When nature calls, there are two options (I am not including the public pay toilets because this is NOT an option): the ho-hum utilitarian: It is quasi-impossible not to find a cafe in Paris. You can plan on stopping in a particular cafe that is part of your touring, or you can leave it up to chance, and just go into the first cafe that you see when Nature starts to call. If you are in a rush, go to the counter, order a coffee (“un cafe s’il vous plait”) and as soon as coffee is on the counter ask “ou sont les toilettes, s’il vous plait” in case you do not see a sign “toilettes.”
It’s a good idea to have a small packet of tissues with you.
But the much more fun solution is to use the facilities in one of Paris’ grand hotels. To do this you will need to be dressed appropriately (n°1). When one of our guests was touring in college student casual attire and tried to enter The Ritz – just to have a look – she was politely turned away. Again appropriate dress is simply looking like everyone else (of course if you ARE in fact a guest at the hotel, read no further). So, you need to look as if you belong, and it helps to know where to find les toilettes without asking, since that will kind of give you away. A favorite: The George V, 31 avenue George V, Metro: George V (Line 1). Walk straight in through the lobby, turn right. At the end of the corridor, there will be the Bar on your right and the tearoom on your left. Turn left and walk straight ahead. On your right will be some steps, go up the steps, turn left and voila, you are there. A lovely rest room The George V has some of the most wonderful floral arrangements in Paris, so if it’s in your budget, you could actually ask to be seated and have a drink.
Other good places to stop:
Near the Arc de Triomphe – Le Drugstore at 133, avenue des Champs-Elysees (Metro : Charles de Gaulle Etoile (Lines 1, 2, 6).
Near the Eiffel Tower – Pullman Eiffel Tower at 18, avenue de Suffren Metro: Bir Hakeim (Line 6).
Starbucks – click on this link for a list of Paris locations: http://www.mystore411.com/store/listing/15/France/Starbucks-store-locations