Paris is a city of food, romance, and culture. It’s somewhere everybody should visit at least once in their lives. It is an immensely popular tourist destination, which can make travelling around the city somewhat difficult. Unlike other European cities, Paris has no shoulder season. In other words, it’s never closed. The city is active, busy, and bustling with tourists all year round.
If you want to visit, then preparation is essential. The more prepared you are, the more adept you will be at navigating the city’s winding streets.
Here is how to prepare for a trip to Paris.
Paris is a very large city. However, most of the tourist attractions can be found in the city’s central districts. Because of this, it is theoretically possible to see everything on foot. That said, it’s a lot easier to see everything by vehicle. Unfortunately, navigating Paris’ traffic if you are new to the city can be very stressful. With this in mind, it might be a better option for you to hire a tour guide to show you around than to try and do it yourself. A tour guide will have their own vehicle, which they can ferry you around in. Tour guides will also be able to give you a Paris city pass, which enables you to get into all of the attractions worth seeing. Some tour guides have buses, which they take groups of people around in. Private tours are more expensive than bus ones.
If you don’t want to take a tour, then it’s a good idea to take time to plan out what activities you are going to be doing before you arrive. Planning out your activities will prevent you from having to wake up stressed every morning, and frantically put together an itinerary for the day. It is especially important to have your daily activities mapped out in advance if you are travelling with children or family. Again, it is much easier to just take a tour, since the tour guide will arrange everything for you.
Paris isn’t a cheap city to stay in. If you intend on visiting, then it is a good idea to book your accommodation several months in advance. The longer the gap between when you book and your booking, the more money you’ll save. You may find that booking on Airbnb is more affordable than booking an actual hotel. Individuals with flats and apartments in Paris offer them to people for significantly less than most of the hotels offer their rooms for. Some Airbnb rooms even come with complimentary food, bottles of wine, and souvenirs.
What’s the point of visiting Paris if you don’t eat out? Parisian cuisine is some of the world’s most famous. However, like its hotels, Paris’ restaurants can be expensive, and very busy. If there are any particular restaurants that you want to eat in, then it is a good idea to call ahead and arrange your reservations there a few weeks before. Making reservations will ensure that you aren’t turned away when you arrive with your family or friends to eat. It is also a good idea to learn a little bit of French, so you can understand the menus in the restaurants that you eat in.
How do you plan on getting around Paris? While it is indeed possible to get around on foot if you are visiting for a week or more, walking every day will grow uncomfortable. One very effective (and affordable) way of seeing Paris is to take public transport. Avoid taxis though, because they can be expensive. You can get buses and trains for next to nothing. If you are going to take taxis, then book one online using an app like Uber. Uber’s prices are fixed, so you won’t get ripped off.
Finally, if you do plan on seeing Paris by yourself, then make sure that you create a map. There is so much to see in Paris, that if you do not have a map there is no way that you are going to be able to see it all—you are bound to forget something. You can probably download a map with all of the tourist attractions highlighted on it online. If not, then you can create your own very easy. Then, create an itinerary and figure out which days you are going to dedicate to which activities.
Paris is an incredible city, with a lot to offer. If you’re planning on visiting, then preparation is key. The more prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have. Taking this post’s guidance into consideration will help you to maximise the enjoyment that you derive from your trip there.