18 Nov 2012

Paris Tips

Some of my personal tips for staying in Paris
  • Bring fresh wipes or hand sanitiser with you. A lot of the public places feel grimy after touching. My sister who has previously been to Paris and has just returned from her honeymoon there still thinks the place is dirty.
  • Do a hop on, hop off bus tour at the start of your trip so you can familiarise yourself with the area and see main monuments. Doing this can also help you decide what to see first or what you can group together based on location.
  • Purchase the Paris Museum Pass – we didn’t and I wish we did. It costs 39E per person but it provides entry to so many attractions which have entry fees. So after three paying attractions you’ve already gotten your money’s worth. Knowing you have this pass may also encourage you to enter fee paying monuments that are included with the ticket. For example ticket includes climb up to the Arc de Triomphe which we didn’t do cause it cost money but now I wish we did just to see the six streets merge into the Arc.
  • When catching the metro just purchase the 10 billet tickets option. What this means is you are issued with 10 tickets to use which can be used at any station on from the main metro lines. By being issued with 10 tickets it means you can share them with someone as well.
  • Galleries Lafayette is not open on Sunday’s – which we learnt going there on a Sunday.
  • Bring your passport with you to allow you to claim the tax back on goods purchased from big retail stores. No one explained this process to me before I left so here’s the run down. Firstly confirm whether the store you are buying goods from participates in the VAT tax back scheme, because not all stores do. Confirm what’s the required minimum spend to be eligible for the refund (every country and store in EU have a different minimum spend). Before you pay or leave ask them to provide specific VAT forms or at least specify on the receipt the VAT amount paid. If forms or receipt do not explicitly state this the customs office at the airport won’t accept receipt of goods and wont issue tax refund. You lodge refund before you head back home, so at the airport of the last EU country you are in before you head back to Australia. You need to find the customs office and lodge your refund. You will need to show all receipts, forms and they may also want to see the good itself. So I suggest you give yourself time to do this before you check in your luggage. You can either receive refund as cash which is issued straight away or credited back to your credit card which can take up to eight weeks. We opted for the credit card option as we no longer had the need for EU cash since we were going home.
  • Staying anywhere in Paris is fine as long as you’re close to a metro station. In Paris most streets are lined with restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, bars and retail stores. In my opinion there is no one good place to stay because a lot of the streets all have these amenities close by. Read the review of the apartment we stayed at here

 Lock Bridge


The Lourve
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