PARIS

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WATCH FULL VIDEO! Hit Up These 5 Super-Cool Local Shops In Paris

The nickname "City of Lights" came from that Paris was one of the first European cities to adopted street lighting.

Paris runs on Central European Standard Time (GMT+1). If it’s 2:00 pm in NYC, it’s 8:00 pm in Paris (6 hours ahead).

If you are a U.S. Passport Holder, you are allowed to stay in Paris for a period of 90 days without a visa.

Your passport will need to be valid at least six months beyond your stay. Immigration offices may ask citizens to show enough money for their stay as well as a return airline ticket.

EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens do not need a visa to enter the country of France. Click here for more visa application guidelines.

From the Charles de Gaulle airport to the center of Paris, there are three modes of transportation you can take: train, bus, or taxi.

The regional RER train is a cheaper option. This only costs 10 euros and is about a 50 minute ride.

Bus tickets cost 11.50 euros with a 70 minute ride. Le Bus Direct is a faster service, but it is 17 euros.

To reach the city center the fastest? Catch a taxi. You will be charged with the flat rate of 60 euros for a 40 minute ride.

Click here to book your ride and more travel info from the Charles de Gaulle airport.

The Paris Metro runs roughly from 5:30 am to 12:40 am from Sunday-Thursday. On Fridays, Saturdays, and days before holidays the Metro runs 5:30 am to 1:40 am. The times between trains are usually 2 minutes during rush hour and up to 13 minutes during late hours.

Click here for more info on metro passes, tickets, maps, and times.

Safety tips for Paris:

  1. If you’re renting an apartment, make sure the door clicks locked behind you. Some of these doors are extremely old and do not shut just from swinging back.
  2. Keep your eyes open to pickpocketing. People often will ask you to sign pieces of paper when really it is a scam to distract your attention.
  3. Keep your belongings in the safe in your hotel or apartment.
  4. When riding the Metro, do not purchase tickets from anyone who is not an authorized vendor.
  5. If you’re using a wallet, only keep a small amount of cash on you.
  6. Beware of your surroundings when visiting ATMs and hold you hand over the number pad when typing in your pin. ATMs in banks are the safe way to go.

Overall, Paris is a fairly safe city. Always remember to keep an eye on your belongings and follow your instincts.

Summers in Paris are short and comfortable, sometimes being slightly cloudy. Summers have been getting increasingly warmer due to global warming though. Winters are very cold and windy. Temperatures overall range from 35 degrees to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. For warm weather activities, visit Paris anytime from mid June to September. The coldest month to visit is usually in February. In Paris, rainfall is light most of the time, with May being the rainiest month.

The official language of Paris is French, and it is by far the most widely spoken. Of foreign languages, English is spoken by 39% of the population, Spanish by 13%, German by 8%, Italian by 5%, and Portuguese by 3%.

Some helpful phrases to know:

Bonjour: Hello

S’il vous plaît: Please

Comment vous appelez-vous?: What’s your name?

Oui/Non: Yes/No

Comment allez-vous?: How are you?

Pardon: Sorry

Je ne comprends pas: I don’t understand

Où sont les toilettes?: Where are the toilets

C’est combien?: How much is it?

Merci beaucoup: Thanks a lot

Local rules to follow in Paris and France:

  1. Make an effort to speak French, even if it’s just “hello” and “thank you.”
  2. Don’t ask for coffee to-go, this is uncommon and being in France means taking your time.
  3. The service charge is included in the bill, but if your server went above and beyond, leave some extra change.
  4. Most French people leave their bathrooms closed in their houses or apartments.
  5. It’s very common to kiss people when greeting them, saying goodbye to them, or thanking them. Most people kiss once on each cheek.
  6. Use the formal “vous” for “you” to be polite as a general rule of thumb.
  7. If someone is having people over, it is common to arrive 15 minutes late.
  8. Keep your hands on the table during your meal. If bread is served, feel free to break it with your hands.
  9. Keep your voice low. Being loud is public is considered very rude and impolite.
  10. If you are invited into someone’s home, it is customary to bring a gift, such as: a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates.
  11. If you are addressing a stranger, be sure to add “Monsieur” or “Madame”.

In France, and especially in Paris, fashion is everything! Therefore, here a few useful tips to make you blend in as a true Parisian!

For women: avoid shorts, vivid colors, and berets! Instead, pack long skirts, dresses, dark jeans, your favorite shoulder bag, and either boots, loafers, or flats! Beware of the cobblestone streets…

For men it is easier! Opt for neutral-colored pants or chinos instead of shorts! Pack some polos, light sweaters, loafers, a blazer, and casual t-shirts.

In general, avoid: gym-wear, UGG boots, sweatpants, leggings, running shoes, and baseball caps. Remember: The French style is chic and comfortable!!

The currency used in France is the euro. Denominations are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 notes. Obtaining cash in Paris is easy, and you’ll find ATMs in banks and post offices. ATMs usually have better exchange rates than currency-exchange offices as well. VISA and Mastercard are accepted by most restaurants and shops.

Tipping! ~ This is not an obligation in Paris, but people usually leave some extra change on the table if their service was excellent.

If you’re from America, the voltage in Paris will be twice the usual amount you experience back home (around 240 volts). You may need an adapter or voltage converter.

Most Parisians are drinking tap water every day. You can also buy a fancier glass bottle of water at restaurants, but most people agree that Paris water tastes good and is very safe.

The Ville de Paris and the Île-de-France region offer free internet service in Paris to all people, whether you are a visitor or a resident. Over 260 public places have wifi, so it is pretty easy to find. You can usually find wifi access in public parks, gardens, libraries, and museums.

The best option for a stay longer than two weeks is to pre-purchase a SIM card or buy one at an airport once you arrive in France. Cheaper options are usually around $25.

Uber is very active in France, and many people say it is much more convenient than taxis. Uber is only a couple euros cheaper, but you can use them most anywhere.

A cheaper option is Heetch. It is the same principle as Uber, only lower priced!

If Uber is too busy, these are other popular apps: Chauffeur Privé Paris, LeCab Driver, Marcel and Elite.

Paris has a large LGBTQ+ community, with Le Marais District well-known for many gay bars and clubs. In general, this city is very welcoming for all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds. There are many gay-friendly bars, and Paris holds one of the largest pride festivals in the whole continent with people traveling from far and wide in order to become a part of the celebration.

Paris is now focusing more on sustainable tourism, with non-polluting means of transport as much as possible. Green taxis, green spaces, eco-districts, eco-design architecture, ethical shopping, and organic food restaurants are always on the rise. Overall, Paris is aiming to lower its environmental footprint, limiting the impact the metropolis has on the rest of the country. Low-emission transport is at the forefront in attaining an environmentally-friendly future.

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