Best Things to Do in Paris, France (And What Not to Do)

Paris’s charms are truly legendary. From its world-class museums, high-end boutiques, inviting sidewalk cafes and even an impressive restaurant scene make the destination the runway model of cities being cited as confident, beautiful, fashionable and even inspiring at every turn. Upon your visit in this world-class destination, don’t forget to try new things out, learn various things while exploring and to further make your stay a remarkable one, visit popular landmarks, rent a castle in France, or even try out their distinctive cuisine.

Take time to read and discover on how to avoid the mistakes of the first time visitors as they make their way in the City of Light.

Don’t spend hours at the Eiffel Tower.

For extra safety and security, Paris has installed security checkpoints around the famous tower. Before, anyone could just walk straight underneath the tower to either appreciate the monument or take pictures. Now, visitors need to endure a winding security line.

Instead, find a view and shorter lines.

If you want a great panorama shot that includes the Eiffel Tower, there are numerous places where you should go instead. There’s the Arc de Triomphe, the top of the viewing deck located at the Montparnasse Tower or you can even book tickets to climb the Tour Saint Jacque which cost approximately $12. It is open to visitors from June to September comprising of five people at a time or a maximum group of 17 people.

Don’t expect to see everything at the Louvre.

The Louvre is indeed massive. As a first time traveler, we have this thinking that we put so much pressure on ourselves to try to see everything it showcases. Unfortunately, it won’t work up at Le Louvre since it is not set up that way. It is suggested that you create a plan in advance and manage one’s expectations instead of trying to attain the impossible. Check out the wings or works that you really want to visit and spend quality time there.

Instead, split your time between the Louvre and smaller museums.

There are numerous smaller museums that you can visit when in Paris that also contains significant and beautiful art. At the Musée de l’Orangerie, you’ll find Monet’s famous water lily (Nymphéas) murals. Another one is the Musée Marmottan which is home to the world’s largest collection of Monets. Don’t forget to drop by the Musée Rodin being one of the most romantic places in all of Paris because of the luminous villa with a lovely garden that can be found here.

Don’t shop on the Champs-Elysées.

It is a fact that Champs-Elysées is one of the most beautiful avenue recognized worldwide. Presently, it has been overrun with global chain stores, dealers of auto and even movie multiplexes. The cafes here even prey on tourists.

Instead, follow the footsteps of locals.

Thinking beyond couture-lined boulevards and congested high streets are what really shopping in Paris should mean. There are good things that can be found in the developing shopping vicinities like the North Marais. You can buy brands of crafters like Officine Générale, Sessun, Papier Tigre or Kitsune. For accessories, you can spot numerous varieties at rue du Château d’Eau in the 10th arrondissement and home goods at Atelier Couronnes, Jamini or La Trésorerie. Right at the center of the town located at Les Halles, you’ll find Parisian-designed goods coming from Sept Cinq or developing French designers at L’Exception. For menswear stores, head at the Printemps Hommes where you can buy limited edition collections from Jacquemus to Y/Project, one of the hottest designers of the moment. Their collections can only be found in this place.

Don’t spend all your budget on a Michelin-starred dinner.

In the last few years, Parisian dining has shifted into more casual though upscale and formal dining still sways and to give you an idea it can set you back $400 to $500. There are numerous Michelin-starred restaurants like Le Clarence which is owned by Prince Robert of Luxembourg to Dame de Pic, known as Anne Sophie Pic’s only Parisian restaurant, have reasonably priced lunch menus that are under $150.

Instead, go for evening meals at laid-back modern Bistros.

Recently, some Michelin-starred chefs open welcoming bistros that serve simple yet outstanding meals. And honestly, locals are just so crazy about them. Tables at Yves Camdeborde’s pioneering Le Comptoir du Relais are often booked months in advance. But once you try their famous foie gras terrine, you’ll understand why it’s hard to get a table. If you’re not able to get in at dinner time, try it for lunch since they do not accept reservations and it will be on first come first serve basis. As an alternative, you can also dine at the Clover Grill where you can taste the food from sustainable produce greens and grilled or smoked beef prepared by the Michelin-starred chef Jean-Francois Piège at his modern steakhouse.

Don’t commit a Fashion Faux Pas.

If you don’t want to be like a touristic thumb, you must avoid few clothing mistakes. Worry no more since shorts and even trendy sneakers brands like Nike, Veja, and Vans aren’t necessarily off limits nowadays. On the other hand, Parisians will be onto you if your outfit is excessively baggy and even have cargo pockets. Adding up to that, avoid the selfie stick altogether since it attracts attention from pickpockets and scam artists alike.

Instead, dress as the locals do.

Parian style is quite casual these days. They’ve embraced the art of the clean and harmonized look. Here are some tips to keep your attire tidy, simple and well-coordinated: pick neutral colors; for accessories, pick a single scarf, had or jewel and assure that things fit all together. To complete your outfit, you can wear a fitted jacket and score the best shoes in your closet. The result should imply an entirely effortless and convey a message of confidence.

Don’t get around the town in a Cab.

It’s difficult to find a taxi and using this form of transportation in getting around the town only leave you vulnerable to the congestion in Paris. Rolling along the narrow one-way street while watching the meter goes higher while you are being trapped on a double-parked car is definitely not a good experience.

Instead, know the French word Flâner.

Flâner, when translated to English, it technically means “to stroll”. It further suggests to just go through the city by walking to experience it. The center of Paris is just a couple of miles wide and maps will surely help you to roam around. The rewards of walking around allow you to witness the world-class window shopping, inviting sidewalk cafes and even eating of extra croissant. If you want to go on longer distances, you can hop on the Métro. It is much cheaper and often faster than the cab.