ATMs widely available. Credit cards accepted in most hotels and restaurants.
ATMs can be found at the airport, the train station and on every second street corner. Visa, MasterCard and Amex are widely accepted.
You always get a better exchange rate in-country but it is a good idea to arrive in France with enough euros to take a taxi to a hotel if you have to.
- The most cost-effective way to obtain local currency (euros) is via direct cash withdrawal from an ATM.
- Commercial banks charge up to €5 per foreign-currency transaction – if they even bother to offer exchange services any more.
- Bureaux de change (exchange bureaus) are faster and easier, open longer hours and often give better rates than banks.
- Credit and debit cards, accepted almost everywhere in France, are convenient, relatively secure and usually offer a reasonable exchange rate.
- Credit cards issued in France have embedded chips – you have to type in a PIN to make a purchase. Some businesses (most notably automated, unstaffed petrol stations) will only accept chip-and-PIN-enabled credit cards.
- Visa, MasterCard and Amex can be used in shops and supermarkets and for train travel, car hire and motorway tolls.
- Don't assume that you can pay for a meal or a budget hotel with a credit card – enquire first.
- Getting cash with a credit card involves both fees (sometimes US$10 or more) and interest – ask your credit-card issuer for details. Debit-card fees are usually much less.
- Bars No tips for drinks served at bar; round to nearest euro for drinks served at table.
- Cafes and restaurants Prices automatically include a 15% service charge so there's no need to leave a tip; although many locals leave 5% to 10% extra if extremely satisfied with the service.
- Hotel porters €1 to €2 per bag.
- Taxis 10% to 15%.
- Toilet attendants €0.50.
- Tour guides €1 to €2 per person.