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Paris need to know

Everything you need to know before visiting Paris

Our insiders tips

So you're finally visiting our beautiful Paris. First, congratulations! You're going to have a great time. Then, this is a list of our Paris experts tips to help you have the best time possible in Paris.

How to get there

As one of the most visited destinations on the planet, getting to Paris is very straight-forward.

Airports

Name

Transport into city

Time

Price

Where to in Paris?


Charles de Gaulle

RER B Train

30 - 40 min

€10 single

Gare du Nord
Châtelet les Halles
Saint Michel/Notre Dame
Jardin du Luxembourg

Roissy Bus

1 hour

€11 single

Opera (Metro lines 3 / 7 /8)

Air France Shuttle Bus

1 hour

€17 single

Champs Elysees (Metro line 2)
Gare de Lyon (Metro lines 1 / 14)
Gare Montaparnasse (Metro lines 4 / 6 /12 /13)

Taxi

around 40 min

€60


Orly

Orlyval Train + RER B Train

30 - 40 min

€9.30 single

Gare du Nord
Châtelet les Halles
Saint Michel/Notre Dame
Jardin du Luxembourg

Orly Bus

30 - 40 min

€7.70 single

Denfert-Rochereau (Metro lines 4 / 6)

Taxi

around 40 min

€50

Train Stations

Name

Metro Lines


Gare du Nord

4 / 5

Gare de Lyon

1 / 14

Gare Saint Lazare

3 / 12 / 13 / 14

Gare de l'Est

4 /5 / 7

Gare d’Austerlitz

5 / 10

Gare Montparnasse

4 / 6 / 12 /13

How to get around Paris

Walking around central Paris is particularly enjoyable especially due to the close proximity of many sites to each other. However Paris also has a very efficient public transport system, enabling quick and easy movement around the city.

Metro

Metro tickets can be bought at every station. The same tickets are valid on the metro, buses, trams and the Montmartre funicular.


Hours:

from 5.30am to 12.30/1.15am (2.15am on Friday and Saturday).

Prices:

1 ticket: €1.80 / 10 tickets (carnet): €14.70.

RER

The RER accesses the suburbs (e.g. Versailles / Disneyland) and airports. You can buy tickets at any station.

Taxis

Flagging down a taxi in Paris can be difficult. They can usually be located on large avenues or at official taxi stands.


Taxis are available if the taxi light is green or white:

Paris for you

Taxis are in service/unavailable if the taxi light is red/dimmed:

Paris for you

Prices:

Within Paris - 10 minute ride around €15

Tipping

In Paris, service is almost always included in the prices. So you are not supposed to tip a lot. Though, if you do give a nice tip, you will make a Parisian happy (which is some kind of a miracle) ;)


Taxis:

Optional but most passengers round up to the nearest euro.

Restaurants:

A 15% service charge is included in the bill, but you may wish to leave a few euros if service has been good.

Bars / Cafés:

Not necessary at the bar. If drinks are brought to the table, tip as you would in a restaurant.

Hotels:

It is not necessary to tip the cleaners, concierge or front desk staff.

Language

The Basics


Hello

Bonjour (during the day) / Bonsoir (at night)

Goodbye

Au revoir

Thank you

Merci

Yes

Oui

No

Non

Please

S’il vous plaît

Excuse me

Excusez-moi

In a restaurant/café


Use "Monsieur" (for a man) / "Madame" (for a woman) to summon a waiter

Hello. Please may I have the menu?

Bonjour. Le menu s’il vous plaît ?

I would like...

Je voudrais…

Please could I have the bill

L’addition s’il vous plaît

In a shop


‘Tu’ and ‘vous’ both mean ‘you’ but use ‘vous’ (polite form) to people you do not know. And we recommend you say "Bonjour" (Hello when you enter)

Hello

Bonjour

How much is this?

Quel est le prix de ceci ?

Do you have it in..?

Vous l'avez en.. ?

Thank you

Merci

Good bye

Au revoir

Scams

Paris is a rather safe city, but as it is a major toursit destination, in some touristy places you might find scammers. Here is a list of what they are and where you will find them.


The Fake Petition Scam - You are approached by a ‘mute’ woman urging you to sign a petition distracting you. They will either ask you for money or pickpocket you. (Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysée, Sacré Coeur)

The Table Snatching Scam - Children approach your table with a big sign asking for money, blocking your view of your possessions and steal them. (Restaurants, café terasses)

The Jewellery Scam - Someone claims to find some ‘shiny’ jewellery on the ground and asks if it is yours and ends up trying to sell it to you. (Champs Elysée)

The Card Game Scam - You are drawn to a crowd watching a man playing card tricks. You wager €100 to guess which one the red card is and end up being cheated and lose your money. (Sacré Coeur, Pouce de Saint Ouen)

The Bracelet Scam - You are approached by a man who starts making a string bracelet on your arm that you cannot remove and will inevitably be asked for money. (Sacré Coeur)

We made an article about this, so click here if you want more details about those scams.

Banking and Money

In Paris, you can pay almost everyting with a credit or debit card as long as the total amount to pay is higher than around 15 euros. In case, you need cash, don't get too much at a time and here are a few tips to help you out.


ATMs (‘distributeur’) are widely available

Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most hotels and restaurants; fewer accept American Express.

Bank of America has a deal with BNP Paribas, which enables those who have bank accounts with Bank of America to make the cash withdrawal at BNP ATMs without extra fees.

Practical Tips

Currency:

EUR euro

Language:

French

Country Code:

+33

Voltage:

Paris for you

230 V

Time Zone:

GMT + 1

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