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Paris Reaching Out In Seven Ways

Christmas Day is approaching. Family, friends and vacationers are descending on Paris to celebrate the New Year. The big department stores are swarming with last-minute gift shoppers. Saturday I dared to enter the BHV. A sign should have read: “Caution, Enter At Your Own Risk.” Sunday, I strolled up the Champs-Elysées, carefully winding through the hordes. Strings of brightly lit bulbs are draped over the trees and awnings and stretched across the market streets. People are carrying an abundance of packages. They’re ordering hot chocolate and “vin chaud” in the cafés. Christmas trees are for sale at all the “fleuristes” and the poinsettias in pots are labeled 10 euro each.

Yep, it’s Christmas in Paris and Americans are back in town. I’ve heard more American English on the streets this past week then I had heard in months. We sure are happy about that and I know the city of Paris is, too.

Just yesterday, I received a commuiniqué from our friend at the Paris Tourist Board, Laurent Queige (“Directeur de Cabinet de Jean-Bernard BROS, Adjoint au Maire de Paris chargé du tourisme” who spoke at the October Working and Living in France Conference) that at his and Jean-Bernard Bros’ request, the Paris Tourist Board will open new information centers to provide better service to visitors, in the very places where they arrive in Paris — railway stations, airports and other key points where they most need information!

In Laurent’s own words…”We thought that it was arrogant to compel people to go to the Champs-Elysées for information, and that we had to do the OPPOSITE, i.e. to move ourselves and to be available in the very places where tourists need our help!” To Americans, this may seem like Marketing/Public Relations 101, but to the French, this is a revelation! And, aren’t we pleased!?

So, the Paris Tourist Board will have 7 information points on the busiest tourist places of the capital beginning January 1, 2004. The headquarters on the Champs-Elysées will close on December 31st and re-open at a new address: 25, rue de Pyramides, Paris, 1st arrondissement.

The seven new tourist information centers in Paris as of January 1, 2004 are:

Welcome Center Opéra – Grands Magasins
11, rue Scribe 75009 Paris
RER Métro Auber (line A)
Opéra (lines 3 – 7 -8) or Chaussée d’Antin (line 7 – 9)
Open du Monday au Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 18:30 p.m.

Welcome Center Gare du Nord
18 rue de Dunkerque 75010 Paris
RER Gare du Nord (lines B and D)
Métro Gare du Nord(lines 4 and 5)
Open 7 days a Week 12:40 p.m. – 8:10 p.m.

Welcome Center Gare de Lyon
20, Boulevard Diderot 75012 Paris
RER Métro Gare de Lyon (lines A-D)
Gare de Lyon (lines 1-14)
Open du Monday au Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Welcome Center Tour Eiffel
RER Tour Eiffel (line C)
Métro Bir-Hakeim (line 6)
Open 7 days a Week from May to September 11:00 a.m.-6:40 p.m.

Welcome Center du Syndicat, Initiative de Montmartre
21 place du Tertre 75018 Paris
Métro Abbesses (line 12)
Open 7 days a Week – 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Welcome Center de l’Espace du Tourisme, Ile-de-France
Carrousel du Louvre – Place de la Pyramide Inversée
99, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Métro Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre, (lines 1 and 7)
Open 7 days a Week – 10:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.

Plus 3 new information kiosks will open in Place de Parvis, in front of Notre-Dame, on boulevard Rochechouart (on route to Sacré-Coeur) and in the lower Champs-Elysées by Spring 2004.

Laurent continued: “Adrian, aren’t we doing a hard job to welcome visitors better? What do you think ? :-)”

Yes, Laurent, you are! And we are very appreciative…

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. For more information, visit the official site at and for a map of all the new locations, visit

We’re taking Christmas Day off to be with family

and friends…so you won’t hear from me on Thursday (this goes for French Property Insider subscribers, too). Happy Holidays!


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