You’ve got your tickets, you’ve planned what to wear, you may have even bought an extra suitcase for possible Parisian purchases, but have you checked online?
Checked what online?
The key websites that you need to look at before you take off and have favorited on your phone for when you get WiFi access in Paris…
The French train, metro and bus systems aren’t complicated, but can be a little overwhelming for first-time visitors, so it’s a good idea to check them out before you arrive. The mainland trains that cover France are run by the SNCF. If you’re heading out of town for the weekend, you can buy train tickets on their website and also check times and routes.
The Paris metro runs mainly underground except for a few lines and, although it won’t win any prizes for cleanliness, it is the quickest way to get around the city. Depending on the time of day, trains come pretty regularly. Check the RATP website for a very useful interactive map as well as information on maintenance works and delays. The same website also has bus routes which, although slower than the metro, can be a great way of seeing the city while saving your feet!
We also recommend having a look at Google Maps before arriving, so that you can locate the nearest metro – and find your closest bakery!
The weather in France is more predictable than its neighbor the UK, but you can still be caught by a surprise rain shower at any time of year, so bring an umbrella! This expat’s favorite weather website is Météo France, where you can type in your zip code and see if it’s going to rain within the hour. It’s perfect for checking just before you head out for a day of weather-prepared sightseeing.
Before coming to France, you might want to familiarize yourself with what’s going on in the country. France 24 is a news channel that focuses on French news and interests, and has French, English and Arabic-speaking stations that you can watch online, giving you plenty of topics for discussion with your future French friends!
You probably already have a list of things you want to see and do, but if you happen to have a free day or evening, we recommend going on the Paris City Hall website for inspiration. They’re also very quick to reply to any questions you might have (on Twitter).
Another of my favorite websites for what’s on in town is Timeout Paris. From museums to shopping, they’ve got it covered, and are always the first to flag up a cool new event. They also do great restaurant and bar reviews, which brings us to our last section…
Food and Drink
The French take their food very seriously, so it comes as no surprise that there are 10000000+ sites for restaurant reviews. Our favorites are Le Fooding for its variety and quality, and La Fourchette (aka The Fork) where there are lots of reductions at good eateries to be found.
And, of course, the final essential website you need to be visiting before your trip is… right here at Fat Tire Tours! You can also follow us on Instagram @FatTireParis, Twitter @FatTireParis, or like us on Facebook to stay posted on upcoming tours and special offers!