Favorite thing .
All McDonalds outlet have wifi that allows you to connect easily without having to learn to read french.
McCafe, however, seems to be more problematic place to connect to wifi.
Starbucks charges for connection to their wifi network.
Quick fast food (adjacent to Moulin Rouge) also offers wifi for free.
Some hotels offers 1 hour free wifi (Hotel Auteuil) while others offers unlimited free wifi (Hotel du Lion)
The whole of Paris is said to be free wifi enabled but I still have problem connecting and using it.
Favorite thing We have just returned to Australia from Paris where we used my existing mobile phone & sim card. We used text messages to keep in touch with home & brought an overseas phone card in Australia for our family to call us in our hotel room if anything was to complicated to be covered by text or we required them to arrange stuff for us. We would just text them "call us now in hotel room" & they would call us, easy. We only made mobile phone calls sparingly to confirm bookings etc whilst in France.
Favorite thing The city of Paris has established a free wireless connection in a majority of it's parks, gardens, libraries and museums. The connection is available from 7am until 11pm and within the hours of operation of the corresponding landmark.
This site offers all the free Wifi hotspot locations in Paris:
Favorite thing One of the best pieces of advice I received was concerning the website, Les Pages Jaunes (the French Yellow Pages). Following is the website:
Once you're in, you'll see a tiny British flag in the upper right-hand corner, click on that to have the English version of this website. Then you can type things in by category or by name to see a photo and also a map. Once you're looking at the photo of the place, you can click on the "street" icon (to the right) with arrows to left and right to literally walk down a street. You can use that to gauge how many blocks distance is betweeen 2 sites (you can also turn corners onto other streets).
For map info before you get to Paris, if you know where you're going that 1st day (before you can manage to pick up that Plan de Paris) then I'd suggest printing out maps from here beforehand. They even have itinerary info that tells you how to get from place to another along with how long it takes to walk there, etc.. For instance, if you wanted to know how to get from your hotel to Place de la Concorde, then you'd go to that website, type in Place de la Concorde (this will be used as your destination point), click "Itinéraire" button, then type in the address for your hotel, choose your mode (Express for fastest way, Sans Péage or Piéton for pedestrian/walking time & distance). Pages Jaunes is also great for photos, too! When you're using the photo option you can use the arrows to "walk" down the streets - pretty cool function, I must say. Hope that helps you in your planning. Bonne journée!
Favorite thing If you're dialing from the US to a phone number in Paris you'll need to dial:
then the number
If dialing from within France just use the last 10 digits starting with the (0)1.
Fondest memory Calling Le Vieux Bistro to make my reservation.
Favorite thing There are several ways to keep in touch with friends and family at home: bring your GSM cell phone, buy a European cell phone, make phone calls from your hotel phone (most expensive), buy a prepaid phone card from home, and buying a telecarte in Paris.
I recommend buying a telecarte to call home. There are many brands. Of course, the people at home won't be able to reach you using the telecarte. Hopefully they won't need to reach you unless it's an emergency and then they'd have to call you at your hotel.
Photo below shows 2 brands of telecarte:
2) Maxicall (The last 'l' got cut off in the pic; its name really is 'Maxicall')
Anyway, purchase a telecarte avec code (telecarte with scratch-off code on the reverse). This code is dialed on the phone, you listen to a recording (available in multi lanugages), and follow the simple instructions to place your call.
I bought a USA telecarte with more than 50 minutes at 7.50 euro in February 2004. You can only purchase these telecartes with codes at major tabac stores usually the ones on main streets such as Blvd. St. Germain. They are sold according to the country you are calling.
(I do not recommend the telecarte avec code that you buy at the post offices. The instructions are ONLY in French. It took me an hour of trial and error to figure out how to place my call.)
You may use the telecarte at either a public phone or a hotel phone. However, the minutes get subtracted more when you use a hotel phone. But I was able to make about four or five calls between 10 to 20 minutes each with my card so I think it was a good buy.
Favorite thing Examples of what telecartes avec code (with PIN code) look like on the reverse:
For both telecartes you dial a toll-free number. For Maxicall dial the orange toll-free number if dialing from a public phone; dial the second toll-free number shown (in blue) if dialing from a private phone like your hotel's. Listen to the recording, follow the instructions (English is a selection for most telecarte brands, some are French only), dial the number you want to dial.
It's very frustrating when your telecarte has recorded instructions in French only. It took me almost one hour by trial and error to figure out how to place my call.