Before I get started… I know this isn’t beauty related, but I think this post will be extremely helpful to those of you looking to travel to Paris, so I decided to share it!
At the end of May, my boyfriend and I went to Paris for 10 days (we also took 3 days to visit Amsterdam). Since it was my boyfriend’s first time traveling to Europe without a tour group and my first time in Europe without my family, we were both hit hard with the fact that we had to figure everything out on our own. Figuring things out came with a lot of frustration that we wouldn’t want any other tourists to go through.
Before I get into my tips, I would like to let you all know that I vlogged while we were in Paris and Amsterdam, so if you want to get a taste of what it’s like to tour around these two cities, then definitely make sure to watch them!
Tips for Traveling to Paris:
- RER Kiosks only accept international credit cards and coins. If you plan on taking the RER from the CDG airport into Paris, then find counters where associates are selling the tickets. My boyfriend and I unfortunately had to learn this hard way by waiting on line for the kiosk for about 15 minutes before finding out that we couldn’t even use it. If you have euro coins, you are more than welcome to use it, but each RER ticket is 10 euros, so just make sure you have the right amount of change.
- Take advantage of the BatoBus. This boat is a hop-on, hop-off system that brings you to all of the major attractions in Paris. My boyfriend and I preferred it over the train because we were able to get a nice ride down the Seine for only 10 euros (that price is for students only). It also allowed us to get great views of Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and other landmarks in Paris!
- Walk everywhere. Or at least as far as you possibly can go. We only took the train about three times during our entire trip. The reason I say to walk everywhere is because Paris is filled with such beautiful, quaint streets that you wouldn’t see if you took the train. We were able to discover little shops, cafés, and ice cream shops on the way to our destinations because we walked through random streets of Paris.
- Look up hours of operation of the places you want to go in advance. This tip is extremely important. Luckily my boyfriend was very prepared for our trip and wrote down the opening and closing times for all of the museums we wanted to go to. You would be surprised how many museums are closed on random days. For example, Musée D’Orsay and the Catacombs are closed on Mondays, so make sure you don’t plan to visit those two places then!
- Avoid Coca-Cola. Random tip, I know, but Coke is so expensive in France! On average, it cost about 4-5 euros in cafés and restaurants. If it’s possible, just skip the coke for as many meals as possible because it will definitely add up before you realize it.
- Bring a bag to the supermarket. Depending on where you live in the world, you might already be used to this, but in New York, plastic bags are complimentary when shopping for groceries. This definitely came as a shock when my boyfriend and I went to a supermarket for the first time. Each bag costs 10 cents, which isn’t too bad, but there’s no purpose in having to buy a plastic bag if it’s not necessary.
- Have picnics as much as you can. If you want to act like a Parisian, have picnics! Parisians love having picnics along the Seine, which is what my boyfriend and I did (twice). For this picnic, you typically bring a bottle of wine, a baguette (or two), and french cheese. And don’t forget to bring a bottle opener and a knife for the cheese!
- Visit Rue Mouffetard for good restaurants and night life. This is a street in Paris that has anything you could possibly want. You can go for a snack, for dinner, or just go for drinks at the many bars located on this street. Food and drinks come at a great price, while immersing you in a French crowd.
So those are all of the tips that I came up with. I thought that they would be super helpful because they are different than the usual tips you would find on the internet.
And as a bonus, here are a few places to eat and drink in Paris!
Eating and Drinking:
- Robert et Louise. They make amazing meat on an open fire. I would recommend getting steak, as this is what they are famous for, and the cheese platter after the main course.
- Bouillon Racine. This restaurant is definitely the place to go if you’re feeling fancy but you’re on a budget. I would recommend the Beef Chuck and the Confit de Canard.
- Pho 14. What most people don’t know is that Paris is also famous for its Vietnamese food. A great place to have delicious Vietnamese food is Pho 14 located in the 13th arrondissement (Chinatown). While the restaurant is known for it’s Pho, you do have other Vietnamese dishes to choose from.
- L’as du Falafel. A very famous falafel spot in Paris. The line will be long, but don’t let that deter you from eating here. The line moves fast, food is served very quickly, and the falafels are delicious.
- La Grande Mosquée de Paris. Even though this is a fully functioning mosque, there is a portion of the building that has been dedicated to food and drink. You can have a full meal here, but the most popular thing to do is sit in the garden and have their famous tea and some pastries.
I hope you find this post to be really helpful for the next time you head to Paris. If you have any other questions about my trip, don’t hesitate to ask by leaving a comment on this post or tweeting me at @BeautyByAndri!
Until next time,