A Whirlwind Introduction to Paris

For our first post, we asked our students to share their advice for a short, whirlwind visit in Paris. I labeled the photos with the students’ names (probably obvious, sorry….) so that you can see which photos “go” with their blurbs.

  • Make sure to wear comfortable shoes always! You’ll definitely walk more than you expect – Amiel
  • Watch out for bike lanes when walking. Stay to the side and look right and left before crossing the road…or else bike riders get a little too angry – Rodyna
  • I would say that you should definitely take advantage of the Paris metro, but avoid it at all costs during rush hour. Walking is better than being packed into a metro car like sardines, I promise. If you want to go to the Louvre, but don’t want to wait in a long line, I would recommend getting there a little bit before it opens, and maybe during the weekday. I would also highly recommend the strawberry slushy if you’re at the Eiffel Tower because it is the perfect thing to have if you are tired and hot and in need of refreshment. – Liv
  • When traveling on the metro, avoid rush hour!
    If you happen to lose a kid on the way to the Louvre, make sure they stay where they are! – Lilah
  • Best Advice for a Short Stay in Paris:
    It is important to remember that you will stand out in Paris as a tourist even if you try to blend in. Things like wearing shorts, looking around as you walk, taking pictures of everything, and of course speaking English will give you away. If you take the metro, be advised that rush hour is very hectic and you must be even quicker and more alert than normal. And be ready to look like sardines in a can as you pack into a train car. On a totally different note, if you visit popular tourist areas you will probably encounter several souvenir sellers. They will tell you something is one price but you can always make a bargain and get a good deal. – Vianey
  • Hello to all reading this! As you guys can see, I’ve added pics of some wall art, a bookstand outside a bookstore, and a jazz club/bar. These are some of my favorite parts of Paris because it shows a bit of Parisian culture that isn’t so obvious in the tourist books. My advice is definitely to try and walk through a French bookstore and find something by a famous French author to dive into it. While you’re at it, you might find yourself in a jazz club enjoying the new read and finding some cool wall art on the way there! – Amanda.
  • The metro is crazy. Coming from a city where most people drive, using the metro was a big culture shock. I would suggest not going to the busier stops. I went on a train where everyone was literally breathing each other’s air and it stopped for 5 minutes. It was a bad experience but I’m glad to have done something I haven’t done before. – Ilhaan
  • Surviving in Paris was definitely different from Kansas City ! Don’t be afraid to push people on the metro (say excusez-moi)? because they will push you! If you are not a morning person like me France is a total adjustment. Being here with my host family is definitely better than I thought it would be and the breakfast makes up for me hating mornings. If you ever want to visit France an open mind will help you do the job. Overall I’ve been observing, translating and loving this interesting experience.? – Aunecia
  • I would strongly suggest wearing lots of sunscreen and light clothes. Some parts of France are very hot and some are not. – Marissa
  • What I would say to my family to make them never waste their time in France is to always look up places to sightsee and always take the train. The train always leaves you on stops that no matter what, is worth seeing. So always just stay near a train stop. – Joshua
  • In my opinion, learning one’s way around Paris takes much longer than three days. Even if you have memorized the Metro map or you know what each street looks like, it can take a lot longer to learn the customs, the do’s and don’ts, and the nitty-gritty stuff about a city that has so much cultural history. One piece of advice: pay attention to the people around you. Immediately upon arriving in Paris, I noticed that people tend to dress up here: no “athleisure” or any t-shirts in sight! In addition, I learned some common phrases and slang that proved very useful in restaurants and shops. As long as you keep an open mind about the culture here (and avoid the metro at 5 o’clock), you should be set to spend time in one of the most beautiful cities in the world! – Phoebe
  • When in Paris in order to have the best trip possible I can give you 3 pieces of advice. One: Always do your best to be in the moment; take a picture and then put your phone away and enjoy the moment. Two: When you’re waiting around make sure to get close and be alert, you never know what you’ll miss, and some people aren’t the best so they’ll try to steal your stuff. Three: NEVER let someone get on the subway before you. That’s how you get separated from your group (always have a group.) Well…have fun in Paris! – Paul
  • First night in Paris. Bring patience. The first couple of days in Paris are the most beautiful, except for the metros. If you’re the type of person who likes to be squished by many people then the metro is for you. It is always packed any time of day especially rush hour which is between 4-6 and is necessary to have the patience for. This is a good example of what we went through as a group. – Jaylyn
  • When using the metro in Paris it’s important to know that only you can be the one to save yourself in the rush and craze that is this mode of transportation. Once those doors open you have to make a run for it and push your way through. Also, make sure that during rush hour you’re holding on tight as to not get dragged out by the crowd. – Ashley
  • Bring hand sanitizer. Exchange money before you get to France. Always take the metro don’t rent a car – Ahoefa