I’ve been living in and around Paris for 16 years and I’ve learned that if you understand their way of doing things, you’ll realize they’re not rude – they just prefer a particular form of etiquette in Paris.
Here are a few top Paris tips:
1) Treat everyone you meet with a little extra respect. Always say “bonjour” or “excuse-moi” to get their attention before you ask a question or for a price. Always say “au revoir” (ovwah) when you leave a store or finish speaking to someone. It’s polite but more importantly, it’s respectful of them and their time. And it definitely gets results.
2) Believe it or not, Parisians absolutely love speaking English. If you say “I’m sorry, I don’t speak French” off the bat, they will more times than not want to help you. If you try to speak French they will appreciate you even more… unless they are in a hurry. So try!
3) Wait to be seated. If you are afraid you aren’t going to get the seat you want you can attempt making eye contact or subtle movement to get your waitress/hostess’s attention… then raise the appropriate fingers to indicate how many people are in your group and point to where you want to sit. That should get you a menu quickly.
4) Prepare for meals! Eating is as much a luxury as anything else. The food is never frozen and always fresh so prepare yourself to eat well almost everywhere you go. However, the service is never quick, also be prepared to wait. Could it hurt to give your body a little extra time to digest between courses? You are on vacation, relax, take your time, enjoy the wine, and after a moment you’ll feel fine.
5) Allow Americaconcierge.com to take care of anything difficult. We are here to make your trip one of the most memorable events of your life. Talk to us. We can get you where you want to go when you want to get there… we’ve got great ideas for seeing the usual and the unusual. And if you’d like, if someone is rude, we’ll take ’em out back and give them a stern talking to 🙂
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The Château de Fontainebleau, just 35 miles southeast of central Paris, can proudly claim to have been a sovereign residence for eight centuries. Capétiens, Valois, Bourbons, Bonaparte and Orléans, all members of French ruling dynasties, have lived within these walls. The chateau dates back to 1137—and centuries of royals have expanded this former royal hunting lodge to a more than 1,500-room estate. Most of what you’ll see dates back to the 16th century, a combination of Italian Renaissance art and French design, these rooms are some of the most intricate and breathtaking in France. If times allows, you can enjoy lunch in this charming area.
Tour Length: 5 – 6 hours