Travel Essentials France - French Travel
The Euro came into force as official French currency on January 1, 2002, and completely replaced the French franc on March 1 of that year. Currently one Euro (€) is worth around US$1.20 and £0.69. For up to the minute exchange rates visit www.xe.com/ucc.
Important telephone numbers
When in France call 17 for the police, 18 for the fire department and 15 for medical emergencies.
- Find directory assistance by calling 12.
The British Embassy in Paris can be found at 35 rue du Faubourg St-Honore, 8e (ph: 01 44 51 31 00)/ The British consulate in Paris is located at 18 bis rue d'Anjou, 8e (ph: 01 44 51 31 02).
Communications Post - Most post offices in Paris are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 7pm, and on Saturday from 8am to 12 noon. Naturally these hours do vary in other cities and more rural areas of the country. If you post mail internationally expect for it to arrive within five to eight days - not a bad speed in comparison to some other European countries. Airmail letters and postcards to Europe cost €0.45, €0.65 to the US and Canada, and €0.80 to Australia and New Zealand.
As you'd expect internet cafes are littered throughout France and are reasonably priced and easy to find.
- The international dialling code for France is +33.
Visitors to France who carry EU passports require no visa to enter the country. EU citizens have no restrictions on their stay in France and can work throughout the country with no need for work permits. Citizens of the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand require no visa for holidays of up to 90 days in length.
French business hours can vary wildly, so it may pay to check ahead. Generally banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:30am - 4:30pm. Office hours are 9am-5pm weekdays. In the larger cities shops open between 9-10am and stay open to 6-7pm, although newsagents, cafes, delis and shops will keep longer hours.