Frequently asked questions

Where do I buy my ticket? A morning concert? Here are some answers to your questions on going out in Paris

Twice a year and lasting a month: after Christmas (January /February) and at the beginning of the summer (June/July).

 Cheap Paris

Paris, capital of shopping

Shops everywhere take all the major credit cards: Visa, EuroCard, MasterCard, American Express. At each transaction, the sales person must give you a receipt which you should keep safely.

Only cheques drawn on French banks will be accepted and generally proof of identity is requested. You can also pay in euros of course, although it is best to avoid the larger denomination banknotes.

 Cheap Paris

Paris, capital of shopping

Les chèques vacances ont été créés pour permettre à tous d'accéder à des activités culturelles et de loisirs très variées. Ce titre de paiement est un accord entre les salariés et les entreprises.

Ils se présentent sous forme de coupons de 10, 20, 25 et 50 € et sont valables 2 ans après l'année d'émission. En France, 170 000 points d'accueil acceptent les chèques vacances.

 Plus d'infos sur les chèques vacances

 Le dossier Paris pas cher

 Le site Paris, capitale du shopping

To make it less confusing and enable you to ask for the correct size, here are the equivalents.

Clothes: 

FranceUSAGBItaly
34extra small (XS)632
36small (S)834
38medium (M)1036
40large (L)1238
42extra large (XL)1440
44extra extra large (XXL)1642Shoes

Shoes:

M: men

L: ladies

FranceUSAGB
36L 63.5
37L 6.54
38L 7.55
39M 7 / L 8.56
40M 7.5 / L 96.5
41M 8.5 / L 107.5
42M 9 / L 10.58
43M 109
44M 10.59.5

 Cheap Paris

Paris, capital of shopping

If you fancy buying a last-minute gift after 7pm, you’re more likely to find it in the busy Parisian districts around the Champs-Elysées, Montparnasse and Les Halles.

 Cheap Paris

Paris, capital of shopping

There are three different television standards in use throughout the world: PAL, NTSC and SECAM. These systems, basically incompatible, refer to the way in which the colours forming the image are combined and coded. PAL is used in most European countries, in Asia and Australia, NTSC in North and South America and in Japan, and SECAM in France, Eastern Europe and in Africa.

SECAM and PAL have enough similarities to make them both compatible with the majority of video equipment available in Europe. However, SECAM and NTSC are not compatible.

Do check that any video equipment or cassettes that you purchase in Paris will be compatible with the system used in your country. If not, you may well end up with a video you can’t watch, or at best, black and white instead of colour pictures.

 Standards and electrical videos in France

Be sure that any DVD you purchase here is compatible with your equipment at home. For commercial reasons, in order to avoid a film being available on DVD at the same time as its general cinema release, the DVD market is split into several regions:

Region 1: USA and Canada

Region 2: Europe, Middle East, Japan and South Africa

Region 3: South East Asia

Region 4: South America and Australia

Region 5: Eastern Europe and Africa

Region 6: China

So in France, you are in zone 2. If you take a DVD home from Paris, it may not be able to be decoded by your player, unless it is region-free. In addition, the video format (PAL, SECAM or NTSC) must be compatible too, for a DVD to work properly. So ensure you check the relevant details before you buy.

 Standards and electrical videos in France

Like all big cities, Paris has its pickpockets.

These few words of advice will help you to avoid any inconvenience: always keep your identity documents and your wallet in sealed pockets, or, for ladies, in a handbag carried across your shoulder.

Try to keep the keys to your accommodation separate from your ID; avoid displaying the contents of your purse, and be particularly vigilant at rush hour when travelling on public transport (9/10am and 6/7.30pm).

 Safety tips and emergency numbers in Paris

 Police stations in Paris

Do you come from a country outside the European Union? And you’re over 15 years of age? Are you intending to spend a minimum of €175 on the same day in the same store? 

If so, you can benefit from a tax refund.

  • For a VAT (Value Added Tax) refund, ask for a Tax free Shopping France invoice when you shop in any major store or “Tax free for tourists” boutique. The amount to be refunded is shown under the heading “Montant de la détaxe”. You should have your invoices stamped at airport customs on leaving the EU and return the validated pink copies within three months using the stamped addressed envelope given to you at the time you made your purchases. N.B. Food, services, travel, photo processing, alterations and repairs are not eligible for a tax refund.
  • In order to receive your tax refund if you are leaving the EU by train, it’s important to know that Paris train stations, unlike airports, do not have a customs office. In this case you need to call on a specialist company.
  • You can also buy products that are already tax-free: the famous “duty-free” shops of which most are located around Opéra and Palais Royal offer you merchandise with tax already deducted, in particular luxury items like perfume and leather goods. This advantage is only for those resident outside the European Union, which is why you will be asked to produce your passport at the moment of purchase, and often your flight ticket too. Major department stores also have their “duty-free” services, as do the international zones at the airports.

 Tax refunds and duty free shopping in Paris