I was thinking about what would people want to know prior to traveling to Paris. Really random travel/tips and advice that I feel are pretty handy. Most of it is things we should know prior to any travel. But then again...it is always nice to get some advice (whether you take it or not) before packing your bag for international travel.
So, without further delay...here are Pam101's Parisian Travel Tips.
- When it comes to speaking French, make an effort. Learn a few key words. We were told by a few French folks, all they want from tourists, is to make an attempt. Say bonjour when you walk into any place. Say merci when you would say please. Always say au revoir when you leave a place. Just a few little words, will make a good impression on most of the French folks you interact with.
- Be prepared to walk. Paris is a wonderful walking city and it is the best way to see things. Wear some good shoes (but still stylish) and be ready to hit the pavement.
- Speaking of how great it is to walk...don't be afraid of the Metro either. It is a massive system but it is very user-friendly. Get a metro map and get to it.
- Take note that most Parisians aren't texting and walking. It is so nice to not be rushed and obsessed with the latest news, status and tweets. The French just chill and enjoy.
- Meals. Parisians, seriously enjoy good food. And they don't rush through the meals. Lunch is the main meal and seriously could last like 2 hours. I would suggest that if there are certain places you want to eat at, plan your day around that. On the trip I just took, we knew we would eat well but we didn't plan on where we wanted to go. So, while our food was always good...we didn't eat these amazing French meals because we never planned on getting to them. So, that is why I would suggest building your day around where you know you want to eat. And believe me...even a baguette sandwich is amazing in Paris.
- Speaking of food. Boo and I learned that when you get coffee at a cafe...where you sit affects the price. If you sit outside at a cafe, your coffee will be a bit more. Because those are the best seats. Sit inside of the cafe and you pay a lesser price. Interesting.
- Take advantage of the bathrooms. Just a safe travel tip, you never want to be in need of a bathroom and not near one. So, always make an effort to go. Keep a napkin on you in case you find yourself in a no-TP situation.
- Take a boat tour/cruise of the Seine. There is one line that you can hop on and off at 8 stops along the river and I think it really makes a great deal of sense. You get to be on the water and see all of the beauty that is Paris. But then again...doing a cruise at night is ridiculously beautiful.
- Oh and the most important tip. LET SOMEONE KNOW YOU ARRIVED! I didn't send an email to my family and friends for a solid 48 hours and apparently...a search crew was almost being dispatched. So, sorry about that.
Now, buy your ticket and pack your bag!Bon voyage!