How to Power Your American Products in Paris (Finding An Adapter for Paris)

Adapter for Paris

About ten years ago, I spent the summer in Prague.  I remember having to get expensive adapters just to use my laptop, but luckily, I didn’t have that many electronics with me.

Now, I have a Kindle, an iPad, a cell phone, and a laptop for starters, and my mother has the same.  That’s a lot of electronics to plug in at once!  Does that mean I need eight adapters at $50 a pop?

Not at all.

Electronics have changed since those days, and many can handle a range of voltages.  So in many cases, all you’ll need is this seven dollar plug converter:

Adapter for Paris

How do you know if you can use this adapter for Paris?  Look at the plug for your electronic.  If it says “100-240V,” this means it can take a variety of voltages.  If it only says 110V, for example, DO NOT plug it into the wall.  It will probably start smoking.

Why am I saying an adapter for Paris (or rather, France), and not an adapter for Europe?

France has a prong that comes out if the outlet to ground it.  Adapters need to have either a receiver for this prong or empty space so the prong can pass through (it is not necessary to use the prong).  Outlets in other countries do not have this prong, so you can use this in most of Europe, but you cannot use the plug adapters for most of Europe in France.  I’d recommend getting a French adapter because it is more versatile.

These adapters don’t work for UK, so you’d need to get one of these (which also works in Hong Kong):


But how do you charge multiple items at once?  Should I just cover all the outlets in these adapters?

I’m a fan of USB adapters like these:

Adapter for Paris

I can take this almost anywhere and it will work.  It has plug adapters for different areas of the world.  I can put in my phone and kindle into here, and so can my traveling companion.

Please note that this does not draw enough power to really power up an iPad, but luckily, the iPad’s charger works well with the first adapter.

You may also be interested in:

What’s your international power-up go-to?

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. I find your experience in Paris and perhaps France quite different from my own. Most European countries have a specific and usually unique method of providing ground on the standard two cylindrical prong plugs and sockets. I have never had any trouble with a standard two prong plug from a kit or a universal adapter on any trip through Paris. Nor did my ex-wife who went to Université de Paris.

    While the occasional odd-ball electrical socket does exist, it has been my experience that by and large the majority of the continent has plenty of 2 prong plugs that will accept any universal adapter or region-specific adapter.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Yes, you are correct and I didn’t mean to overstate it. There are a few adapters that had odd placements that did not allow me to plug it into the French sockets, so I just meant to make sure the adapters allowed you to convert. Most of them do, but there are a few oddballs.

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