Practical information about Paris
It's exciting being in a new city and you will want to be as prepared for your trip as possible. While most people in Paris speak English you will want to know the basic numbers to call to obtain services, the local currency, the temperatures and climate in the city and what travel documentation you need to enter France.
Knowing which health information and medical requirements you need when travelling to Paris, enables you to prepare in advance and obtain the necessary vaccinations.
If you find yourself in an emergency situation, it is handy to know which number to call, and where and how to make a call from a landline or a cellphone. Check out the overview below on the things every traveller should know when travelling to Paris!
Essential Paris information for visitors
Emergency numbers: In Paris, and throughout France the general emergency numbers for police, medical or fire emergencies is: 18 or112. For a general medical emergency in Paris, call 0147 07 77 77 or 3622. An English language crisis line is available on SOS Help, daily from 3 pm to 11 pm, on 01 46 21 46 46.
Government offices: The Canadian Embassy in Paris is located at 130 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008. Canadians in France are able to visit the office from 9:00 to 12:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Frdiays (except on holidays. In case of emergencies, they are available from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Temperature: Paris has a mild, continental climate. January is the coolest month in the city with an average temperature of 5°C. During winter Paris can be cold and damp with snowfalls. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 20°C and the weather is the warmest from May to July and this is peak travel season. It can rain all year round, so pack a raincoat or umbrella when travelling to Paris.
Currency: The currency in France is the French Euro (€). If you are travelling to Paris you will need to exchange your currency, you can do this at most Paris banks or at Foreign Exchange Bureaus. There are ATMs at the airport, taxis do take credit cards, and the ticket machines at the Charles De Gaulle airport accept credit cards, including magnetic strip credit cards. French Euro banknotes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. Currency over €10,000 in cash or travelers' cheques must be declared at the point of entry or exit.
Local time: Paris is in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET ) is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time ( GMT+1 ).
Electricity: Electrical outlets in Paris provide a standard voltage of 230V, so if the voltage in your country is between 220V and 240V and of a frequency of 50Hz you will be able to use all your equipment.
Language: French is the official language in Paris and most people in the city speak it, but as the city is a popular tourist region, most people will speak English if they understand it is your native language.
Internet, telephone and postal service: French telephone numbers have 10 digits and begin with 0. The telephone code for Paris is 01 and mobile numbers start with 06 or 07. Numbers that begin with 0 800 and 0 804, 0 805, 30 00, 31 44, 36 55 are free call numbers. To call another country from France, dial the international code 00, the country code and the phone number (without the first 0). Your mobile phone operator will confirm whether your mobile is compatible with the French network and the charges incurred. Most post offices are open from 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and close at midday on Saturday. They are closed on public holidays.
Travel documents: A valid passport is required to enter France. Canadian visitors who want to stay in the country for longer than 90 days require a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorization will become mandatory for Canadian citizens from 2021.
Health: If you are going on holiday to Paris from Europe, the US or Canada you should make sure that you have an up to date health card, the EU EHIC card is free to obtain. Vaccinations are required for travel to Paris and include hepatitis, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
Tipping: The tip is usually included in the final bill (service compris), but if you've had great service feel free to round the bill up to the nearest whole figure or leave up to ten percent more, should you choose.
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