1. Be Courteous. Most people in Paris who are paid to interact with the public will speak English. This does not mean you should travel to France, or anywhere else, without a basic knowledge of the language. Now, in regards to Paris… I cheated a bit. Basically the only French word I know is ‘Bonjour’. HOWEVER, I went ill prepared knowing my friend would cover for me. There is no way in the world I would have done that otherwise. You should at least know how to say ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘thank you’, and a few basic phrases asking directions and how much things cost. If you are rude, or fail to even try the basics, someone who speaks English may simply choose to not speak it to you.
2. Meals cannot be rushed. No, really. Even if you tried to rush lunch or dinner, it will not be possible. Allow two hours for a meal. Understand that you may need to request your check multiple times, especially if you try to finish your meal in less time.
3. Stroll through the city. Paris is a sprawling cluster of islands. Don’t rush it! Stop to listen to the street musicians, enjoy the art from the artists along the Seine, sit in the park enjoying the scenery. It may take two hours to traverse it, especially during peak traffic. Allow enough time so you can relish your experience without frustration.
4. Fun fact: The Bastille is now a boulder, nothing more.
5. You may be required to Pay to Pee. Yes, really. In order to use a public restroom you are likely to need 30 to 60 cents. (Euro cents, of course.)