Paris, the capital of belle France will forever charm everyone for its rich culture, heritage and just being French. Visiting Paris can go beyond memorable if you know certain things before you visit especially for first-time visitors. There are a lot but you can start with these..
1. No Rude French for the Polite Traveler
The French have been stereotyped as rude giving cold treatment to visitors. Some feel that they have this anti-American sentiment but trust frequent visitors and long-time residents, they only treat you on how you behave. French including Parisians are very courteous people. Always greet people when entering and leaving a shop. Compliment all things French to the waiter serving your sumptuous breakfast to the chambermaid in your hotel while you gaze at the cityscape.
2. Speak French
A few French phrases will make your trip to be the best. Not just for convenience but Parisians will treat you better if you try to talk in French. Skip the usual, “Parlez-vous anglais?” (Do you speak English?”, this is rude for most French. You come to their country, you speak their language. Effort is what they look for, even if it is bad, they will talk to you in English but try a little French. “Merci”, “Bonjour Madame/Monsieur”, and “Au revoir” can be your ticket to a nice Parisian getaway.
3. Slow down
Taking a vacation is a chance not to rush things and take your time. This is the French way of living, no rushing and just enjoying each moment. Some shops won’t open till 10am and then closes for lunch and then again at 5pm. French even in the capital Paris enjoy life and do not de-stress with work. Visitors should do the same. Enjoy your food and do not rush to get your bill. Wait till the waiter gives your bill even after you have eaten. They expect you to enjoy your company or the view post-dining.
4. Be fashionable and chic
Do not insult Paris as the fashion capital of the world by walking around in sneakers and baggy pants. Comfort clothes for touring is not an option in Paris. Wear flats or loafers and add some scarf. Add accessories . You don’t have to wear haute couture but please be presentable.
5. Parisians take a leave every August
If you visit Paris in August, you might be surprised why many museums and attractions are closed. Parisians take a month-long hiatus from work during this summer month and retreat to the countryside. Some shops and stores do open to accommodate tourists but their opening hours may not be fixed.
A trip to Paris is every traveler’s dream. Contrary to many reports, Paris and French is not snobby, you just learn to live like they do when you are visiting them.
Have you been to Paris? What other tips can you share?