Guide to Paris Part 1

After my recent Paris trip, I have decided to share my experience to save people the time of research. All of the below materials are base on my extensive research and are solely my opinion. It may defer from what you think and may not be the best way of doing things but I hope it helps. 

Trip Essentials

  • SIM Card (Orange) - 20 Euros.
    The website is in French so really difficult to navigate. I bought it from the store. Remember to bring your passport or ID to register for it.

  • Metro, RER and Bus Unlimited Pass for Zone 1 to 3, 2 days - 18 Euros.
    It can be easily purchased at any train stations. It is not base on 24 hours of usage but rather the day that you use the pass. So plan wisely! This pass is really good if you are hitting alot of spots

  • Maps - Free.
    When purchasing your unlimited pass, there are maps on the counter, remember to grab the pocket ones. Super important!

  • Alternative transport - Velib
    I have not tried this before and only found out about it when I was in Paris. I am more of a walk and take photos person.

  • Paris Pass - Find out more here
    I didn't buy this as I was not planning on entering so many museums and found it more cost effective if I pay separately.
  • Tips on surviving

    1. Avoid using phone near entrance of MRT. Just check out the youtube video regarding this.

    2. There are quite a few popular scams in Paris that is prevalent in the tourist-y areas. The gypsy bracelets, signing of unknown document, flower men etc. Click here to find out more.

    3. Split your money into different sources.

    When I was there, Paris was in high alert due to the Brussels bombing and there were a lot of policemen station all around. But still these scam artists can be seen all around the tourist-y areas.

    View from Montparnasse Tower D800, 35mm, f4, ISO 1600, 1/25s

    View from Montparnasse Tower

    D800, 35mm, f4, ISO 1600, 1/25s

    Tips for Montparness Tower

    1. Check the sunset timings.

    2. It provides a 360 degree view of Paris but the picture above is my preferred view during Sunset. If you are here earlier, you could capture quite a spectacular view of Paris from alternative angles.

    3. Anything wider than 35mm will cut into this parapet right in front of the glass.

    4. A tight shot will provide an alternative view too. I would strongly advise to use a 70-200mm.

    5. Tripod friendly location but difficult to setup. The whole place is surrounded by panels of glass. Top glass and bottom glass with a gap between them. As you can see in my stated EXIF, ISO was rather high as I handheld and squeezed my DSLR through the gap. Gap is about 60-80cm so DSLR and most cameras can fit through easily. The gap is at 1.7m so your tripod must be able to extend till that height. Advice would be to use gorilla pod or clamps.

    6. There is this special lighting that is particularly visible in the night. Every evening, the Eiffel Tower is adorned with its golden covering and sparkles for 5 minutes every hour on the hour, while its beacon shines over Paris. I strongly suggest videoing this as the photo of this special light cannot be properly captured.

    7. Sunset, blue hour and night shot. So this location can provide 3 great photos.

    8. Price is 15 Euros

    9. Location is at Montparnasse-Bienvenüe Metro Station

    I will be providing more info of other locations in Paris as well as a map of everything in my next post of Paris.