ELECTRICITY: 220 V / 50 Hz
CURRENCY: EURO (Euro) €
PASSPORT / VISA:
For citizens of European Union countries, a current valid identity card is sufficient. However, if you are a citizen of another country, a passport is obligatory, with a visa for certain countries.
You will find details for obtaining a visa on the website of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs: www.mfe.org
Tap water in France is safe to drink.
SHOP OPENING HOURS:
In large towns, bakers and food shops open very early in the morning and close around 7.00pm or 8.00pm. Other shops open at 9.00am or 10.00am and close between 7.00pm and 8.00pm.
Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world. For bargain hunters, two large flea markets are held outside central Paris: Porte de Vanves and Porte de Saint-Ouen.
In the regions, the town centre often has a number of clothes shops which are just as good as those in Paris. Some towns have second-hand clothes shops with keen prices or very trendy shops.
BANKS / CREDIT CARDS / ATMs:
Banking hours in Paris are usually from 10.00am to 5.00pm, Monday through Friday. Throughout the rest of France, banks are usually open from 10am to 1pm, and 3pm to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Banks often close earlier the day before a public holiday.
Credit cards are accepted in a large number of shops, hotels and restaurants.
Almost all restaurant include tax and a 15%service charge (service compris) in their prices. If a meal or service has been particularly good, leaving another 1.50€ (or 2-3%) is customary, as is leaving the waiter the small change from your bill if you pay in cash. If service is not included (service non compris) a 15% tip is appropriate. In hotels, tip porters 1.50€ for each bag and chambermaids 1.50€ a day. Taxi drivers should be given 10-15% of the fare.
All pets should have rabies vaccinations and micro chips before entering France. They also now need EU Pet Passports. Once in France, make sure that you update the details of the micro chip with the French database.
SAMU (medical emergencies): 15, Police emergencies: 17, Fire Service emergencies: 18