A Quick Guide to Paris

Eiffel Tower (4)There are dozens of guidebooks written about Paris in every single angle or perspective you can think of. You will be reading about various tips and advice from these books and all or most of it are good and reasonable. But I thought I’d remind you of a few things I found very useful during my recent visit to this magnificent city.

Take the bus or the metro everywhere – the fare for buses and metro is relatively cheap, it’s only €2 one-way (if you buy a book of 10 tickets, it is only €1.45 each). Most attractions have metro stations and bus stop close-by that you can easily navigate around the city. Some of which will drop you off in front their entrance.

Paris Metro (1)

Get a good map and walk around the city – if you can follow a map get a good one and walk around Paris. You’ll be surprise what you will discover about this city during these walks. It would probably be best to concentrate on a certain arrondisement or two for a better look of Paris. This way it would be management enough not to easily exhaust you.

Spend money on food – You are after all in Paris, so try as much French food as you like especially something you do not normally get at home or something you do not normally make in your kitchen. I have tried several mostly lunching in cafes and brasseries around the city. Be sure read their menu first before venturing in.

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Take a river cruise – This is one of the best ways to see Paris. It gives you a different perspective of the city. There are several river cruise companies in the city, one of them is located just across the street by the Eiffel Tower. They are also quite inexpensive and quite enlightening.

Go to church – Paris has a great many churches most of which are centuries old and nicely decorated. I was surprised to discover two of them during my walks around the city one of them I’ve never heard of. I would however, recommend not going to church on Sunday as most of them are not open for tourists because of Sunday much.

Notre Dame (2)

Go to the park – On Sundays when everything in Paris is close, some Parisians don’t stay home. When the weather is nice outside, they take their partners, children even their dogs to the park. Some of these parks have great gardens, where you can hang out and smell the roses. The best ones are the Jardin de Tuiluries, Jarden de Luxembourg and Bois de Bologne.

Picnic at the park – since you’re already in the park, you might as well pack some lunch or buy a baguette sandwich and a bottle of wine from the nearby bakery and picnic at the park. It is one way Parisian relax from the hustle and bustle of a busy city life. I saw a lot of people chilling and picnicking at Champ des Mars on Sunday.

Luxembourg Gardens (3)

Visit a new and unknown museum or gallery – Paris has a great art culture and history that they are several smaller museums showcasing them around the city aside from the Louvre and D’Orsay. They are the lesser known but interesting exhibition of culture and history in France and you may find that you appreciate them later. One museum I visited was the Hotel de Cluny by the Sorbonne at the sixth arrondisement.

Invalides (1)

Bring and wear comfortable shoes – if you plan to wander around Paris on foot, bring and wear comfortable and broken-in shoes. Your feet will thank you for it later. Paris is one of those cities that is best seen on foot.

Slow down – this is the one thing that Paris will teach every visitor. Slow down, relax, don’t think too much and have a cup of coffee at a cafe and people-watch. I would even suggest walking in a slower pace so not to miss a thing. People here do not rush unless they are running to catch the metro or the bus. Some of the suggestions above actually allows you to do that so why not try it, you’re in Paris.

Louvre Museum (15)

Statue of Liberty (1)

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