[Updated March 2024] A summary of the latest information and useful tips for your first trip to France in Paris

【2024年3月最新版】はじめてのフランス旅行、パリ現地でのお役立ち最新情報まとめ 第一弾

Finally, this year in 2024, an international festival will be held in Paris! I think many people will take this opportunity to go to Paris. Paris is a wonderful and exciting city, but at the same time, there are a lot of pickpockets, and tourists are easy targets when riding the subway or at tourist spots. So, we will introduce things you should prepare in advance and recommended items to bring with you to have a safe, secure, and comfortable time in Paris.


[ We recommend that you prepare in advance to ensure a smooth trip to the destination ]  

Bonjour RATP

1. Download the Bonjour RATP app

*RATP: Public transport authority for Paris (operator of public transport in Paris and the surrounding area)

This is a train, metro, and bus transfer guide app. If you register your accommodation in "Masoin (home)", you can easily search for transfers starting from your accommodation. It is very convenient because you can also check the subway and bus route maps offline. In addition, you can charge the metro and bus with a plastic prepaid card called "Navigo easy", but with this app you can easily charge tickets to "Navigo easy" and check the number of remaining tickets. There are many pickpockets in Paris, so it is best to avoid taking out your wallet when you are outside. It is safe to use Navigo easy to ride the subway and bus, and to be able to charge tickets and check the remaining tickets in advance with the app. With "Navigo easy" and this app, you can also purchase Roissy bus tickets that connect CDG airport and the city, so you can avoid the trouble of buying a bus ticket from the bus stop ticket machine when returning home from Paris to the airport. (The Roissy bus stop in front of the Opera is an area where pickpockets are frequent, so it is safe to purchase in advance.)

Paris fares vary depending on the Zone (a circular area starting from the center of Paris and divided into six zones depending on the distance), but if you are traveling only within Paris, the fare for both the metro and bus is a flat rate of 2.15€. However, the fare will increase to 4€ during international festivals. A 10-ticket pass is usually 16.90€, but will be 32€ during international festivals, so it's a good idea to take this into account when budgeting.

* ①Price increase period: July 20th to September 8th, 2024
*②The 10-ticket discount ticket can only be recharged using Navigo easy.
*③Can be downloaded in Japan. No prior registration of personal information is required, but credit card information is required when purchasing tickets, and it is only available in French.

2. Reservations for museums, restaurants, etc.

Even if you're going to Paris to watch an international festival, you'll want to visit some museums, too. Most museums in Paris require advance reservations. Of course, there are some museums that you can queue up to enter on the day, but during peak tourist seasons, there may be long lines and it may be difficult to enter on the day. You can make reservations on each museum's website, so we recommend making reservations in advance. If you're unsure about making reservations yourself, there are also local tour companies that can arrange just museum tickets. There is a store near the Opera House, so it may be a good idea to ask for advice on the spot. (The staff are Japanese and can speak Japanese.)

My Bus: https://mybus-europe.jp/cityDetails.do?cityCode=PAR


As with museums, it is often difficult to get into popular restaurants without a reservation (especially when there are many tourists), so if there is a restaurant you want to go to, we recommend making a reservation in advance. When you think of Paris, you think of cafes, and you can eat at them (many are open from early in the morning until late at night), so if you want to eat casually, you can go to a cafe without a reservation (popular cafes may have to queue depending on the time!). There are many cafes, so if you find your favorite cafe and get to know the staff, you will feel like an expert on Paris in no time.


[We recommend some useful tools to help you stay safe and secure while you're there]

1. A shoulder bag with a zipper

There are a lot of pickpockets in Paris. If you carry a bag the same way you would in Japan, you will almost always be pickpocketed. Make sure to bring a shoulder bag with a zipper. In Japan, you will see people carrying shoulder bags on their backs, but it is safer to always carry your bag in front of you, or even hold it in your arms when on the subway or in tourist areas. If a group of pickpockets notice you, you will be surrounded, so be careful.


 2. Use of eSIM

Communication methods are also important when traveling abroad. To stay safe and comfortable during your stay in Paris, you need to have an internet connection on your smartphone. Unlike conventional physical SIM cards, eSIM allows you to use data communication immediately after arriving at the destination by applying in advance, which is very convenient for checking maps, contacting in an emergency, and searching for tourist information. In addition, since eSIM is built into the smartphone, there is no need to carry a WiFi router in your bag, which further reduces the risk of pickpocketing. In this way, with eSIM, you can always connect to the internet while traveling while avoiding the risk of pickpocketing. The eSIM recommended for traveling to France is "VOYAGEE SIM for Europe". It is operated by a major Japanese company and support is available in Japanese. In addition, data communication is possible not only in France but also in 42 European countries and regions.

■VOYAGEESIM FOR Europe review

"This was my first time using this comfortable internet environment. I used the 5GB, 10-day plan on an 8-day tour of Germany, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. I downloaded the plan to my iPhone in advance in Japan as instructed, and when I arrived at Munich Airport, I switched to the eSIM and was able to use it immediately. I was able to connect to 5G and 4G lines almost without any problems in every country, and had a comfortable internet environment. The signal was weak near Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, and I was unable to connect, including to other service users, but otherwise there were no problems. Compared to renting Wi-Fi, it is very convenient that you don't need to charge your device or carry the Wi-Fi itself, and you can easily check the remaining charge at any time. It is also good value for money, and I would like to use it when traveling abroad in the future." - March 19, 2024 -

" I used it again this time because I was able to use it comfortably before. This time I used it in Paris. If you set it up when you depart, you can use it immediately by simply turning it on when you arrive at the local airport. I used it every day, just like in Japan, and the data volume was sufficient even during my six-day stay. (I used Wi-Fi at the hotel.) The communication speed was also fine, so I would like to use it again next time. " - January 8, 2024 -

" I was able to use it without any problems as soon as I arrived at the destination. I set it up as soon as I landed at the local airport and it was activated. I'm very satisfied that I was able to communicate without any problems during my trip. " - February 16, 2024 -

Source: VOYAGE eSIM FOR EUROPE [Europe 42] eSIM 10 days/5GB

VOYAGE eSIM FOR EUROPE [Europe 42] eSIM 30 days/20GB



3. Credit card

Basically, you can use credit cards anywhere, even in cafes. However, many stores do not accept American Express or JCB cards, so we recommend that you bring a VISA card. VISA cards can be used almost everywhere. In privately run stores such as souvenir shops, cards may not be accepted for amounts under 10€, so it's a good idea to have around 10€ to 20€ in cash (preferably coins or 5€ notes). However, there are many pickpockets, so we recommend that you carry as little cash as possible.

4. Comfortable walking shoes

Wherever you walk in Paris, you'll see beautiful scenery. It would be great if you could enjoy the city of Paris while you're there. Paris is a compact city, so you can walk to the tourist sites in the center. (It takes about 30 minutes to walk from the Louvre to the Bastille.) There are cobblestone roads in the city, so we recommend bringing sneakers that you're comfortable in. There is a subway and bus service, but it's also fun to take a leisurely stroll around the city and discover your own Paris.


5. Clothes that you normally wear or that are a little worn out

When you go to Paris, you want to dress up. However, there are a lot of pickpockets in Paris. Tourists are the most likely targets, so it's best to take precautions to avoid being targeted. Many tourists dress smartly and neatly, so locals can tell they are tourists at a glance. (Many Parisians wear clothes in chic colors.) Unless you have a reservation at a restaurant or plan to shop at a brand store, it's safer to dress in a way that blends in with the locals as much as possible when walking around the city.

Next time, I'll be sharing some things to be careful of while in Paris.
Be well prepared, enjoy Paris to the fullest, and make lots of fun memories.
Bon Voyage
It's good!