Direct flights from Delhi to Paris are operated by Air India, Air France and other international carriers such as Emirates (round trip: about Rs 58,460 per person).
A Schengen Visa is required for travel to France. Apply for the visa at the French Embassy or get one through a travel agent. For details see vfs-france.co.in.
1 euro (€) = Rs 82
Where to stay
We stayed six nights at the Mercure Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur (from Rs 9,200; +33-9-69366130, mercure.com), just around the corner from the Moulin Rouge. This is a clean and comfortable four-star hotel with decent-sized rooms (by Paris standards) and a 10-15-minute walk from some of the city’s most picturesque sights, around the Sacre Coeur basilica.
Other hotel options include the Hippodrome Hotel (from Rs 6,960; +33-1-43876552, hotel-hippodrome.com), Le Relais Montmartre (from Rs 7,455; +33-1- 70642525, hotel-relais-montmartre. com), Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme (from Rs 62,260; +33-1-58711234, paris.vendome.hyatt.com).
We travelled almost exclusively by the metro, which is fast, relatively cheap and convenient — road traffic can be slow. Keep a metro map handy; it’s easy to figure out routes based on the starting and ending station on each line. If you are planning to make many metro trips (as we did), I recommend buying a carnet (a packet of 10 tickets, available at a discounted rate — approx €13.8).
Walking is also a great option in Paris, when the weather is good.
We booked the bike tour via Isango (from Rs 7,300 per person; 0124-4148173, isango.com).
Where to eat & drink
We stuck mainly with street food, such as crepes bought on the run. The tea-shop Angelina (+33-1-42608200, angelina-paris.fr), near the Louvre museum, is almost a tourist destination for the first-time Paris traveler — try their signature hot chocolate and Croque Madame (a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich with a poached egg on top).
And when you visit Notre- Dame, don’t miss the brilliant ice-creams at Berthillon (+33- 1-3543161, berthillon.fr). If you visit the Pompidou museum, the Crêperie Beaubourg (+33-1- 42776362, creperiebeaubourg.com) is a good place to have a quick meal.
If you plan to visit more than three or four of the main museums (e.g. the Louvre, Orsay, the Orangeries, the Rodin, the Pompidou), pick up a Paris Museum Pass (parispass. com), which gets you discounted, skip-the-lines entry into a selection of museums.