Paris travel guide
For a fully upscale night out, Paris is brimming with classy venues. Bound Bar is a modern and blue-lit bar, serving a wide range of cocktails. Situated on the Avenue George V, this is the very epitome of chic, although perhaps leaning a bit more to New York chic than French. A completely different atmosphere is to be found in the Hemingway Bar, located inside the Ritz Hotel. A cosy piano bar, it has classy, cultural feel, and offers an excellent selection of wines.
If you’re looking for a night of fun, full of music and excitement, there’s no place better than La Flèche d’Or bar and club. Housed in an old train station, it is the centre of Paris’s indie culture. It has a reputation for lining up an eclectic array of performers and DJs and for hosting some of the most experimental music acts in the city. Beer, wine, cocktails and coffee flow, and are relatively good value. For a more arty atmosphere, check out the Au Chat Noir Performance Café and Bar in the trendy Belleville district. The drinks menu is not particularly inspiring, but this bar is all about watching the poets, singers and other acts performing.
For shopping, head to the Rue Saint-Honoré and discover all manner of shops. High fashion designers have their shops here, including Hermes, Versaace and Yves Saint Laurent. For one-of-a-kind items, check out Colette. It is a super-trendy concept shop that sells anything and everything that is ‘in’ at the moment. It even has a quirky bar in the basement that serves champagne and multiple varieties of water.
The department store district of Paris, along Boulevard Hausmann, is the location of the famous Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores, which sell everything from designer clothes to home furnishings and jewellery. For antiques and fine art, head to the Marais quarter, where up-and-coming designers have small boutiques, selling jewellery, crafts and couture. Saint Germain des Prés is growing into a chic shopping district, where you will find the boutiques of Sonia Rykiel and Paco Rabanne among rare bookstores and designer furniture.
Meurice Hotel +33 14458 1010
Verneuil +33 14260 8214
De Sers +33 15323 7575
Arvor Saint-Georges +33 14878 6092
Mayet +33 14783 2135
EU nationals and those of candidate countries (except Turkey), Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan and Canada need only a valid passport to enter France. Tourists of other nationalities need to apply for a “Schengen” visa from a French embassy or consulate. Prices vary but it can cost around £30.
The currency in France is the euro (€), which is comprised of 100 cents. Coins come in €2, €1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, and 1c. Banknotes are issued in €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10, €5 bills. Use the Pampo exchange rates calculator to get the latest info on your rates.
The population of Paris is approximately 9.5 million.
Fire = 18
Ambulance = 15
Police = 17
- The electricity output is 230-240 volts AC. Plugs are the two-pronged, round-pin.
- EU citizens are generally covered for medical care in public hospitals in France if they carry a European Health Insurance Card.
International dialling code for France = +33
Paris dialling code = 001
The Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world from its completion in 1889 until 1930, when the Chrysler building was completed in New York.
Almost 6 million people climb the Eiffel Tower each year.
Paris is not named after the son of the King of Troy, rather it is called so from the tribe who settled on the Ile de la Cité in 200 BC, the Parisii.
On the success of Dan Brown’s 2004 novel, The Da Vinci Code, there are now several tours of the city of the same name