France's capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, wine and baguettes. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture, and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
- Restaurant Etiquette: In France, it is considered rude to not eat all the food on your plate. Portions are much smaller than they are in America and restaurants do not offer the taking away of leftovers. When given bread at meals, instead of putting it on your plate, place it on the table next to your plate. Waiters at restaurants will offer you mineral water but you can ask for tap water (une carafe d’eau) which is free and will save you several Euros.
- Metro Etiquette: In the metro, loud conversations whether with friends or on the phone are considered rude. It’s also important to stand to the right side of escalators unless you want to get pushed to the ground by rushing commuters! Also metro stations is where most pickpocketing takes place, so try to avoid backpacks, and keep your phone hidden away.
- French: The French have a reputation for being rude and unwelcoming to tourists. From my experience this usually stems from a lack of knowledge of their culture, language or even a lack of manners. If you know a little French, even if it’s just bonjour, merci, or s’il vous plait, it will go far, and you’ll find the French a lot more welcoming than their stereotype!
- When ordering water at a restaurant, ask for “une carafe d’eau” (tap water) which comes for free, otherwise you will be given mineral water which will cost you some euros.
- The bus system is very well run but walking is the best way to see the city