Paris Insider Tips

General Tips

  • Wear good walking shoes!
  • Before trip, download a version of a Paris map to your phone so you can use without using data, and you don’t look like a tourist carrying a map. Recommend offline map from Google Maps.
  • Always open with “Bonjour” when entering a store or restaurant or communicating with anybody (common courtesy considered rude if not). Try to speak as much French as possible.
  • Typically the lower numbered arrondissements are the best/safest. Bastille (11) was under construction when we were there, cool/young nightlife though.
  • Take the RER B train from CDG to Paris and get off at Gare Du Nord. Buy ticket from WHITE colored “Paris Ile-de-France” ticketing machines located by the entrance to the train (10 euro). 40 min ride.
  • So much good food, eat many small meals at different cafes
  • Bring rain/light jacket when out. Spontaneous cold and rain flashes.
  • Always use the restroom (les toilletes) at restaurants you eat or Starbucks before you leave. Costs money otherwise and very hard to find good ones.
  • Kill two birds with one stone. Picnic in the parks of the Eiffel Tower or Garden of Louie XIV. Super relaxing and you fill up while you soak it in.
  • If doing museums, buying ticket at gate is pricey. Plan ahead and purchase from travel sites.
  • Don’t talk to/acknowledge gypsies!

Must Do

  • Eiffel Tower from north side (Jardins du Trocadero) and south side (Champ de Mars)
  • Notre Dame Square Jean XXII
  • Jardin des Tuileries (next to the Louvre)
  • Le Jardin du Luxembourg
  • The Louvre
  • Baguette and Cheese on the go


  • McDonalds and Starbucks for Wi-Fi. Life saver.
  • Don’t look like a tourist! Keep cash in zippered pockets in front and don’t take pics with iPad.
  • Euro dollars do not fold well and euro coins are common, bring good wallet/money holder so not fumbling around when paying and attracted gypsies!
  • When all else fails, American studying abroad students are great resources for basic (easy to understand) transportation info.
  • Don’t take taxis. Very expensive and buses/rail go everywhere.
  • Euros when dining out, travel credit card for machines
  • Best part about Paris is the slowwwwwww lifestyle. If you can’t fit everything in, don’t rush…see it on the next trip. The best part of Paris is the relaxing lifestyle and beautiful sights all around, try to enjoy it!

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