Paris is a beautiful and magnificent city, but it is also a huge and complex city. Your trip to Paris will be much more enjoyable if you properly prepare for it. Whether for business or pleasure, a trip to Paris is a big event, and like any big task you must prepare in order to be successful. This article is not about things to do in Paris; there are countless books written on that subject. This article is about how to adequate prepare for your trip to Paris, especially if it is your first time.
Exercise. Not any particular exercise, but walking or jogging. Paris is enormous and the places you’ll want to go are very spread out. You will inevitably do a lot of walking in order to get places. If you are unaccustomed to walking in your normal life, then you will get tired very quickly in Paris. Possibly after the first day, your legs will be very sore and it will be more difficult to do it again the following days. With sore legs and exhaustion, you will not be able to get many places and your trip to Paris will not be as pleasant.
My recommendation is to prepare for your trip to Paris two weeks in advance by walking at least a mile every other day. It would be better to try an incrementally increasing approach. Increase the amount you walk each day until you can walk three miles without getting tired or being sore the next day. This will prepare you to do the large amount of walking required on your trip to Paris.
Hotel Location. Choosing a centralized and convenient location as your base of operations is immensely important in a large city such as Paris, especially if you like to return to your room periodically throughout the day to rest and drop off items that you might have purchased. Even if you leave your room early in the morning and don’t return until late at night, it is a waste of time to have a long commute. There are accommodations of all price ranges in the city.
Paris is divided into 14 sections, or arrondissements. A map of the arrondissements and descriptions of each can be found here: http://www.parisnet.com/parismap.html
Depending on how much time you have, you may want to travel to each section of Paris and visit the major sites, or you may want to focus on the intimate details on just one. Either way, prepare for your trip to Paris by booking a hotel that facilitates easy coming and going. In order to know which location would be best for you, you need to have a plan.
Have a Plan.Paris is not the kind of place where you can wake up with no idea of what you want to do, and then wander around and “get lost” exploring the city. Venice is perfect for that. But unlike Venice, Paris is not the kind of place where it is fun to “get lost”. If you get lost in Paris you could end up wandering around for hours in a boring residential area, accomplish nothing and get tired.
At least the night before, decide on what you would like to do and find each location on a map. Then decide on a path that makes sense. Don’t forget to include time to eat. There are numerous options for getting around the city. Is one of the museums you want to visit located nearby some restaurants? This might affect in what order you do things.
The Paris metro is convenient but can get crowded at times. Visit this website to read all about public transportation in Paris:
Be sure to click through each of the pages on the above link. It also discusses options for getting to and from the airport and contains a Paris metro map. Try to estimate the amount of times you will need to ride the Paris metro. This will determine whether you buy single tickets, a packet of ten, or a daily or weekly pass.
Do Some Research. Buy a guide book or check out the internet to conduct research on the places you want to visit during your trip to Paris. For example, if you want to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the lines can be very long. Prepare for the Eiffel Tower by purchasing your tickets ahead of time and then just show up. No line-standing required.
On the above website, you can prepare for your trip to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and save time. The same thing is offered for the Louvre:
No matter what you want to see, prepare by researching it to find out the best way to get tickets, its hours of operation, etc. This will save you a lot of time and energy. Buy or pick up for free a good map of Paris that indicates locations for popular attractions, restaurants, etc. Make sure to also have a metro map.
Buy Food at a Grocery Store. You cannot do this until you arrive in Paris. Paris has an unlimited amount of excellent dining options. Depending on your schedule and budget, you may or may not be able to eat out for every meal. Dining out can get quite expensive in Paris. After you arrive, go to a nearby grocery store and buy fresh bread, things for sandwiches, fruit and anything that can be conveniently eaten on the go or in your hotel room. In this way, you can prepare for the times you are too tired to leave the room or don’t have the time or money to go to a restaurant.
This article was meant to give you ideas on how to adequately prepare for your trip to Paris. Spontaneity is a great personality trait and playing things by ear can be a lot of fun, however, due to the sheer size and complexity of Paris, your trip will be better enjoyed if you prepare well.