Top 5 Don’ts of Visiting Paris!
1. Commit a fashion faux pax…For starters, don’t ever, even in the sweltering dog days of summer, think about wearing a pair of shorts unless you really want to be treated like a hapless tourist. While you’re at it leave those gleaming white running shoes at home too!
It’s not about dressing to the nines, just a clean coordinated look. Always make sure that things fit the way they should (no sagging or squeezing).
2. Don’t spend all day at the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay. Even though they house some famous works of art they aren’t your only or sometimes your best options. Especially with the crowds they attract.
Try instead, some of the lesser-known museums. the Musée de l’Orangerie houses Monet’s famous Nypmpheas (water lily) murals and the Musée Rodin, is one of the most romantic museums in all of Paris.
3. Get around town in a cab. Taxis can be hard to come by and can’t be flagged down on the street (you need to either call ahead or find a taxi stand). Plus the famous snarled traffic can cause delays while the meter ticks away.
Walking the city in order to experience it are words to live by in Paris. The center of Paris is only a couple of miles wide, perfect for walking off that extra croissant. When going longer distances, hop on the Metro. From any given spot in Paris, your never more than 500 yards from the nearest Metro station.
4. Book the cheapest hotel. Finding a decent Paris hotel for a reasonable price can bring even the savviest travelers to the brink of despair. Plain and simple.. Paris hotels are expensive. You might find a screaming deal at a big chain hotel and think you’ve got it made, but once you’re sitting in a beige I-could-be-anywhere cube on the outskirts of town, you’ll realize that you’re missing out on the Parisian atmosphere in the city center.
Talk to your travel agent about staying in some of the up and coming hipper areas of town, but you’re still not out of the loop. Expect to pay a little bit more, but the savings in time and money getting around will make up the pain in your wallet. Location, Location, Location is everything in all European capital cities. If staying longer there are furnished apartments the can be found at a reasonable rate.
5. Buy into stereotypes. Yes, we’ve all heard plenty about Parisians’ being rude. It’s true that Parisians are more reserved than most Americans and are less apt to break into wide, toothy grins every time the meet someone new. Theirs is not a culture of instant BFFs. But don’t assume that their reserve behavior is an act of rudeness.
Be mindful of your manners. Do learn a few French words and phrases. Even if your delivery is less than perfect, the fact that you’re trying will win points. I always tell my clients, when walking into a store or restaurant a greeting of “Bonjour, Madam” will do wonders for your status there. Note that French people tend to talk softly – their voices never carry in the streets, on the Metro, or even when they’re sitting a the next table.
-Christina Henry de Tessan @ Concierge.com