If you’re planning a trip to Paris it’s best to know what to anticipate and to be able to pack for every occasion and eventuality. Paris is an infectious city and you’ll find yourself wanting more and more of it; so don’t be surprised when you find you’re not ready to leave when you have to!
We want to help you make the most of your trip to Paris so here are some essential ‘what to knows’ and ‘what to packs’ so you’re not caught short or in a pickle. It might seem obvious, but it doesn’t help to reinstate a bit of common sense and share what works from experience.
We would advise that you don’t set off on your sightseeing adventure without a vague idea of what you plan on doing, or where you plan on going in Paris. There are so many top attractions and things to do in Paris that it can be overwhelming if you haven’t planned a rough structure in advance. So we recommend you choose the top attractions, museums and monuments that you want to see and allocate a few per day and group them by area to make navigating the city more manageable. The last thing you want to be doing is running around the four corners of the city in a wild goose chase of the top attractions.
To go alongside your itinerary, is a guidebook; you need one to help with the other. Your guidebook will be your number one resource to explore the city. Packed with useful tips, hints and maps it will be your local pocket Parisian. What’s even better is you can download a Paris Guidebook for free before you go to help you start planning in advance. Your Guidebook will also help you visualise where you are going and if you haven’t opted for any of the guided tours, it will be able to provide you with the context and history of the attractions and monuments you are standing in front of. There’s no point wandering around a beautiful building if you have no idea when it was built, is there?
Paris is a European city so it’s not blessed with a Californian climate, unfortunately. Pay attention to the Paris weather forecast and make sure you pack enough warm clothes in the colder months, as most of Paris’ beauty is on the outside – so it would be silly to miss out on a selfie opportunity outside Notre Dame because you’re cold. Likewise, it gets very warm in the summer months so make sure you bring light layers so that you can make the most of those sunny afternoons at the beaches along the banks of the Seine. You can even bring a swimsuit as well, as Paris has many public lidos and pools when it’s really hot.
Even if you’re planning on mastering the metro with your Paris Travelcard you will need some comfy shoes to help you along the way. Paris is a big and sprawling city and even the most seasoned traveller and tourist needs a pair (or two) of seriously comfy trainers. If you haven’t digested your Paris map already then you might not know but Paris is divided into arrondissements, or districts, and has both a right and left side to the river, so make sure you know which one is which before you end up completely upside down!
Now, it might seem obvious, but not everyone knows what currency they use in Paris. In France, and in the EU, the currency is Euros. Local recommendation: make sure you have enough cash for tips and taxis as not everywhere accepts international credit cards and some cash points can charge for withdrawals. Be aware of carrying around a lot on you though, as Paris (like any capital) has the odd pickpocket, so you wouldn’t want to ruin your holiday by making yourself a target.
And finally… a Paris Pass
The Paris Pass is your all inclusive ticket to seeing everything Paris has to give. It’s your key to unlocking the top attractions, monuments and museums, like the Louvre, Notre Dame and a Seine River Cruise for a one-off price. What’s the catch? There is none. What’s more, it includes a free travelcard to give you unlimited journeys on the metro, buses and trams, as well as a free guidebook for that all important pocket resource. It’s been designed to save you money and time as it also features Fast Track Entry benefits at the busiest attractions – which can save you a lot of waiting around in the busy summer months. Sold? Find out more here.
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