Coming to France :
French language basics,
Most of them have an official scale of charges, but it is usual to give
about 5 FF extra, depending on the number of bags.
Tip about 10 % to 15 % of the amount marked on the meter.
5 to 10 FF for every item of baggage to the hotel porter who
carries bags on arrival and departure. You are not obliged to tip
the concierge (hallporter), doorman, etc, if you have not used their
services. Leave about 10 FF per day for the chambermaid.
Service is generally
included in the bill. If not, leave an extra 10 to15 % of the total
amount. If you have been served personally by the wine waiter, you
may give him about 10 FF.
Tip is generally included.
If not, leave an extra 10 to 15 % of the total amount.
In theaters and restaurants,
give at least 5 FF per item. To the toilet attendant : 2 FF.
Cinema movie and theater
Give 2 FF per person to the
usherette who shows you to your place in cinemas and theaters.
Tip the hairdresser about 10
%. To women's hairdressers give 5 FF to the person who does your hair
and to the person giving a shampoo. Give 10 FF to the manicurist.
For group visits to museums
and monuments, 5 FF per person is a reasonable tip.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS .
The major public holidays in France are:
January 1st, Easter, Easter Monday, Ascension Thursday, May 1st (Labor
Day), May 8th (End of world war II), Whit Monday, July 14th (Bastille
Day), August 15th, November 1st, November 11th and Christmas
On those days, banks, shops and almost everything else will be closed.
Make sure you have enough money and a full tank of gas (petrol). During
July/August all of France goes on vacation. So traffic conditions
may be congested on highways and the hotels often fully
booked out, except in Paris, which you may so have all to yourself
In France, the school vacations vary from one Academy to
according to a division of the French territory into three areas.
The teachers go back to school one or two days before their pupils.
Area A covers the Academies
Grenoble, Lyon, Montpellier, Nancy/Metz,
Nantes, Rennes and Toulouse
Area B covers the Academies
Amiens, Besancon, Dijon, Lille,
Limoges, Lyon, Nice, Orleans/Tours, Poitiers, Reims,
Rouen and Strasbourg.
Area C covers the Academies
Bordeaux, Creteil, Paris and
Most of France has switched to 220-230 volts AC,
although a few parts may still run on 110-115 volts. Current
alternates at 50 cycles, not the 60 in use in U.S.A. If you are
bringing shavers, travel irons, hair dryers or whatever, take
along a voltage transformer. Remember the outlet prongs are
shaped differently also.
There are public toilets at railway stations, bus stations,
metro stations, in public buildings and in stores, cafes, restaurants.
In smaller towns, there may be one toilet for both men and women.
Charges are usually 5 FF or less. Soap and towels are extra. If there is
an attendant (or her saucer) on duty, tip 2 FF.
If property is lost in a subway or bus, go immediately to the
terminal point of one or the other, and you may find it there.
Otherwise, 48 hours later, call: the Lost and Found Office
Prefecture de Police
Bureau des Objets Trouves,
36 rue des Morillons, 75015 Paris
Tel.: (1) 45.31. 14.80
Open daily, except Saturdays, Sundays and vacations, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Tuesdays and Thursdays till 8:00 pm. Anything lost will be retumed
to this office. It is wise to report to the district Commissariat de
Police if you know exactly where you lost the item in question.
If found you will be required to pay 4 % of the item's value for the
service. Lost property is held for one year and one day.
IF YOU BECOME ILL
If you are taken ill and need medicine, remember a
drugstore (chemist) is called a "pharmacie". Night time and on
Sundays, the Commissariat de Police of the districtwhere you reside will
inform you of the nearest drugstore (chemist) open and the address of
the nearest doctor on duty. If you need to be taken to a hospital, the
doctor will call an ambulance for you or you can apply to the:
Ambulances "Assistance Publique" 28, rue de I'Entrepot,
Tel: (1) 188.8.131.52 - Fax.: (1) 184.108.40.206
63, boulevard Victor-Hugo,
Tel.: (1) 220.127.116.11 - Fax.: (1) 18.104.22.168 - Telex: 613.344
British Hospital Hortford
3, rue Barbes, 92300
Tel.: (1) 22.214.171.124 - Fax.: (1) 47.58.02.34
Medicine by air from home
Ministere des Affaires Sociales
Service Central de la Pharmacie, 14, avenue Duquesne, 75007 Paris
Tel.: (1) 126.96.36.199 - (1) 40.56.60.00 - Fax.: (1) 188.8.131.52
Open: daily except Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 am to 12 noon
and 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm. It is forbidden to import narcotics into France
unless you obtain beforehand a special authorization from the French
narcotic office at the address mentioned above.
WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO DO, WHAT'S ON
Read fhe International Herald tribune and the Daily Mail,
as well as Une Semaine de Paris/Pariscope, L'Officiel des Spectacles,
Paris-Passion magazine (monthly, in English), etc. You can also
find lists of events in most of the French daily newspapers.
PROLONGING YOUR STAY
If you stay in France over three months or beyond the validity
of your visa, you must get a residence permit from the: Prefecture de
Police, Service des Etrangers 7, boulevard du Palais, 75004 Paris.
Tel.: (1) 42.77.11.00 Ext.: 51-72, 51-77 and 51-66 - Fax.: (1)
184.108.40.206 Open daily except Saturdays, Sundays and vacations,
from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Units of capacity
1 litre = 1.7 pint = 0.88
10 litres = 2.20 imperial gallons = 2.64 US gallons
1 pint = 0.56 litre
1 quart = 1.136 litre = 2 pints
1 imperial gallon = 4. 54 litres = 8 pints
1 US gallon = 3.73 litres = 0.63 imperial gallons
Units of weight
1 gramme = 0.035 oz
1 kilogramme = 2. 20 Ibs
1 oz. = 28.35 grammes
1 metric ton (tonne) = 0. 98 tons
1 lb = 0.45 kilogrammes
1 short ton = 907 kilogrammes
1 long ton = 1.016 kilogramme
* To call France from abroad: first dial 33
* To call abroad from France: first dial 19, then the country's code and
then your number.
* To call Paris from a region of France: dial 16 and then 1, followed by
your 8 figure number, * T call a region from Paris: dial 16 followed
by your number of 8 figures.
* don't forget the new "France Direct" telephone service in
your language in a number of foreign countries.
Remember the time change when you phone home:
U.S.A. : 6 to 9 hours behind in winter.
Australia : 10 hours ahead,
Canada: 5 to 7 hours difference with Ontario and Quebec,
South Africa : 1 hour ahead.
U.K.: 1 hour ahead.
Some rates U.S.A.:
28.08 FF (3 minutes),
Canada : 28.08 FF (3 minutes)
South Africa : 57.27 FF (3 minutes),
Australia: 57.27 FF (3 minutes)
G.B. : 4.50 FF (the minute)
Reduced rates from Monday to Saturday between
8:00 pm and 2:00 am, 7,17 FF for one minute;
from 2:00 am to 12:00 am; 5,71 FF for one minute;
during Sundays and French public holidays: 0,73 FF for 6
Reduced rates between 9:30 pm and 8:00 am: 3,04 FF for one minute.
These rates are also valid on Saturdays (after 2:00 pm), on Sundays
and during French public holidays.
The majority of telephone
booths, both in Paris and the regions (a total of
168,000 booths), are equipped with the "Telecarte" system.
Instead of coins, you have to use telecartes, which can be bought, among
other places, at Post Offices and in tobacconists (40 FF and 96 FF). The
telecartes have a specific number of bits which are used up when you
make calls.You just throw the used card away (unless you make a
collection) and buy another. When you insert your card into the
phone slot, the remaining amount of credit is displayed. You can see
this amount decreasing as you use the phone. When you hang up, don't
forget to retrieve your card.
You can be called at many
telephone booths. Good idea when you are
short of cash.
TO CABLE HOME
There is only one kind of cable: direct.
minimum 15 words
U.S.A. (New York) 74.75 FF
U.S.A. (Other states) 74.75 FF
U.S.A. (Alaska & Hawaii) 81.00 FF
Canada 74.75 FF
U.K. 74.75 FF
Australia 81.00 FF
South Africa 74.75 FF
General Postal Information (www.laposte.fr)
Service des Renseignements Postaux
Open: daily except Sundays and vacations, from 8:00 am to 8: 00 pm
Tel.: (1) 220.127.116.11
Main Post Office
52, rue du Louvre, 75001
Paris Open 24 hours,
everyday. It is the only one in France with these facilities.
Post Offices in Paris are open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
(Saturdays from 8:00 am to 12 noon)
They may be bought at a post
office, at a tobacconist's
or at some hotels.
General Postal Rates
Air Mail Letters as of
up to 10 rammes to:
U.S.A. 3.70 FF
Canada 3.70 FF
Australia 4. 10 FF
South Africa 3.90 FF
EEC countries, Austria, Switzerland: 2.50 FF up o 20 grammes,
Non EEC: 3.40 FF up to 20 grammes.
The minitel is the least cumbersome and most attractively
priced communic ating videoterminal on the market. Thanks to it,
customers, distributors and sales representatives, among others,
can place orders or receive messages at any time. The minitel is also a
good way of being informed and keeping others informed. In 1992 the
number of minitels installed in France was already in excess of 6
million units. The network is accessed by several phone numbers
corresponding to different levels of billing. When outside of France,
(33) 18.104.22.168 for Teletel 1
(33) 36.43.l4.l4 for Teletel 2
(33) 22.214.171.124 for Teletel 3
(33) 126.96.36.199 for Teletel 4, etc.
When in France, dial: 36.13, 36.14, 36.15, 36.16, etc. International
minitel number from France now is : 36.19. Banks, insurance
companies, daily newspapers, etc,
have installed news services in either Teletel. The tourist sector
is now also very much involved in the minitel system. Just ask
your partner his code of access.
The Editions TGA Telematique Publishers
293, boulevard Saint-Denis, 92400 Courbevoie.
Tel.: (1) 47.68.92.00 - Fax.: (1) 47.89.30. 14 - Telex: 610.056)
is issuing a booklet called "Le Repertoire Teletel" which
gives an extensive list of the many minitel services related with
tourism. In total there are more than 500 minitel services.
By law, as of November 1, 1992, all areas open to the public
have been declaied as non-smoking ones. As a consequence, among
others, restaurants should organise separate zones for smokers and
non-smokers. Fines are heavy for both smokers and owners/managers of the
place in case of a conflict.
French language basics,