After many visits to Paris over the years, we like to pass on some insider tips on the social customs in Parisian culture for your next trip.
It is generally good manners to at least try to demonstrate an effort to speak the basics of French and will go along way with the locals. Failing to greet someone is considered rude, and this applies to the shop keeper when entering a shop! A simple Bonjour or Bonsoir after 6pm will suffice.
La Bise is the kiss on both cheeks that is done when greeting a good friend, close relative, or family member, usually starting on the left.
Getting around can be expensive in taxis in the capital, so the best way to travel around is on the metro or buses. Uber is also available. Be cautious of pick pockets on the metro. Keep your bag tucked under your arm, not hanging.
If you’re looking for something to do away from the museums, visit Luxembourg Gardens for a fun filled afternoon, which is Paris’s playground! The beautiful park is packed with activities for all ages, including boat racing, donkey rides, flower gardens as well as tennis and boules courts.
Our edit includes a fancy flat, but we also recommend packing comfortable shoes as well for all the walking and sight seeing on offer around the city. Paris is a great city to wander and stumble across stunning areas, so we advise not to restrict yourself and allow time to explore all the city has to offer. There are even free walking tours on offer to help!
Stay safe when crossing the roads, as rules for motorists maybe be different to what you are used to – vehicles can turn right at red traffic lights, and you may find cyclists riding through them. Also be careful to pay attention at zebra crossings.
As the French are passionate about food, having a proper meal is a very important part of Parisian life and French culture. It requires sitting down, taking your time, and not eating while walking down the street which is generally frowned upon.
Lastly, be prepared to come back! The city is so huge and layered with all its history, architecture, and charm, you’d struggle to see it all even in 5 days with a strict itinerary. It is a city of discovery, so taking your time will give you the best memories.