Six Tips to Do Paris Like a Pro

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Eiffel Tower

1. Don’t be safe, be dangerous! (No, we don’t mean walk in dark, unsafe areas.) But try to use your high-school French, talk to strangers in restaurants, walk in the rain and enjoy being in the most beautiful city in the world. If your friend cannot go with you, go alone. Enjoy being alive!

2. Try the unusual food you don’t think you’ll like. When will you have another chance? Don’t worry if things are different than you are used to—this is the point of travel.

3. Walk a lot. Paris is the ultimate walking town. Take the metro too, and don’t be shy about asking nicely for directions. Stop often for tea or coffee in a sidewalk café. Do not try to see everything; rather, enjoy a few lovely treats each day.

4. Don’t get too ambitious with restaurants. You don’t need to go to very fashionable or famous places each night; these you can find in London and New York. What you can’t find anywhere else are the quintessentially French bistros and brasseries and the places that specialize in a particular region of France. Also try some ethnic food in Paris. Mix it up a bit and you’ll enjoy the flavors of Paris.

5. If you see a gorgeous scarf or a uniquely French item, buy it! Otherwise you’ll regret it when you arrive home. And above all, do not wear shorts, running shoes, silly T-shirts or baseball hats. Ma cherie, this is never done in Paris.

6. Mind your p’s and q’s! Say “Bonjour, Madame” (or “Monsieur”) before you ask a question, and always say “Bonne journée” (Have a nice day) when you leave a store or restaurant, and then “Au revoir” (Good-bye). That extra touch is sincerely appreciated.