There are so many lists on the Internet about things we should pack when we visit Paris, so today I bring you my own list of “must haves in the city”.
Paris is “la vile de la mode”, so you’ll always want to dress better than ever. I have been living in the city for 4 years and, fortunately, I have learnt many of its deepest secrets about how to always look good.
First of all, you must keep in mind one very important premise: Less is more. So, once in Paris, keep it simple and everything will be fine.
Don’t you dare travel to Paris without a camera! Paris is the kind of city where you don’t necessarily need to visit museums to see art. The streets; the canals; the buildings; the outfits… everything is inspiring here. So bring a camera that you can easily manage and take it everywhere you go.
I know we have smartphones and all the apps to tell us everything about Paris and its history, but be a tourist in Paris. Use the map and walk around the city to see and make the most of each monument, street and café.
One piece of advice: If you wish to go up to the Eiffel Tower or take a boat tour in the Seine, book it in advance. Doing so will help you manage your time in the city better, instead of being in the long queues waiting to buy tickets.
France is definitely a country where you can always grab a discount! If you are a student; are less than 25 years old; are a European citizen; are unemployed… then you can get a discount or free entrance to many museums or public monuments. Interesting? Then take advantage of that and make the most of your trip on a small budget!
There’s a reason why Liberté, egalité, fraternité is the national motto of France.
I travel by public transport every day and I know how much I enjoy always having a little book in my pocket. If you come for just a couple of days with a bunch of friends, it might not be very useful, but if you are staying longer and you know you will be travelling around, than bring one to read.
Plus, try to pack a book with some basic French words. It’s not a myth, French people do not speak much English, even in the touristic places!
Once you are in Paris you’ll want to visit most of the city. You have the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, La Bastille, Arc de Triomphe, La Défense and so on… If you come for just a weekend you are going to have to manage your time well, so having comfortable sneakers to walk around will be a huge help.
Keep it simple, as French like to have a pair of sneakers for the day and a pair of shoes for the night, when they go out clubbing!
One thing that I have learnt from the French is that you do not need many clothes and colours to look nice and elegant. I usually say that in Paris there are just three acceptable colours for outfits: black, white and petrol green ahahah…
So don’t bother bringing that many clothes. Jeans, a classy dress, many scarfs that can change a look and keep you warm if it is cold, sunglasses, a jacket or a winter coat (depending on the season) and, lastly but not least, a cross-body bag.
Very important: leave room in your suitcase to take back the souvenirs you buy in the city. The most famous and glamorous macarons that you can buy at Ladurée on the Champs-Elysées, a miniature Eiffel Tower, or even a Paris Saint Germain jersey.
More than anything, embrace the colourful city with people from all sorts of different backgrounds, stories and experiences. Finally, enjoy the city’s magic throughout the day and night!