Following are a list of basic, useful list of resources to make your stay a little easier and comfortable. Please click on the respective subject to quickly jump to that page :

My helpful tips

Information about the Métro

The Paris métro is efficient, but it can involve a lot of walking and climbing stairs. Paris is crossed by 16 metro lines and 5 RER (express suburban) lines, all numbered and named for their final destination (terminus).
A transfer is called correspondance. Each métro trip requires one ticket regardless of how many transfers you make, though you must buy an extra ticket for the RER outside city limits. Keep your ticket until you exit.

I advice you to get a block of 10 tickets. We call it : un carnet. You can use these tickets either in the metro or on the bus. Get change in advance. Tellers do not accept large bills.

There are also tickets available: for a day called Mobilis.
For 1,2, 3 or 5 days called Paris Visite for the week, starting on a monday, called carte orange ; you need to have a picture for the month, starting the first day of the month, called carte orange.

To get more information, I recommend the web site do the RATP

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Pay phones
I recommend you to buy on spot a phone card (télécarte) in post offices or at a tabac French phone numbers have 10 digits, beginning with 0.

Calling abroad : 00 + country code + area code + number Parisian number starts with 01
Cell phone number starts with 06

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On 1 January 2002, along with 11 other members states of the European Union, France adopted the euro currency.
1 euro is divided into 100 centimes or cents
Notes : € 5 – 10 – 50 – 100 – 200- 500 ; in many places, it is difficult to pay with over 100 € banknotes
Coins : 1 – 2 – 5 – 10 – 20 – 50 cents 1euro and 2 euro

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Electrical Devices
In France, the norm is 220 volts while in the USA or Canada it is 110 volts. Voltage and sockets vary from country to country and so an adapter will be necessary… otherwise you can destroy your electric razor or hairdryer…
If you have forgotten to bring your adapter, you will be able to find it in electrical goods stores or supermarkets. Most hotels can also provide it.
For information, French plugs are equipped with two round pins.

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Helpful Tips
Lines in museums
What’s going on?
VAT deduction

To avoid the lines to get in museums
To avoid the line in front of the pyramid of the Louvre (main entrance) use the other entrances : at Porte des Lions or at the reversed pyramid.

There is a Museum and Monument pass which gives you a priority access for permanent collections in 70 sites in Paris and in the Ile de France region.
A pass for 1- 3 – 5 days
It is on sale in the main métro stations
For more information, contact

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It is most appreciated if you do not assume a French resident to speak your native langue. It would be friendlier if you start conversation with French. They are some magic words : For example : “Bonjour. Parlez-vous anglais” People will then continue in English. Most of the French do speak English, especially the younger generations.

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The service is included so it is not obligatory to tip ,but there is a tradition to tip if you are happy with the service.

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What’s going on in Paris?
I recommend you to buy either the Officiel des Spectacles or Pariscope
These 2 magazines are published every Wednesday and mention all about the concerts, exhibitions, museums….. You find them in all the newspapers’stands.
You can also go to : what’s on ?

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VAT deduction
When spending over 185 euro in the same shop, visitors living outside of the European Union can benefit, on request, from a VAT deduction.
The shop assistant must fill out a “bordereau de vente à l’exportation”. After stamping by the customs desk when leaving the country, the visitor must return this stamped form to the shop within the following 3 months, in order to receive the reimbursement.

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Following is a small selection of hotels where my friends and clients were very happy.

In Saint Germain des Prés

In Saint Germain des Prés

Close to the Eiffel Tower

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Where to find some delicacies?
Following is a selection of shops I would recommend:

The grocery store of the department stores: Le Bon Marché – 38 rue de Sèvres www.lebonmarché.fr

Les Galeries Lafayette – Gourmet – 48 bd Haussmann

Around the Madeleine church, there are many fine shops : Fauchon, Hediard, Marquise de Sévigné

For wine, there are the many shops of Nicolas

Another exquisite contact: les Caves Legrand in the Galerie Vivienne

Experience one of the many street markets. There are in every section of the city. To get the list go to

Bread to line up for : you’ll never regret joining the line that snakes out of the door at
Poujauran ; this bakery shop has fabulous breads. You should not miss his cannelés, tender little beeswax-covered cakes. 20 rue Nicot, 7th M° la Tour Maubourg

Ditto for the breads at le Moulin de la Vierge: crusty country loaf, baguette and Provencal Fougasse 105 rue Vercingétorix, 14th

The Pain Poilâne 87 rue de Brancion close to Georges Brassens Square
8 rue du Cherche Midi – in St Germain des Près -

Do not miss the ice cream of Berthillon; there are many shops on St Louis Island

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Restaurants, Cafés and Tea Houses
A large selection on

I like to recommend some tea houses where there is usually no smoking section:

A Priori Thé 35 galerie Vivienne close to the Old Opera

L’arbre à cannelle
57 passage des Panoramas close to the Old Opera

Bernardaud 11 rue Royale close to Concorde Square

Angelina 226 rue de Rivoli also famous for its hot chocolate

Ladurée 16 rue Royale close to Madeleine – also famous for its macaroons

Musée Jacquemard André on the Bd Haussmann has a delightful tea salon

Mariages Frères
30 rue du Bourg Tibourg in the Marais

A larger selection on the guide book of Parigramme

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In most of our café, it is possible to sit outside or inside.
If you sit outside on the pavement or terrace, prices will inevitably be higher. The difference varies according to the place, but the establishment is obliged to display their prices, both those at the counter (comptoir) or at an outside table (terrasse)
In France, all prices include service and taxes. If the waiter has been especially attentive, you can leave a tip to show your appreciation.

[zip code for Paris 75000]

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