10 things to know before going to Paris
10 things to know before going to Paris. Planning your dream vacation in Paris after the lockdown? You could be filled with questions about your visit, especially if it will be your first visit to the French capital. We have compiled here a list of 10 things you should know before coming to Paris.
1. Paris is safe
Paris is a very safe city, statistically, it is one of the largest safest metropolitan areas in Europe. Generally, the only crimes tourists should worry about are petty crimes like pickpocketing, which can be a problem in overcrowded tourist areas like around the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré Coeur. . Violent crimes in the city are very rare. If you’re traveling solo, the only places you may want to avoid late at night are around Gare du Nord, Les Halles metro station, Stalingrad and Chateau d’Eau.
2. Basic sentences in French
We know that learning French can be very intimidating, especially when local Parisians speak French in rapid fire. Fortunately, as many French people you will meet in restaurants and shops will speak at least a little English, it is not necessary to speak French fluently to visit the city. In addition, most of the signs and announcements of the Paris metro are translated into English. However, picking up a few basic French phrases will go a long way during your trip. Although it may seem insignificant, just saying “Hello” will make a huge difference when entering a store or restaurant. Some other French phrases super easy to memorize: “Pardon” (Excuse me) “Merci beaucoup” (Merci beaucoup), “Parlez-vous anglais?” (do you speak english) and “Good day / good evening”.
3. The French are really nice!
Contrary to popular belief, the French are not rude. They are in fact very proud of their city and their culture which wrongly gave them the reputation of being a bit snobby. Compared to Anglo-Saxons, French social behavior is very different, which is why they can sometimes seem hostile. This is simply due to the fact that in Paris, people appreciate politeness and are therefore much more formal than what some tourists may be used to in their country of origin. However, once you get to know a French person, they will open up to you.
4. The metro is your friend
When you visit Paris, don’t be intimidated by taking the metro! It is very practical and will help you get quickly from point A to point B. The Paris metro is one of the oldest metro networks in the world, and it is actually very user-friendly. The maps and directions are clearly marked and compared to some other cities, they are generally fairly clean. You can also always count on practical applications like CityMapper to help you navigate your journey.
5. Paris is a pedestrian city
Paris is actually a small town, just 6 miles in diameter. It’s actually half the size of Brooklyn. That said, it is quite easy to get around Paris on foot and very pleasant too. You could walk from one end of the city to the other in three hours.
6. There is much more than the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay
Paris is obviously famous for its world-class art museums like the Louvre Museum and the Musée d’Orsay. But did you know that there are so many more museums to visit than these two icons? There are actually around 130 museums in the city, ranging from historic monuments to the unusual, such as the doll or the vampire museum.
7. You will find a green space in each district
When Baron Haussmann rebuilt and reorganized Paris in his major urban planning projects under the Second Empire, one of the objectives was to bring more green spaces into the city so that the inhabitants could have fresh air. Inspired by the great parks of London, Paris has around 500 green spaces in the city. These oases offer respite to locals and tourists. For a true Parisian experience, take a baguette sandwich in a bakery and then enjoy it while sitting on a park bench.
8. Many restaurants do not serve food between 2 pm and 7 pm
In Paris, lunch is generally served between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. If you are in Paris and looking for a bite to eat after this time, you may need to specifically look for a restaurant that will say “continuous service” – which means they serve food around the clock. Most traditional French restaurants take a break between lunch and dinner. Dinner usually starts at 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., while many French people eat around 9 p.m.
9. Pharmacies are everywhere and you don’t need a prescription for many drugs
If you are visiting Paris and you start to experience a cold, or if you have symptoms, before trying to find a doctor, simply go to the nearest pharmacy. Pharmacists will review your symptoms and any pre-existing conditions or medications you are already taking and will offer advice and medical advice. Most medications do not require a prescription, but if you miss a foreign prescription while on the go, many pharmacists will fill it for you.
10. Paris is a multicultural city
French culture is appreciated all over the world and French gastronomy is considered to be one of the most refined and elegant cuisines. While you won’t be short of traditional French restaurants in Paris, don’t forget that Paris is a very multicultural city. With large populations of Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Moroccan, Algerian, and many others, there are hundreds of excellent and unique restaurants, bakeries and ethical cafes to try in the city. Specific districts like Belleville are veritable melting pots of culture.