Travel news What NOT to do in Paris

All articles

What NOT to do in Paris

Charming Paris – beautiful, fashionable and inviting. Also an occasional disappointment if you are at sea when it comes to being street smart. Take a look at Skyscanner’s list of DO NOTs in Paris and make your trip to the city of museums, restaurants, monuments and boutiques a memorable one. First timers in the City of Light, read on and discover the top ten faux pas made by many a newbie in Paris!

Check flights to Paris

1. Do not waste a day on Champs-Elysees

Truth be told, a stroll (if bumping into over excited teenagers from around the world can be called that) down the Champs-Elysees is a huge waste of time. Over rated and over priced, the street is best avoided, even by locals. Unless of course you want to shop at the flagship Louis Vuitton or Guerlain stores. If it is the famed Parisian walk you are after, try another street – the delightful tree lined Boulevard Saint-Germain for example. But if you do find yourself on Champs Elysees due to unavoidable circumstances, make sure you steer clear of the obscenely priced cafes!

Read more: Indians top list of most experimental travellers in Asia-Pacific: Skyscanner reveals****

Boulevard Saint-Germain

Photo credit: Kent Kanouse

2. Do not eat at tourist traps

With upwards of 60 Michelin starred restaurants around the city, Paris has no dearth of establishments that can and do charge you approximately the same amount as your air ticket to the city. So keeping the Parisian culinary experience in mind, if you are budget conscious or simply not a splurger, then skip the haute-cuisine restaurants and head to the more informal bistro setups headed by the same Michelin starred chefs. Also, a good idea would be to give the famous brasseries a miss and try out a locally recommended one instead. And never, ever eat at an international fast food chain – that’s just blasphemous!

Read more: Indians are the 3rd most experimental travellers in the world: Skyscanner reveals****

Brasserie

Photo credit: Tasty Snaks

3. Do not ignore the smaller museums

The City of Light is also the city of museums. Unless you are spending more than a week in Paris, it is pointless to spend an entire day at the Louvre or the Musee d’Orsay being elbowed by a camera wielding over-enthusiastic bunch. The lines are long, the crowd is exhausting and when you do finally make it, you realise the sheer quantity of art on display is so great that you barely have the stamina to enjoy it. So a smart idea would be to head to smaller museums like the Musee de l’Orangerie, the Musee Rodin or the Musee Marmottan that are home to some great art as well. You won’t get to see the Mona Lisa but rest assured, the experience will be far more pleasant.

Read more: Discover Jammu and Kashmir beyond the beauty of Srinagar****

Musee Rodin

Photo credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbera

4. Do not dress badly in the fashionable city

Avoid looking like a tourist – give those shorts and sneakers a miss, trash the money belt and try well-fitted-yet-effortless dressing instead. Preferably in black, gray at the most. And use those designer bags! In a city known for rude/snooty locals, blending in is just the first step!

Read more: The 10 most beautiful university campuses around the world****

Dress Appropriately

5. Do not hire a cab

Cabs may seem convenient but that is one of the greatest Parisian misconceptions. A much better way to see the city is on foot. If that doesn’t float your boat then there is the very efficient metro – a station is never more than fifteen minutes away. Paris offers bikes on rent – an inexpensive way to pedal off that extra croissant.

Read more: World-famous rooftop restaurants that are perfect for your proposal****

Taxi Paris

Photo credit: Phil Hilfiker

6. Do not visit the Eiffel Tower – yes you read it right!

Millions, yes MILLIONS, of people visit the famed tower each year. So if you want to belong to a miniscule percentage of that maddening line – first the ticket, then the elevators to the top and then the serpentine queue back to the ground – go right ahead. May we suggest a far more enjoyable Eiffel Tower experience? Get yourself a table at one of the many rooftop restaurants that offer dinner with a view of what may easily be the most popular keychain in the world! Snide comments aside, you will have a lovely time.

Read more: Top 10 rarely visited historical sites in the world****

View the Eiffel Tower while enjoying a cupppa on the rooftop cafe

7. Do not spend big on accommodation

Don’t book the cheapest hotel just because there is some deal they are offering. You will be stuck in the outskirts with an unavoidable daily commute. Instead, look out for a furnished apartment somewhere in the centre of town, preferably near a metro station, specially if you are staying for a long period of time. You will save money commuting and you won’t be hitting your elbows into walls every time you turn around.

Read more: Weekend getaways from Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore****

Hotel

Photo credit: Charlotte Chen

8. Do not forget to stay safe

Paris is safe, but it does have a reputation where pickpocketting is concerned. Specially in crowded areas and the metro. It also happens more frequently late into the night and people who are travelling solo make easy targets. Not trying to scare you into paranoia here, but it is always a good idea to keep your guard up.

Read more: Places to go when you’re hungry at 2 in the morning!****

Crowded Champs Elysees

Photo credit: Kenneth

9. Do not shop at the regular places

Don’t limit your shopping to souvenir shops – it is alright to want to return with those typical ‘I was in Paris’ kind of stuff, but it’s not okay to pay through your nose for them. May we suggest a tad more interesting way to acquire your prized souvenirs? Rummage through flea markets and pop up stalls – it’s fun and you will end up with an interesting souvenir instead of an Arc de Triomphe snow globe!

Read more: 8 luxury celebrity spotting hotels around the world****

Souvenir Shopping

10. Do not tread the beaten path – experience Paris differently

Don’t let the idea of a guided tour put you off for being too touristy. In fact, it is probably one of the best ways to experience the city. Try a guided walking tour, or one on a bike – tours help you skip lines and get into generally restricted areas. Luckily, bike tours can be arranged in the day as well as the night. Another interesting Paris perspective would be from a night cruise down the Seine.

Read more: Travel like a local: top cities that the Europeans head to in Europe

Seine cruise

Check Paris out like a pro! Book your flights, hotel or rent a car with Skyscanner today. You can do all of these on our mobile apps too.