5 Useful Tips For Your First Trip To Paris

It’s no secret why millions of tourists flock every year to the most romantic city in the world. With beautiful architecture, some of the best food in the world, and picturesque French parks, Paris is one of those places that you don’t want to miss.

Parisians aren’t known for their subtlety, however, and will quickly become irritated at obnoxious tourists who don’t know how to behave themselves. Not to mention Paris is quite big and potentially a challenge to get around in. In order to ensure that you have the most stress-free trip possible to the city of amour, follow this useful tips.

Watch Out For The Bike Lanes

Don’t be surprised if you’re strolling down the road aimlessly soaking up the romance and beauty of Paris and suddenly you hear an abrupt bell and angry indecipherable French. Stepping into a bike lane in Paris is no different than stepping into traffic with cars whizzing past.

Cyclists have very little patience for tourists who risk them getting into an accident because they were too busy positioning their selfie-sticks to notice they were stepping into oncoming bike traffic. Stay aware of the bike lanes and remain in the pedestrian areas.

Yes You Should Tip

There is a lot of conflicting information about whether or not you should tip when eating in restaurants in Paris, and the short answer is, yes.

Generally, you should tip about 10% on a full meal if your service was good. If you’re just ordering a coffee or glass of wine, it’s up to your own discretion. Since Parisians have reputations for being less than patient all the time with non-French speaking customers, you may opt to not tip a few times on small bills on your trip, and that’s ok.

The Metro Is The Best Way To Get Around

While Paris isn’t exactly New York City, it’s not far off. The traffic can be incredibly dense and you may find yourself sitting in your car for long periods of time.

This is why you’ll see most locals getting around by metro. It’s affordable and fast, and pretty straightforward. Why bother with pricey cabs and wasting time in traffic when you could just hop on a metro ride for under 2 euros.

Stick To The Right

Paris is a major city, so things can move fast. It’s natural that you may not be in a hurry since you’re on vacation. So if you find yourself in a bustling area with people rushing past you, particularly on escalators, stand to the right so that people can pass. You’re better safe than sorry when it comes to getting in the way of a rushed Parisian.

Be Respectful About Photographing

In French culture, it’s not considered appropriate to take photos of strangers without their permission. Even though you may be tempted to get a great candid shot of someone for your own photography collection, this is considered a breach of privacy.

Don’t even consider taking a photo of a French person’s child as this is seen as very offensive. Many French parents don’t even post their own child’s photo on their social media pages. When in doubt, just don’t do it.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.