All theatre schedules incorporate a weekly “matinee” show. Regular concert seasons often take place on Sunday morning or at midday during the week (in museums for instance). Have a look at the schedules in our information pages.
- Usual times of matinee performances: 3pm or 5pm
- Usual times of evening performances: 8pm or 9pm
Depending on their audiences, some venues give discounts automatically (under-26s, students, job-seekers, seniors, children… check directly with them). There are two kiosks in Paris specializing in the sale of half-price theatre seats for the same day (12.30pm to 8pm Tuesday to Saturday and 12.30pm to 4pm on Sunday):
- 15, place de la Madeleine – 75008 – Metro: Madeleine
- Esplanade de la Tour Montparnasse – 75014 – Metro: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe
- Place des Ternes 75017 - Métro : Ternes
Web sites that deal in special offers for show and concert bookings offer plays, shows and concerts at reasonable prices.
There are some specialist magazines that relay the full list of what’s on in Paris in French. L’Officiel des spectacles is on sale every Wednesday in all newspaper kiosks and newsagents’. General-interest and cultural magazines also have “what’s on” listings (Figaro, Libération, Aden, Télérama…). For English-speakers, try Time Out and for children Paris Mômes
The excursion suppliers mentioned in the pages of our web site are all tourism trade professionals offering quality tours. Feel free to choose among them depending on the places you would like to visit.
The length of tours, by day or by night, by coach or by minibus, can vary from 2 hours, for a rapid overview of the capital, to a half-day or a full day, according to the type of excursion or the distance to be covered.
In high season, from April to October, some companies even offer tours over several days departing from Paris, hotels included, to explore other regions of France.
If you book a coach tour, it will usually leave from the agency of the company you booked with. You’ll be asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before departure. During the day, you will be brought back again to the agency, but as a rule after a night excursion, the coach will drop you off at or not far from your hotel.
Many suppliers offer minibus excursions departing and returning to the hotel, or with a transfer from your hotel to the agency. For practical reasons, most companies make it a requirement that your accommodation is within Paris itself.
At the time of booking, give full details of the place you are to be picked up from: address, telephone number, and room number. Transfers from hotel to agency generally involve a price supplement.
For a sightseeing tour of Paris by coach lasting 2 to 3 hrs, by day or by night, the average price falls between €20 and €25. You’ll need to add about €10 for a tour that includes a Seine boat cruise.
For a full day with, for example, a guided tour of the Louvre, boat cruise, lunch at the Eiffel Tower and a visit of Notre-Dame you can expect to pay around €90.
For a coach trip outside of Paris, the cost will vary depending on the distance to be covered, whether an official guide accompanies the tour, and any meals: from €40 to €60 for a trip to Versailles, including a guided tour, and from €120 to €160 for an excursion to Mont Saint-Michel or the Loire Châteaux, including meals and a guided tour.
Finally, for a “Paris by Night” excursion with an illuminations tour, boat cruise, dinner and show-in a famous cabaret or dinner at the Eiffel Tower, allow between €90 and €160.
If you opt for the top-of-the-range minibus tours, leaving directly from your hotel, prices may range from 20 to 100% higher depending on the excursion. The majority of excursion companies offer reductions of 50% for children from 4 to 11 yrs inclusive, on numerous tours by coach or minibus.
Certain excursions in Paris can even be free for this age range. As for children under 4, they generally go free on all excursions, barring any possible meal costs.
Details of each offer are given in our information pages.
Some excursions include a meal, either lunch or dinner or sometimes both. It all depends on the type of excursion, and how long it is. Full-day trips to other regions or further afield often include a meal or suggest it as an optional extra. If this is not the case, passengers are given some free time to make their own eating arrangements.
Quite a few Paris excursions also incorporate lunch or dinner, according to their themes. Menus can be consulted in the agencies and are chosen in order to suit the majority of people. However, it is possible to order replacement dishes. Kosher or vegetarian options are available on certain tours, remember to make your request-at the time of booking.
Excursion companies generally offer a wider choice of tours and more frequent departures during high season (between 1 April and 31 October). Cruises on the Seine river also operate more regularly and offer an extended timetable during this period.
Low season is between 1 November and 31 March.
There are several companies in Paris offering sightseeing tours on double-decker buses, some open-top some not, giving you complete freedom for your city tours.
These buses tour around the principal museums and monuments, major department stores and stations. Tickets for 1 day or 2 consecutive days leave you free to get on and off the bus as you like. On board, the Paris sights are described to you by audio-guides in several languages.
They operate every day, Sundays and holidays included.
The first departure sets off from each stop around 10am, and the last leaves around 6.30pm or 8pm between April and October. Departures are approximately every 10 to 30 minutes and, depending on the company, circuits last 1 or 2 hours if you stay on the bus.
Prices range from €22 to €28 for 1 or 2 days depending on the company, children between 4 and 11 or 12 years pay half price, sometimes even less, and places are free for children under 4 years old. Tickets can be purchased directly from the driver or in the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau welcome centres.
For cruises of around an hour on the Seine River, there is a guided commentary on the main sights and monuments, either by individual audio-guides in anything up to a dozen languages, or by a bilingual or trilingual hostess. Certain companies offer both headsets and hostesses, for a more detailed commentary. As regards cruises along the Canal Saint-Martin, commentary is provided by guides, in French and English.
For Seine cruises, choose from several departure points in the centre of Paris, according to the different companies: at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, at the Pont de l’Alma, Pont Neuf or near Notre-Dame. Depending which company you choose for cruises on the Canal Saint-Martin, boats leave from the Musée d’Orsay or the Bassin de l’Arsenal for La Villette, or vice versa.
In general, from 1 April to 31 October, there are departures on average every half an hour for one-hour Seine cruises, between 10am and 10.30pm. At other times of the year, the regularity and hours are reduced, but there are still boats every hour from 10am to around 9pm.
Cruises operate every day, including Sundays and holidays. NB: when the level of the Seine River rises, the service may be interrupted.
To sail along the Canal Saint-Martin, from La Villette, the Bassin de l’Arsenal or Musée d’Orsay, companies offer you 1 or 2 departures in the morning and afternoon, in either direction. These cruises take around 2 and a half hours either way.
An hour-long Seine cruise will cost you between €8 and €12 for an adult. Children under 12 can travel at half price. Certain companies allow under-3s or -4s to travel free.
For cruises on the Canal Saint-Martin, lasting around 2 and a half hours, allow around €10 to €15 per adult. It is worth noting that some companies operate exclusively with groups of 20 persons minimum. Reduced rates may be available for children, students and seniors, depending on the company.
Most places offer guided tours either with a guide or via an audio guide. Different foreign languages are also offered according to the place in question. If you wish, you can call on the services of a guide for a group or individual guided tour. See the list of Members of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.
No less than: 173 museums, 37 bridges, 31 monuments, 3 opera houses, 171 churches and temples, 208 theatres and cabarets, 20 covered passageways, 84 cinemas, 14 cemeteries, 108 Wallace fountains, 463 parks and gardens.
Larger museums provide cloakrooms and left-luggage services where you can leave your heavy things free of charge for a more comfortable visit. Coats, large umbrellas, rucksacks and small pieces of luggage are accepted.
Items that are not accepted are: cumbersome bags, suitcases, valuables such as cameras, money, identity papers and chequebooks, food and drink.
An exception is sometimes made for children’s pushchairs: at the Louvre for example, they are permitted in the galleries and at left-luggage.
Warning! During the “Vigipirate” security measures, left-luggage offices in some museums and monuments may be closed.
That depends on the museum, it is best to make enquiries at each museum beforehand.