Travel Tips for First Timers to Paris for a Great Vacation

Travel Tips for First Timers to Paris for a Great Vacation

Travel Tips for Paris

Travel tips for first timers to Paris will give you guidance to avoid the mistakes many travelers have made in the past. These travel tips will allow you to enjoy your time in Paris from the time you land and hopefully decrease your stress level.

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Travel Tips for Paris – Take the Metro

It’s easy and fairly reasonable price wise. They have Uber in Paris, but unless you Uber Pool, you’re looking at a minimum of 12€ to 15€ for a one way trip. That price increases during rush hour.  Tickets for Zone 1, 2, & 3 will get you to everything in the city center. The one day pass is 12€ per person. 19.50€ will get you a two day pass, and there are other options for longer stays.  These passes can be used on metros, subways and buses.  Therefore it’s a great way to see all the top attractions in the Paris city centre and feel like a local. 

Travel Tips for Paris

Purchase Tickets in Advance

Another of the best travel tips for Paris is to Purchase Tickets for Top sites in Advance and Skip the Line. The Eiffel Tower, Catacombs, and The Louvre are very popular and the lines can be extremely long. The Paris Pass option gives you access to over 60 attractions in Paris. This is a great option if you will be staying between two to six days. The Paris Pass also includes a ride on the Hop On Hop Off bus. One other neat site to see in Paris is The Pantheon. I recommend adding the roof tour to your visit because the panoramic views of the city are amazing. 

Travel Tips for Paris
Luxembourg Palace

One of the Most Important Travel Tips for Ladies!

Carry change for the Toilette – One of the things we take for granted in the states is that finding a free public bathroom is relatively easy.  This is not necessarily true in Paris or all of Europe for that matter.  I did find more free toilettes in Paris on my last visit than I have in the past. Of course it is a very good idea to have 50 cent to 1€ handy just in case. Another of the handy travel tips is to always carry some tissues with you just in case.


Be Aware – Travel Tips for Paris

Watch for Pick Pockets – It is unfortunate, but it happens. I have personally witnessed it on more than one occasion. The key is to be mindful, and keep your valuables hidden.  Over the shoulder bags are best and keep them zipped.  If you need assistance at the metro station when purchasing tickets, go to the actual ticket booth to be sure you are working with a true employee.

I actually had a gentleman try to trick me at the kiosk. My husband and I were debating which ticket to buy to get to Charles de Galle Airport. He was dressed nicely and was being helpful. While showing us how to use the kiosk, which I already knew, he flashed what looked like an employee badge. Then he told me the kiosk was broken and could not accept credit cards. Next he said he could use his badge to allow us to buy the tickets from him with cash. Red Flag for sure!

These are the times you must listen to your Spidey-scenses and walk away quickly and just buy the ticket from the counter even if you could have done it yourself.  He pleasantly and apologetically walked away because I had pegged him, but I know this would have fooled people who don’t travel often. The pick pockets are smart and come up with new scams every day, so just be careful and aware.

When in Paris, Indulge!

Travel Tips for Paris

Try anything with bread, cheese or chocolate – I don’t care if you’re on a diet, you can not visit Paris and not eat French bread of any shape or form. From sandwiches, croissants, pastries, crepes, it’s all wonderful. I even had a hot dog that was just ridiculously fantastic because it was served toasted in a French baguette. It also had Dijon mustard and cream cheese inside with another layer of cheese melted on top!  You can easily find patisseries,  creperies, and chocolate stores all of over and just looking in the window will make your mouth water. Splurging is just a must in Paris!

Enjoy a glass of wine or beer at a local cafe at Happy Hour – Around 5:30 p.m. you will see many of the cafes, restaurants and bars fill up with Parisians enjoying a cocktail with friends.  It’s a great way to just immerse yourself with the locals. They gather and laugh and just unwind from the day before going home or enjoying a meal together a little later.  I always enjoy the places I visit more when I feel connected to the people and their culture and they really don’t mind sharing the space with you.

Travel Tips for Paris

Knowing a few French Phrases is helpful when in Paris – 

Merci – thank you  and S’il vous plait – please  

Politeness goes a long way in France, especially if you don’t know the language.  If you can’t remember any other French phrases, at least remember these two.

“Parlez-vous Anglais?”, or do you speak English?- This phrase will help you immensely as many people in Paris at the hotels, restaurants, bars, attractions and metro stations speak English. The difference is that by asking this question in French instead of just speaking in English, shows you at least tried to learn some of the language prior to your visit and are not just assuming everyone speaks English. The other benefit is that if the person does not speak English, at least they will know what you are asking, and still appreciate that you tried.

Ou es les toilettes? – Yes this says just what you think, “Where is the bathroom?”, and when you are touring all over a large city like Paris, you will likely need one eventually.

Combien, s’il vous plaît? –  “How much, please”?  You will likely want to purchase souvenirs while in Paris and asking how much something cost will come in handy.  Adding please is just the right thing to do.

Bonus Tip!

Bonus Tip – Prior to leaving the US order Euros from your local bank. It normally just takes a day or two and the exchange rate is usually fair. This way you will have Euros handy the moment you arrive just in case you need them.

I hope you find these travel tips helpful for planning your visit Paris. Additionally you can find more French Phrases to help you communicate in Paris Here!

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Lisa Soots

I love to inspire people, travel, and photography. I have created this blog to inspire you to travel or allow you to travel vicariously through me. My photographs are meant to excite you to venture out to see this great, big, beautiful world. Most importantly, I want to inspire you to live your best life.

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