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Pro Tips

We've been to Paris a handful of times. Here are some of our learnings to share with you. So you don't look like a tourist!

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Boulangerie Artisanale

Boulangerie means bakery, and you probably have your eyes set on some SICK breads and pastries here. If you see the word “Artisanale” or “Artisan” or some variation of the word next to “Boulangerie,” it means the bread is made on site. If “Artisanale” is absent, it means the bread is made somewhere else in a central kitchen and brought there.

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Michelin Places

Paris has more Michelin star restaurants than any other city in the world not named Tokyo. They’re all worth eating at, but they’re not all worth the usual dinner price tag (!). Yea I said it. However, many places offer a lunch menu that is much more reasonable. I won’t offer a list of restaurants to eat at on this list of pro-tips (the list would be too long), but if you have a place you want to try, check if they have a lunch special.

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Sundays

Everything is closed on Sunday – Do not try to do your shopping on a Sunday. You will be emotionally traumatized. This includes most pharmacies.

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Bon Marche Day

Some of you may be looking to do some serious, and I mean SERIOUS, shopping here. Let us introduce you to the ultimate pro-tip – the Bon Marche Privilege day. This is a 3-day process that gets you an uncapped saving potential on things you buy at Le Bon Marche, one of the OG department stores in Paris.

Mario's shopping tips

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Carafe d’eau

Carafe d’eau or Carafe of water – Waiters will ask you if you want still or sparkling water when you sit down to eat. Neither of these are free – they’re the pricy bottled waters you get the privilege of paying 12 euros for – but free water does exist in France. To get it, ask for a carafe of water, or “un carafe d’eau” in French.

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Dinner Time

Parisian eats late. Many restaurants will be open by 7PM, but if you find yourself in a restaurant whose reviews you thought were pretty good, yet you’re joined by crickets for dinner, it may just be too early. Reserve judgement until after 10PM. Parisians don’t go out to dinner before 9PM.

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Tax Refund

Make sure you have your passport handy (they don't accept pictures of your passport) for tax refunds. Refund rate is 12% of purchase amount, with a minimum purchase amount of 175.01 EUR per receipt. Always ask them to refund back to your credit card. Take pictures of the tracking numbers so you can track the progress of your refunds. Don't forget to scan the papers BEFORE you check your bags.

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Just Ask!

Ask away! You have our contact information - ask us for recommendations, tips, anything. We don't recommend the same thing to everybody :)

If you need help arranging hotel accommodations, transportations to/from the airport, feel free to reach out to our amazing wedding planner Wei at wei.carpentier@iriswedding.fr Indicate "Chang Yang wedding" in your subject line.

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DIY Subway Doors

Many metro lines in Paris feature train doors that do not open automatically. You have to open them. Some of them have a button you push, while others have a handle you have to physically pull up on. If you see these, open the door if you have to so you don’t miss your stop.

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Pharmacies

 Paris is also the skincare capital of the world (not an official designation). Numerous pharmacies around the city are equipped for your shopping needs and have multiple tax-free counters to get your customary 12% VAT back. Get your year’s worth of skincare products in Paris.

Here are some of Christina's favorites.

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L'Addition

In the US, we sign our checks after the waiter swipes our credit cards at a terminal. In France, they bring a machine to you and charge your card at the table. So, if you are trying to flag a waiter down for your check, don’t make the “signing your name” motion with your hand. Instead, use both hands and make a motion like you’re playing game boy in mid air and yell “L’ADDITION” (translation: THE BILL)

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