PARIS FAQ

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT LE MARAIS, PARIS & OUR ACCOMMODATION SERVICE.

 

Who runs it?

Paris - marais is a unique concept: holiday rentals direct from property owners who have lived in Le Marais for over 20 years and know it by heart. We all speak English fluently and let our flats to international visitors who love Paris and like the idea of being welcomed to Paris like long-time friends!

 

Why aren’t prices mentioned on the site?

Each flat is independent and each owner defines his own price. Prices vary depending on the season, the number of people staying, the length of your stay, and of course the type of flat.

 

Do your flats have lifts or handicapped access?

Unfortunately most of them don’t… Le Marais is an historical district where by law nothing can be changed. Our flats are located in buildings built in the 18th century, some of them even earlier… so there is no room to install an elevator in their staircases. Most flats are on the second, third, or fourth floor, which is not so far to climb. We can always help you with luggage if you need a hand.

 

Are the flats non smoking flats?

All the flats are owned by non smoking residents. We request our guests refrain from smoking in the flats as well as in the staircases and lobbies for security reasons. You will find smoking areas in restaurants and cafés, but please don’t forget smoking in many public places is forbidden by law in France.

 

Can we get a discount?

We are not a big rental company but private owners. Our prices are already very competitive. However, we are willing to give discounts in specific cases, such as:

-          Over two weeks stays

-          For singles during the low season

-          Last minute bookings upon availability

 

Why do we need to send a deposit check?

Would you give the key to your own property without a minimum guarantee to get it back in good condition? We consider that trusting our guests for their honesty is the best way to have them respect us and our properties. That is why we only ask you for a small deposit equivalent to one or two week’s rental. This is little compared with the value of the flat’s content … In our recent rental experience we have always had very well behaved guests and never have needed to cash the deposit...


 

Do we have our own telephone line?

Yes, each line is equipped with a meter: a single call to France Telecom on your departure day allows us to establish exactly how much you’ve spent since you’ve arrived. We will charge you only your own consumption at cost. If you wish to bring your laptop with you, you will be able to plug it and surf on internet in our flats.

 

 

Is telephone expensive in France?

Telephone service in France is one of the cheapest in the world. Indicative prices are: 20 €cents per minute to the United States, between 15 and 25 €cents per minute to other European countries, 10 €cents for 3 minute local calls. Calling cell phones (numbers starting with 06) is more expensive: around 40 €cents per minute. Of course you can always use your personal phone card if it offers you a better deal.

 

What to do when we arrive at the airport?

Do not take the RER Train or airport bus if you have lots of luggage. Do not buy your train ticket from anyone other than at the official counter of the Métro with an RATP sign, which is the Métro company. If you take the bus, you can buy a ticket form the driver. If you have several pieces of luggage you’re better off taking an official cab with a Taxi sign on its roof- avoid the private limos that will overcharge you. A regular cab will cost you around 50€ from Roissy Charles de Gaulle, 35€ from Orly.

 

How do we meet to get the keys and do the check in?

The owner of your flat or one of us will welcome you personally. Normal check-in time is 14.00 (2pm). It can be earlier if your flat is available. For late arrivals, we kindly ask you to do your best to arrive before 22.00 (10pm) in order to respect the privacy of your neighbors. Once your booking is confirmed, you’ll be given an appointment to rendezvous at your flat. Please do your best to be on time as there is no reception desk, we meet you at the flat. If your plane or train is late, please call us to fix another time to hand over the keys and welcome you.

 

What about checking out?

We are very flexible about check-out times. If you have a late departure and your flat is not required, we allow you to stay in the flat later than the normal noon check-out time. We’ll meet you personally on departure, check out your phone bill and the condition of the flat. If everything is fine and clean, as it usually is, we’ll give you your deposit check back with a warm thank you. We can also, with advanced request, arrange for a reliable taxi company to pick you up at your door and take you to the airport or train station.


 

 

Who lives in le Marais ?

The residents of le Marais are mainly elegant people called Bobo’s, meaning bohemian bourgeois: they have the best standards of living, good values, lots of savoir-vivre, and are unconventional and multicultural. They love American and English visitors and most of them speak good English… You’ll be welcomed everywhere and realise the French are not as grumpy as their reputation says they are! Being so open to differences and respecting them made it possible to have a big Jewish community in this district, around rue des Rosiers, one of the biggest Gay communities in Europe around rue Sainte Croix de Bretonnerie, and more artists and creative people living here than in any other district of Paris.

 

Is le Marais a safe district?

In terms of safety, Paris is very unlike many other major cities in the world. Despite an increase in crime levels of some suburbs, crime in the historical center of Paris is very low. Due to strong gun and personal weapons control laws, crime in the city is virtually non-violent.

 

This district, which is also one of the most residential and prestigious, is safe at any time of the day. Of course, like everywhere, you should always be careful and sensible, especially in the metro. Walking anywhere at night or day in this neighborhood is probably the most peaceful thing to do.

 

Tipping in Paris?

You normally do not tip for services or in restaurants. By law service and taxes are included in all bills. If your waiter is very nice and helpful you are welcome to give a little extra but it is not compulsory.

 

Where to withdraw cash?

France is the number one country in the world for the number of cashpoints per capita! ATM’s are everywhere and it’s the most flexible and reliable way to obtain cash in Euros. There is no need to change money before you leave home. Almost every shop accepts payment by Visa or Amex.


 

Prices in Paris?

Here is a small list of prices to give you an idea of the cost of living:

 

- Carnet of 10 metro tickets : 10 euros

- 3 course in average restaurant (lunchtime):12 to 15 euros 3 course menu in good restaurant (evening): 22 to 35 euros

- Opera ticket top category: 105 euros

- Theatre Ticket top category: 50 euros

- CD’s: 20 euros

- Beer of soft drink on a terrace: 3 to 5 euros

- Museum ticket: 4 to 8 euros

- Cinema Ticket: 7 euros

- Disco entrance: from 10 euros

- High speed train ticket to Burgundy: around 100 euros round-trip

- Taxi from champs Elysées to le Marais at night: around 10 euros

- 3 star hotel room in the center: 110 to 150 euros

- To buy a nice studio for your vacations: between 100,000 and 200,000 euros! Ask us for advice!

 

What to buy?

Advice on shopping:

 

What is cheaper in Paris compared with the United States and other major European cities like London:

 

- Restaurants

- Museums

- Culture and arts

- Public transport

- Holiday accommodation

- Luxury goods

- Taxis

- Quality food in street markets and grocery shops

- Antiques

 

Slightly more expensive:

 

- Drinking out

- Clubbing

- Car rental

- Gym clubs

- Some luxury clothes

- Electronics and CD’s


 

Cinemas in Paris

Paris has more cinemas than any other city in the world, far more than London or New York. Prices are cheap, never over 8 Euros, and some cinemas offer cards of 5 tickets for around 30 Euros (UGC). The best of all is the UGC Cite Ciné in Les Halles, near the church of St Eustache: more than 20 screens with the most terrific sound systems and wide screens. Most films are shown in their original language version (“vo”) but with French subtitles.

 

The most romantic is Le Grand Rex, with 3000 seats and a star-gliding ceiling that makes you feel as if you are in an open-air cinema. This place is so beautiful it has been classified as an historical monument. 75002. Métro Bonne Nouvelle.

 

 

What about Nightlife?

Nightlife in Paris is very active. It is changing all the time, so it is difficult to give particular advice! Apart from the usual and well established clubs and cabarets, you’ll find day by day recommendations in papers than you can either buy throughout the city or pick up for free in the cafés and bars.

 

The best papers to find out what’s on and where to go are definitely Pariscope, found at any bookshop with its English section Time Out Paris.

 

Buy Nova, the monthly Paris city guide for the fashionable and alternative young clubbers. And try also Zurban, the new weekly city magazine (in French).

 

To go out on the gay scene, pick up the free papers E-male or illico where you’ll find a lot of addresses in Le Marais district. For the most elegant options, have a look at the monthly Paris Le Magazine.

 


 

What about transportation in Paris?

Taxis Paris Cabs are reasonably cheap, even if you have to sometimes cope with an anti-social attitude from the driver... It will cost you around 8-10 Euros to go from République to Gare du Nord and about 35-40 Euros to go to the airport from République.

 

One good tip about Paris on Weekends: It will be virtually impossible to flag a taxi down on the street on a Friday or Saturday night. Finding a Taxi in the middle of the night is even more of a nightmare. Before you leave an establishment, ask for the nearest taxi rank as this will save you some time. Be prepared to wait in a long line.

 

Métro

Paris has the biggest and probably the best Métro system in the world with over 500 stations! The Métro is cheap, convenient and runs until 00.45 hrs (12:45 a.m.). The best deal is to buy a carnet of 10 tickets for around 10 Euros. Be sure to hold on to your ticket until you exit the station as there is a fine if you don’t have a current one.

 

Experience the new high tech automatic line 14 to go to the Great Library François Mitterrand on the south bank and to the charming new district of Bercy Village, formerly a wine market.

 

Buses

An excellent service and one of the best ways to see Paris! But, it will be slower and can be difficult to use when you don’t know the town so well... You can use Métro tickets to take them but make sure you punch them in the machine at the door by the driver.

 

Parking your car

Driving and parking in Paris is a nightmare, no question! That’s why 60% of the Parisians refuse to have a car and use the efficient and cheap public transportation. If you still decide to come by car, we’ll recommend safe private parking nearby. Parking in the street can cost you as much as 2 Euros per hour…