I will not play around with introductions in this article. Paris does not need one.
Lets go straight to the main event –
Transportation in Paris
There are tons of ways to find cheap flight tickets, but you could just use Skyscanner to find flights to Paris. You will find umpteen direct and connecting options, and Skyscanner tends to have the lowest prices (although i’d like to point out the fact that Google has a product in this segment too and do not overlook it).
The metro is a convenient, easy and safe way to travel through Paris. That is just a suggestion (even the locals agree with me on this one).
If you have extra time and would like to sail through the city streets on a Parisian bus then hey – no one is stopping you.
If you decide to use the metro, get a carnet – that’s what they call a bunch of 10 metro tickets. It is absolutely the best value choice for travelers.
I see that I didn’t mention private transport at all here. Well, if you are ready to shell out money to hire a car for local transport in Paris, you probably do not need too many tips on how to save money, am I right? Just do your research, a simple google search will give you a basket of options. It is up to you to choose a vehicle, but consider these basic factors- comfort, price and fuel efficiency.
What is the best way to get from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris?
Take the train. Taxi’s are expensive, again because of the fact that it is a tourist destination. You could just take the train to the major station and then find a connecting metro to your final destination. Simple. You get to ride the metro and the train on one trip!? SCORE!
You do not need a car to get around Paris. Period (but that’s just my opinion). You could get one if you wanted, but then you will just have deal with sky high parking rates, crazy drivers and much more hassle than you’d think.
There are innumerable taxi’s in Paris and you will find one without much hassle, Uber exists too, but not as much as other cities. Taxi’s in Paris are perfect for quick getaways, but sometimes rush hour traffic will get you.
Accommodation in Paris
If you are just stopping over, you do not need to stay at a hotel near the airport (unless you really want to, or) unless it’s for one night and you have a very early flight the next day.
Both the operational airports of Paris, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, are located far outside the city center.
Consider Hostels. I always stay at hostels wherever I find them. If you want great, cheap, and safe accommodation in Paris, checkout some of the best hostels in Paris.
If you want to stay in a hotel, compare the best rates online. Hotels in Paris can be very expensive, considering the fact that tourists flock from all around the world. But, there is always deals to be found. Let your fingers do the walking online, you might find one for yourself.
Sunny Days out on the verandah
Safety and Security
Don’t have travel insurance? Going to Paris without it is really not a good idea. It could be anything from some minor bruises to your phone / passport being stolen or something compels you to cancel your trip, a travel insurance will act as your safety net. I highly recommend getting travel insurance.
Keep an eye out for pickpockets. Paris, being a very popular tourist spot, attracts tourists from all over the world. This sets the perfect stage for pickpockets. Be wary of what you are putting into your pocket and how hard it is to extract it. Keep minimal stuff in your pockets. The idea is, the lesser options you give, the better. Use a fanny pack (i did really just say a fanny pack. You could use a modern version of the fanny pack that comes in different shapes as shown in the picture below).
Some packing tips
Most Parisians dress neatly. If you want to dress like a Parisian, avoid shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers. Put more effort into your outfit. Wear jeans, ballet flats, boots, a nice pashmina or scarf, well-cut dresses, tasteful accessories.
Comfortable shoes are essential, but that does not mean you wear ugly shoes. Pack at least a couple pairs in case you plan on exploring the city on foot.
A universal power converter will be a smart accessory to choose because – you just never know! The best part is, you will inevitably find use for it on future tips to other destinations.
General and Etiquette
If you say, “Bonjour, monsieur,” or “Bonjour, madame,” whenever you enter a shop or restaurant, you will be taken well. The French regard these greetings as basic manners. So much so, that they actually teach that to their kids from a young age. Failing to do this may earn you rude treatment in return. Say, “Au revoir,” when you leave, too.
Speak as much French as you can. If you are unable to speak French, speak broken French. Making a genuine effort to speak French will almost always get you better treatment than leading with English. This shows you are making an effort and the French people like that. At the very least, learn basic phrases.
Some general tips
Free wifi is becoming more common in Paris. You’ll find it at many cafes these days, something that seemed unthinkable a few years ago.
Take your umbrella everywhere you go. Paris is in the Northern part of Europe – where it rains frequently and without notice. The weather also changes quickly — you could have four seasons in a day!
I hope you found value in this post!