Areas in Paris
Do Go/Don’t go
Paris shuts down (and relaxes) in August, a national holiday. Go in spring, when the blossom’s out, or autumn, not least for Nuit Blanche, an all-night culturefest.
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PlanesBMI Baby (www.bmibaby.com) | British Airways (www.ba.com) | Air France (www.airfrance.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) fly to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport from the UK. Most major French regionals have flights into Paris Orly (www.airfrance.com). A taxi from Charles de Gaulle international airport to the centre costs about €50; buses and trains run regularly into town at a fraction of the cost. RER/TGV trains run from CDG to Gare du Nord every 15 minutes from 5.30am to 10.30pm | and take 35 minutes.
TrainsThere are six main stations in Paris, all of which are central and link to the fantastic Métro underground system (www.ratp.fr). Eurostar is by far the best way to travel there from London: trains from Kings Cross St Pancras (and mainland Europe) arrive into Gare du Nord. From the Mediterranean coast, TGV services connect via Marseille or Perpignan and, in the west, Biarritz and Bordeaux (www.tgv.com).
AutomobilesYou’re better off without one. Many hotels charge for parking, and why risk the passion-killing traffic? Determined drivers need to steel themselves for the infamous périphérique ring road.
TaxisCan be hailed in the street if you’re more than 100 metres from a rank (these are all over Paris and have phones if no taxi is waiting).
Where better to start your honeymoon than the City of Love? An intimate ville of boulevards, boutiques and brasseries, Paris is the ultimate in style and cuisine. Get your first taste at Philippe Starck’s surprisingly restrained Le Royal Monceau, a sophisticated, art-inspired Haussmannian hôtel at one of the city’s prime addresses. Meander down the street and find the Arc de Triomphe towering over you, or head the other direction and get lost among the elegant stone buildings, neighbourhood cafés and tempting boulangeries and pâtisseries. Skip the queues to see the world’s greatest art at the Louvre, and dine at the table of honour at such landmarks as Benoit on exclusive Mr & Mrs Smith-arranged outings. Get private appointments at the trendy designer boutiques of the Marais, learn the secrets to baking a true Parisian baguette at an artisan boulanger and channel Hemingway with a wander through the Latin Quarter.