Paris is a beautiful city that’s normally incredibly welcoming to tourists. Even if you had never visited before, there is a good chance that your trip will go off without a hitch. However, if you want to get the most out of your trip to Paris and avoid any negative situations, here are some useful tips:
Bring a decent pair of walking shoes
Paris is big and driving is a big no-no. You’ll find that there is no on-street parking in Paris, a lot of streets can be quite narrow and some of the best places to see are all within walking distance of each other. Even cabs can be very expensive, so ditch the wheels and pick up some comfy shoes that won’t let you down when you need to walk long distances. If the distance is especially long, simply use the Metro.
Put the diet on hold for a day
While it’s still important that we keep our health in mind, if you visit Paris you’re not going to get the full experience without tasting some of the amazing food. Sure, the salads are nice, but you won’t find anything like a real Parisian Croque Monsieur or Paris Brest anywhere else in the world. So, give yourself a treat and taste some of the best things about Paris.
If you intend on visiting the churches and religious sites it’s important that you cover up. Absolutely no shorts should be worn in the churches or cathedrals and bring a jacket to cover your shoulders and midriff if you have them exposed. While you might not necessarily be kicked out for dressing down, it is considered to be very disrespectful, so be careful.
Get an EHIC card
If you live in Europe and you’re travelling to Paris it’s a good idea to play it safe and apply for an EHIC card or look into renewing the E111 card. These cards will give you a certain amount of health insurance while you’re visiting Paris, which is always useful to have. If you haven’t got one of these cards you can apply for and receive one for free from the official EHIC website.
Secure your belongings and look out for scams
While it’s not particularly common, around certain busy tourist sites in Paris you can find some pickpockets and scammers. Be cautious around ATM machines and any people selling things near the monuments. To avoid being pickpocketed, keep your luggage secure and close to you. Don’t keep your belongings in your pockets and if you have zips on your bag keep them zipped up. You might want to even consider putting some small padlocks on pockets if you want to be extra careful.
Learn some basic French
To get the best service in shops and restaurants and to avoid some uncomfortable conversation, you should learn at least a few French phrases before you visit Paris. You should always greet the servers with “Bonjour Madame/Monsieur” when you enter an establishment and thank them when you leave. By at least trying to speak a little French as you’ll receive a much warmer welcome than you would if you were to just shout at them in English!