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

  • 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.

  • 70%


    Bucket load of world famous attractions

    Paris certainly is a great place to visit in Europe with an unprecedented number of world famous sights. However due to it's world famous status Paris is full of tourists which makes it almost unenjoyable at times to visit major attractions as it involves long queuing times and being pushed through exhibitions.

    Insider Tip:Buy tickets for everything upfront to beat the crowds.

  • 60%


    Great parts of Paris are really great, and only exist in Paris. No where else in the world has the same attractiveness or value. But, poor part is quite poor, and just like a normal city in Europe. Cleanliness of the city is somewhat disgusting. Such a contrast is sad. If i point out another issue, metro stations are hard to find. Places like London or Tokyo has large signs of metro stations, even if some people think it is not aesthetically good.

    Insider Tip:Tourists with a big baggage cannot enter museums. Find a locker room at stations connecting to other cities, such as Gare du Nord, or Gare du Lyon. Nothing at Metro stations or neighbourhood around these famous museums except a few places.

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