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What You Need To Know

Reims is a city in northeastern France’s historical Champagne-Ardenne region. It’s the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing region, and many of the well-known champagne houses headquartered there offer tastings and cellar tours. The 3rd-century Porte de Mars triumphal arch marks the town’s time under Roman rule. For more than 1,000 years, French kings were crowned at its Cathédrale Notre-Dame.

Area:46.9 km²
Population:182,592 (2013)

Currency

  • The unit of currency in France is the euro, as in most other countries of the European Union. there are 100 cents in a Euro (€).Euro Coins: 1(€), 2(€)
    Cent Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50
    Euro Notes: 5(€), 10(€), 20(€), 50(€), 100(€), 200(€), 500(€)
  • Use your home bank ATM/cash card to withdraw euros from French distributeurs des billets (ATMs/cashpoints) or Retrait (cash witdrawal). Check with your bank to see if this will work without problems. You may also want to check the exchange rate, charges and fees imposed by your bank on foreign currency withdrawals, which may amount to 3% to 6% of your money.
  • Use a credit card, widely used for purchases in France, but only if it is a credit card with a computer chip in it (carte à puce).
    If you plan to withdraw cash via your credit card, check the exchange rate, charges and fees imposed by your credit card company on the transaction(s). These may add up to a substantial amount. You may want to apply for a card that imposes fewer fees on foreign withdrawals before you travel.
  • You can exchange your home currency cash (dollars, pounds, yen, yuan, rubles, etc.) for euros at a bureau de change (currency exchange office) in France. Exchange rate spreads, commissions and service fees in France can take as much as 10% to 20% of your money for each exchange, so currency exchange offices may not be the thrifty option, and these days offices are few and far between.

Weather

The climate in Reims is warm and temperate. The is a great deal of rainfall in Reims, even in the driest month. The warm season lasts from June 10 to September 6 with an average daily high temperature above 21°C. The hottest day of the year is August 6, with an average high of 25°C and low of 13°C.
The cold season lasts from November 15 to March 4 with an average daily high temperature below 9°C. The coldest day of the year is February 9, with an average low of -0°C and high of 6°C.

Language

French is the everyday language spoken in Reims, Certainly, English and standard German are worth a try but only if you don’t speak French!

Health and security

  • France’s healthcare system provides some of the best public healthcare in the world, although private health insurance is necessary for certain circumstances.
    All legal residents in France are obliged by law to have French health insurance. Many expats are now eligible to apply for state health insurance in France (l’assurance maladie) in order to access France’s world-renowned healthcare system now that the French government has instated a new universal healthcare insurance system known as the Protection Maladie Universelle (PUMA) in January 2016. Individuals who are not covered by the PUMA or might want to increase their health coverage must apply private health insurance while living in France.
  • Visitors from European Union countries (i.e. the United Kingdom, Ireland, etc.) are strongly advised to make sure that they have health insurance cover before travelling to France or any other foreign country. For France, UK visitors should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which has replaced the old E 111 form.The EHIC, which is usually issued for up to five years, covers any medical treatment you may need during your visit to France, as a result of accident or sickness. The card gives access to treatment by doctors, dentists, and in public hospitals, or private clinics operating within the French “sécurité sociale” (health service) framework. Note that the EHIC does not normally cover the full cost of medical treatment in France or other countries; the NHS recommends that all travellers also take out private health insurance, to cover the difference.

    Visitors who do not come from EU countries must take out private health insurance cover in order to benefit from France’s excellent state health service.

  • There are numerous small cafes and restaurants in Reims, many of them located around the Place d’Erlon in the heart of the charming city. What comes to the nightlife in Reims, there are plenty of local bars and modern clubs in the university city, as well as interesting theatres. Reims is a safe destination for visitors with no major crime problems.

DON’T

  • Banks do not exchange foreign cash. In fact, many banks handle no cash at all except through ATMs.
    In general, it is better to exchange money after arrival in France rather than at your home airport before flying. Also, airport currency exchange offices may offer poorer rates of exchange than currency exchange offices in the city center.

DO

  • No matter what you have read, nothing can prepare you for that first skyward glimpse of Reims’ gargantuan Gothic cathedral. Rising golden and imperious above the city, the cathedral is where, over the course of a millennium (816 to 1825), some 34 sovereigns – among them two dozen kings – began their reigns.

    Meticulously restored after WWI and again following WWII, Reims is endowed with handsome pedestrian boulevards, Roman remains, art-deco cafes and a flourishing fine-dining scene that counts among it four Michelin-starred restaurants. Along with Épernay, it is the most important centre of Champagne production, and a fine base for exploring the Montagne de Reims Champagne Route.

  • Important notice should be taken for restaurant culture in Reims and in France. Servers in restaurants tend to be much more task oriented than people oriented when comparing to some nations, notably, what Americans are used to. In France, the dining experience is sacred and a waiter does not want to be in your way while you eat; that said, if you need something politely flag him/her down or try to make eye contact. Tipping is included in the bill but people generally tip an additional 10% in an upscale restaurant or round up the coins in a regular eatery.