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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