25 Must-Know Paris Travel Tips
This blog post is about 25 must-know Paris travel tips you need to know before visiting this beautiful city!
If you are visiting Paris for the first time, and planning your trip to this magical city, you are in the right place! In this blog post, I am going to share with you 25 super important Paris travel tips, every traveler should know before visiting!
Also, before we get started – if you are planning a trip to Paris (and I guess that you are if you are reading this blog post), make sure to check out the Parisian Dream | One Week in Paris Itinerary!
It’s a completed Paris travel guide that includes all of the must-have Paris attractions, travel tips, Paris bucket list, recommendations, and a one week in Paris itinerary!
Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use my affiliate link. Read my disclaimer.
25 PARIS TRAVEL TIPS:
1. The Best Time to Visit Paris
If you are wondering when is the best time to visit Paris, I have a few answers for you!
First of all, the Parisian summer got pretty hot nowadays thanks to global warming, but it’s still the perfect season to visit Paris.
With that being said, you can still expect Paris rainy days, even during the hot summer days.
On the other hand, during the winter it can get very cold. Even though the temperature usually won’t drop below 0-celsius degrees, it can still be pretty cold and it will probably not be that fun to walk around the city.
So, when is the best time to visit Paris? Probably either during the spring (end of April-end of June), and during the fall (September-November).
Also, during these months Paris isn’t packed with tourists, prices aren’t high either, and it’s a great time to enjoy Paris by yourself (meaning without millions of tourists) and on a budget!
2. Sunset Time in Paris
If you are visiting Paris during the winter, especially during December-January, you should know that the sun rises at 8:30am and sunset time is around 5:00pm.
3. Buy Attractions Tickets in Advance/Buy The Paris Pass
This is one of the most important Paris travel tips you need to know!
I am going to tell you a “secret” – there are probably going to be many tourists in Paris when you visit. Which means, SUPER LONG LINES in attractions!
I visited Paris in July, and it was INSANELY PACKED with tourists, and after not buying Eiffel Tower tickets in advance, I waited 2.5 hours in lines to go up the Eiffel Tower!
Anyways, my number #1 tip for visiting Paris, is to buy tickets in advance! And if you have the option to buy skip the line tickets – BUY THEM! It will save you so much time in the city – you are going to thank me, trust me.
The second part of this tip is to consider getting the Paris Pass!
The Paris Pass is a sightseeing pass that includes free admission to 60 attractions and tours in Paris.
Of course, this pass isn’t really free, but when you buy it you save up to 70% on what it would’ve cost you to purchase each ticket individually to these attractions.
There are a few things I love about The Paris Pass:
You will receive skip-the-line tickets to many attractions such as the Centre Pompidu, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre museum, and more!
You will also receive special offers and discounts to many restaurants and shops around Paris.
My favorite part about the Paris Pass is that you will receive free travel on the Metro (this will save you so much money wandering around Paris)!! You will also receive a free 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour ticket, and a Paris guidebook in 6 languages to help you plan your trip!
You can purchase the Paris Pass for 2/3/4 or 6 days and enjoy all of these benefits and deals during these days!
Super Genius Travel Hack: If you want to get an extra discount on the already discounted Paris City Pass, buy the Paris Pass through this website, and receive an extra 30% off discount on The Paris Pass!
4. Most Indoor Places Don’t Have Air Conditioning
If you are visiting Paris during the summer, you must know that most indoor places in Paris don’t have air conditioning.
Nowadays more businesses and places are getting air conditioning because of global warming and the fact that each year it gets hotter and hotter, but from what I know as for writing these words, many indoor places don’t have air conditioning.
5. Walk Around As Much As You Can!
I always talk about how much I love walking around a new destination to really get to know the place.
Paris is THE PLACE to get lost in! Walk around as much as you can, explore new and beautiful streets, get lost and get to know Paris from the inside.
6. Be Aware Of Pickpockets & Travel Scams
I can’t think of a country that doesn’t have any kinds of travel scams towards tourists. Sad, but true.
In Paris there is a super weird travel scam, called “fake taxis”. Basically, as you can guess, these taxis are fake taxis (which means regular people driving regular cars), that will ask way more money for a drive than it’s regular cost.
Another travel scam is when local markets “add” another item you didn’t buy to the bill, even though you didn’t take it home with you, and you will stay pay for an extra item you didn’t take if you didn’t notice the bill.
Also, as for almost any country – pickpockets is a thing in Paris too. Almost in any fully packed attraction in Paris, or any large events in the city, you will have at least few people trying to pickpocket people.
How to Avoid This?
- Keep your belongings close to you
- Use a bag with a zipper, maybe even consider getting a lock for your bag if you have important things to in your bag.
- Never wear a backpack on your back. But if you do, make sure to buy a lock
- Put your important belongings (such as your wallet/keys) deep inside your bag (so it will be harder for someone to reach).
7. Places Might Be Closed on Sundays
Like in many Catholic countries, many places are closed on Sundays in Paris. Or, they might be open, but for limited hours only.
If your trip includes a Sunday, I recommend planning that day very good so you won’t miss out on anything and won’t waste your trip.
Also, if you are planning on purchasing stuff from groceries stores/anything else, make sure to do so in advance on a Saturday.
If you are wondering what to do in Paris on a Sunday, CLICK HERE!
8. Try French Cuisine
The French cuisine is amazing! While visiting Paris, don’t miss out on the local food!
And this travel tip is for any other country you are visiting! One of the best ways to get to know and explore a new destination, is by trying it’s local food and dishes and getting to know the destination through taste.
9. Always Say Bonjour When Entering a Business
French people are very polite, and as a tourist, you want to be the same. Make sure to say “Bonjour” when entering any kind of business.
It is considered rude not to say Bonjour when entering a business or meeting someone, so don’t forget!
10. Bring Your Student ID
If you are a student, DON’T FORGET your student ID! It’s a great way to save money when traveling on a budget.
Many places across the city offer student discounts, so make sure to bring your student ID to enjoy those discounts!
Also, many attractions, monuments, and museums allow free entry to 26 years old and under who are residents of the EU. So for this discount, make sure to bring your ID if it’s relevant for you.
11. Keep Your Metro Card
It is very common for people to throw away their used Metro ticket as soon as they’ve passed through the gate.
But what they don’t know, is that while doing it, they are taking a risk of getting a fine!
It is super important to keep your Metro ticket through the whole ride in case someone checks your Metro ticket during the ride.
Throw your Metro ticket once you exit the Metro station! And until you throw it, make sure to keep your ticket somewhere safe – your wallet, bra, pocket – any place that your ticket won’t fall from and get lost.
Just an FYI, the fine for not having a Metro ticket on you can rise up to 33 euros. So make sure to keep your Metro ticket!
12. Everything About The Water System in Paris
For some reason, French waiters attempt to make tourists fear of Paris tap water. This way they will buy a water bottle inside, and pay for a drink instead of drinking free tap water.
So here I am to tell you that the tap water in Paris is totally fine, and don’t believe everything your waiter tells you about it.
13. Groceries Stores
If you are renting an Airbnb, or have a small kitchen area in your hotel room, here’s some information about groceries stores in Paris.
So, Franprix and Monoprix are the most popular groceries stores in Paris. The Franpix groceries stoer is located in almost every neighborhood, if not all of them.
Monoprix is one of the more popular groceries store in the city, and offers a huge variety of food, cleaning products, and more!
14. Supermarkets in Paris Make You Pay For Bags
Just for you to know, supermarkets in Paris will make you pay for your bags. So one of my best Paris travel tips, is to bring your own set of grocery bags.
Paying for bags became one of Paris’s “going green” law (which I am totally a fan of), in the intention of saving our planet.
It’s a great idea, but can be an unexpected cost if you aren’t prepared.
So as I said, you can buy a pack of reusable shopping bags on Amazon for super cheap, and pack one or two bags in your suitcase before your Paris trip.
15. Make Restaurants Reservations in Advance
If there is a specific restaurant you are dreaming/super excited to eat at, I recommend making a reservation in advance.
Most of the popular places in Paris are always fully booked, so if you don’t want to miss the restaurant you’ve been dreaming of, make a reservation in advance!
16. Don’t Rent a Car in Paris
I always don’t recommend renting a car in big cities. Why? the traffic is so bad, parking is expensive, and finding a parking spot can literarily take at least an hour.
Renting a car in Paris is a total waste of your money. It will be more expensive to rent a car and pay for parking than using the Metro.
The Paris Metro is honestly the best, and there’s honestly no reason to rent a car with a great Metro system.
17. You Won’t See The Whole Louvre Museum in One Visit
The Louvre museum is the largest museum in the world and contains many artworks and paintings. I can tell you now, there is no way you will see the whole Louvre Museum.
From my experience, the maximum time you can spend there is around 3 hours, and in those 3 hours you will only see a small part of this huge museum.
If you are planning on visiting the whole museum in one trip, you will need to separate your visit into a few visits.
But honestly, I’ll tell you that there is no reason to try and see the whole museum in one trip. Paris has so much to offer, and I wouldn’t spend a few hours of each day only at the Louvre Museum.
18. Local Stores & Coffee Shops Might Be Closed Through August
July is a super hectic, fully packed with tourists month in Paris. While August, is a traditional time when Parisians go on vacations themselves and enjoy their summer.
That’s why some stores, coffee shops and restaurants might be closed for the month, and the city will feel more quiet then usual.
With that being said, all of the tourists attractions are open as usual, and you don’t need to worry about the whole city being closed – it won’t. Just some of the local businesses.
19. All About Tipping in Restaurants
This is a super important tip that you always need to look for before visiting any destination.
In Paris, taxes and tips are included in the menu price, and it will be shown on your bill.
Usually, the service charge will be 10%-15%. But if you had a great waiter, you can give them an extra tip, but you are totally not expected to do so.
20. The Eiffel Tower is Not in The Center of Paris
This may surprise you, because many people think that the Eiffel Tower is located in the center of Paris. But it actually isn’t, it is located in the western side of Paris.
So if you are wondering where to stay in Paris, and booking your hotel, try looking for hotels near theÎle de la Cité, Sainte Chapelle, and that area.
Also, I highly recommend checking out the Hotel Vivienne, which is a beautiful boutique hotel and is located right in the heart of the city.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOTEL VIVIENNE
21. Book Your Eiffel Tower Tickets ONLINE in Advance!
To explain this travel tip I am going to tell you exactly what happened to me – we went to the Eiffel Tower without any tickets, and waiting 2.5 hours in line just to purchase the Eiffel Tower tickets, and then 15 more minutes to go up the Eiffel Tower.
HUGE WAIST OF TIME!
Also, if you buy Eiffel Tower tickets through this website, you will get them for a very nice discount and won’t need to pay the full price!
22. Don’t Book a Hotel Outside of Paris
Even if you found the cheapest hotel outside of Paris, don’t book it.
Why? I’ll tell you – it’s a total waste of money. And even if the hotel is cheap, the drive to Paris itself will get expensive.
Then, your stay outside of the city will become more expensive then staying in the city.
23. DON’T Use Taxis Inside The City
Another super pointless thing to do in Paris is use taxis inside the city. It’s a total waste of your time and money.
First of all, as I said earlier, Paris has some pretty bad traffic, so if I don’t recommend renting a car in Paris because of the traffic, I will also not recommend using taxis. USE THE METRO OR WALK!
Another reason, is that most taxi drivers in Paris will use you as a tourist and charge for much more than what the drive should have really costs.
Nothing against French taxi drivers, I see this happening in almost any city in the world.
24. Learn Some Keywords in French
I love learning new languages, and I love learning some keywords in the language of the destination I am visiting.
Here are some important keywords in French you should know:
- “Bonjour”/”Salut” = hello
- “Bonsoir” = good evening
- “S’il vous plait” = please
- “Merci” = thank You
- “Pardon” = sorry
- “Je M’apelle” = my name is
25. DON’T Skip Montmartre
Montmartre is one of the coolest and prettiest places in Paris. Don’t skip it!
Beyond the amazing and interesting art museums, galleries, and shops in Montmartre, this beautiful neighborhood has so much to offer!
In Montmartre you can find beautiful viewpoints of Paris, great restaurants, beautiful architecture, and just walking and wandering around this beautiful neighborhood is a must-have.
And that’s it! This blog post was about the best 25 Paris travel tips!