Best Places to Visit in France
France Tourism Information
Matters The French
Dining in Paris
How to Use Our Paris Guide
Some things to know about the geography of Paris.
"Tourist" Paris is a narrow corridor along the Seine River.
A key to understanding Paris is understanding the term “Arrondissement”. The twenty arrondissements in Paris are units of governance that have neighborhood names (often, arrondissements include smaller more familiar areas) and are a basic part of postal addresses and location descriptions used to identify places in Paris.
Click here to see our Paris Train Station Map, in case you will be arriving or departing by train. If you use the zoom control and select hybrid as the map type, you will be able to see the detail of the streets and buildings surrounding the stations, as well as the stations themselves.
The best way to navigate Paris is to use the Metro, the city's efficient and relatively low cost public transportation system. For more information on taking the Metro in Paris, visit this site http://www.ratp.info/touristes/
See http://www.ratp.info/informer/anglais/index.php for the Metro routefinder where you can calculate the correct route (which line to take or where to transfer) and times to reach your next destination in Paris. In addition, the site provides a printable map of the Metro Network and other information about the Metro.
The Metro's lines run on various schedules but start in the morning around 6 AM and end services at midnight or 1 AM depending on the line. Be sure to check because if you miss the last train, it may be a long walk or an expensive cab ride back to your hotel.
Tickets are based on the zones that you travel and we recommend that you look into buying a Paris Visite Pass to discover Paris. A three day adult pass with 1-3 zones (covers most of tourist Paris) per coupon costs €18.25 (more zone are available for a higher cost). To determine how many zones fit your needs, compare the places that you want to travel to against the Zone Map (found at the website mentioned above).
By the way, the pass is based on calendar days and the day you buy it is the first day. You can purchase the Paris Visite at all Metro stations, RER (rail)offices and at the Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports.
If you prefer to walk tourist Paris, consider purchasing the ticket known as the "t". It provides access to the Metro, RER (train) and RATP (bus) network in Paris and runs about €1.40 per ticket. You can buy a book of ten (a carnet) for €10.70. Each ticket is good for a one-way trip within the borders of Paris, making it convenient to walk to an attraction and take public transit back to your next stop, if the distance is too great.
Taxis in Paris are expensive and should be used only when convenience or safety outweighs economics. Remember, the Metro shuts-down around midnight. In addition, the Metro can get rowdy on weekends or late a night and you might want to consider taking a cab if you will be out late.
When arriving at the airport with a companion: it is often cheaper to take a taxi into Paris than to buy two tickets on the airport bus. Further, if you take the airport bus, you will likely need to take a taxi from the bus station to your hotel.
France is a participant in the European Economic Union and has adopted the Euro as its currency (€).
Paris is awash with ATM's and this is usually the easiest way to buy currency. See our article on Buying Currency for some helpful tips
First, remember that the French are proud of their country, culture, language, history and arts. Next, the normal demeanor of a Parisian is one that is "reserved. Don't take this personally, it has nothing to do with you, it is just the way of the French.
Contrary to an opinion held by many travelers, we have found Parisians and the French, in general, to be good hosts and helpful to visitors. Of course, it pays to be polite and to try to use as many French terms as possible during conversation. Before starting ANY conversation use "Bonjour" or the appropriate phrase for the time of day. The French regard this introduction as a requirement for initiating a conversation. Adding “s'il vous plait" to the end of any request is also helpful. It is always a good idea to take a phrase book with you or to print out a list of everyday terms from one of the many Internet sites that specialize in foreign language phrases for travelers.
Although you will find many restaurants provide a menu in
English, it is also helpful to take a menu dictionary for those occasions
when there in no English language menu and the server does not speak
Dining in Paris is a late affair, as Parisians generally dines later than most Americans dine. Eating a meal in France is designed to be a social time and they enjoy long, leisurely meals. Long meals. generally, are the way it is, so just go with the flow.
Be prepared for courteous but leisurely service and note that complaining about the speed will not make it any quicker. You are in Paris, so enjoy the time spent eating. Talk with your travel companions, people watch, enjoy the meal, and bask in the ambiance of being in the City of Light.
We have arranged the navigation of our guide entries for the best places to visit in Paris as follows
If you need information about another travel destination, try Googling our site or the Web
Top Tourist Areas in Paris Or return to
Our Paris home page
Or return to Our Paris home page
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