Useful Travel Resources

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The American Citizen Service: The American Citizen Service of the United States government is located at 2,  rue Saint-Florentin, 75001 Paris.  They have a wide number of services, including an emergency phone line: 01 43 12 22 22.  They also offer the Blue Book, Guide for U.S. Citizens Residing in France, as a downloadable Adobe Acrobat Reader file (.pdf).  Just visit http://www.amb-usa.fr/consul/guideoas/guidehome.htm for the download.  The guide will cover many of the questions you may have concerning taxes, voting, your rights, dual citizenship, marriage while in France, etc. Emergency Numbers: Police 17 Fire (Sapeurs-Pompiers) 18 Ambulance (SAMU) 15 Transportation Taxis The quickest way to find a taxi is to find a taxi stand; they are located on most major roads and in front of train and métro stations. The white light on a taxi’s roof indicates that it is free, whereas an orange light indicates that it’s busy. The meter starts at 2.00 €, and the rate varies with area and time. After 7pm and on Sundays the charge per km is 1.00; before 7pm the rate is only .60 € per km. Be aware that each piece of luggage or bag weighing over 5 kg is an additional .90 € and that most taxis will not take more than 3 passengers.  Taxi drivers are forbidden to refuse service because a ride is too short, but don’t think they don’t do it!  When paying, most people round up the fare and leave the change as a tip. Emergency Numbers: Police 17 Fire (Sapeurs-Pompiers) 18 Ambulance (SAMU) 15 Medical: American Hospital of Paris: This hospital, located right outside Paris in Neuilly, has an English-speaking staff and is affiliated with the New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Medical College of Cornell University. (63, blvd Victor-Hugo, Neuilly. 01-46-41-25-25. Métro: Porte Maillot, then bus 82-which begins at the Luxembourg gardens) SOS Médecins: Doctors in France actually still make house calls! A home (or hotel) visit is only 42 €: 01-47-07-77-77. For an emergency house call dial 01-53-94-94-94. Urgences Dentaires de Paris: In case of a dental emergency call: 01-42-61-12-00. Open daily 8am-10pm, including Sundays and holidays. Pharmacies: Pharmacists in France are highly trained and can dispense medicines more readily than their American counterparts, so if you’re not feeling well a trip to the pharmacy might be do the trick. Look for the bright green cross! The following pharmacies are open late: Pharmacie des Halles: 10 blvd. De Sebastopol, 4th. Open until midnight Monday-Saturday and until 10pm on Sundays. Pharmacie des Champs: This pharmacy is open 24 hours a day and delivers! 84 avenue des Champs-Élysées. 01-45-62-02-41. Counseling Services in English: If you’re feeling blue and in need of some support, call the Counseling Center at the American Cathedral: 01-47-23-61-13. Transportation: Taxis The quickest way to find a taxi is to find a taxi stand; they are located on most major roads and in front of train and métro stations. The white light on a taxi’s roof indicates that it is free, whereas an orange light indicates that it’s busy. The meter starts at 2.00 €; and the rate varies with area and time. After 7pm and on Sundays the charge per km is 1.00; before 7pm the rate is only .60 € per km. Be aware that each piece of luggage or bag weighing over 5 kg is an additional .90 € and most taxis will not take more than 3 passengers. They are also forbidden to refuse service because a ride is too short, but don’t think they don’t do it! When paying, most people round up the fare and leave the change as a tip. To order a taxi call: Alpha Taxi: Accepts credit cards. 01-45-85-85-85 Taxis Bleus: 01-49-36-10-10 The Métro The Paris métro is an easy and inexpensive way to get around the city. Free maps are available for the métro, RER (the rail system that links Paris to the Suburbs), and bus at all métro stations. Tickets can be bought at each station and in the tourist office. You may purchase a carnet (pronounced kar-NAY) for (9.30 €), single tickets for (1.30 €), or an unlimited weekly/monthly pass called a carte orange(passport photo required). There are also three-day and five-day tourist passes, Paris Visite, but they are considerably more expensive. The métro runs from 5:30-12:40 am daily. Individual lines are numbered, and each direction is named after the last stop. So, Line 1 westbound is named La Defense, while the eastbound Line 1 train is named Château de Vincennes. Look for the word correspondance to change lines. To exit, find the blue sign marked Sortie. The métro can be very crowded during rush hour and is most pleasant from 10am-4pm and then again after 8pm. ***Please look out for pickpockets, who are quite clever. Keep your wallet and valuables safely tucked away and out of reach! Always keep your métro ticket until you have left the station, as you may be asked for it at any time and risk a hefty fine if you cannot produce it. The Bus: The bus is unfortunately not as easy to use as the métro because the lines are not as clearly marked, but it’s a great way to see the city (line 24 lets you see many of the major tourist attractions). Each bus stop has a chart that shows the stops on a particular line. You may either use a métro ticket or buy a ticket from the driver. Tickets must be validated in the little box located in the front and middle of the bus. Getting to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport The easiest way to get from the airport to your hotel is to take a taxi, but it is of course also the most expensive. Count on 30 to 60 minutes or more depending on traffic and the airport from which you are traveling (Orly is closer than de Gaulle), and the fare will run anywhere from 30-45 €. Shuttles are another option. They are cheaper than a taxi, but since you’ll probably be traveling with other passengers shuttles can take longer. The more passengers you travel with, the cheaper it is. The Bonjour Paris Shuttle can be reserved from home. Air France buses leave from both…
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