Paris for the First Time

Andi in Paris

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Opinions are always my own and I’ll never promote something I don’t use or believe in.

Hello, let me be your Paris Tour Guide!

This blog post is 10 years in the making. I have absolutely no idea why I never did this before. Sometimes we people are just too “close” to things. I’ve written it a least a dozen times. Every time a friend or colleague was heading to Paris, they would inevitably ask me, “can you give me some tips and tricks of things to do in Paris, what to eat, what are the best Paris attractions, that should I not do.” And each time I wrote a long email or document with a stream of consciousness or data dump on my Paris knowledge and experience. This past Thanksgiving, another happy couple was heading to the City of Light, I dutifully wrote my recommendations and tips from scratch and then swore to myself I would write this post! So here goes!

Bonjour!

Bonjour!

If you remember only one thing from this blog post, this is it!

France and the French culture run by an unwritten code. It is not important for you to know all the code (trust me, married to a Frenchman and the daughter-in-law of a French mother-in-law, it can be exhausting!), but there is one SUPER IMPORTANT thing to know, remember, and use. I cannot stress it enough! For every single interaction you have with another human being in Paris (or France), the first thing that comes out of your mouth MUST be “Bonjour” – you are acknowledging that person and showing respect. So, when you enter a restaurant or store, when you order something at a bakery when you buy a ticket for a museum, metro, show, etc. When you enter the hotel, when you need to ask someone for directions or help, always, ALWAYS say Bonjour first – trust me, it will get you a lot farther with absolutely everything in Paris (and France). It may feel weird to say Bonjour to what seems like an empty store or to the security guards, but it will be noticed, heard and appreciated.

Also, it isn’t necessary to have a big smile when you say it. French people think there is something wrong with us Americans always smiling like we are “crazy” or something!

A few more Cultural Things to Note that will make Life a little Easier:

Andi Waiting in line at the Cheese Store in Paris
Me patiently waiting at my favorite cheese shop in Île de la Cité – the cheesecake is WORTH it!
  • Money does not make the world go round in France or to French people, money doesn’t impress anyone. It is a pretty taboo topic. So “throwing money around” to get better service, etc. is not going to work.
  • The French are not known for their customer service, the customer is not always right and frankly, most people don’t care about providing good service – there are a rare few who do. Don’t get aggravated, etc. if you feel you are getting poor service, it’s not you, it’s them! Getting mad will not do anything (no “speaking to the manager”, etc. just won’t fly…)
  • However, if someone, say a lady in a bakery, is getting service, they are getting all the service, meaning if she wants to sit there all day telling the baker about her daughter, you are just going to have to wait. Good news is that when you are ‘up next’ you will have all their attention.

Shopping Tips:

Andi Buying Radishes at the Bastille Farmers Market in Paris

  • You will end up with a lot of coins! I highly suggest a coin purse. Keep your coins separate from your bills, life will be easier.
  • Make sure you keep Euros on you. Smaller places may not accept cards.
  • Except for a few fancy pastry shops and boutiques, most of the shopping bags are crap, they will tear (or if they get wet the handle may stain your clothing – true story). I always bring several canvas bags with me to throw things into. Bring plastic ones too, they don’t wrap food or pastries very well so I often find myself putting them in a plastic bag and then putting them into my canvas bag.
  • If you go to a farmer’s market or shop for food someplace like Rue Montorgueil then I’ve written a whole post on the etiquette to know.

Dining Etiquette

Paris Restaurant Window

Okay before we get to the food and restaurants, there are a few things to know. Luckily, I’m writing a whole blog post on that topic as well! But here are some highlights:

  • Customization is not a thing in France so you can’t ask for something with “x removed” “a side of that” “no mayo” etc. It comes the way it comes. The only place you can customize is Starbucks.
  • The waiter will not clear away your plates until everyone is done with their course.
  • You will have to ask for the check, they will not bring it to you automatically.
    • The one place where this is different is at bar/terraces, they will usually have you settle your bill when they serve you. That doesn’t mean you have to leave, you can stay all day if you want.
  • In restaurants, bars, etc. do NOT leave a tip.

Here is what Barb had to say after she visited Paris for the first time.

Transportation in Paris

Personally, I think walking is the best way to explore Paris! Mr. Misadventures and I can clock 10-15 miles a day while we are on a trip. However, there are times you when it makes more sense to rely on other forms of transportation.

Paris Taxi

Taxis

You cannot flag down a taxi on the street. You have to go to a hotel, find a taxi stand (not always easy) or now, in the last 2 years you can order one with the G7 Taxi app (it is France’s version of Uber) and works quite well. You will see your taxi marked with G7 on it. Trust me, this is revolutionary, only a few years ago it was impossible to get a taxi! If a taxi has a green light it is available.

Metro

If you are going to use the Metro a lot (it can be very convenient) by your tickets in a carnet (pronounced car-nay) of 10 tickets, it is more economical. When going through with your ticket, keep it in a safe place. Metro police sometimes do random checks with a reader and in some stations, you need the ticket a second time to get through the entrance. Once you exit, throw away your ticket so you don’t combine it with other tickets. One ticket is one ride. The Paris Metro map is available as a phone app. Also, here is a great post on getting around Paris by metro.

Batobus

The Batobus is a water bus that does a loop on the Seine River – stopping at 8 spots – 3 on the side of the river (with the Louvre) and 5 other stops on the other side of the river (with the Eiffel Tower) – all the most visited spots. The Batobus is cheaper than the other “bateaux mouches” riverboats. On the Batobus, you can hop on and hop off for 24 hours. We used to buy a 3-day pass, but then we bought an annual pass because it was (a) and easy way to get around and (b) a nice 45-minute ride when your feet hurt and you just want to relax but still see some sites. During bad or rainy weather it is a nice break as it is covered.

Food in Paris

Paris-Rue Poncelet-Market-Rotisserie Chicken

Food is going to feel expensive. It is not all the price of the actual food, but what really gets you is the VAT (taxes) on your meal. Be prepared for that. It is for that reason, we “usually” limit ourselves to one restaurant a day. Try to get a hotel room that includes breakfast and eat there as often as you can. We usually eat our “big meal” at lunch – a lot of the restaurants have the same amazing menu for lunch that they do for dinner, only cheaper. Particularly the Michelin-starred ones. One of the best meals of my life was at the Le Grand Vefour located in the Palais Royale. Wow! What a meal, and at lunchtime, it was a steal! Most restaurants open for dinner between 7 and 8 pm – that may be late for you (it usually is for us) – you can always eat at a brasserie which basically serves food non-stop, there are some really famous ones throughout the city, but also regular local ones as well.

I have a friend who has a great food website – you can look up restaurants by arrondissement, type of food, how expensive and what days they are open/closed. It is called Paris by Mouth. Meg also offers food tours. I’ve done one or two and they are good. More on tours later. I have lots of friends that live in Paris and some of them I have interviewed about their neighborhoods, you might want to check them out for their food recommendations. One of my very good friends, Lindsey Tramuta, wrote a book called The New Paris if you want something to read on the plane, get it! She has a great guide on her blog. She lives in Paris and it is her job (she is working on her second book) to keep up on the latest and greatest in food.

One of my favorite foodie spots in Paris is a place called the Grande Epicerie. Basically a food department store, you can shop, eat inside at various spots, nibble and indulge! The Galeries Lafayette in the Opera also has its own version of the Grande Epicerie across the street from their main store, but I prefer the Grande Epicerie. It just all depends on where your hotel is and what your plans for the day are.

If you are traveling to Paris in the autumn, don’t miss these seasonal favorites.

Breakfast

French Breakfast

Parisian people and restaurants are not early risers. I am. You are going to get the earliest breakfast in a hotel. After that, you will have to wait until 8:00 for places like Le Pain Quotidien (decent breakfast) or more likely 9:00 at other restaurants. You probably won’t be jonesing for an American or British style breakfast, but if you do, there is NO better place than Holybelly. I’ve only been to the one at 5 Rue Lucien Sampaix – everything is to die for – you must show up before 9:00 – there will be a line!

Here is a little more on breakfast in France.

Coffee

Paris Coffee

As a general rule of thumb, the coffee in France is not great. Traditionally, they use Arabica coffee which is pretty bitter. In bars/terraces the best you can hope for is Café Richard (which has a monopoly) or maybe Illy. But there are newer American style coffee shops that have better coffees and smaller independent roasters like Belleville which are doing great coffee. If you end up having breakfast at Holybelly definitely have their coffee!

More on ordering coffee in Paris.

Lunch

As I mentioned, usually my biggest meal in Paris. I shared the Grand Vefour, but I have a few other favorites too – Comme Chez Maman; Astier; Pied au Cochon; a fantastic falafel/gyro long lines though – L’as du Falafel; and Breizh Café (amazing crepes).

Dinner at La Perouse Paris

Dinner

We usually “picnic” meaning we get a good baguette, cheese, meats, pâté, etc and chill with a bottle of wine. Of course, any of the places I mentioned above are great for dinner too! With one addition, Le Souffle, a restaurant that serves soufflés in 3 courses a starter, a main and a dessert – delicious! And kind of unique. If you want to eat a super traditional French meal in a very historical environment, check out Le Procope.

Dessert

Paris-Pastries

Angelina’s is super touristy, but 100% worth it! There are wonderful pastry shops on Rue Montorgueil. Ice cream – it is worth the line to eat the best ice cream in Paris at Berthillon on Ile-Ste-Louis (behind Notre Dame) they were closed for an annual vacation when I was there in October and I was devastated! Best gelato in town – Pozzetto (no website: 39 Rue du Roi de Sicile in the 4th). There are pastry shops galore, some specializing in one thing: eclairs, choux, macaron etc. I have a new favorite too, not French but Russian in the Opera district, Café Pouchkine and their banana Médovic.

Things to do in Paris (or NOT to do)

You should note the following activities, just like this entire post, are based on MY opinion. Everyone experience life through a different lens, which makes the world so interesting! At this point in time, I just love wandering around and absorbing the city. But I get you might have a list of spots you want to check off your list. So here is what I have to say about some of the most popular Paris attractions. You should also note that you can use a Paris Pass to skip lines with Fast Track Entry or get your individual tickets ahead of time at a lot of these places.

Eiffel Tower

Paris Troquedero Eiffel Tower

I’m just going to say it. I know it is on everyone’s bucket list when they visit, but honestly IN MY OPINION ONLY, it isn’t worth it. At least visiting the actual tower. Remember when you are standing on it, you are actually not seeing it and there are better places for views of Paris. At the moment with terrorist threats and construction, 3 sides are fenced off, which pushes a whole hell of a lot of people into one flow. Add to that the pickpockets and street vendors, it is just a nightmare. It has been so smoggy lately in Paris the view isn’t that great either. But if you still want to go, just have your wits about you and be careful. Also, when you are done, get the heck out of the area and go somewhere else. Also, if you are going to visit consider a meal at 58 Tour Eiffel which will get you access to the second level.

If you still want to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower, buy your ticket ahead of time!

There is a great view from the Batobus. Also, it is beautiful at sunrise (which isn’t too early this time of year) at the Trocadero – I have been a few times and it is usually only about a dozen people

Orsay Museum

Paris Orsay Clock

I much prefer this museum to the Louvre, but do both. The Orsay is in an old train station and is absolutely beautiful – great photo spots and a nice café. Buy a ticket ahead of time and skip the line, fantastic store inside as well. I’ve also done an amazing tour in the museum with Context Travel.

Louvre & Tuileries Garden

Andi in the Tuileries Garden

If you do visit the Louvre, skip the Mona Lisa – seriously, it isn’t worth it and you should visit the other sections, it is quite beautiful. Buy your ticket ahead of time. Do not buy from someone walking up to you – if you cross the street towards the Hotel Regina from the Westin and continue on the Rue du Rivoli, you’ll come to a shopping mall called the Carousel de Louvre, you can buy tickets at machines in there. If you really want to do something out of the ordinary try a treasure hunt, my friend Daisy set them up and it is a lot of fun! Also, pro tip: the museum is open until 10:00 pm on Wednesday or Friday evenings. Most people leave at 6:00 on those days because they think is going to close. And do note, the Louvre is CLOSED on Tuesdays!

I highly recommend you spend some time in the Tuileries Garden next to the Louvre, it is quite beautiful and there is always something going on there!

Champs-Élysées & Arc de Triomphe

Arc de triomphe Paris

I usually avoid this area, I am not a shopper. If you are into the French luxury brands, definitely visit their flagship stores, but most of the merchandise is available in retail stores around the world. If you do visit this area, take time to get a picture of the Arc de Triomphe. Don’t forget the underground passageway it is the only way to get to the entrance. You can use your Paris Pass for free entry to the viewing platform on top.

Boulevard Haussmann

Paris Rooftop

The is the main shopping district (yes, there is the Champs-Élysées, but…) located in the Opera district with large beautiful department stores – Printemps and Galeries Lafayette – you will find a large variety of products at decent prices (they have sales unlike a lot of other stores – sales are regulated by the French government and only really happen twice a year – February and July) plus gorgeous architecture. They both have rooftop terraces that you visit for nice views of Paris and they have little restaurants as well. I am addicted to scarves and usually buy all mine at the Galeries Lafayette!

Opera

Inside Opera Garnier Paris

Also in the Opera, is well, the Opera building! It’s gorgeous you can visit guided or unguided and I enjoy when I go – their museum store is very good too and I always seem to pick up something unique there.

Sacré-Cœur

Paris-Montmartre Sacre Couer

I would pass it unless you really, really want to visit Montmartre. It is a beautiful, historic neighborhood. Just don’t go in the morning – youngsters, immigrants, and petty criminals drink there during the night and there is glass everywhere in the morning until the cleaning crew comes. With the smog these days it is not a great sunrise, not sure of the sunset. If you do go for sunset, watch out for pickpockets. If you want to do Montmartre you may want to do a guided tour or just wander around, but don’t go before 9/10 nothing is open!

Panthéon

View of Paris from the Pantheon

TOTALLY under-the-radar 360-degree view of the Paris skyline. Seriously, I have been there twice and done the tower tour with less than 10 people in each group! Get there before 10 (sometimes there are tours, but they don’t go to the tower so don’t worry, you just want to get ahead of them before the opening). When you go inside to buy your ticket make sure it has the tower tour as well, the first tour leaves about 10 minutes after they open – perfect for you. Once you get to the top you will be able to go around the entire circular rooftop with great views. Once you go back down, the rest of the Panthéon is nice to visit.

Day Trips from Paris

Versailles

Versailles outside of Paris

Versailles is a nice day trip. Give yourself the entire day. Once you tour the chateau you’ll want to visit the grounds (my favorite part, I usually skip the chateau!) there are gardens, Marie Antoinette’s farm and just lots and lots of places to walk and relax. We also rented bikes one time and loved it. You can do a tour, but the cheapest and easiest way to get to Versailles is by train using the regional RER, using the C line. Here is a pretty good how-to post on getting to Versailles.

Giverny

Giverny-Red Flowers near the pond

I also recommend Giverny as a day trip. It is an easy train ride from Paris to Monet’s home and it is a great place to visit and the town around his house is fun to wander through. I’ve been there on a tour with Context Travel and on my own at different seasons, it is always beautiful!

Tours

As I mentioned, Paris-by-Mouth does fun food-related tours. I have also done a TON of Context Travel tours, not only in Paris but London, Kyoto, Rome, Florence, it is a great company and they have great, small, curated tours. I loved The Bobo Palate tour and Baguette to Bistro. I’ve also had fun doing a cooking class at La Cuisine Paris, it is owned by an American and they do classes in English – baguette, macaron – lots of fun!

What to Wear

I am going to be adding to this section, but in the meantime, I have 5 Things I Packed for Paris – springtime edition! Here are some tried and true Paris packing tips:

  • Layers, always layers, the weather can shift dramatically and having layers allows you to dress as cool or as warmly as need be. Also, you can go from a daytime look to nighttime very quickly!
  • Pack in 2 to 3 colors makes mixing and matching easier.
  • No shorts or flip flops, the French aren’t big fans, unless you are doing “le fitness”!!
  • Comfortable shoes for all the walking.

The Ugly Stuff

Pickpocketers in Paris

No one likes to think about crime. The recommendation I have is the same I would tell to anyone going to any big city, including San Francisco. In the most touristy areas of Paris, there are bands of pickpockets. Generally, they are young women from Eastern Europe (gypsies) not trying to be racists, it is just the facts. They are at Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Tuileries Garden (the part closest to the glass pyramid by the Louvre); Sacre Couer, Ponts-des-Arts (pedestrian bridge where they used to put the love locks); Champs-Élysées (although less so as the luxury security guards try to keep them away).

They will approach with papers or clipboards in their hand, usually more than one at a time and bug you, confuse you, etc. They will also bend down in front of you and pick up a ring or gold jewelry and ask if it is yours. They can be quite aggressive. The best way to keep them at bay is to look them in the eye as they walk towards you and very firmly say “NO!” or if you want to sound French: DE GAGE!” (deh-gahge) which is basically “fuck off.” Do the same with the people selling you metal Eiffel Towers or keychains. They won’t try to pickpocket you, but they can be aggressive.

I do not recommend a backpack for Paris.

The Metro is safe, just be aware of your surroundings and your bags. Do not make eye contact with anyone and know where you are going ahead of time!

A Few Last Notes:

Andi Resting on Paris Bench

Well, that’s it, my guide for Paris first-timers in a nutshell! I am sure there is plenty I am missing, but I think it is a good start! If you are visiting Paris for the first time please do let me know, I’d love to hear how your trip goes!

How about you? Do you think these tips are helpful? Do you have any to add? Do share!

Like it? PIN it!

Paris for the First Time Paris for the First Time Paris for the First Time Paris for the First Time
Paris for the First Time Paris for the First Time Paris for the First Time Paris for the First Time

46 Comments

  1. Brianne Tursi Manz
    January 31, 2019

    The City of Love….I would love to go there someday. Such a beautiful city, and so many sites to see!

    Reply
  2. Ashley
    January 31, 2019

    Oooo Paris is on my bucket list for travel. The food, the art, the archeology, I want to see and do it all.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 3, 2019

      @Ashley, I hope if you get there, my guide will help!

      Reply
  3. Christy Peeples DuBois
    February 1, 2019

    I love to enjoy these places through your eyes since I haven’t been yet. I’ve been so behind trying to eliminate a lot of my huge daily incoming emails in order to be able to sit and read such good entertaining in every way posts such as yours that I’ve missed so many. I stopped to read this one and so glad I did.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 3, 2019

      @Christy, I am so glad to hear that I was worthy of your inbox – merci – thank you very much!

      Reply
  4. Melissa Dixon
    February 1, 2019

    Wow it looks like a wonderful place to visit. I love the photos, I bet even I could take some good shots there. It seems that there is a lot to see!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 3, 2019

      @Melissa, there definitely is, which is why people get so overwhelmed!

      Reply
  5. Denise C
    February 1, 2019

    I’ve only been to Paris once, but I’d love to go back. I’m probably going to have to wait a few more years until the kids are older.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 3, 2019

      @Denise, did you think the guide covered what you needed to know when you went? Would you add or remove anything?

      Reply
  6. joy abou zeid
    February 2, 2019

    Beautiful post! I miss Paris a lot, and I really want to go back! I also agree with most of the things you mentioned as a person who was born in Paris and who visited it many times!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 3, 2019

      @Joy, merci! So glad you agree! Anything you would add/change?

      Reply
  7. Marina
    February 2, 2019

    Super stunning pics! I love Paris but not les parisiennes x

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 3, 2019

      @Marina, you get used to them after awhile 😉

      Reply
  8. Amanda Martin
    February 2, 2019

    PERFECT timing. My mom and I are going to Paris in April (first time for her, second time for me). This is such great information. I totally agree about the Paris coffee, lol. Will be looking into Batobus and all of your other recommendations! Pinning this and sending to my mom right now!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 3, 2019

      @Amanda, oh good! I hope this info helps! I would absolutely LOVE to have you guest post about your trip!

      Reply
  9. Christa
    February 2, 2019

    I love Paris! This is such a wonderfully comprehensive post. Perfect for the first timer or even someone who has visited before.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 3, 2019

      @Christa, merci! Have you been to Paris?

      Reply
  10. Kelsey
    February 4, 2019

    Paris is on my bucket list!

    Reply
  11. Brianna Simmons
    February 4, 2019

    It’s been nearly 20 years since I’ve been to Paris (I can’t believe it!) and I’m long overdue for a return trip. Your tips are super handy and I appreciate that you don’t gloss over the safety concerns.

    Reply
  12. Sam | Away She Went
    February 6, 2019

    I wish I would have had this when we went to Paris a few years ago! We had an amazing trip, but this would have saved me so much time planning. We took a day trip to Versailles one day and arrived right when they opened. We had the courtyard and chateau to ourselves for a little while and it was SO nice. We saw the lines and craziness when we left in the afternoon and we’re so glad we got an early start.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 6, 2019

      @Sam, the early bird definitely always gets the worm in Paris!

      Reply
  13. Janiel Green
    February 6, 2019

    This was a particularly exceptional article Andi, even shared it on Facebook. I love how you point out the little things that only a true Parisian would know like the restaurants, and what behaviors the culture responds well to and which they do not. Really enjoyed that you shared all of the best spots to go for pictures, and which spots you felt weren’t worth it. I felt the same way about the Eiffel tower as you did….there are other places to get the best views of the city than at the top of the tower.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 6, 2019

      @Janiel, I am so glad you enjoyed it! Any other tips that you would add or change?

      Reply
  14. Eileen
    February 6, 2019

    Fantastic guide!! I wish I had this when I’ve gone to Paris before, because if I’m honest I’ve been less than impressed. I liked the cultural tips too. I have noticed I wait in line foreeeever, because people love to chat locally! Great insight, thanks Andi.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 7, 2019

      @Eileen, it is so strange, because except for the super high-end luxury, customer service is not their forte, yet they will let a customer take forever, even when there is a long line!

      Reply
  15. Barb
    February 7, 2019

    What a great Paris guide! This post makes me want to go back to Paris! Such a great city and so much to do! And EAT! 🙂 So bummed we didn’t get to try Holybelly when we were there. Next time!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 7, 2019

      @Barb, I’m so glad everything went so beautifully for you on your first trip, I definitely enjoyed following your adventures on Instagram and have loved our post-trip posts!

      Reply
  16. Sarah
    February 8, 2019

    Ooh love this Andi! And I know exactly what you mean by feeling to ‘close’ to a place to really write about it. That’s how I felt about London before I finally wrote my London guide after writing separate emails to about a dozen friends planning visits there. And I still haven’t written about southwest, Devon, and Cornwall where I lived as … I don’t know, it’s just difficult when you’ve lived in or traveled to a place so many times! As strange as that sounds!
    Anyway, I will definitely be coming back to your Paris guide before the next time I visit. I appreciate what you’ve said about the ugly side too. I wasn’t pickpocketed myself but every time I’ve visited someone traveling with me has been pick pocketed! I swear I’m a bit paranoid now when I travel with a backpack, I always loop it over one shoulder and carry it in front of me. Paris made me that way!!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 12, 2019

      @Sarah, the pickpocketing is a bummer you really have to be on guard and aggressive in these areas! But it really is only in the super touristy areas, so once you get through those, you really can relax and enjoy!

      Reply
  17. Jenna
    February 8, 2019

    What a comprehensive guide! I haven’t been to Paris in a very long time but hope to go with my kids in the next few years. Noah loves museums, so it’s a must for him at some point. Thanks for sharing your tips!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 12, 2019

      @Jenna, oh so many good museums in Paris. I try to go to a new one every time we visit!

      Reply
  18. Jenn and Ed Coleman
    February 8, 2019

    I love the photography here. Stunning, even in a highly photographed genre. We were just in Mexico and learned about taxi stands. In all the movies everybody just flags them down on the street. I guess it doesn’t always work like that in the real world. I love how balanced and informed you wrote about Paris too and I can’t agree with you more about saving some for the next trip. In fact Paris and London remain pretty much the same but you realize changes about yourself on each return visit.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 12, 2019

      @Jenn/Ed, it is absolutely true that for the most part, Paris doesn’t change, you just gain more experience on each go round!

      Reply
  19. Heather
    February 19, 2019

    Having been to Paris twice, I can definitely say these tips are SUPER helpful. I thankfully haven’t been approached by the pickpockets, but I’ve seen them. True, they won’t bring the bill unless you ask…it’s definitely about taking your time and enjoying your meal. I have custom ordered though (add this or nix that) and they obliged. I am dying over that view from the Pantheon. I somehow managed to miss that!

    Reply
  20. Juliann Jones
    February 20, 2019

    Great tips! I’ve been to Paris several times and would have loved to have this from the start. I agree with you: walking and taking the Metro are the best ways to see the city.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 20, 2019

      @Julianne, I am glad that my tips resonated with you, even though you are a veteran!

      Reply
  21. Leigh
    February 27, 2019

    I don’t know why, but I always struggle asking for the check. It feels rude somehow, but I know if I don’t ask, I’ll sit there all day. (Which also pretty much happens every time I go abroad, until I remember how it works!)

    Great tip on having a separate coin purse!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 1, 2019

      @Leigh, I hear you and you will sit all day 😉 I’ve done it too!

      Reply
  22. […] spots in Paris?” my response is simply: everywhere. But I know that when organizing your first trip to Paris or maximizing your second or third, it’s always good if someone who has been there before […]

    Reply
  23. Kelly
    September 10, 2019

    I haven’t been to Paris yet so this post was extremely informative. I wouldn’t have thought to buy tickets ahead of time. It was good to read about not going to the top of the Eiffel tower. Of course I’d have to see it but that’s it. I’m not a shopper or into big touristy things. I’d likely spend my time exploring the small towns. Great post!

    Reply
  24. Michelle
    September 11, 2019

    I absolutely love this post! These are all such great tips and things that we need to know and realize. I was so embarrassed by the behavior of some of our fellow Americans during our time in France. While my husband and I try to observe and fit into the culture around us, this couple did the exact opposite. Afterward, they were complaining to us about how rude the French people were. I informed them that we have had the exact opposite experience because we try to fit into the culture, not for our culture upon them.

    Reply
  25. Lerato
    September 12, 2019

    Perfect timing! I’m going to Paris for the first time in December 2019, I made notes of tips from your post, it was really informative. Thank you

    Reply
  26. Aga
    September 12, 2019

    This post brings me back to my first and only trip to Paris a few years ago. I loved it, but also remember being taken aback by all the scammers there. Especially those bracelet guys at Sacre Couer. They weren’t just annoying, but flat out aggressive in their approach. I was glad I read about it before my trip, so I knew how to act.

    Reply
  27. Michele Duncan
    September 12, 2019

    Paris has never been on my bucket list, but I may be reconsidering after reading your blog. I think you gave some really great tips on the pick pocketing. My son studied abroad in Spain last year and learned to get a lanyard to wear around your neck that holds your cell phone, money, etc. He said it’s a lot harder for them to get something over your head than it is out of your pocket. I also love how you spoke about the culture. As a host mom to several foreign exchange students, I always loved learning about the differences between their culture and the American culture. It was a great way for me to expand my awareness and understanding of others.

    Reply
  28. Jenn | By Land and Sea
    September 13, 2019

    I totally agree with your opening sentences – sometimes some things are just too close to blog about for awhile. I too recall my first trip to Paris. It is such a magical city! Your post offers some great advice and info. So glad you had an enjoyable time!

    Reply
  29. Jen
    September 16, 2019

    This really is such a great post. I love that you have all those little bits of information that people need to make themselves feel more acclimated to the culture rather than standing out–setting expectations is so wonderful. Also, I feel there’s no way I can travel to Paris without stopping at HolyBelly!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top
shares