Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and with so much to see and do, it’s no surprise that it’s a popular destination for tourists. With that said, it can be overwhelming to plan your trip and figure out what to do once you arrive. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 26 essential tips that will help you make the most of your Paris trip.
1- Skip Champs Elysées
While it may be tempting to visit Champs Elysées, it’s important to know that this is a strip mall with brands you can find anywhere in the world. Parisians don’t go here, so if you want a true Parisian experience, skip it.
2- Visit the Arc de Triomphe
At the top of the Champs Elysées, you’ll find the Arc de Triomphe, which is highly worth it. This is actually my favorite view of the city, and I think it’s the best paid view you can get.
4- Get There Early
If you want the perfect photo, get there early. This is especially true for popular tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
5- Watch Out for Bikes
Parisians love to bike, and there are bike lanes all over the city. Make sure to pay attention to your surroundings, and never walk in the bike lane. This is especially important at night, as it can be very dangerous.
6- Call an Ambulance
If you have an accident, don’t hesitate to call an ambulance. Ambulances are free in Paris, so don’t risk your health by trying to get an Uber or a taxi. It’s not worth ruining your rating or bleeding in your Uber.
7- Arrive Early for Trains
With the exception of the Eurostar, there’s no security when taking the train in Paris. Make sure to arrive early so you have enough time to find your seat and relax.
8- Don’t Eat on the Metro
It’s considered impolite to eat or drink on the Metro, so make sure to finish your food before getting on the train.
9- Use the Right Ticket
If you get a paper ticket for the metro, it won’t work with the bus. Make sure to use your navigo card or the app on your phone for transfers.
10- Get the Right Ticket for the Airport
Regular metro tickets won’t get you all the way out to the airport. Make sure to get a special ticket that will get you all the way to zone five. Also, make sure to stick around for tips on how to save money on water at restaurants.
11- Check Wine in Luggage
If you want to bring back a bottle of wine, make sure to check it in your luggage. You can’t bring it back that easily, so plan accordingly.
12- Carry a Charging Cable
Always carry a charging cable with you for your phone. You never know when you’ll need to recharge, and you can always charge your phone in a bar or restaurant.
13- Laundromats are a convenient option to wash your clothes while you’re traveling in Paris.
Most laundromats will sell you detergent one load at a time, so you don’t have to worry about buying a whole big thing of it at the grocery store. Additionally, increasing numbers of laundromats are equipped with contactless payment systems. All you have to do is hold your phone out and pay using a contactless card or app. However, if you don’t have a contactless card, you’re probably going to need to bring some coins. So, make sure you have enough change before you head out to the laundromat.
14- If you like apples, then we would highly recommend getting a chausson aux pommes
This is a pastry that is filled with either roasted apples or applesauce and is a delicious concoction that is often a test of a good bakery. You can find this pastry in most bakeries across Paris, and it’s perfect for breakfast or as a snack.
15- If you’re planning to visit Paris in January, then make sure to try the Gallette du Roi
This is a seasonal cake that is traditionally eaten on Epiphany Day (January 6th). The cake is made of flaky pastry and almond filling and is often served with a paper crown. It’s a popular French tradition, and you shouldn’t miss it.
16- When it comes to finding the best baguette or croissant in Paris, don’t worry about it too much
Every baguette or croissant you have while you’re here will probably be the best of your life. So, don’t put too much pressure on it. Just enjoy the bread and pastries you find.
17- Popular restaurants in Paris require reservations
If you want to make sure that you get into a restaurant in Paris, it’s increasingly important to make reservations, especially for trendy restaurants. Many popular restaurants in Paris require reservations, and the French won’t wait around long to give your table away. So, make sure that you’re as on time as possible, if not actually on time. Be on time, and you won’t lose your table.
18- When visiting Paris, it’s essential to be punctual, and it’s especially true when it comes to dining out
French restaurants won’t wait around long to give your table away, so make sure that you arrive at the restaurant on time or a few minutes early. And if you’re running late, be sure to call the restaurant to let them know.
19- Most museums in Paris require you to get tickets in advance, and many of them have scheduled time slots
So, it’s a good idea to go to their website in advance, schedule your slot, and get your ticket. If you show up on the day, there’s a low chance you’ll be able to get in, especially for popular museums like the Louvre. So, plan ahead, and you won’t miss out on any of the great museums in Paris.
20- When traveling to Paris, don’t forget to bring your passport, wallet, and passwords
It’s essential to keep your passwords safe and secure, and one way to do this is by using a password vault. We recommend Nordpass, a password vault that encrypts all your passwords under one master password. It’s easy to use and works across all platforms, so you can keep your passwords safe while traveling.
21- If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee while you’re in Paris, you’re in luck!
The city is home to a thriving coffee scene, with plenty of great cafes to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a classic espresso or a specialty drink, there’s sure to be a spot in Paris that will satisfy your caffeine cravings.
22- Also, be aware that refills are not free in Paris, so if you’re a soda drinker, it’s important to slow down and savor your drink
This caught me off guard when I first moved here, so I want to make sure that you’re prepared. Additionally, many restaurants don’t even serve soda, so it’s important to have an open mind and try some of the other delicious beverages that Paris has to offer. For example, “limonade” is a popular alternative to soda, but be aware that it’s not the same as lemonade. It’s more like Sprite and can be quite refreshing on a hot day. If you’re looking for a tart and tangy option, try “citronnade,” which is a lemon-flavored drink that’s not as sweet as traditional lemonade.
23- If you’re looking for a way to enjoy free tap water at restaurants in Paris, it’s important to know the right phrase to use
Instead of asking for “water,” which may come with a charge at some touristy places, ask for “un carafe d’eau.” This translates to a pitcher of tap water and is a great way to stay hydrated without spending extra money. Some places even offer free sparkling water, so it’s worth asking if that’s an option. Just remember that in general, sparkling water is not free in Paris, so it’s best to assume that there will be a charge for it.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the essential tips that you should keep in mind when traveling to Paris. From getting a comprehensive guidebook to making reservations for museums and restaurants, these tips will help you make the most of your time in this amazing city. By following these tips, you’ll be able to explore Paris with confidence and enjoy all of the incredible sights, sounds, and tastes that the city has to offer. Whether you’re traveling alone or with friends and family, Paris is a city that you’ll never forget, so make sure to take advantage of everything it has to offer.