Like a lot of avid travellers, Paris may still be on your hit list. The popularity of this amazing city isn’t really that surprising. With the concentration of art, architecture and fine cuisine in Paris, there are few better places to get a taste of Europe. Like any city though, if you don’t come prepared it can put a real downer on your trip. Here are some essential items you should pack for Paris.
First of all, dinner dress. Paris has had a long-running reputation as the fashion capital of the world, and this still holds up. When you see what the locals are walking around in on most days, the sheer style of the place might feel a little intimidating! No one’s going to expect you to walk around in designer labels 24/7. However, when you’re going out for dinner, there’s a certain standard of dress which you should be aware of. A nice cocktail dress, or a blouse and slacks, should be fine for most of the places you visit. For men, a button-down shirt and jacket. Dressing up to go out to dinner is a part of French culture, and slovenly attire may get you turned away!
Obviously, you’re going to bring your Passport and other important documentation with you. However, you should also make copies of these and keep them in your hotel room for the length of the trip. This is due to one of the more unpleasant aspects of Paris: pickpockets. Like a lot of European cities, Paris is swarming with these petty thieves, particularly on the metro stations. By being vigilant, and keeping your valuables in hard-to-reach places, you’ll be able to lower your risk somewhat. However, sometimes it’s all a matter of luck. If a pickpocket notices something on you that looks like it’s of value, then they’ll make an attempt on it. If and when this happens, having copies of all your important papers can be a real safety net.
Finally, a Visite Travel card. If you were thinking of hiring a car when you’re in Paris, then I strongly advise you re-think this! Driving in Paris can be an absolute nightmare. Even for the locals, it gets frantic and chaotic. Car parking in Paris is also near impossible without making reservations. I know, public transport has its downsides. However, the Metro is definitely the lesser of two evils. When you pay for a “visite” travel card, you’ll be able to get from place to place with relative ease, without having to stop to buy more tickets. You’ll also be able to save yourself a lot of money by making the one purchase. Just watch yourself when you’re down there. Metro stations are a huge target for pickpockets, as they know they’ll be able to find a lot of naïve tourists!
Make sure to check and double-check that you’re bringing these items to Paris. This is a truly beautiful city, although like any city there are things to look out for. Come prepared, and you’ll have a great time!