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Paris

Notre Dame de Paris, Paris

Practical Info about Paris

Time

GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are standard.

Currency

The official currency of France is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.

Communication

The international access code for France is +33. Most public telephones accept phone cards, which are available in newsagents. Most hotels add a surcharge to calls, which can be very expensive; the cheapest way to call abroad is often with a phone card from a public telephone or at a post office. The local mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most international mobile phone companies. Internet cafes are available in towns throughout France.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 112.

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Easter Sunday 20 Apr 5 Apr
Easter Monday 21 Apr 6 Apr
Labour Day 1 May 1 May
WWII Victory Day 8 May 8 May
Ascension Day 29 May 14 May
Whit Monday 9 Jun 25 May
Bastille Day 14 Jul 14 Jul
Assumption of the Virgin Mary 15 Aug 15 Aug
All Saints Day 1 Nov 1 Nov
Armistice Day 11 Nov 11 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec
St Stephens Day (Alsace) 26 Dec 26 Dec

Climate

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Paris has a temperate climate, but the city is known for its unexpected rain showers which can occur at any time of year. Spring, from March to May, is the driest season in Paris but rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the other seasons. It is best to have an umbrella with you in Paris no matter what the season, but the rain showers are usually as brief as they are sudden. Snow is rare but the city does usually get a smattering in the winter months. Summer temperatures are mild to warm, with occasional heat waves, while winters are very chilly with temperatures hovering around freezing point. The average temperatures in Paris generally range between 41°F (5°C) during winter and 68°F (20°C) in summer. July is the hottest month of the year, although August can be almost as hot, and January is the coldest. November through January can be a little windy but generally wind is not a problem in Paris.

Getting around the city

Paris has an excellent public transport system, divided into five zones radiating out from the centre; ticket prices vary according to the number of zones required. Public transport consists of buses, an underground metro, and express trains (RER). Taxis are also available. The easiest way to get around is on the metro and the subways are generally safe at all times. It is possible to transfer between the metro and the RER trains at no extra cost. The bus system is also extensive, but is slower, less frequent and best used for getting to destinations the metro does not cover. A nightbus service, Noctambus, covers the city between 1am and 5:30am. Taxis are readily available and can be hailed or caught at taxi ranks. Vélib' bicycle rentals are also popular for getting round town: pick up a bike at one of 1,450 stations and return it at any other (from €1 an hour).

Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport

www.aeroportsdeparis.fr

Getting to the city

There is a good train service with the RER B line that serves the airport with connections to the city centre and the Metro station. From the airport RER B can be accessed from terminal 2 railway station stop on the airport shuttle. The RER B line is serviced every fifteen minutes Monday through Friday and takes 50 minutes to the city centre costing €9.50. The Roissy bus line also connects to the city centre and costs €10 for the 50 minute drive which buses depart for every 15-20 minutes between 7am and 11pm. Air France also runs buses to certain city destinations. The Noctilien night bus runs between 12:30am and 5am with fares depending on destination but starting from €7.60.

Car rental

All major car rental companies are represented.

Airport taxi's

There are taxis outside the baggage reclaim area of the arrival terminals. The taxi fare to the city centre is generally about €50.

Transfer between terminals

The three terminals are linked by free shuttle buses.

Facilities

There are ATMs, banks and bureaux de change in all terminals as well as a wide selection of shops, restaurants and bars. Terminal 1 also has a hairdresser and a business facility that includes meeting rooms, fax and photocopier. Mobile phones can be rented at the airport.

Parking

Short-term parking is available in lots P1, P3, and PAB, nearest to Terminal 1, starting at €5 for 30 minutes and escalating to €39 for 24 hours. Lots PCD and PEF are located near Terminal 2 and charge similar rates. Lot PR has lower long-term parking rates, charging €26 for the first day, €22 per day up to a week, and €8 per day thereafter; the lot is connected to all terminals via a free shuttle.

Internet

15 minutes of free wifi is provided to all passengers. Thereafter it costs €2.90 for 30 minutes, €4.50 for an hour, or €9.90 for 24 hours. Internet kiosks are also available throughout the airport.

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