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The best time to go
would be May or October, when not only is the weather at its best, but
the crowds are also minimal. End July and August finds the whole of
France on a holiday, and tourist facilities woefully low and
If you are in Paris driving a car, be aware that people here drive
however they want to.
If you have a car, get a good tourist book which will tell you where
and where not to park.
Learn a bit of French. A great book which has a lot of basic
phrases and fun things to try is Rick Steves' handy pocketbook guide to
basic French (find book)
Use the Metro (the subway). There is simply no better way to
get around the city. But make sure you've brushed up on your
French. It will help with buying tickets and understanding
the maps in the subways.
The lines and crowds at the Eiffel Tower can get very long. If
you must see the lights of Paris at night (and you should) Go on a
week night (not Friday), or make
reservations. Tél. : 01.44.11.23.23 (From
the U.S., first dial
1016868 (This makes your call only 9 cents/minute), then 011, then 33
(33 is the Paris country code), then 126.96.36.199.23)
The Louvre. If you are an art lover and really appreciate art
museums, you could spend weeks here, but for most people, half a day is
enough time. Tél. : (1016868 011 33) 188.8.131.52.17
If there is one place that is absolutely crazy to drive in Paris, it's
in the roundabout that goes around the Arc D'Triomphe. If you
rent a car and drive here, just go traveling around in your car like
you would if there were no rules.
There are lots of wonderful museums in France! One of them is
the Pantheon, which was originally a church. Victor Hugo and
some other famous French people are buried here. Make sure
you set aside some time and some money to visit the museums if that's
something you want to do.
Have some small change (or large change if you can afford it) on hand
for the street performers. They're pretty good!
If you like looking at the inside of churches, take some time for
Notre' Dame, and if you have a problem with crowds, don't go on the
weekend. People are pretty respectful inside the cathedral on
the weekdays, but there are a lot of people there on the weekends, so
you end up waiting in line, and it gets more noisy inside.
Paris is statistically one of the safest major metropolitan areas in
Europe. Violent crime rates are fairly low here. Following these basic
safety tips can go a long way in ensuring you avoid danger on your trip.
When travelling alone, avoid areas around metro Les Halles, Chatelet,
Gare du Nord and Stalingrad late at night or when the streets appear
less than crowded. While generally safe, these areas have at times been
known to harbor gang activity or to be the site of hate crimes. In
addition, avoid travelling to the Northern Paris suburbs of
Saint-Denis, Aubervilliers, Saint-Ouen, etc. after dark.
Visitors to the above-mentioned areas may also take precautions by
keeping a low profile and by refraining from wearing highly visible
jewelry or clothing that identify them as members of a religion or
Women should be especially vigilant while walking alone at night and
should stay in well-lit areas. Also, while city is statistically a safe
place for women, it is a good idea to avoid smiling at or making
prolonged eye contact with men you do not know: in France, this is
(unfortunately) often interpreted as an invitation to make advances.
When traveling by taxi, make sure to verify the minimum price of the
taxi ride before getting in the taxi. It is not uncommon for taxi
drivers to overcharge unsuspecting tourists, so be sure to watch the
meter, and ask questions if you must. Also, giving the driver a
suggested route ahead of time with the aid of a map is a good idea.
/ Police: 17
languages): Toll free within
France: 0 800 25 76 90. From
outside France: +33 1 43 90 48 99
(Bureau des Objets Trouvés): 01 55 76 20 20 Operator: 13
Helpline (24 hour house
calls): 01 47 23 80 80 (English) /
01 47 07 77 77 (French)
Tourism Guide Paris
Basic info Paris