Guest Post | 7 Things To Know About Travelling In Paris

 
Hello, everyone! My name is Joanne, from the blog called Thoughts in Tiffany Blue. I am very grateful to Lauren for letting me write this guest post for her blog. Lauren is undoubtedly one of the most wonderful bloggers I know and I admire her a lot, so having this opportunity is a great deal for me.

There are so many things I have planned for this year and I’m sure you all have some plans for yourselves too. Travel plans, family plans, graduation plans, et cetera et cetera. And what better way to start than with planning out which places in the world you want to visit this 2015? Cheaper plane tickets, planning in advance, and giving myself something to be excited about in a length of several months always give me a wonderful feeling.


For me, the best place to be at any given opportunity would definitely be Europe. I absolutely adore visiting Europe (even when I’ve only been there twice), because I think they have the most stunning views and such gorgeous towns. Of course, one of the most popular cities is definitely Paris, France. I visited this city in both times I was in Europe, and I could tell you that it was magical. Paris is just a gorgeous city filled with love and wonders. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss it!
But technically, to actually travel there, you’ll need to pay attention to some things as well. Paris is indeed the city of love, but there are plenty of things not to love, and plenty of things to anticipate before you visit this wonderful place. So here are eight little tips for those wanderlust travellers out there who have Paris on their list:
 
Not all Parisians are barrette-wearing people with warm smiles and thin figures carrying baguettes and exclaiming "Bonjour!" to you on your first morning. Don’t get me wrong, locals are always nice and I have nothing against Parisians, but the thing about Paris is that it’s a very busy city with many citizens. Tourists, lovers, fashion bloggers, that’s just how Paris is. If you’re spending your time inside the city, don’t be surprised when you meet some unpleasant people (I’m talking repulsive beggars, waiters who don’t smile at all, and a lot of exclamation marks). Point is, all cities have their own quirks, so this is just a reminder to leave your picture of the perfect, welcoming locals you thought you would see wherever you go. It’s simply not like that.
 
Spend wisely. On my last visit to Paris, my mom and I took a short walk down the Champs-Elysées (which is a street you must go to if you’re ever in Paris, by the way). There were tons of holiday sales all around the stores, and it was, I swear, Heaven. Two of my purchases were 2 pairs of pants from H&M, which only cost me €5 each. Sales are normal and it happens all the time, but you should keep in mind that the things you could expect to buy in Paris (aside from clothing stores and all) are very pricey compared to the ones in Amsterdam or Berlin. I’m not talking about the €1 key chains, but when you look into the local stores or souvenir stalls, you’ll see the difference. Indulge in sales and shop wisely! It’s Paris, so you don’t want to miss your chance, but you also really want to stick with a budget.
 
Pickpockets are everywhere. It’s a very basic and unquestionable thing for travellers to always look out for pickpockets. Whether it’s the subway or the busy streets, you always have to be careful. Do let me re-emphasize on this. Watch out. Paris is a beautiful city, but you can’t deny that it’s tourists-all-around. In popular cities like this, a lot of people can try and take the advantage. Always close your bag securely, and make sure that when you’re carrying it, most of your bag is on the front side of your body. Leave no gap for any hand to reach down into your bag. You do not want to lose that $250 phone in one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world, right?
 
For the ladies, I do not recommend you taking midnight strolls in the streets of Paris alone. Okay, I’m totally with you on the whole feminism subject and fighting for our right to feel safe and the women’s freedom thing, but for the sake of your actual safety, please do not walk around Paris if it’s already late (usually around 11 pm or more) and dark and you’re all alone. If you have some other female relatives or travel buddies, that’s great, but I think it’s best if there are at least 3 of you there. Ladies, "Taken", apparently, is not a fictional movie. Aside from pickpockets, many crimes happen in Paris. It’s not just the recent terrorist attacks, but it’s the one that happens nearly every night in this big city, with little to no media coverage at all. I’m talking perverts, sociopaths, and people who sell women on auctions. When I was with my mom, we set ourselves a 10 PM curfew to arrive back at the hotel. Sure, it would be nice to have a sweet memory of you walking around Paris in the moonlight. Sure, romantic. The thing is just be aware. If you can’t help it and you just can’t arrive at the hotel by curfew, then just keep yourself in crowded areas. Lonely streets are a big no-no.
 
Travel to the suburbs. Paris is a magical city. But in several days or a week, you’ll probably already see what there is to see. If you wish to benefit even more from your trip, I totally suggest going out into the suburban areas. There are plenty of areas around Paris that are worth visiting. The Versailles, in fact, is actually also located a little bit outside of the city, but we’ll talk about that later. Other places include Maison-Laffitte, the Château de Fontainebleau, and the Loire Valley (places I wish I’d seen while I was there!). And obviously, we can’t forget Disneyland. Another place to love (that I did visit) is a place in the suburbs called the La Vallée village, which is literally a small area filled with nothing but shopping outlets, and one big shopping mall. If you are looking for some good bargains, this is the place to go. It’s got everything from Burberry, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, to many more. It’s such a gorgeous little place and you can easily spend an entire day and not mind at all.
 
You’ll need a map for the Louvre. If you are in the Louvre, please know that the inside of it is actually a lot more complicated than it looks. It’s very easy to get lost in it, and even though they do provide the tour guides for this museum, I do not recommend it because you’ll get plenty of information without one anyway. Just grab a map before you go in, and you do not want to miss the Mona Lisa. Also, fun fact, you’ll need this one expensive ticket to get in, and what happens is when you show it to them, the lady at the booth just glances at it and lets you in. Just looks at your ticket not even for 2 seconds. Committing a fraud? She probably doesn’t care. (This is one of the examples of point number one).
 
  I do, however, recommend a tour guide for the Versailles. The Versailles palace is very huge and luxurious. Gold on gold on gold, literally. My mom and I asked for a tour, held also by the Versailles officials. The great thing about getting a tour guide is one: They’ll pick you up (depends on which area you are in, and then there’ll be certain groups assigned to that area). Two, the tour guides are actually not bad. It does tend to get a little uncomfortable when they’re talking to you through an earpiece you’re supposed to keep on your ears as you’re walking through a sea of people inside this castle, but they’re very good at their jobs, very informative, and it makes navigation so much easier (since it’s such a huge palace). Three, chances are, you could meet new people from the group and socialize! The quirk about visiting the Versailles is really just how crowded it is. People are either pushing you around, or blocking the paintings with their cameras or iPhones. It’s really just basic frantic-repulsive-tourists stuff, you guys. No big deal.
So that’s all for this post, and I hope you find these tips useful. They might sound a bit abnormal and that’s because I’m just trying to highlight the small things I paid attention to on my last visit. If you haven’t been to Paris, I very much recommend it. If you have been to Paris, then seriously, it would be a great idea to come back, right?
Everyone should come to Paris at least once in their life, because it’s just one of those kinds of cities. Try their food, shop for their clothes, take as many pictures as you can, greet the people there, share stories with strangers, and find yourself in a city that’s easy to get lost in. In the words of Audrey Hepburn, "Paris is always a good idea!"
Please feel free to share some of the tips that you have for traveling in Paris, and I wish you all a wonderful day.

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Thank you so much to Joanne for writing this wonderful post for my blog! I've never heard some of these tips before, and it'll be invaluable when I finally take a trip over to Paris! xx


4 comments

  1. It's my absolute pleasure, Lauren. Thanks so much for having me. <3

    THOUGHTS IN TIFFANY BLUE

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  2. Im not looking to go to Paris anytime soon, but nevertheless it's always worthwhile to think about these things. Brilliant post!

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