If you want to fly to Paris, you have the choice of three airports; Charles de Gaulle (CDG) 20 kilometres north of the city, Orly (ORY) 14 kilometres to the south which has the best domestic services or the more distant Beauvais (BVA) 90 kilometres north west where there is the best chance to book cheap flights to Paris because it is used by many budget airlines.
Wizz Air and Ryanair have helped make Beauvais the 10th busiest airport in France though it is behind the two larger Paris Airports that have intercontinental flights from airlines such as Delta Airlines, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, British Airways and of course Air France. There are so many things to see and do in this lovely city that it is no surprise that its airports are so busy. Tourists wish to shop, see Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Seine while businessmen have deals to strike.
Airport in Paris
Paris is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and flights to and from Paris to destinations all over the world land and take off, one after another. While Charles de Gaulle may be regarded as the main airport, both of the others have constant traffic all year round.
Each of the airports have excellent facilities including shops, bars and restaurants. Information desks are there to help new arrivals while ATMs, disabled facilities, restrooms and first aid assistance provide all that a passenger might need.
Transport in Paris
Coming into Beauvais will find that there are excellent bus services coordinating with arrivals. Orly is the closest airport to the centre of the City and the quickest way to get there is the train. Coach services and taxis are two other alternatives unless you intend to hire a car which can be done at any of the airports. Frankly, Paris is a difficult city to navigate in a hire car unless you know it well.
Charles de Gaulle offers a good train service, coaches and the most expensive alternative taxis. You can expect to find shuttle buses to the hotels in the direct vicinity of the airport.
Within the city itself, the transport infrastructure is good, so there is no need to rely on taxis.
Not surprisingly, French is the Parisian language. It used to be the international diplomatic language as well. The French are proud of their language and culture and sometimes reluctant to use English even if they understand it. No international visitor should however have any difficulty making themselves understood in English, especially in major tourist areas, hotels and restaurants.
Basic Living Expenses
The South African Rand has been fairly weak over recent years so most overseas tourists will find things fairly cheap, although tourist regions are more expensive than elsewhere.
You will be able to grab a meal in a simple restaurant for around R75. When it comes to a 3-course meal in a mid-range restaurant, you can expect to pay R200.
Local beer, which is excellent, is around R22.50 for 0.5 litres while if you opt for imported brews, you can expect to pay R30 for just 0.33 litres. Cappuccino is likely to cost you R21.50. Marlboro, as a good example of cigarettes, will be R38.
If you take a taxi, there is likely to be a standing charge of just under R12 with an additional R11 per kilometre. If you hire a car, gasoline comes at R13.50 a litre which is extremely competitive compared with anywhere in Europe for example.
Paris has temperate climate with four distinct seasons most years. It can be cold in mid-winter but it is rare that snow will ever settle for any period. Springtime in Paris is pleasant, and romantics often believe it is the top destination for a weekend break at that time. Temperatures in spring should approach 20C most days with later months being warmer again; July is often the hottest month.
There is never a completely dry month though surprisingly February is statistically the driest month and May the wettest.
Best Time to Visit
If you are looking for cheap flights to Paris, it is worth looking at high season because many Parisians take a month-long holiday away from the city starting in mid-July. There is never a bad time to go to Paris however.
The shopping is great so you might consider pre-Christmas, or even the sales that follow. Likewise, Paris is a major sporting venue for winter sports, soccer and rugby union then in May the French Open Tennis at Roland Garros.