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Should you visit Paris?

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„Paris was disappointing”, „I’ve expected something more”.. I can’t even count how many times I have heard these words… and to be honest I think those were these opinions that made me decide to finally visit Paris myself.

Has Paris disappointed me?  Well, personally – no. A little bit mainstream tuth is …  that I have fallen in love with Paris. However, not every part of it made me feel like that. At least it has surely enriched me with a reflection.

I would lie telling that this city was a paradise on the Earth and it didn’t have any disadvantages. In a contrary – Paris has a lot of drawbacks! And it probably deserved every criticism. However, I think that Paris could be liked.. it could be even loved! If you only know how to plan a trip like this.

And of course if you’re not one of the types I present below

So… maybe it comes a time for reflection. Should YOU, dear reader, visit Paris?

 

 

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„Will you marry me…?” by the Eiffel Tower

Shining stars, silence around.. and just the two of you walking slowly through the square by the Eiffel Tower. Suddenly, he stops suddenly and just a moment after he falls on his knees. You hold your breath, your heart almost stops beating… And then you hear how he slowly formulates these such expected words.

Moment. Something definitely needs a correction here.

Actually, falling down on his knees can be possibleonly if  the group of Japanese tourists will accidentally move a bit away and stop possessing the whole pavement for 2 minutes… Basically, even then falling on the knees can be a bit dangerous considering the fact that wild crowd  constantly passing next to you rather doesn’t watch their steps.

Coming concerning those “so expected words”they could surely change this minute to the most beautiful moment of your life if only your beloved could manage to outshout two kind, black gentlemen standing about a meter from you; one of them shouts about a prize for picking up the appropriate cup in vaguely miserable imitation of French language, while the second will surely come to you in a moment offering a plastic Eiffel Tower (available in three colors!) at a bargain price of 10 euro.

So when your beloved will shout “Will you marry me…?” for the third time (this time as loud that at least 20 people around will turn to you) and he will finally hear expected “yes” I guess your only wish will be just to leave this place as fast as possible.

So… if you can’t imagine proposal in any other place than Eiffel Tower or you just simply don’t see any other reason to go to Paris than proposal.

Rather don’t go to Paris.

Romantic walk in the moonlight

Doesn’t Paris seem to be the pefect place for long, night walks? Narrow streets, romantic avenues…. It speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

I highly recommend this way of spending time in Paris for all those who consider taking in account the possibility of being culturally accosted by a group of black gentlemen, directing to you more or less kind request to, so to say,  help them financially.

So… If you absolutely don’t take in account avoiding walks night walks in some districts…

Rather don’t go to Paris.

Unless your generosity knows no borders and so you don’t find the mentioned group of gentleman particularly problematic.

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„Those people from travel agency have a big experience and they will surely organize it better than I would do myself”

Travel agencies are probably still the most-visited places in the summer season. It’s totally understandable, because how could anyone even imagine a better option? Our role is just to bring a PROPER (although in this case I would polemicize with this word) sum of money, transmit is to the Lady at the desk and we don’t have too care anymore  about things like organizing ourselves the transport or accommodation. Not even concerning the plan of our next two weeks.

I’m pretty sure that organizing a trip to Paris must be a really great business. And it’s not even because of crowds of interested (finally who wouldn’t like to visit Paris?).  This city is almost constructed of “absolutely must-see” places. All of them may be included in the plan of the trip which becomes more complete and attractive. Later you just have to rent a big bus with an enjoyable sign “Paris Tours” and drive participants around the city.

Do you think that 2 days could be not enough to visit Paris?

Nooo… it just seems so! By the Eiffel tower there is a big parking on which we can stop for 5 minutes to take some photos and, of course, buy plastic Eiffel Tower for 10 €. Obligatorily.

Do you think that you really deserved a few hours of free time to walk around the city?

Oh God! Absolutely not! We have just half an hour left and we haven’t even visited the Musée d’Orsay and Louvre Museum yet!

So.. the conclusion seems to be quite predictable.

If you can’t imagine your holidays without a help from a travel agency…

Rather don’t go to Paris.

  • By the way this amazingly productive way of sightseeing is commonly practised by a mayority of Asian tourists. Maybe that’s why in Japan “Paris syndrome” has been already recognized as an official disease which touches those habitants of this picturesque country who have come back from Paris absolutely jittery of the fact that the city of their dreams finally hadn’t turned out to be as they had expected.

 

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„I will have a chance to explore traditional French cuisine and I’ll bring a lot of souvenirs”

To my delight, I increasingly observe a growing number of people who prefer planning their trip on their own, rather than using services of a traditional travel agency. Finally, it’s really not as difficult especially that prices of flights from majority of big cities in the world are considered as surprisingly cheap.

And what about “traditional French cuisine”? Tasting its specialties is for sure an unforgettable memory (although I would be rather into forgetting about French snails), which will be permanently engraved in your memory after checking history of your bank account after coming back home.

All of the most famous places in Paris are overfilled by all possible types of stands, bars, cafés, restaurants… It’s actually understandable because I can’t see any better way to gain quick profit than all of those thirsty and hungry tourists, absolutely overwhelmed by frenzy of running around all of the monuments. If they are with children it’s even better. Or why not with whole families!

Not even concerning the fact that the business potential of these places has already been used by all kinds of illegal resourceful  small entrepreneurs selling water at a twice bigger than in a shop affordable price of 1 euro per half liter.

By the way, some of them hide the bottles behind the tiles forming the stairs of the Louvre.

And concerning beautiful souvenirs for the whole family (except of an obligatory plastic Eiffel Tower for 10 euro) it would be nice to bring something traditional. It can be, for example a pack of famous macarons. Although here we have to be prepared for price between 1,5-2 euro per cookie. The lack of this knowledge can cause one more “unforgettable memory’ in a history of bank account. So if the only option which you see is a spontaneous hunting for cappuccino, dinner or souvenirs in a distance not further than 10 minutes from the “absolutely must-see” place you are standing in now because it would be a waste of valuable time (“Paris Tours” is leaving in a moment!”) to check the street near to you…

Rather don’t go to Paris.

Well, unless you’ve just won a million dollars in a lottery

 

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„So you see, that’s why speaking English is so important. Thanks to this I can easily communicate abroad”

The truth is that every attempt of communicating even in ideally fluent English in majority of places in France it’s nothing more than a useless effort. It’s much more probable that it will cause (in the best case) an expression of blissful incomprehension on the face of your interlocutor and in the worse – quite clearly exposed reluctance.

Unfortunately (or rather… fortunately) French are the fanatical cultists of their language. So not getting to know in advance (pronunciation can be also useful) a few most important French words can be considered almost as “lèse majesté” and sanctioned by not particularly flattering glance.

So if you broadsword unspeakable hatred to the French language and you think that remembering words like “Bonjour Madame” or “Au revoir” is below your dignity…

Rather don’t go to Paris.

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SHOULD EVERYONE VISIT

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41 comments

  1. Hi Ulla, this was the most funny travel blog post that I did read since a long time. And a good reason for me to think about a visit of this lovely town. Maybe not for a long stay. Just to buy a souvenir. A plastic model of the Eiffel tower seems to be appropriate. Thank you!

  2. Hehehe great post 🙂 I haven’t been to Paris yet but I’ll go regardless of what anyone says. There’s charm in every city and if you travel slow and take your time to understand where you are, you’ll have a good time no matter what.

  3. This was hilarious! Especialle the Plastic Eiffel Tower for 10 €! I am not in love with Paris, but I think that it is definitely worth a visit. I think that many can be disappointed, because they had imagined something about that city before and the reality doesn’t match the expectations.
    I think you should take Paris just the way you did – relaxed, with humour and a bit of sarcasm! Love the article <3

  4. Great post, and I love the pictures! I would love to go back to Paris. When I went the first time I was a student, and it was in December (so very cold). I’d love to be able to go back and just enjoy it leisurely (and without so many sweaters on).

  5. I love this post so much! There is so much wit to your writing! I’ve always had this item of my bucket list of reading Anna and the French Kiss or Paris Letters in Champ de Mars. At least now I’m aware that I’m going to get overrun by tourists 😉

  6. Fun post to read! I have only been to Paris once but I definitely fell in love with the city. I can’t wait to go back. But I’ll definitely pass on the plastic Eiffel tower souvenir 🙂

  7. I hate areas where there are large hoards of tourists. That drives me insane. I understand the French have a stigma against tourists who don’t speak their language, but that’s strange they would be so offended. An interesting read!

  8. Someone was just telling me recently about the „Paris syndrome” and how so many tourists have such great expectations of Paris that they are totally disappointed. I thought Paris was extremely beautiful but I didn’t totally love it. I think it is worth exploring but isn’t my personal favorite.

  9. This is so timely! I’m headed to Paris next week! I honestly agree with you when I hear people saying I was so disappointed by Paris. I wonder what they were expecting? It’s a city, it will have its faults and crowds and good experiences and bad ones too! I’m happy to read your post because I feel it’s good to know someone like me liked it!

  10. I had great expectations when I went to Paris over 30 years ago. I’m guilty of being one of those people who were mildly disappointed. At the time, it seemed dirty. I think it was my teenage perspective. I’d probably like it more now as an adult.

  11. I hate travelling with expectations. I honestly believe expectations is the travellers curse. If you go somewhere with very high expectations (which is normally the case with Paris) then you’ll most likely end up being disappointed. I personally loved Paris because I went before anyone told me anything negative about it and was able to just enjoy the best parts of it. I really enjoyed your post!

    1. Thank you 🙂 Yes, I hate them also. Any city is perfect and we have to remember that 60s. has just finished long time ago … all of the stylish carriages and other decorations like this depends to the past and there is no way to bring it back. That’s what we have to accept and be ready for it… Happily I was the case that expected less than I got because I heard so many bad opinions about it… and that’s why I want to spread this way of thinking 🙂

  12. I hated Paris the first time I visited it as it wasn’t how I thought it would be – glitzy, classy and glamorous. However, when I went back for the second time and stayed longer I actually liked it. It’s probably because I no longer have the unrealistic expectation of this beautiful city. And no, I don’t have a plastic Eiffel tower yet. :p

  13. I had been to Paris in 2012 and I would say I did not like it that much. Sorry, Paris. What I liked was the price of macaroons – those things are incredibly scrumptious and you can buy an enormous piece at the price of 1-2 euros.

    I bought a metal Eiffel Tower for just 9 euros but I am adept at bargaining :)))

    I loved the view from Sacré Cœur and Montmartre. I did not enjoy the hassle in the Louvre nor the enormous crowds in Versailles. Probably the bad weather was a bummer too.

  14. Great post! I haven’t visited Paris but I think you have to experience a place for yourself and make up your own mind about it. High expectations can disappoint.

  15. Great post! Haha.
    I personally absolutely love Paris. More for the different neighbourhoods and ambiences, rather than any of the tourist sites – but agree, it’s a shame when people say that it is disappointing.

  16. You have a very good sense of humor! I must admit that I always find it confusing to read posts about people not liking Paris, though. I love it and I’ve been four times! But it is maybe easier for me because I am fluent in French and I’m from NYC so crowds don’t bother me. In my opinion, the only way to see Paris is to spend a week there and explore it neighborhood by neighborhood, but I would recommend that to anyone visiting NYC too. And in the US, we are even less tolerant of people who don’t speak English than the French are of people who don’t speak French. 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂 Yeah, I also speak fluent French now and I have a lot of friends there so I don’t have a problem. And I still admit it’s my favourite city so far 😀 But there is so any bad opinions about this place..
      And, even though I’ve never been to NYC, according to what I heard any crowd shouldn’t surprise you 😀

  17. This post was definitely different from other Paris posts I have read. I have never been to Paris, so it’s interesting to read different perspectives.

    1. Awesome 😀 Thanks for this information and opinion. I’m glad to know I created something a bit original 🙂

  18. funny post – i enjoyed reading it , i think we all romanticize places we havent been to and its great to read a post to get you down to earth. Reality bites:)

    1. Thanks and I’m so happy to know that people get the humor I tried to attach in the article 😀 And I really think that „getting down on earth” is necessary sometimes unless you can be very disappointed.

  19. It was great to see both sides of this famous city in this article, I will keep in mind avoiding certain gentleman when I visit, =)

    1. Thanks Ann 🙂 Yeah, you definitely should. I was lucky to haven’t met them yet but I’ve heard a lot of „interesting” stories …

  20. Haha, I love the way you write. I think I’d like Paris more than most cities, but I’m not a huge city girl. I can only spend a couple days in the city before wanting to escape to the mountains or countryside or smaller towns. Haha. But I’d still love to visit. Maybe I’d go for two days, then explore the rest of France for a bit, and then go back for two days more! 😉

    1. Thanks Bailey 🙂 Yeah, and I encourage you to this 🙂 In my another post about France I wrote a bit about the places I have visited outside of Paris, but I would recoend you to find a good guide and choose the places you would like to see. France is so diversified and huge !

    1. Thanks Lauren and I’m happy to hear it because that’s exactly the effect I wanted to reach 😀

  21. Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness to your submit is just nice and i could assume you are knodbewgealle in this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to grasp your feed to stay up to date with approaching post. Thanks one million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  22. I just wrote about my Paris trip too. I didn’t have time to do anything but the best of Paris, so no time to find anything to dislike about it.

  23. Would you believe in haven’t been to Paris yet, and I’m European. But you’re right lots of people in know who have, have a love/hate relationship with the city. I think my I’ll go there with my eyes wide open, understanding it’s expensive and researching what I’ll do there early as I don’t want to be disappointed.

    1. Yes I can get it 😉 Honestl I never had a particular will to go to Paris but I’m glad I didn finally because now it’s probably one of my favourite cities.

  24. Interesting approach to the post. I ended up walking around SO many of the arrondissements and really enjoyed that. I guess, I don’t really see it as the romantic city partially due to the mess of tourists at the main sites, but it’s full of amazing culture and history, which is why I want to go back to Paris. However, I’ll skip the big sites this time!

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