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Travel tips for Paris Arc D' TriompheTravel Tips for Paris

 

Travel tips for Paris Sacre' CouerThese are my travel tips for Paris.  To read the story of the travel which lead to the creation of these tips, you can click the View my pictures of Paris link on the left, which will allow you to read all about my second time in Paris.  As well, there are several phone numbers for the main tourist attractions in Paris included in those pages.  Hopefully these will help people who are traveling on limited budgets and with limited time.

 

And without further ado, here are my Paris travel tips.


  • Tip #1 for Paris - If you are in Paris driving a car, be aware that people in Paris drive however they want to.


  • Tip #2 - If you have a car, get a good tourist book which will tell you where and where not to park. 


  • Tip #3 - Learn a bit of French.  A great book which has a lot of basic phrases and fun things to try is Rick Steves' handy pocketbook guide to basic French (find book)


  • Tip #4 - Use the Metro (the subway).  There is simply no better way to get around Paris.  But make sure you've brushed up on your French.  It will help with buying tickets and understanding the maps in the subways.

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  • Travel tips for Paris Eiffel TowerTip #5 - The lines and crowds at the Eiffel Tower can get very long.  If you must see the lights of Paris at night (and you should) Go on a week night (not Friday), or make reservations.      T�l. : 01.44.11.23.23  (From the U.S., first dial 1016868 (This makes your call only 9 cents/minute), then 011, then 33 (33 is the Paris country code), then 1.44.11.23.23)

  • TIP #6 - The Louvre.  I've been to Paris twice now and still not been in the Louvre.  From what I understand, if you are an art lover and really appreciate art museums, you could spend weeks here, but for most people, half a day is enough time.  You see the famous pictures (Mona Lisa), and spend some time looking at the amazing art.  I can't really give a good suggestion on how much time to spend there.  I've heard rumors, however, that if you go on Sunday morning and get there as they're opening, it's free admission.  Could just be a rumor, you're best off giving them a call.  T�l. : (1016868 011 33) 1.40.20.53.17



  • TIP # 7 - If there is one place that is absolutely crazy to drive in Paris, it's in the roundabout that goes around the Arc D'Triomphe.  If you rent a car and drive here, just go travelling around in your car like you would if there were no rules.



  • TIP #8 - There are lots of wonderful museums in France!  One of them is the Pantheon, which was originally a church, and originally planned to be something other than that which I can't remember at present.  Victor Hugo and some other famous French people are buried here.  Make sure you set aside some time and some money to visit the museums if that's something you want to do.


  • Travel tips for Paris Notre Dame
  • TIP #9 - Have some small change (or large change if you can afford it) on hand for the street performers.  They're pretty good!



  • TIP #10 - Travel tips for Paris Notre Dame stained glass windowsIf you like looking at the inside of churches, take some time for Notre' Dame, and if you have a problem with crowds, don't go on the weekend.  People were pretty respectful inside the cathedral on the weekdays, but there are a lot of people there on the weekends, so you end up waiting in line, and it gets more noisy inside.

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  • TIP #11 - If you want to see the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle at night, get there right before the hour.

  • Tip #12 - If you're only going to be there a short time, get a calling card before you go.  On Complaints.com, people tell stories of how they have been overcharged as much as $6.00 per minute by phone companies for both calling to and from Europe.  DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE OR GET CAUGHT PAYING TOO MUCH!  There are some lesser known and very inexpensive ways to call Europe from America, and to call America from Europe.  I've suggested some on my calling advice page.


  • TIP #13 - If you see a person on the street who is selling something and wants to sketch you or give you something for free, don't be fooled by talk which says they'll so something for free.  IT ISN'T FREE!  I had a negative experience with a sketch artist, and while I'm sure there are some good (and legitimate) sketch artists in Paris, I didn't find them.  Make sure you know the whole story up front!  They tried to get us to pay over $80 for two, less than good, sketches.


  • TIP #14 - Take a camera, read the weather forecast before you go, and most importantly, have a great time!

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Best gifts for people living/working in Europe
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Top 10 Travel Tips for being in Paris
includes phone numbers for tourist attractions
How to send an SMS
Cell phone text messaging
Recommended European Travel Books
Recommended European Travel Web Sites
View my Germany study abroad experience
View my pictures of Paris
My closing thoughts after living for four months in Germany
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