We’re Thinking About an Early Holiday in Paris – Are You?
It’s never too early to start thinking about holiday plans in the New Year, but you might not be too certain on where you actually want to go. If you ask us, there’s nothing wrong with the classics. And what could honestly be more classic than Paris?
This is definitely going to be a long guide, so you might want to settle in with a cup of coffee. Because when you think about a city that has nearly 12 million people calling it home, it goes without saying that there’s probably quite a bit to talk about.
First and foremost, you should understand that Paris is very large, and it’s divided into 20 districts called arrondissements. You need to make sure that you get plenty of maps to get around the city. However, even if you stayed in the 1st district of the city, you would still find plenty to do.
We recommend the 1st arrondissement as well as the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 11th. However, no matter where you go in Paris, there’s going to be plenty to see and do. Restaurants and small cafes are everywhere, and it’s pretty easy to get around.
Paris is going to be very nice in the summer, with warm temperatures to go around. However, the winters can be very cold, and that means that you need to make sure that you dress for the weather. The winter brings more rain than snow, which means that some people still like to go and check out the city anyway. The coldest that the winter gets is about 6 C / 43 F. That’s pretty mild if you live in Northern Europe or Scandinavia in any way. You have to make sure that you focus on the trip that you see in your mind, not the one that other people want to sell you on. So if you really want to see Paris in January, you will have to make it happen. Wintertime in Paris is an experience that we think that everyone should experience at least once or twice in order to get it out of their system. This is truly a city for lovers, for adventurers, and for anyone that truly believes in the arts being one of the highest of man’s pursuits as a whole.
Paris has three international airports to serve tourists. Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Orly International Airport, and Beauvais. Most people will end up flying into Charles de Gaulle, but it’s not unheard of to fly into the other airports.
There are plenty of trains, buses, and subway to get you around the city. You really don’t want to try to navigate Paris by car yourself, because it’s too easy to get lost. The streets were created before cars, which means that they are unwieldy and they make traffic very heavy. It’s a lot smarter to actually take your time with the public transportation system. You will find plenty of people that are willing to get you pointed in the right direction. Speaking a little French can really get you pointed in the right direction, especially if you really focus on being able to community properly. The French are very proud people, and they want to see tourists making the effort to get out of their comfort zone and learn their language. Even if you only know a few phrases, this still makes you look better than tourists that think everyone should speak their language.
If you stay in the tourist section of town, you’ll also find a lot of English spoken there. So it’s not like it’s the end of the world if you don’t manage to speak French.
Let’s talk about all of those lovely sights and sounds, shall we? You have to gift yourself with the Paris Museum Pass. This is a pre-paid entry card that will let you get into nearly 70 museums and monuments around Paris and the Palace of Versailles as well. It comes in 2-day, 4-day, and 6-day denominations, and these are consecutive days. You will also be able to jump long lines and get into places that would usually take forever to get into.
You can also get the ParisPass, which is another prepaid entry card that gets you to 60 other attractions like the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and a river cruise. You also get free metro and public transport travel. There is also a combination pass that can let you get more transportation options in if that’s what you’re looking for.
You also have to see the Catacombs, the Notre Dame cathedral, along with the Opera Garnier and the Pantheon.
There are a lot of places to photograph in Paris, to the point where photography students are encouraged to visit Paris at least once or twice to get in some stunning photos. You will be able to practice your skills and look around at some serious architecture. Even if you’re not very good, there are places to really teach you how to become better.
Better Paris Photos is a place that gives you an instruction-oriented tour that will teach you more about photography and taking stunning photos. You will also be able to get feedback on your current photography skills. While this is somewhat expensive, a lot of tourists that have taken such a hands-on course have said that their photography skills have really improved because of it.
There are also tons and tons of movies to see when it comes to cinema. Paris has always been home to a lot of indie films, which are screened nearly every day.
There are plenty of fun things for children to do as well, at various museums and public galleries. Paris, like many European cities, is very child friendly and people will be friendly to your children as long they’re polite and respectful.
If you have always wanted to immerse yourself in learning French as a language, you have come to the right city. There are plenty of short study courses that you can take where you can learn better French and actually practice speaking the way real French people speak.
Working in Paris can be challenging unless you have an in-demand skill that the French employers really want. Make sure that you focus on actually talking to people that really know the market before you dive into living and working in France. There really are always jobs around, but you really want to make sure that you do your homework if you decide to cross this bridge and stay in Paris. You will need to also make sure that you have the right permits and visas before you even begin work. This can be exhausting at the start, but once you get it out of the way you’ll be able to enjoy Paris fully.
Paris is a shopper’s dream, because there’s very little that you won’t be able to find. Fashion is definitely the order of the day. You can find a lot of high end clothing, and there are even a few deals. Of course, luxury living is the order of the day as well, so you will find a lot of high end stores as well. Make sure that you don’t bust your travel budget!
If you want bargains, you will need to check out the flea markets. That’s where the days are pretty good.
Let’s talk about food. There are really three categories here — budget, mid-range, and splurge. Fine dining is not something that is always the norm in Paris. Yes, you will find great restaurants, but food in Paris is more focused on rustic, simple pleasures. Of course, the atmosphere of Paris is such that you can pretty much eat just about anywhere and feel like you’re already making great decisions.
You should always try to go where the locals eat, because that’s where you’re going to get the best service. You can also check out many of the food stands if you want something different, and there are also plenty of other cuisines from around the world to check out as well.
When you’re trying to figure out where to stay, make sure that you definitely look online for some good deals. If you plan to live in Paris for a short time, you really need to make sure that you rent a furnished apartment. This means that you will also be able to cook your own food and then you can just go to the market when you need fresh food. This can be a better experience than constantly dining out.
Overall, there’s plenty to see and do in Paris, no matter what type of budget you’re running on. Now is the time to check Paris out — have a great day!