After traveling to Paris a few times, I’ve decided to give you some tips to navigate the city!
- Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements. Every arrondissement, or district, is a little different and has its own feel to it. Fun fact: The number of the arrondissement is indicated by the last two digits in most Parisian postal codes. I have stayed in the 6th arr, Luxembourg/Saint Germain area on the left bank of the River Seine twice and I think it is the best location! There are so many art galleries, cafes and restaurants, educational institutes, and fashion boutiques in this neighborhood.
- Take the RER Train from Charles de Gaulle airport into the city. Taking the train to the heart of the city saves time and money! Follow signs for the RER train from the airport – you may have to switch terminals depending on what terminal you land at, but there are directions to follow inside the airport and a tram will take you. We took the train about 40 minutes to Saint Michel Notre Dame and walked less than 10 minutes to our hotel. The train also stops at a main train station called Gare Nord- and you can transfer at Saint Michel Notre Dame to get to your final destination! The train tickets were 10 euro each which is much cheaper than taking a taxi. You need your ticket when you leave the train station as well, so keep it on hand!
- Walking is the best way to get around. Other than getting to the city from the airport, we rarely took the metro in Paris – just because walking is so easy. There are helpful signs and maps located near metro stops, and the best way to see any city is to walk! You may stumble across a cute street, cafe, or neighborhood that you wouldn’t have found if you took a cab or metro.
- Most people speak English. Don’t worry about perfecting your French before visiting, most people speak English. It is nice to learn some helpful words to be polite, but once you speak them most will respond back to you in English (at least that’s what happened to me!).
- Bonjour – hello/good day
- Au revoir – goodbye
- Bonsoir – good evening/good night
- Merci – thank you
- Du rein – you’re welcome
- Madame – woman/ma’am
- Monsieur- man/Mr./sir
- Je ne parle pas français – I do not speak French
- All museums are free on the first Sunday of each month. Finding this out before my trip was a great tip! We ended up going into the Louvre on Sunday while we were there and saved some euros on tickets. The museum was mobbed but I’m happy we were able to squeeze in and see the famous Mona Lisa (she’s not as big as you think).
- Boat cruise. Take a boat cruise, no matter what time of day! We took one at 5:00PM as the sun was setting, which was so beautiful. The cruise takes about an hour and tells you about the main sights along the River Seine. Here is a link to one cruise you can take, but viator.com and trip advisor have different deals to choose from.
- See all the main sights! Last but certainly not least, see all of the main sights. There are SO many in Paris.
- Eiffel Tower (go to the way top!)
- Museums: Musee d’Orsay, Musee Louvre, Musee Rodin
- Tuileries Garden
- Notre Dame
- Arc de Triomphe
- Champs -Élysées
- Pont Alexandre III
- Sacre Coeur
Want more Paris? Check out these posts:
Hope these small tips help you in preparing your journey to the beautiful city of Paris. It will be one to remember!