I had a petit apéro the other night so that my friends could come check out my little flat. Since I had them all in one place, I thought it would be fun to ask my Parisian friends for advice that I could share with you guys. This advice is to help you enjoy Paris better and understand the culture a little more. Some of this stuff is common sense, some shocking and some just funny.
I hope you enjoy these conseils straight from Parisians themselves!
Donc, on commence:
- Don’t be loud in restaurants. People are very bothered by this. This was probably the hardest for me, because I naturally have a loud voice and even louder laugh. 😅
- To greet someone you give TWO kisses and always start with the left cheek. Unless you want to “accidentally” kiss the person. 😏
- No ice in your wine glass.
- When traveling in the metro do not rest on the left side of anything, the stairs, hallway. It’s the passing lane, and like in every big city, people are always in a hurry.
- Also, if you are riding a crowded metro, stand up. It’s common courtesy unless you are elderly or pregnant.
- Parisians don’t jaywalk, they just walk. Feel free to walk wherever, whenever.
- Always overdress in a chic, simple way of course. You never know where you will end up. 💁🏼
- Parisians are open minded about sex talk, so don’t freak out if they ask you something about your sex life. C’est normal!
- Never talk about salary.
- Wear or carry comfy shoes in your purse. Sometimes you end up having to walk more than expected and the cobblestone streets are anything but forgiving.
- A lot of clubs have lockers you can rent. People use them to store their extra pair of shoes^ or coats.
- Always verbally greet before asking or demanding for things.
- Try to speak French when communicating with locals. A lot of them will pick up on your accent and start speaking English to you. They just like to know that you try.
- Never wear sweatpants out in the street. The relaxed American style of dressing is not acceptable in France, and even the person with the least amount of education will refrain from doing this.
- Service is included at bars and restaurants, so you do not have to leave a tip or feel bad for not doing so. People only do when they are overwhelmingly pleased with the service or are filthy rich ha.
- Taxes are included in all prices so 4.99 is 4.99.
- Never show to anyone’s house empty handed for an event. Especially because wine is so cheap, there is no excuse.
- An “entrée” is actually an appetizer. When you see that in the menu do not think you are ordering a meal haha.
- You can openly drink alcohol anywhere! Even in the streets, park and metro. Ok, maybe the metro is a little wild… But technically it’s legal. 🍷🍾
- Do not ever donate money to the people asking for you to sign petitions and “contribute to their cause”. They’re scammers and almost always hang out at tourist attractions.
- It’s alright to bump other cars in the street when parking. As long as there is no damage, the locals do not mind. (I freaked out the first time I saw this happen lol.)
- It’s almost impossible to find a real public restroom in Paris. You have to be a customer of the establishment. Some places even require you type in a code to get through the door! If you’re desperate you can always ask an employee for help or ask someone for the door code. You can find it on the receipt.
- French people are actually some of the most loving, nicest and caring people as long as you approach them with manners. 🙂🇫🇷
Any tips you would like to share from your time in Paris? Leave them in a comment below.