Best Clothes to Pack for your Trip this May

It’s spring in Paris once again and it is the best time to dress like a true fashionista!

April and May comprise the spring season in Paris and those who are visiting the City of Light in May should prepare for a real-life fashion showdown. The streets of Paris will not be a sea of black coats and black slacks this springtime, instead, colors and prints of different shades and textures will flood the districts.

Spring is the best time to experiment with clothes, colors and styles. Since it will neither be too cold nor too warm outside, it wouldn’t be a good idea to stick with your black coat, pants, and boots. Most Parisians, especially locals, will be in their best spring wear, as well. Colors like orange, brown, turquoise, red, green, khaki, white and several others will be “in” and darker hues will not be very common. If you want to know what most Parisians will be wearing so you can prepare before your trip, head down to the websites of popular fashion designers and see what’s in their spring wear gallery.

Ladies will find the season exciting since they will be able to exercise their fashion chops as they mix and match different springtime clothing. Men, on the other hand, will have to stick to the common casual wear. After all, there is not a lot of unusual variations for men’s fashion. A cool shirt, colored scarf, a beanie hat, and some light khaki pants may do for starters. You may also refer to fashion websites for more ideas.

During spring, skirts, scarves, and sleeveless tops tend to become very common. You might want to build your wardrobe with tops, skirts, pants and shorts with sophisticated floral designs, stripes, and perhaps, some repetitive shapes. Since vintage wear has become quite popular lately, clothes with bows and ruffles may become “in fashion” as well.

Although you are encouraged to experiment with different spring time styles, don’t forget to invest in some light rain coats or jackets as well. Springtime in Paris does not mean everything will be sunny and bright; some days will be rainy, cold, and gloomy and a colorful jacket or coat might come in handy.

Remember, being fashion forward does not mean having the latest designs in your closet, it means knowing what suits an occasion without spending so much on your wardrobe. Let your creativity run wild this spring!

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5 Reasons Why Getting Lost in Paris is a Good Thing

Paris is a fairly large city and the city which is made of over 20 districts has so many treasures and amazing scenes to offer. Many who go to Paris already know where to find the Eiffel Tower, what bus to take to get to a certain district and how much time to spend to walk to a certain landmark. Google Maps and other interactive smart phone apps have actually made traveling easier but if you want to make your Paris more memorable, why don’t you leave all your maps and apps in your luggage and simply, get lost.

Dare to do what no other tourist has done before: leave your travel guides behind and face Paris boldly without a map.

1. Learn time management.

Before you start with your trek, you need to prepare a few things: make sure to bring a watch with you or set your smart phone to alert you a few hours before it gets too dark. Set a curfew for yourself so you don’t spend the entire night walking around in, heaven forbid, an unsafe location. Paris is generally safe as a city but who knows who you’ll meet in the city and what their intentions are.

Getting lost in Paris simply means going around the city without a specific destination in mind and without the assistance of a travel guide so you get to see the city in a way that’s never been seen before. Getting lost in Paris doesn’t mean losing your sense of time though, so make sure to set a curfew for yourself and stick with that schedule.

2. See Paris differently.

Tourists who come to Paris with a travel guide pretty much know what to expect. The travel guide is making their trip easy for them, but if you had gone to Paris without any help from a map or guide, you will see Paris in a very different way. To locals, Paris is a mega-city where culture and commerce meet and mix harmoniously. To tourists, Paris is a city where you can find beautiful sights and sceneries, but to a lost tourist, Paris is a large strange place with so much to offer and so many treasures to share, but first, you have to find out where these treasures are.

Make your trip to Paris a personal experience and get to know Paris in a very honest way.

3. Know landmarks and tourist attractions faster.

Without a map, you will have to rely heavily on landmarks to find out where you are and where to go next. It would be a very exciting experience to see Paris without any guide and if you want to remember streets and landmarks faster, do so without a map.

4. Learn to speak to the locals.

A map is often used to show you directions but what do you do if you don’t have one? You will have to leave all your inhibitions behind and learn to converse with locals. Simply put, you will have to ask around. You will need to ask where you are and how to get to a certain location; most importantly, you will have to do all these to find out how to get back to your apartment.

map of paris5. Discover streets and locations rarely mentioned in travel guides.

The best thing about getting lost in Paris is that you get to discover streets and locations that are rarely mentioned in travel guides. On your trek, you might stumble upon unusual museums, statues and structures. For example, there are several copies of the Statue of Liberty throughout Paris, there’s one near the Grenelle bridge, Pont de l’Alma, and Musee des Arts et Metiers. Where are these places? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

5 iPhone Apps You Should Download Before Your Trip to Paris

When traveling to a city you’ve never been to before, you can never trust your map or your guide book entirely. Things may easily change in Paris and sometimes, you will need your smart phone and these fives apps to help you get around.

Traveling to Paris but don’t know what to do when you get there? There’s an app for that.

Paris M&MParis M&M

Paris M&M is an interesting app that lists down all the museums and attractions in Paris, their locations, and museum tour schedules. Information you may need to get to these museums and monuments are also listed by the system, as well. Paris M&M (which stands for Museums and Monuments) will help you plan your daily trip itinerary by giving you all the practical information you may need on any Paris attraction. This app is also updated regularly and costs $1.99.

Patrimap by Paris.fr

Patrimap is more of a “Where am I?” app that tells you where you are, where the nearest attractions and landmarks are, and what the nearest building is in your current location. The map is free and it is highly recommended among Parisian tourists. This tool is helpful when you are lost since it tells you, via GPS tracking, where you could catch the metro, as well.

RATP Premium

The official app of the Paris Metro service, RATP Premium is an app that includes the Paris Metro map and their travel schedules. If you’re lost in the city and need to know how to go somewhere, you may also use the built-in map to give you directions to your destination. Simply provide your point of origin and your destination and it will do the rest. The best thing about this app is its free and is regularly updated.

Velib appVélib’ App

The Velib program is a biking rental program in Paris that is also very popular across Europe. You can rent a Velib bike for 1 Euro a day or 5 Euros for 7 days, but first, you must locate a Velib bike to use. Finding Velib stations can be challenging if you are new in Paris but the Velib App can point you to a Velib station near your location.

Read more about the Velib program here.

English / French dictionary

The English / French dictionary by Editions Larousse will come very handy in Paris. If you are unfamiliar with the definition of a certain French word, all you have to do is to whip your iPhone out, enter the word into the app, and it’ll give you the English equivalent in a jiffy.

Getting Around Paris with a Bicycle

Aside from the metro and the train, many Parisians tend to travel on foot when going from one place to another. Another alternative is to use a bicycle or to rent a Velib, which has long since been considered as one of the most affordable vehicles to use in Paris. There were instances in the past when transport strikes brought problems to the locals who needed to travel to distant locations; however, when bicycles and the Velib bicycle renting system was introduced, transport strikes are no longer much of a threat.

The government has been very persistent in making bicycles popular in France. In fact, the idea of allowing local Parisians to rent automatic bicycles known as the Velib system was introduced to encourage Parisians to drive themselves to their destinations instead of spending a couple of Euros on a single bus ride. By introducing bicycles, the government has not only saved millions of Euros on their buses, they also continue to encourage locals to stay healthy by peddling their bicycles.

Getting around Paris with a bicycle is a common and highly recommended option instead of taking the bus. Riding your bike around the city allows you to go sightseeing, at the same time. It is cheaper and like walking, it is also an effective form of exercise.

Where to rent bicycles in Paris

Of course, we would recommend you take the Velib system since it is cheaper and very common among Parisians. You can find Velib stations in almost every nook and cranny in Paris or if you want to get your pass online, simply go to velib.paris.fr. The cost for renting from the Velib program is 1 Euro a day or 5 Euros for 7 days, but first, you need to pay a 150-Euro deposit upfront.

If you’re not fond of peddling, you may rent a scooter or an electric bike instead. Freescoot is one of Paris’ most popular scooter rental companies and you can find their office in 63 quai de la Tournelle at the 5th arrondissement. You may also log on to freescoot.com for more information.

Where to go for leisure biking

There are two main cycling lanes in Paris: the first lane runs from Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Boulogne and the other goes from Parc de Pantin to Porte de Vincennes. These are the recommended routes you should take during your trip; however, if you want to go for a leisurely drive, you could drive along the Seine on weekends when the road is blocked and cars are not allowed to enter. Remember, this is scheduled on Sunday only, from 9 AM till 4 PM.

Tourists who want to see Paris from a local’s point of view should consider taking transportations that allow you a full view of the Parisian vicinity. That being said, try to bring a bike, rent, or purchase one when you get to Paris.