What are the locals like?
This tip is for all of you who have reservations about coming here because of what you may have heard about the people.
So far, in two trips, I have seen nothing to indicate that Parisians have any type of grudge against travellers--and that includes those who cannot speak the language. Honestly, I think they accept that not everyone learns French as they go through high school. In fact, the only rude behavior I witnessed was from other travellers. One kept asking a hotel desk worker for a lock of her hair. I just could not believe it! She kept asking, "Why, why?" I was thinking the same thing.
The truth is, if you come in without a sense of entitlement and smile every once in a while, you will do just fine here. Service in the restaurants was fine as well as the hotel and various monuments. Never did I feel unwelcome while visiting this city.
Of course, you do have to watch out for pickpockets at various locations. They represent a minority of people here, however the effect they have can be negative. Keep your wits about you, especially in crowded areas and wear a money belt.
I think a lot of people come here expecting rude treatment, that they actually perceive something insignificant or perhaps a cultural difference to be just that. Don't let the stories of how the people are terrible factor in too much concerning your choice to come here. Sure, you will have a few bad people, but that is everywhere you go. Come and see why so many people visit the French capital.
Go to the top of the Eiffel...
Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower at twilight or at night. If you do this you will avoid long lines, and you'll be rewarded with the most romantic view of Paris anywhere. We were in Paris at the height of tourist season (July) and waited in line all of 5 minutes to get into the elevator to the top of the tower. During the day the line was very long, probably an hour or more. When you are at the top of the tower mail your postcards to receive a special stamp of the Eiffel Tower poste.
Paris is impossible without:...
Paris is impossible without: 3. Monmartre – most artistic place in Paris. Painters, comediants, artists, musicians from all around the world. This place is very popular among tourists, and as a result it became more commercialized. But it is still one of my favourite places in Paris.
Brasseries.. even when "Paris a le blues"
Parisians like their brasseries or, at least, Le Zeyer.
The morning I had my breakfast there, I saw locals. A bit surprising given the day (a working day) & that we were there in summery August. It is the time of the year when "Paris a le blues" according to French artist MC Solaar. It is emptied of its inhabitants (Juilletistes use to leave Paris for their vacation in July whilst Aoutistes do it in August.. now do all Juilletistes return in August ? Not sure). Anyway, one has to wait for Septembre & the rentrée to live Paris again.
Still, as I said, I saw locals at le Zeyer at 10am. Must be Parisians savouring their last days of vacations. Those who work shouldn't be out at a terrace at 10am. Amongst locals, I saw a French TV star. Elegant in her beige linen suit. Sans sunglasses, just busy chatting & having a café serré.
Unbeknownst to me at that time, Le Zeyer used to count the likes of Henry Miller as regulars when he stayed in the area during his 30s European jaunts. On the net, I also saw a painting of Le Zeyer, a bright one with the distinctive yellow awning, said to be painted by an artist who lived in the area. A great fauna ! Anyway, with its warm yellow-orangey-gold Art deco interior, it sure has a special and inspiring flair. I just knew about the painter & Arthur Miller being regulars there long after my first sitting at Le Zeyer in the early 80s & still some time after this afternoon in 2004. Even when you want to know about a place in a non-touristy Parisian arrondissement, Google would still find it.
Later in the afternoon: more locals, the terrace was full (I think my parents & I were the only tourists). We proceeded our way inside. Yet, we could still have a look onto the streets, stretch our sore feet & legs, watch the world passing by. People were chatting while sipping their Kros, Pastis, Tonic. Those who stop at a time could hear the polyphony aired in the room. It also happens that when a bit uninhibited by their alcohol intake, people talk to neighbours.
take a rucksack and more money! in paris you need to have three types of cloths
1 smart dinner dance club wear
2jeans and jumpers
3 more money to buy some, incase you have them robbed from your hotel room take more money