As two of Europe's most beautiful cities, equally famous for their rosters of historic artists that once called them home, both Florence and Paris are at the top of many European bucket lists. If Paris is your next stop after Florence, be aware that these cities are not at all neighbors and there are over 700 miles (1127 kilometers) between them. The easiest way to make this trip is to fly, but it's also possible to take a train or bus. Or, you could rent a car and plan a road trip which will take you through the Italian and Swiss Alps and across eastern France.
|Train||10 hours||from $66||Overnight travel|
|Bus||17 hours, 15 minutes||from $48||Extreme budget travel|
|Flight||2 hours||from $50||Quickest route|
|Car||12 hours, 15 minutes||716 miles (1153 kilometers)||A European road trip|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Florence to Paris?
While airfare between Florence and Paris can sometimes be purchased at a deep discount, the bus is consistently cheaper. Tickets on this route cost between $48 and $100 with FlixBus, but you're in for a long journey. The trip takes at least 17 hours, 15 minutes, which includes your transfer in Milan, where you will have to wait a couple hours for the next bus. From Milan, you'll drive through the night and will arrive in Paris the next morning. The buses are equipped with basic comforts like complimentary Wi-Fi and an on-board bathroom, but it's an exhausting trip even if you can manage to sleep sitting upright. If saving money is really your priority, always check airfares to make sure you aren't missing out on a better deal that can save you from a long day of bus travel.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Florence to Paris?
With a flight time of only two hours, flying is the quickest way to get between Florence and Paris—even after you factor in travel time to and from each airport. Only Air France and Vueling offer direct nonstop flights, but tickets can be quite cheap—sometimes as low as $50. When booking, pay attention to which airport you'll fly into—either Charles de Gaulle (CDG) or Orly Airport (ORY) are good choices. Flying can be an inexpensive and popular option, especially if you're short on time and need to get between the two points as quickly as possible.
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
You should plan on spending at least 12 hours, 45 minutes on the road if you plan to drive to Paris from Florence, but this trip is best spread out across a few days so you can enjoy the journey. You'll be driving past Milan, Turin, Geneva, and across France, so there are many good places to stop and you might even consider taking a detour to venture further into Switzerland or if it's the right season, you can go skiing in the Alps.
You'll need to take multiple highways to get to Paris and should expect to pay toll fees at several points throughout the trip. From Florence, you can follow the E35 and A4 north to Switzerland and then the SS26 and A40 all the way to the French border. Once you cross into France, simply follow the A6 north, which will bring you straight to Paris. One major drawback with a car rental in Europe is that there are astronomical fees for "dropping off" or transferring a car from one country to another, so make sure you consider all the costs before you commit to a road trip.
How Long Is the Train Ride?
There are no direct trains from Florence to Paris, but you can purchase one ticket that includes a transfer in either Milan or Turin. At its fastest, this train ride will take at least 10 hours, but it could take up to 14. It's more expensive, but rather than spending several hours cooped up in airports, going through security, and then arranging transport to and from the airport, a train would allow you to take in the landscapes and perhaps even enjoy some unique cultural experiences along the way.
Tickets for the night train, which tends to be a longer trip, range between $66 and $150. If you prefer to travel during the day, tickets typically cost between $139 and $242. If you hope to get off the train at some point to visit some of the cities along the way, this would be the perfect situation to buy a Eurail pass. The unlimited pass can save you a lot of money if you plan on taking many trains throughout your trip to Europe.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Florence to Paris?
Summers in Paris, as well as Florence, tend to be extremely overcrowded and hot. The best time to visit Paris is either in the fall or spring when temperatures are still warm, but the lines for popular attractions and landmarks are much more manageable. If you hope to catch Paris in one of its more festive moments, fall is a great time to enjoy events like the Montmarte Wine Harvest and Nuit Blanche, a night of cultural events with free art exhibits and performances.
What's the Most Scenic Route to Paris?
The fastest train route includes a transfer in Milan or Turin and then a direct train to Paris through the south of France. However, if you have the time, a more breathtaking train route would be to go from Florence to Milan but instead of taking the direct Paris train, go through Switzerland toward the city of Basel. You'll pass directly through the Swiss Alps and can spend a night in one of the charming towns along the route. From Basel, you'll catch a train that passes through the gorgeous Alsace region of France and the city of Strasbourg before finally making your way to Paris.
The scenic route involves a bit more planning than taking the direct train, but it's the ideal route if you want the journey to be a part of your vacation and not just a means of transport.
Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Paris?
Since both France and Italy are members of the European Union (EU) and part of the Schengen Zone, travelers from North America do not need a visa to travel between these two countries. Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it is also a part of the Schengen Zone, so you won't have any trouble crossing over the border.
Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?
If you hope to save money on a taxi by using public transportation to get into Paris, you should plan on flying into either Charles de Gaulle or Orly Airport. From either, it is easy to connect to the commuter train or take the express bus, which will bring you right into the city center in less than an hour. While the Roissybus is express, the commuter train is a little bit cheaper and it's easier to connect to the Paris metro system.
What Is There to Do in Paris?
In a city as large, famous, and likable as Paris, there truly is plenty to do. While every day should begin the French way, with a morning croissant and coffee at an outdoor cafe—the rest of the day is up to you. You could take your time exploring the city's museums from the big institutions like the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, or take a stroll though the gardens of the Rodin Museum, which is dedicated to the work of one sculptor. Later, you could seek out some of the city's best views of the Eiffel Tower, or climb to the top of the hill at Montmartre and enjoy the view from the Sacre Coeur Basilica.