Things you'll need to know before going to Paris

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Paris, France

Things you'll need to know before going to Paris Reviews

sugarina sugarina
1 reviews
May 12, 2007
Paris is a beautiful city, known as 'City of Lights' and of course, city of romance. Well, yes indeed. Having to live in Paris for almost half a year, it's been a tremendously wonderful yet mind-boggling experience. You'll understand why!

10 basic things you need to know about Paris first BEFORE going there:

1. Most (I do mean alotx5) of Parisians don't speak English and will usually reply 'no or very little' when you ask them if they do (Vous parlez Anglais?). So bring a 'How to Speak French' handbook along. It'd be extremely useful. I had an extremely tough time coping with the language barrier.

2. They eat alot of baguette and cheese, really. You can buy a freshly baked baguette for 0.60 cents euros in any bakery or patisserie. Cheese, oh my dearest foe-turned-friend. If you're lacto-intolerant like me, please don't try goat's cheese. It'll probably kill you the way it did to me!

3. Red wine and Chardonnay are really cheap there, as compared to Singapore. You can find pretty good ones in their local supermarkets (Monoprix, Champion, Franprix) for as low as 4 euros.

4. You should try to bring debit cards if you wanna make any cash withdrawals. Debit cards have a fix local charge (depending on your country) on the cash withdrawal transaction. For example, I was charged S$5 (approximately) for every cash withdrawal transaction. Credit card cash withdrawals are generally alot more costly, based on personal experience.

5. Eating out is less expensive than cooking most of the times. Unless you're whopping up seafood or carbonara pasta. Or microwaveable food... and you get my drift.

6. Transport in Paris... well, I really prefer you guys to stick to their Metropolitan (Metro, in short). The Metro is by far the most efficient mode of transport in Paris, in my opinion based on experience. Also, do you know that there was a terrible strike many years back? Workers went on strike due to unfair working hours or salary (I don't know which but it's always for reasons like that) and the entire Metro lines in Paris were stopped due to the strike. Many Parisians were affected and they had to walk. Paris is pretty small for a city, but for efficiency, I suggest you stick to the Metro. Unless you really have to take the taxi, which would probably cost you around 12 euros on average. Or a bus (you can use the Metro tickets for the buses as well). To get a Metro ticket, it costs about 1.50 euros per trip, approximately 5ish euros for a day trip and 53 euros for monthly concession.

Be careful though! People in the Metros can be pretty dodgey. And be prepared to squeeze like sardines in cans during peak hours! They have buskers coming in to perform (some were pretty traumatising) and will collect money from you. Oh! And I've seen an American getting robbed in front of me. So ladies, bags in front of you please and zip them up at all times. Men should keep their wallets in a secure place.

7. Paris is an expensive city and has a very high standard of living. It is rated one of the top 5 most expensive cities to live in. Be prepared to say things like, 'What? 5 euros for a bottle of Coke? Are you kiddin' me!' Been there done that, mon cherie!

8. Never go to the washing place (and Pigalle) alone. Especially with your Play Station Portable or Laptop. My friend got mugged by 3 men in the washing place because he ingeniously sat in there alone playing his PSP. He obviously survived and learnt his lesson.

9. Parisians like to lead the quiet and reserved lives when it comes to their personal lives. They don't really enjoy noise, especially dining in the restaurants. And they are very particular about their table etiquette.

10. Lastly, La Vie En Rose! Live life in pink! I'm in love with the song by the way - I was forced to sing it during French classes. You can imagine how much this song symbolises the French way of life.

Done with all 10 basic things you should know BEFORE going to Paris. Hope you enjoyed it and found it useful!

Now, wait for my other review what things you should DO DURING your stay in Paris!

Till then,


P/S: This review is written by a sleepy 20 year old student who went on her exchange program to Paris during last summer until winter of 2006.
Taken outside Lourve while travell…
My little Parisian home!
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
hawaiian_ree says:
very useful, thanks!
Posted on: Mar 09, 2013
ROZA1978 says:
Posted on: Mar 22, 2012
WBOM06 says:
Great tips! Going next week.
Posted on: Jul 20, 2010
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