with all large cities, Paris can be a confusing place to get around
and experince the sights. Below you'll find information covering anything
practical to help your stay in Paris a happy one, - basically we take
it on us to ensure that your memories of Paris are positive ones [ aren't
we nice? ]
|»Tourist Information Service|
|»Getting to Paris from the Airports|
|»Getting around Paris|
|»Money and banks in Paris|
|»Communications in Paris|
|»Emergency Numbers in Paris|
|»About Visas for France|
There are information centres distributed all over Paris in order to provide all kind of services you may need such as tourist information, money exchange, gift shop, etc. A list of a few are below.
Pyramides welcome centre: 25, rue des Pyramides 75001 Paris, RER : Auber (line A) Metro : Pyramides [lines 7-14 [ Open: From Monday to Saturday : from 10.00 - 17.00 Sunday and holidays: from 11.00 - 19.00 Tel : 0892 68 3000 [0,34 €/min]
Opéra - Grands Magasins welcome centre: 11, rue Scribe 75009 Paris RER : Auber [line A] Metro : Opéra [lines 3 - 7 - 8] or Chaussée d'Antin [lines 7 - 9] Open from Monday to Saturday [except May 1st] from 9.00 to 18.30. Tel : 0892 68 3000 [0,34 €/min]
Gare de Lyon welcome centre: 20, Boulevard Diderot 75012 Paris RER : Gare de Lyon [lines A-D] Metro : Gare de Lyon [lines 1-14] Open from Monday to Saturday [except May 1st] from 8.00 to 18.00. Tel : 0892 68 3000 [0,34 €/min]
Tour Eiffel welcome centre: Tour Eiffel Between the East and the North pill RER : Champ-de-Mars / Tour Eiffel [line C] Metro : Bir-Hakeim [line 6] Open 7 days a week from March 25 to October 31 [except May 1st] from 11am to 6.40pm. Tel : 0892 68 3000 [0,34 €/min]
Opening Hours: Many shops in Paris are open all day from 9.00 to 19.00, Monday to Saturday. Smaller shops may close over lunchtime between midday and 14.00, or all day on Monday. Sundays and public holidays are the usual closing days. During the week, the department stores have a late-night opening day, until 19.00. Supermarkets are open at different times depending on the neighbourhood, every day except Sunday, until 20.00, 19.00 or 22.00.
Paris has two main international Airports: Charles de Gaulle and Orly, which both are easily accessible via public transport. Air France Buses: The easiest and most convenient way to catch a ride to Paris central is via the Air France bus. There's a service both from Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airport. The service can be contacted at 01 41 56 89 00 or by their WEBSITE. www.airfrance.com
Charles de Gaulle: From Charles de Gaulle airport, the bus goes from both terminals and you can purchase your ticket directly on the bus. Tickets can be purchased right on the bus. There are a number of lines that run to and from Paris. Line 2 goes every 15 minutes from Terminals 1 and 2 to the Porte-Maillot Metro station and to the Arc de Triomphe. A ticket costs 10 euros one-way and 17 euros round-trip and the service runs from 5.45 -23.00. Line 4 runs from Terminals 1 and 2 to Gare Montparnasse, near the Left Bank, and Gare de Lyon, near the Marais. This costs 12 euros one-way or 20 euros round-trip and the serice runs from from 7.00 - 21.00. Lastly Line 3 runs every 30 minutes from Charles de Gaulle to Orly from Terminal 1.
There's also a train that stops near Terminals 1 and 2 and departs from the station every 15 minutes. The trip into the center of town is about 30 minutes and stops at the major stations including Gare du Nord or others where you can use the Metro interchange.
As usual a taxi is the more expensive option and takes roughly 50 minutes from Charles de Gaulle. The cost is roughly 40 euros but expect to pay more outside of normal working times. Taxis are metered and expect to pay an extra fee for baggage.
Orly Airport: Only charter flights and a few international airlines fly into Orly. There are two terminals, the Orly Ouest, for French domestic flights, and Orly Sud, for intercontinental flights. The Air France coach buses run to the Invalides terminal in the centre of Paris every 15 minutes. One leaves from Exit D at Orly Ouest and at Exit K at Orly Sud. The trip costs 40 minutes and costs 7.5 euros one-way and 13 euros return.
The rail service leaves every 15 minutes from the Pont de Rungis-Aeroport d'Orly station but you have to board a shuttle bus to get there. The trip takes 35 minutes and the airport shuttle leaves from Orly Sud, Exit F, on Platform 1 and from Exit G on the arrivals level at Orly Ouest.
A taxi into Paris takes 30-45 minutes and costs about 32 euros.
There are six main train stations in Paris and all have Metro stops right in the stations.
The Metro: Not as confusing as many but still needs some navigation. The map is colour-coded and the stations are all indicated with an 'M' sign. The first trains of the morning get going around 05.30 and the last trains leave their base stations around 00:15. Be sure to hold onto tickets, as you may need to show them to transit inspectors. All exit are indicated with the word 'SORTIE'. Tickets for the Metro are 1.3 euros each and 9.3 euros for a 'carnet' of 10. The "Carte Orange Hebdomaire" at 13.8 euros is good for a week of travel. There are also tickets that are intended fir tourists, providing admission for sightseeing, discounts etc. You have unlimited travel on the bus and Metro with these passes and a one day pass costs 8.4.
Taxis: In Paris Like most large cities, taking a taxi in Paris is costly and time-consuming. To get a taxi you must go to one of the designated stands marked with blue signs and the word "TAXI". All the taxis are metered and the drivers expect tips of roughly 10% of the total bill.
Currency: France is located in the Euro-zone and the currency used is the Euro.
Normal banking hours in Paris are generally from 9am to 5pm, or 6pm, from Monday to Friday, also sometimes also from Tuesday to Saturday. Certain branches may close at lunchtime, between 12.30pm and 2pm. Outside the official hours you can use one of several exchange offices ,as well as banks with special opening hours. If you're in difficulties, it's usually possible to change cash at larger hotels [generally bad rates] or with travel agents, who may initially grumble but will eventually give a rate with the commission built in - useful for small amounts in a hurry.
ATMs and Money Machine: ATMs are found almost everywhere and almost all machines accept all major credit cards. Make sure you have a personal identification number [PIN] that's designed to work overseas.
Traveller's Checks: Travellers' cheques are no longer the cheapest nor most convenient option and most people use bank cards now. However you can change up travellers checks pretty much everywhere and the usual fee for buying travellers' cheques is one or two percent. Changing Money in Paris banks are your best bet for exchanging money, as they offer the smallest margin between their buy and sell prices. Otherwise, "bureau de change" can also help you and there are many in most tourist destinations.
Post Offices: French post offices [bureaux de poste or PTTs] are located by the bright yellow La Poste signs. They are generally open from 9.00 - 19.00 Monday to Friday and 9.00 to 12.00 on Saturday. Post Office in Paris: The central post and sorting office of the Louvre is open 24 hours a day, but at night this is only for sending mail, poste restante [general delivery], telephones and telegrams. Address: PTT, 52 rue du Louvre, 75001 Phone: 01.40.28.20.00; Métro: Louvre If you want to send a letter or postcard you can also buy stamps [timbres] at tabacs [tobacco shops]. You can also buy postcards but the choice is generally limited. Try the Pompidou Center or the Latin Quarter for a more unusual selection of cards.
Telephone Services: Calls to France: the country code for France is +33. Dial +33, then the area code and the subscriber's number. Paris public phones work well and you'll find plenty of phones on the street. Most affect only phonecards [télécarte], which you can buy from tabacs or newstands. The cards come in 50-unit [€6.19] or 120-unit [€14.87].
Internet: There are also plenty of Internet cafes in Paris.
Paris is a huge city and you have to be careful with your belongings etc but with a bit of vigilance you'll have no problems at all. If you are unlucky enough to be the victim of a crime, you should report the incident as soon as possible at the nearest police station. If you report a crime you will be asked to make an official statement, which is essential if you wish to make an insurance claim.
24 hour ambulance [called “SAMU”]: 15
Other telephone numbers in Paris:
24 hour doctor: 01.47.07.77.77
24 hour dentist: 01.43.37.51.00
English language crisis line: 01.47.23.80.80
All visitors entering France must have a valid passport.
All visitors entering the France must have a valid passport. All those who are not French or EEC nationals will need a visa or entry clearance for all stays in France over six months. To check on any visa request you can also visit the French visa's web site www.diplomatie.gouv.fr.