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The do’s and don’ts of Paris

Published November 7th, 2012

Paris! Oui! It’s a beautiful city. Where baguette, cheese and wine is considered to be a respectable meal, locals dress better than you and the Eiffel Tower lights up the sky at night. But before you begin your full-on love affair with Paris there are a few things you should do and don’t.

 

Do attempt to speak French: It’s a beautiful language and most locals will happily speak English to you once they sense your accent.

Don’t be lazy: If you make no effort to speak the language, the French will most likely assume you are a Brit and treat you accordingly.

 

Dont: look like this

Dont: look like this

Do make an effort to dress nicely: And by nicely we mean no thongs, board shorts or footy jerseys.

Don’t wear a beret: Unless you want to be that idiot tourist in the beret.

 

Do walk around Paris at night: It really is as beautiful as it looks in the movie Midnight in Paris.

Don’t fall asleep before sunset: Trust me, it’s an easy mistake to make, particularly in the summer months when the sun doesn’t set until 10pm.

 

Do see Midnight in Paris before you go: As well as The Da Vinci Code, Last Tango in Paris, Paris je’ t’aime, Amelie, Moulin Rouge and more.

Don’t expect to travel back in time: Woody Allen lied!

 

Do learn about art: Visit the Lourve, the Musee d’Orsay and the Grand Palais. Join a gallery tour. Take the audio information available. Soak it up. It’s good for you.

Don’t be a wanker about it: I can tell you now your friends won’t appreciate you coming home and waxing lyrical about how much you are into impressionism and that Monet’s work is far more inspired than Manet’s more literal pieces.

Pastries in Paris

Do: eat all of the pastries

 

Do eat all of the pastries: And crepes. And tarts. And macaroons. And cake. And flans. And cheese.

Don’t feel guilty about it: And don't even bother dieting. Seriously, Paris will defeat you.

 

Do eat snails: Escargot is surprisingly delicious, particularly if you love garlic. Nom.  

Don’t eat frogs legs: They are quite disgusting and hard to find on most menus anyway.

 

 

Do visit the Eiffel Tower, the Tuileries and Champs Elysees: These Parisian icons are icons for a reason. Don’t miss them.

Don’t spend all of your days at the tourist attractions: While Paris’ tourist attractions are beautiful, the crowds and the scam artists can make things feel a little hectic. Take a break by wandering around the various arrondissements, take a seat at a café or park and watch the world go by.

 

 

Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.