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.
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