Oh Paris, the city of lights and love. How I miss you already. I can honestly say that I prepared myself appropriately on the first go around. These tips are going to ensure that you have that the best Paris experience. Today I have put together a list of Paris Travel Tips for your next trip!
- Paris is broken up into neighborhoods called arrondissements. There are 20 total. This is one of the biggest Paris Travel Tips that you need to understand since you’ll hear it as people use it to denote locations.
- Decide what is important to you and pick your lodging based on that. When I went to Paris, I wanted be far enough away from tourist traps and be in a highly cultural area. That is why I chose the Marais. The Marais is known for great restaurants, shops, nightlife and culture. If your trip is about landmarks, pick an arrondissement near your favorites.
- French is the primary language spoken in Paris. It is multicultural though and English is spoken in most places.
- Learn the basics before you arrive. Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank You and other small phrases go a long way. They French appreciate the effort and will definitely be more willing to engage with you if you try. This is one of the biggest Paris travel tips I can give you.
- Check out Rosetta Stone’s monthly subscriptions starting at $7.99/month. Once you sign up for a monthly plan, you can take a 6 week travel focused course that lasts 15-30 minutes per day/five days a week.
- Paris has a lot of taxi stops through out the city. Fares are pretty comparable to ride share services.
- Uber is very plentiful in Paris. Keep in mind that European cars are smaller than US cars. If you are tall or plus size, consider getting the uber XL.
- Get an airport transfer to/from your hotel. This will make your life so much easier especially if you are flying into Charles De Gaulle (CDG). The airport is huge and it is nice to have someone waiting right by the doors with a car and a sign with your name on it. I spent about $100 USD roundtrip with KiwiTaxi which was about the same price as ride shares. Ride share companies do not have the same up front parking privileges that transfers do at the airport.
- Paris does have a very cheap metro system. This is currently the most cost effective to get around the city but keep in mind that this is a paper ticket system and does not have an app for tickets currently. For long haul trains to Normandy and more, click here.
Dining in Paris
- Research a few restaurants ahead of time and make reservations. You will not be able to get into some restaurants without one because they are so busy. Check out some of my Paris favorites in my dining vlog! This video is loaded with a lot of Paris travel tips.
- Parisians eat late! Most sit down restaurants do not even open for dinner until 6-7pm at night.
- Wait Service is very different in Paris. The servers don’t constantly check in with you like in the US or Canada. They space themselves away to let you enjoy your meal.
- Open Table is a good tool to find last minute restaurants with reservations available.
Currency and Credit Cards
- The Euro is the Currency in France.
- Order Euros from your bank ahead of time so you have some cash on hand. Order 2 weeks ahead of time.
- Credit cards are accepted in most places, primarily Visa and Mastercard. I was surprised that about 70% of the places that took credit cards did accept American Express as well.
- If you need to get more Euros ATMs have the best exchange rates.
- Plan which days you are going to do your attractions ahead of time. Certain attractions are closed on different days of the week so make sure you plan accordingly.
- Buy your tickets online ahead of time. A lot of big attractions have long lines for tickets. Buying ahead allows you to skip those lines and go right into the security lines.
- Arrive early or later in the day. Midday has the highest population of people in attendance. Arriving early or later in the day will reduce the crowds significantly.
- Check out Viator for some great attraction rates!
Paris is a beautiful city. This list of Paris travel tips is just the start. I can honestly tell you that with these basics you will have a good trip. You need to figure out what you want to get out of Paris first and foremost. If you do not like art, then don’t go to a lot of art museums. Paris is very multicultural and caters to many different types of travelers.
Check out my other Paris Article here! It will help you if you get sick in Paris.
Looking for the best photo spots in Paris? I got you covered! Click here.