There is a multitude of banks in Paris, both French and foreign. They are generally open from 9am to 5pm, or 6pm, from Monday to Friday, sometimes from Tuesday to Saturday. Certain branches may close at lunchtime, between 12.30pm and 2pm.
Even though you may find some banks who will accept your currency in exchange for euros, you are more likely to come across exchange bureaux, which specialize in this type of transaction. Make sure you have some ID with you.
Your credit card will enable you to withdraw cash in euros 24 hours a day at the hundreds of automatic cashpoints in the city. They often give you the choice of instructions in French, English or other languages. The majority of international cards are accepted by cash dispensers at the principal French and foreign banks. However, not all banks provide a currency exchange service.
Banks and exchange bureaux, such as the CCF, fix their rates according to the market which fluctuates from day to day. All rates should be displayed outside the agency. The exchange rate is correct if the difference between buying and selling rates is approximately 5%.
Commission is usually charged on an exchange transaction. The amount will vary from place to place and also sometimes according to the form of payment, whether it be in cash, traveller’s cheques or credit card. It is advisable to check this prior to the transaction to avoid any unpleasant surprises. As a general rule it is not a good idea to exchange small sums, as the commission will be proportionally higher.
In Paris, you will find numerous exchange bureaux in busy tourist areas and they are usually open on Sundays too.
You can use your international credit card to withdraw euros at automatic cash machines in banks, 24 hours a day. Make sure you check beforehand with your own bank however, because you may be charged for this service.
NB: the Banque de France no longer provides an exchange service.