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Everything You Should Know Before Going to Paris!

City Guide September 29, 2023
Nannybag - Everything You Should Know Before Going to Paris!

 

As you plan your trip, a bit of transport knowledge is essential to make the most of your days in Paris. So whether you're taking a day trip or staying in paris for longer, let’s start with the most important thing - getting around! Paris's public transport is good, meaning the city and its suburbs are well connected.

You must buy tickets at metro, train, or tram stations, which allow you to travel on all public transport, or buy and top up a Navigo card (you might save money if you buy a weekly or monthly pass on your card).

The metro has 14 lines and 308 metro stations, meaning the whole city is at your fingertips, but buses and trams are also nice ways to get around if you want to see the sights! The RER and regional trains take you further if you want a break from the city. A tip - download the Citymapper app, a more reliable way of telling you the quickest (and cheapest) way from A to B in Paris than Google Maps.

Eating

When in Rome, do as the Romans do… and when in Paris, eat as the Parisians do! If you’re a fussy eater, try your best to get stuck into French cuisine, and avoid the McDonald’s and Burger Kings!

Even if you aren’t quite sure that you’d be able to stomach frogs’ legs or escargot, at least try some classic French bread (a baguette “tradition” is your best bet) from the boulangerie, as well as any pastries or treats that catch your eye, some cheeses from a fromagerie, as well as meats and vegetable dishes. The city of lights has many amazing French restaurants and bistros, but try the Bouillon chain for something cheaper yet authentic.

 

Nannybag - Everything You Should Know Before Going to Paris!

 

Drinking

Paris has a vibrant nightlife scene. One great option is to visit one of the city's many rooftop bars, which offer stunning views of the city skyline while you sip on a cocktail or glass of wine. If you're interested in craft beer, consider visiting one of Paris's many microbreweries or beer bars, which offer a wide range of local and international brews.

And, of course, only trip to Paris would be complete with trying some of the city's famous wines. As well as many fancy places to drink, there are many more relaxed, casual, and cheap options - plenty of places will have happy hour (often going on for most of the night) where cheap drinks can be enjoyed. Just be responsible!

 

Tours

There are many cheap tours in Paris that you can take to get the most out of your trip. One popular option is a guided tour of the Louvre, which will take you through some of the world's most famous art pieces, such as the Mona Lisa.

Another great option is a bike tour of the city, which will allow you to see some of Paris's most beautiful neighborhoods and landmarks. If you're interested in food, consider taking a walking tour of Paris's best pastry shops or a wine-tasting tour in the city's many bars and bistros. Many of these tours are free (but do consider a tip) and are a great way to not only see the sights.

 

Nannybag - Everything You Should Know Before Going to Paris!

 

Sightseeing and Museum visits

One of the mistakes to avoid in Paris if you’re young is forgetting that most museums (especially public ones) are free for those under 26. Now, technically this is for EU residents only. Still, even if you’re visiting Paris as an American or from elsewhere outside of Europe, you’re almost certain to be given a free ticket.

For everyone else, remember that iconic spots like the Louvre, The Musée d’Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower have huge queues at peak times (like on weekends), so try to go outside during peak hours or at least book tickets online beforehand. Consider getting a ticket upgrade (skip the line tickets) that allows you to skip the queue - if you don’t have too much time in Paris, it’s worth it.

Consider sightseeing other tourist attractions, including Arc de Triomphe, Sainte-Chapelle, or Sacre Coeur, even just from outside. In Paris, even people-watching can become an attraction on its own!

 

Safety

Like any big city, Paris has its share of safety concerns. To stay safe in the city, be aware of your surroundings and monitor your belongings, especially in crowded areas like the metro or tourist hotspots. It’s not u heard that gangs of pickpockets will target tourists, but there’s no need to be overly paranoid - just be mindful of the area you’re in and if anyone looks a little sketchy nearby!

Avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas is also a good idea. As we discussed earlier, there are night buses around the city, or take an Uber or taxi home. If you're ever in need of assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to the police or other authorities.

 

Hidden Gems

One of the best things about Paris is the many hidden gems to discover. If you're looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience, consider visiting the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, a stunning park with a suspension bridge, waterfalls, and a cave.

Another great option is the Promenade Plantée, an elevated park built on an old railway line offering a unique city view. Or, stroll around the fun, bohemian neighborhood of Butte-Aux-Cailles in the 13th arrondissement and take in the bars, street art, and lively bohemian scene. Many tourists visit Paris and tick off the major bucket list places, but explore the hidden gems to get a taste of the place!

 

Nannybag - Everything You Should Know Before Going to Paris!

 

Luggage Storage

For whatever reason, you might find yourself in Paris with bags that you’re stuck with and can’t leave in your accommodation - maybe you’ve already checked out of your hotel or Airbnb or are staying at a friend’s who’s not around until the evening - and you don’t want to drag your bags as you explore the city (in fact, many museums and attractions won’t allow you in with bags).

Instead of wondering, “Where are the public Paris lockers near me” a cheaper option is to use Nannybag, a service that connects you to nearby partner locations, like shops, restaurants, etc., where you can drop off a bag for a small fee of only €6 per day. It’s safe, reliable, cheap, and easy to use.

 

Other Tips

Some other Paris traveling tips while you’re out and about - learn a bit of French! Most Parisians speak decent English, but it is a little rude not to even attempt a “Bonjour,” “S’il vous plait,” or “Merci” when speaking to a French person.

You certainly don’t need to be bilingual, but it’s a great way to get on a good footing with whoever you’re talking to. Also, carry a bit of cash. Unlike some countries, where contactless is now everywhere, you will find places - market stalls, the occasional shop - that don’t accept credit cards or at least have a minimum spend policy.

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