City breaks in Paris - Paris Skyline

Paris City Breaks








Getting to, from and around Paris

City Breaks By Eurostar

By far the best way to get from central London to Paris is on the Eurostar. It's quick, easy and if you book far enough in advance, very affordable. The train will whisk you from St Pancras International through to Gare du Nord in Paris' 10th Arrondissement, where you can jump on the Metro or in a taxi. Paris breaks by Eurostar also save heading out to the airport and long airport queues.


City Breaks By Plane

For those travelling from outside of London, many low cost and scheduled airlines fly from the UK's regional airports like Manchester and Glasgow, into Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport. Jet2CityBreaks, Air France, Ryanair and easyJet City Breaks are all worth looking into if you're planning to fly. You can only fly British Airways to Paris from London.

The most affordable way to get from CDG Paris airport to the city is by RER train which takes just under an hour and costs €10. There are bus services available which are cheaper, but do take up to 90 minutes.


Travel By Coach

Did you know you can also enjoy a city break to Paris by coach? Eurolines offers coach services between London and Paris, meaning you'll need to book your hotel separately. Alternatively brands like Trafalgar Tours and Shearings coach holidays offer packaged Paris holidays including sightseeing excursions and accommodation in Paris.


Paris Metro

The Paris Metro is an ideal way to work your way around the city. There are a variety of metro ticket options, from single journeys to five day passes. The Paris Visite travel pass will allow you to take an unlimited number of journeys for one day, using all public transport services from just €5.80 per day.

The most affordable way to get from Paris CDG airport to the city is by RER train which takes just under an hour and costs €10. There are bus services available which are cheaper, but they can take up to 90 minutes, so it depends whether you would prefer to save money or time.


The Paris Pass

If you are planning to see plenty of attractions while you're in the city, The Paris Pass could be a great option for you. Starting from €132 per person for a two day adult pass, The Paris Pass gives you unlimited travel within zones 1-3 of the Paris travel network (note: Gare du Nord is in zone 1, however, Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Disneyland Paris, are both in zone 5).

The Paris Pass also gives you free access to 60+ attractions throughout Paris including the Louvre Museum, Palace of Versailles and Stade de France, as well as free journey on the Paris Big Bus Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour and Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise along the Seine. Plus you can download the app for more information and useful guidebook. It's a great museum pass to have, although note that entry to the Eiffel Tower is not included.


Taxis

Taxis are another alternative for travelling around Paris. Paris does have Uber, but doesn't have Lyft, so these could be options if you prefer not to walk, or take the Metro or bus.

Things to do in Paris

A trip to Paris would not be complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower, admiring the city at sunset from the steps of the Sacre Coeur and gazing at the beautiful Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre, however, there are plenty of other attractions and activities that you should look out for during your stay.


Top Attractions

Moulin Rouge

On the way up to or down from the Sacre Coeur, be sure to visit the world famous burlesque venue, the Moulin Rouge in the Montmartre district of the city. If it has always been a dream to watch the show live, tickets can be bought online in advance and is an absolute must do if you can make it.


Arc De Triomphe

Take a stroll down the Champs-Elysees for some great shopping and impressive views of the Arc de Triomphe, the iconic Parisian monument that honours those who have fought for France, and in particular the Napoleonic Wars.


Centre Georges Pomidou

Located in the 4th arrondissement in the heart of the city, the famous Centre Georges Pompidou building, housing the largest museum for modern art in Europe, the IRCAM centre for music and acoustic research, and the Public Information Library. When admiring the architecture of the building, you will notice the pipes and structure of the building are actually the pipes that service the building, including fire extinguisher system, plumping and electric wires.


Paris Catacombs

A dark and sombre, yet intriguing side of Paris, the Paris Catacombs in Montparnasse are both interesting and chilling. These 1.5k corridors, up to 20 metres deep show a glimpse into Paris' public health history.


Disneyland Paris

While a short break in Paris might be plenty of sightseeing, if you've got kids, an add-on trip to Disneyland Paris might also be a good choice if you have the time and the money. About an hour train ride east of the city in zone 5, Disneyland Paris is perfect for children of all ages (even the big kids). Tickets can get pricey so it's worth looking to book Disneyland tickets in advance and see if you can get any discounts.

Where to eat in Paris

A foodie orientated Paris break will allow you to discover some incredible eateries, from the delicious dishes of the Latin Quarter to the traditional moules frites in a typical Parisian restaurant around the Champs Elysees. Of course, if you're the adventurous type, escargot (snails) are also served up on many menus. Here are a couple of our favourite cafes and restaurants in Paris.


Macarons

If you love a macaron, you'll find many chocolatiers serving them. Although pricey, a couple of notable macaron shops include Pierre Marcolini, Christophe Roussel, or for the more budget friendly, Amorino.


Moules Frites

For a bowl of french Moules, take a trip to La Vie d'Ange in Montparnasse. A traditional looking Parisian restaurant, La Vie d'Ange serve up some incredible dishes.


The Hidden Gem

If you're looking for an understated, family restaurant serving up good french food at a better price, try La Becane A Gaston a few streets away from Gare d'Est. Dishes here include artichoke gratin, french port sausages and fine cuts of beef.

Where to stay in Paris

Paris is split up into 20 districts, or arrondissements, as they are known locally. Each one is home to its own unique citizens and lifestyles, with AirBnB apartments, boutique hotels and glamorous 5 star hotels. Generally, the further out you go, the cheaper you will find the hotel rates. But with so much choice, the question is where to stay in Paris?

If you're looking for a cheap weekend break in Paris, the business district of La Defense could be a good option. Similar to London's Canary Wharf, business visitors generally stay during the weekdays which means hotels around this area will often discount rooms on Friday and Saturday nights, meaning weekend breaks in Paris can be very affordable if you stay in this area of the city. La Defense is in zone 3 of the Paris transport map.

Northern areas of Paris like Montmartre and into the 18th arrondissement can also be very cheap too, and very useful if arriving by Eurostar as the train station is Gare du Nord and based in this area also. Budget friendly hotels in this area include brands like Mercure, Ibis and Ibis Styles.

Le Marais in the heart of the city is one of our favourite areas. Full of rich culture and great restaurants, hotel prices in and around the 3rd arrondissement can be a little pricier but sometimes well worth it. Try the Hotel Duo for mid-range, or the Hotel du Vieux Marais for a more budget friendly option in this area.

We always recommend booking your flight and hotel together, however, if you are thinking of booking separately, Booking.com is good for hotels in Paris, while Airbnb is good for holiday apartments in Paris. If you stay with a host, they can also be a great guide and source of information.

Nightlife in Paris

Although it's not as well known for its nightlife as other European cities, nightlife in Paris is still very good. There's also a more relaxed vibe in many places with quite a 'cafe culture' in the city. But there are still some lively hotspots to head to for live music and clubbing in Paris at night.

Le Marais offers a good selection of bars to choose from and is also the city's gay and lesbian scene. Although home to the red light district, Montmartre enjoys a variety of lively (and non seedy) bars and clubs to explore. This is also home to the Moulin Rouge so it's a bit of a tourist trap too with many people on Paris holidays.




Iconic "Must-Sees" In Paris

Louvre Museum Paris

Louvre Museum

One of Paris' most iconic attractions, the enormous Louvre Museum, filled with incredible works of art, including the infamous Mona Lisa, is a must visit. Watch out for queues of tourists though. This place gets busy!

Palais Garnier Paris Opera House

Palais Garnier

Whether you're a fan of opera or not, the Palais Garnier National Opera House in the 9th arrondissement is simply spectacular. Instructed to be built by Napoleon III, the intricate interior is an absolute marvel.

Palace of Versailles, Paris

Palace Of Versailles

Located in the west of Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a short trip out by train and worth the visit if you're spending three or four days in the city or have been before. Not only is it a stunning location, it's rich in history too.

Sacre Coeur Paris

Sacre Coeur

Even if not to go inside the Basilica, the views across Paris from the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre are a must if you've never been. And if you can't manage the steps, there is a funicular tram running up alongside Rue Foyatier.




Flying To Paris From Your Local Airport




Frequently Asked Questions About Paris

The best area to stay in Paris on a city break is based on personal preference and budget, but our favourite area to stay is Le Marais in the 4th Arrondissement. It's centrally located so easy to get around, and it's filled with fantastic bars, and shops. Hotels in other areas can be cheaper, however, you then don't have this fantastic part of Paris on your doorstep.

Like most large European cities, Paris is generally very safe, however, late at night, suggested areas to avoid are around the Gare du Nord and Gare d'Est stations. Areas like Barbes-Rochechouart (between Sacre Coeur and Gare du Nord station), Jaures and Chatelet-Les Halles are generally very safe during the day, but at night when the streets start getting quieter, are worth avoiding. Being a tourist city, the main crime in Paris you might face is pickpocketing so always keep your valuables safe.

The cost to visit the Eiffel Tower is between €2.60 and €25.90 depending on the type of ticket you get and who the ticket is for. Children under four years old are free. An adult ticket with lift access to the top viewing platform is €25.90 per person.

If you've never been before, we would recommend staying for 3-4 days in Paris. This will allow you to see the main sites like the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame, as well as a few other attractions you've spotted that you might be interested in such as Ile de la Cite or Place de la Concorde. It will also give you the chance to try out a number of different restaurants. To include a trip to Disneyland Paris, we would recommend adding an extra day or two for this.

While Paris is great all year round, the best month to visit Paris in our opinion is May. The city is warming up, the sun is often out and you don't have to wrap up warm everytime you go out. It's also not too hot under the summer sun, and you're missing a lot of summer holiday tourists too.







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