Île-de-France Local Customs

  • Cafes at Pl. de la Sorbonne
    Cafes at Pl. de la Sorbonne
    by Beausoleil
  • French chic, Paris
    French chic, Paris
    by kris-t
  • TheObelisk at Pl. de la Concorde (sort of)
    TheObelisk at Pl. de la Concorde (sort...
    by Beausoleil

Île-de-France Local Customs

  • Parlez vous francais?

    Paris Local Customs

    The fact that there is for Paris, most popular destination in EU, a tip group "Parlez-vous français? on local customs with about 100 reviews mostly by Anglophones, shows that many visitors in Paris feel, maybe in their subconscious, somewhat uneasy not speaking French. They see the splendors of Paris and would like to know a bit more about the...

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  • Dining & Drinking

    Paris Local Customs

    This is all over France, and it is something we follow religiously. Tradition has it that it is the opportunity to 'shoot the Kings' to the epiphany: a bean is hidden in the cake and the person who gets the bean becomes the King of the day and has the right to wear a Crown of fantasy. In the commercial circuit, in the second half of the 20th...

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  • Stereotypes

    Paris Local Customs

    I can't help but laugh at the French sense of humor expressed in the film Amelie (Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain) during (Jamel Debbouze) Lucien's recitation of the merits and character of the vile "Collignon." One negative effect of the film "Amelie" is intensified overcrowding and gentrification of Montmartre, but let's face it, parts of...

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  • Fashion

    Paris Local Customs

    If you want to look like a local, make sure you are wearing a nice scarf, matched with your coat, artfully knotted around your neck. Even on a rather warm September day when we were sweating, people were wearing scarves with their short sleeve shirts. There is apparently an art to it, Fodor's 2011 guide has a scarf tying 101 guide. Personally, just...

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  • Toilets

    Paris Local Customs

    This odd-looking pod is a Sanisette or, what I affectionately call, a RoboLoo. They scare the hell out of me here in the states and they scared the hell out of me in Paris but they're awfully nice when you have to go NOW: anyone sightseeing a very small child knows exactly what I mean. They're also great for people who use wheelchairs or can't...

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  • Tipping

    Paris Local Customs

    Service charges are included on all restaurant bills at a cost of between 10 and 15 percent. Extra tips are accepted of course if you have received above good service. s fair to add a little more if the meal and service has been exceptional. Taxi drivers expect tips of about 10 percent of the fare. Hairdressers will expect about 10% also. Porters,...

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  • Bastille Day

    Paris Local Customs

    Bastille day as it is called here on VT is called "Fête Nationale Française" or "Quatorze Juillet" by the French referring to the 14 juillet 1789 "prise de la Bastille" but also the "Fête de la Fédération du 14 juillet 1790". The military parade is the "Défilé du quatorze juillet". It's a quite important military parade going from the Arc de...

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  • Nudity

    Paris Local Customs

    It's not every day that you get to write a tip on VT which allows you (quite legitmately) to talk about fishnet tights, topless women, black twangy suspender belts,and not to mention tight basques and rivers of sweat. Still, enough about last night, I am course talking about the can-can. It actually began back in the 1830's as a rather risque...

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  • Street Artists

    Paris Local Customs

    We have always encountered musicians of various kinds in the Metro stations, but this trip we saw more than usual on the trains themselves and several were accordion players. I know they are there for the tourists, but still think they add something and I understand they have to audition for a permit, so are usually pretty good. The guy in the...

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  • Religion

    Paris Local Customs

    Be careful when giving your opinion about religions in Paris or France! These last years the subject became very delicate. It is not yet the Saint Barthélémy, when under King Charles IX the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants) in 1572 were slaughtered, but today the tensions between the "Laïcité Républicaine" and the Muslim activists are...

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  • Eiffel Tower

    Paris Local Customs

    There is a pleasant little ritual the French engage in when you walk into their store. You are always greeted (Bonjour) and you are expected to greet in return. If you ignore their greeting you are not likely to be treated well. Once the greeting was done they seemed to wait for you to give them an idea of what you were looking for. They were...

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  • Louvre

    Paris Local Customs

    Did you ever wonder how they keep the Pei Pyramid at the Louvre clean? We were taking a coffee break in Café Richelieu one afternoon recently and my husband, who was facing the courtyard, noticed a robot crawling down the pyramid. I turned and we watched as the robot slowly moved up and down the pyramid on the diagonal carefully cleaning the entire...

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  • Dogs

    Paris Local Customs

    Before we went to Paris, we were told "watch out for all the Dog poo, you know they don't pick it up like we do here!" I think that must have been a while back, as we found the streets to be fairly clean of Dog poo. A Dog in Paris leads quite a high life. They are able to visit bakeries, cafes, shops and bars, small dogs can be even be taken on...

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  • Architecture

    Paris Local Customs

    For whatever reason, presumably to lock two peoples love once and for all, the Pont des Arts has accumulated thousands of locks. My understanding is that these are cut off several times a year. While interesting and romantic, it still seems to be a sort of graffiti. The locks are old, new, colored, some inscribed. Irrespective of the locks, the...

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  • Shopping

    Paris Local Customs

    France is firmly in Euroland, the new currency accepted right across Europe (except for the UK and Switzerland). Some French however hanker back for the days when the French Franc was the only currency in town. Hence a few relics remain, as in the picture. It will however only accept the new-fangled Euro's in it's tills. This shop (if you really...

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  • Romance

    Paris Local Customs

    Here's the cheapest way to declare your eternal love for that special person in your life, the one you met this afternoon and are trying to maneuver into bed. Instead of spending forty Euros on flowers, buy a padlock at Monoprix for five Euros – or, to make a really good impression, get the € 16.50 model from Fichet-Bauche – write or inscribe...

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  • Etiquette

    Paris Local Customs

    Anyone who spends money on a trip to Paris wants to have a great time. Here are some tips on how to have a great time by respecting the French view of different classes of eating establishments. Follow these guidelines when choosing a place to eat or drink and you'll have a good time as well as the respect and appreciation of the eatery’s...

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  • Driving

    Paris Local Customs

    if you like to drive a car, and come from a place where driving a car is a normal way of life, then driving in Paris will be heaven. I have a driving tip on Paris here, so will be brief. I started driving Inside Paris in 2004,and never look back. I go on every weekend I can, and drove to business meetings even thus here they rembourse business...

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  • Smoking

    Paris Local Customs

    I shall go to Paris and hope the fear of cigarette smoke is less than in the west. There is no reason why both nonsmokers and smokers can't have a place to go. Unless of course the nonsmokers have a problem with this??? Dispite the smoking and drinking of wine that Parisians enjoy the longevity of the french proves that the smoking issue is no...

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  • Holidays

    Paris Local Customs

    its a local custom to celebrate Christmas, with the best decoration,and ambiance in Europe. The cityof Paris becomes even bigger, and the excitement of been part of it its inmense. I was there just for the beginning of the Christmas market, and lighting will be by Nov 23rd. The thrills of been in Paris at Christmas...

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  • La Musique

    Paris Local Customs

    Whether to have a rest on one of the reclining chairs or wandering along the old-fashioned stores of its arcades, the gardens of the Palais-Royal (see the Palais-Royal gardens article) is one of the best chilling place in Paris. But the immediate neighborhood of the garden should not be neglected: the rectangle formed by Rues Montpensier,...

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  • Money

    Paris Local Customs

    I used to use Nationwide debit card. I loaded the account with money, safe in the knowledge that I withdraw cash around the world without charges. The robbingtheivingbastids started to charge not only a handling fee of £1 a transaction, but a conversion fee for my CASH. I closed the account and logged a complaint plus wrote to all the newspapers....

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  • Les Bouquinistes

    Paris Local Customs

    I always find time to visit the book stalls lining the Left Bank of the Seine River. There always seems to be items if interest, from funny names on books, to historical maps. They have been there a long time, but I don't know how much business they really do.

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  • Maps

    Paris Local Customs

    Paris is full of hidden gardens and rooftop terraces that give the residents a lovely place to relax and to peacefully enjoy the views below in this grand metropolitian city. Several times I had the opportunity of seeing this side of Paris and each time I was enchanted with the gracious life lived by my friends in this world famous city.

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  • People Watching

    Paris Local Customs

    I read in the National Geographic that the City of Paris and its citizens really believe that green patches/areas are essential for the emotional well-being of the people. I totally agree and this policy has added more beauty to this already eye-pleasing place. My favorite is the Jardin du Luxembourg, where we were met by a very quick downpour...

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  • Museum Tips

    Paris Local Customs

    I booked this trip just a couple of weeks short of my niece's 18 birthday and it ended up saving me quite a bit of money, everything we did except the boat ride on the Seine was free for children under 18 including Versailles! It doesn't matter what your nationality is for the under 18 benefit but if you are under 26 years old and a resident of the...

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  • French & US Relations

    Paris Local Customs

    well not a local custom but one that is getting popular every year. When I first came to live in France back in 2003 (versailles) , I wanted to continue the traditions of my adopted country the USA. One of these is Thanksgiving. Done on the FOURTH thursday of November of each year. Coming from the old tradition of the first pilgrims immigrants...

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  • Paris Plage

    Paris Local Customs

    Well, at least the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, is hoping it will become a local custom. The banks of the Seine are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so they have removed the highway along the river on the Left Bank from Port Sollferino (or Léopold-Sédar-Senghor) to the Port Du Gros Caillou and has been pedestrianized and set up with all sorts of...

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  • Boules - Petanque

    Paris Local Customs

    I think this is basically a French game but with obvious variations in other places. It is like a form of bowling except you can toss the ball a long way if you want. I think the guy on the right (in the main photo) is disappointed in this point. Looks like the guy on the right in the second photo is on his cell phone. Either that or he has an ear...

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  • Bird Feeding

    Paris Local Customs

    Honestly we expected to see much more pigeons in Paris. We had stereotype "Paris, the city of love, lights, cafes, and… pigeons"... Later we found out that "Paris is installing pigeon lofts throughout the city in its latest attempt to control the population of the birds that leave their droppings on the French capital's monuments." Sounds like...

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  • Montmartre & Sacre Coeur

    Paris Local Customs

    In many areas of Paris you will find "street artists", but especially in Montmartre! Monmartre is known as an artists' community and you'll have plenty of opportunities to have a painting done of you or buy some artwork. Monmartre is well worth visiting as it has a unique atmosphere compared to the rest of Paris.

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  • Grafitti

    Paris Local Customs

    We thought there was a lot of this stuff on the Metro and on the railway sides coming into Gare du Nord. It seems there is a challenge amongst the individuals who spray it to try to reach the most inaccessible points imaginable. In doing so I suppose they gain a certain level of respect from their mates. Anyway I captured this bit of graffitti...

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  • Electronics

    Paris Local Customs

    Electricity in France is 220V at 50 Hz. Most laptop computer and digital camera power supplies can function on this power and at most you'll need a mechanical adaptor. Business hotel rooms often are equipped with an American-style plug near the desk. If not, the hotel will lend you an adapter.

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  • Opéra Garnier

    Paris Local Customs

    The opulent Opéra de Paris Garnier was designed by Charles Garnier for Emperor Napoleon III. It is the most important symbol of the 19th century Second Empire baroque style. Construction of the opera building started in 1862, but it wasn't completed until 1875, partly because an underground lake was discovered during construction. The small lake...

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  • hospital by the Seine

    my dear late mother was taken care in her last days from home going for cures here,sentimental favorite spot on the river Seine, the boat is the hospital cafeteria.great staff at Les MureauxRIP

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  • My favorite gardens in ile de France

    My favorites in the ile de France over the almost 10 years that I lived there.Seine et Marne ,dept 77; Jardin du Domaine National de Champs-sur-Marne, French and English style gardens with a castle of course! http://champs-sur-marne.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/Jardin Médiéval de la Commanderie des Templiers, at Couloummiers, medieval gardens and the...

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  • fashion in the Yvelines dept 78

    My old department of almost 10 years is great for fashion and coming up something most don't know sticking to the more famous city of Paris. Here are some of our area tops fashion designers;underwear for men and women by Andréas Gantner as Frenchpaks; proposing 9 cuts, 5 colors, and 32 items with prices from 23 to 28 €. It is already wear by famous...

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  • Festival of ile de France

    This is an event I have participated 3 times, and will recommend toany passing by the region for the next one, coming up in September 7 to October 13 2013 in its 37the edition.You several concerts done in national heritage monuments all over the region. The music is varied from classical, renaissance, contemporary, world music of many countries....

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  • Au pays de la baguette

    Remember the cliche : the frenchman with his beret, his bottle of wine and his BAGUETTE ?While it is difficult to find berets (most are now imports - especially from ...USA) and while french people drink less wine than before, the baguette (and generally speaking the bread) is part of the daily life.No meal, no snack is complete without it.There...

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Île-de-France Local Customs

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