlitz train station leave daily and takes about 1:30 hours to reach Blois-Chambord station; while non-direct trains can take up to 2 hours.
  • Amboise: The average travel time from Paris Montparnasse train station is about 2:22 hours, however, the fastest train only takes 1:21 hours.
  • Orleans: Trains heading to Orleans leave from either Paris Montparnasse or Paris Austerlitz. The trip takes a little over an hour on the fastest train.

Renting a car recommended: Freely explore the Loire Valley and all its castles and sceneries

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