Paris Traveling Tips

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Paris is often referred to as the most romantic city in the world but Paris is also a dream destination for all types of travelers. With its rich history and famous tourist attractions, a trip to Paris is on most people's bucket lists.
If you are visiting Paris for a few days then you should plan your trip in advance so that you can enjoy as many experiences as possible and see all of the sights.
This article includes the most useful Paris traveling tips to help ensure that you have an amazing trip.

25 Helpful Paris Traveling Tips & Tricks

Whether you want to discover more about the city's history, explore Paris on foot to see the famous landmarks or visit as many restaurants as possible, a few days in Paris is enough to fit a lot of tourist attractions and activities in.
If you are visiting Paris for the first time, learning more about the transport system, the best time to visit and any places to avoid will help you to enjoy a fun and safe trip.
These are our best Paris travel tips:

1. The Best Time to Visit Paris Are Off-Peak Periods

If you want to avoid visiting Paris at the busiest time of year then you should plan your trip outside of the summer months. April, May, September and October are regarded as the best times to visit Paris as it is less busy but still warm.
If you want to spend time sunbathing somewhere like the Paris Plages on Seine Riverbank, the summer months are a better time to visit for the hot weather. Christmastime in Paris can be a magical experience but it gets expensive over Christmas and New Year to book accommodation.

2. Plan Your Trip for a Minimum of Four Days

There are so many different tourist attractions and exciting activities to experience in France that anything less than four days will be too short, especially for first-time visitors. The French capital has many historic buildings and cultural venues to visit, as well as amazing restaurants, bars and walking routes to fit into your trip.

3. Book Your Accommodation Early

You will usually get the best hotel and other accommodation deals when you book far in advance. Many hotels increase prices as it gets closer to the date and there are lots of events taking place in Paris that can increase hotel prices, for example, sports events, Paris Fashion Week and food festivals.

4. The Star Ratings in Europe Are Different From North America

Another good Paris travel tip is to understand the star rating system before you book a hotel. The star rating system differs around the world, and the star rating used in North America is different to the one used in France.
Most hotels in France are rated at 2, 3, 4, or 5 stars and rather than purely being an indication of quality, stars are awarded based on facilities and services and physical detail such as the hotel room size. Staying at the Ritz in Paris will cost around $2,000 per night in off-peak season and more during busy periods.

5. Use Public Transport & Save Money

Traveling by taxi can be expensive in Paris and there is a good public transport system to get around all the major attractions if you are staying in a fairly central location. The Parisian metro is usually the most convenient way to get to different areas of Paris and metro tickets are considerably cheaper than taxi fares to save money for other things.
You can get the RER train from Charles de Gaulle Airport into Paris very easily.

6. Easily Rent a Bike or a Scooter

One of the most popular ways to quickly get around Paris is by bike or scooter, which can easily be rented. Scooter companies Lime, Tier, and Dott are the three authorized scooter operators, providing around 15,000 scooters for hire.

7. Draft A Sightseeing Plan

It is a good idea to list all of the top attractions that you want to visit and then use a map to plan out the best way to travel to them. A lot of the top Paris attractions are within walking distance from each other and the Hop On Hop Off bus tour will help you to incorporate as many as possible, including Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and Arc de Triomphe.
Booking tickets online in advance will also help you to avoid spending hours queuing in a long line.

8. Use Attraction-Free Days When Creating Your Plan

An action-packed holiday can be fun but also exhausting so make sure you spend some time to simply enjoy Paris. Relax in Parisian cafes and do some people-watching, and eat dinner at a nice restaurant rather than spending your whole visit rushing from one busy tourist attraction to the next.

9. Arc de Triomphe Provides the Best View of Paris

To see the most spectacular views of Paris, the rooftop viewing deck at the Arc de Triomphe is one of the best places to go. The top of Sacre Coeur further outside of the city will also give you amazing views over the main tourist attractions and the Eiffel Tower view is also excellent.

10. Get a Paris Museum Pass

Buying a Paris Pass or a Paris Museum Pass will help you to save money instead of paying separately for each museum you visit. The Paris Museum Pass is available for 2, 4 or 6 days and can be used to enter over 50 museums and monuments in the Paris region, including the Louvre museum, where you can see the Mona Lisa. There are also some free museums around Paris.

11. Take a Seine River Cruise

A more relaxing way to see the city's landmarks and avoid busy streets is to take a Seine River cruise, which will give you great views of Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and more landmarks. In addition to the regular tourist cruises, you can book dinner cruises.

12. Explore The Covered Passages of Paris

One of the unique and charming appeals of Paris is the covered passages throughout the city, such as Passage des Panoramas, Galerie Vivienne and Passage des Prince.

13. See Inside the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera House)

To appreciate some breathtaking Parisian architecture the Palais Garnier is a must-see. Even if you are not an opera fan, you can book a visit to see the elegant decor and architectural excellence during the day.

14. Visit Better Known Flea Markets

Paris is renowned for great flea markets where you can find antique collections and vintage street markets. It is recommended that you visit the better know flea markets, as you should in any city to avoid markets selling stolen goods.

15. Avoid “Tourist Menus” and Dine Away from the Top Attractions

If you dine or drink in close proximity to the top attractions like the Eiffel Tower, you can expect to double your bill compared to walking further away from the busy tourist areas. To eat in nice restaurants without paying inflated tourist prices, book your restaurant reservations in quieter areas.

16. Indulge in the Bakeries and Patisseries

If you are visiting Paris you must try the world's best patisseries for a Pain au Chocolat or another pastry treat. There are so many great bakeries that it will be difficult to choose just a few options.

17. Buy Souvenirs Made by Local Artisans

Like most cities that are popular with tourists, there will be loads of places and stalls selling souvenirs. Most of these will be bulk manufactured in China type of souvenirs like plastic Eiffel Towers. If you want to find souvenirs that are authentic and high-quality you should find boutique artisan shops. The Latin Quarter is usually a good place for artisan shops.

18. Bring Your Student ID

If you have a student ID card you will be able to save money on accommodation, food tours, the Paris Catacombs, Park Asterix and Disneyland among other attractions so make sure you take it on your visit to Paris.

19. Bring a Universal Adapter

France uses plug type C and plug type E, so unless your appliances and phone chargers are already fitted with these plugs, you will need to bring a universal adapter.

20. Avoid Common Tourist Scams

Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of tourist scams to be aware of in Paris. Pickpockets are a common problem, you also need to be wary of people selling fake tickets and there are also fake taxi scams to trick unsuspecting tourists.

21. Explore French Cuisine

When in Paris, to enjoy the full experience you have to try French cuisine. A food tour is a great way to try different types of food but there are so many top restaurants to choose from too. Traditional dishes such as Boeuf Bourguignon, French onion soup, escargot and crepes are all worth a try.

22. Check Out Offbeat Paris Locations

While you probably want to visit popular Paris locations such as Moulin Rouge and the Eiffel Tower on your Paris trip, you should explore the offbeat gems too.
Montmarte Vineyard, La Petite Ceinture and Canal Saint-Martin are away from the busy tourist traps but are definitely worth a visit to see a different side to Paris.

23. Parisians Tend to Eat Late - Expect to Eat Later

Like many other cities in Europe, Parisians tend to eat late so restaurants generally do not open until later for evening meals. One of the best Paris tips is to eat your lunch later so you do not go hungry waiting for late dining!

24. Buy Your Alcohol From Grocery Stores Before 10 PM

You cannot buy alcohol in a supermarket after 10 pm so if you are planning on having a glass of wine in your apartment, you will need to buy your alcohol before the 10 pm cutoff time.

25. Comfortable Pair of Shoes Is a Must

If you want to see as many places as possible, you will be doing a lot of walking and you should therefore wear comfortable shoes. You can wear fancy clothes and shoes when you go out at night but in the daytime, if you want to walk around places such as the Jardin du Luxembourg and the main tourist attractions, comfy shoes are essential.

Do You Need a Visa to Visit Paris?

France is a Schengen zone member together with 26 other European countries. Members of the Schengen zone are free to enter France with only their passports. Some non-European visitors need a Schengen visa to visit France, while others do not. However, as of 2023, the latter will need an ETIAS visa waiver to enter the country.
Currently, there are 60 countries listed as requiring an ETIAS if they wish to travel to France or any of the countries in the Schengen Zone.
An ETIAS will allow you entry to any European country, and it is valid for three years as long as your passport remains valid throughout that period. To apply for an ETIAS, you need to complete the online application form. It will take you less than 15 minutes to fill it out, and you can expect a response within the hour.

Tips on Traveling to Paris: Wrapping It Up

We hope these tips for visiting Paris will be very useful when you are booking your trip. We have listed some of the best tips based on traveler experiences to keep safe and make the most of your time in the City of Light.
Make sure you plan ahead by booking a Paris Pass, tourist attractions tickets and make your restaurant reservations early to avoid missing out on the best places to dine out. The weather in Paris can be very hot in July and August so it is not ideal for sightseeing. It is quieter and generally cheaper to visit Paris in May or September.
One of the most convenient ways to travel around Paris is by using the metro, which has stations all across the city. Like many cities, Paris can be riskier at night so be careful not to have belongings like expensive bags or watches on display and be wary of different tourist scams.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.


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