Paris is a beautiful place and one of the most visited cities on earth. From the experience, they were quite couple things we wish we knew before visiting Paris… so here are seven of them!
1. There are a lot of museums.
Beside fashion, Paris is also known for its monuments and palaces that were turned into museums to display French histories. This includes Louvre, Grand Palais, Notre-Damn de Paris, Petit Palais, Arc de Triomphe, and countless more places.
If Louvre is on your itinerary, then you should dedicate a whole day of your trip to this museum as it is massive; even three hours won’t suffice. There is also a possibility of you getting lost, whether you’ve got a map with you or not; but there are guides in almost every corner so getting out of the place won’t be much of a concern.
2. Their pastries and desserts are amazing, but not their savouries.
We went to cafes nearby the hotel and decided to bring back some croissants. We left them in our rooms over night, believe it or not they were still crispy and delicious even the morning after as if we just bought them from the cafe. Definitely recommend trying out pastries from local cafes in Paris, as well as desserts; they were beyond delicious.
However, the savouries were a bit disappointing. The presentation for their food are just what you would expect from a country where they provide 5-star culinary courses, but the looks can be deceiving. The taste is very bland, and no matter how expensive we had paid for a dish it just couldn’t satisfy our taste buds. We asked our french friend why this is the case, he said because french people avoid using spices. They rarely even put salt in fish when grilling it.
3. Restaurants are quite expensive.
Avoid restaurants near busy tourist areas as they are overpriced. We paid a minimum of €30 ($40) for each dish throughout our whole trip visiting main attractions, and the food wasn’t exactly the best.
4. Beware of street scams.
This happened to us once as we didn’t know until afterwards that it was a tourist scam. Be very aware because there will be women approaching and asking you to donate to charities. They will hand you a paper to sign, in order to make it look more trustable, but don’t fall for that as it is how they make money. And believe it or not, they earn at least €100 a day doing this.
5. Learn couple french words.
People in Paris are really lovely but you will occasionally struggle to communicate with them especially the locals since they don’t really speak English. We were trying to ask for directions but the locals just couldn’t understand what we were saying, although you could see from their faces that they really wanted to help. Therefore, it’s good to learn some french words before your trip.
6. Taxis are not that expensive.
We took public transportation everywhere until the last day that we decided to call up a taxi for an airport drop-off. Lots of things in Paris is expensive so we thought the taxi would be as well, but this wasn’t the case. We paid €13 ($17) for a 15-minute ride, which wasn’t as high as expected! So don’t hesitate to get a taxi to drop you off at a hotel/hostel if you want some convenience!
7. Metro stations do not have elevators nor escalators.
We weren’t travelling as backpackers so this was such a struggle. Metro stations usually have escalators and stairs for people to reach the underground areas, but this was not the case for Paris. They’ve got many sets of stairs but no escalators or elevators whatsoever. So people with big suitcases, you have been warned cause you will be carrying your heavy bags down and up couple sets of stairs before reaching your destination!