On my recent trip to Paris I did all of the things that tourists typically do and I wanted to share them with you in order to show you all of the amazing things that you can do in the city!
I was only in Paris for 3 days and we went from London Gatwick but I wouldn’t recommend flying if you are going from England, the eurostar is a better option. In terms of booking the trip I would recommend using a site like Lastminute.com because they do deals which includes the travel and hotel at a reduced price.
In terms of the cost over all of staying in Paris, it’s a little bit expensive so using deals off of a website is the best way of doing it and they often include breakfast as well which will save you some money. In all honesty food and stuff is hella expensive in Paris, even McDonalds is so much more expensive (I’m talking 3 euros for a McFlurry?!?!). The food is amazing though, especially the pastries and the crepes. I got the impression that everyone in Paris eats out instead of eating at home so there is quite a lot of places to eat out there and there are a few supermarkets around.
Now is a good time to say that I am sadly gluten intolerant so I truly struggled to find things to eat so if you are the same then I would not recommend going, especially if you are coeliac. I’m not seriously intolerant so I did eat a few pastries because when in Paris, you gotta do it. I did look into it before the trip so I did find places that did vegan food and places that specified in gluten free food so there are places, I didn’t visit any though. I’d look out for the term ‘sans gluten’ which means gluten free.
In contrast to the expensive food, travelling is hella cheap. Your best option is the Metro which I found easier to navigate than the London Underground, and if in doubt there was always people who worked there that you could ask. There’s plenty of buses as well and I would happily make the assumption that they were similar in pricing.
If you are planning a trip to Paris, I have some tips and general things that you should know before going that I didn’t know. They’re just things that I picked up on that really showed how different the culture was to what I was used to, this is not me saying their way of life is bad. I’m just saying what I experienced on my trip.
- The roads are so dangerous. Even when the man flashed green, they just keep on driving and sometimes they’ll stop but the majority of the time they didn’t, so just start walking and then they would stop. Additionally there’s a lot of motorcycles and scooters (as in the ones you had as kids but built for adults), that seems to be their chosen method of transport, so just keep an eye out.
- People don’t move out of your way. Being British, if you accidentally bump into someone, you end up apologising even if it’s not your fault (that could just be me) but they just keep walking even if your in their path, so just step to the side.
- Everyone is so polite to each other and it was so lovely to see. At the hotel we stayed at, when people came down for breakfast they all greeted each other with a handshake like old friends and they all shares tables despite not knowing each other. I come from a culture of keeping yourself to yourself so it was nice to go somewhere where people shared everything.
- There’s a lot of beggars around which I was warned about before the trip and I was also told a lot to be warned of pickpocketers so make sure you know where your stuff is at all times. There’s also loads of people around the popular tourist places trying to sell you things or trying to sell you water, I would personally ignore these people or politely tell them no.
- Due to recent events that have happened in Paris, the security is extremely tight and there’s police everywhere and they’re heavily armed as well. I totally understand why, it was quite a shock when I first saw men in uniform carrying huge guns just walking down the street. Also most places you go, you will have your bag checked and they will also check any small bags that you have within those bags. I assume this is a long term thing for the city.
Seriously, it is such a beautiful place and the houses/flats just look so gorgeous to the point where I would love to move there so badly! We crammed so much in our 3 days and there’s still loads that we didn’t end up seeing or doing, such as going up the Eiffel Tower. Not gonna lie, doing things like that is quite expensive and we were on a budget and restricted on time which is why we didn’t do that. So if you were planning a trip that I would suggest making an itinerary beforehand and then working out how much it’s all gonna cost ya. Don’t let things like this get you down because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity (I guess not for some people). Money doesn’t and shouldn’t control you.
Have you ever been to Paris? If so, what sort of things did you do?