Arc de Triomphe, FranceLocation
Europe

Local time
GMT +1 (From 25 Mar to 27 Oct GMT +2)

Capital
Paris

Language
French

Int. direct dialling code
33

Driving
National license required. Minimum driving age is 18

Currency
French Franc (FRF 1 = 100 Centimes)
Euro (EUR 1 = 100 Cents). Circulation starts 1st Jan 2002

Notes
FRF: 50, 100, 200, 500
EUR: 10, 100, 500

Coins
FRF: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20. Centimes: 5, 10, 20, 50
EUR: 1, 2, Cents: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50

Banks
0900-1200 & 1400-1600 Mon-Fri (some banks in Paris 1000-1700)

Shops
0900-1830 Mon-Sat (some shops close between 1200-1430 Mon-Fri & many close all or pm Mon)

Emergency services
Police: 17. Fire: 18. Ambulance: 15

Climate
The north and northwest has a maritime climate which is changeable. Winters are usually mild, summers are moderate and rainfall occurs throughout the year. Southwestern France has a markedly warmer summer although it can be rather wet, and winters are usually mild. Central and eastern areas have a more continental climate with colder winters and a little warmer summers. Rainfall is usually low and tends to fall in summer. The Mediterranean coastlands have a warm/hot summer period when rainfall is scarce. Winters are usually mild although changeable cold weather can be brought by the northerly wind called the `Mistral'(which can blow at any time of the year). The mountainous areas are the wettest and coldest regions where much of the winter rain falls as snow. Summers are relatively fine although there are frequent and sudden periods of cloud and rain.

Clothing
Medium weights in winter with topcoat necessary in mountain areas and in the north. Medium or lightweights in summer.