Tips For Visiting Paris For the First Time
If this will be your first trip to Paris, it would be wise to conduct some preliminary research before your arrival in order to avoid making common errors that first-time travelers make. By conducting proper research ahead of time, this can help ensure a more enjoyable experience and will allow you to avoid common errors that travellers often make when arriving there.
People often don’t realize the seriousness of eating out in Paris; locals will typically take their time in dining out and ask for water (“une carafe d’eau, please”).
1. Book Your Accommodations in Advance
Booking early is best when looking to stay close to major Paris attractions; rooms often sell out quickly during high season and rooms become scarce quickly.
Also, book a river cruise and skip-the-line tickets for some of Paris’ iconic landmarks, such as Notre-Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum and Eiffel Tower – these can provide an excellent overview of its historic center as an orientation tour.
Important tip #2 is to learn some French phrases before traveling, even if they’re not fluent. Simply saying hello, please, and thank you can help break down barriers between locals and yourself, as well as prevent any misunderstandings or miscommunications – don’t be shy about saying Bonjour either; it goes a long way here in Paris! Additionally, most Parisians speak English; if not just ask before starting up conversations. Doing this may make people more willing to help answer any of your queries!
2. Get a Local SIM Card
Are You Travel Planning and Have Arranged Everything Else for an Extended Trip Abroad? But One Important Aspect May Have Been Missed… Cell Phone Plan
As soon as you arrive in a foreign country, your domestic SIM card may no longer work and incur costly roaming charges. By purchasing a prepaid SIM card before embarking on your travels, the hassle and costs can be avoided altogether.
Prepaid SIM card purchases for travel in Paris shouldn’t be difficult and there are various options available online. One provider, Free Telecommunications in France offers plans tailored specifically to tourists that include data and calls. Unfortunately, they only operate out of one store in Paris making answering queries challenging. Holafly’s eSIM for France provides excellent coverage with tailored customer service for travelers as it offers unlimited calls, texts and data at attractive rates with the added advantage of travel around Europe!
3. Download the Google Translate App
One of the greatest pleasures of traveling abroad is learning new languages; unfortunately, however, finding someone to translate can sometimes prove challenging.
Google Translate app comes to the rescue! Take a photo of signs or text and it’ll instantly give a translation; an essential traveler tool!
One must-see attraction in Paris is the Eiffel Tower, an international symbol that stands as one of Europe’s top paid attractions. For an optimal experience, visit it after sunset when its beautiful lights can be best appreciated.
Other notable sites in Paris include the Palais Garnier (Opera House), built for Napoleon III and featured in the 1910 novel, “The Phantom of the Opera.” Its striking architecture, such as its grand foyer and staircase is truly spectacular; for a darker experience try visiting Catacombs of Paris which contain over six million bodies buried below ground.
4. Pack Comfortable Shoes
If you plan on visiting Paris in the autumn, winter, or spring seasons, be sure to pack shoes that you can comfortably wear all day and evening long. Spending hours walking the city can take its toll; even for those who are normally comfortable on their feet the cobblestone streets may prove challenging for even seasoned shoes.
Keep in mind that Paris can be windy, making the temperatures cold inside its museums (which rarely offer air conditioning) or on top of the Eiffel Tower. A light sweater or blazer may come in handy at these times to keep warm.
TFG readers consistently recommend Vionic sneakers as the go-to pair for simple yet chic sneakers that are easy to put on and take off, and come in various colors that complement any look. Ballet flats or closed-toe wedges may also make great companions when exploring Paris.
5. Pack a Light Sweater
Paris can be breathtaking in the fall and spring seasons, yet can still get quite cold at night. Therefore, you should pack a lightweight sweater as part of your luggage to stay warm on cooler nights – layer it over an outfit such as blouse or dress to increase its warmth on colder days!
Paris summers tend to be hot and humid. You should plan for rain showers during this season as well, so bring along a raincoat and light sweater just in case!
A classic belted trench coat is an iconic French fashion staple and can instantly dress up any ensemble. A trench coat can even be layered over light sweaters for extra warmth – ensuring you look chic in Paris! Additionally, scarf or hat accessories will add flare to your ensemble; hands-free purse/backpack is essential in order to protect you against pickpocketing; additionally it should contain first aid supplies should any minor emergencies arise on your journey.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Eat Out
Paris is one of the world’s most romantic cities, yet its first-time visitors may find it intimidating and overwhelming. Between its complex language and intimidating locals, dining out can often become an anxious affair.
But it doesn’t need to be this way. Before dining in Paris, here are a few important points you should keep in mind. Restaurants typically do not provide “doggie bags,” so do not ask for your sandwich to go. Additionally, be mindful that it is considered rude to carry drinks directly from a bar into a table setting and that tipping isn’t expected but still appreciated – all things you should keep in mind before dining out in France.
If you want to save money when dining out in Paris, lunch is often cheaper than dinner and there will be less crowds at restaurants during lunch. Also avoid visiting during August and December when many locals are on vacation as this means many restaurants may close and Paris will feel much calmer than usual.
7. Book a Cabaret Show
Paris would not be complete without visiting one of its world-famous cabarets – world-class shows that form part of its glittering image and draw tourists from across the world. Be sure to experience one of their legendary shows like Moulin Rouge or Crazy Horse for an unforgettable evening of entertainment!
Start exploring Paris cabarets with this thrilling show and dinner experience at Moulin Rouge. Unwind in its atmospheric theater while witnessing amazing dance performances from talented troupe of performers while feasting on three-course French meal. Upgrade to include champagne for an even more luxurious experience!
Explore an unforgettable world at the world-famous Crazy Horse Cabaret, known for their mesmerizing burlesque acts and silhouette dancing since 1951. Treat yourself to VIP seats to witness their spectacular “Desir” revue featuring eye-catching costumes, amazing dancers, and mind-boggling lighting displays; celebrities such as Rihanna and Scarlett Johansson love coming here!
8. Get Out Into the City
As a first-time visitor to Paris, your itinerary should include top attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum. However, don’t limit yourself to these areas alone: explore neighborhoods with more authentic vibes as you discover how each arrondissement (district) has its own distinctive character that dates back centuries!
Spend an enjoyable day shopping along the Champs-Elysees, gazing out over breathtaking city vistas from Basilica of the Sacred Heart or gazing upon traffic whizzing past Arc de Triomphe’s modern counterpart, or taking in College des Bernardins – even though not a major landmark, its Gothic-vaulted college provides an intriguing example of architectural preservation, making a great stop for architecture fans!
Visiting in either spring (March to May) or fall (September to November), be sure to enjoy an amazing display of flowers and foliage in bloom, before visiting the Eiffel Tower at sunset to witness it sparkle! You can avoid long lines by purchasing tickets beforehand, or by booking a tour which also includes entrance into Louvre Museum.