I hope soon all this will be over and travel will be once again allowed. I know we have all been on lockdown at home for what feels like a lifetime, but the thought of travel makes me so happy, and I cannot wait to plan our next trip.
I know there must be thousands of web pages where you can find information about Paris, but I am here to give you my tips to visit like a local.
It’s been a while since we moved here, and we have served as a local guide for all of our friends and families so I think you may find some of the tips useful.
Paris is a city with many museums and places to discover. If you do not have the time to explore Paris by getting lost on foot, you should plan ahead your daily visits. Many of the museums are closed on Monday, so leave Monday’s for architectural exploring and schedule your tours for the rest of the week. You can find all the information in regards of the opening days for the museums in one place here
Paris is a highly busy city full of tourists. Therefore, the queues for places like Versaille Chateau, Le Louvre, the Eiffel tour and more are packed with people, and the lines for the tickets are enormous. Make sure you buy your tickets online to avoid all those queues. Often the online tickets can also be less expensive.
In all informational web pages you can find information about transportation in Paris but what all those avoid to write is that you can obtain a weekly transportation card. It will save you so much more money than buying the so-called ” carnet”, which is ten tickets at the cost of 14€ that honestly you can use those for one day.
The card is called “Card Navigo decouverte” it is meant for people who typically live here, but there is a loop, and as soon you bring a photo you can ask at any metro station information centre to provide you with such card. The cost of the card is 22,80€ for all five zones and is rechargeable. You can use it to go to Disneyland where usually the ticket from Paris to Disneyland is 2.80€ one way.
Download application for transport. The local app is called RATP, you can also use google maps which is very accurate, but RATP will let you know if there are issues with the public transport line. Which believe it or not here is an everyday struggle. The app is free and very easy to use. You can also take a map of Paris and the public transport at any metro or train stations.
Be aware that in France everything is closed on Sunday, Some restaurants and stores are open in Paris, but most are closed.
The same applies to 90% of the restaurants in Paris during weekdays in specific hours. Often restaurants will be open until 2 PM then they will close and reopen once again at 7 PM. I learned that here, even in companies as soon as the clock hits noon, everyone goes to lunch. So you may need to plan your lunches if you would like to experience the local cuisine. There are many on the go places that continue to work without interruptions.
One of the biggest tips I can give you is how to avoid the enormous queue at the Louvre main entrance. This particular museum is the second most visited attraction in Paris after the Eiffel tour. I am sure you have all seen photos of the beautiful glass pyramids where usually hundreds of people can get in the line so that they can enter the museum. Where you can access via Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7) and Pyramides (line 14)
Did you know that you can skip the whole waiting on this line? You will just need to enter from the underground which will lead you straight to the museum entrance below the pyramids. You can do this by going to Carrousel du Louvre, which can be accessed off the Rue de Rivoli or by going down the external stairs to either side of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Or when you get to the metro station “Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre », take the exit for « Carrousel du Louvre.
You can access all museums in Paris free of charge if you are under 26 of age and from the European Union, something many people don’t know, so take advantage and save some money.
All Museums in Paris are Free on the first Sunday of each month for everybody, but be aware this is also the busiest time to visit.
Make sure to enjoy a picnic in one of the many green spaces in and around Paris. One of my favourite places is in front of the Army Museum, but you can also do it at Sacre Coeur, in front of the Eiffel tour or the Jardin des Tuileries.