Travelling to Paris: My experience and helpful tourist tips


Narrow streets: I didn’t expect the streets to be so tiny! I could literally cross some streets in six steps (I counted). It is not wise to drive in the heart of Paris, and most of the time, you could probably get to your destination faster by walking if you’re already in the area.

Uphill: I had no idea that everywhere would be like climbing a mountain/hiking. The streets are so slanted that it’s a huge workout every day if you’re outside. If you’re not physically fit and able to walk a lot, I would NOT recommend going to Paris. Many places don’t have elevators because the buildings were built hundreds of years ago.

Police presence: I did not expect the police to be holding all these gigantic assault rifles on the streets. They were alert and ready to fire. You wouldn’t want to mess with them!

Chinese: The airport has Chinese signs everywhere. The Chinese tourists must bring in so much money.

Fit people: I did not expect the Frenchmen to be so fit/skinny. I would say the majority (at least 75-80%) has the body type like One Direction when they had first debuted. I think it must be all the walking.

Note: I was only in Paris, so I’m not sure if it’s the same outside of Paris

Not many fast food chains: Apart from several McDonalds and Starbucks, I did not see any of the fast food/American chains that I commonly see in North America. I was surprised since there are quite a lot of fast food chains in Asia. It seems like the French really protected themselves from Americanization.


Things to Note

A lot of security: If you’re planning to go to a tourist attraction, expect to go through heavy security check. You’ll need to remove all your belongings and go through a scanner like at the airport. So, avoid carrying a lot of stuff. If your bag is over a certain size, they might not let you in. They do not allow carry-on either.

Wear comfortable shoes: If you’re a tourist, and you’re outside exploring, expect to walk thousands of steps and hundreds of stairs a day. Even if you are getting driven to your destination, you’ll need to walk a lot when you’re inside.

Museums tend to close on Mondays: We did not know this ahead of time; if you’re planning to get the Paris Pass, make sure to go to all your destinations before Monday or don’t activate it until after Monday.

Note: I would NOT recommend getting the Paris Pass unless you plan to check out more than 5 attractions in a day. It is extremely expensive, and most often than not, you’d probably be exhausted after 2-3 attractions in one day. The pass will activate the moment you enter your first attraction, so if you have a 2-day pass, you’ll need to see as much as you can within the next 48 hours. For more info, check out

Warning: I will go into detail about the attractions we visited and include pictures, but the post is very long since there’s also my own story + experience.


Why Did I Choose Paris?

I had always wanted to go to Europe. Back in 2020, my brother and I were going to take my mom to Italy. However, the trip was cancelled due to covid. So, when one of my family friend asked if I’d like to go to the UK in April 2023, I thought it would be nice.

Jasper, my colleague at the time, is from the UK. I thought it would also be great to see him again since we had gotten so much closer during our time in LA.

So I mentioned it to Jasper, and he suggested that we could also do a Europe trip since he’s already there, and we could travel to multiple countries!

It sounded like a wonderful opportunity as I had always wanted to explore Europe. However, I never had the courage to go alone as I was afraid of pickpocketers, being kidnapped, being scammed, and etc.

Since I was going to the UK with my family friend and my brother’s friends, it wouldn’t make sense for me to ditch them to go on a Europe trip with Jasper, so I told Jasper it would probably have to be another time, and we decided to go sooner (in Dec) instead.

I had asked Jasper if he would like to invite our other colleagues since a few of us had met in LA back in July 2022 and gotten covid. But Jasper said that it was already quite difficult to plan for two, so the more people, the more complicated it would be.

It made sense, and we had gotten so close, so I didn’t mind.

Later on, when Cosy (our colleague + friend) found out that we were going on a Europe trip with just the two of us, she bombarded me with questions.

“What? Just the two of you? Is this a couple trip or something?”

I, of course, denied it. I told her that me and Jasper were just colleagues who had gotten a lot closer since we spent ten days stuck together due to quarantine.

She replied, “Stop lying! Why would you go on a trip with the opposite sex if you do not want to progress things further?”

I told her she could join us if she wanted, and Cosy messaged Jasper to “test” him. Hahahaha.

When Sangria, my previous assistant and friend, found out, she was grumpy!! Sangria and I had also worked together for 3 years or so, and she had always wanted me to end up with Jasper. In fact, she was/is so hardcore that she created a fan name called, “Grasper” (the combination of Grace and Jasper lol).

Sangria had always thought that we would make a good couple for some reason. This was way before me and Jasper had even met. She’d imagine that Jasper was a respectful, calm gentleman with the British accent, while I was the friendly, excited girl who could help him open up.

Anyway, Sangria did not want me to invite other people to our trip. She said, “Grasper only!” LOL she was serious.

Cosy eventually said that she could read the room and was not going to intrude on our trip. (Awww, Cosy, don’t worry! We want to go on a trip with you too!)

At the time, I was a bit conflicted. I had just gotten out of a relationship, and I wanted to move to Asia for health reasons. After all, I’m allergic to all the trees in Canada. Birch, willow, elm, fir, maple, cedar… you name it. And I’m severely allergic to ragweed and pollen in general. Moving closer to the equator and near the ocean would help me immensely, and that was my plan.

That was why I had gone to visit Singapore in Sept. I really want to move to Singapore!!!! (I still do, but it’s a lot harder than it looks, and it doesn’t seem like a realistic option.)

Hence, getting into another relationship was not something that was on my mind. Not to mention, me and Jasper don’t even live in the same country!

But as time went on, people who knew we were going to go on a trip together started to tease me a lot. They really wanted me to view it as a couple’s trip even though we weren’t in a relationship.

One of my male colleagues messaged me and asked what I thought of Jasper. I responded, “Jasper is a very nice guy. We get along very well.”

His response was, “Okayyyyyyyyyyy.” (Clearly unsatisfied)

He then said, “You know, Jasper wouldn’t go on a trip like this with anyone else but you.”

I thought long and hard and figured that Jasper probably does like me to some extent, since we were going on a 2.5 week trip, and that’s a lot of time to spend with someone you didn’t like!

For me, I felt positive emotions towards him, but I wasn’t sure. And it was stressing me out.

I told my colleague that Jasper never said he liked me, and he had never even flirted with me! His responses had always been so professional. We had worked together for three years, and I’d say it was just a work relationship. He was a great listener and helpful, but he had never shared anything personal about himself. However, Jasper was a lot more open with me after we met in LA.

My male colleague said, “Flirting is not his style.”

Meanwhile, one of my close online friend/reader/supporter/ex-colleague, Dimple, was grilling Jasper like crazy and trying to be an investigator. She was super hardcore and even gave him multiple choice questions to respond to. It was hilarious when they told me about it afterwards.

Dimple stated she would be happy with whatever decision I make for myself, but I knew she was also a Grasper.

At this point, I was still unsure. Not only was I older than Jasper, but I also have a lot of health issues due to my autoimmune condition. I didn’t want to drag him down, and neither did I want to be accused of being a cougar.

My real life friends would tease me all the time and ask why I am always talking to younger guys. It just happened that the discord community tends to be younger people. It’s not like I go looking for a bunch of younger men and decide to talk to them because they’re young!

I’d say probably the majority of the people I meet online are younger than me, but we’re generally in our 20s-30s.

Anyhow, I had a lot of doubts, and even on the day of the trip, I wasn’t sure. After all, it wasn’t like Jasper confessed he liked me, so it doesn’t really count until he does, right?


We were meeting directly in Paris. We timed our flights so that we would arrive roughly at the same time as each other. Jasper’s flight was only an hour since he was flying from the UK. Whereas, my flight was around 7.5hr from Toronto.

After a lot of delayed messaging back and forth because of my shitty wifi connection, Jasper and I finally found each other.

Jasper said it was better to get a taxi to the airbnb since we were carrying a lot of stuff.

Our driver was quite friendly and spoke decent English. He was very excited because France was playing a match that night. The ride itself was less than an hour, but very expensive. My heart was breaking because of the 66 euros!!

I told Jasper we shouldn’t take a taxi again because it was too expensive. Public transportation would have been 1.9 euros per person, but we weren’t sure how many transfers we would have had to make, and whether we would need to pay again each time.

When we arrived at the airbnb, Jasper messaged the host and the host said that the cleaning lady was going to come down. However, she didn’t speak English, and we could contact him if we were confused.

We were given a code to open the door, and the lady came down to get us. It turned out she spoke Mandarin!! I was very surprised as I had expected someone to speak French.

Due to the amount of Mandarin content I consume, I had no trouble understanding her. She explained how to scan the fob in order to access the elevator, and how to turn on the hallway light and open the door.

By the way, the elevators are SO tiny in Europe. I feel like I could barely walk through with my jacket on. It’s so tiny!

When we entered the airbnb, I thanked her in Mandarin and she realized that I could also understand her, and she started talking a lot more. She told us that the other people would return to pick up their luggage in an hour or two (we weren’t supposed to check in until 3pm, but had requested to drop our luggage off earlier since we had gotten there by noon-ish).

Then, she left the key for us. Me and Jasper decided to grab some lunch at a McDonalds nearby. While McDonalds is not healthy or French, I wanted to try it since I wanted to know if it’d taste different.

So, we went there and used the touch screen since we couldn’t speak French. I ordered a Mc.Tasty because I wanted to see if it was tasty. Haha! (It was ok, but the burger was a lot bigger than what I had expected.)

Speaking of which, Jasper only wore a t-shirt underneath his jacket. It was 4 degrees Celsius! While it wasn’t as cold as Toronto, it was still cold. He said it was fine.

Anyhow, we decided to head to the language museum. You can check out their website here:

I had already done my research ahead of time, and knew which bus to take and how long it’d be (Bus 58 and 20 minutes). We went to the subway station and bought six tickets at a machine, and it came up to 11.9 euros. Then, we waited for the bus at the bus stop and got on.

It turned out we had gotten on the wrong bus (59 instead of 58). We had waited at the right spot, but there were multiple buses that stopped at the same stop. Aaaiii. We had to get off and take a detour. Luckily, we manage to find our way there in the end thanks to Google Maps.

When we got there, we entered the tiny museum and got headphones. It was very cute and informative. However, I wouldn’t recommend if you do not like to read or is not interested in learning about languages.

By now, I was so exhausted. Originally, we were going to head to another place as well, but we decided to return to the airbnb due to my jet lag. We stopped by a supermarket on the way and grabbed dinner.

When we got back, I was doing some work on the kitchen table and eating my chicken salad, while Jasper was working on the couch facing the tv and eating his food. There was a World Cup game between France and Poland.

But I was too tired to watch the whole thing, so I gave Jasper a cute book as a gift and some covid test kits since we had so many at home. In return, Jasper gave me an airtag! It was so cool and high tech!!

Later on, he told me that his mom was like, “Did you give her an airtag because that was all you had on you?” Haha.

Anyway, the next day, we went to pick up the Paris Pass and also made sure we did not take the wrong bus.

We picked up the passes and went to Café Louise for breakfast first, since it was one of the spots included in the pass. We got our orange juice, tea, croissant, and some fruits. The French make really good croissants.

After our breakfast, we wanted to check out a bunch of museums. However, we didn’t realize that most museums were closed on Mondays. We had booked the Louvre in advance, and it was open on Dec 5th, so we had assumed that the other museums would be open as well.

So, we decided to fill our stomachs and got lunch at a ramen spot we passed by. It was extremely delicious, but a bit difficult to communicate since the owner/server did not speak English. We just pointed at the menu and spoke English and she replied in French and hoped we understood.

When we arrived at the Louvre, the line was insane. Despite booking in advance, we still needed to wait at least 15-20 minutes before we could even get inside and line up some more.

The Louvre was extremely impressive. The Art Gallery of Ontario pales in comparison. Everything seemed so magnificent!!

Look at the ceiling! So hardcore!

We saw the Mona Lisa as well, but shortly after that, there was an ongoing alarm, and we were told that we had to leave immediately for safety reasons.

I didn’t want to leave because we barely saw anything yet, but we complied just in case it was a bomb and our lives were in danger. I wanted to return again, but our schedule was so packed, and our pass was only valid for 48 hours. (At the time, the 2-day pass included the museums also, but now you have to spend 199 euros to get the 4-day pass if you want it to include the museums as well).

The Mona Lisa is in the white rectangle. It’s protected by a thick layer of plastic screen

I was really tired and needed to sit down to rest. It turned out that day I ended up walking 30k steps, and Jasper had walked 25k. We went to the same places, but due to my short legs, I had to walk an additional 5000 steps! So sad!

I told Jasper I had to rest for at least ten minutes. We sat next to each other, but there was a big gap in between. Then, Jasper moved closer to me and put his arms around my shoulder and pulled me close.

I thought to myself, “Damn, so brave!?” I gave him an invisible thumbs-up.

We decided to go to the supermarket near our airbnb to get food for dinner as well as breakfast the next day. Eating out was expensive, so we decided to only eat out once a day, and buy food from the supermarket for the other meals.

The supermarket was only a seven minute walk from where we were staying, and it was really good! The baked goods looked so fresh, and I got some for us to eat for breakfast the next day.

We also grabbed some salad, bread, ham, and cheese. Jasper really likes cheese, and I squealed, “Because you are cheesy!”

He gave me an unimpressed look, but I was proud of my quick brain.

We also grabbed some apple juice and water. Surprisingly, France allows people to take a bottle of water from a package and purchase it separately. And it was only 0.25 euros! That was very cheap considering how some places sell bottled water for several euros.

We were impressed that the cashier spoke such fluent English.

The next day we got up super early since we had to go to several museums because our Paris Pass was going to expire the day after, and we need to make use of it!

We arrived at the Pantheon around 10am, and went through security as usual. When we entered, it was so gorgeous! The interior and everything was just mind blowing.

The Pantheon

After going around reading everything, we went downstairs to the crypt. This was where they bury famous French people who have made a lot of contributions to the world. It was so cool but creepy. I didn’t take many pictures because I was quite spooked.

The Crypt

We immediately headed to the Sainte-Chapelle after we were done. It was nice, but honestly, I wouldn’t come here just to take a picture if it weren’t for the Paris Pass.


We also went to La Conciegerie since it was literally next to each other. I was expecting a lot more because it sounded so much cooler online. La Conciegerie was one of the prisons during the French Revolution! Instead, it was more like walking around the historical site with a tablet showing you what it would look it back in the day. You had to aim at a spot and click on it to see more.

So everyone is basically walking around holding a tablet and lifting it up and down. I personally found it disappointing, but kids may like it. I wanted to see the real stuff!! It felt silly to look for treasures on a tablet inside an ancient prison.

We then went nearby and saw the Notre-Dame from the outside. They were still fixing it, so we couldn’t go in.

Then, we went to grab lunch at a sushi place somewhat nearby. The seats were super cute, and looked like the Eiffel Tower! We had trouble communicating since the servers/owners didn’t speak English either. There was a lot of guessing involved.

After this, we went to another museum. This time, it was Musée des Arts et Métiers. It was not as cool as I thought it’d be. If you are under a time constraint, I would not recommend it. But I did like this because of the creativity:

We went to the Arc De Triomphe next.

Arc De Triomphe

This was the most tiring place for me because we had to climb all the way to the top. The problem is that it is super narrow, and the stairs felt like it was never ending.

I found this stair picture on google. Walking up 284 steps like this while spinning countless times is very tiring.

Spiral staircase in the Arc de Triomphe
Top view

Originally, we wanted to go to the Eiffel Tower as well, but I was so done. I suggested we go to Bistro Marbeuf (included on the Paris Pass) and have that, and then just call it a day.

Me and Jasper both chose the nutella crepe when we got to Bistro Marbeuf. It was yummy! They also gave us orange juice and coffee.

We decided to head back to the airbnb after to watch another World Cup game that night.

The next day, we wanted to go take that cute little train that was part of the Paris Pass. Our pass would be expiring today by 3pm or so, so we wanted to do it before then. The train is called Petit Train de Montmartre and it is so worth it!

I forgot to take a picture, so I found this on google.

The problem was that many reviews mentioned that they would wait around and the train wouldn’t come. We weren’t even sure if we were waiting at the right spot and tried to ask around.

We were lucky it came around 15 minutes of waiting. The trip was around 20 minutes, but it was quite cold inside since there was no heating or windows. The roads were also very slanted, so it wasn’t a very comfortable ride. Nonetheless, the view was great, and it was so cute. It took us to Sacré Coeur.

Sacré Coeur

The driver said the train would be leaving every hour, and we could decide when we wanted to take it back. Jasper and I decided we might as well go inside Sacré Coeur since we were already there.

When we entered, the singing was so nice and calming. The ceiling and everything was just very majestic and grand! We decided to go up to the top to get a better view, but once again, expect to go up hundreds of stairs. It was 7 euros per person to go up, but well worth it.

It was easier for me than Arc de Triomphe. The stairs were still very narrow, but it was more vertical (so I’m facing the same direction) instead of constant spinning, so I had an easier time. However, some steps were still quite high and exhausting.

Here’s the view from the top!

It was nice, and we could also hear the bell ringing too!

When we came down, we went back to the train so it could take us down to the main roads. By now, it was probably around 1-1:30pm, and we decided to head back to the airbnb to do some work before going on our cruise that night. There was no time to go to the Louvre again. *sniff*.

That night, we were going on a Bateaux Parisiens dinner cruise! I had wanted to go on a sightseeing cruise, but the one on the Paris Pass wasn’t running during the winter. Hence, we looked up another one, and this was highly rated!

You can check it out here:

So, we made the reservations ahead of time, and made sure to choose seats by the window for a better view.

Since it was kind of fancy, we had to dress up a bit. Jasper wore a green dress shirt, while I wore a green dress (it was a coincidence!).

We were shown to our seats, and given a glass of white wine, a glass of champagne, as well as a bottle of red wine. There was also live music!

I think it was the most expensive three-course meal I have ever had. The food was definitely very fresh, and the atmosphere was romantic. But around halfway through, I realized that they would throw out the red wine if we didn’t finish it!

So I poured us many glasses until we were finished. It tasted pretty good, but we drank it too fast, and I was quite tipsy by the end. Jasper was also slightly tipsy.

While I was walking, my head was spinning. I muttered, “I’m dizzy.”

He replied, “I know.” (In his British accent)

“I’m drunk.”

“I know.” (He was patient)

“Ok, I’m not that drunk. I’m just dizzy.”

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you.”

Jasper was holding onto me to make sure I didn’t fall. I didn’t think I would have fallen down, but I had a hard time walking straight. We were holding hands and I was thinking, “Wait a sec!”

I turned to him and asked, “Are you going to ask me to be your girlfriend?”

He just looked at me, and I exclaimed, “This doesn’t count! You have to ask properly!”

Jasper then paused for a few seconds and politely asked, “Would you like to be my girlfriend?”

I grinned and replied, “Ok.”

Hehe. After all, just because you’re attracted to someone doesn’t necessarily mean you want to date them! You have to be clear!

We continued holding hands and went to the Eiffel Tower (it was across the street from the cruise) to take a picture even though we didn’t climb up. It was a great picture!!

The next day, we decided to take it easy and just visit the Paris Chinatown.

The Chinatown was fairly small, and it didn’t take long for us to walk around it. There were all type of Asian cuisine though, and many different bubble tea stores!!

We ended up choosing a dumpling and noodle spot for lunch, and the owners spoke to us in French! I thought we were doomed, but fortunately I was able to communicate in Mandarin.

The lunch was very filling and delicious. We walked around some more and went to get bubble tea. The girl at the counter was Chinese, but her French was SOOOOOOOO good. It was extremely impressive. Luckily for us, she also spoke English!!

We then went to the supermarket nearby, and saw soju for 4.99 euros! That was fairly cheap, and we chose the blueberry flavour to try. We would’ve probably gotten a few more flavours to try if we weren’t leaving the next day.

The next day, we would leave for Rotterdam. Stay tuned for that post!




Author: gchan7127

I just want to share all my knowledge, ideas, and experiences with the world. It makes me happy to know that I can inspire others.

One thought on “Travelling to Paris: My experience and helpful tourist tips”

  1. GRACEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! You exposed me! I wasn’t trying to be an investigator, I am an investigator hahahha, I can dig out more info than you can 😛
    I am very happy that it worked out well for both of you 😀

    The narrow lanes of Paris reminded me of the old cities in my country. You really cannot take vehicle in those lanes and walking is the only option. But I didn’t expect it to be so inclined! That’s some workout you got.
    That spiral staircase, we have something similar back in my hometown. A very tall tower in the Palace, that you can climb.

    Its a shame that you could not see Louvre fully, but everything in Paris is very picturesque! The pics you posted are so beautiful! Its like you were walking in a painting. The pic of the museum where you can hire a customized robot-car was very surprising! So imaginative. Though, what really surprised me is “Mandarin in France”. Not something that you would expect…

    When I read that you walked 30k steps and Jasper walked 25k… I thought, what the hell were you doing alone there and where in the world was Jasper at that time! It is 5k steps more!!! That’s a lot. I was thinking of scolding him… and then I read your explanation of short legs… ahahhahahhahhaaaaaa I had to stop eating as I was laughing so much. I still ended up choking a bit on food.. My imagination went into an overdrive, I saw Jasper taking very long strides and you trotting along, trying to catch up behind him, sometimes running, sometimes speed walking, huffing&puffing… oh my, I am not going to forget this scene in my head for a very long time hahahhaa

    Your drunk talk was funny too. Drunk Grace is very bold… I’ll leave it at that 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

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