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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Paris

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Paris each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

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February 14: Valentine's Day (celebrated nationwide)

As everyone knows, Paris is the City of Love, and Saint Valentine's Day therefore takes on a very special meaning. Couples take advantage of this day to exchange missives and gifts as proof of their devotion, as well as red roses, symbolizing passion. Restaurants and cafés are besieged, particularly those offering a romantic atmosphere. Advance reservations are required.

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!

May 8: Victory in Europe Day (national holiday)

Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Each year in Paris, there are two ceremonies on this day. At Place Clemenceau, the French president lays a wreath at the foot of the statue of General de Gaulle. Next, escorted by the Republican Guard, the president review the troops and greets spectators along the Avenue des Champs-Elysées before arriving at the Arc de Triomphe, where he lays another wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and rekindles its flame.

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and at various venues around Paris, with the revelry continuing late into the night.

June 21–August 23: Fête des Tuileries (local event)

Bumper cars, ghost trains, shooting galleries, turn-of-the-century wooden carousel horses – every summer Paris pulls out the stops for this traditional fun fair in the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries, to the delight of local residents and tourists.

July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)

This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Paris, this anniversary is commemorated each year with fireworks and dance parties open to everyone at various venues throughout the city. The most spectacular fireworks display is set off from the Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower, and is usually preceded by a huge and free outdoor concert on the Champs-de-Mars.

Late July–late August: Cinéma en Plein Air (outdoor cinema) (local event)

This outdoor cinema festival returns every summer to the green lawns of Parc de la Villette, with a programme of films organised around a specific theme. The atmosphere is always relaxed and friendly.

August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)

Masses and processions are held throughout the city on this major feast day. Inaugurated some ten years ago, pilgrims can join in a special procession on a barge on the Seine, leading to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, where a concert of Gregorian chants is performed.

Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)

The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public. A great opportunity for a lovely stroll through the city to admire architectural treasures!

November 11: Remembrance Day (national holiday)

On this day, French citizens gather at war memorials to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War. In Paris, the main ceremony led by the French president is held at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysées.

December: Christmas markets (local event)

As the holiday season approaches, several Christmas markets are held at various venues in the French capital, including the Champs-Elysées, Montparnasse and La Défense. Many wooden stalls offer regional food specialities and decorations.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

December 31: New Year's Eve (national)

On December 31st, a beautiful display of fireworks is set off the Eiffel Tower to celebrate the transition to the new year.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Paris

Paris has an oceanic climate, but experiences a wider range of temperatures and less rainfall than cities and towns on the Atlantic coast. Winters (from December to March) are mild, with at least a dusting of snow about 12 days a year, on average. Summer days (from June to September) in Paris are warm and sunny, ideal for taking strolls and discovering the city's treasures and eclectic neighbourhoods.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 3/37 7/45 51/2.0 Not the best period to go
February 3/37 8/46 41/1.6 Not the best period to go
March 5/41 12/54 48/1.9 Not the best period to go
April 7/45 16/61 52/2.0 Not the best period to go
May 11/52 20/68 63/2.5 Not the best period to go
June 14/57 23/73 50/2.0 Good period to go Good period to go
July 16/61 25/77 62/2.4 Good period to go Good period to go
August 16/61 25/77 53/2.1 Good period to go Good period to go
September 13/55 21/70 48/1.9 Not the best period to go
October 10/50 16/61 61/2.4 Not the best period to go
November 6/43 11/52 51/2.0 Not the best period to go
December 3/37 7/45 58/2.3 Not the best period to go
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Paris International Airports

Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport

Charles de Gaulle Airport is located about 26 kilometres (16 miles) north-east of central Paris.
  • Three terminals:
    • Terminal CDG 1
    • Terminal CDG 2 Halls A-B-C-D-E-F (Air France E and F)
    • Terminal 3

The terminals are linked together with the CDG Val shuttle.
  • Getting from the airport to Paris and back:
    • By car
      • Accessible via the A1, the A3 and the A104 motorways.
      • There are several parking facilities at each terminal (including pick-up and drop-off and both short- and long-term parking garages or lots).
      • Several car rental companies have counters in all terminals.
    • By rail
      • Line B of the RER commuter rail system connects the airport to central Paris, with a travel time of about 30 minutes to Gare du Nord. The one-way fare is EUR 10.00.
    • By bus
      • Buses 350 and 351 offer services to Gare de l'Est and Place de la Nation (EUR 6 one way).
      • Noctilien, a night bus service, connects the airport with Gare de l'Est from midnight until 4:30 a.m. EUR 7.60 one way.
      • RoissyBus operates a shuttle bus service between the airport and Opéra metro station, with departures every 15–20 minutes. EUR 11 one way.

Les Cars Air France (Direct Buses):

- Line 3 runs between Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, with a travel time of about 65 minutes (EUR 21.00 one way, EUR 36.00 round trip).
- Line 2 connects the airport with Place de l'Etoile, Porte Maillot, Gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse, with departures every 30 minutes and a travel time of about 60 minutes (EUR 17.00 one way, EUR 30.00 round trip).

Paris Orly International Airport


Orly Airport is located about 14 kilometres (9 miles) south of central Paris.
  • Two terminals:
    • Paris Orly Sud
    • Paris Orly Ouest (Halls 1,2,3,4 Air France)

Getting from the airport to Paris and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A6.
    • There are several parking facilities at each terminal (including pick-up and drop-off and both short- and long-term parking garages or lots).
    • Several car rental companies have counters in each terminal.
  • By rail
    • Access to Line B of the RER commuter rail system: take the Orlyval shuttle train to the Antony train station. The combined one-way fare is EUR 12.05.
    • Access to Line C of the RER commuter rail system: take the “GO C Paris” shuttle bus to the Pont de Rungis train station. The combined one-way fare is EUR 6.15.
  • By bus
    • Bus 183 links the Terminal Sud of the airport with Porte de Choisy station on the southern edge of Paris, with a travel time of about 40 minutes. EUR 2.00 one way.
  • By Orlybus shuttle
    • Shuttle bus service to Denfert-Rochereau station, with a travel time of 20-30 minutes. EUR 8.00 one-way.
    • Les Cars Air France (Direct Buses):– Line 3 runs between Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports. EUR 21.00 one way, EUR 36.00 round trip. – Line 2 runs between the Charles de Gaule airport and Paris (Place de l'Etoile, Porte Maillot, gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse), with departures every 30 minutes. EUR 17.00 one way, EUR 30 round trip
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside each terminal. The trip to central Paris costs around EUR 30 (night rates apply after 8 p.m.).
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: 08 92 56 39 50 (cost of a local call, EUR 0.34/min)
  • Website: www.parisaeroport.fr/en

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GETTING AROUND Paris

Metro, buses, trams, bicycles, boats, taxis, there is no shortage of ways to get around Paris! The city's excellent public transport options can get you anywhere, at any time of the day or night.

By rail

With nearly 300 stations, the Paris Metro is by far the easiest and least expensive way to get around the French capital. A single ticket costs EUR 1.90, including all transfers for a period of 90 minutes to other Metro lines or the RER within Paris.

City pass

Paris City Pass allows unlimited use of public transport in: buses, the Metro, trams, the RER and the Montmartre funicular. Valid for 1 to 5 consecutive days, prices start from EUR 6.10.

By bus

Buses are an ideal solution for discovering Paris. The system's routes go through the centre of Paris, along the banks of the Seine, and pass by most of the city's historical monuments and districts. A single ticket costs EUR 1.90. Buses run from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with a few routes operating in the late evening hours. There are also several Noctilien night bus routes operated from 12:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.

By tram

Several tram lines connect points on the outskirts of the city. A single ticket costs EUR 1.90.

By taxi

Some 15,000 taxis operate in Paris and there are 460 taxi ranks, indicated by a “Taxi” sign on a blue background. Some, but not all, taxis accept payment by credit card.

By bike

Paris has its own public bike-sharing service, called Vélib'. There are 20,600 bicycles distributed across 1,800 stations, about one every 300 metres, making them closer to each other than Metro stations. Two short-term subscriptions are available: a 1-day ticket costs EUR 1.70 and a 7-day ticket costs EUR 8.00.

By car

Autolib', conceived in the same spirit as Vélib', offers 3,000 electric vehicles distributed across more than 1,000 stations, available 24/7. For more information on Autolib' (how the system works, offers and rates), visit the official Autolib' website: https://www.autolib.eu.

By boat

The batobus service allows you to discover Paris' monuments by boat, making 8 stops along the way. It is operated from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Useful tip: Especially designed for tourists, the Pass Batobus allows unlimited trips on the boats over a given period. Prices start from EUR 17.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Paris, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Paris Tourist Office and Convention Bureau

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Tourist information kiosks

These kiosks offer excellent advice and recommendations for exploring Paris and other points of interest nearby. Listed below are the addresses of official tourist information kiosks in Paris:

  • Paris Rendez-vous: 29 rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris  (inside the Hôtel de Ville)
  • Gare du Nord: 18 rue de Dunkerque, 75010 Paris (under the central atrium)
  • Anvers-Montmartre: opposite 72 bd Rochechouart, 75018 Paris
  • Gare de Lyon: 20, bd Diderot, 75012 Paris (inside the station, opposite tracks L and M)

Further information available online for visitors to France

The official website maintained by Atout France, the French tourism development agency, provides a wealth of information on Paris and its region.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in France is the Euro (EUR).

1 DKK = 0,13 EUR

1 EUR = 7,69 DKK

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Paris counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Paris.

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Administrative formalities

As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. Foreign nationals in the two categories listed below are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation
  • Citizens or nationals of several other countries.

For stays of more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is required. Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in the country of permanent residence well in advance of departure. For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/getting-a-visa/

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Paris, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Paris a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour

Good evening: Bonsoir

Good-bye: Au revoir

Yes: Oui

No: Non

No, thank you: Non, merci

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas.

Could you repeat that?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?

Please: S'il vous plaît.

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ?

Excuse me: Excusez-moi.

Airport: Aéroport

Train station: Gare

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hôtel

Hospital: Hôpital

Bank: Banque

Telephone: Téléphone

I'm (…): Je suis (…).

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…).

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ?

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…).

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Good to know

00 33
+ phone number without the 0
0 : 00
of time difference with
Copenhagen
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS

Usually open Tuesday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Paris like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.

Air France reveals...