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Tap or bottled water in Paris?

phoebek Apr 12, 2008 03:35 PM

As my trip to Paris nears, I'm wondering whether I should bring a refillable bottle for tap water or buy bottled water. I've never heard anything negative about the safety of Paris tap water, but how does it taste?

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    souvenir RE: phoebek Apr 12, 2008 05:01 PM

    Water in Paris is perfectly safe to drink, and tastes fine to me(much, much better than tap water in my town in northern California which comes from well water). If you can read french and are interested to know more about the topic:

    I also like a lot of different french bottled waters, but with the strengthening of the euro, on the last trip, in restaurants, we asked for carafes of tap unless we specifically wanted sparkling.

    1. ChefJune RE: phoebek Apr 12, 2008 05:11 PM

      I drink a lot of bottled water in Paris, but not in restaurants. The tap water is perfectly fine, and leaves more euros to spend on wine!

      1. Beach Chick RE: phoebek Apr 12, 2008 05:22 PM

        I found the tap water in Paris to be fine in taste and only bought bottled water at the marche for our room..

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          rrems RE: phoebek Apr 12, 2008 05:57 PM

          I find the tap water in France (outside of Paris) to be generally very good, so I do not order bottled water, but in Paris, the tap water, though perfectly safe, does not taste good, certainly not nearly as good as New York water, so in Paris we order bottled in restaurants.

          1. whs RE: phoebek Apr 12, 2008 06:11 PM

            Paris water is hard, leaves calcium deposits on glasses in the dishwasher. Perfectly OK to ask for it in a restaurant instead of bottled water. I always blame it on my slight stomach upset the first few days I'm in Paris. Couldn't be the rillettes or the steak tartare!

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              phoebek RE: phoebek Apr 13, 2008 10:13 AM

              Thanks to everyone who responded. I agree with ChefJune about saving my euros for wine, so I'll bring my trusty bottle and see whether or not I like the taste of l'eau de Paris!

              4 Replies
              1. re: phoebek
                PhilD RE: phoebek Apr 13, 2008 11:24 AM

                A couple of years ago the city hall in Paris issued carafes to restaurants in which they could serve tap water.

                The Parisians are very proud of the quality of their water system. They have one of the oldest sewage systems in the world. They even have a museum and tour - "Musée des Egouts de Paris" on the left bank near Pont de l'Alma. It is actually good fun - and not that smelly.

                1. re: PhilD
                  souvenir RE: PhilD Apr 13, 2008 01:11 PM

                  I loved that tour! I had thought about suggesting it, and then thought perhaps it only fits into the category of people who want to eventually go to all 300+ museums in Paris, at least once. We first went made a visit on a very hot early summer day, and as PhilD says, not that smelly and wonderfully cool. I found the history fascinating. Since then have suggested it a few friends who are frequent visitors to Paris, and they also enjoyed it. Here is the info link:

                  1. re: souvenir
                    crispychick RE: souvenir Apr 14, 2008 09:54 AM

                    How does one order "tap water" in French? What should we say?


                    1. re: crispychick
                      Dodo RE: crispychick Apr 14, 2008 10:05 AM

                      You simply say: <<Une carafe d'eau, s'il vous plaît.>>

              2. Ljubitca RE: phoebek Apr 20, 2008 07:12 PM

                We moved from Hoboken NJ to Brooklyn NY 2 years ago and that insignificant change cause me many days of stomach issues. So on our trip to Paris this week, and I suggest this for any of you who have weak stomachs to blend the bottled with the tap water in increments over the course of 2 days. I don't think its a question about safe, its the change is all.

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                  sandypaws3 RE: phoebek Apr 22, 2008 07:41 AM

                  As others have mentioned, the tap water is fine, and if it's offered we drink it. However, we usually order a large bottle of water to have with dinner, as well as a bottle of wine, just because we enjoy it.


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                    bb22 RE: phoebek Apr 25, 2008 01:33 PM

                    Paris tap water is safe and has a clean taste, so a refillable bottle would make sense, more euros for chow and wine. It also makes sense, as already stated, when in a bistro or restaurant to ask for a carafe of tap. This has no charge. Many places when you ask for water will automatically bring a bottle of sparkling, which has a charge. Have fun!

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                      phoebek RE: phoebek Apr 26, 2008 06:21 PM

                      Since I generally prefer still to sparkling, Paris tap water was fine, with no ill effects!

                      1. Ljubitca RE: phoebek Apr 28, 2008 02:02 AM

                        We are currently in Paris - and there are no ill effects of the water but I dont care for the taste. But no real complaints.

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