… Approach you and ask you to sign for a bunch of supposed petitions or causes, in order to distract you and steal valuable objects.
… have menus! Even if it is not written in the catalogue, ask for it…It usually costs around 13 to 18€.
…Arriving 10 minutes before the performance will do just fine. You won’t have to wait in line, as most of the people will already be inside.
… in August! The city under-functions, as everyone is on vacation.
… Is free on the first Sunday of every month.
Like any other large city, Paris hides quite a lot of dangers and traps. However, Tips for Paris will make your travel life easier. It is best to know everything before you arrive, such as how to move around, when do restaurants close, as well as the tourist traps/mishaps!
- Do not visit Paris in August! The city under-functions, as everyone is on vacation.
- Keep your valuables locked in the hotel. Carry only as much cash as you need.
- The best period to visit the city is April to June and September to November. The weather is nice and tourist rates are lower (as well as prices).
- In order to take the best photographs, go out before sunrise, so that the streets and tourist attractions are empty.
- There are only a few public restrooms, so use the ones in every sight or store.
- During the summer, in a lot of parks like the Luxembourg Gardens, the Florale Park and others, free concerts are held.
- There are 260 spots in the city that offer free wifi access. These are mainly public parks, public squares and public buildings/libraries.
- There are 200 drinking fountains with free water in the city.
- Christmas is a wonderful season to visit the city, as there are Christmas markets in Montmartre, Champs-Elysées and elsewhere.
- Always carry an umbrella. Paris is in Central Europe, which means that even on sunny days, rain is always lurking.
- Do not be surprised if you meet someone of the opposite gender in the public restrooms. They are unisex.
- Book your tickets online and not directly from the airport; that way you can save 2€.
- The best and fastest way to move through the city is by the public means of transport. You can obtain a Paris Visit card from the Office de Tourism, which you can use for all public transport services and you can prepay it for one, two, three or even five days, according to your needs. Book your card online for a more efficient service. Notice! You must keep it away from keys, coins or cell phones, as it can be easily demagnetized.
- Ticket collectors conduct frequent checks. They usually stand in entrances and exits and not inside the carriages, so don’t ever throw away your ticket before exiting the subway.
- Avoid sitting in the folding chairs of the subway during rush hour, as the Parisians might get annoyed.
- In case you decide to rent a car, you should be really careful with parking. You will not find a place inside Paris where you can park for free, so renting a car is a pretty expensive choice. Guarded underground or overground facilities for parking are also pricey.
- You can find free parking space outside the ring, in Bois de Boulogne.
- Keep in mind that most toll booths accept only card payments, though there are a few that accept cash.
- Gas stations are self-service and you pay at the register.
- Use of a GPS or a map may appear useful for safe orientation.
- Be very careful when it comes to parking, because your car may get tolled at any hour.
- In order to avoid waiting in lines and save your precious time, book your tickets online for as many sights as you can.
- Unfortunately, there is no way you can avoid the long wait at Notre Dame. (Nor for its towers.)
- Entry in all of the museums is free on the first Sunday of every month.
- Many of Paris’ museums are open until late in the evening (21:30 or later). Those hours are great for museum visits, as they are less crowded and you can make better use of your time during daytime.
- European Union citizens aged 18-25 are granted free entry in plenty of sights.
- Get informed about the festivals of each season. For example, the wine festival in Montmartre is being held in October.
- You might find that your photos look better when taken from spots that are less crowded. For example, to snap a picture of the Arc de Triomphe, it is best to do it from the opposite side and to the left, instead of right in front of it. Also, pose with the Notre Dame on the background from the Petit Pont – Cardinal Lustiger.
- For anyone who has booked their tickers online, you can obtain them from a booth that is placed in the corner of Place du Palais-Royal and rue Saint-Honoré. Check Here
- If you dislike long waiting lines (we know we do!), you might be delighted to know that there is a second entrance to the museum, located inside the Carrousel de Louvre mall.
- Cool Tip: Get your tickets from the automatic ticket machines to gain some time. They provide all the ticket options.
- Extra tip: One of you can wait in line and the other one can get the tickets, so that you save some extra time. (If you have the Pass Paris Card, you don’t need to get tickets.)
- Portrait trick at Place du Tertre: They begin drawing your portrait or sketch without your consent and then become very persistent to finish it and of course…be paid a generous sum. They depend on the fact that you will not deny it, as they have already started!
Arc de Triomphe
- To get to the Arc, don’t even think about crossing the road, because it is a highway. There is an underground passage in Champs-Elysées, that gets you right through.
- A hidden treasure for the eyes, a trip to the top of the Arc is guaranteed to offer you the most magnificent view of the city! The Arc is only one of Paris’ sights with a 360° view (all of which are perfect for taking panoramic pictures!), but this one has the added benefit of being less busy and crowded.
- Sos: Don’t stress over getting there early; arriving 10 minutes before the performance will do just fine. You won’t have to wait in line, as most of the people will already be inside. Well, joke’s on them!
- Book your tickets online if you want to find seats. Unless, of course, you have 1200€ or so lying around, like a big-spender gentleman from China who had the cash and granted himself the best seat in the cabaret.
- Avoid night walks around Pigalle, as it is an ill-reputed area.
- Taking the cruise on the first day of your visit will give you the chance to get to know the sights and if you are a romantic soul, do it at night so you can gaze at the city full of glowing lights.
- Avoid a walk on its banks late at night, as a lot of drunken and strange people wander around.
- When it comes to Eiffel Tower key-chains and other souvenirs, you should avoid buying them from the merchants near the city’s sights, as they might sell them for double or triple of their actual price. The smart choice would be buying souvenirs from the tourist shops.
- Bottled water costs 3-4€ in tourist shops, pastry shops and bakeries, but you can buy it from supermarkets or minimarkets for 25-50 cents!
- Avoid using expensive electronic devices in public places. Groups of 2+ individuals are gunning for such targets and do not give up on their victim, until they get their loot!
- If you would like to seal your love on one of Paris’ “love lock” bridges, bring your own lock from home, unless you are willing to pay up to 7€ for a little lock (although the price can be haggled over).
- Do not accept help from strangers without having asked for it! People in groups of two or individuals approach tired and vulnerable tourists in order to help them, while at the same time stealing some valuable items.
- A lot of beggars, mainly in tourist spots, try to win your sympathy and pity by carrying some poor pet with them. Do not fall for it..
- Roma people may approach you and ask you to sign for a bunch of supposed petitions or causes, in order to distract you and steal valuable objects.
- Keep your bags close and your eyes open for pickpockets in busy places, as well as the means of public transport.
- The ring trick: Someone approaches you and shows you a ring that they supposedly think you dropped and then they tell you to accept it as a gift but in the end, they ask for money. You should watch out for your valuables because they are professionally deft-handed.
- Remember that most restaurants in Paris require that you have made reservations. Even if there are tables that seem available, you won’t get one unless it is reserved under your name.
- Restaurants are bound by law to have menus! Even if it is not written in the catalogue, ask for it…It usually costs around 13 to 18€.
- Many restaurants and night clubs follow a certain dress code, so mind your appearance. Paris is one of the world’s fashion capitals, after all!
- When dining in restaurants, do not hesitate to ask for the daily specials. The choices are many and the dishes delicious and affordable.
- Set off your day with fresh and yummy baked goods from Paris’ many bakeries.
- Lots of cafés and restaurants have Happy Hours with prices reduced up to 70%. They start at 4-5 pm until 9 pm.
- Visit the Angelina café during lunch or dinner time. This way, you will not have to wait in line for long.
- Supermarkets offer you good and inexpensive food options.
- You can get souvenirs from tourist shops in Rue de Rivoli (Hôtel de Ville), in Montmartre (where the prices are lower) and in Boulevard de Clichy.
- Use debit cards, it is safer than carrying cash.