15 Paris Travel Tips: Mistakes to avoid


Contents

    I have listed the 15 Mistakes that you have to avoid when you are in Paris.

    We all know that Paris is a major tourist destination in Europe. Well, I can’t doubt that.

    Who does not want to spend a day or two in this dreamy place?

    Maybe spend time watching the night sky under the Eiffel Tower while holding hands with your loved one?

    Or maybe just hanging out with your pals taking nice photos in Champ Elysees Street.

    So if you are heading there soon, here is my list of mistakes that you should avoid while you are traveling in Paris.

    Consider these as my best Paris Travel Tips because I know from experience that it can be very overwhelming to travel this beautiful city for the first time.

    Paris Travel Tips 101: Mistakes to Avoid when Traveling Paris

    1. Visiting during Peak Season

    Although a lot of tourists would prefer to go during the Summer and Spring season in Paris, I recommend going during the Off-Season.

    Not only the crowd are less, you have a great opportunity to score cheap accommodations.

    Moreover, there will be less people ruining your Eiffel Tower photos in Trocadero Street for your Instagram.

    Well, is that why we are in Paris after all, Right?

    If you like to snap beautiful photos for the gram, I have a list of best Instagrammable places in Paris. So make sure to check it out too.

    I love traveling in Paris during the end of the Summer season and start of Autumn. Mainly because during this time the weather is still beautiful but with fewer crowds.

    I can easily walk around the beautiful streets of Paris and give myself time to just be amazed by the amazing buildings and architecture of this City.

    Also, I found that during this off-season, you can get amazing discounts from your accommodations.

    I like checking Airbnb and Booking.com hand in hand for my accommodation and compare the prices.

    2. Booking your accommodation too late

    I think some people like to book their accommodation like a week or days before their trips because I think they believe they will get extra last-minute deals. But honestly, I will not risk it.

    Especially if you are traveling during the peak season, hotels and other accommodations in Paris France can get booked so fast.

    And in my experience, they get more expensive as your trip gets closer.

    Booking in advance gives you ample time to strategize your accommodation plans.

    I say strategize because you need a good plan when you travel to Paris.

    As I have said, it is quite overwhelming for beginners so picking a good accommodation is a game-changer. That brings me to my next tip.

    3. Booking your accommodation outside the Center

    I am not gonna lie to you. Paris is expensive. BUT! You can definitely travel it in a budget. So make sure to check that out.

    Truth is, your accommodation will eat a chunk of your budget when you travel to Paris.

    But let us understand the way around Paris.

    Paris is divided into 20 districts and they are called “Arrondissements”

    The numbering starts in the Center where The Louvre Museum is located and its spirals clockwise out from there.

    Naturally, the accommodation around the City Center Area will be hell a lot of expensive and I can not blame you if you decide to book your accommodation outside the center.

    I understand you, I did that too the first time I Travel to Paris.

    But I also want you to consider the amount of time that you will need to travel back and forth from your accommodation to the tourist spots.

    Paris is quite big and it may be hard to cover all of the places that you will want to see if you plan to just walk around and have a very limited time.

    That means you will probably have to spend more in commuting from one place to another.

    Mind you that one Metro or Bus Ticket in Paris costs 1.90 Euros. It may not sound like a lot, but if you are going to be hoping from one metro station to another all day it will cost you a lot.

    Also, I want you to consider the safety of the place.

    You may have read it and ask yourself is it safe to travel in Paris?

    Generally, I would say it is safe to travel to Paris.

    However, there are some places that you may want to avoid especially if you are going to be out late at night.

    You do not want to walk to your accommodation feeling scared because of that sketchy street.

    Believe me, it is one of the mistakes I had when I first visit Paris.

    I chose to stay in 18th Arrondissements because I wanted to save some bucks in my accommodation and walking around didn't matter that much to me plus the area is quite close to Montmartre which I love.

    Although the hostel did not disappoint me with their service, the surrounding area left me feeling uncomfortable whenever I am walking around it.

    So depends on how brave you are, I would recommend to just book your accommodation in the City Center. It may cost you a little more but your safety should be your priority.

    4. Not taking advantage of the Free and Self-Guided walking tours

    This is one thing I love about traveling in European Cities. There are so many free guided tours that will make your trip truly easy and memorable.

    You can even create your walking tour.

    To help you with it, I will be making my 2 days Travel Itinerary in Paris plus a travel planner that you can download to help you get started with planning your next adventure in Paris.

    5. Being careless and not wary of your stuff

    Remember the times when your momma tells you to mind your belongings?

    That still holds true in Paris.

    There are a lot of pickpockets and scammers in Paris.

    Although this city is so glamorous, it is not different from other tourist destinations.

    One scam that I notice is rampant around the city is the “Petition Scam”.

    Someone will approach you and ask if you speak English and ask to sign some kind of Petition.

    Do not fall for the trap. It is not for charity or whatever good purpose.

    Some of them use kids to lure you, but they are pickpockets and the moment you pull out your wallet out of your bag and start getting money, they will steal from you.

    So be careful and be mindful of your belongings.

    If somebody approaches you, best is to say FIRM NO and just walk away.

    6. Not learning basics French Words

    This is one thing that I like to do when traveling to a new country.

    But I think oftentimes, most of the tourists forget to do this especially if they speak English.

    Although there are more English Speakers now around the world, in Europe, there are still cities that like to stick with their local languages.

    So I recommend to google up some basic words about the country you are going and learn to use them.

    Some of the french words that you may want to learn are:
    * Bonjour/Bonsoir: Hello / Good Evening
    * S’il Vous plaît: Please
    * Merci: Thank you
    * Pardon: Sorry

    These are only examples, you can always go ahead and learn more than these.

    One phrase can get you a long way, you’ll never know, maybe you will find a new french friend because of these simple phrases.

    7. Not Purchasing the Paris Pass

    If you are a museum geek, or just trying to see most of the Paris tourist spots from the inside, it is a big mistake if you will not buy the Paris Travel Pass.

    There are more than 60 attractions that you can visit with Paris Pass plus you get an unlimited ride with the Metro and Bus.

    Not only can you save money with Paris Pass, you will also have the privilege to skip the line.

    I tell you, the lines in Paris tourist spots can get crazy. Like if you plan to enter the Louvre Museum and want to climb the Eiffel Tower you have to get prepared with the long queue.

    But if you have the Paris Pass you do not need to worry about it because you get to skip it. Awesome right?

    8. Trying to see everything inside the Louvre Museum

    Unless you are spending a week or more in Paris, you do not have to see the whole Louvre museum.

    It is so huge and seeing it in one whole day is surely not enough.

    So be strategic and research in advance what you can see there and what you want to see.

    As for me, I just wanted to see Mona Lisa so we stuck to just one wing.

    After all, you have more things to see in Paris than just the Louvre Museum.

    9. Not wearing comfortable shoes

    These are for all the ladies out there!

    I feel you when you want to wear that Parisian fashion during your visit to Paris.

    I can’t blame you, you are in Paris after all.

    But, more than fashion, remember that you will be walking a lot in Paris.

    You may be inspired by the Parisian women who are capable of walking on the cobble-stone streets with their high heels (I still wonder how can they do this?) but let us accept that some of us can’t.

    So I suggest that you wear comfortable shoes instead because you will be walking around Paris a lot more than you think and you need a good pair of shoes that will not fail you.

    10. Thinking Eiffel Tower has the best view of the City

    Eiffel Tower does not have the best view of the City.

    Well because seeing the City from above is not as good if the Eiffel Tower is not there!

    It is funny though because most of the recommendations I read when I was researching before my first trip to Paris were head over to Eiffel Tower for the best view of the City.

    So I am already warning you guys so you will not be disappointed like me.

    Instead, head over to Arc the Triomphe, it will give you the REAL amazing view of Paris, including Eiffel in the picture!

    11. Not bringing a Travel Adaptor

    This is one of the biggest mistakes I did when I traveled to Europe for the first time!

    Although I have been warned by my husband, amazingly I still forgot to bring a travel adaptor so do not be like me guys and make sure to bring your own.

    Paris uses the Type C and Type E plug.

    For ease, I suggest to buy yourself a Universal Adaptor that works like a charm every time you travel.

    12. Throwing your Metro Ticket right off the bat

    I think this is one of the best Paris travel tips that you should remember always, especially if you will be commuting a lot in Paris.

    Do not ever do this guys!

    Always, always keep your Metro/Bus tickets with you.

    Also, make sure that you validate your ticket when you ride the Metro or the Bus.

    There are times when Police officers are checking the tickets, especially in Metro Stations.

    I did not have any idea of this when I went to Paris for the first time, but luckily I got the habit of putting my trash in my pocket so when the police officer approached me I was able to show mine.

    Had I was not able to show my validated ticket, I would have paid a hefty fine for it. And I am sure nobody wants that!

    13. Skipping Montmartre

    I have mentioned this earlier but I am going to mention it again because this is probably the biggest mistake you will ever do.

    I think Montmartre is an underrated tourist spot in Paris.

    It is being shadowed by the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, and Arc de Triomphe so most people forget or just skip it.

    Montmartre is one of my favorite places to see in Paris and I will write a separate blog about about why you should not skip it when you are in Paris.

    You probably heard and want to see the famous Sacré Coeur and the La Maison Rose Cafe but Montmartre is more than that.

    You have to venture out of the place and walk to the streets of this famous residential area of Paris.

    It is an authentic Parisian village where a lot of artists from the 19th to 20th centuries took their inspiration creating the best art pieces we have right now like Picasso, Manet, and Van Gogh.

    14. Renting a car in Paris

    You are probably traveling with your family or have kids with you, so you might be tempted to rent a car instead for convenience, but think twice.

    Traffic in Paris is very congested and driving around the city will eat up most of your time so I suggest to take advantage of Public Transport instead.

    Anyway, I think Paris has one of the cities with very efficient Public Transportation and it is very tourist-friendly so do not be afraid to use it.

    15. Not researching enough before going

    There are so many things that you can do in Paris, from eating, sightseeing, walking on the cobblestone-streets, finding the best macaroons to discovering new places to see.

    I encourage you to read as much as you can from other Travel Bloggers who have been to Paris.

    There are heaps of information out there that will help you plan your next adventure.

    Conclusion

    Traveling to a new country, especially for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. We all know that.

    But it does not have to be, because there are tons of help that you can get from fellow travelers out there.

    You just need to be brave and do your thing.

    I hope that these Paris Travel Tips help you with your next adventure in this amazing city.

    If you like this article and you think it may help others too, please do not hesitate to share it.

    Let others know what are some of the mistakes that they can avoid so that they can enjoy their Paris vacation to the fullest.

    Thank you for reading this blog.

    Share the love. Ciao :)

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    Written by chasingkimberly
    Hi there! I am a Filipina who braved the big moved to Europe. Now I am traveling every now and then here in Europe and discovering new cities and trying out new food. I hope to share with you my tips and hacks on how you can enjoy your next travel destination too.

    Thoughts? Questions?

    See also

    Tours and activities

    Montmartre Private Walking Tour

    This is a 2-hour private walking tour intended to focus on Montmartre neighborhood. You will discover the old Montmartre but also the less touristy parts of this amazing neighborhood. This service is perfect to discover Montmartre as an insider!

    A Parisian Day

    This is a 4 to 6 hours private walking tour intended to show you the best that Parisian lifestyle has to offer. This service is perfect to discover the real Paris by having some typical Parisian moments!