An easy way to find public toilets in Paris

10 September 2015


I met a couple on the flight to Paris the other day, and the husband told me the one thing which bugged him about visiting Paris was “not being able to find toilets”.

An easy way to find public toilets in Paris

I gave him a few tips — and thought I’d share them with you too :-)

How to find public toilets in Paris

Here are the easiest ways:

  • find a McDonalds, go in and try the door – if it needs a code, ask for one
  • find a Starbucks, go in and try the door – if it needs a code, ask for one
  • look out for any number of public toilets to be found in the streets and parks of Paris, you may need coins to open the door
  • go into any cafe, bistro, brasserie and look for a toilet, or a set of stairs going down with a sign anywhere saying “Toilette”;  if you can’t find one, ask to use the toilet in you most polite way — you may be asked to buy a drink, and say, “Of course — bien sur!
  • if you still can’t find one, go into any shop and ask, “Ou se trouve les toilettes, s’il vous plait?” which means, “Where can I find the toilets, please?”

Lots of cafe and restaurant toilets do not have seats – do NOT freak out

I know, I know — this sounds awful — but really, let me explain.

public toilets in Paris may not have seats

 

There are millions of tourists in Paris every week, and they all need to find toilets.

We expect the toilets to be kept clean, and that requires a LOT of work on the part of the locals.

By using well-designed toilets which do NOT need seats, and are very comfortable, the need to keep cleaning smelly toilet seas has been removed.

You can easily wipe the toilet before you sit down, and please — understand this is NORMAL in Paris, so don’t be snotty or mean about it, just get used to it, OK? Great :-)

To all you folks from America and other places which don’t normally use the word “toilet” and instead use the word “bathroom”, you’ll need to start saying “toilette”.

If you ask for a “bathroom”, the French person may think you want to go home with them — and will understandably be a little wary of agreeing to this without actually knowing you :-)

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