Everybody loves Paris. Who wouldn’t love such a beautiful city! The best thing about Paris is that, once you’re done with all the major attractions, you can relax and begin to discover the city of lights not as a tourist, but as a local. You are sure to find plenty of things that you may have missed out on. But of course, it is essential to plan your trip properly to enjoy your stay in the city. Here are some tips to help you plan that perfect Paris vacation.
Tip #1: When to visit the city – You could visit the city throughout the year. But try to avoid August because this is when the Parisians go on their own vacation. So, you might find many shops closed. Although you my find the Champs-Élysées and the Galleries Lafayette less-crowded, it’s preferable to come in September when the weather is cooler and all the famous boutiques in neighborhoods like the Marais are open.
Tip #2: Book your flight early – What really gears you up for a vacation is when you get that airline ticket. Gone are the days when airline tickets used to cost a lot of money. These days, there are cheaper alternatives, and if you book early, you can get a great deal. Remember to check you arrival destinations because international flights land in Charles De Gaulle airport, and European flights land in Orly and depending on which your transportation may vary.
Tip #3: Find the right accommodation – Before booking your room, learn about the various options you have. Paris offers everything. There are premium properties and budget rooms. You could try hotels, and you could also try hostels. There are rooms close to the city center, and there are those far away from all that noise and activity. Choose one that suits your needs. It makes sense to book a room that is on the metro route or one that is close to the city center. It will help you save transit time. It’s also important to choose the appropriate neighborhood. The Marais is a lively central part of town, known for its cafes, boutiques and gay-friendly atmosphere. The Opera district is upscale and posh. Montmartre is racier, especially the area around Pigalle, but it is also more affordable and popular with younger visitors. Some prefer the Left Bank (Rives Gauche) because of its history, while others prefer the Right Bank (Rives Gauche) because its more affordable and some say more romantic.
Tip #4: Decide what you want to see in Paris – No matter, how long you stay, you won’t be able to see it all here. There are far too many tourist attractions in Paris. The Eiffel tower is a must, see, but did you know the best view in Paris is from atop the Montparnasse Tower. Get a lunch there and enjoy the breathtaking view. So, first decide what you want to see. If you want to see the museums, then make a list of all those you want to visit. There are far too many museums as well. The Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay are just the beginning — their smaller counterparts like the Orangerie, the Marmottan (with lots of impressionist paintings), and the Rodin Museum are also must-sees for cultural tourists.
Tip #5: Travel documents – You need a passport to come to France. People from the US, Canada and some other countries will not need a visa, but for the others, this is a must-have. Never travel without travel insurance. So, get that insurance as well. Also note important information like your embassy location and telephone number.
US Embassy: +33 (0)8 10 26 46 26
British Embassy: +33 (0)1 44 51 31 00
Australian embassy: +33 (0)1 40 59 33 00
Often visitors to Paris are overwhelmed with the options they have and they don’t know where to start. Luckily the Internet exists, and sites like Paris Museums and Monuments provide easy to find information on museums, monuments and exhibitions all in one place.