Going to france 1st time few questions please

    Hi all,
    Taking the misses to France surpise trip as its her 40th in April and neither of us have ever been.

    Can anyone advise me of any tips like do i need to take Euros or can i just take english money and if i should take euro should i wait or is it best to get them now?

    And getting around think i read somewhere i need to ask for a carte card for cheap 1 week metro/trains to get us around?

    Im flying from Bristol to the Carles de Gaulle airport is is best to get the shuttle for the transfers from the paris airprt to our hotel in paris central ? been quoted 17.5 euro each way per person so total 70 euro is that good?

    Many thanks in advance for any tips etc


    Firstly, guessing you're about the same age as your wife, how have you managed to go 40 years without going to France? No school trips, no booze cruises, etc!!!

    There is an 'Air France' coach that does returns from CDG to the centre of paris for 18 euros.
    There is the regular bus service for about 4.20 Euros each way.
    There is the RER train which costs about 8.00 Euros each way. Although if you and your misses want to live dangerously, it's a lot more easy to jump the barriers in the paris train stations!!

    Anyway, all much cheaper than the shuttle bus, but depends on where your hotel is as to how convenient they are.

    Re money, the pound is so volitile at the moment, probably worth getting some Euros now. Tescos, the Post Office or TravelEx are all pretty good.

    While you're there, get a one day pass for the tourist boat. Think it's about 12 Euros per day and you can hop on and off as your please. It stops at all of the major landmarks (about 10 stops) along the river and can take up a whole day. It is also quite a leisurely way of moving about as there's no traffic jams!!

    If you're not scared of heights, going up the Eiffel Tower gives great views and isn't too bad at about 10 Euros.

    If you're into museums, palaces, etc, you can get a pass that gets you into all of them, although it's not cheap, but still cheaper than paying all the individual prices.
    If you are going to be doing lots of travelling around (and you don't fancy leaping the barriers!) you can buy the metro tickets in books of 10 for about 11 Euros. Pretty good value.

    Probably the best weekend market is at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. A mental sprawling array of all you can think off. Takes up about the size of a small town, good for things like handbags and watches, not so great for clothes, shoes, etc. Just watch your handbag/wallet while you're walking around! Also try a cheese crepe there, yum yum!

    Enjoy your trip.

    If you get a Nationwide current account, they are supposed to be the only ones who dont charge you anything for withdrawing cash from cashpoints abroad (they have never charged me and they did do an advert on it as well). That way you dont have to carry large amounts of cash nor pay largish fees. Their exchange rates are comparable too so they arent covering it that way.

    as above nationwide debit card and or credit card for purchases is the best, no charges and you get the bank exchange rate not the tourist rate. Go to the Louvre aswell, lovely place and get to see the MONA LISA - take a walk along the embankments of the Seine and watch cadeaux (boats) go by, try also to go to Eiffel Tower and --- don't forget the metro very cheap and and quick and always on time. If you wife likes shopping go to Galleries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussman, lovely shops within shops even if she just wants to go window shopping it's worth a trip - lots of lovely little cafes around there too which sell plat de Jour ( lunch time menu of around 2/3 courses) very cheaply. If you like coffee and tea use the smaller cafes as the larger ones are very expensive. Beware though, Paris on the whole is very expensive the same or more than London and a euro does not go far anymore.

    You can save a lot of money spending abroad with the right plastic (good advice regarding the nationwide cards). Travelex are also good, you order the money online and collect it at the airport or ferry port. I'd advise checking out the travel section at and see what suits you best.

    Dont drink the water!
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