Paris Essentials:

How big is Paris?
Paris covers a surface area of 105 square kilometres, which is 0.02% of the French territory (549,000 square kilometres).
How many people inhabit it?
After the last census it was revealed that Paris has 2,125,246 inhabitants.
What are the language and currency?
Parisians have always spoken French. They used to spend Francs but that all changed in 2002 after the Euro was introduced.
  • Pompidou Centre
Pompidou Centre Metro Paris market Louvre Museum The Arc de Triomphe The Eiffel Tower in the distance Signpost for the famous Champs Elysees Surrounds of the Eiffel Tower Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Things to see in Paris

The Louvre
What is the number one tourist attraction in the French capital?
The Eiffel Tower, France’s most instantly recognisable landmark, is Paris’ most popular tourist attraction. Last year over 6,200,000 people got a lift to the first, second or top floor. This makes it France’s most popular tourist attraction also. It costs €4.10 for an elevator to the first floor, €7.50 to the second floor, while a ticket for an elevator going straight to the top costs €10.70.
Are there any other attractions that shouldn’t be missed?
One or two. The Champs Elysees is one of the world’s most famous streets (or boulevards to be precise) and it is overlooked by the emblematic Arc de Triomphe. Taking over 100 years to construct, Cathédrale de Notre Dame is another ‘must-see’. Paris is also where you will find some of the world’s finest museums. The best known of these is the Louvre, one of the world’s most famous art galleries and home to Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’. Modern art fanatics will enjoy the Museum of Modern Art in the Pompidou Centre. Museé d’Orsay is another of Paris’ best known museums.
On average, how much does it cost to get into Paris’ top attractions?
Well you already know that it costs €10.70 to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Museum admission charges range from €7.50 to €9.50. It’s free to wander the aisles of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and there are free guided tours every Wednesday and Thursday at 12 noon, and again on Saturdays at 2.30pm.
Anything else I need to know?
Plan your trip to Paris around the first Sunday of the month and you’ll save yourself loads on admission charges to the city’s top museums as they are all free.

Going out in Paris

The Eiffel Tower at night
Is it expensive to go out in Paris?
Unfortunately, socialising in Paris is an expensive past-time. A beer will cost you anything between €5-€6.
Where are most of the bars found?
Around Place de la Bastille is extremely lively after dark, as is the Montmartre district. Rue Etienne Marcel has lots of little bars and bistros, along with some young and funky shops. Worth checking out.
Is there anything to do that doesn’t involve alcohol?
Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle like a diamond! Every hour, on the hour, between 9pm and 1am it lights up and glitters for ten minutes, much to the delight of the hundreds watching. Another thing you can do is make your way down to Quai Saint Bernard along the banks of the River Seine. At the weekends hundreds gather at various places along the river to do the waltz and also salsa dance.
Any particular bars / clubs worth singling out?
Lush (16 Rue des Dames) is a small bar on the outskirts of the Montmartre district perfect for a few quiet drinks. Staff there are really friendly. Footsie (10-12 Rue Daunou) is where the price of drinks change according to supply and demand, just like stocks and shares! Le Galway (13 Grands Augustins) just across from the Notre Dame cathedral is like a piece of Ireland in Paris.

Eating Out in Paris

Montmartre
Is it expensive to eat out in Paris?
Dining out in Paris is just as costly as in Europe's other 'big' cities, London and Rome. Just like in both those cities also, it is sometimes cheaper to get snacks rather than sit down in a restaurant.
Where is the best selection of restaurants in the city?
Paris is a city renowned for its food and there are restaurants all over the city. The Left Bank has some great cafés and restaurants, as does Montmartre. Rue de la Huchette not far from the Notre Dame Cathedral is where to go for snacks.
Any restaurants I should keep my eyes peeled for?
Aux Delices de Shanghai on Rue St Martin across from the Pompidou Centre specialises in cheap Asian fare and Café Panis on Quai St Michel does great crepes at reasonable prices.

Transport in Paris

A Parisian metro station
How many different modes of public transport are there in Paris?
Three – bus, train (metro and RER) and taxi.
What’s the difference between metro and RER?
The metro is Paris’ underground network and regarded by many as the world's finest. It operates throughout the entire city. The RER comprise of the suburban express lines and some are over ground.
Will I need to use public transport at all?
Yes. Paris is one of Europe’s larger cities and some of its main attractions are quite a distance from each other.

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  • 5 Free Things to do in Paris

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  • Here are our suggestions of five free things to do in Paris so you can enjoy this great city while sticking to your budget

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