One of Europe's truly timeless cities, home to the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre-Dame – not to mention fantastic food...


... cutting-edge fashion and beautiful architecture – Paris needs no introduction. Easily accessible from London, it’s our nearest biggest-hitting neighbour, a real force in the fields of culture, art and cuisine.

Arriving at Paris Orly 

Paris Orly Airport is in the communes of Orly and Villeneuve-le-Roi in the south of Paris, about eight miles (13km) from the city centre. The airport is well connected to the city and there are numerous options when it comes to getting into town. The quickest of these is to get the train. The Orlyval light railway connects the airport to the RER B train line via Antony train station, from where it’s easy to transfer to a train into the centre of the city. The airport also connects to the RER C line, another of the city’s main train lines, with a shuttle from both Orly terminals to to Pont de Rungis – Aéroport d'Orly station, where it’s easy to catch an onward train.

It’s also easy to catch a bus from the airport into the city centre. Most conveniently, the line 1 runs between the airport and several sites in central Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysées. The Orlybus runs between the airport and Denfert-Rochereau, a station in the Montparnasse district towards the centre of town.

Taxis are another convenient form on onward transport from the airport; they assemble outside exits L and B. If you’d rather drive yourself, several car rental firms have outlets at arrivals.


Bastille Day

Each 14 July sees the celebration of Bastille Day, France’s national holiday. The festival commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789, the event which led to the French Revolution. As you might expect, celebrations in Paris are as enthusiastic as those anywhere, with a military parade on the Champs Elysées and a spectacular fireworks display being set off at the Eiffel Tower, accompanied by a light and music show.

Paris Carnival

Even more historic than Bastille Day is the Paris Carnival, which was originally held in the city at least as early as the 16th century. Recent years have seen a revival of the tradition each February, with thousands-strong street processions following Pimprenelle, the mascot of the carnival, represented by a (real) Limousin cow dressed to the nines for the occasion. The procession begins at the Place Gambetta and ends at the Place de la République.

Chinese New Year

Paris may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of Chinese New Year, but it’s one of the best places in Europe to join in the celebrations. It’s a vibrant affair, with colourful Chinese dragons, masked dancers and musical processions filling the streets; the main parade takes place in Chinatown, but there are also celebrations in Marais and Belleville.