France is one of the most romantic countries in the world. But as romantic as it is, like many other countries overseas, tourists still need to be aware of what to expect and what to be cautious about. Of course, you can still enjoy the country while observing basic safety practices you would in any major city. The most common crimes in Paris, for example—especially against tourists—are nonviolent, such as pickpocketing. Learn more by following these travel tips.
Travel Tips for Tourists in France
According to France’s official travel site, there are four main airports for tourists:
- Paris-Orly: a tourist information and greeting point, situated at the exit of the International South Terminal, offers you information and advice on Paris and its region. You can also buy tickets to shows, public transport tickets, tourist products and they offer a hotel reservation service as well. This information point equally offers the business traveller up-to-date information on current corporate events in the area and access to the business services in the airport. They are open 7 days a week, from 7:15am until 9:40pm.
- Paris-Charles de Gaulle (often called “Roissy”): offers you the same services and information as Orly, with the information desks located in Terminal 2C Door 5 (7:00am until 2:45pm), Terminal 2D Door 5 (8:00am until 10:30pm), Terminal 2E Arrivals Hall, Terminal 2F Arrivals Door 11 (7:00am until 9:3pm) and Terminal 1 Arrivals Door 4 (7:00am until 8:30pm).
- Beauvais-Tillé Airport is located north of Paris and it takes just over an hour to get there by shuttle bus from Porte Maillot, Paris (access via the Métro line 1, or RER C). When traveling via Beauvais Airport, be sure to verify shuttle bus times as they are scheduled to the arrival and departure for each flight to and from the airport. This must also be taken into consideration if you are thinking of transiting to another airport in Paris.
- Paris-Vatry is situated 150km from Paris, in the Champagne region. The airport offers shuttle services allowing you to and from Paris, and even Disneyland.
While in the country, safety should be a main priority. Theft is common is major cities like Paris. To avoid it, be particularly conscious of locking doors at night and be aware of your belongings in crowded areas, where pickpockets are most likely to target tourists. Don’t display your valuables. Areas of public transit are also high crime areas for petty thefts. The subway is often crowded, providing a prime opportunity for pickpockets. Don’t forget to be aware of unregistered taxis and limousines. Although it is uncommon, some drivers pick up unsuspecting tourists and drive to unsafe areas. Then, they threaten to eject you from the car unless you agree to pay more money. While 911 is the go-to call for all emergencies in the US, the number 112 is the equivalent in France.
Finally, one last important factor to keep in mind for tourists is money. France’s tourist site reports that “U.S. dollars are not accepted in most establishments, though some hotels, shops, and restaurants may accept U.S. dollars at an agreed upon exchange rate.”
- Euro (€): The French currency
- Bills: 500/200/100/50/20/10/5
- Coins: 2€/1€/50 cents/20c/10c/5c/2c/1c The Euro is divided into 100 cents, orcentimes.
For more information and travel tips for France, visit France’s official travel site.