Paris is a beautiful city full of exciting sights, amazing food and plenty of activities to explore. However, France as a whole has a few interesting differences when you compare it to the UK, so it’s worth reading on for some great tips for visiting Paris. Whether you’re staying for a long weekend or a little longer, here are 6 tips to make your visit safer and more enjoyable.
In a friendly city like Paris, it can be very easy to think the best from everyone you encounter, but it’s best to be wary of pickpockets during your days of exploring. On the Metro services and near tourist attractions are the most common place people are robbed, and there are a few different scams that can occur, so it’s best to have a sealed bag with a lock on it ideally or have your backpack in front of you during travel.
Public Transport is Best
The easiest and most efficient way to travel around Paris is via the metro or on a bus. A journey can usually cost around €1.90, or you can buy a book of tickets for less than €15. It isn't just about being wary of unknown taxi companies as Uber is a popular choice in Paris, it’s more for the fact of taxi's costing much more than expected in this city. Most peoples tips for visiting Paris usually include avoiding taxi firms, as you can spend hundreds just on short trips by the end of your holiday.
Restaurant Opening Times
Naturally, the tourist areas should offer regular opening times you’ve come to expect in the UK, however, traditional restaurants in Paris operate differently. Most French restaurants have two opening times, usually between midday and 2 pm for lunch and then in the evening from around 6 pm until midnight. This irregularity can also occur with shops too, and it is usually so staff can have their lunch break. It might be best to check online opening times if you feel uncertain about anywhere you want to visit.
No Need to Tip
One of the most interesting tips for visiting Paris is the bars and restaurants don't expect tips. It's a great fact to know when you're about to pay and realise you don’t have enough change for a reasonable tip. In France, the waiting staff make fair wages, and the culture has never expected tips of their customers. If you have really enjoyed the service, your still entitled to leave a tip as it won’t cause offence and the Parisian staff have grown accustomed to tourist leaving tips.
Student ID is Key
If you are a student doing some travelling in Paris, then be sure to take your Student ID with you for some savings. For the majority of tourist attractions in Paris, a student either receives a hefty discount or free entry and you won't even need to do anything but show the UK ID upon arrival. This interesting tip for visiting Paris also works in some cases if you have an ID to prove you are below the age of 26.
While large hotel chains are common throughout the UK, France is no different from the rest of Europe where smaller hotels are much more popular. If you are visiting with a larger group or with family, you might find it better to look into Airbnb options. If you do want an authentic stay in Paris, you can expect very homely hotels and large homes to offer a welcoming stay while you venture around the beautiful city.