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  Best Places to Visit in France
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      Paris Tourism



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                                      Tourist Paris  Arrondissements  Transportation   Money Matters   The French                                    Dining in Paris   Shopping Etiquette   How to Use Our Paris Guide



Paris Know-how      

To skip ahead to the Best Places to Visit in Paris  - click Explore Paris.






Paris Climate

Generally cool winters and mild summers.

Paris climate chart

Some things to know about the geography of Paris.

"Tourist" Paris is a narrow corridor along the Seine River. 

  • The Seine flows through Paris towards the Atlantic Ocean and cuts the “City of Light” into the Right Bank (Rive Droit) on the north and the Left Bank (Rive Gauche) on the south, both named for their sidedness along the course of the river as it flows to the Atlantic.

  • In addition to the Right and Left Banks,  the Île de la Cité and Île Saint Louis, two islands in the Seine, have enormous appeal for most tourists.

  • We label our attractions with an “R” for Right Bank, “L” to represent Left Bank and “IC” to indicate Île de la Cité.

  • If you did not click on the map symbol above, examine our        Paris Overview Map to familiarize yourself with the layout of Tourist Paris.

Paris is a city of arrondissements - neighborhoods

A key to understanding Paris is understanding the term “Arrondissement”. The twenty arrondissements in Paris are units of governance  that have neighborhood names (often, arrondissements include smaller more familiar areas) and are a basic part of postal addresses and location descriptions used to identify places in Paris.

  • When you book a hotel or look-up an attraction in a guidebook, the description will include the arrondissement of the location.
  •  Arrondissements are known by number and the numbering scheme starts with the 1st (1er) arrondissement located along the Seine (which, for example, includes the Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens, the Palais Royal, and Les Halles).
  • The remaining arrondissements spiral outwards from the first in a clockwise manner. We include the arrondissement as part of our description of all neighborhoods and attractions.
  • Some arrondissements are known by a “neighborhood” name or include neighborhoods that are end-destinations in themselves. 
  • Click here for a map and description of the arrondissements and neighborhoods of Tourist Paris. 



Click here to see our Paris Train Station Map, in case you will be arriving or departing by train.  If you use the zoom control and select hybrid as the map type, you will be able to see the detail of the streets and buildings surrounding the stations, as well as the stations themselves.

The best way to navigate Paris is to use the Metro, the city's efficient and relatively low cost public transportation system. For more information on taking the Metro in Paris, visit this site

See  for the Metro routefinder where you can calculate the correct route (which line to take or where to transfer)  and times to reach your next destination in Paris.  In addition, the site provides a printable map of the Metro Network and other information about the Metro.

The Metro's lines run on various schedules but start in the morning around 6 AM and end services at midnight or 1 AM depending on the line.  Be sure to check because if you miss the last train, it may be a long walk or an expensive cab ride back to your hotel.

Tickets are based on the zones that you travel and we recommend that you look into buying a Paris Visite Pass to discover Paris.  A three day adult pass with 1-3 zones (covers most of tourist Paris) per coupon costs €18.25 (more zone are available for a higher cost).  To determine how many zones fit your needs, compare the places that you want to travel to against the Zone Map (found at the website mentioned above).

By the way, the pass is based on calendar days and the day you buy it is the first day.  You can purchase the Paris Visite at all Metro stations, RER (rail)offices and at the  Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports.

If you prefer to walk tourist Paris, consider purchasing the ticket known as the "t".  It provides  access to the  Metro, RER (train) and RATP (bus) network in Paris and runs about  €1.40 per ticket. You can buy a book of ten (a carnet) for €10.70.  Each ticket is good for a one-way trip within the borders of Paris, making it convenient to walk to an attraction and take public transit back to your next stop, if the distance is too great.

Taxis in Paris are expensive and should be used only when convenience or safety outweighs economics. Remember, the Metro shuts-down around midnight.  In addition, the Metro can get rowdy on weekends or late a night and you might want to consider taking a cab if you will be out late.

  • Taxis are in service when the sign on the roof is uncovered.
  • Taxis are available for hire when the sign on the vehicle's roof is illuminated.
  • The pick-up charge is 2€
  • There are supplemental charges for additional luggage
  • There is a minimum charge of €5.20.  If the distance charge, pick-up charge and supplemental charges are less than €5.20, the driver may legally request this amount.

When arriving at the airport with a companion: it is often cheaper to take a taxi into Paris than to buy two tickets on the airport bus.  Further, if you take the airport bus, you will likely need to take a taxi from the bus station to your hotel.


Money Matters

France is a participant in the European Economic Union and has adopted the Euro as its currency (€). 

Paris is awash with ATM's and this is usually the easiest way to buy currency. See our article on Buying Currency for some helpful tips

The French

First, remember that the French are proud of their country, culture, language, history and arts. Next, the normal demeanor of a Parisian is one that is "reserved.  Don't take this personally, it has nothing to do with you, it is just the way of the French.

Contrary to an opinion held by many travelers, we have found Parisians and the French, in general, to be good hosts and helpful to visitors. Of course, it pays to be polite and to try to use as many French terms as possible during conversation. Before starting ANY conversation use "Bonjour" or the appropriate phrase for the time of day. The French regard this introduction as a requirement for initiating a conversation. Adding “s'il vous plait" to the end of any request is also helpful. It is always a good idea to take a phrase book with you or to print out a list of everyday terms from one of the many Internet sites that specialize in foreign language phrases for travelers.

Although you will find many restaurants provide a menu in English, it is also helpful to take a menu dictionary for those occasions when there in no English language menu and the server does not speak English.

If you are unable to speak any French, we urge you to learn few phrases and use them often. Not speaking the language is a problem when taking a cab (see our article on Taxis) and you might find that taking the Metro is a good idea since it does not require that you converse with anyone, simply that you have the correct change for a ticket and know the stop nearest to the location of interest. This leads to our recommendation to get a metro map and study the names of the transport lines and stops that will get you to your location. Each station is equipped with ticket vending machines that allow you to purchase one way or round trip tickets to your destination.

Dining in Paris

Dining in Paris is a late affair, as  Parisians generally dines later than most Americans dine. Eating a meal in France is designed to be a social time and they enjoy long, leisurely meals. Long meals. generally, are the way it is, so just go with the flow.  

Be prepared for courteous but leisurely service and note that complaining about the speed will not make it any quicker. You are in Paris, so enjoy the time spent eating. Talk with your travel companions, people watch, enjoy the meal, and bask in the ambiance of being in the City of Light.

Shopping Etiquette

In shops or restaurants, always greet the proprietor with a "Bonjour" when you arrive and a "Merci" when you depart. If you do so, your visit will be a lot smoother. The French are very proud of their language and expect visitors to know a little French.

About our Paris Guide

We have arranged the navigation of our guide entries for the best places to visit in Paris as follows

  • Along the Champs Elysées   
    • (Arc de Triomphe,  Avenue des Champs  Elysées, Palais de L'Eysées, The Grand Palais, and the Petit Palais)

    You can use the entry two ways:


  • You can click on the underlined location to go directly to a page containing descriptions of the area and all of the attractions listed. On that page, each of the attractions is described and a link is provided so that you can see the attraction's location within the area being described
  • Conversely, if you prefer, you can click on      and go directly to the map to see the location of the all of the attractions listed.  When using the map,  you can click on the numbered symbols identifying the attraction to link to the textual description of the location.

  • When you see this symbol near an attraction's name, click it to see an aerial view of the attraction.  The images are from Google and you can view Paris in satellite view, as a detail street map or with terrain as the background layer.  Of course, you can zoom these maps for more detail or roam with them simply by grabbing them with your mouse and pulling in the direction you want to see.


If you need information about another travel destination, try Googling our site or the Web


Click to read our guide to the best places to visit in Paris.





Paris is the Capital of France and is located in Île de France, a Region that includes seven other Départments (a unit of governance in France). In the past, Île de France belonged to the King and  epitomized “royal” France, whose excesses created some of today’s most cherished attractions.









Our maps provide street level detail for much of tourist Paris, but at the size of our pages we have not been able to show or name all streets. 

TIP: many hotels provide courtesy maps that have good coverage of  the major  tourist attractions in Paris.












Return to:  Top Tourist Areas in Paris




The  Best Places to Visit in Paris

Champs Elysées
Latin Quarter -Île de la

Eiffel Tower

Or consider Daytrips to
Versailles   Fontainebleau

Or return to Our Paris home page














































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