What to do and what to avoid in Paris & Top Recommendations

When to Reserve

Paris is one of the world’s most famous travel destinations, and hotels fill up fast during high season. Hotels have different cancellation policy—most hotels take at least one night’s stay as a deposit and keep it if you don’t show up. Some hotels offer special low prices that must be paid up in advance and are nonrefundable. Others give a full refund only if you cancel a week in advance.

Museums with free entrance

There are museums in Paris that don’t require any payment to enter: The museum of modern art, Balzac museum, Victor Hugo House. Some museums are free on the first Sunday of each month including Pompidou Center, OrangerieMuseum, Orsay'sMuseum, Picasso museum, Museum du Quai Branly, Rodin Museum, Louvre Museum (free only from October 1 to March 31, low season).

What to Wear

Try to wear formal clothes (and accessories such as scarves). You’ll also stand out as a tourist-less and therefore be less of a target for pickpockets.

Wear sturdy shoes whatever the season – cobbled streets aren’t kind on high heels or thin soles.

When visiting religious sites such as Notre Dame, be sure to dress respectfully.

Internet

WiFi(pronounced “wee-fee” in France) is now widely available in French hotels, although there is often a charge.

For a list of free Wi-Fi spots around the city, including public buildings, parks and squares see www.paris.fr

A list of cafés with freeWi-Fi can be found here www.cafes-wifi.com

Public Toilets

The number of public toilets in Paris is not abundant, so many times you will have to ask permission in a restaurant to use the bathroom of the place. Some restrooms require payment, so it’s advisable to carry some coins with you, just in case.

Lost property

To reclaim lost items in Paris, go in person (with ID) to the Bureau des Objets Trouvés, 36 rue des Morillons, 15th;

Phone Number: 08 21 00 25 25;

Open: Mon–Thu 8.30am–5pm, Fri8.30am–4.30pm.

Money

Currency Exchange

Bureauxde change at train stations change their working hours in high or low seasons, but most are open Monday to Friday 7 am–7 pm. Exchange offices at airports are open daily until 11 pm.

Cash Machines

The easiest way to take out money is to use an ATM, with a debit or credit card such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro or Cirrus.

Credit Cards

Most stores, restaurants, and hotels accept credit cards.

Visa is the most commonly used credit card in France; international credit cards are widely accepted as well, except for American Express.Foreign credit cards, especially those without an embedded chip, do not always function in machines. Some bank charges for using a credit card can be up to 3% of the purchase price.

Business hours

Banks usually open from Monday to Friday 9 am to 5.30pm and don't operate at weekends. However, many now open on Saturday morning and close on Monday instead.

Boutiques and department stores open between 9 and 10 am, closing at around 7 pm (later on Thurs­day). Food shops, especially bakers, open early in the morning.Lunchtime closing is increasingly rare; most shops do, however, close on Sunday.

Smoking

Like many European countries, France has now banned smoking in railway stations, airports, shops and offices, restaurants and bars, with fines in place for anyone flouting the ban.

Telephones

Phone Numbers

Phone numbers in France have ten digits. Paris and Île-de-France (Paris region) landline numbers begin with 01. Toll-free telephone numbers start 0800; all other numbers be­ginning 08 (accessible in France only) are charged at variable rates; 06 numbers are for mobile phones. For the operator, call12.

Public Telephone Boxes

Most phone boxes in Paris operate with a card( télécarte), bought from kiosks and post offices. Cafés often have public phones, which usually take coins or jetons, discs purchased at the bar.

Tipping

By law, restaurant bills include a service charge, which is usually 12 or 15 percent but it is common to leave a small additional tip (not more than 5percent) for the waiter for excellent service. Address waiters as Monsieur and waitresses as Mademoiselle, orMadame, considering their age.For taxi charges, rounding up to the nearest euro is the norm.

Coffee

Cappuccinos are rare in Parisian cafes. Drinks at the bar (coffee or others) can cost half what you will pay at a table—as little as 1€ for an expresso.

Pharmacies

Most pharmacies are open from 9, or 10 am to 7 or 8 pm. At night, they post the addresses of the nearest late-opening pharmacies in their windows. Late-opening pharmacies include Publicis Drugstore.

Address : 133 avenue des Champs-Élysées, 8th;

Phone number : 0147 20 39 25;

Open : daily 24 hrs;

Metro : Charles de Gaulle- Étoile.

What to Avoid

Pickpockets are present in busy tourist areas and public transportation. Therefore, be very careful with your luggage and do not leave it untended, not even for a moment.

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