A few things you may not be aware of when visiting Paris, France…
1) Reserve an apartment versus a hotel. There are plenty of apartments close to the river and the sights. They are cheaper than hotels and offer the advantage of mixing with the locals.
2) If you are going to be there several days to a week, buy the Hop On Hop Off and Paris Pass. This will allow you to get into attractions free, a free river cruise, and free unlimited rides on the bus and metro.
3) The river boat at night is a must. The banks are lined with locals. The apartments are small and can be quite warm, so they sit on the river to talk. The lights are beautiful, especially on the Eiffel Tower.
4) Tips are included in the cost of a meal and you have to ask for the bill. Colas are small, warm, no carbonation and no refills. It is cheaper to buy beer or wine. I was offered a small or large cola at one restaurant and chose the large, which you never should do without looking at the menu. It was a one liter glass, full of ice, for 16 euros, over 18 dollars.
5) Take the opportunity to reserve the Free Walking Tour. Your guide will take you to the main sights and also off the beaten track. They are knowledgeable and only ask for tips at the end.
6) Be careful if a hotel, condo or apartment states they are including a washer/dryer combo. This is one very small machine that washes and then dries your clothes. While the washer works well, the dryer runs forever and does not dry the clothes.
7) Restaurants use a hand held credit card machine and take your payment at the table. They will not bring the bill without you asking for it.
8) Be sure to bring European AC converter plugs and USB phone chargers
9) There are groups of people trying to get you sign a petition. Beware! We were warned not to talk to them as they are trying to distract you as they pick your pocket.
10) There are 284 steps to reach the top of the Arc De Triomphe, quite a hike. But, there is an elevator – only if you ask or look like you might need it – then there are only 64 steps!