paris_trueblue_magazine_9 Travel

41 Tips from Paris!


I lived at a hostel for over a month in the summer of 2013. The hostel was located just outside of Paris. During my stay, I acquired some unexpected knowledge of the Parisian lifestyle that I wish to share with any potential traveler:


  • Always speak in French first, even if it’s awful. They truly respect it, and can help identify you as a first-language speaker. Many Parisians are able to speak English, but not all.
  • Try to avoid drinking a lot of liquids during outings.
  • Always carry change. It costs to pee. Yes, that is urine.
  • French are just as pleasant as the “presumed” Canadian. Get that French stereotype out of your head.
  • Have an alternate “home-bound” route planned before the transit announcer surprises you with a closure for the rest of the evening. This usually happens as you scurry for the last train, running until the gates shut in front of you.
  • There are so many museums, and there are so many student rates! Take advantage of them.
  • You can travel anywhere in Europe from Paris, on a low budget, even if it’s only for 24 hours.
  • La Louvre does take more than 2 days to see.
  • Audio Tours are the way to go.
  • Macaroons are heavenly, but they are equivalent to ordering donuts or cookies in Canada; a common treat even at a place like McDonald’s.
  • Sushi is better in Canada.
  • The transit line must be studied, and takes some time to perfect.
  • There is a Café named after everyone.
  • Your water will come carbonated if you don’t specify.
  • If you don’t smoke, your lungs will think you do.

  • It’s not as expensive or as glamorous as you may think, although it still is a beautiful and historic city.
  • HAPPY HOUR AND TWO-EURO WINE!!
  • Get yourself some walking shoes, or expect 5 extra layers of foot-meat.
  • Your phone just got stolen? It happens. I was unintentionally pepper-sprayed, but it made for a humorous story.
  • Be cautious of the men selling wine and cigarettes in front of the Eiffel Tower, and try to stick with a friend at night. Like anywhere else, you still need to be aware of your surroundings, and be careful who you engage in conversations with.
  • Don’t be so cautious of gypsies, they’re hardly anything to worry about. Just pretend you live in Paris, and they won’t bother you.
  • Never let a random man put a bracelet on your wrist.
  • If you are indecisive with shoes, wear converse.
  • If you are American, say you’re Canadian.
  • Employees in Paris have one job. They stick to it and that’s it.
  • The best time to shop is between 10:00AM and 5:00PM.
  • The French have a lot of holidays.
  • There is so much to do and so much to see.
  • Always carry a book with you. If you don’t have one, pick one up at the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore. There are so many beautiful places to sit and ponder about how awesome life is.
  • Middle-aged Parisians are usually interested in talking to Canadians.

  • Everyone is literally holding a baguette. If not, then they are on their way to buy one.
  • You’ll never enjoy a croissant outside of France after you’ve eaten one there. Try to find community bakeries instead of tourist-landmarked ones. They are usually cheaper, tastier and fresher.
  • If you see a guy, there is most likely a girl. If you see a girl, there is most likely a guy.
  • All couples seem like they are in love.
  • We party much differently than them.
  • An Entrée is an appetizer.
  • You will hear: “You don’t speak French? Aren’t you Canadian?”
  • Scooters are in!
  • You may find yourself having many early-to-bed nights.
  • Try to walk everywhere. There is always something to see or someone to meet. Especially other tourists.
  • Don’t question why every woman is thin. Even if they are munching on boxed cookies, crepes and full baguettes. Just let it go.

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