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Visiting Paris? Five important things you need to know before you go.


Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower

Before visiting Paris, most tourists are usually (to some extent) prepared for communicating in a different language, using a different currency and experiencing new culinary delights but there are a few other things visitors to this beautiful city need to be prepared to experience.

1.) No split bills. Unless you are paying for the entire table’s meal, be prepared to pay your portion with cash. Restaurants, cafes, bistros will not split your bill into separate checks.

2.) Don’t touch the merchandise. When perusing the delicious produce in an open market, don’t touch. Instead, let the person running the stand know what you are interest in. They will then select the perfect piece for you.

3.) Taking pictures can be a no-no. Sometimes shop owners are very finicky about taking pictures in their shops. This can even include boulangeries and patisseries! I have heard of some owners stating they don’t allow pictures because they are afraid it will be posted on social media. Funny, huh?!  There is no real way to know unless a no picture sign is posted so just be prepared if they yell at you.

4.) Taxis only at taxi stands. No hailing down a taxi from the side of the road in Paris. Instead, you must go to a taxi stand and wait in line.

5.) Pin number for credit card use. When purchasing with a credit card, you may be asked for a pin number. Europe uses a pin and chip credit card system instead of a chip and signature like the US. This is not a pin you would use for a cash advance but instead a way to securely make a purchase. At restaurants, your server will bring a device to your table to swipe your card and then hand you the device to plug in your pin. This would also be true when purchasing from self-serve kiosks like at the metro stations. So, before you leave on your trip,  research pin and chip credit cards. If you find yourself without one before your trip, you can always use cash. Also, you can explain the situation to the merchant and sometimes, there is a signature options available…they may just give you a lot of grief about doing it. I have had a 50/50 experience on my pin being requested when using my credit card.

So, do you have anything to add to the list that you have experienced?

Bises (kisess),



This post is part of #MondayEscapes hosted by My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase.

Packing my Suitcase

7 Responses to Visiting Paris? Five important things you need to know before you go.

  1. Those are some great tips – I definitely would not have known a lot of those things! Thank you!

    1. theparisitinerary says:

      Thanks Crysta for dropping by. Those French have their quirks!

  2. I would learn a few simple phrases is French, I think trying goes along way with the French people helping you.

    1. theparisitinerary says:

      Sally you are absolutely correct. The French very much appreciate an attempt at speaking their language!

  3. Sooooo true!!
    Great idea to share them in a post.
    The thing about the pictures is funny…until now I had no problem with this, but I’ve seen people who had 😀
    I think a sign would help a lot… I don’t like being yelled at hahaha

    Happy to have you again on #MondayEscapes

    1. theparisitinerary says:

      Thanks. The picture phobia thing is funny!