Paris is a city full of life, in my opinion the best time to be in paris is during the spring. During the months of April is when it is not too hot or too cold and there is a very less chance for it to get rainy during this month as compared to the rest of the year. There is never a dull moment here, even if you travel here time and again, you’d never think that you have seen it all. There will be something that has been undone or missed for sure.
Here are a couple of tips that I would like you to consider before you decide to plan your paris trip:
- Never consider exploring paris over the weekend or just for a short duration, be it your first or second time visit. There are many things you can do there apart from the normal touristy experiences. Here are some places you could cover as a part of day trips: Vaux le Vicomte & Fontainebleau Castles (a great alternative to crowded Versailles), Loire Valley Castles, Mont St-Michel, Giverny, Auvers Sur Oise and many more.
- Always be prepared for rocky weather- carry a jacket, umbrella and rain boots no matter what. The weather can never be predictable there. Also, never dress to impress there, french folks there don’t notice or emphasis on wearing fancy clothes. Just be you and be comfortable with what you wear and stroll around the streets as you please.
- The currency used in Paris is euros- the best conversion of your currency is to take money out at an ATM if you have a card that does not charge international fees, even though people do exchange in the airport but it’s costlier. I would recommend keeping a little amount of cash in hand for emergencies.
- Look beyond the eye of a tourist: Lot of people are under the spell that the Louvre museum is the best museum to visit while in Paris, while if you explore Paris further you’d know there are a lot of museums that are better and underrated here. Few of them are Centre Pompidou,Musée Rodin, Musée de la Magie, Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine, Château d’Auvers-sur-Oise.
- No matter where you go or how your day looks, always purchase skip the line tickets to attractions or get yourself a Paris pass or plan and get a navigo card depending upon how many attractions you intend to cover. The paris pass gives you access to over 60 plus museums plus gives you access to all forms of public transport starting from 2 days – 6 days. A navigo card is a travel card that comes at 2 euros – which can be used for public transportation, you can add tickets as and when you purchase them.
- If your stay is limited to a week, i would recommend buying a carnet which is a pack of 10 tickets, whereas for a stay longer than a week’s time I would recommend the navigo card.
- That being said, one knows the best way to explore paris is by train as the connectivity is very vast. But do keep in mind that paris is known for its strikes which restricts the frequencies of trains- so do check up the paris train site online beforehand to plan your schedule.
- Take travel insurance seriously, never travel without one. Places like south-east asia are cheap whereas europe isn’t cheap at all. Travel insurance will refund your medical costs and will get you home for free if you injure yourself while you’re on the trip.
- The Catacombs are underground ossuaries, which hold remains of more than 6 million people in a tunnel that consolidates Paris’ ancient stone quarries- this visit is far away from being off the tourist track. But unfortunately the lines are always long and this is a great tour to do if you are a history buff.
- If you are visiting paris in the month of august and if you’re opting for a mixture of local and tourist experience i am not sure it would be the right time as the parisians tend to take a month off during the summer- by this i mean the business and a couple of restaurants will be shut whereas the attractions will be wide open and very crowded only with tourists.
- Paris can look expensive, a lot of people tend to think Paris is not pocket friendly at all. But when we actually look at stats, Paris is cheaper than Amsterdam or london. Uber in Paris is definitely affordable. Just don’t try to take it to the airport as it would cost you 5 times as much the RER.
- Lot of romantic comedies make it look like Paris is only for lovers, while in reality that’s not the case. Even if you were to travel solo or with your friends it would have a lot more to explore and to keep you occupied.
- Parasians tend to have late dinner around 8:00-9:30, due to which most restaurants remain shut until 7:30. If you are looking for typical Parisian ambience, Polidor Restaurant would be a historic place to have your meal at.
- Choose a very good central accommodation to stay as paris has 20 neighborhoods or arrondissements and everything is being referred to 12th, 18th, etc. Do your bit of research before booking and figure out how long it will take to reach the pick up points of the paris tours that you have booked.
- A visit to the Eiffel tower is not mandatory, even though it’s one of the top tourist attractions at paris – it may underwhelm you in terms of the views. I’d recommend a visit here if you planned for a pre booked dinner on top of the eiffel tower, else the rooftop of the Arc de Triomphe, at the end of the Champs Elysees gives you way better views of the city.
- Be very careful with travel scams and pick-pockets everywhere you go in Paris, it is very common in the city no matter what time of the day it is. Do keep a close eye on your belongings and carry things in the safest possible way.
- While you also tend to pre-book a Paris tour package, make sure you have time to do things on your own as well, never plan your schedule tightly as it never lets you take joy in the little things or take a break here and there whilst all the monotonous chores you do in the day.
- Free wifi is surprisingly very very common in bars, restaurants and cafes.
- Authentic french food is most likely to be sold at very reasonable prices. Although very common, Head over to the Bouillon Chartier in the 9th arrondissement of the city. If you want a more intimate atmosphere, consider going to Le Bistrot d’Henri in the 6th arrondissement of the city.
- While you’re there, learn some french and don’t forget to be kind to the locals as they are very very warm and friendly.
Well, that’s about it. Excited to visit Paris and explore its beauty? Book your Paris tour packages with Pickyourtrail and have a fantastic experience. Au Revoir 🙂