Money Matters, Paris
The streets surrounding the Lido and the Moulin Rouge are full of 'clubs' that feature hawkers to get you into the 'club'. What you need to know and what you aren't told until you are inside is that there is a 1 drink minimum. This doesn't sound to bad until you find out that a very weak Vodka Tonic cost 80USD. A Bourbon and Coke (not the good stuff, either) is 85USD. What a shock we had when we found out. You can't just get up and leave, either. They have 'bouncers' to prevent this. BE CAREFUL!
Be carreful to take an official taxi at the airport : if men come to you at the landing proposing you a taxi, say NO. You don't know how much you will pay (surely too much) and where they will get you !
True taxis are waiting outside the airport, queuing for passengers (or the contrary), where indicated.
If you bring travellers' checks along, beware! The only place I know where you can change a TC without incurring outrageous commission charges (up to 20% in places), are the American Express offices in town -- but then only if you have American Express checks. Otherwise I'd recommend using a cash card or a credit card. ATMs are everywhere and offer the best alternative deal.
Remember, of course, that since France is part of Euroland, if you've been elsewhere, where the charges are not outrageous, just change more there and bring it along with you.
If you're not careful, you'll find that drinks constitute the lion's share of your restaurant bill. In a shop, an ordinary sized can of Coke -- to cite one example -- costs 1 Euro. In restaurants, the absolute lowest price we found was 1.50 Euros. Usually they were 2.00 to 2.50, but in one place on the Champs Élysées they wanted 6 Euros! Considering that the Euro and the US dollar are currently about equal in value, these represent an unspeakable rip-off -- one that is very, very hard to avoid.
I don’t want to name the restaurant - but the story goes as follows.
We went to a restaurant and asked do u accept credit cards showing Visa card they said yes. We ate a good dinner and gave my visa card, the waitress said they wont accept that card because it doesn’t have a chip (the new card has a chip) , man we don’t searched each others pocket and paid the amount so before entering any place not only show the card, give the card to the place to verify that they will accept the card or not.
Be aware that in popular tourist places, prices in restaurants and snack bars are higher. Paris is quite expensive city. However, it does not mean that you have to be a millionere to g there. Snacks are less expensive, and not that bad.
WOW WOW WOW !
If you look like a tourist, or don't speak French, avoid as hell having a drink on Champs Elysées and on Place du Tertre (Montmartre).
A recent report on TV showed that prices there go from simple to double when barmen realize you're a tourist....
Well,, I don't think that it should be taken as a warning,,, and certainly not as a danger.
But just bear in mind that the rate currency exchange at Champs-Elisees (main street of Paris)is far from being the best in Paris. The same in hotels.
One of the most popular places for currency exchange is Quartier Latin (Latin district). And also Belleville,, there the rate is even higher, but it is less close to the centre.