Backpack, no backpack? I usually find a small backpack is very helpful for carrying things when I'm walking around town for the day. It is also great stowing sweaters as the weather warms up. I'm wondering if a backpack in Paris will be a nuisance in museums since it may have to be searched or checked. Thoughts anyone?
When you walk through security, carry it like a purse. However, if you're one of those people that carries their whole life in their backpack (and it looks bulky), they'll probably have you check it.
Anything you carry will be searched. It's very helpful to have a day pack in Paris. But day packs aren't allowed in many museums both here and abroad unless they are worn over one shoulder like a bag. Packs on the back are risks for the art. People turn around quickly and knock statues or scratch paintings with the packs when worn on two shoulders across the back. At museums, I usually check my pack or put it in a locker, put a sweater over my shoulders, and carry the most essential in a tiny purse.
As the others said, it will definitely be searched no matter what. Whether you can take it in or will have to check it will depend on size and the discretion of the security guards that day. I would make your decision based on what is most convenient for you all day, not on whether you might have to check it at a museum. PS - be sure not to carry around a pocket knife. Some museums will confiscate it.
> be sure not to carry around a pocket knife. Some museums will confiscate it. This is helpful information. Sounds like security goes beyond peeking in your bag. It must include walking through a metal detector too?
I carry a sling style backpack (it has just one strap and is shaped roughly like a bota bag). Besides being comfortable, the big advantage is that worn over just one shoulder, it always passes for a purse. It's never failed me. Purses get in, where backpacks do not.