Hot answers tagged

72

First there's the obvious - when in a tourist area, don't act too much like a tourist. When I lived in London you could instantly tell the locals from tourists in busy tourist areas, regardless of their looks, from the fact the locals were walking quickly and purposefully and skirting around the crowds (even when lost) while the tourists had more random, ...


47

I think the best write-up I've seen on this is at Corporatetravelsafety.com: They begin the Paris String Scam by engaging you in innocent conversation and will usually say that they want to show you a magic trick. Before you know it, a "string man" has grabbed your wrist or one or two fingers and encircled it with a homemade bracelet of colored ...


45

The carnet comes as 10 separate tickets and nothing stops you from sharing with others.


40

As a French native, I discovered this practice in North America. I never asked for a doggy bag in France, nor have I seen someone do it. So it is likely restaurants don't even have boxes. You can obviously take out food from fast-food restaurants but for regular restaurants I don't think it is correct behaviour. I usually finish my dishes, I only order what ...


37

There is some confusion, top commercial speed for TGV is 320 km/hr between Paris and Lorraine (on the way to Metz, Nancy, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, or Germany). Some conventional high-speed trains run or ran at 350 in Spain and China, 400-430 with Maglev technology, but not at 500 and more. Some parts of the French high-speed network were also designed to ...


35

Here's a trick I've found pretty useful: Wear headphones/earphones. You don't have to listen to anything through them, but just by wearing them, people are more likely to ignore you because you "can't hear them". Worked for me in Beijing's Tiananmen square.


32

I never found the stereotypical rude Parisian I was warned about. Several people went far out of their way to help me in ways I wouldn't expect in my own city. I did not find a great number of people outside the tourism industry in Paris that spoke English. I did always use the French words and phrases I knew "excusez moi", "salut", "merci", and if I could ...


32

Rent a (Solo) Music Studio Since you mention the need to be alone, a dedicated music studio comes to mind. A quick google search revealed Studio Luna Rossa in the 13th Arrondissement and Maison de la Musique in Neuilly-Sur-Seine 92200. Both of these offer small solo studios for something around 6-7EUR per hour, during both weekdays (off-peak and peak hours) ...


31

Indeed you can. I'd extend this to other French cities as well: I have lived in Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand, Mulhouse and (currently) Strasbourg, and in each of these cities public transportation tickets can be bought by 10 and shared. Be sure to buy an actual pack (fr. carnet) of paper tickets if you plan to use them for several simultaneous passengers. If you ...


27

I'm French, from Paris. harassed by guys on the street trying to pull a scam of some sort in which they would bend over, pick up some cheap "golden" ring, offer it to me as my "lucky day", and then ask if I could give them some money for it [...] the amount of times I was approached and asked for money (the ring guys were just part of it) was an ...


26

You have several possibilities for a picnic on a normal day (as Gayot Fow's answer mentions, the white picnic is worth the trip as well). The first one is where everyone goes, particularly tourists - namely around the Grand Canal. I would not say that you need to "reserve" your spot but some places get crowded. A picture I took in May, on a Sunday, from ...


24

As a matter of fact, they just have been reopened. The Musée Carnavalet, the museum in charge of the catacombs, announced on their Facebook page one hour ago: Bonne nouvelle ! Les Catacombes sont de nouveau ouvertes au public. Nous vous souhaitons un agréable après-midi Which translates to: "Good news! The catacombs are now again open to the ...


23

It's a common problem I had in South America - I really wanted to improve my Spanish while travelling as it gives you a much better insight into your travels, and can talk to locals more. But so often they'd just switch to English because they welcomed a chance to learn English themselves. You can either do the obvious (ask them to speak French so you can ...


23

You can queue for the lifts, however this is not your best bet (unless you have difficulty with stairs.) There are two better options...What I would suggest (and what I do whenever I take people there) is: Queue at the Pillar Sud from 8:40 or 8:45 for it to open at 9:00 Pay under €5.00 for a ticket to walk up to level 2 - this is quite exciting in itself ...


22

The metro is only €1,70 per ride, and if you buy a carnet of 10 the price is €13.30 for all 10. Probably your best bet. I hate cycling because of the issues with locking it up, worrying about theft, and if you're in the upper arrondissements going uphill on cobblestone sounds like a miserable experience I would rather spare myself from. The city is ...


20

I went several times to this park and I never had to deal with that kind of people (I am French). They certainly target tourists so I would recommend the usual stuff I apply to myself not to be bothered in such a case. Walk confidently, a bit fast. You know where you are going. Do not look around or stroll in front of them. Look in front of you. If they ...


20

Cheap + Efficient = Walk! Paris "intra muros", i.e. the area inside the ring road (boulevard périphérique, postal codes starting with 75) is relatively small. It has a surface of 105 square kilometers. On the North-South axis the largest distance is 10 kilometers and on the East-West 12 kilometers. These distances are rough estimates but give you a good ...


20

I looked for official information about this from a French government source, but did not find anything. I may not have identified the correct agency, but there was nothing obvious on the web sites of the Interior and Foreign Affairs ministries, nor on that of the Douane. According to the UK official foreign travel advice (emphasis added): On Friday 13 ...


18

It's certainly possible to do a day-trip from Paris to London. Eurostar takes a little over 2 hours each way from Paris (Gare du Nord) to London (St Pancras) and back. In both directions you clear immigration (both exit and entry!) before boarding the train, which adds a little to the total time. However, if you've never been to Paris before, I'm really ...


18

Yes, there is! On the first Sunday of every month, almost all the main museums and art galleries are open for free. The only slight downside is that loads of people take advantage of this, so the queues can be quite long (it took 25 minutes to get into le Musée d'Orsay today mid afternoon as a guide), and they can be very busy inside. See this question on ...


18

I called the prefecture in the city I live in (Evry) and asked about the situation. They said that as long as the carte de sejour is valid then there should be no problem. Anyways I will be travelling tomorrow and I will also update the answer with what happens. Update I took my flight from paris (Orly airport) to Venice (Marco Polo airport) and there was ...


16

I'd recommend either May or September. In particular, Paris is going to be overrun with crowds during June, July, and August with students and families that are only able to travel during those months.


16

I would recommend summer. The weather is warm but not too hot, less than in Italy or Japan. See this minimum/maximum graph in Nice (in Celsius, 25°C=77°F): During summer touristic places are open everywhere, even in the South, the warmer the better. During summer people working in Paris leave for the South, but Paris still has a lot of activities, even ...


16

How to possibly avoid waiting at the Eiffel Tower The Eiffel Tower consists of several stages. The lower part can be done either by stairs or by lift. The higher part can normally only be done by lift. There's usually a big queue for the lift at the ground floor, but not much of a queue for the stairs. When I climbed the Eiffel Tower, I didn't know that,...


15

Just ask them. If they switch to english, say: "S'il vous plaît, en français, j'essaie d'apprendre."


15

In Paris always say no to solicitors. I haven't had this one happen to me, but I've had the calling card scam done on me. My answer is always say no. I don't suggest no merci. Yes, its in French, but you can pick the English accent miles away. I always walk through them. If they grab you or try to stop me, I say 'eh ohhh'. You have to say it with a ...


15

As an addendum to Relaxed's excellent answer, there's only one place on the planet right now where the public can experience traveling at 500+ km/h on a train, and that's JR Central's Yamanashi maglev test track in Japan. However, test runs open to the public are scheduled only irregularly, and are extremely popular. The last runs for 2,400 lucky winners ...


15

Yes! They're not labelled, are separate, and work independently. Source: Bought in bulk when in Paris with a large group. Worked out just fine. Also saved us money. Second source: Some information about the tickets, prices and options: Paris by Train - Paris Metro Tickets.



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