Paris is in almost everybody’s bucket list. That might include you! Why else would you click, right? A wanderlust, a backpacker, a recent high school graduate, a die-hard romantic. No matter what you are, if you are desiring the ultimate Parisian experience, continue scrolling and reading. These are tips and guidelines that will surely be useful to you before boarding the train or airplane to Paris, France

 

How To Get Around Town

Paris has different modes of transportation to get around, namely, Great Public Transit, via bike, a scooter, or get an Uber. 

 

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View of the Eiffel Tower from the train ride (Shutterstock)

Their public transportation or subway is what they call the Metro, good for short distances but has a lot of stops. The what they call the RER, on the other hand, has fewer stops but is useful for longer distances

 

Paris also has public bikes and scooters you can get from one point within the city, after paying and then return to another designated point within the city. These bikes are found almost in every major intersection in Paris. Parisians offer and make use of these options because bikes and scooters don’t have to compete with other cars with all the traffic going on.

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City bikes for rent in Paris (Shutterstock)

 

Uber is not cheap but if you are a tourist and you’ve been walking around town the whole day, sometimes you just want to sit in a car and be taken to your next destination. 

 

Footwear Matters

Although you need some kind of vehicle to get you from one place to another, the best way to really see and feel Paris is by walking on foot. With this said, you have to wear comfortable shoes. I recommend wearing slip-on, fashionable enough sneakers, ankle boots or if you really want shoes that give height, wear wedges.

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Paris streetwear (Shutterstock)

 

 

Chill

As you try to absorb the Parisian experience, try to just sit in a cafe and just observe the people and the streets. Paris is home to a lot of good cafes. Make time to just relax and see the view by yourself or even with whoever you are with. I assure you Paris streets and people would not bore you.

 

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Casual day at a cafe in Paris (Shutterstock)

 

 

Outfit Matters, Too

Your outfit matters! As you know, Paris bears the reputation of being a place of fashion but I’m not saying you wear the fanciest clothes in your wardrobe but it matters to Parisians how you dress on the streets, or even just inside your home. The goal is to dress in a way that is not too casual but not too touristy, either. 

 

You’ll avoid the minorly judgy “look” when you try to dress appropriately. Don’t wear gym clothes from head to toe, flip-flops and baseball caps with your favorite team on it. This could also help you to avoid incidents when fancy restaurants and establishments may turn you away for how you look and to not attract scammers and pickpocket incidents your way, which brings me to tip #4.

 

 

Stay Alert

Paris is known for scammers and pickpocketers victimizing tourists and even locals. The city is fairly safe to go to but just like any metro city, you are susceptible to people on the streets trying to snatch your belongings. I recommend you to keep an eye on where your bag zipper faces especially when you’re in the Metro (subway).

In restaurants, don’t ask for a menu in English because chances are some of the restaurants would charge higher for an “English” menu.

When you’re in the tourist spots in Paris, there are what we call “ring scammers” where a woman would yell “I found the ring!” and then she would a tourist the ring and when you take it, she would persist for something in return, giving you all sorts of reasons why you should give her money.

Beware of taking the wrong taxis. There are illegitimate taxis in train stations that would charge 8-10 times the metered price and if you are a first-timer, you are not familiar on how to differentiate the registered taxis from the scammer ones. Try to look for the queues of people. That would most likely be the line for taxis. 

 

 

Even Your Bag Matters

The bag of choice for going out and about in Paris is a small cross-body bag. Avoid wearing backpacks. Aside from being a fashionable piece, cross-body bags can be situated in front of your body where you can constantly see it, unlike backpacks, thus avoiding an unfortunate theft.

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A small cross-body bag for wandering around Paris (Shutterstock)

 

 

So When?

 

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Pink Cherry Blossom Trees in full bloom during Spring in Paris (Shutterstock)

 

The best time to book a trip to Paris is around spring and autumn. Do not go in June, July or August. These are the busiest months for Paris as it is packed with tourists. In August, almost everything is closed for the whole month because this is the time for the employees and students to have their vacation. They are normally off to Greece, Portugal or beaches. Even on Sundays, almost every restaurant and grocery shops are closed or operating for just a few hours, so make sure to do your groceries or shopping beforehand.

 

Bonjour!

When you enter any shop, make sure to greet the owner or the shopkeeper “Bonjour/Bonsoir”. Otherwise, you may come off to them as rude and believe me, they will treat you differently. 

 

 

Don’t Be Too Tourist

Whenever you try to have a conversation with a local, whether be in a store, a restaurant or on the streets to ask for help, start with a French greeting or phrase even if you don’t really speak conversational French. Just like with greeting the owner of the shop tip, you will have a polite impression to them and it’s just easy to help someone you seem to like, right? Most of these people know how to speak English, anyway and would eventually speak to you in English. Just be honest that you don’t really speak French.

 

 

French Basics

So what are these French words and phrases that might be helpful in starting a conversation? Let me supply you with the basics:

Bonjour/Bonsoir means Good day or Hello/Good evening
Merci means Thank you
Oui means Yes
Non means No
S’il vous plaît means Please
Excusez-moi means Excuse me (Can I get past?)
Pardon also means Excuse Me (Sorry)
Au Revoir means Bye
De Rien means You’re welcome
D’accord means Okay
Combien ça coûte? means How much does it cost?
Parlez vous anglais? means Do you speak English?
Je ne parle pas francais means I don’t speak French (at all)

 

 

Late Supper

You might be surprised at how late French people eat dinner. It is not uncommon for them to have their dinner at 8 P.M. and so the restaurants are open for serving dinner at around 7 to 7:30 P.M. If you are already starving before that, you can grab quick and light snacks at their grocery stores.

 

 

Plug-In

If you travel a lot, you might already be familiar with this tip. It’s important to note that not every country has the same plug type. In Paris, they use the plug types C & E. It would be very helpful to you if you just purchase a universal adaptor. This may just be a good investment especially if you plan to travel a lot.

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Plug types C & E are used in Paris

 

 

Think Ahead

Paris is home to so many museums and architectural tourist spots. Purchasing your ticket for these places in advance will save you money and time. As tourist spots, the queue can be overwhelming and time spent lining up could have been alotted for some other activities on your itinerary. This also goes for the train tickets going to Paris. Prices for these tickets change constantly so it’s better to purchase them beforehand.

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Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the famous tourist destinations in Paris (Shutterstock)

 

 

Best Instagram Photo

Lastly, it is obligatory to have a picture with the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop but actually going up to the Eiffel tower does not really give you the best view of central Paris. Having a nice picnic at the foot of the Eiffel Tower would be the best way to hang around the famous structure. Plus, it is way too crowded there above with all the tourists wanting the experience of being atop overlooking the city. Instead, head on to Trocadero to satisfy your picturesque Paris photos cravings. 

 

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Picnic in front of the Eiffel tower (Shutterstock)



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The view of the Eiffel Tower during sunset from Trocadero (Shutterstock)

 

Now you can scratch Paris, France from your bucket list and share your Parisian experience with others as well!

Travelbook Community Manager Explore with me → travelbook.com/kaytaylor

[email protected]

Comments:

  • July 3, 2019

    Hello.

    My hat for Your tips!!! I do love them. Than You. I have been there many times and speak French and my blog is French also.

    Happy and safe travels!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

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