09 Nov Paris Travel Tips: 6 Things to Know Before You Go
Don’t let the crowds get you down on your trip to Paris. Check out these top insider Paris travel tips to make the most of your stay in the city of lights.
Whether due to history, movies, or cultural significance, Paris has always been a hotspot for tourism.
In recent years, tourism continued to climb with some of those numbers reaching an all-time peak of around 40 million visitors. Without a doubt, people are embracing the City of Lights and for a very good reason.
Whether it’s the romanticized view of the Eiffel Tower, the mouth-watering cuisine, high art, or historical significance, France’s capital has plenty to offer.
But with so much to do and so many visitors knocking on the door, it’s important to plan well.
Today, we’ll take a look at 10 important Paris travel tips you need to keep in mind before your next trip.
1. Plan for As Long As Possible
Sometimes, when planning a trip to Paris you may underestimate how much time you’ll need.
“I’ll just go for a weekend,” you say to yourself. After all, you just want a taste of Paris. You don’t need the whole city map memorized like the back of your hand.
But next thing you know, three days pass by and you didn’t even see a fraction of what the city has to offer. You might end up walking away from that trip wishing you hadn’t even gone in the first place!
Such, you’ll make sure to hit up the most touristy spots:
- Eiffel Tower
- The Louvre
- Notre Dame
But you’ll be in too much of a rush, and will probably be blindsided by crowds, long lines, and endless wait times.
Forget a weekend trip; that’s for visiting family members a couple cities next door. We’d recommend at least planning on a full week, if not more.
That will give you plenty of time to hit up the touristy sights, but also gives you space to explore lesser-known Paris attractions. It also gives you the ability to space activities out.
Is the Eiffel Tower especially crowded one day? Don’t worry! Save it for another.
2. Save Up
Lots of people say that Paris is an expensive city. And according to the Economist Intelligent Unit, that’s actually fairly true.
According to the EIU’s study, Paris is the most expensive city in the European Union, beating out London.
It’s also slightly more expensive than New York City, although that gap is closing. So, even though the city is still a pricey one to live in and visit, there are a lot of experts saying that it’s starting to balance out.
Make sure that you’ve set aside a decent amount of cash when planning a trip to Paris.
You’ll need it.
3. Stay Centralized
It doesn’t matter what kind of accommodation you’re looking at–fancy hotels, cheap motels, Air BnB, etc.–make sure you’re staying somewhere central.
Like we said before, you want to plan for a longer visit than usual because there is plenty to do in Paris and you don’t want to miss any of it.
One way to help you make the most of your trip is to stay in a centralized location. It will make all of your day trips quicker and easier.
Paris is a big city, though, and pinpointing the right location may be easier said than done.
Simply, you need to do your own research. For example:
- What is your budget?
- What are the most important spots for you to visit?
- How far are you willing to travel to your activities?
- How much are you willing to spend on transportation?
If the Louvre is the cornerstone of your trip, then certainly pick a spot nearby (or as close as you can get in your budget).
You’ll also want to consider the location of any tours you take, such as with The Paris Guy. If you’re looking for line-skipping tours of the top places to visit in Paris, then you’ll want easy access to those tour locations.
4. Embrace Public Transportation
Paris has one of the highest rates of public transportation use in the European Union. There are also talks of creating entirely free public transport in Paris, to follow suit with other major European cities.
It’s all part of an effort to reduce pollution, although it has not bee implemented.
Still, in the meantime, you can always purchase a metro ticket for 1.60 euro. A carnet is a pack of 10 metro tickets for a somewhat longer visit, but you might want to consider options like Navigo for especially long visits.
5. You Eat Dinner Later in Paris
If you want to “do as the Parisians do” then be prepared to eat dinner late.
Generally speaking, in a lot of European countries, people tend to eat dinner later in the day. To put it in perspective, 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. would probably be considered a fairly early dinner.
This is important, though, because a lot of the dinner restaurants you may be eyeing probably don’t even open until 7:30 p.m. Be sure to adjust your inner clock accordingly.
6. Paris is More than the Mainstays
Many people are probably convinced that you only go to Paris to visit one of two things: the Eiffel Tower or The Louvre.
And while these tourist attractions may be beautiful and worthwhile, they’re not the only places to visit in Paris.
First off, getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Not only is it busy and crowded, but when people think of the iconic tower they usually think of a sight of the tower, not from the tower.
Consider viewing the Eiffel Tower from other locations, such as the Notre Dame towers.
The Louvre, while breathtaking, also isn’t the only museum Paris has to offer! Consider the Centre Pompidou if modern art is more your speed.
The Muse Rodin contains beautiful gardens, perfect through walking through on sunny Sunday afternoons.
Muse d’Orsay is a classic museum that’s housed in an old railway station. The museum is worth visiting just for checking out the architecture of the station building itself.
Paris Travel Tips Become the Perfect Paris Trip
Paris is a beautiful and iconic city and a prime destination for tourism for so many reasons.
No matter why you want to visit the City of Lights, you should make sure to plan well by abiding these important Paris travel tips.
Make sure to stay central, embrace public transportation, and don’t corner yourself to only the major tourist attractions.
If you’re planning your next Paris trip, be sure to check out the best views to see!