France Travel Tips

Arriving in Paris[SIDEBAR-FORM]

When you fly into Charles de Gaulle Airport, you will need to go through Passport Control. Just follow the signs and the other travelers. You will need to show your passport. Then you will get your luggage and look for a door which says “Sortie”.  That’s the exit and it will take you into the terminal. A Paris Travel recommends a private transfer to your Paris hotel or Paris apartment. Contact us to give us your flight details to book an arrival transfer or a departure transfer.

What time is it?

France is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. If it’s 8:00 AM in Washington, DC, it’s 2:00 PM in Paris. France is in the same time zone as its continental neighbors (Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland) but is one hour ahead of Great Britain.

Electricity and Voltage

Let’s not electrify international relations! It’s definitely not good to blow fuses at the hotels in France, so know that the voltage in France is 220 volts, 50 Hz. Therefore, check your appliance to be sure it will work without a converter. In any case, you’ll require a converter to make your curling iron work! Hotels all have blow dryers, so no need to pack one! For example, I use a digital camera and recharge my batteries. If you have a battery charger which indicates “Input: AC 100-240V, 50-60 Hz”, then it has a variable voltage power supply. All you would need is a plug adapter.

Dining

Click on the following link to read about some of our Paris restaurant suggestions. Most restaurants have menus posted outside. This helps you decide if you like what’s being served and whether you can afford it.

Restaurants:  Lunch is usually served between 12.00 noon and 2:00 and restaurants are happy to serve dinners from about 7:30 PM on. It can be difficult to find a table for dinner after about 9:00 PM in smaller villages and towns not accustomed to tourists.

Waiters: When you address your waiter, please don’t use “garçon” but the more polite “monsieur”

“Menu”: When you dine in a restaurant, look for the “menu”. It will include a three course meal, usually with choices in each course. The starter/entree followed by the hot main course (meat or fish with vegetables), and finally the cheese and/or dessert (fruit, pastry, ice-cream, etc.). I believe that if you’re going to order dessert (and who wouldn’t do this en France?!?!), it’s economical to just go for the fixed menu price! The total menu price includes tip!

Water: Tap water is perfectly drinkable. Bottled water is easily purchased, but in restaurants, if you wish to have a pitcher of tap water (no charge), you need to ask for “une carafe d’eau”.

“CHECK, PLEASE”: Don’t wait for the bill to be brought to your table after dinner. (You’ll be sitting all day/night!) Instead, you will need to ask for the bill; it’s called “l’addition.”

Tipping: The price on the restaurant menu generally includes a 15% tip and you will see “service compris”. However, in the little street cafes, you should leave a euro or two.

Money

The Euro: This is the currency in FranceBritain uses the pound sterling.

ATMs: This is a great way to get cash in France. The ATMs are everywhere, so be sure you know your pin number before you leave home.

Travelers Checks: Avoid them since they are not easily accepted in France and inconvenient to cash.

Normandy

A  Paris Travel suggests you not miss taking a tour to Normandy. We offer several Normandy tours. Some are private D-Day tour and some are group Normandy tours from Paris. One group tour originates in Normandy when you arrive by train. Book a Normandy D-Day tour . A Paris Travel also offers private tours from Paris or from Normandy upon arrival of your train from Paris. During a Normandy D-Day tour, you visit American Cemetery in Normandy which is situated above Omaha Beach. You will visit Pointe du HocArromanches, and the Battery of Longue sur Mer. Read about the private tours to Normandy.

Paris

Museum Pass: Purchase tickets at Paris Tourism Office near the Louvre. Tickets are for 2, 4, 6 consecutive day use; most museums are free of charge for those under 18 years of age. You can purchase them before you leave for France and pick them up when you arrive.

Monday: Versailles and the Orsay are closed.

Tuesday: The Louvre is closed

Metro: Excellent way to travel in Paris with 14 lines and 300 stations. Purchase tickets at the Paris Tourism Office near the Louvre or in most metro stations. Tickets are for 1, 2, 3, or 5 consecutive day use. Contact us to help plan your tours in Paris.