Tips and Thoughts for a First-Timer in Paris

High School Study Abroad and Gap Year Programs Programs in Paris, France

Paris: a mere mention of the city’s name conjures up images of an old, bustling European metropolis that has inspired artists, writers, and philosophers alike for generations.  If this is your first time in the amazing French capital, the idea of immersing yourself in a new and historic place can seem overwhelming–but fear not! Aspire by API’s very own Creative Director, Marc Smith, offers the following advice on how to make the most of your time there.   Soon you’ll be speaking the language, eating the food, making friends with the café owner down the street–in short, you’ll be living like a local!

It is a city that you crave. C’est Paris. Live Paris for every moment.

– Soak in every detail of thought.

– Walk, walk, walk. Explore.

– Find something new and interesting every day.

– Get to know your neighborhood, especially the baker that sells you un pain au chocolat every morning at the same time.

– Absorb Paris.

– Stroll through parks.

– Sit in quiet, empty churches.  Sit in churches during organ practice.

– Talk to old people.

– Eat something new.

– Watch the sunset from the steps of Sacré-Coeur.

– Watch the sunset on the lawn to the east of la Tour Eiffel.

– Watch the sunset on the westernmost point on l’Ile de la Cité – le Square du Vert-Galant, bring some cheese and baguettes.

– Eat lots of crêpes.

– Drink Yop!

– Take an hour and draw something to frame when you get home.

– Get your portrait drawn in front of Pompidou (you get what you pay for!).

– Watch the music man in front of Pompidou.

– Take pictures of Métro performers.

– Take pictures of everything.

Do it all. Live it all. Experience it all.


Amusez-vous bien et bon voyage!


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