As the list was becoming too big I decided to do a part two and to share other dos that I definitely love about the city of lights and love. Here is part one
Let’s get started, now I am more direct:
- if this is your first time in Paris then book in the city center to know the city by foot. I always book close to Georges Pompidou or Marais, the art neighborhood of Paris. I personally don’t like Le Quartier Latin as it is too loud, but good for restaurants and nightlife. I do not book near Les Halles as it is the sex area of Paris. The list can go on, ask me for suggestions.
- restaurants are tiny. Literally you eat elbow to elbow with other guests. I am not a fan of this, but it seems this is Paris.
- waiters are not known for their politeness towards tourist, or this is just my feeling. If they are, then it is a condescend attitude or a highly exaggerate one when in luxury shops or venues.
- don’t believe everything they say – and I am talking about tripadvisor or other review and travel tips sites. It can be deceptive about restaurants, and their reviews are not verified like http://www.booking.com or http://www.airbnb.com.
- night out in Paris is expensive – 7 euros a beer or 15 euros a cocktail, for me is expensive. Have a drink in the room before going out as getting drunk will cost you a lot. Wines in supermarkets are affordable, around 3- 4 euros a medium one.
- most of the restaurant, when they have a cheap tourist menu, I have the impression they serve can food, like duck. Better go to a bakery, it is more authentic and sure. Parisian bread is a delight.
- or if really on a low budget supermarkets are great and affordable – I recommend Franprix for their selection of ready to go meals.
- it is over crowded in summer and holidays so avoid if more of a lonely person, to have the city all for yourself. It is also very polluted in summer and very hot.
- as we came to weather just be aware that there are seasons here, not like in southern Europe so check the weather apps before going and pack accordingly. I once spent a New Years Eve in Paris and I was just freezing to death as I went with spring clothing.
- don’t over pack but pay attention at your clothes as you go to the capital of fashion an Parisians are fashionistas to the bone..and judgmental about tourists.
- So put on your best clothes and do the favorite sport in Paris – people watching and judging, from the terraces of small bistros, on the pedestrian way.
- don’t waste time – for cheap shopping, for shopping malls, for queuing at the museums.
- Also please stop buying the cheap souvenirs like fridge magnets and those found in shops near Les Halles, like Pylones ( although an interesting concept). Go instead to a book shop and buy albums of Paris or go even to les bouquinistes on the river Seine. This could be also a tourist trap.
- stop putting lockers on bridges – they end up at recycling and it’s a cheap superstition. Don’t worry – If you’re in loved you will come back to Paris together.
- if a beginner than visit maximum 3 museums and do pay for skipping the line, as you save time for walking in the museum – Louvre, Georges Pompidou and Brancusi, Mussee d’Orsay. They are huge so one visit is not enough. Plan what to see especially in Louvres.
- do not over plan – there are so many things to see that you’ll end up exhausted if wanna see everything. Instead be smart and choose. Paris is a city to come back again and again so don’t worry about missing some famous spots.
- a great way to see the architecture is by boat, the famous batteaux mouches. It worth every penny. Stop at Eiffel tour and take a walk.
- remember Paris center is fairly new, mid 19th century by baron Haussemann, at the order of Napoleon the third who wanted large avenues so the protestants can’t make barriers.
- Versailles is great but it is a hole day so not on your first visit.
- in fact you’ll get used quickly in Paris with wealth of the buildings that it gets boring. I go out of the beaten paths and go to canal St Martin, Botanical Garden, Luxembourg gardens. Paris is full of parks, small squares to have a coffee and watch, a lot of hidden small green squares with some benches and a statue fountain. Just go by foot in Marais and you’ll discover so many hidden heavens, or Montmarte behind the Sacre Coeur, not in front.
I always like in Paris to walk the less famous streets and neighborhoods, to have a coffee Sunday morning in front of Georges Pompidou when the streets are empty and the real Parisians go out to have a breakfast and walk their french bulldogs.
If in Paris for a longer time then have some free tours, a gastronomic tour, although quite expensive, some french lessons and photography classes as you have the best scenery. Go to markets and get in loved!
Check some apps I like – Eathwith and LikeALokal!
If in summer take your swimsuit for Paris Plage on the river of Seine.