5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Visit Paris


As an American who has been living and traveling all over France for the past five, six months, I thought that I would dedicate a *cheeky* little post to the reasons why you, a promising traveler who might be considering a visit to Paris, aka the “City of Love,” should not go there.

…and with that said, allons-y!

Five Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Visit Paris

1. The city smells like piss. I’m not joking. From the metro stations to le Pont Neuf along the Seine, the smell of the place is not a pleasant one. How would I describe it? Hm…I would say that it’s a mixture of car exhaust, body odor, and urine. Absolutely lovely.

2. Parisians suck. Okay, not all of the locals are terrible (in fact, I have met some really nice ones when in town), but I will say that you’re bound to experience at least one, unpleasant person who is unafraid to show his/her dislike for you as a tourist. The second time that I was in Paris, I encountered some very rude people (in fact, they were security guards at one of the metro stops to the Eiffel Tower) who were totally being assholes to my family, who don’t speak French (and the security guards’ English was horrible as well, so you can imagine the communication barrier). While I can understand that the Parisians are fed up with so many tourists coming into their city every year, I cannot understand why they gotta be so damn mean (I don’t expect them to cater to us tourist, but a bit of politeness wouldn’t hurt)!

3. There are so many better places to visit in France than Paris. Really, Paris is not France. Unfortunately, many people who wish to visit France tend to visit Paris, and only Paris. Even worse, they think that it’s representative of the entire country, which is not true. I have visited other French cities, and I have found them more fun than Paris, actually. From the wine-country of Bordeaux to the Alsatian town of Strasbourg, there are so many other places that one can go to fully experience France.

4. The Eiffel Tower is over-rated. Seriously, it is an over-hyped (not to forget a rather unattractive) phallic piece of metal; after having been up it twice, I really don’t see why people find it so appealing. For those of you who still would like to visit the monument, however, I would say that taking a photo of it from the outside is good enough: you get the full shot, and it’s free. Paying to go up the tower (15 euros and two hours in queue later) is not worth it, as most of the shots you get from the tower are obstructed by the cage-liked bars, anyway. Save your money and time for other things, like the pastries or something (I’m not going to lie, but Paris has some amazing pastry shops). 😛


5. The weather is terrible. Since Paris is located in the north of France, you’re bound to get some shitty weather, both in summer and winter. When I studied in Paris over the summer during my third year of college, it rained a ton. And often came without warning; one minute it’s hot and sunny, the other it is pouring. Summers also are quite humid, and so it might not feel very pleasant to stroll along les Champs-Élysées during the daytime. Winters aren’t ideal, either, as it gets extremely cold– windy and rainy– with constant grey clouds in the sky- no sunlight. Save your sanity for other places!

All right, that’s about it for me! While I have been basically complaining about Paris, I can also say that it’s not the worst place in the world. Yes, there are many things that put me off about the city, but there are also great things about it: the architectural beauty of the gardens and streets, which date back from the 18th and 19th centuries, the different and inspiring art museums (some free for students!), and the amount of pastry shops and restaurants that aren’t actual tourist traps, if you look and research carefully!

That said, I would say that, for those who have never been, Paris is a place that should be worth checking out in one’s lifetime, but shouldn’t be what one thinks about when they think of France. I would also encourage people to explore other areas of the country as well, in order to have a wholesome representation of what it has to offer to travelers.

Bonne chance, et au revoir!

— The Finicky Cynic

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15 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Visit Paris

  1. Pingback: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Visit Paris | Just an Opinion

  2. I think a lot of these apply to other big cities as well. I have yet to find a really big city that actually smells pleasant 🙂 and in regard to #3, I definitely understand. It very much irks me when people think NYC is the epitome of New York State, when there is in fact miles upon miles of forests and mountains (like the gorgeous Adirondacks, Catskills, Finger Lakes, etc.) in the northern part of the state. The only thing I don’t agree with is the Eiffel Tower, I think it is rather quirky and interesting to look at. Also both times I went to the top I waited less than 15 minutes, perhaps that is dependent on the season or time of day?

    1. Yes, I definitely agree with you! Interesting thoughts on the Eiffel Tower, though: for those who choose to take the elevator up, the minimum time in queue is forty-five minutes, from what I’ve seen. I have chosen to take the stairs, and that was a fifteen-minute wait. So maybe it also depends on which way you choose to go up the tower? Nice idea, though!

  3. I giggled reading this, I live in France, but have never been to Paris, I think it isn’t really something i’m interested in as if I wanted to go, all I have to do is hop on a train.. But there is definitely lots of beautiful places is France other than Paris. xx

  4. Pingback: An American in Paris! (Part 6) – The Finicky Cynic

  5. As an ex-Manhattanite who misses her beloved home city very much, I have to admit. Paris is my number two favorite city on earth. The scent of piss in the NYC subway system isn’t all that bad. It’s better than the breath of a man who’s been drinking booze all night–and it’s a better scent than dog shit. Actually, in the 10+ years of traveling to Paris, I haven’t smelled piss at all–but I think that’s because my better half, a born Parisian, refuses to ride the Metro so we either walk or drive everywhere. 2. WTF? Parisians don’t suck. Again–bringing this back to my NYC life, tourists suck. They don’t compromise on language, they expect everyone will speak in their native tongue. If anyone just learns a few phrases, they will get by wonderfully in Paris and throughout the country. Learn to curse in the French language and you will be welcomed enthusiastically. Better yet, complain and you will make friends for life. I bitch and complain so much that my Frenchman insists I am more French than he is. 3. I think it is personal preference as to what people like. Being a city person, I am very much at home in Paris. My better half, having spent summers in St. Tropez–well, he likes the Cote d’ Azur much more. 4. Bingo! No need to “visit” the Eiffel tower when it can be seen from all over the city. I got to see it in better half’s family’s apartment every day and night. PS. The Louvre is way overrated as well. There are tons of museums throughout Paris and France. See them. You are welcome. 5. The weather isn’t all that bad. Have you ever lived in the Northeastern USA? The weather sucks bigtime. Cold damp and dark winters. Rainy springs. Hot and humid summers. Fall isn’t even fall anymore because it’s a summer leftover. I would rather be in Paris in the rain then in the shit hole known as Philadelphia. BTW. Off to read your other posts about France! Nice job!

    1. Hey, nice to read your thoughts on Paris! Yes, I do agree that 1. the city doesn’t smell that bad- being a city girl myself, though, I still can’t stand car exhaust and cigarette smoke. 2. I would have to disagree with you here: I speak French, and even when I speak French to the Parisians, a good amount of them are still not very nice; I attribute it to the fact that it’s just a touristy city, and that Parisians are sick of tourists, in general. 3. I am currently living in Normandy, and find it a lovely place- more nature and coastline which for me, being a born-and-bred Californian, is great (beaches galore!). 4. Yup, one can simply pass by the Eiffel Tower and be content. 5. Again, being born and raised in California, unfortunately I have been spoiled by good weather- that’s why I complain about other types of weather (then again, complaining is very French)! 😉 Thanks for your input!

  6. mylifestorymyway

    I agree with #4 – Eiffel is overrated. I’ve been to Paris once…saw Eiffel from outside and saved 15 Euros by not going on top 😀 But now I think I missed it and it might be worth visiting the top of Eiffel at least once in your lifetime. And yeah, I liked the people there – I don’t know any French word except Bonjour, so people at restaurants, tourists spots were good to me 🙂 #5 – Weather one is a sort of personal choice. in my entire trip it was raining(even light snow one day) and my boots were not ready for that rainy weather so that was little bad, but I personally like cold weather because I live in a hot & humid place(India) so Paris was wonderful for me.
    Yes, I definitely agree Paris is just like any other Metropolitan city with loads of tourist spots, but there are other cities one must visit and I think it’s true for any country(should explore less hyped places as well).

    1. True, the Eiffel Tower is seriously overrated. Personally, I’ve been up it twice, and it really isn’t worth the long lines and money; much of the views are obscured by wires so you can’t really get a good photo in anyway.

      Paris is very touristy and whatnot, but despite it all, it is definitely worth visiting at least once in your lifetime.

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