I have recently traveled to the most favorite country in Europe, France. France is a well planned beautiful country especially the most popular city Paris. In this article I would be sharing some tips related to transport, safety, tickets etc, if you are visiting Paris.
Paris is amazingly well connected with public transport till the last mile with RER, Metro, Bus, Cabs etc.
The ticketing system is very friendly. They have multiple options to choose from. Option 1- Take Paris+ city. This is a one way ticket valid for both Metro and RER if not going out (exit) of the station. Option 2- Paris Region. If you have to travel outside Paris city but in areas which fall under Paris Region, then you need to select this option. Option 3 - Disneyland. The ticket is specifically to go to Disneyland. Option 4 - 1-3 Days Pass. Take this pass only if you are staying for at least 3 days, else it wont be economical. Option 1-5 days pass. Take this you staying for 4 or 5 days and your mode of transport would be metro or RER most of the times. Because buying one way ticket is more viable if you are covering couple of destinations only in a day.
The fair is same across. If you have to go one station or ten station.
Most important. Keep the ticket with you till the end of your journey. You will be fined heavily if found without ticket.
RER - RER are the trains which connects Paris main city with the Paris region, example Disneyland. You need to be careful before boarding the RER. It is not necessary that all the trains would go to the same place. Now, how to identify if you are boarding the right RER train? They have a very good system of identifying whether to take the next coming train or not. You need to look for announcement/information board at the platform on which all the stations of that route would be mentioned. Keep an eye on that board. When the train approaches, the stations it would cover/or go will be highlighted.
Paris is decently safe for tourists if you are careful and vigilant. The most common crime is pick pocketing, and they usually target tourists who are confuse and are careless in their approach. Here are 5 tips to stay safe in Paris.
1. Always be careful of who is around you. Do not talk on the mobile while walking on the roads or entering/going out from the train.
2. Never keep your bag unattended. Keep your bag/luggage in between your legs if traveling/standing in a metro or taking a photo.
3. Try to carry your bag on both the shoulders instead of hanging loosely on just one.
4. Buy your ticket at the stations on your own. If you have doubts ask to the person standing behind you in the que or at the service desk available at all station booths. Refuse politely if someone offers help for ticketing on their own (out of the que) without you asking specifically, especially at the stations like Nord.
5. Do not travel alone at secluded, shady, dark places at night.
With my own experience, I can vouch that Paris is a safe city to travel if you are little careful with your things. And french people are most humble and helpful unlike their unfriendly reputation. I have personally experienced more than 3 times when i was little confused on what to do, people have overheard my conservation/confusion and helped me. So, just go fearless, if you are planning to visit this beautiful country anytime soon.
Paris is paradise for both photographers who like to play with the camera and for those who like to pose. The city is so beautiful that you feel like capturing every nook and corner of it. As per my little understanding about photography, you will get best photographs at these 4 attractions-
Effiel Tower - You can click best photos of effiel either from Tornado Garden or from the bridge which opposite Effiel (near the seine river).
Arc De Triumph - Use the underground walkways to reach here/cross roads. It is located at a busy square and it is difficult to cross the road with fast vehicles approaching from all the sides. You can get best view/photographs if you stand across the road near the metro station side. The architecture of this monument is beautiful to capture.
Montparnasse Tower - This is the tallest tower and observatory deck in Paris which provides 360 degree view of the entire city as it is located right in the center of the city. It just takes 38 seconds to reach top of this skyscraper i.e, 200 meters high. This tourist spot is not as popular as others but provides the best view of entire Paris city. Do not forgot to climb one more level up by foot from where you would see breathtaking views. I was almost about to miss climbing up, but i suddenly saw an up arrow and asked the security if it is allowed to go up. I would have regretted if i would have missed going up to the rooftop.
Montmartre - It is a village situated on the hill. You get some amazing clicks of the city from the top. And the colorful life of the city. This is a place where Picasso used to sit and make his masterpiece paintings. Who knows you may get inspired too?
TICKETS OF TOURISTS SPOTS
It is advisable to book the tickets online to avoid long ques and waiting time especially during peak travel season and extreme climates. You should book advance tickets for at least these 3-4 spots.
Louvre Museum - Book an early slot 9.00 AM or at max 9.30 AM. This way you will get more time to spend on top 5/attractions which you want to see. At this time slot it is little less crowded compared to slots after 10.00 AM.
Effiel Tower - It is extremely crowded during peak season. Ensure you have booked the ticket to the top (summit). It can take upto hours in the que to get the ticket from the ticket window. Also, usually if you book group tours, they give you tickets upto level II and you will have to buy separate tickets from the counter for summit (if you want to reach at the top).
Disney Land - You should buy ticket to Disney land in advance to avoid long waiting time.
Catacombs - If you wish to visit this place ensure you have booked time slot already. Limited people are allowed to enter at a given time. There was a 1.5 hours waiting during non-peak season. God knows the waiting time during tourist seasons.
Everywhere there is an option to take fast track ticket pass especially at Disney Land, Catacombs. If you have fast track pass, you will get preference for entry everywhere with least waiting time.
Travelling Intra country in any other European by train is expensive than taking flights but takes equal amount of time. And traveling from trains are much comfortable than flights.
There is no dearth of hotels in Paris ranging from hostels, guest houses, apartment, budget hotels, luxuries hotels etc. You will find one as per your budget and requirement.
The only advise i have here is, select the hotel/staying option near to the metro/RER station. Staying near to the hotel will help you with better mobility. Plus you will not have to walk long distance to catch a train/RER (especially in extreme climates both summer and winter).
The city offer's good eating options both for vegetarian and non-vegetarians.
Some of the Vegetarian delicacy one must try - Crepes and Waffels (it may contain egg)
Tip - Do some restaurant research near you if you are looking for Indian vegetarian. Though there are many good options but you need to walk a lot.
That's all from my side. Do leave your views in the comment section below.
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Upcoming blogs on my website - What to see in Paris if visiting for the first time? 3 days Paris Itinerary The Top 5 Attractions of Louvre Museum