Are you thinking of going to Paris for the first time or for the thousandth time? Well, we’re sure there are plenty of things you might not have thought of but should definitely know! From the best time to visit the city to explore the way to go. Here are some Paris travel tips you should know before visiting.
Let’s start our article by addressing the following subject: When to Go to Paris?
Especially if you choose to go between May and September, we would like to remind you that you will be in the busiest period of the city. What does it mean? Like waiting in long queues at places you might want to see, being in the crowd while visiting the museum. For this reason, in our opinion, the best times to go to Paris are April and October. However, Paris is an all-year destination. A great time to be outside in the summer and enjoy the summer festivals from June to September.
Of all the Paris tips we have, this is one of the things we would highly recommend! The best time to go to Paris is just before or after peak season. That way, you’ll inevitably have nice weather during the warmer months of the year, even if not most of the crowd. Spring and autumn also provide perfect photo opportunities, with cherry blossom season in April and fall foliage spots. Winter in Paris is tough, but the magic of Christmas and cheap prices for everything from flights to hotels will convince you to visit Paris.
It will be easier for you to plan your accommodation and be in a central location.
If you arrive by plane early in the morning; Book your accommodation near the airport. When it comes to your visit to Paris, accommodation will make up a large part of your travel budget. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you book your stay in advance. Choosing a place to stay in Paris depends entirely on your personal travel preferences. Most luxury hotels are located in the 8th district of the city. You can find more affordable places near the periphery. In summary, another tip we will give you; It would be better for you to choose your place of stay in Paris according to the purpose of your travel and the airports you will be traveling to.
Explore the city by walking
Like many European capitals, Paris is best explored on foot. Paris is a beautiful city to walk, especially in the spring and summer. Come on then get ready to walk! When walking around Paris, you should feel Paris authentic and view the layout from a local perspective. Whether you hike along the River Seine or the Champs-Elysees. You will be able to enjoy the scenery in either case. A walking tour is the best way to explore the city as it offers an interesting narration of the sights plus a unique perspective. If you are on a tight budget, you can opt for free walking tours that several hostels in the city offer. This activity will allow you to experience the highlights of the city on foot.
Use public transport
Get on the subway to avoid traffic queues! If you want it to be fast, efficient, and more affordable, are planning to take the subway a few more times, or travel as part of a group, be sure to buy a ‘carnet’. This is essentially a package of ten subway tickets and offers a cheaper price than buying each subway ticket separately. When using public transportation, remember to always take care of your belongings, especially in the subway. There is a common scam here: Someone can scam you to help you buy metro tickets. This scam is particularly common in Gare du Nord. Therefore, you should make sure you buy tickets only from the machines or directly at the specified kiosk.
If you want to escape from tourist places:
One of the biggest mistakes people make when traveling in Europe is that they don’t give themselves enough time to explore France beyond Paris. Here, there are numerous castles, small medieval towns, and magnificent countryside to explore beyond the French capital. Day trips close to Paris include the chateau Versailles in Fontainebleau and the medieval city of Provins. If you want to escape from more touristy places: Meaux is the perfect choice for food lovers. Auvers-Sur-Oise is also a historic city that was Vincent Van Gogh’s final resting place. If you want to explore France beyond Paris, come here and visit!
Here are some tips if you want to come to Paris and avoid making big mistakes:
From ordering bottled water at a restaurant to not being greeted by the shopkeeper when entering the store, there are countless mistakes you can make while visiting Paris without even realizing it. We have an important tip to avoid wasting time in Paris by ensuring you don’t have to wait in long lines! This means reserving your entrance tickets well in advance and with skip-the-line functions for all important monuments and attractions. Buy your skip-the-line Louvre ticket here.
and buy your Versailles Place skip-the-line ticket here.
and buy your Eiffel Tower skip-the-line ticket here.
Learn a few simple French words and be nice to people and say Bonjour!
A common misconception about the French is that they are “really rude”. To be honest, we can say from personal experience that this is not the case! Instead, putting an effort into speaking a few words of French will go a long way. Bring a simple French phrasebook like this one to help you! While many people you will meet will speak English, if you try to make at least some French effort, people will be more likely to be helpful.
Also a little tip: If you don’t make an effort to say “hello” when entering a store in France, this is seen as the culmination of rudeness. Therefore, as long as you say “bonjour” when entering any shop, you will find shop-owners much friendlier and easier to talk to.
Paris may be closed on Sunday
As in most predominantly Catholic countries, most things in Paris are closed for business or at least limited hours on Sundays. So if you need to buy some supplies from the supermarket or the like, be sure to buy them in advance.
However, most major museums and attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe remain open on Sundays. Museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay are usually closed on Mondays or Tuesdays instead.
Try some French cuisine
When it comes to dining in France, stay away from the usual chain restaurants while you’re in Paris. After all, the city is often considered one of the best gastronomic capitals in the world. For one of the most extraordinary dining experiences in the city, don’t forget to head to Le Refuge des Fondus, where you can enjoy fondue with bottle-to-bottle wine! Even if you are vegan or vegetarian in Paris, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy fresh and authentic French cuisine.
Make the most of coffee culture
Sitting in a cafe, sipping an espresso and watching the world: perhaps one of the Parisian clichés. But to be honest, you should take the time at least once to enjoy the cafe culture while in Paris. Over the past few years, coffee culture in Paris has exploded, resulting in exciting new openings and much delicious caffeine stops throughout the city. Some of the best cafes in the city are Odette (Latin Quarter), Le Consulat (Montmartre) and Café Oberkampf (11th arrondissement).
Visit Louvre Museum
There is much to see in the Louvre, the largest museum in the world, including of course the Mona Lisa! However, if you want to get the most out of your visit then plan your visit ahead of time or at least try to visit one wing of the museum. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy your visit even more. We recommend that you purchase a Louvre ticket in advance before visiting. This features a skip-the-line feature meaning less waiting time and more time to enjoy the museum.
Known misconceptions about the Eiffel Tower
The views from the Eiffel Tower are breathtaking no doubt, but what is a skyline without its best landmark in the view? One of the best places to view Paris with the Eiffel Tower is from the Arc De Triomphe. If you are looking for a magnificent view then you should head to the Arc de Triomphe, one of the best Paris travel tips, and take in the real scenery from there.
Many of us make the mistake of thinking that the Eiffel Tower is in the heart of the city, in the middle of all the other Parisian attractions. In fact, the Eiffel Tower is surrounded by free space (Champ de Mars and Jardins du Trocadero). The Eiffel Tower is on the West side of Paris and not close to Notre Dame, Montmartre, or Le Marais.
Make restaurant reservations in advance
The dinner service at Parisian restaurants starts late, only around 7:30 PM. Also, most restaurants close between the lunch and dinner service, which means if you solely depend on restaurants you will need to plan your meals well. The most popular places in town tend to get booked up fast, especially if you’re dining out during the weekend. As such, we highly recommend booking your table well in advance. Don’t forget to reserve tables at high-end restaurants, especially in summer many famous restaurants are booked weeks in advance!
For those who want to shop economically:
We all know that Paris is the fashion capital of the world. You may want to catch the latest fashion styles to come and shop in Paris. If you don’t have a bottomless credit card, you might want to consider shopping wisely. Choose to shop at consignment stores or discount stores in Paris, some of which – Arlettie, Reciproque, Alternatives, Misentroc, Rue Alesia, Rue de Paradis, and Saint Pierre Fabric Market.
There are so many things to do in Paris that you will need months to fully see, experience, and do everything in the city! So, no matter how much time you have, make sure to take time to sit in a cafe in the city, have a cozy coffee, and watch the world go by. Take a walk along the Seine or sit on the lawns of the city’s many Jardins and immerse yourself in the beauty of Paris. When you come to Paris, do not forget to consider these tips and apply them. Have a nice trip!