Traveling to Paris: France Travel Tips / Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant

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Traveling to Paris: France Travel Tips

Out of all the cities in the world, I've explored Paris the most. Traveling to Paris is magical. While I live many of my days in Southern California (Conejo ValleyEncinitas, Lompoc) but I've traveled to over 20 countries & I keep finding myself in Paris. Time & time again. I obviously don't consider myself a local, but I know more than the this-is-my-first-time-in-Paris site-seeing tourist or travel influencer. Understand how to not look like a tourist in Paris, because it can keep you safer, make you more knowledgeable, & make you a better traveler. Traveling to Paris is so fun. Consider these France travel tips.

Three facts about the writer, Carmen: I always have fresh eucalyptus hanging in the shower. I'm really into true crime podcasts. One time I spent the night at London Gatwick Airport.


Over the years I've spent several weeks in Paris. My cousin lives in Paris, so I spent some time staying with her in her cool but small studio in the 15th arrondissement. Some days are jam-packed with the most touristy best places to visit in Paris, while some days I sleep in, listen to true crime podcasts in Bibliothèque Vaugirard as I organize emails & submit invoices to my social media & blog clients. Now that I've been to Paris several times & have spent many weeks in the City of Lights, these are my biggest tips on how to not look like a tourist in Paris, France, consider these the do's & don'ts of visiting Paris! Read these France travel tips.



How to Not Look Like a Tourist in Paris, France: Do’s & Don’ts of Paris. Consider these France travel tips.



1. Don’t Speak Extremely Loud, Do Be Aware of Your Volume

One of the first France travel tips is to mind your voice volume. This is applicable wherever you travel. I’ll never forget the American male tourist practically yelling in the metro station that he couldn’t understand the map. His booming voice echoed through the metro, implying his tourist stats to the two hundred or more people through the station. While I completely understand the frustration, the metro can be overwhelming for even a Paris novice, but he created an easy target on his back to get pickpocketed. Travel tips for France: Not only is it courteous to be aware of your volume, but you might blend in more or be less noticeable to pickpockets, scammers, etc.

2. Don’t Dress Like a Tourist, Do Dress More Parisian

Traveling to Paris doesn't have to be scary. You can tell when someone is a tourist because French people are dressed nicely, probably commuting to work or heading to dinner with friends, but as a tourist, we’re dressed for comfort, you don’t have your entire wardrobe to choose from. Travel tips for France & anywhere: I’m a tourist, a traveler myself, but I try to blend in when I can. While this isn’t 100% here are some things to keep in mind: Parisians often wear neutrals. Parisians wear sneakers over the standard tennis shoe or running shoe. Think Stan Smith Adidas - here's a real photo from Paris of three types of white shoes. Look French, that's one of the easier France travel tips.


Sacré-Cœur (Sacre Coeur) has a lot of tourists

3. Don’t Walk Around Naked, Do Wear Headphones

Look around & you’ll see loads of people wearing their little white iPhone headphones or the occasional person with a wireless Bluetooth headphone, either way, many Parisians, especially the younger generation wear headphones while walking around town, commuting via metro or bus. Visiting Paris? Travel tips for France: You’ll blend right in if you listen to a downloaded podcast on Spotify or look at your phone's map to figure out the best places to visit in Paris, just do it with your headphones in. Sometimes I write notes on my phone, it helps me remember details & it looks like I’m a cool Parisian texting all my Parisian friends. Travel tips for France on how to not look like a tourist in Paris? Headphones or earbuds!

4. Don’t Always Speak English, Do Learn Some French words - Even a Word or Two

Traveling to Paris? Learn some French words if you're visiting Paris! I took three years of French in high school since my family lives in France. It was always my goal to communicate with my cousins, but alas, I’ve forgotten most of the verb conjugations & all the accents: accent ague? Sometimes Fred & I can have an entire interaction in our butchered French. Let go of any language shame - just try. I literally pointed to a baguette & said “un croissant, s'il vous plais.” twice while the cashier was like…. “uh…c’est un baguette.” Like I know what it is, my brain messed up. Don’t worry, you’re going to feel silly, but you can’t improve if you don’t try. If anything, you'll learn travel tips for France from this post.


Traveling to Paris: France Travel Tips Inside the Notre Dame Cathedral

5. Don’t Forget to Greet People, Do Say Your “Bonjours” and “Bon Soirees”

French culture means never not saying goodbye. In the USA, we often have “ghosting” culture where you leave without saying goodbye, you just kind of evaporate, disappear. Not when you're visiting Paris, honey. That’s seen as extremely rude. You’ll almost always be greeted when you enter and establishment & you’ll be wished a good day when you leave. For example, when you enter a boulangerie (a French bakery), the cashier will often say, “Bonjour Madame, Bonjour Monsieur.” You should always respond back. My travel tips for France: I usually just say exactly the same thing back to the person. After you order and are about to leave, they usually say “Bonne journée” if it’s day time - which means "Have a nice day." In the late afternoon & evening, many people will send you off with a “Bonne soirée” - basically "Have a good evening." Again, I simply say my pleases & thank you (si’l vous plait & merci) & then regurgitate what they say to me. At our flat in Paris, every time anyone walked passed you, you’d say “bonjour” or at least some acknowledgment or their presence. At my apartment in the USA, you can walk past your neighbor of 3 years without a hello, without even knowing their name. While walking the halls, this While I’m pretty introverted, it’s just different here & you have to push yourself out of the comfort zone. Traveling to Paris is an experience like no other.


6. Don’t Go Without Internet, Do Get a SIM Card

You can't go traveling to Paris without a SIM card. I've done the bulk of my travels without the internet, simply relying on public Wi-Fi whenever possible. Some cities are easier, but in Paris, unless you hop inside a McDonald’s or Starbucks, you’ll be hard-pressed to find free internet. Plus you risk someone stealing your information, passwords, and potentially hacking you. I know, I had no clue about any of this either. I was blissfully logging into every free Wi-Fi. You can easily find SIM cards in Paris at the little phone, gadget, internet kiosks throughout the city. We purchased a 20 gig SIM card for 25 Euro. It allowed us to view maps on our phone without busting out a huge I’m-a-tourist paper map.

Are you traveling to Paris soon? What are your France travel tips? Are you visiting Paris? Do you have travel tips for France?

7 comments

  1. I love Paris and I cannot wait to go back again!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

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  2. I have been to Paris twice and I miss it and can't wait to return!

    https://www.mariannyc.com/upswing-health-free-home-exercises-for-msk-issues/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love this post! I do live relatively close to Paris, and now I really want to go! (Ofc we can't...) The tips are so fun to read ;)

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  4. Ahh Paris. I'll always remember this city with a warm heart for showing me what being an adult was like. So many memories!

    Lindifique

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  5. Oh I love Paris too! I have gone 4 times. I go for FW and my step family lives there as well so I get to visit with them too. I wish I could move there. And these tips are spot. But I don't wear headphones not in NY and not there, I like to have my wits about me.

    And one time I was coming out of the metro and the police stopped everyone to check that there was a photo on everyones metro card. My step sister told me that I needed to have my photo in the sleeve of the metro card and we going to do it when we got home as they have a photo copier. But we both forgot. Anyway needless to say I had to pay the fee. But there was an American couple coming out at the same time. And the husband went balistic, the wife was not so bad but he was yelling and yellling. Calling them thieves. It was embarrassing.

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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  6. I've had mixed experiences when going to Paris. I do intend on return but there are definitely things I dont enjoy (like street pollution, noise, etc)
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  7. I miss Paris and can't wait to finally be able to travel again!

    https://www.mariannyc.com/grounding-morning-ritual-with-matcha-kari/

    ReplyDelete

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