Paris, the city of lights, the one they say is the most romantic of all, there are so many myths surrounding it that, somehow, we all have some prejudice about it before traveling. Here I tell you what I thought was true and what was not.
Paris is an expensive city: True, and you realize this before you arrive, as well as looking into booking accommodation you realize that the prices are above the average in other European countries, the tip is to stay a bit further away from the more touristy area. Los precios de las entradas a las principales atracciones (Torre Eiffel, Arco del Triunfo, Louvre, Notre Dame, etc) no se quedan atrás pero sí se mantienen en el promedio del resto de Europa. A good way to save some money is to match your visit with the day that the entrance to the museums is free, for example the first Sunday of the month is free to enter the Musee D’Orsay and I took advantage of entering without having to pay. In the case of the Louvre is the last Sunday of the month but only in certain months of the year.
Eating is also expensive, those coffees that we usually see in movies to eat a macaroni or some traditional pastry, none come out paying less than 12 euros. How to survive? The baguette carts on the street are a very good option, you get a fairly large sandwich that you can split in 2 for about 6 to 8 euros and they are big enough to keep you going.
Supermarkets are expensive, but you will always spend less than in a restaurant and the water to drink, from the sources arranged for this purpose, is delicious, I walked around with my bottle and fill it where necessary (I am delicate stomach but the water is really pure).
Do you want to buy souvenirs? On the left side of Notre Dame Cathedral, there are several souvenir shops, but one is particularly cheap. There you will find the typical keyrings of the Eiffel Tower at the lowest price I saw on the whole trip.
French people are very rude: false, I heard this a lot before arriving, that the French were very rude, that if you do not speak in their language they do not answer you, that worse if you speak to them in English, that they have very bad will, etc. And the truth is that it did not seem to me at all.
We had to solve a problem more or less serious and urgent just as we arrived in Paris, optical glasses damaged, a screw was lost, the glass went out and a block from where we were staying, we entered an optic with terror to be treated lousy and that they will charge us dearly and nothing of that happened. The boy who attended, even when he did not understand us much, he saw the glasses, he told us to return early tomorrow, we returned and not only repaired them, but also left them impeccable and did not want to charge us, he insisted that we didnt have to pay him (same situation in Mexico and charged us quite expensive and here in Chile not to mention kindness).
Buying tickets for attractions before arriving will save you a lot of time: definitely true. When we were doing our eurotrip the time was gold and make minimum 2 hours of queue to enter a place is a waste of time. Buy your tickets early and when I say this, I do not speak of a week before, buy them with as much anticipation as you can. This will allow you to visit the places you want to meet, at the right time and even occasionally you can save some money by anticipation. For the Eiffel Tower I advise you to check at what time the sun will set while you are there, so you can go up in the day, take your photos and then see how it changes at the sunset, I promise you it will be an unforgettable show.
The Eiffel Tower It´s just junk without grace: false false false, well this is quite personal, but it is something I also heard a lot before traveling and I found it absolutely wrong. In addition to being a site with a lot of history behind, I must say that from the first moment when, walking in the streets of Paris I stumbled across it, I was stunned and it happened to me a lot of times.
Paris is a safe city: true. It seems to me It was a safe city, but for this we must consider that I know South America almost complete and that since I was a little girl I always learned to “walk carefully”, never neglect my belongings, not to walk with things of value, not give opportunity to be robbed in the first place.
I did not observe any situation that seemed to me unsafe and the precautions taken were those already mentioned. I walked through the main areas at night, suddenly through lonely streets and breathed quite quiet.
I felt a lot more insecure days later in Rome for example, where I saw several thefts, both in the subway and in the tourist areas. So in terms of safety, just take the usual precautions, you know “the occasion makes the thief.” Never confide in anyone who wants to give you something “free”, nor do you get into crowds of people and in the subway do not neglect your pockets or better still, do not have things of value in them and always have a copy of all your documents.
Paris is pure romanticism: Yes. This is probably a preconceived idea given to us by the cinema. But you will run into a bunch of newlyweds taking photos near the tower and lots of marriage proposal during your tour. Original or not, that’s another topic. Romantic I think it can be any city depending on the company, but I do believe that the Parisian atmosphere helps a lot.
I would go back to Paris several times, I think there is always a lot to visit, I recommend walking a lot, every street is a story to tell. Walking on the banks of the Seine, crossing the Bridge of the Arts, the Louvre that leaves you more and more speechless, street artists, everything is a tremendous experience for the senses.
Have you already visited Paris? Tell me about your experience!
When I visited Paris for the first time, I too discovered that most myths about this city were false. I met many polite and smiling French and I swear we have more gloomy humans in my own city!
I’ve only been to southern France, and I’d heard the same thing – that the French are rude. Utterly false!! We didn’t encounter a single rude person at all. They were all kind and helpful.
Can’t wait to visit Paris!
Great to kill some myths! I havn’t been to Paris but heard that a lot more people speak english there then in other part of France. Unfortionally I didn’t have the same luck with nice people travelling in France. A lot of times they didn’t even help us in the stores because we couldn’t speek French so good?
I agree with many of the points you made! However I do think that Paris is overrated in general. It is the most visited capital in the world but I think its just like any other city really.
Love Paris! The first time I went there I was 18 and I was one of those that was proposed to on top of the Effiel Tower! I didn’t marry him!
Great tips for visiting such a famous city! I love Paris and haven’t been for a few years, and am yet to visit the museums, so I’ll definitely be taking note of the free admission days!
I loved the Eiffel tour too, and I didn’t meet anyone rude. They say the English are rude too and that’s not true either :p