What's Paris like?
Paris is known as as one of the world's most romantic cities. Whether you want to stroll hand-in-hand along the River Seine, grab breakfast for 2 at a cafe or visit some of the world's most iconic buildings, most notably the Eiffel Tower, there's plenty of ways to add a bit of ooh-la-la into your French holiday.
What airlines operate flights to Paris?
There are no airlines that offer direct flights to Europe from New Zealand, but there are several options for 1-stop flights from NZ to Paris. Travellers have the choice of Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Qatar Airways, as well as combinations such as Air New Zealand and Air France.
Best time to book
Skyscanner research has found that the best time to book a flight to Europe is 24 weeks (slightly less than 6 months) before you intend to fly.
Do you need a visa to visit Paris?
As France is in the Schengen Area, New Zealand citizens can travel for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without applying for a visa.
How long is the flight to Paris?
From Auckland: 24 hours 50 minutes (1 stop)
From Christchurch: 27 hours 50 minutes (2 stops)
From Queenstown: 28 hours 55 minutes (2 stops)
From Wellington: 27 hours 20 minutes (2 stops)
When is the best time to visit Paris?
Paris' summer runs from June through to September. July is the warmest of these months with an average temperature of 20°C, the same as Auckland's warmest month (February). These are also Paris' wettest months.
France's winter runs at the same time as New Zealand's summer, with December, January and February being the coldest months.
How expensive is Paris?
Paris is more expensive than New Zealand's biggest cities. Eating out, having a drink and getting a takeaway coffee are all more expensive than they would be in Auckland.
Paris has 2 main airports. Charles de Gaulle Airport is the primary one, used by most international airlines, although Orly Airport is also used from time to time. Many airlines fly to both, including Air France and British Airways, so be sure to check your booking reference for which airport you're landing at.
Charles de Gaulle Airport is a 20-minute drive to the north-east of Paris CBD, while Orly is 40 minutes south by car.
How to get from Paris airports to the city centre
There are various ways to get to Paris from CDG airport.
Taxi: Taxis are available outside all 3 terminals. These cost €50-60 and take 30-40 minutes, depending on the traffic.
Train: The local train service (RER) is available from Terminal 2. This costs €10 and takes 35 minutes to the city.
Local buses: Routes 350 and 351 connect CDG to Paris. These take around 75 minutes and cost €6.
Shuttle buses: Slightly more comfortable, quicker and more expensive than the local buses, Roissybus (€11) and Le Bus Direct (€17) are both available from the airport.
Taxi: A taxi from Orly costs €30 to hotels on the Left Bank and €35 to those on the Right Bank.
Train: A shuttle train service known as Orlyval connects the airport to the RER Line B. It costs €9.30 for just the shuttle to Antony Train Station or €12.05 for a ticket on RER as well.
Bus: Between 6am and 12.30am, the airport is connected to Paris Denfert-Rochereau Station by the Orlybus. This costs €8 and takes around 35 minutes. From there to central Paris is another 5 or 10 minutes by rail.
Even if you know nothing else about the city, Paris is famous for its iconic Eiffel Tower. Some travellers choose to go up the tower for a meal or for the spectacular views over the French capital, while others prefer to picnic on the grass with the tower as their backdrop. Be sure to try the local cheeses, baguettes and croissants if you're packing your own lunch.
To make a day of it, close to the Eiffel tower is the Musée de Rodin, Hôtel des Invalides and the Île aux Cygnes (the Island of Swans), which is home to a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
Elsewhere in Paris, top attractions include the Louvre, the Grand Palace and Notre Dame Cathedral.
This video from The New York Times showcases some of the best things to do around the Left Bank:
Like much of Europe, France uses the euro.
Many of the main attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, sell 'skip the queue' tickets if you're short on time.
If you plan to use the metro system extensively, consider buying a carnet – a book of 10 tickets which saves you money.
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Please note: all information is correct as of August, 2017.
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