It often goes without saying, but most things aren’t free in the capital, and if you don’t want to buy more than you need, always keep some change in your wallet, as most places will ask that you buy a minimum to be able to use your credit card (usually around 10€), and sometimes coins will be your only option. Whether you want to toss one in the forgotten wishing well in Parc George Cain or get an ice-cream on the river bank, having change is best.
- In France all prices include service and taxes, with approximately 15% of the price corresponding to the service. However, if the waiter or waitress has been especially attentive, you can leave him or her a tip to show your appreciation. Around 5 to 10% of the bill is usual.
- Ticket/Travelling pass (Navigo pass)
Always have your ticket or your Navigo pass accessible, as you might need it for your transfer or if a ticket inspector asks to see it, and keep an extra one somewhere in case you lose your first one.
See our tip on How to Survive in the RER and the Metro for more details about the Navigo pass and the tickets.
- Do not keep your ticket and your Navigo pass near your coins or your mobile phone, as it might get demagnetized, making your ticket unusable.
To pass time in the Metro or to take an important call in the busy streets, a pair of earphones is a must have. Whether you don’t want to draw the attention of the pickpockets to your music gear or need noise cancelling to fully enjoy your music in the train, you can call at CasQuade (58 rue d'Argout Paris 75002)
- Battery Charger
You’ll find that more and more places are making wall sockets available for anyone to use (especially if you’re a client). Should you need to recharge your phone, your laptop or your camera, feel free to ask your waiter or your bartender if there is a socket you could use.
For the ladies
- An extra pair of shoes
If you are going to the club and need to walk to the Metro afterwards, chances are you won’t need your pretty but oh so painful heels and taking them off will be the only thing you will be thinking about. By bringing an extra pair of rolled up ballerinas in your handbag, you won’t need to walk barefoot in the street. You can try the Shoette for example, very handy if you need to walk or drive before or after wearing your party shoes.