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One of the Paris facts is that getting around in Paris and using the Paris Metro are easy if you take the time and study the Paris map and the Metro map. The Paris Metropolitain lines are colour coded and named according to their destinations.
Even if you don’t speak French, whether you are heading north, south, east or west, once you know the name of your destination stop, check the Metro map to see last stop on the subway line of your destination stop. That is the Paris metro line you should take.
For a little more adventure, more Paris facts; the Paris METEOR project (Line 14) is a 7.5km high-speed metro line which runs from Madeleine to Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand, passing through Chatelet and Gare de Lyon.
The METEOR project is in the first of a number of phases to provide passengers with more safety and faster travel.
Paris facts – the METEOR trains are driverless, have rubber tires and run on the Matra Transport International SAET automated ‘moving block’ system at a minimum headway of 85 seconds with a capacity of 40,000 passengers per hour in each direction, the highest capacity of any fully automated system of public transport in the world.
Other Paris facts: the journey from one end of the line to the other takes only 11 minutes for the eight stops and travels at an average speed of 40km/h.
Equipped with a warning light and sound system, passengers who are hearing or visually impaired are warned of the opening or closing actions of the doors. You really should try it out when visiting Paris.
Paris Facts – Major Airports for Your Paris Vacations
1. Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
3. Paris Beauvais Tille Airport
The Paris Beauvais Tille Airport is a smaller regional airport located 85 km north of Paris. This airport provides lower cost flights but don’t forget to factor in the 75 minutes driving time each way and the cost of a shuttle to and from Paris.
Transportation Options To and From the Airports and the Paris Metro:
- Air France shuttle
- Private Shuttle
While the Air France shuttle bus or the Roissybus fares are cheaper, one of the Paris facts to keep in mind is that the drop-off locations are limited and you are still required to do a fair bit of walking and haul your luggage to either a taxi, the RER rail system or the Paris Metro from the drop-off points in Paris in order to get to your hotel, unless you booked your hotel near a drop-off point.
I have used all methods of transportation to and from the major airports and my favourite is the private shuttle service which has provided excellent and reliable service right to the doorstep of my hotel.
Paris Attractions on the Periphery of Paris
There are so many great things to see in Paris and some of them are located outside of the downtown districts. Here is a list of my top picks of Paris attractions outside of the downtown city core:
- Bois de Boulogne – a huge natural park on the west end of Paris 2.5 times larger than Central Park in New York and 3.3 times larger than Hyde Park in London
- Parc Andre Citroen – a 14 hectares (35 acres) park built on the site of a former Citroën automobile manufacturing plant
- Bois de Vincennes – a large park on the east end of Paris, originally a hunting preserve for the kings of France, it became a military exercise area after the French revolution and was made into a public park by Napoleon III in 1860.
- Pere Lachaise Cemetery – one of Paris facts is the most famous cemeteries in the world; burial site of many famous people including Chopin, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison
- Parc des Buttes-Chaumont – a favourite park of Parisians; they flock to its grassy slopes to relax, picnic, and stroll along the five kilometres of trails found there.
- Parc de la Villette – a city within a city – an amusement park of Science and of Music
- Aux Marche Puces de St Ouen – Flea Market of St-Ouen – one of the greatest antique market and Paris attractions in the world with 2000 stalls of furniture, books, art glass ware, jewellery, porcelain, records, bronzes and more
- La Grande Arche de la Defense – a monument and building in the business district of La Defense to the west of Paris, designed to be a 20th century version of the Arc de Triomphe: a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than military victories
Ten Top Paris Attractions – Easy Day Trips
- Chartres (Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Chartres)
- Chateau de Chantilly
- Chateau Versailles and its Gardens
- Euro Disney (Disneyland Paris)
- Giverny – Claude Monet’s House and Gardens
- Loire Valley – this is undoubtedly one of the Paris facts; a region with many beautiful castles, vineyards, beautiful gardens and countryside
- Chateau de Malmaison – home of Napoleon’s first wife Josephine de Beauharnais.
- Reims – Champagne vineyards, Champagne houses, cellars and wine-tastings
- Parc Asterix – amusement park with rides and themes from historic cultures such as the Romans and ancient Greeks
Paris Weather and Climate
Paris, which is in the region of Ile-de-France, has a temperate climate with warm summers, cold winters and rainfall throughout the year. In the summer, the oceanic influence can bring on sudden mid-summer downpours and although these may be brief, you may want to pack a small umbrella.
Paris weather in the summer is sunny and can get very hot, and typically most French take their five-week vacations during the second half of July and August and head to the coasts and mountains at that time.Another one of the Paris facts is that anytime is a great time to visit Paris depending on your preferences. To avoid the heat, late spring, May to early June, or in the fall, from September to late October, are the best times to see Paris.
To see the romantic lights in the City of Light over the Christmas season, visiting in the winter is a good choice too.
If you enjoy hot Paris weather, mid-summer would be a good option as well because the Paris beach on the Seine River (or “Paris Plage” in French), a free summer event, opens up from July 20th to August 20th and transforms three spots in Paris into full-fledged beaches with sand, palm trees, beach-side cafes and each with distinct themes and games.
Here is one of the Paris facts that many visitors to Paris do not know. Be advised that because many Parisians leave the city mid-summer for their summer holidays, some shops and restaurants will be closed, but this is a perfect opportunity to head down to the Paris beach or include a few day trips in your Paris vacations.
Paris Train Stations and the Paris Metro
It is important to know that there are 7 major train stations in Paris, which can be reached using the Paris Metro, and depending on what city you are heading to, you will need to research ahead of time to ensure you end up at the right train station to catch your train.
Just like the Paris Metro, the train system in France is great, but keep in mind if you are trying to make the best of your time and want to get to your destination quickly, take the fast rail TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse, French for “high-speed train”) for a fantastic train ride and a more luxurious travel experience.
Here is an overview of the major train stations in Paris:
- trains to central France, Toulouse and the Pyrenees
- train stop of RER C
- Elipsos trains to Barcelona
Gare de Bercy
- trains auto-couchettes (TAC)
- trains to Italy (Artesia)
- TER Burgundy
Gare de l’Est
- trains to eastern France and Germany
- trains to eastern suburbs
- trains served by the Magenta of RER E
Gare Saint Lazare
- trains to Normandy,
- trains to west and southwestern suburbs
- trains served by Haussmann – Saint-Lazare of RER E
Gare de Lyon
- trains to southeastern France and Languedoc-Roussillon
- TGV Sud-Est, Rhone-Alpes and Mediterranee, to Switzerland (TGV Lyria) and Italy (Artesia),
- trains to southeastern suburbs
- train stop of RER A and D
- trains to western and southwestern France
- TGV Ouest and LGV Atlantique
- Elipsos trains Elipsos to Madrid
- trains to western suburbs
Gare du Nord
- trains to northern France,
- LGV Nord to Lille
- Thalys to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany
- Eurostar to London,
- trains to northern suburbs
- train stop on RER B and D and served by the Magenta of RER E