Time to Visit Paris
Best Time to Visit Paris
There is no “right” time—warmer months mean picnics and parks, but also crowds. During colder months skies are grey, but there are fewer tourists. There are events year-round, from outdoor summer concerts to holiday extravaganzas in the winter.
The ever-expanding metro and RER train systems transport Parisians just about anywhere they want to go. It’s cheap and efficient; a single ticket costs $2 and day passes start at $14. Taxis and buses are also easily accessible, but locals will walk or grab a Vélib bicycle if they don’t have far to go.
January is the coolest month with an average temperature of 41°F (5°C). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 68°F (20°C).
Know Before Visiting
Paris is a diverse, evolving city, so leave many of the Hollywood stereotypes at home. Try to speak French a bit and dress a little nicer than usual, but in the end, relax. Even Parisians wear sneakers—albeit fashionable ones.
Customs and Duties
You’re always allowed to bring goods of a certain value back home without having to pay any duty or import tax. But there’s a limit on the amount of tobacco and liquor you can return with duty-free, and some countries have separate limits for perfumes; for exact quotas, check with your customs department. The values of so-called duty-free goods are included in these amounts. When you shop abroad, save all your receipts, as customs inspectors may ask to see them as well as the items you purchased. If the total value of your goods is more than the duty-free limit, you’ll have to pay a tax (most often a flat percentage) on the value of everything beyond that limit.
If you’re coming from outside the European Union (EU), you may import the following duty-free: (1) 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 50 grams of tobacco; (2) 2 liters of wine and, in addition, (a) 1 liter of alcohol over 22% volume (most spirits) or (b) 2 liters of alcohol under 22% volume (fortified or sparkling wine) or (c) 4 more liters of table wine; (3) perfume, coffee, tea, and other goods to the value of about €430 (€150 for ages 14 and under).
If you’re arriving from an EU country, you may be required to declare all goods and prove that anything over the standard limit is for personal consumption. But there is no limit or customs tariff imposed on goods carried within the EU except on tobacco (800 cigarettes, 200 cigars, or 1 kilogram of tobacco) and alcohol (10 liters of spirits, 90 liters of wine, with a maximum of 60 liters of sparkling wine, or 110 liters of beer).
Any pet coming to France must have recent rabies shots (no less than 21 days before departure), all standard vaccinations, and either a microchip or a tattoo. Be sure to have all paperwork on hand at the airport—including the bilingual “Certificat Vétérinaire vers l’UE”(EU veterinary certificate), as customs officials will inspect the animal in question.
Local laws and etiquette
When greeting people, formal titles (Monsieur, Madame and Mademoiselle) are used much more in French than in English.
The laws of vouvoiement (which version of “you” to use) take years to master. If in doubt – except when talking to children or animals – always use the formal vous form (second person plural) rather than the more casual tu.
When driving, it’s compulsory to keep fluorescent bibs and a hazard triangle in the car in case of breakdown.
If you like painting and art, plan a lot of time for the visit to Louvre. In fact you can easily spend there a day or two, the collection is very rich and absolutely amazing. Besides famous Mona Lisa which always gathers a crowd, you can find there Venus of Milo and Nike Samothrace and the masterpieces of Leonardo, Bottichelli, Durer, Raphael and many others.
Notre Dame de Paris
This structure was made famous after Victor Hugo published ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’. The Cathedrale was designed by Maurice de Sully and erected between 1163 and 1345 and then restored by Viollet-Le-Duc. All road distances are calculated from the “zero kilometer” point located on the square in front of Notre-Dame.
The cathedrale boasts a West Rose Window, South Rose Window, Galerie des chimeres (the famours gargoles) and the the beautiful flying buttresses. There is no fee to visit the interior of the cathedrale.
Address: 6, place du Parvis-de-Notre-Dame, 75004