Here’s a few tips I can share for Paris:
- Americans! Please note, some train ticket machines will not accept your chipless cards. I had to use my friend’s from Australia and pay him back with Euros
- Buy bulk rides for your metro pass rather single rides, there is usually a discount for doing so
- To save money, buy groceries at Carre Four (a big grocery chain) if you are staying in a hotel or rental with a fridge. Eat yogurt which is great for the traveling stomach, fruit, cereal
- Buy baguettes from the boulangerie, cheese from the fromagerie, meats from the boucherie, and pastries from the patisserie. We North Americans are used to one stop shopping but this is Paris! Do as the Parisians do!
- This is a time you can drink in public without hassle. Do it! I bought a bottle of wine from the grocery and grabbed a couple of cups from a cafe and sat in the park near the Eiffel Tower
- Walk a lot. I walked instead of taking the bus or metro to counterbalance all the macarons I was eating
Warnings about Paris:
- Coffee is not very good. If you are a coffee afficianado, those cafe au laits you think you’ll be savoring cafe side? Not up to snuff. Go to Italy or to Spain for a better cup. I was shocked myself
- There is dog poop everywhere! Those Euros do not pick up after their dogs and so I swear, at one point in Paris, you will be stepping in it. I thought I was safe. Nope. On my last day, I walked out of Pere La Chaise cemetary, pulled a fast corner and stepped in a pile of poop. Ugh.
- People always say Parisians are rude. I didn’t find that the case and dusted off the French I learned in school in Canada.
- Here are some phrases to combat the so-called rudeness:
Learn some key phrases in French:
- Hello: Bonjour (Good day).
- Good night: Bon soir.
- Goodbye: Au revoir.
- I will have the salted caramel macaron: Je prends le caramel de sel macaron.
- I will have 8 macarons please (the number in a box of Laduree macarons): Je prend huit macarons s’il vous plait.
- Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup.
- I don’t speak French: Je ne parle francais.
- I don’t understand: Je ne comprend pas.
Travel tip shared by rtwgirl