Entertainment in Paris


Tourism and Sightseeing in Paris


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It is estimated that Paris receives around 70 million tourists per year, making it the third most visited city in the world and the first by international visitors.

Tourist Office

The city is well equipped with tourist offices. Local tourist offices provide information about the city, maps, hotel and hostel bookings, information about getting around on public transport, tours, and how to find the best deals. The official tourism site for France is Office du Tourisme de Paris.

Offices

Paris Tourist Office's Main Welcome Center at Pyramides
Address: 25, rue des Pyramides 75001 Paris
Metro: Pyramides (line 7 or 14)
RER: Auber (line A)
Tel: 0892 68 3000

Gare de Lyon Tourist Welcome Center
Address: 20, Boulevard Diderot 75012 Paris
Metro: Gare de Lyon (line 1 or 14)
RER: Gare de Lyon (line A)
Tel: 0892 68 3000

Gare du Nord Tourist Welcome Center
Address: 18, rue de Dunkerque 75010 Paris
Metro: Gare du Nord (line 2,4, or 5)
RER: Gare du Nord (line B, D)
Tel.: 0892 68 3000

Porte de Versailles/Paris Expo Welcome Center
Address: 1, Place de la Porte de Versailles 75015 Paris
Metro: Porte de Versailles (line 12)
Tramway: Porte de Versailles (T3)
Tel.: 0892 68 3000

Anvers Tourist Welcome Center
Address: On the median strip facing 72, boulevard Rochechouart 75018 Paris
Metro: Anvers (line 2)
Tel.: 0892 68 3000

Clémenceau Tourist Welcome Center
Address: On corner of Avenue des Champs-Elysées and Avenue Marigny 75008 Paris
Metro: Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau (line 1 and 13)
Tel.: 0892 68 3000

Carrousel du Louvre Tourist Welcome Center
Address: Carrousel du Louvre, Place de la Pyramide Inversée 99, rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris
Metro: Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (line 1 and 7)
Tel.: 0892 68 3000

Montmartre Tourist Office
Address: 21, place du Tertre 75018 Paris
Metro: Abbesses (line 12), Anvers (line 2), funicular
Tel.: 0892 68 3000

Sightseeing

Paris has been greatly romanticized throughout the ages, and for good reason. It's innumerable attractions are some of the most alluring in the world with millions of tourists visiting each year.

La Tour Eiffel
Admission: Elevator/Lift Prices 2nd Floor - €8.20, Top Floor - €13.40; Stair Prices 2nd Floor - €4.70
Hours: June 15th to September lst 9:00-0:45; September 2nd to June 14th 9:30-23:45
The Eiffel Tower is a symbol not only of Paris, but of France. Nicknamed La dame de fer (the iron lady), it was built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the World's Fair. The tower is the tallest building in Paris (324 metres) and the most-visited paid monument in the world with over 250 million visitors since open.
Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by elevator. It is recommended to buy tickets online at least one day before your visit.

Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile
Address: 8th arrondissement on Paris' Right Bank
Admission: €8
Hours: April to September 10:00-23:00; October to March 10:00-22:30; Closed on January 1, May 1,May 8 (morning) July 14 (morning), November 11 (morning) and December 25
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris and offers a central view of the city. The monument stands at 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 meters (148 ft) wide and 22 meters (72 ft) deep. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added in 1921 and the "eternal flame" is re-lit every evening at 18:30.

Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Address: 39 Avenue des Champs Elysées Paris
Tel.: 01 53 83 10 40
More than just one of the most prestigious shopping streets in the world, the street goes from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. It features some of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world.

Notre Dame de Paris
Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame, Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
Tel.: 33 (0)1 42 34 56 10
Admission: Visiting is free; Audio guides €5; Treasury €3; Tower €8.50
Hours: April 1 to September 30 10:00 to 18:30; July and August, Friday and Saturday 10:00 to 23:00; October 1 to March 31 10:00 to 17:30
This impressive Gothic cathedral inspired Victor Hugo's iconic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. A top Parisian tourist destination, Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris), is also a great view point of one of the oldest sections of Paris. The public may attend services at 8:00 and 9:00 on weekdays.

Opera Garnier
Address: corner of rue Scribe and rue Auber, 75009 Paris
Tel.: 0 892 89 90 90
Admission: €9
Hours: Every day 10:00 to 17:00; Closed January lst, May lst
This elegant 1,979-seat opera house is an attraction in itself. Built from 1861 to 1875, it became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of it's architect, Charles Garnier. It is now a primarily used for ballet.

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
Address: Pl. du Parvis-du-Sacré-Coeur, 18e, Paris, France
Admission: Free, €5 for entrance to the dome
Hours: 6:00 to 22:30
The picturesque Sacré Coeur is perched atop the highest point in Paris in Montmartre. The basilica attracts tourist throngs in this point overlooking the city. It can be reached by climbing the stairs on Rue Foyatier or taking the funicular.

Montemarte
Address: 18th arrondissement
The highest point in Paris, it is adorned by the Sacré Coeur. The storied neighborhood is known for the many artists that worked and lived here including Salvador Dalî, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.

Moulon Rougue
Address: 82 Boulevard de Clichy, Montmartre, 75018 Paris
Tel.: 01 53 09 82 82
Admission: Shows start at €97
Hours: Every day (except Sunday); Lunch 13:00; lst show 14:45, later shows 21:00 and 23:00
A world famous cabaret in Paris, this places's reputation for legendary can-can continues to grow. Located in Montmartre, it was built in 1889 and is easily identified by it's red windmill.

Père-Lachaise Cemetery
Address: 16 rue du Repos, 75020 Paris
Tel.: 01 55 25 82 10
Admission: Free; €6 2 hour, English-language tours on Saturday at 15:00 June - September.
Hours: Mid-March through early November - 7:30 to 18:00 Mon-Friday; 8:30 to 18:00 Saturday; 9:00 to 18:00 Sunday and bank holidays.; Mid-November through early March: 8:00 to 17:30 Mon-Friday; 8:30 to 17:30 Saturday; 9:00 to 17:30 Sunday and bank holidays.
One of the most famous cemeteries in the world. It's ornate grave stones, monuments, and tree-lined lanes are beautiful, but the real draw is the stars. Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin, Honoré de Balzac, Colette, Delacroix, Molière, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison are all buried here.

Jardin des Tuileries
Address: Place de la Concorde
Tel.: 01 40 20 90 43
The Jardin des Tuileries is a popular park within Paris. In the French formal style, it is situated between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde.

Luxembourg Gardens
Address: 15 rue de Vaugirard; 75006 Paris
Tel.: 0331 42 34 20 00
The Jardin du Luxembourg is the second largest public park in Paris. The park is the garden of the French Senate and houses the Luxembourg Palace.

Château de Versailles
Address: Place d'Armes - 78000 Versailles
Admission: €18, (€25 on days of Grandes eaux musicales and jardins musicaux)
Hours: Closed Mondays, 1 November to 31 March: Palace 9:00 – 17:30; Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette's Estate 12:00 - 17:30; Garden and Park 8:00 - 18:00 / From 1 April to 31 October: Palace 9:00 – 18:30; Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette's Estate 12:00 - 18:30; Garden 7:00 – 19:00
Located a half hour outside of Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a must see. An exquisite chateau, this was once the home to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Tours

There is a range of tours with different focuses, price points, and modes of transportation. Many inexpensive tours start at the larger hostels, and most accommodations will have pamphlets.

Day Tours are available to visit specific attractions or just as a day guide. Guides organize trips to specific sites, or daytrips to outlying areas.

Estimate the Pros & Cons of a tour:

    Pros
  • Tours may be less expensive than booking everything individually. Finding a package with airfare can offer vast savings.
  • A vast reduction in stress as you don't need to do the majority of the planning.
  • Instant comraderie and the feeling of safety and security in a group.
  • A knowledgeable guide who speaks your language can offer specialized information about the sights.
    Cons
  • Tours are not as flexible. If you want to move on, you will just have to wait.
  • Traveling in a large group makes it difficult to meet local people.

Recommended Tours

  • Cars Rouges - Bus Tours allow customers to get on and off at the city's many attractions. Tickets: 12 Euros for children, 24 Euros for adults.
  • Paris Walks - Offers in depth and personalized walks of the city with multilingual tour guides.
  • Viator - Provides cruises, tours, and entertainment.
  • Aeroparis - The chance to soar above the city in a hot air balloon.

Festivals

Paris is magical throughout the year, but festivals can bring out the best of the city. A town built for parties and festival, an event can be found every weekend. Community centers provide announcements for small local events, but here are some of the major festivals.

February

Le Nouvel an Chinois - The Chinese New Year is celebrated in Paris with parades in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements and in Chinatown in the 13th.

March

Spring Fashion Week - The first of 2 major fashion events in Paris.

June

Fête de la Musique - Celebrates the summer solstice in a city-wide series of free musical events.

Gay Pride Parade - This colorful festival draws hundreds of thousands of people to the streets in celebration of diversity.

July

Fête de la Fédération - Known as Bastille Day, this major French holiday is held on the 14th of July. It celebrates the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution. Among the most notable of events, the Bastille Parade is held on the Champs-Élysées. Ending with the Bastille Day Fireworks, it is a sight to be seen.

Cinema en Plein Air - This annual outdoor cinema event takes place at the Parc de la Villette. It holds Europe's largest inflatable screen.

Paris Plage - For July and August the banks of the Seine are converted from expressway into an artificial beach.

August

Rock en Seine - A world-class music festival draws international rock and pop stars to the Seine.

September

Techno Parade - Held mid-September, DJs and fans converge in Paris for dancing and a parade.

Jazz à la Villette - This enormous Jazz Festival brings performers and fans from around the world.

October

Nuit Blanche - Central Paris transforms into a moonlit theme-park on the first Saturday of October.

Discounts

There are several passes that offer visitors to France substantial savings.

Paris Pass
Offers entry to over 60 of Paris's top attractions and skip the line, a guidebook, retail and restaurant offers, free public transport, Hop-on-hop-off Bus Tour and airport transfers. Can be purchased online or at Tourist Information Centres.

    Adult Prices:
  • 2-day pass €110
  • 4-day pass €160
  • 6-day pass €195

Paris Museum Pass
The Paris Museum Pass offers discounts to some of the best museums in the world, like the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Napoleon's Tomb at Les Invalides, the Musee d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, the Pantheon, the Musee de l'Orangerie, Sainte-Chapelle, the Rodin Museum, the Picasso Museum, and the towers and crypt of Notre Dame.

    Adult Prices:
  • 2-day €39
  • 4-day €54
  • 6-day €69

Paris Visite Card
Transportation can be an expensive element of travel and the Paris Visite Card offers discounted travel on the extensive system.

    Prices:
  • 1-day, zones 1-3: €10.55 adult, €5.25 child
  • 2-days, zones 1-3: €17.15 adult, €8.55 child
  • 3-days, zones 1-3: €23.40 adult, €11.70 child
  • 5-days, zones 1-3: €33.70 adult, €16.85 child
  • 1-day, zones 1-6: €22.20 adult, €11.10 child
  • 2-days, zones 1-6: €33.70 adult, €116.85 child
  • 3-days, zones 1-6: €47.25 adult, €23.60 child
  • 5-days, zones 1-6: €57.75 adult, €28.85 child

Update 13/02/2013


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