Paris Pocket Guide

Images Of Paris

One of the first things you notice when you walk around Paris is this: the French capital is just as you imagine it. Parisians lounge outside cafés drinking coffee, budding artists sketch whatever passes them into their sketch pads, and everywhere you look is another building which causes an immediate reaction to grab for your camera. Some of the world's best museums can be found here, the list of instantly recognisable landmarks is a lengthy one, and the nightlife is electric to say the least. But one of the French capital's best attributes is that when you want to do nothing but sit back and relax, it's hard to think of a better city in the world to people watch.

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In The Guide

  • Cheap Eats Find out what restaurants are best value for money and what are the local specialties.
  • Don't Miss A list of the best local attractions and places worth visiting whilst in Paris.
  • Budget Tips Insider tips on how to save money or what to do when you don't have any!
  • A day in Paris... Only have one day to spare? We give you our ultimate day in Paris.

Paris City Reviews

  • 90%


    Well of course I'll recommend to anyone to go to Paris, the city of light, love, fashion and art. Seriously its awesome if you havent gone yet you must go! Its a must in your lifetime, it has everything. Its a little more expensive than any other average city but its worth it, some of the best museums in the world are in paris, so many things to do, you can never have enough of paris

    Insider Tip:If you go in winter its really cold and some days are rainy so bring the right clothes & I wouldnt reommend to be in the eiffel tower on new years eve its really really crowded and you're just standing there frezzing some hours and if you're planning to go back to your hostel by train or subway its going to take you like 2 hours and its not the big thing just some fire works like 5 small ones and they light up the eiffel tower like every night better go to a nice place to dinner or a nightclub

  • 60%


    Touristy But Worth a Trip

    As Audrey Hepburn once said "Paris is never a bad idea". But you must beware how drastically touristy Paris is. It's very unlikely you'll meet a lot of French people, mostly other tourists from around the world. The landmarks are all worth a once in lifetime visit, but the constant gypsy's on the streets and in the metros begging for money gets a little tiring.

    Insider Tip:Try to take the metro to far ends of the city and walk around. It's more authentic. East dinner at 8 PM like a true Parisian and sit outside on the curb to people watch with a vat of wine. You'll feel like you stepped out of a movie scene.

  • 60%


    Crowded and dirty

    Paris is a city too crowded and dirty. It definitely is not the best place to visit (if you want a stress free trip). If it is the trip of your life, go for it, but if you are looking for a place where things work properly and people are respectful and kind, Paris is not the place. I met very few people willing to help with information there (yes, there are some kindhearted individuals there, but I think most of them are foreigners, lol, sorry!).

    Insider Tip:You better learn French and start studying the subway map before landing in Paris and don't forget the pickpockets.

  • 60%


    Paris = Tourists

    For me, Paris is too busy. It has beautiful monuments, but they are constantly accompanied by pushy crowds and a lot of confused/stressed tourists. They French who live there mostly seem annoyed with foreigners and haven't the tolerance for incompetence. I preferred my visit to Lyon (the second largest city in France depending on who you ask) because it was less crowded, smaller, more open, and the people were friendlier/more patient with my terrible French abilities.

    Insider Tip:The metro is easy to use. The ticket machines can be changed to English, French, Spanish, etc. And you can by a day pass that allows you to ride whenever, wherever, all day. For me, I found "Fodor's 25 Best Paris" to be very helpful for navigating the city and choosing what sites to visit during my few days there. The book has a map of the city and the transit system. Don't take a taxi to/from the airport. There are a few trains and busses that take you from the airport (CDG) to the center of the city.

  • 80%


    Paris, from NYC

    Paris is not overrated at all. Coming from NYC, I was really happy with the metro in Paris. It's efficient, easy to figure out, and pretty much gets you everywhere. I was on exchange in Amsterdam and visited Paris alone. I have several years of junior high and high school French under my belt, which definitely made it easier to navigate the city. However, most everyone speaks English. I would recommend seeing the Orsay (better than the Louvre), Luxembourg Gardens, and a movie at an indie cinema!

    Insider Tip:If you are studying in the EU and have a residence card, you can skip the waiting/admission fee lines for major museums (i.e. the Louvre, Orangerie, Orsay) and go directly into the museum for free. Your residence card doubles as your ticket. If you're in Paris for a few days and want to use the metro as your main source of transportation, buy a "book" of tickets (10 single-ride tickets), instead of 10 tickets on separate occasions, to save some money.

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