Top Ten Paris Travel Tips
I had an amazing time in Paris and I am still smiling while I think about it. It is a beautiful city and I hope you get to visit it too. If you are going for the first time, I hope some of my tips are useful to you.
Paris is a city that you really need to explore on foot. Pack comfortable shoes and a box of gel patch blister plasters. We went for Converse, which are nice and comfy and soft. We walked approximately 63k in 2 and half days, so your feet will take a battering! Try not to wear ballet flats or boots. Even with comfy shoes, blister plasters are a must-have as they stay on much longer than normal plasters,
Download the CityMapper App to your phone. This was a lifesaver during our weekend and was used every day. You just put in where you want to go, and it will give you a selection of ways to get there, Metro, walking, cabs etc. So you can pick which is quicker. The Metro is the tube system in Paris and it is a bit more confusing than the Tube or the Hong Kong subway system, using the Citymapper app made all of our journeys really simple and saved us a lot of time.
If you visit the Eiffel Tower on a busy day, and aren’t able to pre-book tickets online as they sell out really quickly, you may be in a queue for a long time to get to the lifts. We saved time on the way down the tower by walking down from the second level. Walking down is a lot easier than walking up but saved us ages waiting in line for a lift to the bottom, it doesn’t take too much energy to walk down the stairs, plus you will work off a few calories to bank for when you eat your own body weight in French fries later!
If you can book tickets for The Louvre online beforehand then definitely do this, we saw the queue and it was about a 2 hour wait, I didn’t really have much interest in going this time as I much prefer being outside the first time visiting somewhere and seeing all the architecture and sights, but if it’s something you want to do, save yourself time and book online.
Go to the top of the Arc De Triomphe. The views were beautiful and I had no idea you could go to the top. You get a great view of Paris, and some great pictures of the Eiffel tower. I would go so far as to say I actually preferred this to the view from the Eiffel Tower as there was a lot more room, and a lot less people. Be aware you do have to walk up to the top though, so it might be difficult if you have young children or older people with you.
Be prepared to see a lot of people selling string bracelets and cheap trinkets who actually approach you with them, trying to tie bracelets round your wrist etc. A firm no and shake of the head should deter them. Failing that just keep your selfie stick extended in front of you so they can’t get too near!
Take a boat trip down the river. You see so many things and from a different perspective. It’s fairly inexpensive and
a great way to see Paris. This one is really good and can be booked online beforehand http://vedettesdupontneuf.com/home/
Book an Uber to take you to the Airport. Uber in Paris isn’t as good as in London and the driver seemed a bit clueless about where our hotel was located however the price was less than half a standard taxi would cost to the airport, so it is worth getting the concierge from your hotel to call the Uber driver once you have their phone number to speak to them in French so they don’t get lost, rather than spending 60 Euros on a 15 minute taxi (which cost me 12 Euros via
Food and service in Paris varies wildly between amazing and friendly to rude and sketchy. I recommend finding some decent restaurants online before going, I do use Tripadvisor but once you’ve found somewhere on there then google the restaurant name and blog review, you will no doubt find some blogger that has been there and they will have better pictures and a more thorough review than TripAdvisor in my opinion, plus some people on Tripadvisor just want to complain about everything. Even Michelin star restaurants in Paris are not on par with London Michelin star restaurants in quality, but about triple the price, so research a lot before going, don’t assume somewhere pricey is the best quality. The Londoner has some great reviews of Paris restaurants as does Heroine in Heels.
To save money on food for brunch or lunch, grab yourself some croissants and baguettes at a boulangerie and some cheese, ham etc. perhaps even a bottle of wine and have a lovely picnic in one of
the many parks in Paris. Don’t worry, you can drink your wine in any of the parks as long as you don’t get loud or obnoxious, there a no rules against this.
Some of the best food markets to grab some tasty picnic items are listed on this really handy website paristopten . We went to the street listed at the bottom, Marche Ru Cler. If you’re really strapped for cash you can have a hotel room picnic for dinner too!
My favourite park was the Tuileries. If you are there on a Thursday or Saturday morning then Saxe-Breteuil Market is apparently amazing and with a great view of the Eiffel Tower.
What are your favourite places in Paris or any top tips? Let me know, in case I am lucky enough to go again!