Paris Basics



Planning a trip to Paris? Then you need to know what type of weather to expect on your trip. The climate in the French capital is temperate and influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. In short, it is pleasantly warm in summer and quite cold (but not freezing) in winter. So, the best time to visit the city is from April to early November when there is little rain and the temperatures are pleasant. Just keep in mind that Paris can be very hot in July and August.

Crime & Safety

Paris is a relatively safe city, but it does not mean that you need to be less careful when you get there. Pickpocketing is a huge problem in the city and many thieves work in pairs (one approaches you and speaks to you and the other takes your bag or wallet while you are distracted.) So, if a suspicious person approaches you, just stay calm and walk away. Also, make sure you keep your valuables safe when in crowded places.

Hospitals & Pharmacies

Although getting sick is the last thing you need when in Paris, it can still happen. Fortunately, the French health system is one of the best in the world and there are a few hospitals in the city with English-speaking staff, including the Hertford British Hospital, the American Hospital of Paris, and Hôpital Foch. In case you catch a nasty bug, simply go to a pharmacy. (Just look for the green cross that’s usually lit up and blinking.) But, if you are seriously injured or having a heart attack, don’t panic, and call 112 instead.

Public Toilets

The smelly hole-in-the-floor squat toilets or streetcorner pissoirs no longer serve as public toilets in the City of Light. Nowadays, you will find high-tech, self-cleaning and mostly free toilets called sanisettes in parks and on boulevards throughout the city. They are typically open from 6 AM until 10 PM. After 10 PM, you will have to enter a café to relieve yourself.


When in Paris, you do not want to use your phone data and then face some huge phone bills, do you? Most hotels and hostels in the city offer free Wi-Fi. The city also counts hundreds of free Wi-Fi hotspots, including bars, restaurants, cafés, museums, squares, public libraries, and parks. So, you can surf the web, use a trusted online dictionary to learn some basic French words, and update your social media accounts with beautiful pictures from your trip.

Tap Water

The French capital has high water quality standards since they have to comply with the strict EU standards. This means that the tap water in the city is entirely safe to drink. So, when you are out and about on a hot summer day, you can use the many drinking fountains in the city to quench your thirst.

Speaking [FRENCH]

French is the official language of France and the second most commonly studied foreign language in the world. Even if you are planning a 3-day or 3-week trip to Paris, and finding somebody that speaks good English in the city is not that difficult, learning a few basic French phrases can make your trip as easy as possible and help you appreciate the French culture in ways you would not otherwise.

Tourist Card

The Paris Pass offers free access to about 60 popular museums and attractions in the city, including the Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum and Montparnasse Tower. Also, it includes unlimited travel on public transport, Seine boat cruise, and 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus pass. If you want to use public transport, visit the city’s top tourist attractions, save money, and avoid standing in queues for too long, purchase the Paris Pass.

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