Travel Tips You Need To Know

By | May 4, 2024

Travel Tips You Need To Know – Thinking of going to Paris for the first, fifth, or thousandth time? Well, I’m sure there are a lot of things you probably haven’t considered, but absolutely need to know! From the best time to visit the city to exploring off the beaten path, here are some Paris travel tips you need to know before you visit.

If you are reading this guide to my best tips for Paris (as someone who has lived in Paris for more than three years), it would be your first time planning a trip to Paris.

Travel Tips You Need To Know

It is the first time to be in a new city and we do not know where we are going, not to mention the language, in this case, French. This travel guide is here to help you get around Paris for the first time. Also, if you are short on time, then I have several quick tips to know before you read the entire article.

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One of the most important things to know before your first trip to Paris is to make sure you leave Paris at least once (there’s a whole load of France to explore outside of the city). Some of the best day trips from the city include going to Versailles, Fontainebleau, Sceaux, and Giverny.

Next, the metro is the fastest and cheapest way to get around the city. The Parisian metro is one of the oldest and most extensive in the world. It is also one of the cheapest ways to get from A to B in the capital.

If you buy a ‘carnet’ which is where you buy a book of ten metro tickets at once, it will cost less than €1.70 a trip! If you choose to buy ‘Easy Navigo,’ which you can buy at any station office (where there is an active service), each journey will cost only €1.49.

Finally, before we delve into the real nitty gritty details that you should be aware of before visiting, make sure you don’t fall victim to any tourist scams, never buy bottled water at a restaurant.

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And be sure to learn a few simple French phrases before you go! You can buy a French dictionary

Of all the Paris vacation tips I have, this is one of my top recommendations! What this means is that the best time to go to Paris is just before or after high season (ie, Summer). This way, you will still get good weather, albeit without the large crowds that inevitably visit during the warmer months of the year.

Spring and fall also offer excellent photo opportunities, with cherry blossom season in April and the fall foliage in October and November.

Visit outside of peak season and you can expect to find fewer lines and lower prices when it comes to airfare and accommodation. To find the best flight/bus/train fares in advance, check out this price comparison site.

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Only book your accommodation near the airport if you have an early flight the next morning, and then only that night. When it comes to your visit to Paris, accommodation will be a large (if not the largest) portion of your travel budget.

As such, I highly recommend booking your stay in advance. Choosing a place to stay in Paris depends entirely on your personal travel preferences.

Many luxury hotels can be found in the city’s 8th arrondissement, while many budget hotels can be found in the surrounding area. Check here for the best prices on accommodation in Paris.

Otherwise, if you’re looking to get a local view of the city and don’t feel like eating out every night, you might consider booking an apartment on Air Bnb.

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Like many major European cities, Paris is a place best explored on foot. Be prepared to walk a lot. After all, I often find that it’s only when I’m walking around Paris that I really feel the real Paris and see the settlement from a local perspective.

This way, you’ll also get a chance to peek behind those doors and find hidden gems that you might have missed if you were sitting on the bus or standing on the metro!

For example, this Le Marais walking tour will show you the best of old Paris and this vintage Paris tour will allow you to experience the highlights of the city in just a few hours.

While many companies offer ‘free’ tours in the hope that you’ll eventually tip a guide, you’ll soon find plenty of self-guided tours if you type ‘free and self-guided tours with X’ into a search engine. Here are five free and self-guided Paris walking tours.

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. These range from someone asking you to ‘sign a fake petition’ to people trying to tie a rope to your hands!

Read my complete guide on how to avoid these common tourist scams in Paris. Likewise, keep an eye on your belongings, especially in areas like the metro, as theft is common.

Always use a zipped bag, never wear a backpack on your back, and even then, don’t leave your wallet/valuables near the top of your bag!

Avoid taxis and traffic lines and hop on the metro. Fast, efficient, and affordable, if you plan to take the metro a fair number of times, or travel as part of a group, make sure you buy a ‘carnet’. This is a pack of ten metro tickets and offers a cheaper price than buying individual tickets for each metro.

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Although Paris metro tickets are being phased out in favor of the Easy Navigo pass, they will still be on sale for at least another year or two. When using public transportation keep a close eye on your belongings at all times, especially on the metro.

A common scam is for someone to ‘offer’ to help you buy metro tickets, only to swindle you out of money and buy a cheap ticket that’s only valid for one journey.

This scam is very common in the Gare du Nord area so make sure you only buy tickets from the machines or from the directly set up kiosk.

‘Hello/ Hello,’ (Bonjour/ Bonsoir) ‘Please,’ (S’il vous plaît) ‘Thank you,’ (Merci) and ‘I’m sorry’ (Pardon) are good places to start when learning a new language.

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Although most people you will meet will speak English, people can be helpful if you at least try to make an effort with a little French.

A common misconception about French people is that they are ‘really rude’. I can honestly tell you from personal experience that this is not the case!

Instead, making an effort to speak a few words of French will go a long way. Bring a simple French phrasebook like this one to help!

One of the biggest European travel mistakes people make is not taking enough time to explore France beyond Paris. After all, there are plenty of châteaus, small medieval towns, and a wealth of beautiful countryside to explore beyond the French capital.

Paris Travel Tips You Need To Know Before Visiting

Day trips near Paris worth taking include Versailles, the château at Fontainebleau and the medieval town of Provins. For those wishing to go more off the beaten track and escape the more touristy areas, Meaux is perfect for foodies, while Auvers-Sur-Oise is a historic town that is also the final resting place of Vincent Van Gogh.

If you plan to visit many attractions while in the city (or simply want to skip the many long waiting lines), I highly recommend purchasing the Paris Pass.

The benefits of the pass include skipping long lines at many attractions and you’ll get free transportation on the metro and buses.

Before buying a pass (or any individual admission tickets), add up the cost of all the attractions you want to see and find out if it’s worth buying the pass or paying for each ticket.

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In any case, I highly recommend that you purchase all of your entry tickets in advance to take full advantage of the skip-the-line activities on offer! I use GetYourGuide to buy tickets in advance.

When it comes to exploring the city, there is perhaps no better way to uncover the great secrets of the French capital than to wander around and get a little lost.

When walking around Paris, it’s not uncommon for you to walk more than 20,000 feet a day, so be prepared and wear your comfortable shoes to get in!

I personally have these sandals and I love them so much that I bought them in several colors! If not, you should know that back in the day, trainers were a big no-no, today fashion and functionality are intertwined, and you’ll be thankful for packing two comfy trainers. I personally love these trendy trainers but I find plimsolls like these work great for exploring the city!

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From ordering bottled water at a restaurant to not greeting the shopkeeper when you enter a store, there are plenty of mistakes you can make when visiting Paris without realizing it. Because