WHEN BEST TO GO
Paris is so beautiful that a visit during any of the seasons will be a holiday to remember.
However, certain times of the year are preferable. During July and August, the heat can be oppressive and the city rather quiet, as this is when Parisians take off for their summer residences in the south. May and June are perfect temperature-wise, but draw hordes of tourists. April, by contrast, is an excellent choice as it is not too cold and the city is still outside its peak tourist season. Early October to December is also a good option. January to March, however, can be bitterly cold and wet.
French culture is of paramount importance to the French and, in an increasingly homogenized world, they feel duty-bound to protect it. One of the best ways to earn brownie points with these proud people is to do a bit of homework before you visit; even a few badly-spoken phrases in French will convince Parisians you are trying, which will make their attitude towards you infinitely warmer.
Greetings-wise, handshaking is customary between men, and a kiss on each cheek between women or between a man and woman.
Paris is a large, cosmopolitan city and you’ll see people on the street wearing a vast range of clothing. Having said that, Paris is also renowned as one of the fashion capitals of the world; even the skateboarders and sports fans in this city are a cut above the rest, sartorially speaking. So, to truly feel as if you are in tune with the natives, go for a smart-casual look in a restrained color palette – this will get you through all manner of situations, and bring you respect from Parisians, who are generally averse to loud, garish tones and overly informal attire.
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EXCHANGE RATE at time of going to press
$1 = EUR 0.75, £1 = EUR 1.18
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE
24 HOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT
Fire services: 17
US: +1 202 944 6000,
UK: +44 207 073 1000
GMT +1 hour
According to the CIA World Factbook, the numbers are: 83%-88% Roman Catholic, 5%-10% Muslim, 2% Protestant, 1% Jewish, and 4% unaffiliated.
TYPICAL OPENING HOURS
Shops open from 9am to 6pm weekdays and Saturdays. On Sunday, most shops are closed, although with some shops, for example bakeries and other food purveyors, the day off is taken in the middle of the week to make the most of weekend sales.
Paris Luxury Transport
Navigate Paris in style with a personal chauffeur-driven car from Paris Luxury Transport.
With the meet and greet service you can expect a VIP experience from the moment you arrive you. The car fleet ranges from a Mercedes people carrier to a Rolls Royce Phantom, so that whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure there will be a car to suit your needs. Paris Luxury Transport also provides bespoke sightseeing tours, private jet charter, yacht charter and helicopter transport. The professional 24-hour concierges are on hand to ensure your needs are met.