The illustrious city of love. Where the locals have incredible dress sense, food is like art and the sites are inspiration for just about every romance novel, TV script and movie ever written.
Here are 5 things you need to know before visiting Paris, France.
1. Croissants in Paris are the Real Deal
Believe me, you’ve never tasted a real croissant until you’ve been to Paris. Hidden among the delicate pastries in every boulangerie you come across are these sweet, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of buttery heaven that will make every croissant you’ve ever eaten pale in comparison.
For the best bite, look for the small, locally run boulangeries instead of settling for the bigger cafés.
2. Pre-purchase Tickets for the Eiffel Tower
If you’re as impatient as I am, queueing for hours at the Eiffel Tower will not be a particularly great experience.
However, with a pre-purchased ticket you can walk smugly by hundreds of weary tourists waiting for a chance to soar to new heights up the famous tower, and take the fast lane to the top.
The view is incredible, the Insta shots perfect, and it’s one more experience you can check off your bucket list – it’s a win-win situation and definitely deserves its place on our list of things you need to know before visiting Paris.
3. The Mona Lisa is Tiny, but Still Incredible
The Mona Lisa is small AF. Like, it’s so small that it’s actually kind of hard to see from the back of a room that’s filled with dozens of people and security guards. But, it’s one of the most incredible paintings you’ll ever lay your eyes on.
Why? Because it’s the goddamn Mona Lisa! And it’s in The Louvre (aka the most epic of museums ever).
Sadly, no one can really get close enough to see whether the alleged second painting layered underneath the Mona Lisa is real or not. But, you’ll still be able to catch a glimpse of one of the art world’s most famous paintings.
4. Meals are not to be Rushed
If you’re anything like me and come from a world where fast food rules supreme, you might be surprised to know that scoffing your food down quickly and then rushing off to play tourist isn’t the done thing in Paris.
When dining at a restaurant or café, take your time, savour each bite and really indulge in the world of French cuisine. Oh, and squeeze in a bit of people watching while you’re at it.
5. Try to Learn a Little French Before You Go
You’re not in Kansas anymore. When in Paris, you should do as the French do.
Now I’m not saying you should learn the ins and outs of this melodic language. But a little effort in saying hello, thank you and please will help make you one of the more popular travellers exploring the city.
Armed with these 5 handy things you need to know before visiting Paris, exploring the cobbled streets of Paris has never looked so good.
This post was originally written for and published on Topdeck Travel’s blog.