Paris is truly a magnificent city. It has a lot to offer, and it’s a perfect way to experience the French way of life and their culture. It’s a massive city and one that’s expensive, too, and if you’re going to be visiting it, it’s crucial that you plan well.
That being said, there are a couple of crucial things that you’ll want to keep in mind before you head to this French paradise. We’ll talk about them below, and you’ll be able to enjoy your stay in Paris without a worry in the world.
A Bit of Language Knowledge Won’t Hurt
You actually don’t need to be fluent in French if you want to talk to the locals in Paris. However, it does make a massive difference if you know the basics. Therefore, some French lessons won’t hurt. Make sure you know all the basic phrases, the ones you use in your everyday life and try to learn as much as possible if you want a smooth experience.
The thing with the locals is that most of them actually speak pretty good English, but they don’t want you to know that. If you start speaking English with a French person, there’s a very big chance that they will pretend they don’t know English, at all. However, if you start speaking French, they won’t mind switching into English.
Figuring Out Accommodation Can Be Finnicky
One thing that people love about Paris is the variety it offers. It’s organized in neighborhoods, known as arrondissements, and all of them will have plenty of accommodation options. From hotels to private Airbnb accommodation, you can pick and choose whatever you want.
For example, if you want high-end shops and genuine Parisian charm, the Saint-Germain neighborhood is right for you. If you want to be in the center, and close to all the tourist attractions, the first, second, third and fourth arrondissements are perfect. And if you want to experience the artsy Paris, the 18th arrondissement near Montmartre is unparalleled.
Get Ready to Walk, a Lot
Even though there is ample public transportation, the absolute best way to enjoy Paris is to stroll through it. Getting lost is incredibly difficult. There are 20 arrondissements, and there isn’t a street sign in the city that doesn’t tell you which one you’re in.
The neighborhoods are actually organized in the shape of a snail, but counterclockwise. If you find the first one on a map, you can count to 20 when moving your finger in a circular, counterclockwise motion, to see where the rest are.
If, however, you have a reason to avoid walking, you can always resort to the metro system in Paris. It’s very simple, and it’s actually a great way to get from one place to another. There are more than 15 lines that connect the city’s underground area, and five larger lines that head out to the suburbs that surround the city. And if you’re there for a week, for a tad over 22 euros you can get a weekly pass. Just remember, the doors open by lifting the lever, not automatically. Oh, and note that the metro doesn’t work 24/7.
There’s a Market Every Day
No, we aren’t overstating things. There really is a market every day. You can get the largest array of them on Saturdays and Sundays, but there are smaller markets that have produce, and they’re open seven days a week. You can find them all over the city. Some more popular options include Place d’Aligre, Belleville and Bastille.
Keep a Bit of Cash
While most of the places you’ll be visiting, such as supermarkets or restaurants, will accept a card, it’s not a bad idea to keep a few euros in your pocket. This is especially useful when you’re visiting the markets we just spoke about, as well as when you need to make an unexpected stop in a bakery.
Eye Contact Is a Thing
This might freak you out at first, especially if where you come from this isn’t common. But people will make intense eye contact with you in Paris, and it’s going to happen to you a lot. They’ll also hold that eye contact for an uncomfortably long time. What should you do? Do it, too.
Forget About Grabbing a Cab to the Airport
Whether it’s when you’re arriving, or when you’re leaving Paris, it might be tempting to avoid public transportation and grab a taxi to the airport. However, that’s going to be a costly luxury, as it may end up costing you more than $50. You could grab a metro for about 10 euros, or if you have a weekly metro pass, go to Denfert-Rochereau and grab the airport bus. Thank us later.
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