French Money is called the "Franc" -- oops! I haven't been to france in a few years. French money is now called the Euro, and it's used by most of western Europe. I guess my Francs are collectors items now.
Money is never much of a problem in France. Credit Cards are accepted everywhere and ATMs accepting US cards are very common. The only money problem you'll have is trying to afford the luxury items -- the wine and cheese, the boat trip on the Seine, coffee and croissants, and shopping on the Champs Elysees!
Luckily the best things in Paris are free: walking throughout the city, visiting the Notre Dame, seeing the wonderful architecture, and talking with the locals.
DUTY FREE SHOPPING
Sales tax on goods and services, better known as (TVA) in France is steep-20.6% for most consumer goods and services (The exorbitant price of gasoline is a result of hidden taxes totaling 74%!) Books, on the other hand, are taxed at only 5.5%.
Bills marked TTC means toute taxe comprise or all taxes included. HT signifies hors taxe or tax no included. The TVA authorities are serious and severe.
If you are working in France and sell any goods or services you must invoice the TVA and pay it to the TVA administration. Although illegal, sometimes goods or services will be offered to you for esp?ces (cash) which means that the sale will no be declared, an invoice not given, and TVA not collected. In any case TVA occupies a prominent role in the consciousness of the French.
For purchases that are being taken out of the country, a part of the TVA can be recovered (récupéré).
Anyone over 15 years old who is a foreign resident when spending less than six months in France can benefit from duty-free shopping. If you have a carte de séjour you don´t comply with the law, but you can always simply show only your passport when detaxing your purchases.
Your purchases, including tax, and from any single store, must amount to at least 2000 FF for foreign nationals or 2800 FF for EU citizens. The purchases can be cumulative. Be careful in that stores apply the law differently. The Musée de Paris gift shop at Les Halles insists that cumulative purchases must be made on the same day.
Items which cannot be detaxed are the following: tobacco, medicines, firearms, unset gems, works of art, collectors items and antiques, private means of transport (cars, boats, planes and their equipment), and large commercial purchases. To benefit from the duty-free allowance, ask the vendor at the point of purchase to give you a three-slip form called a bordereau (export sales invoice) and an addressed, stamped envelope. Non-EU nationals must present the detaxed purchases, the three slips (two pink, one green) and the stamped envelope provided by the shop to the French Customs agents at the airport, border crossings or train crossings.
At the airport there is a window marked DETAXE where you may be asked to show your purchases. Make sure not to pack your duty free items in your checked baggage before presenting them to customs in that you risk being denied the tax refund.
If you leave the country by train, have your three slips validated by the customs agent on board. French customs will keep the pink copies and send them in the envelope directly to the point of purchase, who will then reimburse you the amount indicated on space B3 of the form via check or credit card credit (it is best to do this with your credit card to avoid astronomical fees for changing your refund into local currency); keep the green copy for your files.
Sometimes you will be reimbursed at the time of purchase, however, you still must undergo the above process. If you are an EU resident, you will get a yellow invoice consisting of three copies, two yellow and one green. Upon reaching customs in your country, have all three slips validated by the Customs agent. Send the two yellow slips to the Bureau des Douanes de Paris-La-Chapelle, 61, rue de la Chapelle, 75018 PARIS. Keep the green slip for your files.
Palais de Chaillot
The Palais de Chaillot was constructed for the World Fair in 1937 by the architects Boileau, Carlu and Azema on the site of a previous building - the Trocadero.
The Palais de Chaillot has a central terrace with statues of gilded bronze uniting two huge pavilions (The Museum of French Monuments, the Museum of the Navy and the Museum of Man) .
Dining -- it's no rush
In America, the expectation is fast and efficient service. It's rare for your drink or meal to be anyway near finished without a waiter asking how everything is and whether you need another drink. And when your meal is finished, the check typically comes quickly in an effort to get you up and on your way. That is how we do things.
That is not how things are typically done in France. I think the secret is to just relax and go with the flow. Hey, you are on vacation. What's the rush! And when your waiter does come, be aware that it may be a while before he or she comes back.
And bringing the check may not be automatic.
"J'ai fini. L'addition, s'il vous plait" (I'm finished. The check, please.) is a good way to practice your French and let them know you are ready to go.
PACK IT! Umbrella, waterproof boots, etc. I was here over the winter and experienced rain, sleet, sun and snow. Be prepared for all types of weather. If you buy an umbrella from the dude outside the Louvre, he'll charge you 10 USD!!!