A Few Things You Should Know

Hello, hello!

Since moving to Paris at the end of August, I've definitely learned a lot about myself, about moving to a new city, and about living in Paris, so I thought I'd share some friendly advice with you.

No. 1: Invest in sneakers.

Seriously. The first week that I was here, I logged an average of 6 miles of walking per day. A week before I left for France, I bought a new pair of Adidas, and thank goodness. I honestly don't know what I would do without them; they are so comfortable. I used to wear Converse, but I recently developed shin splints, and since Converse provide me with basically no support, I probably would have suffered through the transition here if I were wearing them. 



No. 2: Cook.

Eating out in Paris is great! There is so much incredible food here! But food in Paris is also incredibly expensive, and eating out every day can seriously take a toll on your bank account. Get to know the local shops and chain stores you can run into (hello Monoprix, Franprix, and Carrefour). Figure out how to make some quick and easy meals that maybe aren't all pasta dishes. Seriously, your wallet will thank you, and that way you'll have more to spend on nicer occasional meals and in the lavish French boutiques you will definitely see everywhere. (If you're looking for any good restaurants, I will be posting a list of some of my favorite restaurants around Paris soon!)

No. 3: The metro is your friend.

I grew up in the suburbs of Massachusetts. In the few years I spent in NorCal, my mom very rarely let me use BART without an adult and thus I had no idea how it actually worked. Since getting to Paris, I use the metro or the buses almost every single day. There are stops and stations all over Paris, so you can get where you need to be fairly easily. Tickets aren't expensive - €1.90 per ticket, unless you get a Navigo pass or metro pass. (Tip: always keep your tickets on you throughout your train journey. Occasionally, there are metro police who scan people's tickets when they are transferring lines and if someone doesn't have their ticket on them, they can get charged between €35 and €45!). 

No. 4: Stay alert!

Every city has its own pick-pocketing issues and safety announcements. When I first got to Paris, everyone told me to always hold onto my bag, never leave my phone on a table at a cafe, and not to leave anything important in my pockets. I have been in Paris since August, and truth be told, I have not had a lot of problems with pick-pocketing. However, the other day, I caught a woman on a packed train trying to steal my wallet out of my purse (which was on my lap). Being a tourist makes you an incredibly easy target to steal from, so be careful! Keep your bags closed and close to you, and be especially careful when you are in tourist-heavy areas or on a busy train/bus. 

No. 5: Do the "touristy" things.

When people come to Paris, I think a lot of them either hit all of the tourist attractions or none.  Of course, go to the Louvre, see the Eiffel Tower, all of that. But don't forget some other ones! Just because you've been to one museum in Paris does not mean you've been to them all. Palais de Tokyo is a museum that does not have any permanent works; they hold temporary exhibitions and shows frequently, from very modern and new-aged artists. On the other hand, Musée Rodin is full of Rodin's great sculpture works, along with many other great artists. Go to restaurants and parks and gardens, and sit outside (especially in the spring or early fall)! Do it all! (Tip: If you have a student visa or a French school ID, you can get into the Louvre for free). 

At a café in the 16th arrondissement.

At a café in the 16th arrondissement.

Pont de Bir-Hakeim; it was so beautiful out the day I took this photo that I didn't edit this photo at all.

Pont de Bir-Hakeim; it was so beautiful out the day I took this photo that I didn't edit this photo at all.

No. 6: Bring someone along.

Paris is, of course, a very romantic city. However, if you don't have a partner or ~significant other~, opt to bring a friend, sibling, parent (anyone you enjoy being with!) along with you. Paris can be a great city to see if you are by yourself, but I find that when I have other people around, it makes it easier and more fun to go out and do thing, and see more of the city than if I were alone. 

This list was meant to be a short, bullet-pointed list for anyone who reads this, but it quickly became a lot longer than I initially intended. These are just a few tips that I have (of many) if you visit or live in Paris at any point!