Multimedia Usability Project Meeting France/Practical information

The Multimedia Usability Project Meeting will take place in Paris, France, November 6th through to November 8th.


Accommodation and meeting venueEdit

AccommodationEdit

  • Car park is available
  • Metro (underground): Porte d'Orléans (line 4)
  • bus stations: Porte d'Orléans
  • Breakfast 7:30 - 9:00 (included)

TransportationEdit

Every participant will receive a transportation stipend for their stay. This will include:

  • For people coming in from Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, the equivalent of a return RER ticket from the airport to Paris
  • For people coming in from Orly, the same.
  • For all: The equivalent of a 10 ticket metro pass (zones 1-2) (one metro ticket allows you to spend the whole day[citation needed] in the metro, as long as you don't get out :)).

MetroEdit

Paris has a cheap and thorough metro system that runs until 1.00 am every day. It is relatively easy to use. The idea is to always know the last destination of a metro to decide which one to take. A few lines have two possible destinations in the same direction, but you should not have to take those.

A completel metro map can be downloaded here [pdf]

REREdit

The RER is the suburbian metro/train. It goes way outside Paris and has fewer stops within Paris than the parallel metro lines, as such, it is sometimes faster to use to go from one side to the other of the city.

TaxisEdit

Taxis in Paris are relatively expensive, but also a good way to gt around, especially in the evening and in a group (3 people is usually the maximum you'll be able to get into a taxi). Beware, a taxi from CDG airport to the hotel at Porte d'Orléans may cost up to 50€. Only participants landing in CDG after 20:00 on any day are allowed a reimbursement of a taxi ride from CDG airport to the hotel. They will have to provide a receipt from the taxi (une facture) in order to be reimbursed. Note that taxis usually don't take credit cards, if you wish to take a taxi, you should plan to have at least 50€ in cash with you.

Arriving in ParisEdit

by plane at Roissy Charles de Gaulle AirportEdit

Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) → Hotel
Buy a RER ticket for Paris before boarding the train, keep your ticket ALL THE WAY
(you'll need it to come out of the metro and for transfers)
# board at line direction get off at travel time
1 Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV     RER B St-Rémy-lès-chevreuse / Massy Cité Universitaire 45 minutes
2 Cité Universitaire     Tram 3 Pont du Garigliano (Hôpital G. Pompidou) Porte d'Orléans 3 min


Other possibility

Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) → Hotel
Buy a RER ticket for Paris before boarding the train, keep your ticket ALL THE WAY
((you'll need it to come out of the metro and for transfers)
# board at line direction get off at travel time
1 Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV     RER B St-Rémy-lès-chevreuse / Massy Denfert Rochereau 42 minutes
2 Denfert Rochereau     Metro 4 Porte d'Orléans Porte d'Orléans 3 min


by plane at Orly AirportEdit

Orly Airport (ORY) → Hotel
Daily departures from Orly Sud: every 15mn from 6pm to 11.30pm.
# board at line direction get off at travel time
1 ORLY AIRPORT: Orly Sud gate H platform 4; Orly Ouest gate J level 0 - arrival. OrlyBus Denfert Rochereau Denfert Rochereau 30 min
2 Denfert Rochereau     Metro 4 Porte d'Orléans Porte d'Orléans 3 min

by train from the Gare du nordEdit

Gare du nord → Hotel
Buy 10 tickets (a carnet) to get a discount, use one for this trip
# board at line direction get off at travel time
1 Métro Gare du Nord    Line 4 Porte d'Orléans Porte d'Orléans 25 minutes


By train from the Gare de l'estEdit

Gare de l'est → Hotel
Buy 10 tickets (a carnet) to get a discount, use one for this trip
# board at line direction get off at travel time
1 Métro Gare de l'est    Line 4 Porte d'Orléans Porte d'Orléans 23 minutes

Information for car-driversEdit

Paris is a very difficult city to drive in if you don't know your way around. Traffic is fast and merciless. If you can avoid and unless you have had experience driving in Paris before, we recommand that you do not drive in Paris and prefer the metro, which should transport you pretty much everywhere you need to go.

WeatherEdit

Forecast looks like rather sad weather, with lots of showers.

MoneyEdit

The curency is the EURO.

Paris is a capital, as such there are lots of banks (ATMs) for you withdraw cash from (if you have a pin number). Most stores accept VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards, not all accept American Express. Cafés might not accept Credit cards for amounts less than 10 euros. Avoid carrying around too much cash, or withdrawing big amounts at once (100 euros should be a big maximum), the French are very credit card friendly.

PricesEdit

Paris is a rather expensive city. An espresso can cost up to 3 € in some places (airports and the Champs Elysées being the worst of all).

ShoppingEdit

Except in some very touristic places, shops usually close between 19:00 and 20:00. They open around 9:00 in the morning. Some "corner shops" as we call them (mini-drugstores or bazaars), are often opened until 22:00.

Culture tipsEdit

TippingEdit

Tipping in France is very common, but the amount is usually very low, as the service is always comprised in the price. Tips vary between 5% and 10%, depending on the service and the amount. For a coffee, a 0.10€ tip is enough, for a 20€ dinner, a 1€ or 2€ tip is also enough. Of course, you're free to give whatever you feel is justified for the service you have had.

NB. Parisian waiters have a reputation of being unfriendly, it's a bit true. But, then, it's part of the folklore.

Speaking EnglishEdit

The French are somewhat afraid to speak English, but chance is they actually understand and speak it relatively well. You might want to introduce yourself with this sentence: "Excusez-moi, je ne parle pas français" and then ask if they speak English, rather than ask them right away if they speak English.


SafetyEdit

Paris' center is generally safe. The metro is relatively safe all around, except for pickpockets, especially at rush hour. Keep your belongings close to you at any time during metro trips, and if you can, leave your passport at the hotel (you need to carry at least one ID document though, so make sure you have one with you at all times). In the evening, consider taking the metro with someone rather than alone, the last few metros (0:15 - 1:00) are safer (lots of people rushing home) than earlier ones on certain lines. DO NOT answer your phone or talk on the phone while on the metro, phones are a primary target for pickpockets.

This page is full of good advice and outlines the few potential dangers.