Are you considering taking a trip to Paris and don’t know where to start? Well even if you aren’t it never hurts to dream. Here are some of our top tips, as written from one friend to another. What you really need to know when you are ready to see Paris, truly one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world.
Dear Friend, Here are some things I wish I had known before I left!
- Take comfy shoes. I know you said walking is hard for you (read that in your post) but I promise you will be so blown away by the beauty you will walk more than you have in your entire life!
- The Parisian women even dress up to take a bike ride so don’t be shy about throwing in a couple of extra dressy tops to go with your comfy pants for dinner:)
- You must eat at a sidewalk cafe for dinner or lunch and just people watch. We did this for most of our meals! With the exception of one meal at the top of the Eiffel Tour, we didn’t go fancy at all and still felt like we had the trip of a lifetime.
- Consider taking one of the Double Decker Bus Tours. Actually, don’t consider it. Do It! It is a great way to get to know where all the major sites are and get a feel for the city. We bought a 2-day pass for L’Open Tour. It was 32e each (2014) and has to be used on consecutive days. LOVED it. I also learned to put a couple of snacks in my purse, I have low blood sugar, and have a few coins on hand because you can buy water and pop from a machine right on the bus! The best seats are up top. You can buy the passes for this bus tour at any L’Open Bus Stop right from the driver. Take the GREEN line as your first tour. It is amazing! You can hop on hop off at the Musee Louvre, Notre Dame, Church of Madeleine, Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower etc. OR you can just choose to ride it around. Each line (tour) is about 2 or 2 and 1/2 hours. Oh yes! You may need sunscreen! The tour was 32e each (2014) and has to be used on consecutive days and included a boat cruise. We LOVED it. It’s a fabulous way to quickly get your bearings in a city. Oh, I also learned to put a couple of snacks in my purse, I have low blood sugar, and have a few coins on hand because you can buy water and pop from a machine right on the bus! The best seats are up top. You can buy the passes for this bus tour at any L’Open Bus Stop right from the driver. They all understand English. Take the GREEN line as your first tour. It is amazing! You can hop on hop off at the Musee Louvre, Notre Dame, Church of Madeleine, Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower etc. OR you can just choose to ride it around. Each line (tour) is about 2 or 2 and 1/2 hours. Oh yes! You may need sunscreen!
Picture Courtesy of Paris Museusm Pass
- Another thing we loved was that we had the Paris Museum Pass. We were there for 9 days so each bought a 6 day Paris Museum Pass. If you are interested in going to Museums while you are there it is SO worth it! Not only does it give you access to Louvre, Rodin, Arc De Triomphe, Versailles (a train ride away), and so many others, but in many cases, you can skip a ticket buying line and go straight to the ticket holders line. Saved us a ton of time. I believe it is available in 2, 3, 4 and 6 days. Ours was approximately 65 e and worth its weight in gold.
- Don’t worry if you do not speak French. Everyone speaks English and after I said a quick Bonjour or Bonsoir (good evening) they always switched to English for me. Clearly, my French was that good. Ha.
- You can easily stock up on snacks or lunch/apartment needs at the Marches (little market stores). We found the price of pop and juice to be comparable to Canada.
- I’m hoping you already know you will need a Credit Card with a chip.
- Everywhere we went we were warned about pick pocketers. We were careful but did not once feel unsafe or insecure. We even took the subway. That being said I don’t think I would have been brave enough to take the subway on my own! There is comfort in numbers when you are trying to navigate the system in French.
- Looking for an opinion on which camera to take when traveling to Paris. All of them! Paris just begs to be photographed.
Picture Courtesy of Le Maison Angelina
- The hot chocolate is fabulous, and the best place to experience is at High Tea at Le Maison Angelina. Served at this location is the famous “African Hot Chocolate”; composed of three carefully selected kinds of African cocoa from Niger, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. It is a chocolate lovers dream.
- Oh, if you were my Aunt or Mom I would tell you to think twice before trudging up those stairs to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Or at the very least do it with your Hubby. They are steep and tiring. It was a hard climb my friend! My Mom and Dad are in their early 70’s and I would tell them to take pictures from the bottom and go and do some window shopping on the Champs Elysee instead.
- Oh yes, we did a cruise of the Seine too! Again with L’Open Tours, on the Batobus. It was our last day there and it was a lovely relaxing way to see some of the major sites one last time.
I hope you found these tips to be helpful when planning that dream trip to Paris.