Paris: Practical Information

Useful information for your stay in Paris

Coat of Arms of City of ParisCity of Paris

Language:

French, and it’s always a big help to know a few phrases in the local lingo…

Bonjour logo

Bonjour! Learn French online for free!

This is a great site, you choose the phrase you want to hear and listen to the pronunciation.

Time:

GMT/UTC +1
Current French time

Electricity:

220V, 50Hz, 2-pin (round) plug 2-pin plug (round)

Weights & measures:

Metric

French Weights and Measures and their equivalents

Clothing and shoe sizes conversion: US, UK, Europe

French 1 Euro coinMoney: the Euro (€)

Check out our Euro Guide (with pictures)

  • As of January 1, 2002, the euro (€) replaced the national currency of 12 countries within the European Union, including France. You can exchange currency at any bank branch (hours are listed below). Automatic cash machines can be found in most commercial centres.
  • Bank Opening Hours
    Banking hours in Paris are usually  from 10am to 5pm,  Monday to Friday. Throughout the rest of France, banks are usually open from 10am to 1pm, and 3pm to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Banks often close earlier the day before a public holiday.
  • Currency exchange
    Currency exchange can be carried out at all bank branches and Post Offices. Bureaux de change can also be found in large department stores, railway stations, airports and near to tourist sites. Please note: although the exchange rate is fixed, commission rates are not. By law these must be clearly displayed.

Check out the current Euro exchange rate with your currency here (close the new window to return): Travel Signposts Currency Converter

Credit Cards

They are accepted in a large number of shops, hotels and restaurants. Shopkeepers often state a minimum amount required to be spent.

If you lose your credit card, immediately contact your credit card emergency hot-line to cancel the card, or call your credit card company’s local office – see numbers below:

Eurocard MasterCard Eurocard-Mastercard: +33 ( 0)1 45 67 84 84

http://www.eurocardmastercard.tm.

VisaVisa: +33 (0)1 42 77 45 45
http://www.carte-bleue.com

Diners Club Diner’s Club: +33 (0) 1 47 62 75 75
http://www.dinersclub.fr 

American Express American Express: +33 (0) 1 47 77 72 00
http://www.americanexpress.fr

 

Public Holidays

Fixed Date National Public Holidays
January 1st
New Year’s Day (Jour de l’an)
May 1st
Labor Day (Fête du Travail)
May 8th
WWII Liberation Day
July 14th
Bastille Day (Fête nationale)
August 15th
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Assomption)
November 1st
All Saints Day (La Toussaint)
November 11th
Armistice Day (L’armistice)
December 25th
Christmas Day (Noël)

Movable National Public Holidays
Holiday
Year 2013
Year 2014
Easter Monday (Pâques)
April 1st
April 21st
Ascension
May 9th
May 29th

 

SAMUSAMU Paris

Emergencies, doctors, dentists, etc.

In case of emergency, dial these numbers

Emergency
Telephone (Dial…)
Medical (SAMU)
15
Police
17
Fire / accident (Pompiers)
18
24 hour Pharmacy
01 48 74 65 18 / 01 45 62 02 41
Gas Leaks
01 43 35 40 87
Electricity
01 43 35 40 86
Telephone (engineers)
13
Doctors(SOS Medecins)
01 47 07 77 77 or 01 820 332 424
Dentist (SOS Dentistes)
01 43 37 51 00
Hertford British Hospital
01 46 39 22 22
American Hospital
01 47 47 70 15
Lawyers (avocats)
01 43 29 33 00
01 46 21 46 46
Taxis Bleus
01 49 36 10 10
Directory Enquiries
12

 

If you have lost

  • your documents
    Report the matter to the local police station, they will give you a receipt, then contact your consulate.
  • your keys, or a personal item
    Ask at the police station for the number of the Lost & Found Office
    (in Paris: 01 55 76 20 00).
    The RATP (Paris public transport authority) and the SNCF (French National Railways) have their own department.
  • Your car
    Your report will be recorded at the police station or you will be directed to the car pound, if your car has been illegally parked and removed by the police.
  • Your credit card
    Immediately contact your credit card emergency hot-line to cancel the card, or call your credit card company’s local office – see numbers here – then report the loss to the police.
  • Your dog, cat or pet goanna
    Contact the Société de protection des animaux (French animal protection society). Tel.: 33 (0) 1 43 80 40 66

Events, performances, cinema etc.

In Paris you can find specialist guides for events at newspaper kiosks - Pariscope, L’Officiel des Spectacles, Zurban. They list all cinema programmes, museums, exhibitions, all types of shows (cinema, concerts, theatre). Also check the local press, especially the weekend editions.

See our "Buy your tickets online" page, our "Paris: Events and Festivals" page, oue "Paris: Music Performances" page and our "Paris: Theatre for all" page.

Telephone

Telephone & Fax

All telephone numbers in France are have 10 digits.

To telephone France from abroad, dial the international code of your country +  33 and then, the nine digit number of the person you are calling (without the 0 at the beginning of the French telephone number), e.g. +33 1 47 77 72 00

To call somewhere in France when in France, dial the 10 digit number which starting with "0", e.g. 01 47 77 72 00.

From France to a foreign country: dial 00 + the country number + the number of the person you are calling. You will find all telephone cards (for phone boxes, recharges for mobile phones, pre-paid cards.) available at Post Offices, tobacconists, souvenir shops.

All rates and country numbers are at www.francetelecom.fr/

France has excellent mobile phone coverage by the three French mobile phone operators. Find out from your own operator which French network to choose so that you can use your mobile phone in France.

French Post Box Post

Mail boxes

In France, Mail boxes are coloured yellow and can be found along street and in every Post Office. Mail collection time are displayed on them.

Stamps

You can buy stamps at any Post Offices and at any tobacconist.

Postage cost varies according to the weight of your mail and its destination. All rates at www.laposte.fr/

Delivery times

The French mail service is efficient: allow 24 to 48 hours for a letter sent in France to a destination in France; from France to abroad, allow 1 to 5 days.

Taxi rank signTaxis:

Almost 15,000 taxis operate in Paris. You can take them from taxi ranks (indicated by a square sign with Taxi in white on a blue background) or hail one in the street (on condition that it is available: Taxi car signthe "Taxi" sign on the roof is then fully lit, and the small lights under the sign are switched off).

Some taxi companies:

Taxi G7: 01 47 39 47 39

Taxis Bleus: 0 891 70 10 10 (€0.22/min)

Aéro Taxi (for airport destinations): 01 47 39 01 47 01

Taxi: 01 49 17 01 01

Alpha Taxi: 01 45 85 85 85

To find out about taxi charges throughout France consult the ‘tarifs‘ section of the website http://www.artisan-taxi.com/

What about you? What are your thoughts on this subject?

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