There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Paris each year. The main ones are listed below.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-Élysées 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.July–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-Élysées.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-Élysées, 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 Arc de Triomphe to celebrate the transition to the new year.
|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|
|July||16/61||25/77||62/2.4||Good period to go|
|August||16/61||25/77||53/2.1||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|
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.
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.
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 7.50.
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.
Several tram lines connect points on the outskirts of the city. A single ticket costs EUR 1.90.
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.
Paris has its own public bike-sharing service, called Vélib' Métropole. 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 5 and a 7-day ticket costs EUR 15.
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.
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.).
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:
The official website maintained by Atout France, the French tourism development agency, provides a wealth of information on Paris and its region.
The currency used in France is the Euro (EUR).
£ 1 = € 1.16
€ 1 = £ 0.86
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
See your doctor before you travel. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home. 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:
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.
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:
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:
Directory of foreign embassies and consulates in France
The directory made available online by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French only) includes addresses and contact details for all foreign embassies and consulates in France:
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Paris and France, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations.
Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Paris a little easier:
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.