Best view? Ditch the Eiffel Tower for the Arc de Triomphe
A trip to Paris without seeing the Eiffel tower is like a barbie without tinnies, but while seeing La Tour is a must, the view from the top is not. It is expensive, crowded and the queue for the lift can take well over an hour. The stairs are an alternative, but only reach halfway, and with more than 1700 steps, it's a thigh-burning challenge.
A much better option is the Arc de Triomphe. It's cheaper, a lot less crowded and has a spectacular 360-degree view of the city, including a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower itself.
Avoid the river boat dining rip-off
Bateau-Mouches are long, glass-topped, viewing boats that cruise the Seine. They are a fantastic way to see the city. But avoid the ones that offer lunch or dinner. They are tourist traps where the food is below average and the prices, ridiculous.
Montmartre the do's and don'ts
Montmatre was once a playground for some of the world's most famous painters from Picasso to Van Gogh. It's easy to see why; it's charming and quintessentially Parisian, but visit at the wrong time and you will find yourself shuffling along at snail's pace in a sea of tourists.
It's best to go early and, if possible, on a weekday morning. You'll see locals heading to work, waiters setting up street tables and be able to explore without the crowds.
If you're hungry, avoid the tacky restaurants near the Sacre Coeur Cathedral, which serve rubbery pizza (at daylight robbery prices) and head to the nearby Rue Des Martyrs. It is one of the prettiest streets in Paris, lined with mouth-watering food shops and eateries. Try the Rose Bakery for organic treats.
Hotel breakfast? Don't bother
While some hotel breakfasts are worth it, many are an overpriced rip-off and the breakfast room is often dingy.
A better option is to head out to a cafe; most serve coffee and croissants in the morning. For half the price, you can sit on the terrace and watch the world go by like a true local.
Classy shopping on the Champs? Forget it
The French claim the Champs-Elysee is the most beautiful avenue in the world, and they may be right. But when it comes to the shops and cafes which line it, the whiff of Frenchness that once hung in the air has been replaced by the whiff of car exhaust fumes, tourist-trap eateries with surly staff and cheap international chain stores.
If you want to check out where the city's rich and glam shop, nip off the Champs to Avenue Montaigne. Top fashion houses from Chanel to Dior have boutiques here. It's a favourite haunt of ladies-who-lunch and their coiffed pooches.
Got any more places to avoid? Have your say using the comments form below.
Next: Near the beaten track