WHETHER YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH THE ‘CITY OF LOVE’ OR ARE YET TO POUND THE PAVE­MENTS OF PARIS, THERE ARE PLENTY OF TIPS AND TRICKS YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND WHEN PLAN­NING YOUR VISIT TO THE FRENCH CAP­I­TAL.

Haven Magazine - - Front Page -

Be­tween fam­ily trips and school tours, I’m pretty lucky to be able to say that I’ve vis­ited Paris more than any other ma­jor city. But I still found that on my most re­cent trip, there was a lot that I hadn’t tried - from thrift shop­ping in the Marais to eat­ing mac­a­roni and cheese in Ferdi (Kim Kar­dashian’s favourite restau­rant). While I still get lost on the metro or panic if some­one asks me for di­rec­tions ("mon Française n’est pas bon" - ie. "My French is not good!"), I like to think I’ve picked up a few bits of lo­cal knowl­edge – or at least reached ‘Ex­pert Tourist’ sta­tus. When it comes to trans­port, the metro can be take any­more cob­ble­stone streets. While taxis are fairly cheap and easy, I hon­estly pre­ferred walk­ing. I walked from the Lou­vre to the Arc de Tri­om­phe via the Tui­leries Gar­den and the Champs-Élysées We in­tended to go all the away around the Seine at the Flame of Lib­erty, but the thought of warm French onion soup got the bet­ter of us and we opted for an early din­ner in­stead. Other days we man­aged to walk nearly 20km, which we used to jus­tify co­pi­ous amounts of bread and es­presso mar­ti­nis. If you’re plan­ning on see­ing the sights, it pays to be strate­gic. Why pay to climb the Arc de Tri­om­phe when you get the same view for free from the rooftop of Gal­leries Lafayette? In the world’s third most vis­ited city, crowds are too be ex­pected pretty much all year round but we foundd that some places were open at night and much,uch, much qui­eter – like the gal­leries of the Pom­pi­douidou Cen­tre. Most at­trac­tions are closed for one day a week, so check be­fore you start the 30-minutenute train ride to Ver­sailles on a Mon­day. Stores arere of­ten closed on Sun­days, or ran­domly on oth­erer days, so it’s best not to save all your shop­ping g forr one day. If you spot some­thing you love, get it even the store again. Who­ever said that French peo­ple are rude or snobby mustn’t have been talk­ing about Paris. Thee lo­cals may not walk around grin­ning from ear to ear – that would be su­per creepy – they’re al­ways more than will­ing to help. Whether it’s a waiter with rec­om­men­da­tions for the Top 5 best bars near Rue de Rivoli or a can­dle-store owner shar­ingring his favourite Ja­panese restau­rants, I’ve never asked a ques­tion in Paris that hasn’t re­ceived a friendly and help­ful an­swer. Talk to your taxi xi driv­ers, chat with the per­son next to you in a line or make a friend at a bar. Most Parisians love ove their city and speak great English. Just be sure to learn a bit of French to break the ice. It’s moree po­lite to try and fail than to ask them a ques­tion in English. When it comes to ac­com­mo­da­tion, lo­ca­tion­ca­tion is se­ri­ously every­thing. The three of us – plus our six gi­nor­mous suit­cases – hap­pily squished uished into a

Words: Anastasia White

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