I think we saw more tourists in Paris than actual Parisians. Here are some hints for navigating a tourists Paris.
- Since we were an odd number, rather than renting a couple of hotel rooms, we rented a tiny apartment. It was easy to book online and saved us a ton of dough.
- Get the museum pass at the tourist office. We bought ours at the train station’s tourist office upon arrival. I only had one person in front of me in line and barely had to wait. It allowed us to skip the long lines at every attraction… and saved us a bunch of money
- Get to the Louvre early. Very, Very early. Bus tours will start arriving. If you encounter them, you will be swept away in a sea of people madly clicking their cameras. Get there early to see the big sights before they finish breakfast and on the bus.
- While you are at the Louvre (and other museums), take advantage of the great views from museum cafes. We had an unforgettable coffee with this view. Priceless.
- French food is pretty good. Nevertheless like all cultures, a bit of it seems suspect to the outside. While I will eat frog’s legs and snails. I can’t stand the terrines, the molded meat and gelatin. Even knowing that it may result in eating something suspect, I like to eat at restaurants where the menu isn’t in English (or like some super touristy places in Italian, German, Russian and Chinese as well). Do yourself a favor and avoid the loud Americans that will be at the next table over, get off the beaten path and try to find a place without an English menu. Not only will it be more affordable, but you’ll have a more authentic experience. If you don’t you could end up like a friend who paid $52 for a hamburger in Italy. We paid about that for an entire meal that was one of the best of our lives.
- If you happen to bein Paris during sale time (known as Les Soldes), you’re lucky. Markdowns occur at designated times twice a year. Shop away!