10 Things You Need To Know About Paris

The best ways to get around Paris, how to save money there and more.

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Fact Sheet

What's in our video about Parisprint

1. Paris is broken up into 20 'arrondissements'
Paris is broken up into 20 Arrondissements. Each one has its own characteristics and neighbourhoods, and varies in size. When walking around the city, to see what arrondissement you're in, simply look at the streets signs.
2. You can get around by Metro, RER, or 'Velib' bike
These are three very good ways to get around the French capital.
  1. Metro: . The city's metro underground system is extremely efficient and, because there are stops everywhere, you're never far from a station.
  2. RER: The RER is operated by larger trains has extremely conveniently locations throughout the city.
  3. 'Velib' bike: These are public bikes all over the city. To rent them you need to give your credit card details as security and pay €1 as subscription per day. Then the first 30 minutes are free, the second 30 minutes is €1, the third half an hour is €2, and every half an hour after that is €4, so 2 hours will cost you €7. But there is a way to beat the system – if you keep using the bikes for intervals of less than 30 minutes you'll only have to pay the €1 subscription fee.
3. There are lots of green areas to chill out in
As France is the capital of France, it's a very busy city. But there are lots of green areas to relax in when it gets busy:
  • Jardin du Tuileries: This park in front of Musee du Louvre has a lake and fountain for relaxing around.
  • Parc du Champ de Mars: A great place to relax right under the Eiffel Tower.
  • Jardin de Trocadero: Small gardens either side of a fountain across the river from the Eiffel Tower.
  • Jardin de Luxembourg: Located in the 5th Arrondissement, these are Paris' best-known gardens. Is also home to Palais du Luxembourg, one of the city's most beautiful buildings.
  • 4. The main museums are free on the first Sunday of the month
    If you're watching this video and you haven't booked your trip to Paris just yet, here's a tip – plan your trip around the first Sunday of the month when the big museums are free. This includes Musee d'Orsasy, the Museum of Modern Art at the Pompidou Centre, and the best known of all, the Louvre. So if you visit even two of these in the one day you'll save yourself almost €20.
    5. The River Seine is an attraction in its own right
    Dividing Paris in two, the River Seine is an attraction in its own right. Make sure to relax on its banks, admire the landmarks along it, and the bridges that cross it. The best way to appreciate it though is by going on one of the boat tours. But before booking yourself on to one shop around as some are open top, some aren't, and some are more expensive than others.
    6. It's got some cool neighbourhoods
    Paris has some really cool neighbourhoods. Those featured in the video are:
    1. The Latin Quarter: South of the Seine and full of narrow, pedestrianised streets.
    2. The Right Bank: Also full of narrow streets, but things aren't as busy here.
    3. Le Marais: This is Paris' gay quarter.
    4. St Germain: A big yet extremely charming neighbourhood in the 6th and 7th arrondissements.
    5. Montmartre: Probably the best-known neighbourhood and full of alternative shops and cafes.
    7. Parisians like to shop
    Shopping is a popular past time in Paris and there are lots of good places to do it. The Champs Elysees has many recognisable brand names, as does Rue de Rivoli in the Right Bank. Also in the Right Bank are streets like Rue Saint Denis and Rue des Lombards where you will find more alternative shops. One of the city's most popular markets is Porte de Clignancourt which is held every Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Here you can pick up everything from CDs to clothes.
    8. Different areas are known for different cuisines
    When it comes to eating out in Paris different areas are known for different cuisines:
    1. Pletzl: The place to go for kosher food.
    2. Latin Quarter: On streets such as Rue de la Huchette here you'll find lots of Greek restaurants. And rue Mouffetard & rue Pot de Fer are where to go for typical French cuisine.
    3. Belleville: This area is in the northeast of the city and is full of Asian restaurants.
    9. To socialise like a Parisian, don't go bar-hopping...
    If you want to socialise like a true Parisian, instead of going bar-hopping for the night get some cheese and wine and sit down by the banks of the River Seine, such as Quai de la Tournelle behind the Notre Dame Cathedral. But if you are intent on seeing Paris' nightlife, the area around Place de la Bastille is a good place to go.
    10. The Eiffel Tower looks even more impressive at night than it does during the day
    Climbing 324 metres into the Parisian sky, the Eiffel Tower is the French capital's most-famous attraction so make sure to visit it during the day. But make sure to also visit the famous tower at night when it looks even more beautiful. And once it gets dark, every hour on the hour until 1am, or 2am in the summer, it sparkles for five minutes.
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