“I love Paris for the million reasons that everybody loves the city. It’s an incredibly romantic and beautiful place.” – Alan Furst
You learn how to live like a Parisian when you live in Paris. But there are certain things you must learn to do, and other things you must learn not to do before you venture on your journey. All of these ‘rules’ not only apply to locals but to visitors as well. So, before traveling to Paris you should know some of the important things which are mentioned below.
So the next time you visit Paris, make sure to keep a note of these 10 things…
1. Please don’t butt out on the street
Don’t throw your cigarette on the streets if you are a smoker. Recently, a law was passed that prevents people from throwing their cigarette butts on the streets. You should throw them in the trash. If you don’t follow this law, you will have to pay a fine of 68€ on being spotted by a cop. It’s not worth buying such an expensive cigarette, is it?
2. Don’t buy anything on the streets or indulge in gambling
You’ll often find people gambling on the tourist streets, especially at the little cups game. Beware, this is a scam to steal money from you. I know it seems harmless enough and all-fun-and-games, but that is only because there are a few people working together to make you believe that it is safe, when in fact, it’s not. You will lose your money if you don’t avoid playing these games.
3. Avoid restaurants in very crowded tourist hubs
Restaurants aren’t usually the best in really touristy places. Place your trust in travel guides. They will lead you to great restaurants that lie off the beaten track. Restaurants around Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, or the Arc de Triomphe may seem like typical French restaurants to you, but you’ll have to spend a lot of money for a mediocre meal.
4. Stand right
Parisians tend to be a bit impatient and have a tendency to walk quite fast. So remember the rule that when you’re on escalators, you have to stand on your right to allow people on your left to climb them quickly.
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5. Don’t buy bread or croissants in big chain stores
The French people don’t buy their bread in big chain stores or supermarkets. Rather they buy their croissants and baguettes in local Boulangeries and patisseries. Now here’s the trick to help you find out that what you’re buying is actually made right inside the bakery from where it’s coming: The goods are made fresh inside, not frozen, only if on the front window, it says ‘artisan Boulanger’!
6. Avoid the expensive rooftops
Avoid expensive rooftops if you’re looking for a killer view of Paris, instead, try to find hidden gems such as the George Pompidou Terrace or the Printemps Terrace. You’ll get a 360 view for free in these places. Avoid climbing up the Eiffel Tower and look for better and less expensive views, such as at the top of the Arc de Triomphe. As we all want to see the Eiffel Tower in a skyline view of Paris, it’s somewhat disappointing and very touristy!
7. Before you go, learn a few words in French
Parisians are not rude, at least not all of them. They will surely appreciate when you make an effort to say just a few words in French. Just like we are expected to speak English when we go to the United States. A simple ‘merci’ or ‘Bonjour’ shows that you’re trying, and this is really appreciated!
8. Don’t go to fancy cafés
Avoid cafés which make you pay way too much for a cup of coffee. Instead, search in less touristy neighborhoods for little cafés. The coffee might be better and you’ll have to pay even less! You can pay just 1€ for your coffee if you sit by the counter in lots of cafés.
9. Walk, walk, walk
When you can, opt for walking instead of taking the subway. The amazing architecture, cute shops, and little streets will surprise you greatly. If you were simply taking the metro, you’d miss out on this fun
10.Know what you can expect in August
Know that all Parisians are gone on vacation, in case you visit this city in August. This is a perfect time and the city throws off great vibes as you feel like you have it all to yourself. But don’t get too excited, because lots of shops and restaurants are closed during this time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. It will push you to walk off the beaten track only to find a restaurant that is open and is actually really good.
There you have it, 10 things to know before venturing on a journey to Paris. Hope this list helps. Happy travels! J