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What You Should Never Do in Paris

Posted by Nicole West on 05/02/2016

Paris deserves its reputation as one of the most seductive travel destinations in the world. The lights, the food, the fashion and the architecture are only a few of the delights that await romantics and history lovers. On the flip side of the coin, like many popular holiday spots, it’s easy to be cajoled into disappointing circumstances, for a number of reasons.

Here’s a look at what you should never do in Paris.

You Should Never Wear Your Tracksuit Pants Out

We’re all about doing, being and wearing exactly what you want when you’re on holidays. However, one of the reasons we all love Paris, is the atmosphere created by all the fabulously dressed locals. This doesn’t mean you need to look like a fashion model, but it does mean somewhat dressing for what you’re doing – in that, for many Parisian’s,  tracksuits and joggers belong on hiking trials and flip-flops belong at the beach, rather than in Michelin-starred restaurants.

You Should Never Just Go to the Louvre

What You Should Never Do in Paris

Visiting the Louvre is on many a bucket list; and for good reason. The gorgeous museum houses famous artwork, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa. But it’s also a tourist trap of queues and crowds, which isn’t always appealing. Branch out for your art fix to other museums, including the impossibly romantic Rodin Museum in the west corner of the Tuileries Garden and The Orangerie Museum, to see Monet’s water lily murals.

You Should Never Forget to Walk Instead of Ride

A big mistake tourists often make in new cities, is to always catch taxis or private transport, instead of exploring first on foot. Given the traffic jams, Paris is much better traversed with your own two legs. There’s nothing more romantic than strolling cobbled alleys, finding curious buildings around every corner and stumbling across local delights you’d never see from a car window.

You Should Never Just Shop on the Champs-Elysees

What You Should Never Do in Paris

The Champs-Elysees is iconic and glamorous, but it’s not where the fashionable locals go to shop. Plus, you’ll find yourself caught in a throng of eager shoppers, for stores you can find in nearly any major city in the world (not to mention overpaying for everything). If you’re lucky enough to know a local, ask where the latest boutiques are or keep your eyes peeled for quirky, unique stores on your ‘strolls’ around town and in neighbourhoods like Marais.

You Should Never Stay on the Outskirts

Stunning, leafy suburban districts surround Paris, however if you’re taking a weekend or short break to the city, this isn’t where you want to stay. Much like any big city, you’ll spend too much time on travelling into the action and not enough time exploring it. Yes, accommodation can be expensive, but you may just save the extra on travel expenses, by being able to walk to most places. Check out last minute package deals and apartment rentals, as relatively inexpensive options.

You Should Never Queue for a Whole Day at the Eiffel Tower

What You Should Never Do in Paris

Love it or hate it, the Eiffel Tower symbolises Paris for many tourists, so it’s a ‘must see’ tourist attraction. The thing is, the fascinating structure is much better viewed from a distance at a variety of angles and times, as you’re exploring the city. If you really want to go to the top, keep in mind that the queues to get up and back down, may not be worth the time unless you really, really want to do it.

You Should Never Expect Authenticity in Tourist Areas

If you’re looking for starry-eyed painters, poets, bohemian artists and shabby-chic cafes, you’re not going to find them in the tourist areas. You will, however, see a lot of performers and tourist gimmicks. That’s also part of the fun, but you may find a more authentic vibe around areas such as trendy Canal Saint-Martin.

You Should Never Presume All French Waiters Are Rude

What You Should Never Do in Paris

Every country has a different service culture and if yours is particularly friendly, other countries may disappoint. Despite the reputation for ‘rudeness’, it never pays to presume that’s what you’re going to receive. In fact, it’s highly unlikely, especially if you learn a smattering of French, to make an effort. Bon Appètit!

Featured image: (c) istock/thinkstock