I’ve been putting this off, but I finally got it done, so get ready! This is a big one – a very photo-and-text-heavy journal because Paris was a complete dream and is currently tied with New York City as the number one spot on my Favorite Cities list.
Like New York City, there’s just a certain riveting energy in the air. I always hear this stereotype of rude, obnoxious Parisians with huge attitude and a particularly strong disdain for Americans, but I honestly didn’t bump into much – if any – of that! Perhaps Parisians don’t smile as much, but I think that adds to the overall charm of the city.
With just under four and a half days to explore the city and do everything on my checklist (yes, I like to do my research before embarking on my travels), our days were jam-packed with activities that we found ourselves ridiculously exhausted every night! But don’t get me wrong – even with all the exhaustion, we still managed to enjoy ourselves in the city to the fullest. Thankfully, we had our amazing Airbnb apartment (sign up here to get $25 credit for your trip!) and our hotel to relax in.
In the sharing spirit, here are a few important tips from Paris I’d like to pass on to my readers:
- Pass up on the subway: The Metro might be the cheapest (next to walking) and fastest way to get around town, but I highly suggest you opt to walk instead! If the distance is too great, take an Uber (use code UBERJAYEEAYCH for $20 off your first Uber ride) – it’s much cheaper than cabs, and although many of the Uber drivers aren’t too familiar with the English language, you’ll still be able to survive AND have a friendlier time in the car, since French cabbies are infamous for their attitude. Taking a car or walking will give you the best opportunity to soak in all the charming nook and crannies Paris has to offer that you’d otherwise miss out if you just rely on underground transportation.
- Find the Louvre’s secret entrances: This is super important: Don’t wait in line to enter The Louvre at the pyramid entrance; it’s madness! That’s the entrance that everyone (who didn’t do research) waits at, so the lines are ridiculously long. Instead, enter via Porte des Lions or the Carrousel du Louvre. I went on a Saturday morning and entered via the Carrousel, and there was no line at all!
- Take advantage of breakfast: I can’t rave enough about French bakeries! They’re everywhere so in the morning, you can just walk out of your apartment/hotel building and find a bakery within 20 footsteps, and the pastries are so good and cheap.
- No need to worry about food: Seriously. There are cafes/restaurants every few feet on practically every street with menus displayed by the entrances so all you need to do is saunter up to whichever establishment you fancy and decide on the spot whether you want to go in or not. Simple as that! This is one thing I really miss about Paris.
- Don’t talk to strangers: At least, be smart about who you talk to. Paris is known for an abundance of thieves and swindlers, so it would be in your best interest to be extremely cautious about who you talk to. Also, mind your belongings and make sure your bag is zipped at all times. Do not underestimate these thieves – I’ve heard too many horrendous stories.
- Put your phone away: This ties in to the tip above. Phones can be lifesavers especially when we need some navigation assistance, but that is also a dead giveaway of your tourist nature and consequently makes you an easy target.
- Watch where you step: We’ve all heard that Paris is gorgeous, but one thing that no one tells us is that Paris sidewalks are littered with dog poop!
- Mind the charger: Don’t make the same mistake I did; bring an international adapter with you to make sure all your tech gadgets are charged with power!
Can you believe that there were still more places we wanted to check out but didn’t have enough time to? Such a killer! But I suppose this means I’ll definitely have to visit Paris again sometime soon to finish up my list: Disneyland / Pierre Herme / Angelina / Patisserie Ciel / Pozzetto / Galeries Lafayette / La Promenade Plantee / Montmarte neighborhood / Parc des Buttes-Chaumont / Jardin des Plantes / Place des Vosges / Berthillon / Maison Bastille / Le Marais neighborhood / Ille Saint-Louis / Montparnasse Tower / Musee Marmottan-Monet / Les Invalides & Musee de l’Armee / Cafe Carette / Rue Cremieux
Thanks so much for reading! Happy holidays to you all, and to dear Paris – I will see you soon, fingers crossed!