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Paris, the cosmopolitan capital of France and located in the north of France on the river Seine, Paris has the well deserved reputation of being the most beautiful and romantic of all cities, brimming with historic associations and remaining vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design.
Paris is served by three international airports - for more information, including arrival/departure times, check the official sites.
Charles de Gaulle International Airport (Roissy) CDG. The major hub airport to the north-east of the city. It's notoriously confusing, so allow plenty of time for transfers.
For getting to or from Paris, the RER commuter train, line B, has stations in T3. Trains to Paris leave every 7-8 minutes and stop at Gare du Nord, Châtelet-Les Halles, Saint-Michel Notre-Dame, Luxembourg, Port-Royal, Denfert-Rochereau and Cité Universitaire.
Orly International Airport ORY. This airport is southwest of the city, and served by a southern branch of the RER-B line that heads in the direction of Saint-Rémy-les-Chevreuse (not Robinson). This older international airport is used mainly by Air France for domestic departures, and international departures by European carriers.
Paris is well connected to the rest of Europe by train. There is no central station serving Paris and the six different stations are not connected to each other. You will probably want to know in advance at which station your train is arriving, so as to better choose a hotel and plan for transport within the city.
Eurolines. A trans-European bus company that offers trips from across Europe and Morocco to Paris. Generally offers prices significantly cheaper than the train at the cost of much longer journeys. The Parisian office is located at Bagnolet, adjacent to the Gallieni metro station.
Several autoroutes link Paris with the rest of France: A1 and A3 to the north, A5 and A6 to the south, A4 to the east and A13 and A10 to the west. Not surprisingly, traffic jams are significantly worse during French school holidays.
The best and cheapest way to get around Paris is on foot, and secondly, using the Métro.
Walking in Paris is one of the great pleasures of visiting the City of Light. It is possible to cross the entire city in only a few hours.
The smartest travellers take advantage of the walkability of this city and stay above ground as much as possible. A metro ride of less than 2 stops is best avoided since walking will take about the same amount of time and you'll be able to see more of the city.
What to see
ParisPass a pre-paid entry card + queue jumping to 60 attractions including The Louvre, The Arc de Triomphe, as well as a river cruise and allowing free metro and public transport travel.
Planning your visits: Several sites have "choke points" that restrict the number of visitors that can flow through. These include: The Eiffel Tower, Sainte-Chapelle,The Catacombs and the steps to climb to the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral. To avoid queues, you should start your day by arriving at one of these sites at least 30 minutes before opening time.
All national museums are open free of charge on the first Sunday of the month. However, that this may mean long queues and crowded exhibits. Keep away from Paris during Easter week due to crowding. People have to queue up at the Eiffel Tower for several hours even early in the morning. However, this wait can be greatly reduced, if fit, by walking the first two levels, then buying an elevator ticket to the top. Entry to the permanent exhibitions at city-run museums is free at all times.
These listings are just some highlights of things that you really should see if you can during your visit to Paris.
It seems like there's almost always something happening in Paris, with the possible exceptions of the school holidays in February and August, when about half of Parisians are to be found not in Paris, but in the Alps or the South or the West of France respectively.
If sport is not your thing, the Salon international de l'Agriculture (International farming fair/festival)allow you to huge animals indoor and to taste the best regional products, such as wine, cheese, delicatessen, honey, spices... Each region of France, including exotic overseas territories, present at least one stand, and often several.
Last but not least, 14th February is a world-recognized Valentine's Day and there is no place more romantic than Paris. One of the spots worth visiting is Square des Abbesses in Montmarte-La Chapelle to check out Le Mur des Je T’Aime.
The first of two Fashion weeks occurs in March: Spring Fashion Week, giving designers a platform to present women’s prêt-à-porter, ready to wear, collections for the following winter.
The French Tennis Open in which the world’s top players battle it out on a clay court runs during two weeks starting on the last Sunday in May. By the time its done in June, a whole range of festivities start up. Rendez-vous au Jardin is an open house for many Parisian gardens, giving you a chance to meet Parisian gardeners and see their creations.
Finally on the 26th of June is the Gay Pride parade, featuring probably the most sincere participation by the mayor's office of any such parade on the globe.
The most important music festival happens between the end of June and the beginning of July: "Solidays". Each year, the program tends to be more impressive, featuring many new bands almost unknown and international stars as well, so many people wait until the program is released and then rush to get a ticket as soon as possible.
The French national holiday La Fête Nationale - commonly referred by non-French citizens as Bastille Day - on 14 July celebrates the storming of the infamous Bastille during the French Revolution.
Paris has three main flea-markets, located on the outskirts of the central city. The most famous of these is the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen (Porte de Clignancourt) (Clignancourt Flea Market), Métro: Porte de Clignancourt, in the 18th, a haven for lovers of antiques, second-hand goods and retro fashion.
A very attractive antiques market in the Marche aux puces de Saint-Ouen is the "Marche Dauphine" on 138 rue des Rosiers,Saint-Ouen. This market is covered so you can go there by all weather and you'll find a large selection of goods, as many as 200 dealers under the same roof. The biggest store of vintage luggage is there selling fabulous vintage Louis Vuitton and Goyard trunks as well as aviation furniture, 1930's ocean liner wardrobes and fabulous chandeliers. In this market, there are specialized jewelers, classic French antiques dealers, paintings dealers, and textile dealers. It's the most versatile market inside the flea market.