Paris is easily one of the most visited cities across the globe. The city of love, fashion and art attracts tourists from all over the world as a direct consequence of its iconic buildings, bustling nightlife and a host of tourist attractions. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that every year, the number of international tourists who pay a visit to Paris are at least 8 times its own population! So if you too are planning a holiday, school picnic or a business trip to Paris, here is how you could make the trip more fun and memorable.
Pick a season:
The first thing you need to do before you even think of anything else is to decide when you want to make your trip. What time of the year do you want to spend in Paris?
Ideally, Paris is at its best during spring and summer, i.e. from March to August. The climate is just perfect during this time and you will find thousands of other tourists during this period. But since this is the most popular time to visit Paris, it is also the most expensive. If you are the romantic type, you could plan a visit during the fall (September – October). But if you have budgetary constraints, take a flight during the winter. This is the time when there are not a lot of tourists in the city and everything including the flights and accommodation is cheapest. Also, Christmas in Paris is an extremely vibrant occasion and one that should not be missed.
Decide what appeals to you the most and plan accordingly. The more the climate appeals to you, the more you will enjoy the trip.
Travel in a group:
Like most other cities, Paris is best explored in a group. Group travel is a fun activity. When you travel with your friends and family, the fun quotient increases astronomically simply because you are doing something you love with the people you love.
Another benefit of travelling in a group is that you get a variety of things to do. Sometimes personal preferences and biases make a tourist miss out on visiting a monument or trying out a certain dish that they may have loved otherwise. When you are in a group, everyone is bound to have different choices which means everyone must participate in activities that their group-mates like. Ultimately, this would only mean that you explore Paris a lot more than what you otherwise would have when going solo.
Some of you may point out that local transportation becomes an issue with group travel. However, you could always choose minibus hire or a coach hire in Paris that would put all your transportation problems to bed. Whether you may be a part of a school picnic or a business trip or a bunch of friends going on their dream vacation, a minibus or a coach is all you need to travel safely and quickly across the city. Besides, you could also make an unscheduled stop if the need arises or if you suddenly spot a monument that is not on your itinerary but has instantly caught your fancy nevertheless.
Befriend the locals:
The French are generally perceived to be hard-nosed people but in reality, they are quite friendly if you walk up to them and give a good impression of yourself. Oh, and yes, a little knowledge of the local language would really help your cause!
The perks of befriending locals are seemingly infinite. They know the best restaurants in town (they also know the cheapest ones), they know the best party spots, they know the shops where you could buy stuff from without burning a hole in your pockets, they know what places to visit, what should you do and more importantly what you should not do!
Having a local by your side not only makes the holiday more fun but also eases out a lot of issues that may otherwise cause a few headaches. In case you ever get into trouble during your stay, you know you have someone there who could help you out. And that, cannot be traded for anything!
Visit some less known tourist attractions:
Paris is home to some of the most iconic structures in European history such as Notre Dame de Paris and the Eiffel Tower. But like in any major tourist city, Paris also has a lot of lesser known places that would leave you spellbound and wondering why people don’t talk about them too often.
La Pagode is a single movie theatre that is designed to look like a Japanese Pagoda. The theatre’s silk draped walls, the painted ceiling and the serene Asian garden would surely leave you asking for more.
Le Ballon de Paris (lifting you to an altitude of 490 feet in the swaying wind while giving you a panoramic view of the whole city), Le Carreau du Temple, Palais de Tokyo (a centre for contemporary and modern European art), Passage Brady, Fondation Le Corbusier, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Musée Bourdelle and La Conciergerie are some of the other relatively unknown but equally enchanting Parisian attractions.
Don’t spend too much time, money and space on the ‘Big’ things:
It is a common human tendency to get overawed by things that seem larger than life. And Paris is replete with such things. The Louvre, the Michelin star restaurants and Champs-Elysées could easily leave you gasping for breath. But while it’s perfectly okay to admire the magnificence of these Parisian icons, you’d be well advised not to ignore the smaller things on offer that could make you just as happy.
Rather than spending truckloads of time at the Louvre to see everything there (which is nigh impossible to do in a day), divide your time between it and some of the smaller museums; not as popular but just as historic and beautiful. Musée de l’Orangerie, Musée Marmottan and Musée Rodin are some of the other Parisian museums that are worth checking out. Also, you’d be better off shopping in neighbourhoods such as the North Marais, down the rue du Chateau d’Eau or from popular departmental stores rather than splurging in the shops at Champs-Elysées. And while Paris does have a host of Michelin star restaurants and it is okay to treat yourself at one of them, the food at local restaurants and bistros is also just as delicious!
Paris is a city that will keep surprising you every time you visit. Even for the regular visitors, every trip seems like a continual process of discovery and exploration. So, first time visitors could be excused for spending almost their entire trip in awe of the place. Whether it’s your first trip or the tenth, take your time to experience what the city has for you. Form a group, take minibus hire for Paris and keep exploring!
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