Your first days

If you arrive by plane

You will touch down at one of the city's two main airports, Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) located 23km to the north-east of Paris, or Paris-Orly (ORY), 14km to the south of Paris.

Handy to know: there is also the Paris-Beauvais airport (BVA), which specialises in low-cost flights all over Europe. However, this airport is located 1.15h away (by special shuttle from Porte Maillot) to the west of Paris.

For more information about airports.

Customs declaration

Only sums of money (cash or cheques), deeds (actions, contracts, etc.) and valuables equal to or worth more than 10000 euros must be declared at customs.

For more information on customs declarations (in French).

Getting around

From the airport to Paris

Sciences Po does not have a transport services to collect students from the airports of Paris, but you might find some of the following links helpful for when you first arrive:

Railway stations in Paris

Paris has several railway stations, each of which services a different zone of France. All of these stations are situated in the heart fo Paris.

If your destination is one of the campuses outside Paris, you may have to come through Paris:

  • Gare Saint-Lazare for Le Havre
  • Gare de Lyon for Menton and Dijon
  • Gare de l'Est for Nancy and Reims
  • Gare Montparnasse for Poitiers

Exchanging currency

Euros: Although the exchange rate is always more favourable in the host country, we would advise you to arrive with enough euros to pay for your first taxi or night in a hotel.

Banks take a commission of three to five euros each time you exchange money. This commission varies from one bank to another.

Handy to know: Post offices often offer the best exchange rates and accept all foreign currencies as well as travellers cheques, American Express and Visa.

Another possible alternative are currency exchange outlets. You can find these at airports, train stations and in tourist districts (the Latin Quarter and Champs-Elysées, for example).

Where should I stay?

When you first arrive in France you will probably have to find temporary accommodation while searching for a place, if you are attending the Paris campus, or transferring to a regional campus.

Youth hostels are the cheapest option in Paris. There are also nice hotels that can help you out in a tight spot.

Eating and drinking

You can find information on the page dedicated to eating and shopping.

For more information about eating out in Paris.


You will find many telephone booths for which you can buy a phone card (sold in tabacs or newspaper kiosks) starting from  7.5 €, or directly with a VISA card.

Handy to know: there is WiFi access in most public places (train stations, airports, shopping centres) and in many cafés, as well as cybercafés.