Blue Bike and Blue Fox Tours have put together some useful information in order to help you plan your visit to Paris and make the best use of your time!
Anytime's a good time to visit Paris! There are advantages and disadvantages to every month of the year. Why? Because of the weather of course! Paris is on the same latitude line as Vancouver, Canada and Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Which is a good 600 miles (1000km) further north than New York. So you'd expect that Paris would have a mild summer and very cold winter, right? Except, because it is so close to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream affects it, the climate in Paris is classified as Mild Oceanic. Which means the weather in Paris is nothing like in Vancouver or Ulan Bator! Paris has four very distinct seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter and every one is awesome in some way.
Summers are hot, especially in July and August. It doesn't get as hot as Texas or Ayer's Rock, but it's still hot and you'll need to be prepared for it. There's lots of sun to be had so if you want to work on your tan in front of the Eiffel Tower you can, just bring some sun screen so that you don't burn and remember to stay hydrated. Paris has the kind of heat that makes you drink the 2 liters of water per day that your doctor recommended and then some! But don't worry, fresh cold water is available all over the city, both in bottles that you can buy and in city drinking fountains.
Thanks to the Seine river running through the heart of Paris it gets pretty humid too, so don't expect too many perfect hair days. Paris usually has a couple good thunder storms and big heavy showers. This happens because the humidity builds up for 3-7 days and then needs to be released. Plan on wearing very light clothes in summer. Summer weather in Paris is very much like summer in Chicago.
Tip: It's pretty common for temperatures to reach above 30°C during the day, but the evenings are still slightly cool and nice, so dress light with shorts and skirts but bring a pullover or light jacket for the evening.
Autumn in Paris is very nice! Most of the trees turn red or yellow and most of the days have bright blue skies especially in October and November. The weather is mild and agreeable as the temperatures are still high enough to let you walk around without a coat, and not feel cold.
Autumn weather is a lot like Spring weather but even better as it is far less likely to rain in Autumn! Plan on bringing a jacket and at least one pull-over for the colder evenings but most of the time you'll be wearing your jeans and a light shirt.
Tip: In Paris the crowds start to thin out at the museums by mid October and that's a big plus as they can get really big in the summer months.
Parisian winters are usually portrayed as grey and rainy, but that doesn't mean that you should avoid Paris at that time of the year! In fact winter offers many advantages over summer. For example since it is low season for other tourists it's the absolute best time of the year to visit The Louvre, the Chateau de Versailles, and any other museum that interests you. There won't be any crowds to worry about or lines to stand in so you'll be able to appreciate your time in Paris more like a local would.
Another great thing about winter in Paris is being able to see all the twinkle lights and explore the Christmas Markets for interesting and unique crafts and goods. Remember Paris is known as the City of Lights and seeing it with the extra lights right before Christmas only makes it more beautiful to behold.
It's quite rare to see snow in Paris. It might snow once or twice but when it does snow, it usually doesn't stick around for the whole day. So if you're lucky enough to see it make sure you take lots of pretty pictures!
Tip: January and February are definitly the coldest months of the year in Paris, and you should expect mostly grey skies, cold days and some rain too. So bring a warm coat, gloves and a hat in order to be the most comfortable while you're out and about.
With more that 150 museums within the city limits of Paris, it can be hard to decide where you should focus your time and attention. To make things easier for you we've listed some classic favorites below with a breif description in order to help you understand your options better.
With around 10 million visitors every year, the Louvre Museum is undoubly the most famous and visited museum in the world, it hosts some of the best pieces of art such as the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. The Louvre is big, it has 35,000 works of art on display, which means that if you want to see it all and spend only 30 seconds in front of each piece, it would take you 13 full days to see everything.
To really appreaciate the Louvre you will have to spend at least an entire day in it. In the summer, come early to avoid the long lines. Or visit on Wednesday and Friday nights as the Louvre stays open longer (until 9:45pm), and it is usually less crowded at night.
The Louvre is divided into multiple sections such at Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities, French, Italian and Dutch paintings, Islamic Arts and the appartments of Napoleon III.
The Musée d'Orsay is located, in an old train station, just across the river from his big brother the Louvre. In the Musée d'Orsay you'll find the finest impressionist in the world! Beautiful pieces of art created by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, and Van Gogh for example. It takes about 3hrs to see the best stuff inside but some people have been known to spend the whole day.
The Musée d'Orsay is one of the stops on our Paris Landmarks bike tour.
Orignaly used as a hospital for Louis XIVth army, Invalides is now a beautiful complexe hosting the National Military Museum of France and the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. It has some the largest collection of Medieval Armor in the world on display and lots of other interesting weapons and war artifacts. (This is a stop on our Paris Landmarks and Evening Bike + Boat Tours.)
L'Orangerie is a very small museum located within the Garden of Tuileries. The main attractions here are the famous waterlilies by Claude Monet. If you've taken the time to see the Musée d'Orsay and loved it then you should walk across the river and see this little gem too!
The Palace of Versailles is located just outside of Paris, it only takes 30min to reach by train from central Paris. Probably the most famous Chateau in the world, if you have more than 2 days in Paris then it should be on your list of things not-to-be-missed. It was the last home of the French King Louis and his infamous wife: Marie-Antoinette. It's gilded inside and out and has more sumptuous gardens and decorations than any other palace in Europe. It will amaze you so make sure you take the time to go see it!
Tip: Visit the local farmers market in Versailles first thing in the morning to get supplies for a picnic on the royal grounds and make sure to visit Marie-Antoinette's private domain with the adorable farm animals and thatched roof cottages. To make it easier on yourself, why not take our Versailles Bike Tour as we've planned everything out perfectly from transport costs to fast entrance into the Chateau.
Known to many as “The most beautiful avenue in the world” this avenue is lined with perfectly trimmed chestnut trees and leads you from the Place de la Concorde right to the famous Arc de Triomphe. Every year in July Parisians and people from all over the world gather here to watch the end of the “Tour de France” cycling race.
The Palais Garnier is exquisite, and a true “must see” in the evening hours when its splendid facade is flooded with golden lights. If possible you should take a guided tour inside with one of the official Opera House guides. They usually take no more than 2hrs and are well worth the 10€ or so that you spend. You'll learn about the fascinating history behind the ecclectic design of the building, hear a bit about Napoleon III, and discover who or what lives in and under the Opera today! (It's also a stop on our Evening Bike + Boat Tour.)
Built by Saint Louis to house the crown of thorns which he brought back from Jerusalem after the crusades. For hundreds of years this lovely church served as the private royal chapel for the Kings and Queens of France. Confiscated and unconsecrated during the French Revolution today it's owned by the French Republic. It's one of the best places to see the fabulous craftmanship of French stained glass workers. Make sure you visit on a sunny day when the light shines through the windows the best! There is an entrance fee of about 8€, and it's worth it because once inside you'll feel like your in a jewelry box.
One of Paris' unchanged neighborhoods, here you'll find only little streets and cute boutique stores. Most of the building are older than the 1700's and some even date back to the 1500's. The eastern part of le Marais is the historical Jewish neiborhood of Paris and the western part is nowadays the gay district. Just get lost as you wander the little streets of Le Marais and enjoy!
A long layover can give you the opportunity to get a real taste of what Paris is like. It's best to plan your time out well so that you don't waste a minute of it. The first thing you want to decide is if you're going to wing it alone or if you want to hire a guide to help you see more and understand what you're seeing better.
Cycling in Paris is a great way to get around quickly, avoid being stuck in traffic jams, and actually experience the city and it's charms. If you have at least 6 hrs in Paris then you should sign up on Blue Bike Tours : Paris Landmarks Tour. That way you can see ALL of the top monuments and museums in Paris for only 29€.
If you're more of a solo traveller or if none of the tour times fit you then here are 3 neighborhoods that you can explore easily by foot during your layover.
Tip: Know that getting into central Paris from CDG airport takes about 1hr by train, or 45 minutes by taxi. So don't plan your activities to start in Paris within the first hour of your arrival or you'll be late for sure!
You're in Paris for only 1 Day and want to get the most out of it? Here is your best itinirary:
If you walk this way you will spend about 8hrs on your feet. If you take our Paris Landmarks Bike Tour you will see and learn about all of these places and more in under 4hrs leaving you enough time to go back inside a couple of them in the afternoon.
Your first day should be spent sightseeing around the famous landmarks of Paris, please have a look at the previous section 1 Day in Paris.
Depending on your tastes and the weather, your second day in Paris should be spent either walking around some charmingly typical Parisian neighborhoods or inside some famous museums.
If you decide to spend the day outside, you should start in the morning by walking around Le Marais.
Le Marais and the Latin Quarter are both featured on our Paris Off The Beaten Path Bike tour, and Montmartre on our Montmartre Walking Tour so if you want a guide to explain what makes these, just sign up with us.
If you wish to spend your day visiting some of the world famous parisian museums, we suggest spending the morning at Orsay, and the rest of the day at the Louvre. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Louvre is open longer at night (until 9:45PM).
If you're in Paris for 3 days, we suggest spending your first two days as described in the previous section : 2 days in Paris.
If you're in Paris for a whole 3days then we suggest spending your 3rd day in Versailles!
The Palace of Versailles is located just outside of Paris, it only takes 30min to reach by train. Probably the most famous Chateau in the world, because of it's extraordinary beauty and tragic history.
It was the last home of the French King Louis and his infamous wife: Marie-Antoinette. It's gilded inside and out and has more sumptuous gardens and decorations than any other palace in Europe. It will amaze you so make sure you take the time to go see it!
Tip: check out the local farmers market in Versailles first thing in the morning to get supplies for a picnic on the royal grounds and make sure to visit Marie-Antoinette's private domain with the adorable farm animals and thatched roof cottages. To make it easier on yourself, why not take our Versailles Bike Tour as we've planned everything out the from transport tickets to fast entrances into all of the special spots and Chateau itself.
If you don't want to spend your 3rd day at Versailles, you might consider spending some time walking around Paris' Opera Garnier and the famous Parisian Grand Magasins (department stores). That way you can get all of your stylish Parisian shopping done and find cool souvenir gifts for your friends and family back home.
The neighborhood centered around the Opera Garnier is fantastic, especially if you're a fan of architecture and or shopping! This whole area of was completely transformed during the 1870s thanks to Napoleon III and is now full of beautiful Hausmanian buildings, such as the Garnier Opera House and the Printemps Department store. Don't miss out on the Galeries Lafayette with its stunning stained glass ceiling and their free rooftop terrace with it's beautiful view over the Opera House.
PLEASE CAREFULLY READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND THE FAQ's BEFORE BOOKING A TOUR THROUGH WWW.BLUEFOX.TRAVEL
These are the Terms and Conditions that apply to any tour run by BLUE BIKE TOURS SARL in France under the brands BLUE BIKE TOURS or BLUE FOX TRAVEL.
In this document, BLUE BIKE TOURS might be abbreviated as BBT and BLUE FOX TRAVEL as BFT.
Because BLUE BIKE TOURS is a registered French company, for all tours taking place in France, only the French Law will apply in case of conflict.
Tours run Rain or Shine. BBT reserves the right to cancel any of its tours in case of an Act of God. In such instances full refunds will be given to anyone who was not able to take their tour.
BBT offers a 100% refund if a reservation is cancelled more than 72 hours before the scheduled start of the tour. No refunds are given for ANY reason once within the 72 hrs prior to the scheduled tour.
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All reservations made for children under the age of 18 years old must be made by an adult.
All reservations made for a child under the age of 18 years old must also include the reservation for an adult who will be 100% solely responsible for the safety and well being of the child while on the tour.
Every child under 13 partaking in a bicycle tour will be required to wear a helmet and a reflective vest by French Law.
The adult who accompanies the child(ren) agrees to the responsibility of choosing (a) properly sized helmet(s), adjusting the helmet(s), and keeping the helmet(s) on head(s) of the child(ren). Blue Bike Tours has helmets in multiple sizes for you to choose from.
Don't forget: Children (0-4) who will be riding in a child or baby seat attached to their parents bike ride for free, but MUST have had their seat reserved beforehand!
Child Bike Policy
Children who will be riding on their own may be subject to a very short trial demonstration before the tour starts in which they will be expected to demonstrate: that they are well suited for their bike’s size and settings, that they know how to brake properly and that they are, in general, good cyclists who can be trusted to follow their Blue Bike Tours guide.
If the Blue Bike Tours guide, or manager, finds that the child is not, for any reason, a good cyclist then the guide, or manager, has the right to refuse to let the child follow the tour on a personal bike. This means they will either be asked to ride on one of our ‘tandems’ which is attached to that of an adult’s bike in a tandem fashion, OR even asked to ride in a child seat attached to the back of an adult’s bike. If the child refuses the change, then the guide or manager has the right to cancel the reservation, and not allow them on the tour.
Damages to Blue Bike Tours Property
If you or anyone in your party damages a vehicle, a Blue Bike, a child's bike, a helmet, a child seat, a ‘child tandem’ or any attachments, in such a way that it becomes badly disfigured, broken, or unusable, then BBT reserves the right to claim a fee of up to the price of the damaged vehicle or object.
You and everyone in your party will be kind and respectful to your guide. You and everyone in your party will do their best to follow the safety instructions given orally by the guide before the start of the tour and to abide by the policies outlined on this page. You agree that everyone in your party including yourself will do their best to follow the verbal directions, hand signals, and the physical example of your Guide during the whole tour and always look both ways when crossing a street.
You and everyone in your party will fully respect the rules of the French traffic. You will be solely responsible if you are caught by an authority breaking any rules or laws.
You and everyone else in your party agree that any accident which occurs while your party is on a tour, which injures or harms you or anyone in your party (in any way, including physically, emotionally, or mentally) is not in any way the responsibility of Blue Bike Tours.
You accept all responsibility for any accidents that you or anyone else in your party might experience while on a Blue Bike Tour.
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