The city of light is truly a dazzling, wonderful, and one-of-a-kind place – ask anyone who’ve been there and they’ll tell you the exact same thing.
It’s no wonder why it’s on so many travel bucket lists. However, Paris may seem maze-like and full-on at first, with its different neighbourhoods, and the constant trendsetting. In this article, you’ll see why navigating and enjoy Paris isn’t so daunting after all.
First things first. As with any other place, remember to get insured first before flying. There are many cheap travel insurances online if you’re too busy planning your trip. This small investment will actually save you a lot of heartache and money later on when you get snagged in some travel mishap. Here we go.
Take your time. Don’t rush. Indeed, Paris has A LOT to offer first-timers. It has something for everyone and won’t let up. Museums, galleries, monuments, churches, gardens, shops, restaurants and chateaus. Whatever you’re into, there’s a place for you!
The most common pitfall first-timers find themselves in is trying to do everything all at once. Paris is best enjoyed when you’re just relaxed and not feeling like you’re in the Amazing Race. Rushing can take the fun away, especially in a city filled with places that demand more of your time and attention.\
Here’s a line-up of quick tips to remember by while on Paris:
- Using the Metro is straightforward, and you’ll find that ticket machines have an English language option. Purchase a carnet which gives you 10 tickets. This is much easier than buying a single or return each time. You should avoid travelling at rush hour (09:00-10:00 and 18:00-19:30).
- Get and read the free Metropolitan magazine available on the Eurostar to get updated for events and more ideas of what to see next. And yeah, the text is in English (awesome!).
- You’ll find the big Tourist Office is at 25 Rue des Pyramides, it is near the Opera metro station.
- Find out which local markets are available during your stay – useful when buying fresh food or souvenirs.
- Safety tips are as typical for any European city; always keep an eye on your valuables, be cautious when walking alone at night in quiet areas, and never react to tourist scams (e.g. someone will ask if you’ve dropped a ring, in the hope of distracting and stealing from you).
Key attractions to visit
- The Eiffel Tower, definitely! You can also get alternative city views at the top of Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe opens from 10am-11pm, with free entry for under 18s. Adult tickets cost €9.50. Notre Dame opens 10:30-18:30 Mon-Fri and 10:00-23:00 Sat-Sun. Tickets are at €8.50, and queues typically move quickly.
- Visit Montmartre’s famous Sacré Coeur church, which is open daily from 6am-10:30pm.
- Want to see the lovely Mona Lisa? Pre-book your Louvre tickets to cut down on queuing time. The Paris City Pass can also give you free entry here, and to many other galleries and museums.
- For a rather cheap Seine cruise, go with Paris Tourist Board, which offers a range of daytime cruises from €6pp. Bateaux Parisiens has lunchtime tours from €33pp, including a one hour tour; if you acquire a Paris City Pass you’re eligible to a one hour Bateaux Parisiens Seine cruise for free.
Of course, there’s plenty more to discover and experience! However, the tips above and some key attractions should get you started. And whatever you do, don’t forget to get a cheap travel insurance online for peace of mind while exploring the lovely streets of Paris.
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