Car Rental in Paris
Paris is one of the world’s most iconic travel destinations and a sprawling metropolis comprised of 20 districts (known locally as arrondissements). With a wealth of famous landmarks and attractions both in and around the city, car rental is an excellent choice for travelers looking to make the most of their trip to Paris.
Where to rent a car in Paris
Car rental companies are aplenty at both Charles de Gaulle International Airport and Paris Orly Airport, the two main airports serving France’s capital. You will also be able to find a wide range of car rental agencies within Paris itself including international companies like Enterprise, Sixt, Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty along with plenty of local providers. Both of the city’s airports have extensive transport links to central Paris including public transport if you don’t want to pick up your vehicle from your airport of arrival.
Driving in Paris
Central areas of Paris are heavily congested at almost all times of the day so you will either want to avoid the city center or give yourself plenty of additional time to reach your destination. The rush hours in the city are particularly unbearable to steer clear of the road from 07.30-09.30 and 17.00-19.30 to avoid the worst of the congestion. As Paris is such an old city, many of the streets around the city are very narrow and unaccommodating towards modern transportation. Compared to reliable European standards of driving, local Parisians have a reputation for flouting etiquette and driving dangerously so always keep your wits about you. In France cars drive on the right-hand side, while the streets of Paris are heavily populated by scooters and motorbikes so always keep an eye out.
Parking in Paris
Finding parking in Paris can be a nightmare, especially in central areas where spaces are at a heavy premium. Street parking is almost impossible to find during the day so expect to drive around in circles looking for a space if this is your plan. Street parking is regulated by pay and display machines which will require a carte de stationnement which can be acquired from a local tabac store. You will need to pay for parking most of the time other than after 7pm on weekends. It is a much better idea to find a dedicated car park or private parking garage for your vehicle rather than relying on street parking. It may be expensive but there are plenty of them around the city and you will save yourself a lot of time and stress.
Where to go around Paris
In Paris the 1st arrondissement is a great place to start your journey off and is home to many famous places such as the Louvre Museum, but each district will have its own iconic attractions worth visiting. Some of the noteworthy attractions across Paris include the Notre-Dame in the 4th, the Pantheon in the 5th and the Eiffel Tower in the 7th. If you fancy a day of shopping then head to the Champs-Elysees in the 8th, or spend your evening with a meal and a drink at the world-class establishments in Rue Oberkampf in the 11th. You can find some great hotel deals across the city to make the most of your stay. Many of France’s finest landmarks are within touching distance of Paris by car including the unrivalled opulence of Versailles Palace, the trendy getaway town of Fontainebleau or the Disneyland Resort Paris in Marne-la-Vallee. If you only have a limited time, read our guide on how to spend 3 days in Paris.
* This information is correct as of December 2018