Before coming to Paris, I had always wondered if this city is really as magical as Blair and Serena make it seem in Gossip Girl. After being here for five weeks, I can tell you first-hand: yes, it really is! Incredible food, picturesque views, cheap wine, and beautiful clothes only begin to describe France’s iconic capital city. However, after being a quasi-resident, I’ve realized that Paris is also magical for the mundane, everyday activities that the French have somehow completely mastered! Here are seven ways that Paris does it better:
1. Tax is included in all prices.
This makes shopping and eating at restaurants so much less stressful. You know exactly how much you are are going to pay from the get-go!
2. Card readers are brought to the table at restaurants.
At restaurants in Paris (and in a lot of Europe), the servers bring the card readers to the table when you want to pay the bill. Splitting checks in big groups is much easier this way because servers can just enter the amount each person has to pay in the machine.
3. Tipping isn’t expected.
I know, I know. This is old news, but it’s seriously so nice. You know the total immediately after you order because you know the tax and you don’t have to leave a tip! This way is also much better for the workers because this means their salaries are higher.
4. Metro System and Public Transportation are so easy.
Uber can get so expensive. Having a cheap and readily available way to get around is game-changing.
5. Meals are more leisurely.
In Paris, waiters don’t constantly come up to you asking you if you need anything which, in America, typically means they are trying to get you to leave ASAP. Food and good conversation are savored here. You could sit at a restaurant for hours just people-watching, and no one would kick you out!
6. Pharmacies. Pharmacies. Pharmacies.
The French pharmacies are arguably one of my favorite things about France. They have incredible selections of high-end skincare for amazing prices. My favorite mask from Caudalié was half the price in France, and I didn’t have to trek to Sephora to get it.
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7. Ingredients are more regulated.
I’ve felt less guilty using beauty products that I’ve bought here and eating the food here because they are so much better for you. The ingredients in everything are more natural and less processed.
After all of this, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would ever leave Paris!