I’m so glad I made the effort of taking my heavy camera to Paris- it was so worth it! This city is bursting with history and pretty views at every corner, and I was snapping away as we walked. We didn’t stay in Paris for long, but we stayed for long enough for me to learn a few lessons. Maybe if you are also planning a short trip to Paris, you will find these few tips helpful.
Pack good shoes– This seems like the most obvious one, and I thought I had it covered when I packed my flats. After about an hour of walking, they started to cause blisters and two hours in I could barely walk. We ended up going into H&M and buying me new sandals! Take something trusty like a pair of Nikes- pack those heels in a bag if you want to take photos, your feet will thank you later.
The Eiffel Tower is a must see, but there is no need to go up it– Yes the view form the top is beautiful, but with it being the most visited tourist attraction in Paris, you will stand in a que for the whole day. Rather pack a picnic basket and lie around on Champs de Mars.
Paris is meant for walking- I know its tempting to catch a taxi or take the subway, but let me tell you, the Parisian subway is one of the most complicated systems I have seen! I am very used to riding the tube, and know my way around a map, but the Paris one just didn’t make much sense. We walked all the way from the Arc De Triomphe, down Champs Elysees, past the Concorde, to the Louvre, down to the Notre Dame and back. My feet were killing me, but look at these views!
Skip The Moulin Rouge– I knew this one from my friends that visited Paris. Firstly its super expensive to see the show- starting from 150 euros per person(with dinner). But I still wanted to see the Red Mill, so I dragged my mom there. The district is full of sex shops, which I suppose makes sense, but not what I wanted to see. But if you are into that sort of thing, go for it ;).
French food is the way– I have a rule, that no matter which country I go to, I have to eat local food as much as I can! It can be tempting to just go into a well-known franchise, and order the old faithful, but come on, you have to enjoy the local food! Paris is full of little cafes, and no matter which one we stepped in, the food was amazing. I had French Onion Soup and snails for lunch the one day, and it was delicious.
Download or take a translator with you– I know this might sound silly, but France was the first country that I visited that wasn’t either half-English, or a language that I didn’t understand. I obviously speak Russian and Ukrainian, and even though those countries are not English friendly, I have always known the language and found it easy. The UAE and Turkey are also well-equipped for the English speaker. But Paris was a whole different story. We struggled to find our way around everything, so grab a translator before you head there.
Pastries, pastries,pastries– You have got to try some sort of French dessert. Laduree was a big must-visit for me, and we visited the one on Champs Elysees- it was delicious. I also heard that Angelina’s is also pretty amazing, and that’s right outside the Louvre. Even the Pain Au Raisin in Paul(which is available almost everywhere) was amazing. I might have gained an extra 2kgs, but it was worth it.
It is a must see– I have always known this, but didn’t realise just how beautiful Paris is, until I saw it in person. There is a reason so many books,poems and movies are written and directed about this city, it’s because it really is, the city of dreams. I can’t wait to be back!