The Best Paris Tips From Our Readers

Bonjour! This week we asked for your Paris tips. Here are some highlights from the 148 responses. If you learn just thing, let it be that Parisians like to say hello.

Say hello

If you think Parisians are rude, it might just be that you’re not saying hello. “It is considered the height of rudeness to not greet anyone-even when you get on a bus,” says Klee. “Anytime you walk into a store, you will be greeted and you must greet the shop-person back,” says Scout’s Honor. “I noticed that even when I was walking down an alley and another person crossed my path, they would say ‘Bonsoir,’” says ceedotkaydot. Add an Au revoir, bonne journee when you leave, says jseb.

And start your conversations in French, even when you know the other person speaks English. Readers all agreed that it’s rude to just start talking to Parisians in English. “The best phrase I know in French is Je suis désolé, je ne parle pas français, says JobiWan. “I’ve seen tourists (mostly American) be treated as annoying tourists because they are pushy and demanding, and yet when I approach the same vendors and tell them I don’t speak French (in French), they are much more polite and accommodating.

Even those that don’t speak English are very pleasant and try to work with you.”

You can push it further, says TheMonkeyKing: “We found ourselves to be instant hits in small neighborhood cafes where we badly mangled local French but in their laughter appreciated our efforts. One place poured us extra wine and another one gave use free desserts with our dinner. If you can sneak in a malaprop, you’ll become their darling.”

Walk if you can

While the metro is top-notch, Paris is best seen above ground. Sinisterblogger elaborates:

Walk everywhere and don’t be afraid to get lost. If you get lost, hop on the Metro (there’ll be a station nearby). It’s very, very easy. But make a point to get lost. Just wander. Find a cafe off the beaten path, away from the tourists, sit, drink wine, people watch.

Aimawayfromface3 agrees:

Plan less and wander more. Paris is filled with little micro-neighborhoods and interesting streets. Be sure to take at least one day to just wander about without any real plans or direction. I happened upon an old raised railway line (Promenade Plantee) that they turned into a park. (Similar to the High Line Park in Manhattan)

Papa Van Twee learned this the hard way, after his tour bus broke down. “The next day we skipped the bus, and just walked. It was a lot more fun that way. You can’t get to know a city until you’ve walked it, and Paris is a wonderful city to get to know.”

Avoid scams

“Ignore anyone approaching you with a clipboard asking if you speak English, or anyone with a poorly made friendship bracelet in their hand,” says Kevin Lee Drum.

“I do not feel that the city is generally unsafe, but keep an eye on your valuables, there are many pickpockets,” says Frederi. [ . . . ]

More at Source: LIFEHACKER The Best Paris Tips From Our Readers

Why Nice is Europe’s greatest city in winter

Anthony Peregrine, our Nice expert, offers a guide to the best things to see and do in the city this winter

Warmth, limpid light, wine, sparkling sea… Nice is wonderful in winter, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been discovering. The couple embarked on a romantic New Year getaway to the French city – with reports suggesting they flew out on a BA flight on Sunday (and even opted for economy class).

To visit Nice in winter is to honour the traditions of rich and noble Britons. Our aristocratic forebears frequented the place through to April, and reinstating the practice seems entirely sensible. Here’s the Med without the summer squeeze, if a little nippy at the edges. One may eat outside at lunch, but it will probably be woollies by nightfall. No matter. France’s fifth city, throbbing with museums and galleries, also has the restaurants, bars and clubs to see you through cool nights [ . . . ]

More at source: Why Nice is Europe’s greatest city in winter

Live the ‘douceur de vivre’ way of life in South of France

There is something immensely attractive about the French and their born idleness, particularly in the south of the country, where boozy lunches move effortlessly into café crème and cramped cheese boards.While the UK weathers a turbulent swirl of political mayhem, with pundits and politicians squabbling over Brexit negotiations, the French, comfortable in their indolence, applaud Macron while twirling their greased moustaches and pouring themselves another glass of Pernod. Now that’s a life [ . . . ]

Source: Live the ‘douceur de vivre’ way of life in South of France, Le Midi | Metro News