I Finally Figured Out Why I Didn’t Love Paris

It’s been over a year since I went to the City of Lights, but apart from a blog post about what to pack if you’re visiting Paris in February, I’ve hardly written about my trip there at all. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, I just didn’t feel like I could.

It felt, strangely, like everything I wanted to say about Paris was on the tip of my tongue. So close to being able to verbalise all of my feelings, but never quite close enough.

Until recently, when I finally figured out why I didn’t love Paris as much as I thought I would. Why exploring this city adored by so many just didn’t capture my heart as much as it perhaps ought to have done.

Blue shop in Montmartre

The journey to Paris was exciting. The last time I’d set foot in France it was to visit Disneyland with a friend and her family. We were 14 and, since we would only be spending one day in the centre of Paris (a day which was mostly filled with visiting the Eiffel Tower) her parents were driving us there instead of taking the Eurostar.

This time, though, the novelty of visiting another city via a train that travels under the sea, without having to hire a car, check in my luggage, or arrive 3 hours beforehand was not lost on me.

Because I was living in London at the time, I already had Citymapper downloaded onto my phone, so I switched cities on the app as soon as I arrived at Gare du Nord, feeling pleased with myself that I was able to figure out the Metro so easily.

At my hotel, the Color Design hotel in the 12th arrondissement, my room was clean, the staff were friendly, there was a cute little deli across the street, and some bars a short walk away where I’d be meeting a friend later that evening. Paris seemed full of possibilities, but as I stepped out into the chilly February air and began exploring, my excitement waned.

parisian architecture

Day 1 in Paris

It wasn’t getting around that was difficult. Walking is one of my favourite ways to explore a new city, and Paris is easy to get around on foot. And, when your feet are tired (or the heavens open) you can hop on the Metro which isn’t expensive at all.

And it wasn’t the tourist attractions that left me cold. I’d already been up the Eiffel Tower 16 years beforehand, but I went to see it anyway, taking the long way round and having my breath literally taken away as I turned a corner and saw the tower looming out from behind the pretty buildings I’d just been admiring.

I would have loved to have stood and admired the Eiffel Tower too, but souvenir touts and students with questionnaires and clipboards wouldn’t leave me alone. I put my camera away, held my bag a little tighter, and continued walking.

cafe scene paris

The Arc de Triomphe was busy when I visited, but I loved the view from the top more than I’d loved the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower all those years ago. This view was better because you could actually see the tower itself, and seeing the busy Parisian streets stretching out into the distance was beautiful.

I had no interest in actually going inside the Louvre (and, besides, the queue was too long) but I went to see the outside of it anyway, although I liked the gothic architecture of Notre Dame better. Walking along the Seine, though, the clouds low in the sky, I realised that Paris wasn’t charming my socks off like I thought it would.

paris streets

I swung by Shakespeare’s book shop, took photos of pretty little shops and restaurants, got lost on purpose, as I always do when I travel, but there was something about Paris that made me feel daunted and unwelcome.

I felt out of my depth. Intimidated.

Why I didn’t love Paris

I realise how ridiculous that sounds. How could I have felt out of my depth in a city so close, so similar to London, where I’d lived for almost 3 years?

How could I have jumped backwards down underground waterfalls, travelled alone, moved to the other side of world aged 24 with no job, no idea what Australia would be like, and gotten robbed in London, but feel out of my depth and intimidated in PARIS?

Honestly, I’m just as baffled as the next person.

But that’s how I felt. Or, rather, that’s how I feel now. Because it took me a while to figure out.

girl walking in montmartre

Looking back, though, what sticks out the most was the language barrier. I knew a little French from school and tried to use it as much as I could but my efforts weren’t received favourably.

At times, it felt as though I wasn’t wanted at all. I’d dressed to fit in (which, to be fair, wasn’t at all different to how I dressed in London) but as soon as I opened my mouth my accent gave everything away.

Maybe it was the weather? Maybe I was just sick of the wind blowing my fringe in my face?

On my second day, though. A day when the sun shone and I felt sure I could learn to love Paris as much as everyone said I would, it all got a lot worse.

But first: cocktails.

I’d arranged to meet up with my friend Edna, who was living in Paris at the time, on my first night. And after a long day of sightseeing I was definitely ready for a few drinks and a catch-up. We met at Le Red House, a cocktail bar in the Bastille neighbourhood a short walk from my hotel before moving on to another close by. Edna and I hadn’t seen each other since her trip to London 3 months before so we sat at the bar and gossiped the night away, only stopping to order more drinks or talk to regulars like her who would come and say hello.

And when we parted ways in the early hours, I felt full of love for Paris, and couldn’t wait to explore more of it the next day.

Paris, Day 2

Feeling weirdly hangover-free, my second day in Paris was to be spent in Montmartre before catching my train back to London in the evening. If I was excited to visit the inner-arrondissements of Paris, I was even more excited to explore Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement, home to the Sacré-Cœur church, the Moulin Rouge, and some of the cutest streets in the city.

yellow building paris

sacred heart of paris

I’d taken the funicular to Sacré-Cœur church, gone to have a look inside, and stood at the top of the hill admiring the views over Paris. All those feelings from the day before; that coldness for Paris, those feelings of being out of my depth, were gone. The sun was so warm on that day that I took off my scarf, fished my sunglasses out of my bag. I could have stayed in that spot forever, but I knew there was more of Montmartre I wanted to see.

I decided to walk through Square Louise Michel, a leafy square with 222 steps up to the church, to get back down the hill.

It was when I got to the bottom that he grabbed my wrist.

I pulled away, quickly. Shocked.

He grabbed again, trying to slip a bracelet over my hand and failing. My fist was clenched

“Get off me,” I said, his fingers around my wrist again.

“Try it on beautiful”, he answered, his English heavy with a French accent, “it’ll look pretty.”

I knew the drill. He’d make me wear it, then demand I pay for it.

Shaking him off, I slipped both hands in my coat pockets to make sure my phone and cards were still there, but he grabbed my arm instead.

Two more men approached, similar bracelets hanging from large rings on their belts.

I looked around. Saw the other tourists taking photos in the sun, the children riding on the colourful carousel, the dad handing his daughter an ice-cream. But no-one came to intervene. I was just the silly British girl making a fuss.

I kept saying no. Kept repeating this word over and over, until I was able to pull my arm away, using my other hand to push him as I did.

“You do NOT get to touch me” I yelled, pointing my finger and storming off.

They laughed as I walked away, past the other tourists, past the carousel. But it wasn’t funny to me.

I was shaking but I kept walking until I found a familiar sign: Pret. It’s not the kind of cafe you go to when you’re in Paris, not when there are hundreds of other little coffee shops you could go to for an authentic French pastry and a coffee. I didn’t care. Something about those familiar maroon-coloured seats and sturdy wooden tables felt safe and welcoming.

I knew he wasn’t going to hurt me, but no-one deserves to be manhandled on the street. No-one deserves to be grabbed by the wrist or the arm, to be treated like an object rather than a person.

side street in montmartre

I sat for half an hour maybe. I can’t remember. But I sat until my hands stopped shaking and then, sunglasses on, went to see the rest of Montmartre.

I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the cobbled streets, the historic buildings, the pastel-coloured boutiques, and smart restaurants. Sure, not all of Montmartre was made for Instagram; I ducked past the garish shops overflowing with t-shirts and cheap souvenirs and when I found myself on streets that smelled worse than a nightclub toilet at 3am I quickly moved on.

Exploring somewhere new with my camera in my hand is what makes me happiest, and for the most part Montmartre had lived up to my expectations.

Leaving Paris

I hardly ever look forward to going home after a trip, but later, as I walked along Bethnal Green Road and let myself into my flat, I realised I was glad to be back in London.

More than a year later, and now living in Leeds, having left London in June 2016, I reflected on why I didn’t love Paris.

montmartre paris

I knew there was always going to be pressure to fall head over heels for it, but I’m pretty good at keeping my expectations in check. Especially living in London, where sometimes you’ll find yourself on a dirty, smelly street and hate the city with all your being. And other times you’ll find yourself drinking by the canal on a sunny day or wandering around a beautiful market and you’ll wonder if you could ever love a city more. I know how to take the rough with the smooth.

And despite not having the best time in Paris, I’d definitely give it another chance and go again. Looking back through my photos for this post, I wondered if maybe it was just my mindset at the time that made the city feel intimidating, because parts of Paris are so pretty. I look for architecture when I travel. Architecture and shopfronts and the chance to capture people naturally as they go about their day. I got all of those things.

Maybe I just need to spend some more time there, or go with a group of friends, or visit in spring or summer instead.

Maybe Paris just didn’t fill my heart with joy in the way that Sydney and Amsterdam did. And that’s OK.


Why I Didn't Love Paris

Beverley x


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  1. says

    I’m sorry you got accosted on the street, Beverley :( I absolutely love Paris, but I’ve definitely had the same problems with the language barrier. I’d read that if you make an effort to speak French, people will be more receptive to you… well, my efforts to smile and speak my school-girl French were very strongly rebuffed! Paris is definitely not the friendliest place I’ve been, but it’s still one of my favourite cities. (Oh, and your description of London, taking the rough with the smooth? That’s a good way to approach NYC too haha!)
    Katie MacLeod recently posted..Visiting Dunnet Bay Distillery: Spirits and Stories from the Far North of ScotlandMy Profile

    • says

      The same thing happened to me, Katie! I always try and speak some of the local language when I travel, but my efforts were definitely better received in Portu than in Paris. Like you say, it’s not the friendliest of places and getting accosted in the street was just the icing on the cake really. I can see why some people love it, and I’m not ruling out another visit in the future. Who knows, maybe my second time there will be totally different! :)

  2. says

    Having lived in Paris, I completely get what you mean. I love it as a city, but at times it made me feel completely vulnerable and unsafe. It is one of the most visited cities in the world, and because of that people do prey on tourists which is very sad, and as a woman alone I often felt unsure, and sometimes ended up staying home to avoid feeling unsafe. I have never been hassled more (including by the same bracelet people on the steps, they are famous and not in a good way). I look back now and wonder how I came out of my year there unscathed, but I did, and I’m stronger for it. But do you know what, some areas are better than others, montmartre is well known for not being the best, whereas places like the marais and near the hotel de ville are much more secure, so once I had learned where my fave places were I fell back in love with it when I visited again after moving away.
    Paris will always hold a special place in my heart, but when I moved down to the South of France, the day I arrived and someone offered to help me on the tram from the airport, I realised the friendliness I am used to in the North of England just wasn’t there in Paris – Parisians can be cruel and unwelcoming. So I would say two things – 1. try Paris again, maybe at a different time of year and maybe with others. Try different areas as well. 2. Try other areas of France – I lived in Montpellier and it is so friendly and beautiful and lovely, plus near the seaside. Oh and finally, remember you have other places that hold a special place in your heart that aren’t Paris, and that’s ok too! xx

    • says

      Thank you for the advice, India. I’m sorry you had a similar experience at the steps in Montmartre, but it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only person who felt vulnerable in Paris. I think you’re right; if I go again I’ll go with a bunch of friends, maybe in spring or summer for a different vibe. That said, I’m totally fine with not liking it too – like you say, there are so many other places that hold a special place in my heart :) x

  3. says

    Having been raised in a Francophile family (My mum has French roots) my first trip to Paris was full of expectations. Most of my trip exceeded them and I’ m sorry you had a bad trip. I know exactly what you mean about the jewellery accosters by Sacre Coeur, I found yelling “Non!” in their faces is quite effective.
    I think different places have different impacts depending on the person and what you hope to get out of the trip. Hopefully if you go again it will be different. The less touristy areas can be very charming.

    • says

      I totally should have yelled “Non!” instead of “No!”, but at the time all I could think about was getting away and getting his hands off me haha :) Different places definitely have different impacts depending on the person and places that one person falls completely in love with often leave others feeling underwhelmed. I guess that’s the beauty of travel; it’s a different experience for everyone :)

  4. says

    I completely get what you mean. Those bracelet sellers are the absolute worst. I’m sorry they manhandled you. Something similar happened to me when I visited Paris for the first time. I was a naive 10 year old who didn’t realize what those men were doing and already had a bracelet around my arm before I could protest. I think I was lucky to be there with my family as my dad handled the ordeal by giving them a couple of euros and they went away. I remember it still feeling wrong though and actually, now that I think about it, it makes me so angry that they just force themselves on tourists that badly. I actually think so many people will have bad memories of touristic cities because of those types of sellers. I remember something similar in Rome too. Luckily I have been back a couple of times to Paris and now I like it way more then I did then. I think you just need to get accustomed to it or something. It’s definitely not my favourite city in the world though. The vibe is just different I guess. I loved reading about your feelings, Beverly: it’s good to not only hear perfect travel stories.

    • says

      Eline, I love that you went back and liked it more on your other visits. That makes me feel as though, if I did go back to Paris, I’d have a different experience! I’m so glad you liked this post, too. Like you said, it’s good to hear travel stories that aren’t always perfect :)

  5. says

    I think mindset has a lot to do with our feelings for a destination. It certainly didn’t help that you were accosted by someone trying to scam you out of your money. But Paris…..it has never been one of my favorite cities. In fact, I’d be fine never visiting again. (Although I did love the food tour I took there a couple years ago…even though I generally don’t like French food.) It is a beautiful city, and I understand the appeal, but after several visits, I know it’s not for me. If you do decide to give the city another chance at some point, I hope you have a much better experience!
    Ali recently posted..How Much Money I Make Online: Income Report March 2017My Profile

    • says

      It’s definitely a beautiful city, and there were parts of it that I really liked. Looking back at my photos for this post I realised that I did see some lovely parts of Paris but, as you say, I don’t think it’s ever going to be one of my favourite cities :)

  6. says

    I definitely had a different experience than you in Paris, but ended up not loving the city all the same. I am sorry you went through what you went through there… I had some issues happen in Central Asia and the thought of going back there gives me chills in the worst of ways… so I definitely understand. I’ve been to Paris six times (maybe more… I can’t even remember) and have yet to connect with the city. We aren’t meant to love everywhere :) That’s for dang sure.
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    • says

      i’m so sorry you had a bad experience in Central Asia, Megan. It breaks my heart that so many of the female travellers I speak to in person and online have been accosted in the street or worse :( I think you’re right, though, we’re definitely not meant to love everywhere :)

  7. says

    Ughh a similar thing happened to me with the “stringers” at Sacre-Coeur the first time I was in Paris in 2010. I’m so sorry it happened to you. :( Definitely scary!

    Kris and I visited last summer. I was so excited to be there again since I absolutely adored my first trip to Paris, I was excited to show Kris what I loved so much about the city. Instead, we were both left with a sour taste in our mouth. I feel the city has changed so much in the last 6 years. Maybe the first time I was there, I was high on the fact that it was my first international solo trip and had rose coloured glasses on. Or maybe it was because we made a rookie mistake by visiting in high season. Maybe it’s my Western/ white privilege talking, but I can’t deny that the fact that seeing families of Syrian refugees sleeping on dirty mattresses on busy street corners kind of dampens the “city of love” mood for me. The overpowering smell of piss and shit in the metro was enough to offend someone who’s lost the ability to smell. It was hot, overcrowded, dirty – all the things I so adamantly protested to people for years that it wasn’t. I’d like to give it another chance… perhaps in late fall or the winter season… but for now we have many more places we’d prefer to see rather than returning.
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    • says

      Ugh, Melly it was horrible! I wouldn’t wish it anyone. But I think myself lucky; it could have been dark, the street could have been empty, they could have taken something from me, but they didn’t. I know they were just trying to make some money, but there’s no need to be so aggressive right?

      I totally agree; there’s many more places I’d prefer to go to before I go back to Paris again! That said, I’m not against going back. Maybe I’d have a different experience next time :)

  8. says

    Controversial? Maybe. But I felt and feel the same way about Paris. I didn’t love it. Didn’t adore it. Didn’t feel moved by it. I liked a lot of things – the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, the Seine – but we had the same experience at Montmartre. It left SUCH a sour taste in my mouth. Being chased up a flight of stairs at 10 weeks pregnant because some a$$hat is trying to shove a bracelet on my arm and force me to pay is infuriating, degrading, and nauseating.

    There were enjoyable things about the trip, but I do wonder if a return trip could improve my impression of the city.
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  9. says

    The last time I visited Paris (years ago) I could not get my mom to say Bonjour as soon as she stepped into a shop, which would result in us being ignored until I could catch their eye and say Bonjour. That was about the extent of my French but they weren’t very friendly to a child obviously trying to learn French. I’m hoping to go back this summer though, still with minimal French knowledge. At least this article makes me feel better about not brushing up on my French before summer…

  10. says

    Wow, I am sorry that happened to you. I always felt far, far safer in Paris than in London or Brussels or Berlin or Rome. I walked from the southern left bank to Montmartre alone at 4 a.m. (it was pre-Uber and there were no cabs), and though many cars stopped to offer me rides, I declined and they left it at that. Never the least hassle. But I do speak French fluently.
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  11. says

    I’m glad there’s someone else out there that doesn’t love Paris. I almost feel like it’s a bit taboo to say that I don’t like the city since everyone else and their mother RAVES about it.Maybe I needed to give it more time but, when I visited, I just sensed a vibe that didn’t quite sit right with me. I’m sure I’ll go back one day and discover a little bit of love for the French capital but I’m in no rush to go back anytime soon.

  12. Oliver says

    I’ve been to Paris twice. The first time was when I was studying for a semester in Rotterdam. It was my first time travelling abroad by myself and I also had a friend from Australia come over for the Paris trip. I had good impressions of the city then and didn’t understand people’s negative reaction to the city.

    In hindsight though, the novelty of being in Europe for the first time, as well as having a close friend to share the trip probably clouded my perspective of the city.

    I’m back in Europe again and revisited Paris during March. This time I began to feel the reported coldness and unfriendliness that people experience from the city. I understand it can be frustrating dealing with lots of people who don’t speak french, but some of the rudeness you can encounter once they realise you can’t speak french fluently is ridiculous. I went to this french indie gig and they acted so condescending and patronising because I didn’t know the french word for ticket. It’s obviously not every Parisian but the rudeness and condescension does happen. Although Paris has great things about it, food, art, architecture, etc, I feel uneasy walking around thinking if my next interaction will involve being humiliated for not being able to speak French. I’ve heard the rest of France is not like this.

    By contrast I’ve just come back from a trip in Portugal.People are so polite if you can’t speak Portuguese! I remember this lady from Porto who couldn’t speak English still trying her best using body language to show me where the bus went.

  13. says

    Amazing post!! Some places just don’t click. And I always find the worst bit about it, as a travel writer, is trying to explain why you didn’t love somewhere really popular. I’ve realised that by nature, I’m a total contrarian, so I often find myself subconsciously avoiding the Lonely Planet top 10 you know? We’ve talked about this already, but I hated Sydney….and I never told anyone until really recently. Purely because often, people feel the need to convince you why you’re wrong! It’s baffling, but I think I’ve even caught myself about to do it (the shame!)

    Paris is a funny one. I love it, and I’m always making my husband go for a quick trip. But when I told him a friend had messaged me to tell me she hated Paris, he was like: “Oh yeah, I hate it too….it’s gross and smells of wee.” I had no idea, poor dude. Anyway, we won’t be going back anytime soon 😉

  14. says

    Language barriers and what’s happened to you of course you wouldn’t love Paris. I honestly imagine it to be overrated but actually haven’t been myself. I think keeping expectations in check helps a lot hopefully I won’t be disappointed on my trip there. Thanks for your insight.

  15. says

    I’m so sorry that you don’t like it! I lived there for a year and absolutely loved it. I never felt particularly unsafe, and certainly feel much safer in Paris than in London, but at times you do need to be fairly street smart and firm. I have absolutely never understood the reputation the Parisians have for rudeness- it wasn’t my experience at all. People definitely keep to themselves more, but that’s a cultural thing and it’s not personal. I hope you can go back again- I love Paris all year round but it’s best in the sunshine I think! Hopefully you can make new better memories :)
    Lisa | http://www.whatlisadidnext.com

  16. Brenda May Leniski says

    I’m taking my first solo trip to Paris in about a month.These comments are somewhat discouraging but also good information. My French is basically nonexistent! I’m quite happy exploring on my own, but will also be doing a few group things. I guess I’ll see how it goes, wish me luck! I’m pretty sure I will love Paris, and believe attitude is everything!

  17. says

    I was 14 when I visited Paris with my mum and some of our friends and the whole accousting thing happened to us too. It made me (as a 14yo) pretty scared and shook us up, mum and I ended back in the hotel for a while to chill out as we were on our own when it happened. After visiting other European cities like Amsterdam, Prague and Barcelona I definitely preferred them to Paris, I felt so much safer and didn’t have the fear of someone approaching me all the time. Tourist attractions in Paris are definitely more stressful than other cities (and less enjoyable!) in my opinion due to all the beggars who are pushy and people with clipboards. I felt like I couldn’t just enjoy the sights. That being said, overall our trip was great and I’d love to return some day and have a better experience. Hopefully the same will happen to you and thank you for sharing your story! Xx

    Kirsty | The Monday Project | themondayproject.co.uk

  18. says

    This is such a good post, and I can completely relate! For me Paris had a certain magic and I took some great photos there, but I found it really unfriendly and very littered and smelly. A much dirtier city then London! I love your honesty here x

  19. says

    Hey Beverley, great post! Sharing w/the Oui In France FB community. I like that you said you’d be open to visiting Paris again. Some people would never want to go back. I think the city is great, but it’s a real place with real people and their problems. I first visited on a high school trip and wasn’t super in love either. But upon visiting again 10 years later, I saw Paris’s appeal.
    I’m sorry you got hassled by the red bracelet guys. That’s really scary!
    Diane recently posted..7 Little things that still confuse me about life in FranceMy Profile

  20. Cate says

    I think of Paris as a collection of neighborhood s. Some I love, some not so much. I’m older, and I have found parisians to be kind, willing to help with luggage, chat en terrace, give directions, etc. I do speak French, ( most quickly shift to English) say my bonjours and mercis, don’t block sidewalks, etc. I love seeing places I’ve read about, sitting in parks with my sketchbook and watching moms and kiddos, and just being there, soaking up atmosphere. Since you can see every thing in photos and videos, the atmosphere and cultural immersion isn’t goal… just being there. That said, I didn’t connect with Berlin at all.

  21. Kim says

    Reading your post was like de ja vue! My husband and I were attacked at the same spot, Such a bad experience – two sets of men separated us. My husband went to defend me as they tried to grab my wrist and more men came from goodness knows where and I though there was going to be a fist fight. I looked around and no one was coming to aid us. There was a scarey exchange when my husband took out his phone to take a picture of them. While I was trying to get him to just leave…one of the men who seemed to be in control of the group tried to calm things and I believe I was yelling to my husband to just GO! We turned around and actually went into the same Pret you did…totally shaken. This was closer to the end of our trip and it did sour my rose colored view of the city. The last time we visited the area (over 10 years before)…the bracelet people were not there – it was lovely. I can only imagine how that would have went, had I been alone.
    Even with this experience, I still love the city. This was our 3rd visit and the first time in the summer (which I would never do again – way too hot). Fall or spring is the best time to go.

    • says

      Kim I’m so sorry to hear you and your husband had a similar experience. So funny that you went into the same Pret, though! LOVE your advice about when to go back to Paris too, thank you :)

  22. Jan says

    I totally get your fear over being accosted by the bracelet scammers. They are relentless and dangerous. We would see them getting arrested and ‘moved’ along by the police on a regular basis. They have a route they follow and go from area to area each day . I recognise the places you photographed and remember some of those little bistros very well. My advice to you when these thieves grab you is to SCREAM, loudly and fiercely. They don’t want to attract attention but this will do it. They will leave you alone after that. Plus you will have had the release for your anxiety. Try Paris again, it is worth it. We can’t get enough of it.

    • says

      Thanks, Jan! I think the reason I didn’t scream was probably because of that British thing of not making a fuss unless you really have to :) I’m glad the police are cracking down on those people, and I’m glad I didn’t let it spoil my entire day because I loved Montmartre. I’d definitely come back to Paris again, so it hasn’t put me off :)

  23. says

    London, Sydney and Los Angeles all have a similar feel about them. Whilst, for me, Paris fits better wit Melbourne and New York.
    I think you may be onto something when you suggested travelling with a friend. Give it a try.
    I love Paris, either alone or with company. I love it more with every visit as the city’s layers gradually reveal themselves. I should add I don’t like Sydney and would take NY over LA every time. Maybe it’s not just take what you like about it but don’t feel the pressure to love it.

    • says

      Chel I think your comment proves that no two travel experiences are the same, which is probably why we both love to travel! It’s what I love about travel anyway :)

  24. says

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one!! I’ve been to Paris three times now, albeit one of those times was only for a couple of hours. I actually want to go back. I’m determined to like it more than I do, and I actually have a few good friends there now that I lived with in Australia, so perhaps a local touch will do some magic. (huh… that sounded wrong)

    I’m so sorry that you got treated like that by that tout. I don’t find Parisians to be that friendly which I think can change the attitude of a place. But obviously I’ve met the wrong people, because everyone from Paris who I’ve met on my travels has been so, so nice! Here’s hoping both of us have a different experience on our next visits. :)
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    • says

      I definitely want to go back, mostly because I’ve done all the tourist spots and I’d love to spend some time just wandering around the pretty streets. I did a bit of this on my trip but not enough! :) It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who didn’t fall in love with Paris, though. Thank you for your comment :)

  25. says

    This was such a beautifully written article! I love hearing stories of when people don’t like certain cities. I had a weird experience of Berlin actually. Similar in the sense that I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I feel a little uneasy there.
    I totally understand where you’re coming from with your uneasiness with Paris. I wish we could all experience Paris before it was full of tourists and the people who take advantage of tourists. Those people make me feel sick to my gut whenever I see them. I’ve been to Paris twice now, and each time I’ve been NEARLY pick-pocketed by the women who ask you to sign their petition. It’s such a horrible experience.
    The second time I was in Paris I was with my mum and as we walked up the stairs to Sacré-Cœur I pulled her in tight and told her to put her hands in her pockets. The men walked towards us and I looked them in the eyes with my very best ‘back the fuck off’ glare. They kept coming and went to grab my mum’s arm and I shouted, ‘no!!’ over and over again, and they eventually backed off and told me to ‘cool it’. Gah, ‘cool it’. The nerve of them!
    For me, Paris is beautiful, but the touristy areas get my blood boiling and I just feel really on edge and angry. I think next time I’m in Paris I’m going to stay clear of the tourist areas and try living like a local instead.