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36

As a French native, I discovered this practice in North America. I never asked for a doggy bag in France, nor have I seen someone do it. So it is likely restaurants don't even have boxes. You can obviously take out food from fast-food restaurants but for regular restaurants I don't think it is correct behaviour. I usually finish my dishes, I only order what ...


30

I think the best write-up I've seen on this is at Corporatetravelsafety.com: They begin the Paris String Scam by engaging you in innocent conversation and will usually say that they want to show you a magic trick. Before you know it, a "string man" has grabbed your wrist or one or two fingers and encircled it with a homemade bracelet of colored ...


26

I never found the stereotypical rude Parisian I was warned about. Several people went far out of their way to help me in ways I wouldn't expect in my own city. I did not find a great number of people outside the tourism industry in Paris that spoke English. I did always use the French words and phrases I knew "excusez moi", "salut", "merci", and if I could ...


22

The cheapest, but especially most efficient way of transport to get around Paris is the Velib. You pay a fee of 1,70 EUR for a dayticket or 8 Eur for a week ticket. During the validity of this ticket you can use any bicycle from the velib network. Source: Wikimedia Commons The catch to really travel cheap is to change bikes every 30 minutes. If you cycle ...


21

As a matter of fact, they just have been reopened. The Musée Carnavalet, the museum in charge of the catacombs, announced on their Facebook page one hour ago: Bonne nouvelle ! Les Catacombes sont de nouveau ouvertes au public. Nous vous souhaitons un agréable après-midi Which translates to: "Good news! The catacombs are now again open to the ...


19

The metro is only €1,70 per ride, and if you buy a carnet of 10 the price is €13.30 for all 10. Probably your best bet. I hate cycling because of the issues with locking it up, worrying about theft, and if you're in the upper arrondissements going uphill on cobblestone sounds like a miserable experience I would rather spare myself from. The city is ...


18

It's a common problem I had in South America - I really wanted to improve my Spanish while travelling as it gives you a much better insight into your travels, and can talk to locals more. But so often they'd just switch to English because they welcomed a chance to learn English themselves. You can either do the obvious (ask them to speak French so you can ...


18

Yes, there is! On the first Sunday of every month, almost all the main museums and art galleries are open for free. The only slight downside is that loads of people take advantage of this, so the queues can be quite long (it took 25 minutes to get into le Musée d'Orsay today mid afternoon as a guide), and they can be very busy inside. See this question on ...


16

I would recommend summer. The weather is warm but not too hot, less than in Italy or Japan. See this minimum/maximum graph in Nice (in Celsius, 25°C=77°F): During summer touristic places are open everywhere, even in the South, the warmer the better. During summer people working in Paris leave for the South, but Paris still has a lot of activities, even ...


15

I'd recommend either May or September. In particular, Paris is going to be overrun with crowds during June, July, and August with students and families that are only able to travel during those months.


15

It's certainly possible to do a day-trip from Paris to London. Eurostar takes a little over 2 hours each way from Paris (Gare du Nord) to London (St Pancras) and back. In both directions you clear immigration (both exit and entry!) before boarding the train, which adds a little to the total time. However, if you've never been to Paris before, I'm really ...


15

I went several times to this park and I never had to deal with that kind of people (I am French). They certainly target tourists so I would recommend the usual stuff I apply to myself not to be bothered in such a case. Walk confidently, a bit fast. You know where you are going. Do not look around or stroll in front of them. Look in front of you. If they ...


14

Just ask them. If they switch to english, say: "S'il vous plaît, en français, j'essaie d'apprendre."


14

Tuesday is national museum closing day in France. Many state-owned museums are closed on Tuesdays, as are many local museums outside Paris. In Paris, most city-owned museums are closed on Mondays. Some museums are open later on one night a week, usually Thursdays. Most museums close on some public holidays but not all. There are many exceptions, so always ...


14

Hôtel de Crillon, suite Bernstein (fr). (image from www.drivingadelorean.com) Have a nice stay!


13

You would be surprised how many parisians speak English (and German btw). When I lived in Paris for two years, I volunteered to help in teaching English. Often I noticed that the level of English understanding was quite well. In my opinion, the stereotype of "parisian arrogance", should actually be called insecurity on their proficiency in English. Like ...


13

Yes, you can travel with regional trains. It takes a little over 4 hours plus the connection times, and there are no good connections, so count on 5 to 6 hours for the journey. The bus takes 4–5 hours and is cheaper than regional trains. It isn't easy to find the train times or prices because online planners tend to go for the fastest journey only. There's ...


13

Basically, in France, smoking is forbidden indoors except in private places and allowed outdoors. The law changed considerably around 2007–2008, so if you last came to France over 10 years ago, the situation then has nothing to do with the situation now. Smoking is forbidden in covered spaces in government and other public buildings, in public transport ...


12

It depends what you are talking about. The "Ossuaire Municipal" where bones from thousands of people are stored just reopened according to their Facebook page. The official site is still saying it is closed but official stuff in France tend to be a tad slow. Parisian people also use the word Catacombes for the whole network of former quarries and other ...


11

I speak enough French to be able to read road signs, order food, and buy things. I can read almost anything and figure it out, given a little time. (I'm Canadian.) In Paris, the street vendors who are all around the Eiffel Tower accosted us every time we went by. Umbrellas, mini towers etc etc. "Non, merci" I said every time. They would melt away and leave ...


11

You can get by. Millions of Japanese do it every year. For an English speaker, French is one of the most similar. It is amazing how much communication can be accomplished without a common spoken language. For an English speaker, though, French is loaded with cognates. Out of respect and courtesy, do not assume that the French speak English. This is a good ...


11

You can find information about train stations in France on the Gares en Mouvement (Stations in Motion) web site. The translation is somewhat haphazard. A left luggage facility is called a consigne (consigne automatique for automated lockers, or consigne manuelle if there's an attendant). In Paris Nord, there are both automated lockers (acessible as long as ...


11

There are some good opportunities, for example: Fontainebleau (outer suburbs to the south-east, about 45 minutes by train from Gare de Lyon + 30 minutes of bus from Gare de Fontainebleau-Avon to the palace) Vincennes (inner suburbs to the east, terminal of metro line Ⓜ①) Chantilly (northern suburbs, about 1 hour: take a train from gare du Nord (or the ...


11

If your travel company is comfortable with cycling, Velib is the least stressful form of transportation in Paris. You pay a daily fee, which is very low, and then you can take a velib bicycle to cycle around. The first 30 minutes of each trip are always free of charge. This actually means that you can ride for free as long as you change bicycles every 30 ...


11

Paris Visite is a more expensive tourist thing, with a discount voucher book for museums, etc... I would suggest you to get what the locals use when they need a day of unlimited travel. It is called the Mobilis. Costs less than the Paris Visite and much less advertised; its counterpart is that you cannot use it on Orlyval and the CDG airport stations. Also, ...


11

I live in Paris in France, and I never saw anyone doing that, so I'll advise you to avoid it, because you'll probably create quite an awkward atmosphere, even in a "not very classy" restaurant.


11

Take the Metro. Better than a carnet if you plan to ride often, I suggest you consider unlimited-ride passes. These give a sense of freedom, "need a ride? let's go!". You an use the underground network as well as buses and light rail. Available short-term passes that are: Paris Visite : The tourist thing. Rather expensive, with a booklet of vouchers for ...



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