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Traveling to Paris, The City of Light, can most certainly be found on everyone’s wishlist. Being a great runaway paradise for couples, Paris also offers a lot of amazing things you can see and experience with friends and family. One thing you should be certain of is that Parisians play by different rules. So, to avoid getting into an uncomfortable or inconvenient situation, here are 10 things you should know before traveling to Paris.
1.Paris is a city with a very unique structure
Paris is a city with a very unique structure, unlike any other city in the world. It is divided by twenty arrondissements or neighborhoods starting from the center and spreading through a circular pattern across the city. The 1st neighborhood is the center of Paris where you can find the most expensive restaurants, boutiques and hotels. The closer you are to the center, the more expensive the food and the accommodation get. If you’re looking to fit everything in your budget, try going for the neighborhoods further away from the center.
2. Say bonjour
Now, here is a custom Americans are not very used to so they end up getting many evil stares in Paris. It is mandatory to say hello and goodbye when entering and leaving a store. These pleasantries are simply a nice gesture which has become a custom of the French people. If you see the cashier looking at you strangely, you have most likely forgotten to say bonjour on your way in.
3.Expect to wait for at least ten minutes after finishing your meal
Here is another custom that you might find fairly odd, but it is important to be familiar with.The French don’t like to rush when eating. So, if you’re in a restaurant make sure to take your time. In most of the places in America, you get the bill along with the meal and once you want to leave you can call the waiter to pay the bill and leave everything behind. However, in Paris, chefs serve reasonable amounts of food and if you cannot finish it you are considered to be rude. Expect to wait for at least ten minutes after finishing your meal to get the bill in Paris because Parisians just like to take their time.
Since we are already talking about it, if you want to eat some good, delicious food but you would like to stay within your budget and not waste a fortune on expensive restaurants, feel free to try the street food such as different kinds of crepes, sushi, Chinese noodles or falafles. These street food places also offer you a unique experience where you can watch the chef prepare your food in a very attractive manner and you can enjoy the nice, touristy atmosphere.
5.Investigate around and find the hidden treasures
One of the best tips you can get when traveling in general, not only in Paris, is to get off the beaten path. Most tourists just walk through the most popular streets and neighborhoods and indulge in expensive restaurants and bars. However, if you want to spend less but experience more, the trick is to investigate around and find the hidden treasures known only to the locals. Who knows, you might find something you like along the way.
What everyone thinks of the first when thinking about traveling to Paris is going to the Eiffel Tower to see the amazing view of the whole city. Since that is the most popular touristic attraction, it has become very pricey. Instead of doing that, do something even better, get a free skyline and city view from places such as Tour Montparnasse or Montmartre. This way you will save some money and get an even better view with the Eiffel Tower in it.
Two places you surely must visit when you travel to Paris are the Louvre and the Notre Dame. The two most outstanding places in Paris, the famous museum and the amazing cathedral that cannot be compared to any other structures of their kind in the world. Make sure you don’t leave Paris without visiting them.
8.Avoid traveling to Paris in August
Avoid traveling to Paris in August because that is their vacation month and most of the restaurants and stores will be closed even though it is summertime. Parisians appreciate their time away from work and even take a full month for vacation, which is an odd concept for the Americans who only get one or two weeks.
9.Transportation in Paris
Transportation in Paris is actually pretty easy to figure out. You can get just about anywhere with a metro but have in mind that they close at night, meaning you would have to take a taxi. Taxis are very expensive and their rate goes up at night, right when you miss the last metro. So, if you don’t want to spend a stack of cash to get somewhere, enjoy a nice walk.
10.American plugs do not match the outlets in France
The final thing you should know, and maybe the most important one, is that the American plugs do not match the outlets in France because of the tongs which are flat instead of round. So, before traveling to Paris make sure you get a converter to be able to charge your electronic devices.