Paris, the City of Light, is one of the world’s most magical cities, a byword for romance, glamour and style. Its landmarks – the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, L’Opéra de la Bastille, Notre Dame Cathedral – are world famous.
Its 20 arrondissements spiral out from the middle of the city on the right bank of the River Seine, each one with its own personality. La Cite, part of the 1st District, is the historic heart of Paris, home to the cathedral and the Sainte Chappelle. The Latin Quarter is the traditional student quarter, centered on the Sorbonne and Panthéon, a district of cheap restaurants and charming old streets. Pigalle and Montmartre, the ninth and 18th arondissements, are where Paris parties. Le Marais is the Jewish quarter and the 13th district, Chinatown, is where Paris’s large Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian communities live and trade.
Paris’s sweeping boulevards, public squares, fine palaces, old townhouses, little market streets and hidden courtyards contain a wealth of attractions with more than enough to occupy tourists who have landed on cheap flights to Paris.
Book airline tickets to Paris and you’re on your way to haute cuisine, world-famous art and architecture, and a glimpse into the aristocratic lifestyle of centuries past. While your flight to Paris might be cramped and full of minuscule airline snacks, your meal in Paris will be decadent.
Don’t pack too much on your flight to Paris; it’s possible you’ll leave France with a new wardrobe. From Armani and Chanel to Prada and Louis Vuitton, Paris fashion certainly makes a statement. Make sure you bring an extra suitcase with you – you’ll need it after a stroll down the Champs-Elysees or the Avenue Montaigne, two of Paris’ most frequented shopping streets. But Paris offer more than just food and fashion. A quick jaunt down the 18th arrondissement will land travelers in Montmartre where lesser-known painters created names for themselves and cancan dancers greeted guests at the famous Moulin Rouge. The Sacre Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) sits at the top of the hill and remains a must-see destination point for Paris visitors.
Good news for travelers: cheap plane tickets to Paris can always be found if you’re flexible with your travel dates. Whether you want to stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower or walk along the River Siene, flights to Paris from major U.S. cities are easy to book and readily available. Before booking Paris flights, make sure you cash in some dollars for Euros. Because of the time change, it’s likely you’ll be exhausted after your trip. Hop in a cab, give your driver the required fare and enjoy the scenes and sights along the way to your hotel. After a cup of coffee and a fresh croissant, you’ll be ready to take on the City of Light.
Like many destinations in Europe, cheap airline tickets to Paris can usually be found during the winter months, especially January and February when temperatures stay in the 40s and 30s, skies are usually gray, and the weather is windy and damp. The city is at its best in springtime, so booking flights to Paris will be easy but often expensive from April to June when the temperatures are usually in the 60s and 70s. July and August can be hot and stuffy with temperatures going to the upper 70s and sometimes into the 80s. Flights to Paris are pretty packed in early fall when sunny weather continues through the first half of October. July is generally the warmest month and February the coolest.
Springtime is very popular in the romantic city of Paris, so it is often considered peak season in the French capital. Increased flight costs and larger crowds come with that appeal, but this also extends to autumn time as well, to experience Paris culture book flights to Paris during September to November—these are the months when Parisians have returned to the city after their own holidays to make it, well, more Parisian.
Paris gets rather cold during the winter months between November and March, which arguably adds to its charm and makes it even more memorable as a holiday destination. For this reason, it gets fewer tourists and has its off season during this time, so you’re most likely to get cheap flights to Paris in winter. That does not apply to Christmastime, however, as tourists flock to the French capital to enjoy a quintessentially French festive break.
Summer brings out the tourists in Paris, and that means soaring temperatures and soaring airfare. If you want to visit between late May and August, book early to find the best deals. Start looking at least four months in advance. Spring and fall offer comfortable temperatures and cheaper airfare, making those times a good balance of cost and comfort. Another perk? The city is much less crowded, so you won’t have to compete with other tourists. Winter brings the cheapest airfare to Paris, but you also face cold temperatures, gray skies and windy, damp weather. For off-peak times, booking one to four months in advance is best, unless you’re traveling during a holiday. Book early for trips during summer, school breaks or holidays. Midweek booking often results in the lowest fares.
Settle in for your flight to Paris. The trek from New York City to Paris takes under eight hours. Hop a flight from London to Paris in under an hour. The flight from Atlanta takes about nine hours, as does the flight from Chicago.
Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport ranks as the second largest airport in Europe, coming in eighth worldwide for passenger traffic. The airport welcomes 139 airlines, so you have your choice of carriers to get to Paris. Air France claims the majority of passengers, with easyJet, Delta, Lufthansa and Emirates Airlines rounding out the list of top carriers. Other airlines include American, Avianca, British Airways, United and KLM.
Grab a raincoat or an umbrella before you head to Paris, especially during summer and winter when rain is common. Summer gets hot, so bring cool clothes and comfy walking shoes. You may find yourself far from a bus or metro station, and you’ll want supportive shoes for the walk. Pack layers for spring and fall with a sweater or light jacket for warmth. Winter feels cold, so bring warm clothes for your outdoor Paris adventures. Bring a small backpack or bag to carry your essentials without looking too much like a tourist.
The French capital has two main airports: Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG), which is the largest in France and Orly Airport (ORY), which is also international, but serves the majority of domestic flights that come in and out of Paris.
Named after the former French president, Charles de Gaulle Airport is France’s largest international airport. Distance to the city center is 16 miles north-east of Paris.
You can get between CDG and Paris for around €10 ($10) with a journey time of approximately 35 minutes. The bus and coach provide plentiful alternatives for travel between CDG and the city or, indeed, CDG and Orly airport. Fares start at €2 ($2) and go up to €21 ($22), depending on your final destination.
If you are going to Disneyland Paris, take the Magical Shuttle that runs from Charles de Gaulle straight to the theme park.
Getting between terminals of Charles de Gaulle Airport: free shuttles N1 and N2 run different routes throughout the terminals in public spaces and are by far the easiest way to get around in Charles de Gaulle.
If you are connecting flights there, there are five color-coded shuttles that can help you get directly to the correct terminal: green, blue, yellow, red and orange. Be sure to check ahead of your journey to find out which one you will need according to your flights.
Hints and tips
Orly is Paris’ second biggest airport after CDG and serves the most domestic traffic for air travel within France. Distance to the city center is 8 miles.
Buses: Orlybus is one of the most popular ways to get to Paris. It stops at entrance H outside terminal south and entrance D outside terminal west and runs every 15-20 minutes. The usual fare costs around €6 ($7).
Airport transfer buses run from Orly Airport to Paris on a regular basis and are perfect for larger groups and families.
Taxis are typically quite expensive in Paris, but it is possible to get a ride from the airport to the city from either a Paris taxi or a Suburban taxi. Be sure to check fares with your driver before you get in.
Getting between terminals of Orly airport: Terminal south and terminal west are connected by two forms of transport; the car park shuttle, which is free and runs every eight minutes and the Orlyval. The Orlyval is an automatic metro that runs from both terminals to Antony RER Station on the other side of Paris to the airport.
Hints and tips
The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral: Paris offers many highly recognizable landmarks to add to your itinerary. Start with a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. You get an amazing view of the city to get a feel for the layout. See the city from a different angle on a boat ride down the Seine. The tours let you see several sites while taking a break from walking for a few hours.
When you’re ready to see the Arc de Triomphe, take some time to explore the Champs-Élysées. The famed street is a Parisian must-see leading up to the Arc. Another famous area is the Rue Saint-Honoré, where you can shop for designer French brands. For a true Parisian experience, head to the Rue des Martyrs, a market neighborhood full of fresh produce, fish, and more along with cafes and boutiques.
The Louvre is perhaps the most recognizable of all the museums in Paris. Stop here for a glimpse at the Mona Lisa, among many other notable works. If you’re a fan of Impressionist art, don’t miss Musée d’Orsay. Located in a beautiful old Beaux-Arts railway station, the museum houses a vast collection of masterpieces. Musée Rodin offers a gorgeous setting with over 6,000 Rodin sculptures on display. Enjoy the fountain and rose gardens on the grounds.
If you visit during warmer months, spend some time at the Luxembourg Gardens. The Palace of Versailles is another beautiful site, as is the Palais-Royal Gardens. Visit these spots when you want to escape the busy city environment.
When you’ve had your fill of Paris, explore beyond in other European cities or even other continents. With so many international and U.S. airlines, such as Delta, Air France and British Airways, you have your choice of destinations when flying out of Paris.
Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport sees 63 million passengers a year. Play it safe by showing up early for your flight to allow plenty of time to get to your gate. Take the train or the bus from downtown Paris to the airport to catch your flight.