Paris, France

Do you know who to ring in an emergency? What about Visas? How much do I tip? Get the lowdown before you book

Emergency Number – 112
Emergency Dentist – 01 43 37 51 00
Emergency Pharmacy – 01 42 25 49 95

Time Zone – GMT+1
Currency – Euro (€)
Population – 2.16 million
Size – 105 square kilometres (41 square miles)
GDP – €709 billion
Glass of Beer 25cl (Average Cost) – €6,76
Glass of Wine 14cl (Average Cost) – €4,00 – €6,00

President of France – Emmanuel Macron

Visas

Most visitors of European nationality will not be required to get a visa to enter France due to the Freedom of Movement. Some other countries such as the US, Canada, Brasil & Argentina will have visa-free entry for 90 days. To check whether you need a visa to enter France, please check here.

Currency

The currency used in Paris is the Euro (€). Denominations include €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 & €5 and coins including denominations of €1 and €2 and €0.50, €0.20, €0.10, €0.05, €0.02 and €0.01 cents.

The easiest way to get Euros in Paris is via the ATM machines located around the city, although you may want to check the exchange rate charged by your bank first.

If you carry cash with you and want to exchange it into Euros then you can do so by following the signs for Bureau de Change located throughout the tourist areas. Just look for the obvious signs Money Exchange, Bureau de Change or simply Change. The Avenue des Champs-Elysées has many places where you can change your money.

If you prefer to buy your Euros before you travel and need a reliable and trustworthy company then we recommend XXX

You can check exchange rates here

Travel Insurance

Travelling anywhere in the world has its own fair share of risk attached and travelling to Paris is no different. Many large cities throughout the world are prone to pickpockets and scams especially concerning tourists. It is always advisable to get travel insurance to insure your belongings in case of loss or theft. Travel insurance is also advised in the event that you get ill or injured whilst travelling and you need emergency care. Company 1 & Company 2 both offer competitive rates for Travel Insurance.

Areas to Avoid

Although Paris is a safe city to visit there are areas where tourists should avoid. Tourists should stay within the Paris ring road and not venture into areas without a trusted French-speaking companion. Even so, some of the areas below are avoided by some Parisians themselves.

  • All of the “Porte de” areas
  • Gare du Nord Train Station (After Dark)
  • Châtelet–Les Halles Station (After Dark)
  • Stalingrad
  • Jaurès, Barbès
  • Place de Clichy
  • La Villette

Terrorism

Paris has had its fair share of terrorism attacks in recent years. The attacks on Paris including that in the Bataclan Theatre and Stade de France in November 2015 sent shock waves around the world. Travellers should not allow terrorism to deter them from visiting such beautiful cities but it is paramount that they remain vigilant and note local advice.

You can find updated information on threat levels and security risks in Paris on the Vigipirate website 

Tipping

Tipping is expected in restaurants for exceptional service (around 5-10% of the bill). There are some situations where it is customary, for example in restaurants (over a certain amount of people) and polite such as in taxis. Ultimately tips (or gratuities) are discretionary and depend on the quality of the service you receive.

General Safety Advice

In an emergency, contact the police, ambulance, or fire department on 112. This number is free to call – only use it in a genuine emergency.

  • Only use registered taxis or a reputable company that can track you such as Uber
  • Try to avoid walking alone at night. Keep to well-lit main roads
  • Beware of wearing headphones – they reduce awareness of your surroundings.
  • In Paris, cars drive on the right. To ensure you cross roads safely, only use designated crossings, only cross when the green light is showing.

Staying safe in bars and restaurants

  • Make sure you keep your property out of sight and safely under the table.
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
  • Check up on your friends by phone or text to make sure they got home safely and vice-versa.

Keep your belongings safe

  • Don’t leave your bag unattended anywhere in Paris – this can lead to a security alert
  • Keep your purse or wallet close to your body and don’t carry too much cash.
  • When using an ATM, check that no one is looking over your shoulder and that the ATM hasn’t been tampered with. Cover the keypad so no one else can see your PIN number.
  • Keep your mobile phone, MP3 player, camera, and other gadgets out of sight in your pocket or handbag when not in use.
  • Record details of your electronic serial numbers (ESNs).
  • Inform your service provider and police if your phone or other valuables are stolen or lost. Dial 112 for the police

Books to Read

If you want to learn basic French or would like to brush up on your French speaking skills to make your trip to Paris more authentic then why not grab a French Dictionary or book of popular French phrases to help immerse yourself in Parisian culture?

If a non fiction book set in Paris is more your bag then guys should check out (Author & Title) whilst ladies may like delving into (Author & title) romantic novel. Also check out famous French author Marcel Proust’s (book title) and then visit his grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery?