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Directory of officially sworn translators and interpreters in France

This French website is a directory of official translators and interpreters throughout France.

How to get to and from Paris and its’ airports (CDG & Orly).

How to get to and from Paris and its’ airports (CDG & Orly).

Traveling to and from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport by train:
-TGV, Thalys or Mainline rail services
-RER B
Traveling to and from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport by bus:
-RoissyBus
-350 bus
-351 bus
-Air France Buses
-Noctilien (Night bus)
Traveling to and from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport by taxi:
-Taxi

Traveling to and from Paris-Orly airport by train:
-RER C (then airport shuttle from and to the RER C station Pont de Rungis Aéroport d’Orly) and RER B (then airport shuttle Orlyval from and to the RER B station Anthony.)
Traveling to and from Paris-Orly airport by bus:
-Orlybus
-Bus 183
-Bus 285
-Air France Buses (line 1, line 2, line 3)
Traveling to and from Paris-Orly airport by taxi:
-Taxi

Bus map of Paris

Bus map of Paris

Interactive bus map of Paris.

Metro/RER map of Paris

Metro/RER map of Paris

Interactive Metro/RER map of Paris.

Paris Museum Pass

Paris Museum Pass

First and foremost, know that a Paris Museum Pass DOES NOT offer free access to TEMPORARY exhibitions (except for the Musée des Arts Decoratifs). Also, a lot of Paris’ museums offer free access to their permanent collections.
That said, there’s nothing like having a Paris Museum Pass when you decide to visit some of the most touristy places in Paris such as the Louvre museum (5.7 million/year), the Centre Georges Poupidou (also called Beaubourg—5.5 million/year) or the Château de Versailles (2.8 million/year). I won’t mention the Eiffel tower that beats all records simply because the Paris Museum Pass is of no use there (for my idea on how to go up the Eiffel tower without waiting for two hours in line go read my blog entry on this subject.)

The Paris Museum Pass offers free access to over 60 places (in and out of Paris) while avoiding the lines, for as many times as you want during the length of the pass. The Paris Museum Pass is activated on your first visit for however many consecutive days it is valid for (2, 4 or 6).
Who wants to wait up to 45 minutes in line (sometimes in the cold rain) to get into a museum? Being able to skip the line can be priceless. Using your pass for only one entry instead of two or more, such as for the Château de Versailles visit (15€), can be worth it.
The Paris Museum Pass offers three options:
2-day pass for 30€ (if you visit only 2 sites over two days without the pass it will cost you less than 30€ but you might spend a lot of time waiting in line.)
4-day pass for 45€
6-day pass for 60€

Before buying a pass, know that most Paris museums and monuments are free:
-for people under 18
-the first Sunday of the month (all year long or for certain months only)
When you decide to activate your pass, keep in mind that those museums and monuments close during the week on certain days (usually Monday or Tuesday) and during some holidays such as January 1st and May 1st.
In some cases you might not be given privileged access for security reason (i.e: the towers of Notre-Dame) or still have to get in line to get a “free admission” ticket.
Once bought, the Paris Museum Pass will not be taken back or exchanged. And NO refund of one or more days or extension will be granted in case of exceptional closure (i.e: a strike… you are in France after all) of a museum or monument!

For more information about the pass check out the Paris Museum Pass website.
Here’s the list of locations where to buy the Paris Museum Pass (online, in Paris, at the airports or abroad).
And here’s the list (by name, by theme or by geographical zone) of museums and monuments the Paris Museum Pass gives you access to.
Also, the Paris Museum Pass website has practical information (opening hours, maps…) for every museums and monuments it offer access to.

Vélib’: Bicycling in Paris.

Vélib’: Bicycling in Paris.

Vélib’ are Paris’ 24/7 self-service bicycles. Bike stations (bike terminals and bike stands) are located every 300 meters.
“Whatever formula you choose, the first 30 minutes of every journey are always free of charge.”
The idea is to be able to bike for free in Paris whenever you feel like it while still making sure that everybody gets a chance to bike too. In order for that to be possible the amount of time one can borrow a bike is limited to 30 minutes. At which point you drop your bike off at the nearest Vélib station and exchange it for another one and another half hour. You can do this an unlimited amount of times in a day and as long as you keep it under half an hour there won’t be any additional charges. If you keep the bike beyond this amount of time you’ll be charged incrementally by the hour.
VERY IMPORTANT TIP: Each time you return your bicycle to a Vélib’ bike stand make sure you wait until your bike is safely locked in and the light has switched back to green. It usually takes a few seconds, long enough for you to move on and for someone else to come pick your bicycle up and use it on YOUR time.

HOW IT WORKS:
-Short term subscriber:
You need a bank card and a minimum of 150$ on your account. You can not subscribe online eventhough the Vélib’ website lets you believe otherwise!
The 1-day (1€) or 7-day (5€) Vélib’ passes are available for purchase at any of the Vélib’ terminals and they give you unlimited number of journeys for the duration of the subscription period (remember: if you don’t switch bikes at the end of the first half hour the cost of journeys after this amount of time will be charged to your bank account, together with your short-term subscription fee.)
A security deposit is required for all short-term subscriptions. A 150€ bank card direct pre-authorization is necessary for this type of subscription.
Total deposit amount will be forfeited if bike is not returned within 24 hours.

Use your bank card directly at the Vélib’ terminal for a short term pass (1-day or 7-day):
- Identify yourself on the terminal
- Access the menu
- Choose your bike from the selection
If the Vélib’ terminal does not accept your bank card, no matter how much money you might have in your bank account, you can move on. I AM SORRY TO ANNOUNCE THAT VELIBDOES NOT OFFER ANY SOLUTION TO THOSE UNLUCKY TOURISTS WHOSE BANK CARDS AREN’T ACCEPTED.
When asked whether they offered a solution to that, their answer was an apologetic no.

You can also use a Navigo pass, which can only be charged at the Vélib’ terminal with your bank card. Once your Navigo pass has been charged you can use it directly at the bike stands bypassing the terminals. Look for the stands with a green light, check on the bicycle, swipe your card over the reader on the bike stand itself and wait for your bike to unlock. You are set to go.

-Long-Term Subscriber :
Vélib’ offers a one 1 year subscription for 29€. Fill the online pre-subscription form (it is in French) and send it with all the required documents. Once the application has been approved it takes about two weeks for the Velib’ card to be sent to you or added to your Navigo pass.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WANT TO RETURN YOUR BICYCLE AND ALL OF THE BIKE STANDS ARE FULL:
Your are at the end of your 30 minute free ride and there are no free bike stands left for you to return your bicycle. All you have to do is go to the Vélib’ terminal, identify yourself (every pass comes with a pin code that you choose) on the touch screen and you will be given an additional 15 minutes and information on the closest Vélib’ station with available bike stands.

What if you want to ride your bicycle for more than 30 minutes?
It is not a problem to ride your bike for as long as you want within the 24-hour allocation time, as long as you pay for it. You simply need to credit your Velib’ account which can be done directly at the Velib’ terminal.

And as a New York Times’ journalist puts it:
“Hopping on and off the Vélib’s so often courted a certain amount of trouble. Parisian cynicism reared its head when a disgusted man at a station told me that 90 percent of the bikes don’t work. I wouldn’t say the defective bicycles were that frequent, but I learned an essential checklist: Are the tires inflated? The rims, straight? Is the front basket intact? Do the gears work? Is the chain attached? With these things checked, you’re good to go.”

Navigo pass: Paris’ transportation pass.

Navigo pass: Paris’ transportation pass.

The Navigo pass is Paris’ mass transportation pass. It is a weekly, monthly or yearly rechargeable card that can be used on the metro, the RER, the bus, the tram and also for Velib’- the city’s self-service bicycle system.
There are two kinds of Navigo passes:
- Navigo: free for all people living in Paris and Ile-de-France. This one can be purchased online.
- Navigo Découverte: available to all for 5€ and valid for ten years. All you need is a picture I.D (about 1”x1.2”)
Passes for Paris serve zone 1 and 2 only; passes for Paris and suburbs serve zone 1 through 6 (the higher the number the further you can go.) Navigo passes and metro tickets for Paris used outside of zones 1 and 2 are still valid if traveling on the metro. If you travel outside of Paris’ city limits (outside of zone 1 and 2) with the RER, you need to buy a ticket for the specific destination you are going to.
To charge your Navigo/Navigo Découverte pass for Paris (zone 1 and 2), you’ll pay 17.20€, a booklet of ten tickets will cost you 11.60€ and single tickets are 1.60€. So, if you are going to take the metro within Paris a minimum of 15 times during the week than the Navigo pass is what you want. Less than that i would buy a ten-ticket booklet.
Once you have your Navigo/Navigo Découverte pass you can recharge it at any metro station, either at the automatic Navigo vending machines or directly at the counter*. Also, shops with the Navigo logo on their front door (usually the ones that sell cigarettes) will be able to recharge your pass, as well as any of the CIC or Crédit Mutuel ATMs listed per arrondissement here. The weekly pass can be recharged the Friday preceding the week you are traveling and/or on the 20th of the month preceding the month you’ll be getting your pass for.

*NB: Know that the RATP does not accept American Express cards. Also the metro stations’ automated machines do not take cards that don’t have a chip (which means most foreign credit cards!). So Visa, Mastercard or cash is what you will need.

WHERE to get your Navigo/Navigo Découverte pass (outside of metro and train stations):
The RATP website has a list of all of the businesses in and outside of Paris (bookstores, tobacco shops, newspaper stands…) who sell and credit those passes. They are over 1500 and are listed per arrondissement.

WHERE to get your Navigo/Navigo Découverte pass (inside metro stations and at all Paris’ train stations):
Les Halles
Le Club RATP (Metro line 4)
Salle d’échanges
Sortie Place Carré
75001 Paris
M-Sat: 7am-6.30pm

Bastille
Le Club RATP (Metro line 5)
Salle d’échanges
Place de la Bastille & Rue Saint-Antoine
75004 Paris
M-F: 7.30am-6.45pm
Sat: 12.30pm-6.30pm

Franklin-Roosevelt
Le Club RATP (Metro line 1)
Salle d’échanges
33 Avenue Champs-Elysées
75008 Paris
M-F: 7.30am-6.30pm

Gare Saint-Lazare
Transilien SNCF
Cour de Rome
75008 Paris
M-F: 7.45am-7.30pm

Havre-Caumartin
Le Club RATP (Metro line 3)
Salle d’échanges
64 Boulevard Haussmann
75009 Paris
M-F: 7am-7.30pm
Sat: 12.15pm-6.45pm

Gare de l’Est
Transilien SNCF (Ile-de-France Hall)
Place du 11 novembre 1918
75010 Paris
M-F: 7.15am-8pm

Gare du Nord 7/7
Le Club RATP (Metro line 4)
Salle d’échange metros 4 & 5
75010 Paris
M-Sat: 7am-6.30pm
Sun: 8am-6pm
Holiday: 8am-6pm

Gare du Nord
Transilien SNCF (RER level -1)
18 Rue de Dunkerque
75010 Paris
M-F: 7.30am-7.45pm

République 7/7
Le Club RATP (Metro line 11)
Salle d’échanges
Place de la République
75011 Paris
M-F: 7am-8.30pm
Sat: 7.30am-6.30pm
Sun: 7am-6pm
Holiday: 7am-6pm

Gare de Lyon
Transilien SNCF
Salle d’échanges RER-D
11 Place Louis Armand
75012 Paris
M-F: 12.15pm-7.15pm

Gare de Lyon
Le Club RATP RER-A
Salle d’échanges (level -2)
75012 Paris
M-F: 6.30am-7.30pm
Sat: 8.45am-4.30pm

Bibliothèque François Mitterrand
Transilien SNCF RER-C
Salle d’échanges RER
Rue du Chevaleret
75013 Paris
M-F: 7.30am-8pm

Gare d’Austerlitz
Transilien SNCF RER-C
Salle des correspondances (level -1)
55 Quai d’Austerlitz
75013 Paris
M-F: 7.30am-8pm

Place d’Italie
Le Club RATP (Metro line 5)
12 Place d’Italie & Rue Bobillot
75013 Paris
M-F: 7.30am-7.45pm
Sat: 12.30pm-6.30pm

Porte d’Orléans
Le Club RATP (Metro line 4)
Place du 25 août 1944
75014 Paris
M-Sat: 7am-6.30pm

Denfert-Rochereau

Le Club RATP RER-B
Salle d’échanges
75014 Paris
M-F: 7am-7pm

Montparnasse 7/7
Le Club RATP
Salle d’échanges
75014 Paris
M-Sun: 7am-6.30pm
Holiday: 7am-6.30pm

Gare Montparnasse
Transilien SNCF (level 0, near the Transilien ticket office)
17 Boulevard de Vaugirard
75014 Paris
M-F: 7.45am-7.15pm

Convention
Le Club RATP (Metro line 12)
Salle d’échanges
189 Rue de la Convention
75015 Paris
M-F: 7am-6.45pm

Charles de Gaulle-Etoile
Le Club RATP RER-A
Place Charles de Gaulle & Avenue Carnot
75017 Paris
M-F: 7am-7pm

Pereire-Levallois
Transilien SNCF
4 bis Place du Maréchal Juin
75017 Paris
M-F: 12pm-7pm

Porte de Clignancourt
Le Club RATP (Metro line 4)
Salle d’échanges
Rue Belliard & Boulevard d’Ornano
75018 Paris
M-F: 7am-6.30pm

HOW MUCH is a Navigo/Navigo Découverte pass?
zone 1-2: €17.20/week €56.60/month
zone 1-3: €22.70/week €74.40/month
zone 1-4: €27.90/week €91.70/month
zone 1-5: €33.40/week €109.90/month
zone 1-6: €37.60/week €123.60/month
(Prices valid as of July 2009. They do not include the €5 one-time fee for the Navigo Découverte pass.)