Paris is one of the most iconic cities in the world. With incredible shopping, delectable food and wine, and sensational art and architecture, there’s always something to see and do.
If you’re heading to Paris on a business trip, you should try and see as much as possible in your downtime. Here are some helpful tips for making the most of your business trip to Paris. This check-list will help you:
- Stay in the right neighborhood
- Book your meetings near attractions
- Hit the highlights
- Buy Skip-the-line passes
- Brush up on business etiquette
And if you want to have a helping hand of a local personal assistant – a MeetnGreeter – to help you with any kind of requests, feel free to leave your request here.
Stay in the Right Neighborhood
Paris is divided into several Arrondissements– think the boroughs of New York. Bourse, the Second Arrondissement, is the main business district in Paris. If the majority of your trip will be spent in Bourse, it makes sense to book a hotel within this neighborhood. In the Second Arrondissement, you can set up shop at NUMA, an energetic coworking space with innovators and entrepreneurs that are always up for conversation at the coffee counter.
Alternatively, you can book something in the First Arrondissement, nearby. The First Arrondissement is home to some of the must-see attractions, such as the Louvre. It’s also a quick trip away from the Eiffel Tower in the Seventh Arrondissement. It’s also worth setting up in the Eighth Arrondissement, where you can rent space at L’archipel Cafe, an old chapel that’s been converted into a spacious coworking establishment.
When looking for accommodation in Paris, another convenient option is the chic and trendy neighborhood, Marais. Marais is spread over the Third and Fourth Arrondissements, offering a blend of the old and the new in a convenient location. If you like fine dining and boutique shopping, this is the region for you. Hubsy is a coffee shop located in this region that doubles as a coworking space that you can rent by the hour, and comes highly recommended by freelancers and business travelers.
Book Your Meetings Near Attractions
One of the best ways to make the most of your business trip is to schedule your meetings near the attractions you wish to see. For example, if the Eiffel Tower is on your must-see list, book a table at Jules Verne. This establishment is located on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, combining both business and pleasure during your trip.
Be vocal about wanting to see certain things within the city when talking to the colleagues or clients with whom you’ll be meeting. If you have a strong rapport, they’ll be happy to meet with you in places that make it possible for you to explore. You can also ask what places they would recommend. Be open to exploring the city’s secret gems that locals love, and tourists rarely experience.
Note that your Parisian colleagues will expect to visit fine dining establishments for your meetings. Restaurants like La Belle Armée, Chez Françoise, and Neva Cuisine are highly recommended for business meetings in Paris.
Hit the Highlights
Make your first trip to Paris about hitting the highlights. While there are plenty of incredible things to do and see outside the city, there’s enough within Paris proper to fill your days.
The highlights of Paris include:
- The Eiffel Tower
- The Arc de Triomphe
- The Louvre Museum
- Notre Dame Cathedral (you can still visit the site)
These are tourist-heavy attractions that are worth seeing. However, this list doesn’t encompass the beautiful neighborhoods and restaurants that make Paris so great.
Buy Skip the Line Passes
If you plan on going to some of the major attractions, invest in passes that allow you to skip the line. This is well worth the opportunity cost, especially when you’re traveling during the high season. The Paris Museum Pass is a tourist package that grants you access to over 60 of the museums in the city. The pass can be purchased to cover different timespans, with the option for a guided river cruise add-on.
In addition to purchasing passes for attractions in advance, you should also invest in a transit pass. The Paris Transport card allows users to take unlimited trips on the tramway, bus, and subway with little restriction. The Paris Visit card is scalable based on days and the neighborhoods it covers. This will be invaluable in getting you to and from meetings all over the city.
Brush Up on French Business Etiquette
One of the most intriguing aspects of doing an international business trip is learning the customs and expectations of the place you’re visiting. There are no big surprises when doing business in Paris, but there are a few tactics you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Polite introductions – introduce yourself using your full name and address acquaintances as Monsieur or Madame until instructed otherwise. This is the equivalent of saying “Sir” or “Ma’am” in North America.
- Expect formalities – Paris, like many European cities, has a culture of long, relaxed meals. Expect your meetings to run long and be in formal establishments. Always be dressed for the occasion. Don’t expect your business dealings to start until after dessert.
- Mannerisms and expressions – A quick, casual handshake is a normal way to greet someone new in France. Be prepared for les bises (cheek kisses) as greetings, but don’t initiate them yourself.
Use these cultural differences as an opportunity to learn and experience business in a global setting. The knowledge you gain will be well worth the effort.
Bon Voyage! You can make the most of your work trip to Paris with careful planning and smart investing. Paris is filled with coworking spaces and business-friendly establishments for facilitating meetings and striking bargains to reach your business objectives. A don’t forget that in case you need an insider’s assistance – MeetnGreetMe is there for you.