Twice a year and lasting a month: after Christmas (January /February) and at the beginning of the summer (June/July).
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.
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
To make it less confusing and enable you to ask for the correct size, here are the equivalents.
|34||extra small (XS)||6||32|
|42||extra large (XL)||14||40|
|44||extra extra large (XXL)||16||42Shoes|
|39||M 7 / L 8.5||6|
|40||M 7.5 / L 9||6.5|
|41||M 8.5 / L 10||7.5|
|42||M 9 / L 10.5||8|
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.
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.
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.
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
Do you come from a country outside the European Union? And you’re over 16 years of age? Are you intending to spend a minimum of €100 (since January 1, 2021) in the same brand or a group of brands, carried out over a maximum of 3 days?
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.