6 Things About Paris - You absolutely need to know before your first visit
Ah, Paris. The city of light, love, and all things French.
If you're like most people, Paris is at the top of your list of places to visit. And with good reason – it's one of the world's most beautiful and romantic cities. If you're lucky enough to be visiting this fab city for the first time, there are a few things you need to know before you go.
So, before you book your tickets, here are six tips to help make Paris your best trip yet!
Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, so be prepared for large crowds. If you plan on visiting popular attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral, it's best to buy tickets in advance to avoid long lines. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit during the off-season (November-March), or head to the landmarks in the early mornings to get that Insta-worthy photo without anyone else in it.
Another thing to know before visiting Paris is that the city is huge! It's divided into 20 arrondissements (districts), each with unique character and charm. To make the most of your trip, pick a few neighborhoods that interest you and explore them thoroughly. The most popular tourist districts are the 1st (Louvre, Notre Dame), 4th (Marais), and 8th (Champs-Élysées), but don't forget about the other arrondissements, which offer a more authentic Parisian experience.
It's Not Cheap
Paris is an expensive city, so be prepared to spend a lot of money on food, drinks, and souvenirs. If you're on a budget, there are plenty of ways to save money, such as eating at affordable restaurants (this is a grilled "cheese" and ham sandwich - very affordable), buying groceries instead of dining out, and avoiding tourist traps.
Getting Around in Paris
Paris is a large city, so getting around can be tricky. The best way to get around is by using the public transportation system, which includes the metro (subway), buses, and trams. Use an app like Citymapper to plan out your route in advance and make sure you have a valid ticket before boarding any transportation. If you're feeling adventurous, you can venture out by renting a bike or walking but be aware that Paris is very hilly. If you can handle the hills, walking is the best way to see the city, and best of all, it's free!
When it Comes to the Fashion, Less is More
Paris is known for its fashion, so don't forget to pack your best clothes! But that doesn't necessarily mean your flashiest clothes. Parisians are all about understated elegance. Avoid wearing anything too extravagant or obvious if you want to blend in with the locals. Wearing clothes with too many designer logos may make you a target for pickpockets.
Parlez vous français?
French is the official language in Paris, but you'll find that many people also speak English. If you don't know any French, don't worry! Although many people in Paris speak English, learning a few key phrases in French is always a good idea before your trip. Bonjour (hello), s'il vous plaît (please), merci (thank you), and excusez-moi (excuse me) are essential. Just make an effort to learn a few essential words, and you'll be able to get by just fine! I always have my Google Translator app available on my phone. Parisians do appreciate your attempt at speaking the language, eventhough when I try, they cannot understand me. When that happens I show them my Google Translator (and of course they laugh), and they say "ahhhh".
Now that you know a few things about Paris, it's time to start planning your trip, and you can start by contacting me, we will work together to make sure your trip is un voyage de rêve (a dream trip).