I just spent 7 days in Paris and loved every second of it. Our tour Guide Rebecca was incredibly kind, knowledgeable, and professional. She clearly communicated our daily schedule, how we were getting to our locations, and how to get back. After the first tour day we were all very comfortable exploring Paris on our own and getting back and forth using the metro and bus system.
The food was incredible and absolutely great tasting. We ate at some famous local restaurants and the local cafes. The hotel was perfectly located within a 3min walk of the Eiffel Tower and train stations and meters away from many cafe/restaurants and gift shops. The hotel staff were super helpful and kind as well.
I would highly recommend this trip as a "first European" trip for anyone hesitant to leave the US. The Parisians (people of Paris) all spoke English well enough to communicate on the streets and restaurants and churches and museums.
SCAMS - ok so just say "NO" to anyone asking you to sign or read anything. Say NO to anyone approaching you and asking you to buy anything from 'found rings' to souvenirs. There are plenty of souvenir shops locally and around and inside each location for you to purchase gifts for people back home. Wallet/purse keep it in a zipped pocket in your jacket or front pocket. If you say "NO" with confidence (don't yell at them) they will leave you alone.
ATM/CASH - there are ATMs in the airport for your to withdrawal Euros and the conversion is much less than exchanging currency in the US or an exchange kiosk. Extra Euros as you board the plane well most of them walk around for you to donate to different charities or keep for memories or next European trip (remember it's Euros and is the same in in France, and Germany and Italy).
BUY local souvenir shops help them not the people running around selling cheaper gifts than in the stores. Or inside the location you visit all have an exit gift shop anyway.
MUSEUM PASS - CANT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.... will save you money and time in lines, GET IT if you are just visiting on your own.
Versailles is HUGE.. HUGE.. plan to be there all day. The gardens are HUGE. Bring some bread if you visit the village of Marie-Antoinette's Hamlet there the fish will love you for it. HINT the village of Hamlet will remind you of "the Shire" a bit.
Montmatre is hilly and gorgeous.
Louvre is bigger than you think, visit in AFTERNOON, if you wanna go back, but that will be done with your tour guide.
Eiffel Tower - BUY YOUR TICKET ONLINE IN ADVANCE and you can skip the lines and go all the way up save time. DO IT THIS WAY.
Churches - they are huge and incredible. Buy a candle say a prayer, be respectful and quiet.
Museums - before you go or get in, get to know it's layout and where everything is.
Rue Cler - 5min walk from hotel and great street to walk and eat.
Rodin - to see the "Thinker" your Museum pass is enough. No need to buy the museum entry of 3Euros.
Weather - ALWAYS check the weather before you go anywhere, it saved me some money and I was able to pack accordingly.
Packing for return/airport - IF you want to bring wine/alcohol back, 3 bottles is the max. Your bag needs to be checked if you are bringing more than 1 bottle of wine back. For carry on bags 1 bottle only. Security was nice and helpful be kind and smile.
MY steps/miles. - I did some extra walking (from Arc de Triomphe to Louvre) and on my own after the tour guides finished their education lesson of where we were. I averaged 8miles of walking each day and about 22,061 average steps each day. But I wanted to spend all day at Versailles, and walk the Champs-Elysee in it's entirety. I did extra things on my own as well at night.
Hope this helps. I had a great time, and would highly recommend this trip via this tour. And enjoy yourself, go happy and with a positive attitude to see and eat and try new things. Be kind and smile, use your "thank you" and "please".
Ed B. (West Chester, Pa)