Is Paris on your radar? It should be! Paris is a beautiful city filled with splendor and radiance around every corner. Here are 10 tips for visiting Paris that will help you rock your vacation!
10 tips For Visiting Paris
- Don’t travel in summer.
- Don’t carry a backpack.
- Don’t wear sneakers.
- Use public transportation.
- get a rewards credit card
- Don’t be afraid to travel in winter.
- Download a french language app.
- Learn to wear a scarf correctly.
- Don’t order a soda with your meal.
- Don’t take the rudeness personally.
1. DON’T TRAVEL IN SUMMER
While Paris is a wonderful city any time of the year, summer tends to be the worst time to be there. Most French people flee the city during summer because it is hot and the city in general isn’t air-conditioned. When you are dealing with a city that has such a long history as Paris, it’s no surprise that many of the buildings aren’t air-conditioned.
Also, since most Parisians leave Paris during the summer, tourists overtake the city and you won’t get a true representation of what Parisian life is like. Having said that, please don’t think you won’t enjoy yourself if summer is the only time you can get away as it is almost impossible not to love Paris. You can get more tips from my insider Paris guide, available on Amazon.
2. DON’T CARRY A BACKPACK
This will make you stand out as a tourist and make you a prime target for pickpockets. Most Parisians do not carry backpacks and if you are trying to blend in, get a different type of satchel to carry your things in.
3. DON’T WEAR SNEAKERS
Parisians are incredibly stylish and this is one thing that will make you stand out more than carrying a backpack. You just don’t see Parisian women walking around in sneakers, unless they are headed to the gym or are out on a run.
4. USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
The metro and bus system in Paris is phenomenal, you can get to practically anywhere in the city by taking public transportation. All of the stops are in French but don’t let that intimidate you, it’s the same concept as taking the subway in NYC or hopping on the bus in your town. The only difference is that the scenery will be completely distinct and you may see things that will make you laugh and/smile.
5. GET A REWARDS CREDIT CARD
If getting to Paris proves to be too expensive for you, think about getting a credit card that is affiliated with an airline. This way you can rack up miles every time you use it. If there are bills you pay automatically every month from your checking account, transfer those bills to your credit card and get those points every month. You will be surprised at how quickly the points add up.
6. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRAVEL IN WINTER
Paris can be very cold and it does snow. However, Paris is absolutely beautiful in winter and a perfect time to visit, as the city isn’t overridden with tourists. As long as you pack the appropriate clothes to keep you warm, you should have no problem exploring the city and taking in the beauty of the sights with chills in the air.
7. DOWNLOAD FRENCH APPS TO LEARN BASICS
Contrary to popular belief, Parisians aren’t that bad if they see you are trying to make an effort. Many Parisians are happy when they see you at least trying to say, “Hello, how are you?” Of course there can be a Parisian that won’t be nice to you no matter what but those really aren’t that frequent.
If you download an app that will help you learn how to say a few basic phrases in French, that will help you immensely and probably break the ice when you walk into a store. Many Parisians speak enough English to be able to help you and many won’t mind speaking to you in your native tongue if you have shown an effort to speak theirs.
8. LEARN HOW TO WEAR A SCARF LIKE A FRENCHIE
French women wear scarves beautifully, the way they knot them around their neck is almost an art. Go on YouTube and see how to tie your scarf like them then walk around the city with it like that. You will be amazed at how a simple thing like a scarf can make you feel like you are a part of the culture.
9. DON’T ORDER SODA WITH YOUR MEAL
Drinking soda with meals is very American and not something many Parisians do. If you want to blend it with the locals, order water or wine. For Parisians, food is an experience, not just a way to quell the hunger and wine is a big part of that experience. If you aren’t a wine connoisseur and have no clue about what to order, there is always a house wine you can order.
10. DON’T TAKE THE RUDENESS PERSONALLY
I have heard many people say that Parisians are rude and it took away from the beauty of their trip. PLEASE don’t take it personally as it has nothing to do with your color, your gender, your race, or you. Parisians are different and don’t do well with small talk or pleasantries (for the most part). If someone is rude to you, just think of it as you are getting a true Parisian experience and isn’t that the whole point?
one more tip for the road:
Parisian cafes and restaurants are known for their excellent food, but not for their customer service. Do not be surprised when you are not waited on in the same manner you are accustomed to in the USA and you will have to ask your server to bring you your check at the end of the meal.
And there you have it, 10 quick tips on traveling to Paris. I have much more information in other blog posts so please search, or save yourself some time and order my soft cover guide book or e-book on Paris.