1. Stop worrying about thieves and pickpockets - yes they are there they will only bother those who are unaware and clueless I over prepared and feel silly now. It really was no big deal.
2. Don't worry about what area you stay in they are all good and transportation is a breeze - you can walk almost everywhere and thats when you will see the best stuff -Taxis to me were well worth it because I got to sight see at the same time
3. Learn simple French phrases to be polite but realize everyone speaks English and you won't have any trouble communicating - I spent a year learning French and barely got a chance to finish a sentence!
4.Do not over plan pick a few things you must see and spend the rest of the time just walking and exploring each neighborhood is beautiful, interesting and different
5. French people do not hate Americans and they are very friendly - forget everything you have heard about French being rude it is outdated and untrue. They are more polite and formal but certainly very friendly
6. Pick what you must see at the Louvre and go directly to that exhibit -if you spent 30 seconds looking at each piece of art it would take 4 months to finish it all so pick ahead of time
7. Expensive French food and fancy restaurants are wonderful if your passion is gourmet cooking otherwise our best meals were spent in cafes sitting outside people watching - do some research here for simple good restaurants - we spent hundreds in Michelin star restaurants before we determined we enjoyed the cafes far more
8. If you don't like museums don't go to them - Paris has so much to offer you can skip all the major tourist attractions and still see amazing things
9. It is really beautiful to go outside of the city and there are many options - just search and plan a day if you have enough time (my favorite Brugge, Belguim)
10.Do not miss seeing the Latin Quarter, Montmartre area and the market streets where you can pick up great food for a simple picnic and people watching
11. Sit, watch, enjoy, drink the wine, eat the pastries and soak up the surroundings the days we had little planned were by far the most enjoyable
12. With the exception of August when many places close down there is no bad time to go to Paris all the seasons are gorgeous - If you are going to see major tourist attractions buy the museum pass and skip the lines