How to Travel to Paris Italy
You can travel to Paris and Italy in the same trip. (Photo: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images )
Paris and Italy are dream tourist destinations for many travelers. They both feature a rich history with centuries of art and architecture among the best attractions. If you are lucky enough to make it to Paris, you could make room in your itinerary for a trip to Italy as well, which is a day’s train ride from Paris. A trip to both places can include a visit to the famous Louvre Museum in Paris or the Colosseum in Rome. A passport is required for entry into these foreign countries and a visa may be required for extended stays.
Select the season to travel that is best for your budget and travel preferences. Summer days are longer and lengthen the sightseeing hours, but summer is the busiest and most expensive time to travel; winter is the slow tourism season and features cheaper rates, but the weather is cold and days are short. The spring months could mean rain on your vacation, whereas fall is the ideal time for brilliant foliage and fall festivals.
Research airline tickets to Paris before making your final purchase and apply any frequent flier miles you’ve accumulated to help you save the most money. You can save even more money by booking your tickets and hotel room in a package through many travel websites. Among the airlines that fly to Paris are United, Continental and Air France.
Make sure you purchase a return flight ticket that departs from the final destination of your tour so you don’t have to do extra traveling to get back to an airport. If you are traveling to Paris and then venture to six cities in Italy, your return ticket should leave from the last Italian city on your itinerary.
Choose the type of accommodations you would like for your stays in Paris and Italy and make the reservations before you leave for your trip. Paris has more than 1,450 hotels for all budgets and you can find hotels for all price ranges throughout Italy as well.
Exchange your U.S. dollars for euros at ATM machines throughout Paris and Italy to get the best exchange rates. You can exchange money at hotels and many stores, but ATMs are more convenient and get you the most euros for your dollar.
Tip for restaurant service in Paris and Italy only if you receive exceptional service because the restaurants already add a service percentage charge to the bill. A small tip is customary for hotel porters, cleaning staff, coat check attendants, bathroom attendants, tour guides, taxi drivers, ushers and valet drivers.
Purchase tickets for Paris attractions in advance if you can to save long lines at the ticket counter. A Paris Museum Pass, for example, can be purchased at airports and metro stations, is good for two, four or six days at several museums, and allows you to bypass the entry lines at each museum.
Save money by experiencing some of Paris’ top tourist activities that are absolutely free to the public. Popular free activities include the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a stroll along the Seine River, climbing the steps at Sacre Coeur, the Versailles gardens and other parks and gardens throughout the city, and the Observation Deck at La Samaritaine. All Paris museums are free on the first Sunday of every month.
Experience some of Paris’ most popular attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Opera Garnier, Sacre Coeur and the Louvre art museum. You may want to purchase a guidebook from your local bookstore before your trip so you can get an idea of all the attractions and plan your itinerary.
Follow French etiquette by exchanging formal greetings with all whom you encounter. Say “bonjour” when greeting, “au revoir” when departing, “s’il vous plait” for “please,” “merci” for “thank you,” address young women as “mademoiselle,” address women over 16 as “madame,” and address all men and boys as “monsieur.”
Travel by Eurorail train to continue your travels to your chosen destination in Italy; the Eurorail system is a popular form of travel between cities in Europe. From Paris, you can take the Artesia train to Bardoneccia, Bologna, Brescia, Florence, Milan, Novara, Oulx, Padova, Parma, PIacenza, Rome, Torino, Venice, Vercelli, Verona and Vicenza, Italy.
Fly from Paris to Italy if you want to get there faster than by train, which can take seven to 15 hours depending on your Italian destination. Flights, although much faster, are also considerably more expensive.
Select a city in Italy to focus your travels or plan to travel to several cities within Italy, depending on the length of your trip and your resources. A city like Rome, for example, has enough tourist attractions to keep a traveler busy for weeks.
Travel between cities in Italy via the Trenitalia nationwide rail network; tickets can be purchased online or at any station. A Trenitalia Rail Pass may be the most economical option if you plan to travel to several cities because it offers unlimited travel throughout the country.
Visit the popular Italian attractions like the Tower of Pisa, Colosseum in Rome, Vatican City, Uffizi Art Gallery in Florence, Teatro alla Scala Opera House or the volcanic ruins of Pompeii. If you prefer to concentrate your tours to just one city or region in Italy, you can obtain guidebooks at any bookstore that contain complete lists of tourist attractions in that particular location.
Take advantage of free attractions throughout Italy like the Pantheon or St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St. Mark’s Square in Venice or the Museum of Musical History in Naples. The Internet is a good resource for finding free and nearly free activities throughout Italy.
Purchase a guided tour package to see the best of Italy for an all-inclusive price; packages usually include transportation, accommodations and most meals in addition to sightseeing opportunities.