So, you’ve told everyone you’re going, you’ve paid off your flights and accommodation, and now you’re stuck in the deep end with nothing but a vague idea of life in Paris and how to say “Oui Oui”.
Well here’s a thing or two you should keep in mind when visiting Paris, because otherwise you’ll come home broke AF and get some serious FOMO from everything you’ve missed!
1. Learn some basic French
Ever hear that the French are really snobby people? Well that’s because a lot of tourists are stupid, and don’t bother to learn any basic French, so here are some basic phrases you’ll need!
Bonjour (Bo-Jaw) = Hello
Merci (Mer-si) = Thank You
Je Voudrais (Je-Voo-Dreh) = I would Like
Un croissant/Un baguette (oon-cwa-sont/oon bag-et) – A Croissant/A Baguette (super useful I found!)
Parle Vous Anglais (Par-lay-Voo-Ung-Glay) = Do you speak English
A great idea is to buy a French translation book and practice before you leave, or download the app Duolingo and learn on the move! Just don’t go around singing Art vs Science‘s hit song Parles-Vous Francais? to everyone you know otherwise you’ll come off looking like a bit of a dick.
Seriously, fresh bread is so cheap. A big baguette is about 1 Euro and as cliché as it sounds, pretty much everyone is always walking around with some. Plus who doesn’t love a good croissant?! But I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention that the good part about eating from a bakery regularly is that you get to try all the yummy deserts they sell!
ProTip: Hoard croissants from your hostel if they serve free breakfast
3. Don’t fall for the tourist traps
At every major tourist location, they’ll be people trying to sell anything they can: souvenirs, selfie sticks, umbrellas and even drinks! While these kind of people can get annoying to deal with, whoever decided to start selling wine to people sitting under the Eiffel Tower is a genius – because yes, I do want to get drunk at the Eiffel Tower.
Beware! There are some people that try to sell ‘bracelets’ to you, claiming they’re free, and even try to force it on you, and then proceed to chase you down until you pay them, because that’s totally a sustainable career for someone!
For the love of god, budget! Don’t blow all your money on 1L beers and eating 3 course meals every day! Have cheap days, grab a free breakfast from your hostel, and eat cheap for lunch. If you’re feeling extra cheap, try finding tours that are free, and work for tips!
5. Visit Montmartre
This area of Paris is famous for being the art district of the city, but it’s also where you’ll find all the cute small streets, and the genuine French restaurants that aren’t built for tourists. Definitely jump on a tour here and discover where the likes of Picasso and Van Gogh used to chill!
As long as you can finish your stay in one piece, and without begging mum/dad for money, then it’s been a great success! So go enjoy the city of Paris, and embrace the culture with croissants and cremé brûlée!