Essential Information About Paris

How to Make a Phone Call in France

French telephone numbers have ten digits, each one beginning with a two-digit prefix for one of the five telephone areas. To place a call between any two points in France, simply dial the 10-digit number. To help you know the location of the number you are calling, here are the areas and their prefixes:

01-île-de-France (Paris area)
02-Northwest France
03-Northeast France
04-Southeast France and Corsica
05-Southwest France

Local directory assistance may be accessed by dialing 12. All cellular telephone numbers begin with 06. Toll-free numbers (numéros verts) begin with the digits 08.00, often grouped as 0.800.

Using public phones:

Public telephones are nearly all equipped for the TéléCarte, an embedded-chip smart card available in 50-unit and 120-unit denominations. Since few public phones accept coins, we recommend that visitors obtain and carry a phone card for use in emergencies. They are available in tobacco shops, post offices, offices of France Télécom, and from newsagents. Some credit cards can also be used (Visa, Mastercard/Eurocard).

Public telephones can be found in métro and train stations, in airports, and on TGV and EuroStar trains, although the latter only accept Visa, Mastercard, and Eurocard. Coin-operated phones are sometimes found in bars and restaurants. Note that emergency numbers and directory information services can be dialed without a card or coins.

Cellular phones:

Cellular phone numbers all begin with 06. Phones can be rented from several companies for delivery or airport pickup.

International call:

To call abroad from France first dial 00, then the country code, then the telephone number. To reach an international operator, dial 00.33.12, then the country code.
Incoming international calls must not include the zero digit of the prefix. For example, the telephone number of the Paris Office of Tourism is To dial this Paris number from London, dial To dial the same number from Marseille, dial From the United States, dial To call France you have to dial 00 + 33 + City Area Code + Number you wish to call.

France City Area Telephone Codes:

  1. +33 556 Bordeaux
  2. +33 556 Cannes
  3. +33 549 Chauvigny
  4. +33 233 Cherbourg
  5. +33 495 Corsica
  6. +33 320 Lille
  7. +33 562 Lyon
  8. +33 491 Marseille
  9. +33 4 Monaco
  10. +33 467 Montpellier
  11. +33 240 Nantes
  12. +33 1 Paris
  13. +33 326 Reims
  14. +33 477 St. Etienne
  15. +33 494 St. Tropez
  16. +33 388 Strasbourg
  17. +33 5 Toulouse
  18. +33 247 Tours
  19. +33 470 Vichy

France Telecom official website:

Telephone calling card access numbers

  • AT&T-
  • MCI-
  • Sprint-
  • Canada Direct-

France Emergency Telephone Numbers:

  • 112-General Emergency number
  •  Medical / Ambulance - Samu 15
  • Police - Gendarme 17
  • Fire - Pompier 18 Sea or Lake Rescue 1616
  •  Homeless Hotline 115
  •  Drugs & Alcohol Hotline 113
  •  Pharmacy assistance- SOS Pharmacies -
  • Dental assistance -SOS Dentistes -
  • English-language crisis line -SOS Help -
  • 24-hour pharmacy -Dhéry Pharmacy -
  • 24-hour auto breakdown service- SOS Dépannage-


  • The Hertford British Hospital
    3, rue Barbès 92300 Levallois-Perret
  • 24-hour pharmacy
    Dhéry Pharmacy 84, avenue des Champs-élysées 75008 Paris Métro George-V , Open at all times.
  • 24-hour pharmacy
    Pharmacie Européenne de la place de Clichy 6, place de Clichy 75009 Paris Métro place de Clichy , Open at all times.
  • Late-night pharmacy
    62, avenue des Champs-élysées 75008 Paris, Open Until midnight.
  • Late-night pharmacy
    5, place Pigalle 75009 Paris, Open  Until midnight.
  • Late-night pharmacy
    13, place de La Nation 75011 Paris, Open Until midnight.
  • Late-night pharmacy
    61, avenue d'Italie 75013 Paris , Open Until midnight.
  • Late-night pharmacy
    106, boulevard du Montparnasse 75014 Paris , Open Until midnight.
  • Late-night pharmacy
    86, boulevard Soult  Paris 75012
  • British chemist
    62, avenue des Champs-élysées Paris 75008
  • British chemist
    98, boulevard Rochechouart 75018 Paris
  • Anglo-American pharmacy/chemist
    37, avenue Marceau 75016 Paris
  • Anglo-American pharmacy/chemist
    Pharmacy Swann 6, rue de Castiglione 75001 Paris
    • British and American Pharmacy 1, rue Auber 75009 Paris

    • L'Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris
      Assistance in locating hospitalized persons

  • American Hospital of Paris
    63, boulevard Victor-Hugo 92202 Neuilly-sur-Seine

Hiring Taxi, Renting And Driving in France

The main car rental companies have offices in all railroad stations, airports, and larger cities. European rental cars will have manual transmissions unless you request an automatic. We recommend reserving a vehicle in advance, before coming to France.

Rental requirements:
In order to rent an automobile in France, you must be at least 20 years of age and have had a driving permit (license) for at least one year. Visitors staying less than 90 days and carrying a valid EU, international, or U.S. (state) license may drive in France.

Autoroute services:
Most of France's autoroutes are toll roads. Rest areas are located every 10 kilometers, auto services and food service can be found every 30-40 kilometers, and motels are found every 100 kilometers or so. There are 8,000 kilometers of limited-access roads called autoroutes. Service stations on the autoroutes will have children's areas equipped with diaper changing stations, bottle warmers, and high chairs.

  • Alpha Taxi

  • Artaxi

  • Taxi-radio étoile

  • Taxi G7

Complaint against Taxi Service:

To file a complaint or to put in a claim, send the taxi license number, date, and time to:
Préfecture de Police
Service Taxis
36 rue des Morillons
75732 Paris Cedex 15

Government Offices

  • Main Paris post office
    52, rue du Louvre 75001 Paris, Always open
  • Paris Office of Tourism
    Office de Tourisme de Paris 127, avenue des Champs-élysées 75008 Paris Métro Charles-de-Gaulle-étoile 0892 68 3000 09h-20h daily except January 1, May 1, December 25 Paris Office of Tourism Branch Offices Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, Pyramides, Anvers, Portes de Versailles, Carrousel du Louvre, Montmartre
  • Préfecture de Police
    Lost Property Office 36, rue des Morillons 75015 Paris Métro Convention 08h30-17h Monday and Wednesday 08h30-20h Tuesday and Thursday 08h30-17h30 Friday.
  • RATP
    55, Quai des Grands Augustins 75006 Paris Telephone information service 06h-21h
  • SNCF
    127, avenue des Champs-élysées 75008 Paris Métro Charles-de-Gaulle-étoile information and reservations île-de-France trains 08h-20h daily SNCF French National Railroad.
  • Paris Customs Office
    Bureau de Paris-Douane Tourisme 11, rue Leon Jouhaux 75010 Paris
  • Institut Géographique Nationale (IGN)
    Espace IGN 107, rue La Boétie 75008 Paris Métro Franklin D. Roosevelt fax Open 09h30-19h Monday through Friday, 11h-12h30 and 14h-18h30 Saturday Institut Géographique Nationale (English available)


  • Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport

  • Orly Airport
  • Le Bourget Airport


  • Aer Lingus
    47, avenue de l'Opéra 75002, Paris
  • Air Canada
    31, rue Falguière 75015, Paris
  • Air France
    119, avenue des Champs-élysées 75008, Paris
    0820 820 820
  • American Airlines
    Terminal 2A - Charles de Gaulle Airport
    0 826 460 950
  • British Airways
    12, rue Castiglione 75001, Paris
  • Continental Airlines
    92, avenue des Champs-élysées 75008, Paris
  • Delta Airlines
    6, place des Vosges 92052, Paris Cedex
  • Northwest Airlines
    16, rue Chaveau Lagarde 75008, Paris
  • Qantas
    7, rue Scribe 75009, Paris
  • United Airlines
    40, rue Jean-Jaurès 93170, Bagnolet
  • US Air
    23bis, rue d'Anjou 92100, Boulogne

Railway Stations

  • Gare du Nord
  • Gare de l'Est
  • Gare de Lyon
  • Gare d'Austerlitz
  • Gare Montparnasse
  • Gare St-Lazare

National Rail Inquiries:

Eurostar links London London and Paris in just 2 hours 15 minutes.  Some Eurostar services also call at either Ebbsfleet or Ashford in Kent, Calais and Lille in Northern France.
For times, fares and to buy tickets, visit or call 0870 5 186 186.

London to other destinations in France-  Eurostar connects in Lille or Paris with high speed trains to all parts of France.  For information on train times, fares and to book online, please contact one of the Travel Agencies below.

Train times, fares and online tickets within
Paris Metro and bus

Reporting Lost or Stolen Credit Cards

  • American Express

  • Diners Club
  • Mastercard/Eurocard
  • Visa


  • American Express International
    11, rue Scribe 75009, Paris or stolen credit cards or stolen traveler's checks
    Open 09h-17hMonday through Saturday

  • Crédit Commercial de France (CCF)
    115, avenue des Champs-élysées 75008
    Paris Métro George-V
    Open 08h45-20h except Sunday,
    10h15-18h Sundays in Jul/Aug/Sep
  • Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP)
    2, place de l'Opéra 75002
    Paris Métro Opéra
    24-hour Visa automatic teller
  • Barclays Bank
    24bis, avenue de l'Opéra 75001
    Paris Métro Opéra
    Open 09h30-16h
  • Citibank
    30, avenue des Champs-élysées 75008
    Paris Métro Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Open 09h-18h45
    Monday through Friday
    10h30-13h15 and 14h30-18h30 on Saturday

Opening an Account:

The process to open an account is usually rough and French banks stick strictly to the French business mindset (more passive than efficient, more passive-aggressive than helpful), but having a French bank account is definitely helpful. Make sure the bank you choose is comfortable doing business in English, or the language in which you are fluent. The bank will want proof of reason for opening the account, proof of address in Paris, an ID (or multiple), and of course, money. Demands vary from bank to bank—make sure you do not leave home without all the necessary banking records, and keep track of your account once in Paris. Active Accounts.Because you are most likely a non-resident, you will want to open up a compte non-résident, which is usually more restrictive than a resident account in terms of how much money you can withdraw per time period (but check with your bank to make sure). If you want to be able to access the money frequently, get a compte courant, a compte à vue, or a compte de dépôt, which are synonyms for “active account.”

The Carte Bleu contains a small chip instead of a magnetic strip. This may not seem like a huge discrepancy, but for students staying in Paris for 5 months or more, it’s a must for shorter stays.

French Banking Vocabulary:

  • money -de l'argent (m)
  • bill, note, paper money -un billet
  • cash des espèces (f), du liquide
  • change- la monnaie coin une pièce (de monnaie)
  • check, cheques- un chèque
  • checkbook- un carnet de chèques
  • certified check- un chèque certifié
  • traveler's- check un chèque de voyage
  • bank card, ATM card- une carte bancaire
  • credit card -une carte de crédit
  • bank- une banque
  • currency exchange -un bureau de change
  • ATM machine, cash dispenser- un guichet automatique de banque (GAB) 
  • Deposit- un dépôt
  • checking account- un compte-chèques
  • savings account -un compte d'épargne
  • balance- le bilan
  • bank statement- un relevé de compte
  • exchange rate- le taux de change
  • fees- les frais (m)
  • interest rate -le taux d'intérêt
  • loan -un emprunt
  • receipt- un reçu
  • sum, amount, total- le montant
  • transfer -un virement
  • withdrawal- un retrait
  • yield- le rendement
  • to cash a check -toucher un chèque
  • to change money (into Euros) changer- de l'argent (en Euros)
  • to count -compter
  • to deposit (into an account)- déposer (sur un compte) 
  • with a credit card -avec une carte de crédit
  • with traveler's checks -avec des chèques de voyage 
  • to save money -faire des économies
  • to sell- vendre to sign signer
  • to spend -dépenser
  • to transfer- virer
  • to write a check- faire un chèque
  • to withdraw -retirer

Currency Exchanges

  • Banco Central
    Gare d'Austerlitz
    Open every day

  • Thomas Cook
    Gare de l'Est Gare St-Lazare Gare Montparnasse
    Open every day
  • CIC
    Gare de Lyon
    Open every day
  • UBP
    154, avenue des Champs-élysées 75008 Paris
    Open every day
  • Société Général
    27, boulevard Haussmann 75008 Paris
    Open every day
  • Change de Paris
    2, rue de l'Amiral-de-Coligny 2, place St-Michel 2, place Vendôme
    Open every day


The French post office, La Poste, does much more than deliver mail. It also handles telegrams, Chronopost express mail, packages, savings accounts, money markets, fund transfers by wire, telephone bill payments, checking accounts, mortgages, retirement plans, and more.


15, rue Alfred Dehodencq
75016 - Paris, France
Tel. : 00 33 1 40 50 70 70
Fax : 00 33 1 40 50 09 96

20, rue Albéric Magnard
75016 - Paris, France
Tel.: 00 33 1 40 50 71 71
Fax : 00 33 1 42 24 71 41

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