Top 2 Benefits of a Tourist Map of Paris
Remember how I mentioned the importance of knowing your walking map starting and end points? Well, here is a little story how my tourist map of Paris really came in handy. You may not be so lucky to find a helpful local or tourist, such as myself, so know there are true benefits of a tourist map while you tour the city of your dreams.
This is a true story from one of my Paris solo travels. I cannot make this stuff up.
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Why Carry a Tourist Map of Paris?
1 – Lend Assistance to Tourists
On one of my solo trips to Europe, I spent the first of my 4 days in Paris at the top of the Eiffel Tower for fabulous views of the city. At dusk, I started my decent to head back to my Paris hotel via the Paris metro.
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On my way to the Paris metro station, I had a family of five adults from a South American country come up to me (probably because I had a tourist map of Paris) and ask me in Spanish how to get to their hotel. Those four years of high school Spanish sure keep coming in handy.
Always glad to help a fellow tourist, I unfolded my tourist map of Paris that I got at my hotel. I could have used the Paris map I downloaded previously, but the hotel’s paper tourist map of Paris was easier to share.
I asked in broken Spanish to indicate where on the Paris map their hotel was. They looked at the tourist map of Paris, at each other, again at the Paris map, then at me, and eventually responded, “No sé”.
I went blank. At this point I wondered how I could be of service when they didn’t even know where their Paris hotel was.
After more staring at my tourist map of Paris, the family agreed on what they thought was their Paris hotel location, and one of them pointed to it on the Paris map. None of us could confirm the Paris hotel location on our smartphones because, at the time, we didn’t have Wi-Fi at the Pont de l’Alma bridge. They didn’t want to take a Paris taxi, for a reason I can’t recall, but they were happy to follow me to the Paris metro.
Considering they didn’t have a tourist map of Paris I assumed they didn’t have a Paris metro map either. So, I showed them mine, which was on the flip side of my paper tourist map of Paris. More blank stares. I couldn’t blame them. Have you ever navigated the Paris metro?
Gwen. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: get a South American family, that speaks no English (or French), to follow you to your Paris metro station; get them through the Paris metro ticketing booth and turnstiles (you must wait on them because you have your 5-day Paris metro pass but they have none); and, explain to them (in your broken Spanish) they are to get on your same metro line but then get off before you to connect to a different metro line so they can get to their assumed, final stop.
Do a River Seine Cruise in Paris!
2 – Never Get Lost in Paris
Mission accomplished? I waved goodbye wishing them buena suerte as they exited the Paris metro car and moved down the platform to their connecting Paris metro line. I trust they made it.
I felt nervous for them, but relieved I knew where I was headed because I had circled my Paris hotel location on my tourist map of Paris.
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Whether you use the paper tourist map of Paris your hotel gives you, or download a Paris map onto your mobile device, never underestimate the benefits of having a tourist walking map, especially in Paris.
Even if you have access to Google Maps, or another online map, I still recommend having a paper tourist map as a back-up. Why mess with the possibility of being lost as a solo traveler in Paris?
Let Me Hear From You
I would love to hear if these benefits of a tourist map of Paris were helpful to you. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!