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Paris Travellers


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 understaffed.


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. :  (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

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)

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 political movement.

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.

Taxi Tips

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.


Ambulance: 15

Emergency (multi-lingual): 112

Emergency / Police: 17

Interpreter (72 languages): Toll free within France: 0 800 25 76 90. From outside France: +33 1 43 90 48 99

Lost and Found (Bureau des Objets Trouvés): 01 55 76 20 20 Operator: 13

SOS Medical Helpline (24 hour house calls): 01 47 23 80 80 (English) / 01 47 07 77 77 (French)

Paris Airport   Paris Tourism Guide  Paris Basic info  Paris tips to Traveller