Arriving in Paris – Airports:
Paris has two major international airports : Charles de Gaulle and Orly. Beauvais-Tille airport is also serving as Paris Airport for budget airlines.
Charles de Gaulle Airport
(CDG) , also known as Roissy, is the largest airport of Paris for international flights. It has three Terminals, which connect via light-rail shuttle (CDGVAL). You can opt to take, RER trains to Paris center and vicinity , TGV to several French stations and busses to Paris or Paris Orly.
(ORY) is closer to city center ,serves international and domestic flights and has four terminals. It is connected to Paris center with RER trains and Orly shuttle bus. Metro line extension is foreseen in 2024.
Beauvais–Tillé Airport (BVA) is near the city of Beauvais, 85 km from Paris and mainly used by charter and low-cost airlines. Transfer options to Paris are by Train (TER) or bus.
Currency & Money:
Currency in France is Euro €, as in most European Union countries. French franc was replaced in 2002. Credit cards with a computer chip, are widely acceptable in airports, touristic attractions, shopping malls and international restaurants. Make sure you do carry some cash though. ATMs, called “distributeur” in French, can be found all over Paris and offer instructions in English and other languages. Υou can withdraw, ”retrait” in French, cash from most banks. You can exchange foreign currency at big bank branches and numerous exchange offices in tourist areas.
In France, the purchase price includes a Value Added Tax (VAT), range from 12% and up to 33% for luxury goods. If you are a non-EU resident you may receive a VAT refund for purchases over 175 euros.
Wi-fi, called “wee-fee” in France, is available in numerous public places with hotspots in parks and libraries as well as many cafés, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and airports. For reliable internet access, check with your provider to choose a pocket wi-fi service or a prepaid sim card.
Paris Summer time is two hours ahead of GMT/UTC (GMT+2).
220 V-230V. Plugs are two pins shaped. You may require a plug adaptor for sockets or a power/voltage transformer.
Most of the Olympic events will be held in and around Paris, The sailing will be held in the remote coastal resorts of Marseille . Surfing events will be held in Tahiti (!) an island in French Polynesia, about 9,800 miles from Paris.
Getting around Paris:
Paris claims one of the most efficient and safe public transportation system in the world. The best way to explore Paris is on foot or public transport.
Paris Metro (underground) is one of the densest metro systems in the world and the fastest way to get around the city. 16 lines and over 300 stations, no more than 500 meter apart. Keep in mind that only certain lines are accessible for passengers with reduced mobility.
Cycling is very popular in Paris. More than 700 km of cycling routes are available in Paris. A bike hire system is operating with about 20.000 bicycles.
Numerous bus lines, operated by RATP, serve Paris center and the greater Paris area. You can get just about anywhere. Most busses are equipped with ramps and are accessible for mobility impaired commuters. There is also a night bus network, Noctilien, that runs from 12.30am to 5.30am.
Taxis runs 24 hours a day, fares can be expensive for longer trips , though affordable within the city. Drivers aren’t obliged to accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay in cash.