10 tips and suggestions for Paris and discovering the city
Paris is a huge city! It’s filled to the brim with so much of everything including the best museums, pastry shops, restaurants, and exciting neighborhoods to explore. Where do you start and how can you maximize your timeframe visiting Paris?
Here’s a quick highlight of 10 tips and suggestions for a perfect trip below.
1. Learn the metro system – It’s fairly easy and cheap to travel via metro all over the city. Once you master the main lines, you can easily travel via Metro to the furthest areas of the city in a breeze. So learn how to use the metro pronto, and here’s a tip sheet of how to master it quickly.
2. Try the boulangeries and pastry shops – Your in Paris and it is okay to be indulgent and take a break to enjoy a specialty dessert or some pastries. Parisians love their breads and pastries and your on vacation so you shouldn’t care about calories, so it’s okay to sample a little of everything. Anyways, if you’re looking to sample some of the absolute best pastry shops in the city, check out this comprehensive and delicious looking website here.
3. Visit the Paris museums – or get a museum pass to discover some of Paris’ rich history, art, traditions and culture. There are so many amazing museums to enjoy from Impressionism at D’Orsay Museum to visiting the Maritime museum housed in Chaillot Palace. The options are almost endless based on what your interest or hobby is. If your not sure about what to see, you can check out a comprehensive list of museums in Paris, on the wiki site here.
4. Discover some of the cool and fun arrondissemonts (neighborhoods) – There are so many fascinating areas to visit in Paris depending on what you are interested in doing. If you want trendy areas, why not check out St. Germain des Pres. Or, if you want some fabulous shopping mixed in with sight seeing, check out the cool galleries and clothing boutiques in the Marais district. If you have more time to explore some of the fun and off the beaten path areas of Paris arrondissemonts, you can check out this Paris neighborhood guide here.
5. Check out Paris from above – there’s nothing like seeing the entire city of Paris below you. In fact, you can visit many free or almost free locations with excellent views including the following: Sacre Coeur, The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Arc de Triomphe and even the roof top of the Galleries Lafayette. I wrote a post on a walking tour of Paris visiting many of these sites and checking out the views from above, you can check this post here. Also, check out this post on some of the amazing views of Paris from these scenic spots.
6. Enjoy the lights of the city – Paris at night is quite magical! You can either walk around and discover some of the lit monuments like the Arc de Triomphe and Tour Eiffel, or your can just as easily go on a night tour by boat or bus tour. A tour is definitely more convenient to seeing many of the scenic spots around the city in a shorter time frame without all the hassle. But if you know how to work the metro lines, you can easily visit many of the famous areas of Paris lit up at night.
7. Enjoy Paris at your own pace – there’s no need to rush going from one attraction to another, Paris was made to enjoy slowly and see all the wonderful details. An easy thing to go is explore the arrondissements (neighborhoods) by foot and are close to each other so you can easily visit the highlights in each area. If your looking for inspiration check out my post on spending a perfect day in Paris here.
8. Relax and have an indulgent meal – Eating in Paris and slowly is a favorite past-time to be done relaxed with full courses (at least one fantastic meal a day). Take your time to find a restaurant that suits your taste, savor the menu and wine selection and yes order appetizer and dessert or if you’re not familiar, try some of the specials or prix fix menu that cater to the tourist crowds. Expect to reserved high end/Michelin star restaurants in advance so you don’t need any back up plans when the restaurants are booked.
9. Stop by the tourist office – Spending a few minutes to check out the many offerings and see what’s new is a very good idea, so do visit the tourist office when you are in the city (there are many locations in key areas around the city). The best time to visit is early morning, so you can avoid the crowds wanting to get some help with their tour agendas. For more information, check out the Paris Tourist info web site here.
10. Do the free things in Paris – There are so many free things you can easily do in Paris from visiting all the churches, walking around the magnificent parks, enjoying the views from the bridges overlooking the Seine, and even hanging out at popular landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel tower. For a calendar of free events in Paris, check out this comprehensive list of free activities here.
This is just the starting point in your Paris adventure, there really is so many wonderful places and things to do depending on your interest and time visiting the city. You can do as much or little during your stay in Paris and hopefully some of the suggestion above may spark some interest in visiting certain parts of the city or focusing entirely on your interest.
Are you looking for more interesting tours or ideas on spending some time in Paris? You can check out any of my posts on Paris below:
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