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Traveling to Paris in Fall 2015

I am planning my first trip to Paris in October and have already took out several books and Dvd ‘s at my local library to learn about Paris and plan out what I want to see. One of the books is Rick Steves and that is how I found this forum. I have several questions to ask of those who have been to Paris and what they would advise. I do plan on getting the Paris Pass, as I have a list of museums, boat ride, Big Bus, Paris Story that are included in that as well as Metro. Only the Eifel Tower & Disneyland will be on days that I will not count on my pass.

  1. Getting from the airport (CDG) to Paris via a shared shuttle bus. I have seen them at Expedia for like 20 Euros per person each way. Do they take you to your hotel? Orginally wanted to use RER & Metro, but too many steps for luggage?
  2. Disneyland tickets best place for a one day one park. Expedia has for under $80 can I get at Disney Stores in USA before traveling?
  3. Average wait times for smaller museums (Sept/Nov) ie Postal Museum, Science & Industry, Chocolate Museum & Wax museum to name a few.
  4. Passport storage, do you carry for ID or leave at hotel
  5. Small day pack (Travelon) for zipper locks that you have on your shoulder/neck. Safest to use?
  6. In the states I use Credit cards for everyday purchases, even at McDonalds, will that work in Paris?
  7. If I have an issue with my ATM/credit cards, where can I exchange USD for best rate?

I welcome everyone's comments and experiences.

Posted by
4684 posts

(1) There are a number of negative stories on this forum about prebooked airport shuttle services in Paris not appearing. If you don't want to take the RER/Metro it is best to take a non-booked taxi from the rank. The Metro does have many unavoidable staircases with escalators running in the upwards direction only.

(3) Small museums like the ones you mention will have wait times in the region of five minutes or less.

(4) Officially you are legally required to carry passports in Paris, but many people leave them in the hotel and carry photocopies.

(6) France is less bankcard-accepting than the US. Many smaller shops and some restaurants will not accept them at all, or only for purchases above ten to twenty euros.

The Paris Pass is generally not good value. It is usually better value to go for the Paris Museum Pass, and pay for travel with discount carnet tickets, or a weekly Mobilis Decouverte pass (only available for Mon-Sun calendar weeks) if you are staying for several days and arriving near the start of a week.

Posted by
10344 posts

Note the difference between Paris Museum Pass and Paris Pass. The names are similar, but they are different. Philip is recommending Paris Museum Pass. And that's what I've used in the past.

Posted by
451 posts

I agree with Philip, the Paris Pass is oftentimes not a good value. Once we arrived in Paris, we purchased the Paris Museum Pass and a carnet of tickets for travel within the city and that proved to be more economical. There was never an issue with places accepting our VISA, however many businesses will not accept an AMEX card. My husband has a Pacsafe neck wallet and that is where we keep our passports and credit cards. However, he wears it around his waist and tucked inside his pants, rather than around his neck. He also carries the Pacsafe metrosafe 100 shoulder bag and wears that as a crossbody. We've never had an issue with either. While in Paris this past spring, we did see several groups of pickpockets at work. They looked to be older teenagers/young adult girls and were on the train platforms, so always be aware. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
5697 posts

5) many people would warn against carrying your money in a daypack. I use a money belt under my clothing for "deep storage" and a small amount (€40) in a wallet in my purse/pocket; day pack carries guide book, water bottle, snacks, jacket -- nothing that would ruin my trip if stolen/lost from my pack.
7) do you expect problems with your debit card? ATM'S are the best place time get cash. Make sure you let your bank know the dates you will be in Paris.
Next time you're at the library, look for Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door and read it for general travel tips. Or check the Travel Tips section of this website, particularly about traveling light. With less luggage, taking RER and Metro from the airport is easy and cheap.

Posted by
9929 posts
  1. Agree with Laura about the day pack. You want to have your bag in front of you at all times where you can see it, especially on the Metro. You want to have your hand on the zipper closures any time you are moving thru a crowd.

I also agree with the recommendation just to take a taxi from the taxi rank at the airport. Do NOT respond to anyone who walks up to you in the Terminal asking if you want a cab. Go outside to the official cab rank and they will put you in one.

There is always a big discussion here regarding carrying your passport vs leaving it at the hotel. I am one that always has my passport in my money belt. You only access your money belt in private. As stated above it is deep storage so don't carry your daily money in it.

Posted by
32 posts

Thank you for all the replies! I plan to have a backpack and a wheeled luggage from the airport. At first I was thinking of Metro, then heard about steps and thought of shuttle. I would need to get to Place de Clichy so I would need to change at Gare de Nord. Would that be ok to do Metro? Traveling on weekends so rush hour is not a worry. Don't really want to do the Taxi if I can avoid. They may want to take me for a ride and overcharge?

I would carry money on a waste pouch and put passport there. Someone mentioned only go into it while in the bathroom, but should money be kept in a zipped pocket to pay for something at a shop or restaurant? I would carry things in a day pack, such as rain poncho, camera, maps etc. I would have it on my shoulder (over my neck) and in sight and not behind me. I am hoping that I don't have an issue with an ATM, but if they are not working, can't locate one for some reason. I will call them to advise of my travel to France prior to prevent them freezing if due to possible fraud.

I have made a list of 25 places and some are only with the Paris Pass and I would be slightly ahead if I go to all on my list. The Paris Pass only includes boat ride, Big Bus, Chocolate Museum, Paris Story movie, Wax Museum, Metro zone 1-3 only. I will come to see Paris and spend the entire week there. I know that many people want to do other countries or cities on the same trip, but I would rather see one city in depth and move on to another place on a future visit.

I will have to go back to the library and find more books on Paris and Rick Steves tips.

Posted by
1127 posts

HSBC (Based out of NY) ATMs, Paris
107 Bd. Saint Germain
-- South on Blvd. Saint Michel, head West

42 Blvd. Sebastopol
-- Corner of Blvd. Sebastopol & Rue Rambuteau
-- 3 blocks South of La Charme Du Marais (Cobblestone Paris)

28 Rue di Rivoli
-- 6 blocks East of Hotel de Ville

Ave Champs-Elysees
-- Street corner behind Louis Vuitton

3 Place Andre Malraux
-- 1-block behind Starbucks on corner of Rue de Rivoli & Rue de l’Echelle

Posted by
8513 posts

Place de Clichy, not the best neighborhood for a newbie to Paris pulling luggage to be looking around a bit lost. The metro stop is quite crowded, no escalator. Previous advice to take a taxi was spot on for the situation you've described. Don't be afraid of the taxis. They are regulated and 99.9% honest and your best bet.

Since Place de Clichy is on the north side of Paris, chances are you'd be the first dropped off if you did take a shared shuttle. Many advise against shuttles, but I've taken them. Worked well four times. Once didn't show. Just avoid pre-paying. Yes, they take you to your hotel, but they'd still be second choice for me.

Place de Clichy is a busy metro stop all the time.

Posted by
7142 posts

These are the 12 extra 'attractions' included in the Paris Pass ON TOP of the Paris Museum Pass.

Paris Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour - Normal cost: €29.
Bateaux River Cruise - Normal cost: €13.
Wine Tasting Experience - Normal cost: €30.
Paris Opera House - Normal cost: €14.
Paris Story - Normal cost: €10.50.
Grevin Wax Museum - Normal cost: €23.50.
Montparnasse Tower - Normal cost: €14.50.
Dali Museum - Normal cost: €11.50.
Set in Paris Walking Tour - Normal cost: €25.00.
Backstage multimedia tour of the Grand Rex Theatre - Normal cost: €11.00
Petit Train du Montmartre - Normal cost: €6.00.
Gourmet Chocolate Museum - Normal Cost: €9.50.

By all means do the Hop On Hop Off bus and take a River Cruise, but with 60 attractions included on the PMP you have more than enough there to keep you occupied.

Posted by
32 posts

I don't speak French, so if I show the Taxi driver the hotel I am looking for with address, will that be good. Do they speak enough English to understand Americans I would think so. Would the taxi take a credit card for payment or do the expect cash? Going back to the airport will the hotel call for one or is there a nearby place to wait? Also at Place de Clichy only steps? Are the tunnels deep? Say over 100 steps? I know the London Tubes are deep, don't know anything about Paris Metro setup.

I do plan on going to the Opera and the Montparnasse Tower from the list of items only included in the Paris Pass. Saw online that you can reserve for tours, but then they want payment. Since they only offer English tours on Wednesday & weekends, I have to do this on a Wednesday since the weekends will be travel days and will not work out. Will it be ok to try to get on a guided tour the day of?

Posted by
6733 posts

Some cabs take only cash so clarify that cards are taken or better yet, have cash.

Show the address in writing including postal code. Most cab drivers don't speak English.

In the metro you will be climbing stairs and there will be pickpockets; not the most secure when hauling lots of luggage. Backpacks are a pickpockets dream -- never put valuables in them. And don't travel on public transport with a wallet in your pocket. We just tuck a little money and a car in a hidden pocket inside travel garments. If you use a money belt, that is a body safe -- never to be accessed in public. The neck wallets are a little safer worn under clothes but they are always obvious, so be sure they are under clothes and no easily accessible. Pickpockets are skilled. It is organized crime in Paris and the people who do it are well trained. Often they are young women but not always.

Posted by
15060 posts

Have you been to Disneyland and Disneyworld? Then you've seen the best Disney has to offer. If you are a real fan, though, it will probably be interesting to see it in French.

There are only a few sights that have long lines. With the Pass, the only lines you can't skip are Notre Dame Towers (expect at least an hour's wait) and Sainte Chapelle's security check. Sometimes the Pyramid entrance to the Louvre has a separate line for Pass holders, but not always. Use the Carousel entrance instead. There's hardly ever a line at any of the other sights except the Orsay. If you want to rent an audio guide, you may have a short wait anywhere, never a long one. The big advantage of the Pass is the convenience of not having to stop and pay at each sight and being able to pop in at a sight that you happen to be passing, without debating whether it's worth the price. The flip side is that if you go to a sight that turns out to be uninterested or crowded, you can leave and not feel that you didn't get your money's worth.

Passports - opinions are divided about in half here. Some feel it's safe to leave it in the hotel and find it uncomfortable to carry in a money belt, others prefer to have it with them. Take your U.S. driver's license with you to use as photo ID. You may be asked to leave it as security for an audio guide rental.

I don't like to use a credit card because I don't like to carry it where it's accessible. I take large amounts of cash from an ATM, then keep most of it in a money belt (or hotel safe) and about €40-50 in "ready" cash. If I run low, I can duck into a corner and get another €50 from the money belt. A credit card transaction requires a second trip to the money belt to return it.

Depending on what day you arrive and leave, a weekly Navigo pass can save you a lot of money. It costs about €5 to buy the initial card (and you need a small photo). Then you put a one-week pass on it. That gives you unlimited travel (within the zones you choose) for bus and metro travel. The "catch" is that it runs from Monday through Sunday. If you're in Paris for 6-7 days, it's well worth it. At 5 days, it may be a break-even proposition, worth it for the convenience of not using the individual tickets and also being able to hop on a bus for 1 or 2 stops. You can get it at most metro stations that have an agent on duty.

Lastly, the Pass. You said you have a list of 25 sights. Trust me, you will not see them all. The Pass is for 6 days, and you'll use one just for Versailles. That means 24 sights in 5 days. You simply won't have time to get to them all. And in trying to do that, you'll be indoors and miss the best of Paris - walking along the streets, strolling through the parks, window shopping (whether it's upscale fashions, artistic pastries, or antiques or just kitschy souvenirs). The price of the Museum Pass is €69, the Paris Pass is €197 (on sale). Pay separately for Montparnasse and the Vedettes du Pont Neuf boat ride. Also pare down your list. I'd make 3 categories, must-see, really-want-to-see, and if-I-have-time. Then group them by area You can use the last 2 digits of the zip codes in the addresses to sort by arrondissement, that will help but use a map too. For instance Tour Montparnasse is in the 15th, but very close to the 6th. The museums you listed in your original post (#3) wouldn't make my list until my 3rd or 4th week in Paris. Don't stress about trying to save €15-20. Focus on making the most of your time in Paris. Think about how much you are spending on airfare and hotels. If those few euros will give you a better experience, spend them.

Posted by
32 posts

I do not plan to go to Versailles, so I can spend my time in Paris. I do want to do Disneyland. I have been to Anaheim, CA, Orlando, FL as well as Tokyo, Japan. A kid a heart you can say.

I have made a spreadsheet of places and have noted the closed days of each if they apply as well as the late nights or things that are open late, such as Montparnasse Tower. Some attractions are almost right next to each other so that will not consume too much time getting to them. A sample of one day is:
Paris story, Chocolate Museum, Wax Museum, Sewers tour, Science & Industry & Arch De Triomphe.

Posted by
5545 posts

If you have any interest in Science and/or seeing a perfectly preserved Paris apartment from the past, check out the Pasteur Museum. This one hour tour was great and there are only 5-7 people on it at a time.

Treat yourself to lunch at the nearby Aux Artistes cafe (63 rue Falguiere) and then go on a tour of the museum. Both the cafe and museum are "backdoor experiences" you will enjoy.

Posted by
784 posts

I'm wondering if you are under the impression that the Paris Pass includes "free" admission to the listed attractions. It is my understsnding that it includes discounted tickets only. That is why many on this forum believe it to be a bad deal. It appears you are choosing attractions because they are on the Paris Pass. It would be far more economical for you to buy a Museum Pass and a carnet of Metro/bus tickets and see only those attractions that truly interest you. Also, an important part of visiting Paris is simply being in Paris. You don't need, or even want, to spend all of your time running from attraction to attraction. Allow time to wander through a neignborhood or two, enjoy a cup of coffee at a sidewalk cafe, and stroll through a couple of parks.

BTW, if you tske a taxi from CDG into central Paris from the official taxi rank, you do not need to worry.about being "taken for a ride" or being over charged. Do not accept a ride from anyone who approaches you inside the terminal. Write the name and address of your hotel on a piece of paper to give to the driver and be sure to include the postal code or arrondissement.

Sounds like you are enjoying the planning process, which is a fun part of any trip. Bon voyage.

Posted by
32 posts

I have checked the website of the Paris Pass and those attractions are included in the price. They do offer discounted deals at the Hard Rock Café and other places as well. I have read many comments here and other places if the Paris Pass is a good deal. That is why I created my spreadsheet, which lists everything that I would like to do, price, hours, days closed nearest Metro Station, and arrondissement. Then look at is it worth it? I would rather have the unlimited Metro for the days the pass is valid. I realize that to get to Disneyland which is outside of the area, but that will not be included in my start day. I plan to do that before or after my Pass starts. I would like to be able to hop on the Metro for shopping go to the Tuileries Gardens, and stop somewhere else on the way back for dinner etc.

Posted by
6807 posts

Do not underestimate the time it takes to get from one location to the next, or the time you will spend in lines waiting to get tickets, get through security and just get in the door. That will ruin your plans if you expect to do more than a couple if sights in a day.

Cash always works. Credit cards, most times, but not always. Cards add time to each transaction better spent touring. Not to mention expense. My credit card will charge 3% on each transaction, so the cost is not hidden the way it is in the US.

Posted by
12 posts

1) Metro could be crowded with your luggage. Also, RER & Metro will include walking and staircases. Best bet for airport to hotel is a taxi. Not all speak English. Not all take credit cards. Have the address written down and at leas $60 cash and you should be fine.
3) Average wait time for small museums should be 5-15 minutes.
4) Leave your passport at the hotel. Carry a copy of your passport and maybe your State ID/Driver's License.
5) Wear a moneybelt under your clothes with extra money/cards. Lots of tourists in Paris wear backpacks. It is very helpful for carrying around water, snackbars, storing purchases, etc. Bring a small lock for it for super crowded areas and trains.
6) Anytime a person is swiping your card it will work. However, your credit card will not work on machines unless it has a chip 'n pin. For example, McD's will have fairly long lines but short lines if you ordered at a machine inside the restaurant first. The machines won't accept your card. You can wait in line to order with a person though, and they will accept your card.

Posted by
103 posts

When I calculated the cost of the Paris Pass, the only way that the pass broke even was if you maximized the metro use and visited EVERY attraction on the list. Other than the lines that the Museum pass lets you skip, the Paris Pass offers no other benefits. So at a break even value, we decided not to get the Paris Pass, just get the museum pass, and if we actually find ourselves doing all the attractions on the Paris Pass, well we are no worse off. Nothing like the regret of paying 200 dollars for something and getting 100 dollars in value out of it.

Posted by
32 posts

I still have plenty of time to decide on how to get to the hotel & the pass. But I don't want to wait till the last week to decide. I did look at the options and took less than half, and didn't even put a cost for the Metro. I did my prices in Euros as that is how the website prices everything and I did a rough conversion of a Euro = 1.11 dollar. I know that it changes but that was an exchange rate I saw. Don't know if I should be using that for a basic idea or not. I am going to re do my sheet and take out the items that are not included in the Museum Pass and see what it comes to. Then add the Metro weekly if I get the one that starts on Monday. Do you get that at the airport and I would have to bring a photo to be put on the pass. Are there size requirements? Passport photo or a picture taken by a friend that is developed at Walgreens?

There is NO WAY that I will even try to do them all, some don't even interest me, and I would have to buy a few weeks worth of pass to do everything. Have never been on a hop on Big Bus, and that is a way to see the city that you can't see by Metro since it is all underground. Love scenic boat rides & chocolate so those are a must. The Opera is probably beautiful inside and unique. The sewers too, but that is included in the Museum pass. The Louvre is huge and I don't think I will see everything, but a trip to Paris has to include the Louvre & Eifel Tower for sure.

Posted by
15060 posts

For the Navigo semaine (weekly) pass, you need a photo (B/W or color) that is smaller than passport size, a little less than 1" x 1-1/4" (really 25 x 35 cm). I used a photocopier to reduce a passport photo. That's all you need. You also have to buy the card itself. Then you get the weekly pass loaded onto it. You have to buy the card at a manned metro station - most of the ones in central Paris and used to cost €5, may be €1-2 more now. The current price for a weekly for zones 1-2 is €21.25. As of Sept. 1 (from the official RATP website) that price will be for zones 1-6. You can't buy it at the airport.

Good places for views of Paris are Tour Montparnasse and the Arc de Triomphe. I would go to Montparnasse during the day so you can see the details of the city. I like going to the Arc de Triomphe right around sunset, then watching as the lights come on, especially on the Eiffel Tower.

If you are a big chocolate fan, take the Paris Walks Chocolate Tour if possible (it's only a couple of times a month). It's pricey but worth it. You can also do your own "chocolate crawl" through the Left Bank or the Right Bank. Some of the specialty shops are only on one, some have branches in both.

Buses in Paris can only move as fast as the traffic flow. Instead of the HOHO bus, you could have more fun and get as good an overview by taking a Fat Tire bike tour. You'll have a real guide, not a banal recorded commentary.

Posted by
6733 posts

The Paris Pass is not a pass i.e. it is not one card that does transport and museums and etc. It is an ordinary Museum Pass (so of course you have 'free entry' to the museums included if by 'free' you mean, 'I already paid for this.') and it has an ordinary Paris Visite transport pass which is already a terrible deal and made more so by adding a fee to it. Beyond that there are coupons for 'free use' of the HOHO bus, a Seine Cruise and the like.

Posted by
32 posts

HSBC (Based out of NY) ATMs, Paris
107 Bd. Saint Germain
-- South on Blvd. Saint Michel, head West
42 Blvd. Sebastopol
-- Corner of Blvd. Sebastopol & Rue Rambuteau
-- 3 blocks South of La Charme Du Marais (Cobblestone Paris)
28 Rue di Rivoli
-- 6 blocks East of Hotel de Ville
Ave Champs-Elysees
-- Street corner behind Louis Vuitton
3 Place Andre Malraux
-- 1-block behind Starbucks on corner of Rue de Rivoli & Rue de l’Echelle

Are these ATM Machines inside the bank or outside? The ones inside safer so no kids will come up to them and try to "help" and grab the money out of your hands?

Posted by
13015 posts

Hi,
The way you travel is a very individual experience based on what you're willing to cope with, tolerate, and what your comfort zone is. I'll address a few of your concerns based on what I do, ie, what works for me may or may not work for you. I don't carry a day bag, did that on my first trip over, didn't like it. I carry the passport in that "hidden pocket" in France and Paris, I don't use the hotel safe either. Getting from CDG to Paris: I take the RER B to Gare du Nord. The cost is 10 Euro. No problem for luggage. You can use a credit card at McD. I've used my US credit card to buy groceries, etc at Monoprix, the passport was asked as ID when using a credit card to make a purchase, such as at Monoprix.. In Paris they're pretty accommodating when you want to pay with the card.

Posted by
42 posts

Bus to CDG -
From my experience in April, the Air France bus to CDG arrives/departs from in front of the Air France office which is across the street from the entrance to Hotel Le Meridien. This is half a block off of Place de la Porte Maillot. The Air France bus was recommended by many.

I bought my ticket from the bus driver (17 euro) as I boarded the bus but you can purchase on the Air France website http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/resainfovol/achat/transfert_aeroport.htm

The web site show other arrival/departure locations in Paris.

Don't forget to see the miniature Statue of Liberty which is on an island in the river, two miles from the Eiffel Tower.

Posted by
32 posts

Fred, thanks for the feedback, the reason to carry your passport for credit card purchases, just like some ask for my D/L in the states. Greg H, I will have to look for the mini Liberty. I have been to the real one in NY and enjoyed it. That was a busy area when we were there.

Posted by
17 posts

My 2¢ after spending a month in Paris this spring -
I would skip the Paris Pass. The extras you gain don't gain you much and I don't believe you will come close to seeing 25 sites as you mentioned. We had 30 things on on our list and had a month and barely got to all of them. I would pick your "must" and "want" to do places and enjoy them without a rush. Leave something for your next trip. Walk if and when you can. Paris is very walkable and you will find interesting shops, people and architecture that you can't see otherwise. We rarely used the metro or bus more than twice in a day. It is a safe city
3) small museums are easy to get in (minimal line if any). Orsay, Louvre lines are pretty manageable with Museum Pass. Expect the areas in the Denon Wing of the Louvre to be crowded, but the other wings can be surprisingly sparse. The Notre Dame roof climb is long and you can't avoid it by having a ticket (watch for pickpockets). The catacombs line is unavoidable unless you pay for a tour guide. Their website has a guide to times and days of week when catacomb lines are low. In October all these venues will be manageable compared to most months. The most common pickpocket scam that I saw in Paris was women, primarily, coming up to tourists with a clipboard asking to sign a petition. Watch your back because you can bet someone else is behind you. Away from the big tourist draws like Eiffel, Monmartre, Louvre, Notre Dame as examples, you can relax a little more.
4) If you have cash, you can stash your passport if you feel the room is safe. Use a credit card and you will need an ID most likely. Will the room have a safe in it? Ask them before you go. I rarely carried my passport with me but I rented an apartment and didn't have cleaners in and out. Use a money belt. Don't trust anything else with credit cards or passport. I've been picked in Rome. I knew it was happening but could do little about it. Lost a small amount of cash in a pocket but everything important was good in my money belt.
6 & 7). Get cash from an ATM with a debit and you will get a good rate. ATMs are everywhere. Try to use a debit card with low foreign exchange fees. My credit union debit has better rates than my other debit cards. I take out $200-300€ at a time to reduce transaction fees. What I won't use that day goes in my money belt. My apartment was in a busy part of the 6th Arr and on the weekends the ATMs in the area ran out of money. I figured out to get cash on Friday. Never have had this problem anywhere else. Because I use cash primarily, I take two debit cards in case one of my bank's system is down. There is a bank with ATM in CDF airport so you don't need to get euros before you go.

Have fun. It is a wonderful place. My advise, enjoy what you are doing and don't overdo. Spend part of a good weather day in a park with the Parisians. Parc Monceau is not far from your hotel. Luxembourg Gardens is even better if you are in that neighborhood.

Posted by
15060 posts

Passport - I take my driver's license and use it for photo ID everywhere. The only time I've had to show my passport was at the airport and when checking into a hotel.

ATMs - be alert when you make a withdrawal, but don't be paranoid. If you are taking out a big amount, do it when you can soon get to a place where you can safely put the card and most of the cash in your money belt. Sure, a bathroom is ideal, but you'd be surprised how easy it is in a church or a museum or even in a quiet aisle in a store. I'm a short, retired woman and in all my years of travel, no one's ever tried to "interfere" when I've used an ATM, and I use them frequently - I prefer to use cash (so I can keep my cards tucked safely away) and my bank doesn't charge fees, so I usually take small amounts at a time. One hint - take amounts that are not divisible by 50. ATMs usually dispense bills of 20, 50 and maybe 100. That way you'll get some smaller bills. Lots of vendors won't want to take a 50 for a small purchase. Also pay attention to which bill you pay with and make sure you get all your change. Sometimes (even by accident) you can get shorted. Don't worry much about the coins (it will take time to get used to them), but count the bills!