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.

Paris Tips

Charles de Gaulle can be so confusing so don't feel discouraged if it takes over an hour to find your way out. At least you're in Paris! Consider these best Paris travel tips. From the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower to the Notre Dame, your trip to Paris will be full of wonder. If you are visiting Paris for the first time, make sure to do some research, particularly on how not to look like a tourist.

Reserve your tickets ahead of time whenever possible. 

Three facts about the writer, Carmen: I always have fresh eucalyptus hanging in the shower.  One time I spent the night at London Gatwick AirportOut of all the cities in the world, I've explored Paris the most. 

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

When you visit Paris, 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.

7. Consider Getting the Paris Pass

Save money on top tourist attractions! The Paris Pass allows you to check out some of the top Paris attractions all on one digital pass! Enjoy entry to over 75 top things to do in the city such as iconic landmarks like the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, and the Arc de Triomphe.

Top Things to Do in Paris for First Timers

Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre Museum to see the Mona Lisa, Musée d'Orsay, Latin Quarter (The 5th Arrondissement),

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