General Information

About Paris

In 2019, Paris is an exciting and inspiring place to be. This 21st-century global capital is more welcoming, more innovative, greener, and livelier, forever transforming itself. With the approach of winter, Paris drifts into the off season – the perfect time to visit fairs, museums and exhibitions at your leisure and enjoy all the events held in November. But the highlight of this period is the festive season, which transforms the city. Christmas lights, markets, shop window displays, ice rinks combine to provide a magical atmosphere.

Christmas in Paris
The French capital gets decked out in lights and hosts wonderful seasonal events to make the end of the year a very special time. On the 21 November, the ‘most beautiful avenue in the world’ turns on its lights for the traditional Christmas illuminations on the Champs-Elysées. Shopping fans should make sure to visit the Christmas markets that spring up throughout the capital over the festive season: Notre-Dame, Les Halles, La Défense, Saint Germain des Prés, etc. Discover the magic of Christmas in Paris.

City of Heritage
2,185 monuments and 206 museums, an extraordinary heritage. The top things to do on a first-time visit: enjoy a panoramic view of the city from a 324-metre height at the top of the Eiffel Tower, admire Victor Hugo’s beloved gargoyles at Notre Dame Cathedral and stand at the top of the tallest hill in Paris at the Sacré Cœur Basilica. A short distance from the Champs-Elysées, the Grand Palais, a huge stone, steel and glass structure, hosts prestigious exhibitions. In the heart of Paris, the Louvre is a former royal residence which was transformed into a museum after the Revolution and has since become the world’s most visited museum.

The city has a vibrant nightlife scene with a varied range of lively night spots. And as the festive season approaches, every show in the capital takes on an air of magic. Paris’s cabaret (Lido, Moulin Rouge, Crazy Horse, Paradis Latin) venues enjoy cult status and continue to dazzle visitors from all over the world. Paris is foodie paradise, more so as the festive season gets going. Indulge in some irresistible treats at Salon Noël Gourmand (dates to be confirmed), and Noël en Bio or enjoy a delicious meal in the snug comfort of one of the capital’s many restaurants. Where to eat in Paris.

The local currency is the Euro (EUR). In Paris, you will find numerous exchange bureau in busy tourist areas and they are usually open on Sundays too.

French plugs are equipped with two round pins. In France the norm is 220 volts, with a frequency of 50 Hz, while in the United States or Canada, for example, it is 110 volts for 60 Hz.

The national language is French.

Local Time
Paris is in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).


  • All French numbers have 10 digits and begin with 0. Mobile numbers start with 06 or 07.
  • The City of Paris has set up free Wi-Fi zones in a number of public spaces like libraries, gardens and parks to make it easy to get online. Since 15 June 2017, roaming charges for international telecommunications have been abolished within the European Union. EU nationals can now use their smartphone in all member countries without any extra cost.
  • You can post your letters and postcard in one of the yellow letter boxes found on most street corners. Stamps can be bought in post offices or tobacconists.

Average temperatures in early December is between 5°C and 10°C.

For more information about Paris please visit PARISINFO.

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