Paris is a dream destination for travellers worldwide, but according to many, it is not a friendly place. Moreover, it is expensive, transport is complex and the city is big. There are incidents of theft and snatching. And there are beggars who can be very nagging. But you cannot just drop the city from your bucket list for these reasons . So you need to consider few facts , then your trip will be undisturbed. By the way, I am writing it in good faith, I believe it will help you 🙂 Not to blame or disrespect anyone. But I think you might need these little pieces of advice there.
1. Booking a hostel or hotel or home stay
The crucial thing of how your stay in Paris going to be is your hotel. Ladies, choose your hotel or hostel carefully. Remember the key point is it must be near a metro station or Rear, with nearby ” not so expensive” places to it. I know what you are thinking, but believe me, you will need money in Paris , so try to save some. If you choose your hotel wisely , it may appear little expensive but actually you save. I had my hotel near Gare St Lazzare , both metro and rear within 5 minutes walking. And Scare Coeur , Louvre, Opera and Notre Dam was in walking distance from the hotel. So I saved 40 euro of Paris Visite Pass . I needed transport only for few places .
2. Try to stay withtin Zone 3
Even if you buy Paris pass, it is almost double for zone 1-5 compared to zone 1-3 . So try to stay near the river i.e. within zone 1-3 😉
3. Prepare your trip according to the time you have.
If you are staying in Paris for a month , then it is a different story. Otherwise guys, the best way to choose the museums and monuments you really want to visit. Because it is not possible to see everything in one go, I mean to see Louvre properly you need so much time. So plan it. Then open the google map , and mark the route from your hotel to the places you want to visit, it will show the time in metro, car or walking. Mark it whatever transport you choose, take a screenshot , and take print out to make your own customised map. It will help you immensely to reach your destination in an unfriendly city.
4. Be aware of child beggars while buying ticket in the kiosk
I couldn’t believe when a 7 to 8 years old boy took the coins from the kiosk and ran. At first ,when we came to the kiosk, he told us he can help, we said no we don’t need. We put the bill in the kisok , the tickets came and few change, he was standing just beside to quickly take the coin and run. I mean , people used to tell me, in India, roads are full of beggars , and poor, is not it? I used to think what they see in the TV? and who make those episodes?” But now , I am surprised after coning to Paris.
5. Be careful around Scare coeur from the Montmartre bracelet
We were heading to Republique after seeing the Basilica, suddenly a man appears , and started binding a thread in my friend’s hand, saying, “oh , I am from Kenya( i don’t even know why he told that , People of Kenya , pls don’t take it otherwise), no bad boys here , where from you come, is she your wife, this thread is of GOD, this and that!” I screamed at my friend in my own language while keep moving that the man will demand money against that thread. And he did. Thank god, other people started coming from around , and my friend did not give him a penny and came out.
6. Try to Learn few basic French word. Or carry Google translator
I have been to eleven countries, France being the 11th. I am sorry to say they won’t help you with the language. In everywhere else I have been, they at least tried to help me to show the road, even if they don’t know english ( I am not an English Lit Professor either). But when I visit a country , I don’t start discussing English literature on road , rather once in a while I may ask somebody the direction or where i can get some food. Thats all . You know what I mean. That much conversation is possible even if you do not know much english, only thing you need is the good will and attitude towards tourists. But I am sorry to say, they lack it in Paris. You ask them anything, “I don’t know english” is the one patent sentence they got. So better carry a translator, or go for the “i” , the info centre where some kind people will tell you where to go.
7. Carry some basic medicines .
I know , it is not just for Paris. But again, it is essential. Recently one of my co blogger from US wrote it. One of her friend had an asthma attack, which is a medical emergency but as they did not know the language , no body attended them in the ER. So better to be prepared. If you have some known disease or allergy, carry the necessary medicine.
8. Remember you do not get to order dinner after 10 o’clock in many restaurants.
They will allow you for drinks , but they don’t take orders for dinner. I thought you can have dinner in a metro till midnight if you have money. Apparently you don’t. People may wonder, what would take you so late? But when I was in Louvre I was there till 9.30 pm. Because it is really an experience you can’t describe in words, and I wanted to be there as late as possible. Then when we came out and reached the restaurants ( I have tried 4) , they said now they will serve drink only.
I am so lucky , I belong to a city where restaurants serve dinners till 1 am , greedy me ,lolz!
9. Carry the metro map, and a general map
The metro is available in every five to ten minutes( according to the lines) till 1 am. Paris has 14 metro lines , and to reach most of the destination you change once or twice. So carrying a metro map is a must. The stations are old, and from one line to other, sometimes you walk quite a lot. But it is nicely depicted by arrows, so if you know the connecting metros, you will have no problems.
10. Seine River Cruise- last at 10 o’clock at night
This is one thing I wanted to experience, but I reached at 10.14 pm 😦 I sat beside the river for half an hour and left . So hurry , because I think it is a good one.
Enjoy Paris and post some picture after you c0me back.
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