10 things not to do in Paris

paris

Paris‘s the charming city par excellence: glamorous boutiques, inviting cafés and brasseries, world-famous museums and monuments, breath-taking views, mysterious churches and an artists’ cemetery. Beautiful, fashionable, proud, and inspiring at every corner. Paris is the city that every fashion victim dreams of. The city where anybody would like to hear a love declaration or a wedding proposal. The city where’s a meeting after midnight could be not a meeting. But ‘the’ meeting. Personally, I find truly irresistible that unique mix of Gothic, glitters, wind, romance, history, art, rudeness, modern and old. But as poetry to be truly enjoyed and saved needs good care, if you visit Paris, no matter if the first, second, third time, you’ll need the same manner, consciousness and respect as in front of a ‘majestic first lady’.

For this reason, I though about sharing with you some tips about the top 10 things not to do in Paris. If you follow them, it will keep shining for what it really is. La ville lumière.

#Book a hotel –  Ok beauty queens, I perfectly understand you don’t want to chip your best manicure while washing a dirty dish. – Horror! But the best way to explore a place is not behind a fence, right? So why wasting your budget into a super-expensive, sincerely overpriced 5 star hotel? Thanks to Airbnb, you can now book amazing flats, where you can breathe the bohemian, chic, romantic atmosphere all the same, without being completely aside for the real city. If you don’t know Airbnb, have you been leaving on Mars for the past three years, right?

Metro

#Get around town by taxi –  Paris is not New York.  – Exhaling – So you can’t expect to call a taxi from the street, or to pay a ride just a few euros. By the way, to catch a taxi you need to call and book it an advance or find a taxi stand. The traffic is quite crowded and the city is all, all, all covered by metro. The metro stops have also beautiful and inspiring names and sometimes stylish design. Like in the picture above. And unless you have a date with Monsieur Le President in person, you can wear comfy shoes and walk. Yes, walk. You’ll stay fit and toned, thanks to a lot of steps up and down. You’ll save yourself stress, time, money.

Lafayette

#Shop at Galeries Lafayette or in the Champs Elysée – We’re all shopping lovers, I know, but unless you need a souvenir from the Galeries Lafayette, there’s actually no good reason to shop there. You’ll avoid feeling like The Little Match girl, among women (mostly Arabian and Asian) shopping n°10 Louis Vuitton’s handbags at a time and a Tiffany’s engagement ring with yellow diamonds + a Bulgari necklace and why not a beautiful present for each of the sisters (4 minimum). Beauty products are overpriced, it’s not the smartest option in the world to buy a Canadian, or Australian brand in France, since they pay taxes, transport and mark ups and without teaching you Economics, you won’t find there your French Holy Grails. The same is in the Champs Elysée. Always nice to see, but remember, they’re very much consumer and full of mainstream brands you can find as well in your home city. More or less. A few exceptions, here, as usually in life.

Louvre

#Get the worst out of the Louvre – The Louvre is immense. Believe me, immense. And it’s also one of the most visited museums in the world. Can you imagine how long the queue at the entrance can be? And the horde in front of Mona Lisa, Love & Psyche, The crowning of Napoleon, the Venus de Milo? So, let’s start with the basics. There’s an entrance you can use from the Carousel du Louvre, exactly below the museum, instead of the main entrance from outside. Buy your tickets at the self-service machines. Study the plan and make a selection of what you want to see. Don’t miss the Richelieu side of the magnificent building as it is amazing.

eiffel

#Loose time at the Tour Eiffel –  Do we really need one more picture of the Tour Eiffel? Or even worse, from the Tour Eiffel? There are many others places with a view in Paris, from the Sacre Coeur to the Pompidou museum, just to mention the most famous ones. It’s only a metal tower and Paris has much more to offer. Enjoy beauty, not common stereotypes!

montmartre

#Buy paintings at Montmartre – An other stereotype: painters at Place du Tertre in the Montmartre districts are not nowadays bohemians. You’ll be surprised to know that they’re not necessarily French, not bohemians at all and that they’re even only professional sellers. If you’re looking for art in Paris, try to have a look at the galleries and the small shops in the district of Marais, or around Saint-Germain des Prés, as well as far from the Sacre Coeur and the famous square. But visit the church. It’s really beautiful!

baguette

#Miss a true baguette – Baguettes instead are not fiction. Parisian people eat them for real. They’re baked fresh and sold un-packaged. Yes. Unpackaged. So don’t buy one thinking they’ll store it into a nice paper bag or something. Parisians carry bread under the armpits. Disgusting? Mhm…well not the top of hygiene, to be honest. But those with cereals, which they call “aux grains” are truly Heaven. Remember, they may cause severe addiction.

#Waste money on macarons – Yes, I sad it. I can’t stand macarons anymore. As well as I can’t suffer cupcakes, but this is because I’m Italian and among the many desserts you can bake or take pictures of it seems like anyone knows only macarons and cupcakes. Oh dear! I’m sorry, but there’s a whole world of chic, delicious, hand-made French pastry and in Paris the offer of boulangeries and patisseries is so wide, that it would be a pity to limit only to those chemical fake-colored tacky bloody hell expensive sweets. And the good news is that in France desserts are sold into luxury boxes and refined down to the very last detail. Don’t be lazy!

#Assume all French men are ‘charmant’ – I’m sorry not to have pictures to illustrate this concept, but French men are not all born gentlemen. Nor been educated to be. It may happen that one of them will push you at the metro stop, or won’t open you the door, nor let you pass in a small alley or give a discount at a bar only because you’re a woman and he’s a French man. This having said, you’ll may meet the one who offers you a glass of champagne at the Four Season terrace or kiss the hand or buy his bottle of fragrance, so that you can smell his scent all the time on you. 

dreaming

#Speak English –  Are you daydreaming now? Sorry to interrupt, but if you learn some French before landing to Paris it could be a wonderful idea. Locals will appreciate, be more polite, things will take their right place and most of all, you’ll feel more free, more at ease, more smart. Languages open your horizons. ça va sans dire.

About Alessia

Communication consultant, PR, beauty and food blogger, marathon runner, not in this order
This entry was posted in Lifestyle, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 10 things not to do in Paris

  1. I don’t have any plans to visit, but this is a great post 🙂

  2. avibrantday says:

    Excellent, excellent post! I’m glad to know I’m doing some things right. :o) Our apartment was on a quiet street not too far from the Pompidou. It was perfect. We were able to pick up delicious ingredients at shops along the way home each day and make delightfully delicious dinners at home. Augh! I miss Paris! Thanks for this fun post and for showing us these fun photos. You look gorgeous in them.

    • Alessia says:

      Hi Jacqueline, thanks for your visit! I’m really glad you liked the post. The intention was to share some clues on how not to loose the magic of a city that is so wonderful. It seems like we have similar approaches also to traveling…I enjoyed my little flat as well as it gave me much more freedom and privacy than a hotel room. I’m looking forward to the next time in Paris. Maybe next year! Who knows? 🙂

  3. Haha! It was about time someone put those macaroons in their place! And yes, the smallest things make Paris amazing not the stereotypical things and places everyone does or goes to. Same for London, Milan, Wien, Prague, Budapest… 🙂 xx

    • Alessia says:

      Hello Lady! It’s very easy – when you approach very famous places – to get lost into common places. But nowadays thanks to the fact lots of people are sharing a few useful tips from their trips, things are getting easier and easier…I’m sharing soon a few beauty and make up suggestions from Paris, apart from the ‘touristic side’, which I hope you’ll like. So let’s keep in touch! 🙂

  4. Alessia says:

    Sure! Hands and toes 🙂

  5. emma york says:

    Lovely post and very nice pictures. Paris is really beautiful and I perfectly agree with what you wrote. I’m new on your blog but I already love it 😉
    A big kiss

  6. Not anytime super soon but I plan to visit Paris and I am super glad I read your post …! I wish I knew similar “travel secrets” about London.. We learnt everything ourselves and the locals were the worst!!! They didn’t even help or guide us … Thank god for some family friends who gave the advice we needed. But yes, it’s always a great idea to share the experience and to learn from it !! The pictures look amazing !!

    • Alessia says:

      Hi! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and in case you may need further suggestions, feel free to ask, I’ll be very happy to help. It’s so sorry not to enjoy a place, because of the locals…and sometimes the challenging trips are those towards the most known places, such as the big capitals. I’ll try to share my recommendations on other places I’ve seen, so that maybe somebody else will be able not to repeat my errors and/or get the best out of them. I love this ‘helpful’ side of blogging…
      cheers!

      • Dear Alessia, the London trip was fun minus the unfriendly locals .. I agree that the “major tourist spots” don’t have very friendly locals .. But I would love to know your suggestions about the places to visit and learn from your experiences …!!

  7. Pingback: Chic Paris buys |

  8. janandjot says:

    I don’t have any near future plans to go to Paris after I went last year, but this is such a fun post to read and remember my fun time there (there is so much of the world I need to see but hope to return to Paris again one day). Thanks for bringing me down memory lane and love all the cute and fun pictures you posted 🙂 Janet

    • Alessia says:

      Hello Janet, and welcome on my blog. I’m glad you liked the post, you know I wanted to help people not to fall into the stereotyped image of the city, rather than keep saying how poetic a picture of the Tour Eiffel can be at dawn, and the usual bla bla bla. 🙂

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