Practical Information for visitors to Paris

Getting around:

  • Metro:
    The Paris Metro is very easy to use and, given the traffic congestion in Paris, is often much faster than taking a taxi. Pick up a Metro map at your hotel. The various lines are numbered and color-coded. You need to identify the number of the line and name of the station at the end of the line in the direction you wish to go so that you know which way to go in the station.
    If you are going to be in Paris more than a few days, or are going to be travelling around the city for sightseeing, it is much cheaper to buy a “carnet” (pronounced car-nay), which is a bunch of 10 tickets, than to buy single tickets every time you use the Metro.
    When you go through the turnstiles, you insert your ticket into a slot and it comes out on the other side. Be sure to take your ticket back and keep it with you until you leave the station at your destination – inspectors occasionally check riders for tickets.

Subway/RER information:
- http://www.ratp.info/informer/anglais/index.php
- http://www.ratp.fr/ParisVisite/Eng/
- Subway map.pdf

  • Taxi:
    The standard tip for taxi drivers is generally one to two Euros as much unless you have received unusual service – say with luggage.

Personal safety:

As in any large city, be aware of situations where pickpockets may be a problem, especially in crowded places like some of the major Metro stations. In general, Paris is a very safe city.

Eating in Paris:

Unless you want to eat surrounded by tourists, do not expect to eat dinner in France before 8pm at the earliest. Many restaurants do not even open before 7:30. If you want to eat early, a café is your best bet. They are also the best choice if you want to have lunch within the time allowed.
In a café, if you only want a coffee, drink and/or a light meal (e.g. sandwich), be sure to sit at a bare table or one with paper placemats. If you sit at a table with a cloth and more formal place settings, you will be expected to order a full meal.
A café is a great place to watch Parisian life go by. Order a coffee, beer (“pression” = draft) or wine and relax. The house wine in cafés is called “vin de la maison”, or “vin du patron” (literally, the owner’s wine). In a café, this is usually sold in 0.5 (“demi”) or 0.25 (“quart”) liter jugs, called “pichets” (pronounced pee-shay). Similarly, draft beer (see “pression” above) comes in the same sizes.
In almost all cases, the tip or service charge, is included in your bill in cafés and restaurants in France. In rare cases (or with large groups) you may see “service non compris” (service not included) on your bill. In this case, use the same guidelines as you would at home. Even when the tip is included in the bill, it is customary to leave a small amount of change as a bonus to your waiter if you have been well served.
A French menu is called “la carte”. Almost all restaurants offer you 2 options. You can order off the menu (“à la carte”), but you should always look at the front or back for “le menu”, the daily fixed-price offerings. For much less money you will get several choices for each course: an appetizer (called the entrée) main course (“le plat”) and a dessert or cheese. Sometimes wine is even included – “boisson comprise”. The menu of the day is sure to include the specialties of the chef and to be made with the freshest ingredients.
Menus must be posted outside all restaurants, and many include rough English translations, so it is possible to check it out before you make a commitment and enter the place! See the following list for some personal favorites.

For a list of restaurants near UNESCO : list of restaurants .pdf

Cybercafés:

You may find cybercafés at the following nearby addresses. It is advisable to call to make sure they are still in operation as this list is a year old and these businesses tend to be ephemeral

Planet-Cyber café
173 rue de Vaugirard
Tel: 01 45 67 71 14. Open 10:30am – 8:00pm 6 days a week

 skool@rena region
199 Rue de Vaugirard
Tel: 01 44 49 02 03. 24/7 closed Sunday 10:00-12:00

9c.com
83-85 rue de Javel
Tel : 01 56 77 14 00

Cyber’Act
32 rue des Volontaires
Tel: 01 53 69 10 60

Cyberbase
215 rue de Vaugirard
Tel 01 40 56 06 27

Naninet CyberCafé
43 rue Dutot
Tel 01 45 66 55 00

Tourism in Paris:

Paris is a city with something new to offer around every corner: monuments, architecture, historic avenues, parks and gardens... Treat yourselves to an excursion, travel the length and breadth of the capital by coach, minibus, tourist train or boat, on a bicycle, on skates or even… from the air.

http://www.parisinfo.com/

Climate

Spring: This is the season where Paris seems to reawaken, with its avenues fringed with new green shoots and its trees in flower. The days are getting longer, as are the opening times of museums, and the high season is just around the corner. There’s a holiday feeling in the air. People venture out and about in the parks and gardens and along the river banks, strolling, cycling or skating.

  • Average temperatures and rainfall:
Minimum
Maximum
Rain in mm
March
4°C
12°C
35
April
6°C
16°C
42
May
10°C
20°C
57
June
13°C
23°C
54