The best way to visit Paris
Is it your first time in Paris? You don’t know how to prepare your trip to Paris? Sometimes it can be hard to plan a trip to a yet unknown city. But that’s why I’m writting this article. I’m giving you some nice little tips for you to make the most of your trip, visit and experience as many things as can be. Here is some advice from a real Parisian girl about how to visit Paris for the first time and enjoy the city as much as possible ! Read on to find out the best way to visit Paris.
Where should I stay?
First of all, you need to know where to stay. From my experience, if it is your first time in Paris, I highly recommend you to stay in the first arrondissements of Paris, from 1st to 8th. If you stay in these arrondissements, you won’t have to take the taxi or the metro. Many of Paris landmarks and the best places to see are found in there, so you can easily walk from one place to another. In my opinion, the best way to visit Paris is most definitely by managing to stay in the center of Paris.
There are exceptions though. Montmartre is a must, you cannot miss it. Located in the 18th arrondissement, Montmartre is a unique place in Paris. It is one of the most charming neighbourhoods. On the top of the hill, you will find the wonderful Sacré Coeur, and once you reach the summit, you will have the opportunity to experience one of the most stunning and romantic Paris views. I totally advise you to join our Montmartre tour, because visiting Paris through local’s eyes gives us a more human and personal experience of the city. The tour’s destination is the Sacré Coeur, but all the way up, you get to walk Montmartre secret alleys and streets, and to understand why Montmartre is so dear to artists.
What should I say?
The best way to visit Paris is when you know some essential words and sentences. It’s great to have some vocabulary when you visit a foreign city! Especially in the French capital. Why is that? Because Parisians adore politeness ! It will amazingly improve your trip. The simple fact of saying “bonjour” and “merci” is very appreciated. French people will be much more friendly and polite to you! They’re not to blame. I mean, who likes rude people?
And even for your own experience it is highly recommended. If you have some french vocabulary, you will enjoy Paris even more, because you will feel a little more Parisian. Everyone loves to know a few words from the place they’re visiting, they feel more connected with the locals.
So, the few words and sentences you really should know are the followings:
- “Bonjour” → Hello
- “Oui” | “Non” → Yes | No
- “S’il-vous-plaît” | “Merci” → Please | Thank you
- “Où est (le Musée du Louvre)?” → Where is (the Louvre Museum)?
- “Je cherche les toilettes” → I’m looking for the restroom
- “Manger” | “Boire” → Eat | Drink
- “Pain” | “Vin” | “Fromage” → Bread | Wine | Cheese
If you are lost, do not hesitate to ask someone for directions. French people won’t admit it, but they love to speak English and be asked for directions in English!
What should I pack?
The weather is very variable in Paris. The morning can be kind of hot, and on the afternoon it can rain cats and dogs, so beware! The opposite can also happen. You wake up in the morning and it’s pretty windy, and looking kind of stormy, so you pick up your warm jacket, but then after lunch, the sky clears and the sun starts to shine, but here you are with your cardigan and your rain boots on, already feeling kind of sweaty – joking.
The weather can indeed change really fast in Paris, so plan hot, cold, rainy and sunny weather in a day! My advice would be for you to have an umbrella and a cap in your bag, so that you enjoy your visit and be prepared for all the contingencies! By the way, if you’re coming to Paris in Summer, here is an article with a few recommendations on what to pack for Paris in summer.
As you will walk a lot, take runners or shoes in which you are really comfortable. Ladies, please, do not wear high-heel shoes a whole day, because Paris is full of pavements and walking Paris with high heels on can be dangerous! It would be really bad to get an ankle sprain! You can wear ones for a lunch, or a night out, but definitely not for visiting the city.
Always be prepared and feel comfortable is the best way to enjoy your visit of Paris.
What should I do before going to museums and monuments?
If you plan to go to the Louvre Museum, the Orsay Museum or the Eiffel Tower, one thing you need to do for sure is to buy your ticket before you get there. Otherwise, you are likely to wait for a very long time, even for hours to enter the museum!
If you have your ticket, you will not wait, so you will save precious minutes!
Some of our tours include skip-the-line tickets. The Montmartre+Orsay tour is very cool. First you walk the charming and romantic neighbourhood of Montmartre, where many famous Impressionists lived and where they draw their inspiration from. At the end of the walk, your guide hands you your skip-the-line tickets to Orsay Museum, where you will be able to admire Impressionism masterpieces of the most impressive artists of the movement, such as Van Gogh and Monet.
You can also join the Marais+Picasso Museum tour. You first walk le Marais neighbourhood, which is very inspiring and artistic, with its many art galeries, trendy shops and elegant mansions. There’s a good reason it’s Parisian favourite place to hang out. From the trendiest shops and young designers, to awesome art galleries, it’s hard not to love le Marais. Plus, the Picasso Museum is located in there. So in this tour, you get to walk one of Parisian’s favourite neighbourhood and to skip the line at the Picasso Museum to admire Picasso’s works and his collections.
Who should I walk Paris with?
To walk Paris with your love, your family, your friends is the dream! Nonetheless, the best way to visit Paris is to do it with a Parisian guide who grew up in Paris and knows the city perfectly, like a Discover walks guide! We all know that no one knows the city better than the locals. The best way to visit Paris is most definitely to do it in the company of a Parisian who loves its city and is looking forward to share his passion about it. The truest Parisian lovers are the ones who always try their best to make the city grow and show its beauty with the world. And that’s the philosophy our guides live by.
They will be able to show you the best of Paris, from its greatest landmarks to its hidden gems. You will get to discover places where Parisians like to eat, drink and shop, and you will be able to enjoy Paris like a real Parisian!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips about the best way to visit Paris, and that they will be useful for you to make the most of your trip!
See you in Paris! À bientôt!