Travel Information

Paris has a timeless familiarity for first-time and frequent visitors, with instantly recognizable architectural icons and priceless artistic treasures. The wrought-iron spire of the Eiffel Tower, the glamourous Champs-Élysees guarded by the Arc de Triomphe, the gargoyled Notre Dame cathedral, bridges spanning the Seine and art nouveau cafes are etched in the minds of anyone who has visited the city - and the imaginations of those who are yet to. Despite being one of the world's major metropolises, Paris' quartiers are like a patchwork of villages, constantly evolving to be discovered and re-discovered. Awaken your artistic spirit at the incomparable Louvre, bargain hunt at the Marche aux Puces and enjoy the view at the Basilique du Sacre Coeur with a pain au chocolat. Paris is the ideal destination for pre and post conference day-trips.

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10 things to do in Paris for first time visitors

  1. Admire the view from the Eiffel Tower, the iconic symbol of the city.
  2. Discover Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe and stroll down the Champs Elysees Avenue.
  3. Feel your jaw drop at the gothic architecture of the Notre Dame.
  4. Marvel at the sculptures and paintings in the Musee du Louvre, showcasing 35'000 works of art.
  5. Take a walk through the Jardin du Luxembourg, backdrop to the Palais du Luxembourg.
  6. Enjoy a river tour along the Seine.
  7. Visit the Sacre Coeur and climb the 234 steps for one of the best views of the city.
  8. Get spooked in the city's ancient Catacombes.
  9. Maximize your credit card statement at Les Galeries Lafayette.
  10. Be dazzled inside and outside the Centre Pompidou.

Free or almost free activities

There's no need to reach for your wallet if you want to have a good time in Paris. There are plenty of ways to go out in the French capital without spending a cent. Culture, sport and leisure are on offer.

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Business hours

The majority of shops are open all day from 9:00 to 19:00, Monday to Saturday. Some smaller shops may close over lunchtime between 12:00 and 14:00, or all day on Monday. Sunday and public holidays arethe usual closing days, although there are some exceptions. During the week, department stores all have one late-night opening day, known as a 'nocturne', until 21:00. Supermarkets are open at different times depending on the neighborhood, every day except Sunday, until between 20:00 - 22:00. It's worth noting that many smaller shops close for their annual holidays from mid-July to end of August.

Museums open at 9:00 or 10:00 and close between 17:00 and 18:00. Usual closing days are Monday or Tuesday, with a few exceptions. Some are even open 7 days a week, such as some of the major monuments which can even be visited as late as 23:00 or midnight. Many museums have a late-night opening once a week until 21:00 or 22:00.


In France, prices shown include tax and service. However, if the service has been particularly good, you may wish to leave a tip in order to show your appreciation. As a general rule, the amount is 5 to 10% of the total bill.

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