Paris: Essentials

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Aeroport Roissy-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)

Rail: Take Line B of the Regional Express Network (RER) train. To/from the Gare du Nord station (the closest stop within Paris city limits); trips average 30 minutes. Departs every 15 minutes from Terminal 2; E7.85 each way. From the Gare du Nord, make transfers to high-speed trains and Metro lines. Bus: The Roissybus shuttle connects Terminals 1 and 2 with Paris's Opera Metro and Auber RER stations. It departs every 15 minutes from 5:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.; E8.30 each way. Trips average 45 minutes to/from the airport.

Aeroport D'Orly (ORY)

Take the Orlybus shuttle from the Denfert-Rochereau Metro station in Paris, near the Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse tower). Departs every 15 minutes from outside the international and domestic terminals; E5.80 each way.


Metro, RER, and Bus

Pocket maps for all public transportation are free in Metro stations. Metro: E1.40; runs 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. RER: Suburban rail supplement to the Metro; 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Ticket prices vary by destination (Disneyland Paris, E12.40 round trip). Bus: E1.40; 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., some lines run later. Night buses (Noctambus) are available 1 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. and are a convenient and safe transportation alternative after hours; E2.40. Most of the 18 night lines start or end at Chatelet, next to Les Halles in central Paris. The "Paris Visite" one-, two-, three-, and five-day passes (which cost E8.35, E13.70, E18.25, and E26.65, respectively) provide unlimited bus, Metro, and RER transport within Paris and reductions on certain tourist attractions-such as 50 percent off your second seat on Bateaux Parisiens (sightseeing cruises on the Seine, which start at E9.50). Discounts apply to tickets of the same or lesser value.

Fares: E71 per km with a minimum fare of E5.20. Fare increases to E1.06 per km after 7 p.m., on Sundays, and on holidays. Some drivers will accept a fourth passenger (E2.70 surcharge).

Trains to points beyond Paris
National/International: 08/36-35-35-39,,
Paris has seven train stations: Gare du Nord (to destinations north, including the Eurostar line to London), Gare de l'Est (to points east), Gare St-Lazare (to Normandy), Gare de Lyon (to Italy, Switzerland, and TGVs-or bullet trains-to southern France), Gare Montparnasse (to Brittany, the Atlantic coast, and TGVs to southwestern France), Gare d'Austerlitz (to Loire Valley and Dordogne), and Gare de Bercy (for auto train and some trains to Italy).


Free at select shops and cafes


  • GoGo,

  • Paris Voice,
  • At newsstands


  • Pariscope,

  • Zurban,

    Fat Tire Bike Tours
    South Pier (Pilier Sud) of the Eiffel Tower, 01/56-58-10-54,
    Four-hour guided rides around the major sights (Louvre, Tuileries gardens, etc.). Spiels focus on funny stories, not dates. Check ahead for schedule. No reservations required for day tours; E26 day/E28 night, includes bike rental and guide.

    13 rue Auber, 01/42-66-56-56,
    Double-decker hop-on/hop-off sightseeing bus with commentary in English covers four routes and makes an average of 14 stops, which are identified by L'OpenTour logo stickers. Buy tickets and pick up maps onboard. One-day pass E25; two consecutive days E28. No discounts available.

    Foot of the Tour Montparnasse,
    Also known as "Friday Night Fever." As many as 12,000 roller skaters meet at the base of Montparnasse tower and form a procession on wheels that snakes through city streets. Expect Old World challenges like cobblestones. (Two ambulances follow the procession.) Kicks off Fridays at 10 p.m.; routes change weekly. Free. Rent in-line skates for E8 to E9 at Nomades (37 boulevard Bourdon, 01/44-54-07-44,

    Paris Walks' Da Vinci Code tour
    12 passage Meunier, St-Denis, 01/48-09-21-40,
    City tour includes expert commentary on the Louvre pyramids, the site of the execution of the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, the hunt for the Holy Grail, and other areas mentioned in the best-selling book. From E12.



  • Directory inquiries and operator assistance 12

  • Police emergencies 17

  • Medical emergencies 15

  • Tourist info 08/92-68-30-00

  • International access code From U.S. 011; within Europe 00

  • Country code 33

  • City code 01

  • Note: When dialing from abroad, the first 0 in the French number is dropped, e.g., from U.S.: 011-33/1-44-75-39-55.
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