Practical information about Paris
When is the best time to visit in Paris?
If you are visiting Paris for the first time, then "Paris in Spring" has to be the obvious choice. However, depending on your budget, tolerance for large crowds and interests, any time of the year will suit.
Thus, the winter season in Paris offers a lot of light and festivities. As for the fall events such as the harvest of Montmartre offers you a panoramic memorable and authentic view of Paris.
Climate and weather
Paris has a temperate climate with relatively mild winters and summers.
|January||6°C / 43°F||1°C / 34°F|
|February||7°C / 45°F||1°C / 34°F|
|March||11°C / 52°F||3°C / 37°F|
|April||14°C / 57°F||6°C / 43°F|
|May||18°C / 64°F||9°C / 48°F|
|June||21°C / 70°F||12°C / 54°F|
|July||24°C / 75°F||14°C / 57°F|
|August||24°C / 75°F||14°C / 57°F|
|September||21°C / 70°F||11°C / 52°F|
|October||15°C / 59°F||8°C / 46°F|
|November||9°C / 48°F||4°C / 39°F|
|Décember||7°C / 45°F||2°C / 36°F|
Most shops and banks are closed for national holidays.
Museums are generally open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. but most of them offer later closing hours until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. Museums do not work on Mondays and Tuesdays. However, some monuments are open 365 days a year and the main ones could be visited until midnight.
Note that admission is free first Sunday of each month.
Department stores and shops
Department stores are usually open from 9.30 a.m. to 8 pm, and until 9.30 pm on Thursday. Shops are open from 9.30 am to 7 pm, sometimes closed at lunchtime.
Shops and department stores are closed on Sundays except for certain areas (Le Marais, Beaubourg ...). Note that some shops are closed on Mondays.
Banks are generally open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during weekdays and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.
Post offices are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday and until 12 p.m. on Saturday.
The Post Office of the Louvre (52 rue du Louvre, 75001 Paris) is open 24/7.
Most companies and governments are all closed on public holidays, the main ones:
1st January: New Year
Late March and mid-April: Easter
1st May: Labour Day
May 8: Victory 1945
July 14: French national holiday / Bastille day
August 15: Assumption
1st November: All Saints
November 11: Armistice 1918
December 25: Christmas
Hospitals, firemen, police and emergency services operate during vacations and holidays.
The Euro (€) is the French currency since 2002 January 1st and of 17 countries in the euro area.
€ 1 is divided into 100 cents.
There are seven banknotes: € 5, € 10, € 20, € 50, € 100, € 200 and € 500 and 8 parts: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, € 1 and € 2.
Cost of living
Examples of prices for services and services on Paris:
Restaurants and tips
Paris has over 10,000 restaurants for every taste and every budget.
From the little cafe to the great typical Parisian brasserie [www.cometoparis.com/catalog/paris-restaurants-590], Italian restaurants, Chinese or vegetarian -you can choose to dine in these many places that bloom every street corner.
Prices for a complete meal are from 10 to 300 euros depending on the restaurant. The bills include all taxes and service (15% of total). Nevertheless, it is common, if you were satisfied with the service, to leave a tip of about 5 to 10% of the total bill.
Change and banks in Paris
It's easy to withdraw cash and use credit card in many French and foreign banks in Paris.
They are usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and sometimes on Saturday mornings. Very few bank branches still practice the changes and it is better to use exchange offices that are specialized in such transactions.
The easiest way to get cash is to use your credit card in an ATM, outside all bank branches and post offices. These ATM are available 24/7 and offer menus in several languages to help you withdraw money.
All shops, stores, restaurants, gasoline dispensers accept payment by credit card (Visa and Mastercard mainly). American Express card is accepted in lots of shops but do not be surprised if some stores refuse it.
To exchange your currency against the Euro, you can also contact exchange offices whose commission varies according to the agency and based on current exchange rate. The commission will also vary depending on whether you want to change cash or travelers checks or use your credit card. It is better to check the board in advance to avoid disappointment. For small amounts, it is better to withdraw them from a distributor to avoid high charges.
Most exchange offices are located in tourist areas and are usually open on Sundays.
Duty free in Paris
For non-residents of the European Union, it is possible to reclaim VAT paid on purchases in France (tax free), except spendings on accommodation, transport and food. This mainly is about costs of shopping.
To obtain a VAT refund, you must ask the store where you do your purchase to make a tax-free. The seller can either complete the sale before tax (VAT excluded), or with VAT and, in this case, you must obtain an administrative board of the seller indicating the amount of VAT refunded and an envelope for returning the pink copy which must be stamped by the Customs Service. Please note that railway stations do not have, such as airports, customs services.
Parisian department stores have special services for a tax refund.
Unless the VAT has not been paid at the time of purchase, the seller will refund the VAT on receipt of the pink copy which must be returned within 3 months.
No vaccinations are required to enter France.
If you are a citizen of the European Union, you must bring a certificate allowing you to be reimbursed by the French Social Security for 70% of medical expenses under agreement.
Most drugstores are open even evenings and weekends
Pharmacie Les Champs (24/7)
84 avenue des Champs Elysées
+ 33 (0)1 45 62 02 41
Pharmacie du Drugstore des Champs-Elysées (7/7 until 2 a.m.)
133 Avenue des Champs-Élysées
+ 33 (0)1 47 20 39 25
Grande Pharmacie de la Nation (7/7 until 12 a.m.)
13, place de la Nation
+ 33 (0)1 43 73 24 03
Pharmacie du Village (7/7 until from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
26 Rue du Temple
+ 33 (0)1 42 72 60 71
Grande Pharmacie Daumesnil (24/7)
6 place Felix Eboué
+ 33 (0)1 43 43 19 03
Pharmacie Perrault/Europeenne (24/7)
6, place de Clichy
+ 33 (0)1 48 74 65 18
British and American Pharmacy (7/7 from 8 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.)
1 rue Auber
+ 33 (0)1 42 65 88 29
Alcoholic beverages are sold in grocery stores, specialized shops and supermarkets in Paris. Even if the wine is one of the national drinks, drink alcohol with moderation or you can be arrested for drunkenness and disorder in public roads. However, and unless you disturb someone and drive, you will not be bothered.
While driving the maximum permissible limit is 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood, which corresponds (for a person of normal weight) to three pints, 2 glasses of wine or 3 of champagne. The police is not tolerant with this type of crime, so it is better not to drink if you must drive.
It is forbidden to serve alcohol to children under 16, even accompanied by their parents. Drinks under 15 ° of alcohol can be served to teenagers between 16 and 18.
Since 2008 January 1st, you cannot smoke in public areas (including the subway and train stations).
It is also banned smoking in restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs as well as some hotel rooms.
Fire Brigade 18
Poison control center 01 40 05 48 48
SOS Doctors 36 24
Medical emergencies in Paris 01 53 94 94 94
Lost and found 08 21 00 25 25 - 36 rue des Morillons, 75732 Paris Cedex 15
Lost or stolen credit cards 0892 70 57 05
Impoundment / removal of vehicle 08 91 01 22 22