I have only two suggestions for my readers about a visit to Paris. My brain is used to London, so I think in the English way. Most of my readers who come to Paris have started their trips in London, so they are arriving in Paris with the same habits I have. My two suggestions are simple:. 1. learn very quickly where the TAXI PICK-UP locations are located around your apartment. I failed to do this when I first arrived because in London all you have to do is hail a cab anywhere. Well, it doesn’t work that way in Paris. I literally had to stand in the middle of a busy street and scream at a cab. He stopped and picked us up. But in the end, he couldn’t even get us to the Louvre–a few blocks away. That would not have happened in London where taxi drivers are trained and have done “the Knowledge.” So, yesterday, I found where the local taxi pick-up space is, having learned the hard way.
2) In London, the Bureau de Change is everywhere. Even better the London ATM is foud almost on every corner. I don’t deal with the Change places because it is such an unpredictable matter. When possible, I go to a bank. For Paris, you will find an ATM only in the tourist centers, and the Bureau de Change is a real joke. If you go into a crepe restaurant or a small lunch restaurant, THEY TAKE CASH. It seems everyone takes a debit or credit card in London. That is not the case in Paris. Carrying cash is not a good idea in any cosmopolitan area, but I decided that I would bring EUROS in cash in my money belt for the occasions I can’t find an ATM or when cash is required.
Euros can be purchased in any London bank before coming to Paris. USE YOUR CREDIT CARD OR DEBIT CARD WHENEVER POSSIBLE–IT IS THE BEST EXCHANGE. Believe me, that’s the way for my next trip.
Just an American-Englishman’s insight into the matter. For me, that’s the way to have a crowning experience in Paris. I lived in Paris for two years when I was young, but things are very different now. Paris is Paris–that’s the charm of the place. Get with the program or don’t come. That’s my theory.
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918