Paris travel tips
If you're travelling as a tourist for less than 90 days, specific French visas are no longer required. Instead, France is among the European Union countries subject to the Schengen Convention. This allows Australians to travel throughout member nations using a single visa. You'll also need to ensure your passport is valid for six months after you exit France.
The currency of France is the euro (€) and it can be readily obtained prior to your departure at Travel Money Oz or at money changers on arrival. France has strict rules on the declaration of cash, so if you're intending to take over €10,000 in or out of France to a non-EU country, you must declare it on arrival or departure. This includes cash, traveller's cheques, and money orders.
French food is quite simply the stuff of legend, and Paris is the home of some of the most acclaimed cooking schools and restaurants in the world. It's not all haute cuisine, patisseries and Michelin-starred fine-dining, however. The city also features a vibrant street food scene and the influence of multiculturalism.
Tipping in Paris
Tipping is more of a gesture than a necessity in France, but there are certain occasions when a little extra gratuity is definitely appreciated. These include instances of exceptional service or assistance. It's worth noting restaurant bills incorporate a tip of sorts in the final bill. Known as the service compris, this is required by law to be passed onto staff.
France Electrical Plugs and Voltage
Electrical plugs and voltage in France are the European standard, comprising two round pins and between 220V and 240V. This means you'll need an adapter if you're intending on taking Australian electrical items. Adapters can be readily acquired at luggage stores and post offices prior to departure or even at the airport.
There are three airports servicing the city of Paris, but the main destination for international travellers is Charles de Gaulle, also known as Roissy Airport. This is the busiest airport in France, handling over 65 million passengers each year. It features three terminals, duty-free shopping, restaurants and bars, and is located 25km northeast of Paris. Paris Orly Airport to the South services domestic and some European flights, while Paris Beauvais services low cost carriers.
Language in Paris
While you'll manage to get around Paris speaking English, the native language is of course French. This beautiful language is easy on the ear but also not too difficult to pick up, with many phrases part of the common English lexicon. It's worth trying to embrace just a little French if you can, as it's certainly appreciated by your Parisian hosts, and will ensure you're treated politely. There are a host of audio tapes, pocket dictionaries and even apps available to assist.