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Practical information about Paris

A s with most large cities, it’s easy to waste your limited sightseeing time in Paris either in transit or in lines. A little forward planning can minimize this. Call in advance to confirm the sight is open, and isn’t closed for refurbishment or holidays – a phonecard, or télécarte, is a wise investment. Purchase a carnet or travel pass to economize and simplify transportation on the buses and metro . Buying a Paris Carte-Musées-Monuments will give unlimited access to museums and monuments, and cuts down on lines. Beware the Paris lunch break (around 1–3pm), as many essential services shut down, as well as some museums. Guided tours are often the best way to see the essential sights before you get your bearings. If you’re on a tight budget, admission prices are sometimes lower at certain times of day, or on Sundays; card-carrying students can obtain discounts on some tickets and admissions .

MUSEUMS AND MONUMENTS There are 172 museums and monuments open to the public in Paris. Most are open Monday (or Tuesday) to Sunday, and from 10am to 5:40pm. Some offer evening visits. The national museums are closed on Tuesdays, except Versailles and the Musée d’Orsay, which are closed on Mondays. The municipal museums, such as those run by the city of Paris (Ville de Paris) are usually closed on Mondays. An admission fee is usually charged, or a donation is expected. The entrance fee to national museums is totally waived on the first Sunday of each month. Those under 18 are admitted free and those 18–25 and over 60 pay a reduced rate. The municipal museums, and some other museums, do not charge a fee to see their permanent collections on Sundays. Those under 7 and over 60 are admitted free at all times. To obtain the discounts you will have to provide absolute proof of who you are and how old you are.

The Paris Carte-MuséesMonuments gives the bearer unlimited access to 70 museums and monuments for 1, 3 or 5 days, without standing in line – a significant advantage in the Paris high season. The pass can be purchased at any of the city’s museums as well as main metro stations, Batobus stops, FNAC ticket counters and at the headquarters of the Office du Tourisme or Paris Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.


This guide lists opening times for each sight individually. Most Paris shops and businesses are open from 9am to 7pm. While many stay open all day, others close for an hour or two from noon or 12:30. Some smaller food shops open earlier, around 7am, and take a longer midday break. Almost all business is closed on Sunday, and many shops close Monday too. Some restaurants close at least one day a week. Many shops close for a month or more during summer. Banks are open from around 9am to Tourist Office logo Paris museum pass, for saving time and money 4:30– 5:15pm Mon–Fri, 9am– noon Sat. Some close noon– 2pm. The day before a public holiday they close at noon.


There is one main tourist office in Paris, near the Tuileries garden, the Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Paris, which provides the latest maps, information and brochures. Its state of the art equipment gives a comprehensive picture of events in the city, and it is well worth a visit, despite summer lines. There are also tourist offices at the Eiffel Tower, the Carrousel du Louvre, at Place du Tertre in Montmartre, at the Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon, and in the Opéra quarter


The main listings magazines in Paris, available at all newsstands, are Pariscope and L’Officiel des Spectacles . Each Wednesday they present full information on the week’s current theater, movies and exhibits, as well as on cabarets, dinner clubs and some restaurants.

FNAC ticket agencies sell for all the entertainment venues, including temporary museum shows. There are FNAC branches throughout Paris. For more information call one of their branches . For theater events only, the Kiosque Théâtre sells sameday tickets at 50 per cent discount. The two locations are Place de la Madeleine and the Parvis de la Gare Montparnasse . Visitors should be aware that smoking is generally not allowed in theaters or movies.


 Double-decker bus tours with commentaries in English, Italian, Japanese and German are organized by France Tourisme, Cityrama and Paris Vision. The tours begin from the city center and take about two hours. They pass the main sights but do not stop at all of them. Departure times vary. Les Cars Rouges runs British double-decker bus tours, stopping at many of the sights in Paris, which allow you to leave the bus at any of the stops and to continue later (ticket valid for 2 days). Monum (Centre des Monuments Nationaux)  offers guided walking tours.


Services for disabled people in Paris are still comparatively limited. Although most sidewalks are contoured to allow wheelchairs an easier passage, many restaurants, hotels, and even museums are poorly equipped. (They may claim otherwise.) However, better facilities are being incorporated into all renovated and new buildings, and the French are usually more than ready to help disabled people who are having difficulty. For up-to-date information on public facilities for the disabled, contact the Groupement pour l’Insertion des Personnes Handicapées Physiques (GIHP).

Practical information about Paris Practical information about Paris Reviewed by MELANIE INFINITY on January 08, 2020 Rating: 5

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