The Do’s and Don’ts of Paris

I can’t name a better way to spend the day of love in the city of love! This past weekend, over Valentine’s Day, I had the opportunity to travel to Paris, France. Paris was filled with a whole lot of beauty and magic, but also pickpockets and language barriers. That said, here are some things I’ve learned that you should and shouldn’t do when traveling to Paris.

Do a Picnic With An Eiffel Tower View

The Eiffel Tower is bigger in person! Green lawns surround this beautiful monument which allows for many places for people to take a seat and admire this lovely piece of art. There are plenty of park benches that line the sides of this place, but I recommend a seat on the green grass. The essentials to making this happen:

1. A blanket or sheet to sit on

2. A couple of your favorite foods and drinks

3. A camera to capture the magic!

The picnic was cheaper and more memorable than having lunch in a restaurant.

Do Bring Your Visa and Passport To Museums

A famous museum like the Louvre which is home to paintings like “The Mona Lisa” and “The Wedding at Cana” is a must-see when in the city of Paris. The Louvre is rather centralized with many shops and restaurants to shop and eat at after. As a student studying abroad and under the age of 25 you can go for free!

To get this amazing deal, you must show your visa and a certificate with your birthday on it. I showed scanned copies of both my visa and passport and it was all I needed to get in for free. Another museum you can enter for free is the Musee D’orsay which is home to paintings by the famous Van Gogh. Definitely worth the time!

Do Try New Food

While traveling to a new city it’s imperative to step out of your comfort zone. Paris offers a great variety of restaurants to accommodate its people’s needs. Three famous brunch places I recommend are: Cafe de Flore, Maison Sauvage, and Pinky Bloom. And when the sun goes down, three famous dinner places I can recommend are: Le Drugstore, Andia, and Vita Ristorante.

These restaurants are famous for a reason and it’s because they are so good! All these places have great vibes, great people, and great food. I ordered food that I normally would have never tried, but in the end, I’m glad I can say I tried snails from Paris!

Do Take Advantage Of Public Transportation

Although a lot of restaurants, museums, and shops are all close together, there will be the occasional few times that driving will be necessary. Paris has a great metro system that is clean and on the safer side. The metro allows you to travel to different places at the price of 1.90 euro! You can’t beat that, especially since Uber and taxis can get expensive even when driving a short distance away. There are also plenty of signs that can help you complete your journey along with the internet of course.

Don’t Be Oblivious

When in Paris, it is almost impossible not to stick out like a sore thumb. With that being said, as a tourist, you are at risk of being a target to people who would want to steal or scam you. I recommend always wearing a bag that can go in the front of your body and one that zips. This can automatically eliminate your personal belongings from being pickpocketed from you.

Also, always make sure to double-check your receipts and prices of the things you are buying. I noticed several times being charged for the wrong thing or getting an additional charge for something that wasn’t right.

Don’t Carry Your Bags Around

If you happen to have an earlier/later Airbnb check-in/out and plan on staying in Paris there are plenty of storage options for your luggage. Depending on how many pieces of luggage and for how long, this is a great and safe option. Your luggage will remain safe while you get to explore the city all at a very reasonable price!

Don’t Assume People Will Know English

It might be obvious, but when traveling to another country not everyone will know the same language you speak. I knew this prior, but what I did not realize is to the extent. I recommend using the few French words you may know, to help show respect when traveling to Paris. I can also emphasize the use of Google Translate. There is quite a language barrier and this will eliminate confusion on both ends.

Paris is one of kind, and it truly is a magical experience. With my advice and your travel planning, there is no doubt that traveling to Paris, France is a trip you will not forget. Plan ahead, feel free to continue to research, and don’t forget to brush up on some French!

Hi! I’m Sydney Rafferty. I’m from Chester, New Jersey and study Advertising and Public Relations at Penn State University. This semester I am currently studying abroad in Rome, Italy. I chose to study abroad to experience a new culture and immerse myself in the beauty other countries have to offer! I’m looking forward to growing as a person, meeting new people, and overall learning as much as I can during my time here. My goals for the semester include advancing my ability to speak the Italian language and develop an appreciation for cultures other than mine!

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