Paris's Required Information

Currency

The Euro is the official currency of France, and of most European Union member states, excluding the UK and the Czech Republic, among others. The Euro, symbolized by a “€,” has been in public circulation since January, 2002. The franc, the former official currency of France, is no longer accepted, however, you may see that some price tags in France give the price both in Euro and in francs, to help those who still think in terms of francs.

Power outlets

Power plugs in France have the particularity of being male and female at the same time. Electrical outlets in France usually deliver power at 220-240 volts. It is much stronger than most North American sockets, which usually deliver 110-120 V. Plugging 110V hairdryer to a 240V French socket may result in ruining the device or worse, starting a fire.

Medications

The French health care system is generally recognized as offering one of the best, services of public health care in the world. Above all, it is a system that works, provides universal cover, and is a system that is strongly defended by virtually everyone in France.

A cornerstone of France’s revered healthcare system, the pharmacy is included in the basic amenities you will find in every medium-sized town and even in some relatively small villages. In fact, there are some 23,000 pharmacies across the whole country.

Air travel

Paris has two airports, Roissy Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to the north and Orly (ORY) to the south.  If you arrive in Paris by air, public transport will get you quickly and cheaply into central Paris. Unless you can squeeze five passengers into a taxi, it will certainly be cheaper.

Train Travel

There are seven major train stations in Paris stations that go beyond the Ile de France region.

  • Gare du Nord. The busiest railway station in Europe and the hub for trains arriving and departing Paris on the Eurostar. …
  • Gare de l’Est. …
  • Gare d’Austerlitz. …
  • Gare de Bercy. …
  • Gare de Lyon. …
  • Gare Montparnasse. …
  • Gare Saint-Lazare.

Visa and entry

Passports must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area.

  • You will need to apply for a short-stay visa.

Regulations and types of visas vary according to the French territory you intend to visit:

  • For European territory (mainland France), France complies with Schengen regulations related to the Schengen area, and issues a short-stay Uniform Schengen visa;
  • For non-European territories (French overseas territories), France issues a short-stay national visa;

For stays longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a long-stay national visa.

Public transport

The Paris public transport system is run by RATP and consists of the Métro (underground), Tram, RER suburban express train (which interconnects with the Métro inside Paris), bus and Noctilien (night bus). …

Zones 1 and 2 cover the city center and ALL Métro lines. The Métro alone is very efficient and will take you anywhere you need to go within Paris city limits.

On the bus, transfers (bus/bus or bus/tram) are also permitted for up to 1 hour 30 minutes (from first to last check-in). Between 1 a.m. and 5.30 a.m., while the Métro is closed, Noctambus lines may be used 7 days a week. A special fare will apply.

Alternative transport

Also in Paris are these popular transportation services:

  • BT-Transfer
  • Easy Go Shuttle
  • AbiTransport
  • Uber
  • Uber X

Bikes

The inexpensive shared-bicycles for public transport movement started in Paris with Velib’, which offered nearly-free short rides in the city. The shared-bike movement is growing and elaborating fast, and now includes other bike systems, and even shared electric scooters.

Velib’ Métropole is Paris’s new system of traditional pedal-powered and electric-assisted bikes introduced in 2018 to replace the earlier, pioneering, all-pedal-powered Velib’ system. The free or inexpensive Velib’ (veh-LEEB) pedal bikes were a great success, and helped to relieve congestion on city streets and public transport.

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