Posted by on 01 Nov 2019 , in Europe
Going to any city for the first time can seem daunting, particularly in a place such as Paris, a big city with lots going on. Paris for first timers does not have to be a challenge, and by taking on these tips for first time visitors to the City of Lights, you’ll be making your way around Paris like a local in no time.
Learn some French Words
While many Parisians speak English quite well, making communication a relative non-issue in the French Capital, they show great appreciation for visitors who make the effort with even the simplest of phrases for basic communication in French. Here are a few words and phrases that could be useful for beginners in Paris:
Bonjour – This basically means hello in English and is a good way to greet other people with it especially staff. It is considered polite to do so.
Merci – Saying “Thank you” in any language and to anyone goes a long way. It shows appreciation and saying it in their local language enhances that even more.
S’il vous plait – This means “please” in English and same as saying thank you to someone, it is also very polite to use this phrase when asking for something.
Où est la station de métro la plus proche? – This phrase means “where is the nearest metro station?” This will come in handy when you are a bit lost and not sure where to go next. By being able to get to a metro or train station, you can get your bearings straight and get to the next destination easily.
Get a Map
Speaking of getting lost, it is very useful to get a map of Paris. There are several available online, in the airport, in the city, or even downloadable version for a smartphone. It is ideal to have one on a smartphone since it can be used to find directions by typing in the destination and it will show best routes based on the phone’s GPS location. But, it’s still a good idea to have a physical map as well just in case the smartphone loses signal or internet connection or runs out of battery.
It is a good idea to stay connected to the internet when travelling in Paris (or any other country or city for that matter) since this can be used for directions, translating signs, and many more. It can be a lifesaver. Fortunately, there are public WiFi hotspots all over the city and are free to use. Some, if not most coffee shops also offer this for free.
Another good idea to stay connected is to rent a mobile WiFi device which allows you to have a personal hotspot wherever you go.
On top of that, make sure to pack a mobile power bank to ensure the smartphone and mobile WiFi hotspot doesn’t run out of power.
Contact your Bank and Phone Operator
It is also a good idea to let your bank and phone operator about your trip so you are informed of certain costs and services they might have when you go to Paris. Some people end up paying more than they should simply because they don’t know their options.
At the same time, if the worst happens that you lose your phone or credit card, they can help you faster in disconnecting that service before they are used by someone else.
Be aware of your surroundings
Paris is a very safe city, and like any city even in Australia, it’s wise to be aware of your surroundings. By taking the same precautions you would at home – not leaving your bags or belongings unattended, knowing where you are going and how to get there etc – you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable and safe time in this beautiful city.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
As you would imagine, touring Paris will involve a reasonable amount of walking; whether that’s moving around from one destination to another, or while enjoying one of the many museums and other attractions. A good pair of walking shoes is important to remaining comfortable and enjoying your holiday.
Take a Guided Walking Tour
Guests can appreciate historical sites and other attractions by taking a Paris walking tour. In this way, a guide will be able to explain certain aspects and history of the sites you visit. Not only that but you also get to learn the best places usually known only to locals.
At the same time, by joining walking tours you don’t end up getting lost or trying to find your way from one place to another. Your time is spent mostly in enjoying and learning about Paris. It is an efficient way to tour the city.
And lastly, when visiting Paris, enjoy it! It is one of the most popular cities to tour because it is an amazing place with its history, food, and culture.