Want the simplified answer? FUCK NO.
Harsh? Maybe…but its the truth.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”thumbs-up-2″ wrap=”i” size=”30px” color=”#efb3e3″] Too many people
I don’t care what time of the year it is…from what I was told, summer is peak season. Guess when I went? Late February early March. I guess you would consider that shoulder season. Anyways, it was busy. Too busy for my liking and it wasn’t even “that bad”, or so everyone claimed. With crowds comes congestion and chaos. I don’t like to feel rushed when viewing a site or experiencing a famous landmark, but here it seems like you have to. The crowds also make it very overwhelming…like the things you were hyping up to see, is flooded by nothing but selfie sticks and flashing camera lights. I know this is beginning to be the problem everywhere…but it just made the overall experience very annoying.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”thumbs-up-2″ wrap=”i” size=”30px” color=”#efb3e3″] Boring!
Please crucify me if you disagree. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and since this is my blog, then this is MY OPINION. If you have read some of my past posts, I’m sure you gathered that I don’t aspire to be a world historian or lover of art. I have appreciation for those things, but only to an extent. My entire vacation does NOT need to be filled with ancient statues and modern morons. Let me bungee jump from the Eiffel Tower, or eat live escargot…but if you are an adventurer like me…Paris is not the place for you.
Every year for our anniversary (yes only dating my boyfriend anniversary), we go on a big vacation to celebrate. This year I wanted to backpack Europe and thought it would be a great idea to spend a week in Paris. I had researched and read that even a week wasn’t long enough…and that might be true for some, but a week was just way too long.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”thumbs-up-2″ wrap=”i” size=”30px” color=”#efb3e3″] Underwhelming and Over rated
The first time I saw the Eiffel Tower, I was so…blah. The weather was chilly but nice; the sky was blue without a cloud in site, IDK it just didn’t give me that WOW factor like I had envisioned. I did’t want to knock it right away, but the 2nd day we went to the Louvre, luckily we had the Paris Pass and got to skip the line. Once we got inside…we searched for the Mona Lisa. I could barely see over the large pack of Asians with their iPads. SO OVER RATED. It’s like you build yourself up to feel a certain way when you finally see something in person, and it isn’t what you expected. Total let down. Maybe it’s my fault for expecting so much…
After siphoning through a crowd, I was finally able to snap a picture
[wp-svg-icons icon=”thumbs-up-2″ wrap=”i” size=”30px” color=”#efb3e3″] Not the most romantic
Don’t scrutinize us…we DO know how to be romantic, but it was really hard to ever get wrapped up in one another because of all the commotion around us. We did happen to find a cozy flat in Montemarte for a good price. Way more privacy than some hotel…that made the trip way more enjoyable. We went on a sunset cruise, ate dinner by the Eiffel Tower…again, it was just the whole vibe, everything felt off. We were also bummed out that we couldn’t just say screw Paris and jet off to another country for the remainder of our week together. We would lose out on the Airbnb we paid for and money we spent on the Paris Pass. Let’s just say that would equal well over $800, so that wasn’t an option.
Sure, we kissed by the Eiffel Tower…
And went on a sunset cruise…but we needed more excitement
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Before I go on, let me shoot out some of the good things that Paris has to offer.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”thumbs-up” wrap=”i” size=”30px” color=”#efb3e3″] The Food and Pastries
The food IS as good as everyone claims, that I will admit. We went to many upscale restaurants and hole in the wall places. Occasionally we would go to the supermarket and buy stuff to make in our flat to save money because lets face it, Paris is overpriced. Tried escargot and frogs legs for the first time…both tasted amazing. Who doesn’t love a good croissant in the morning, or macaroon as a late snack? Paris knows how to do sweets. Something for every persons taste.
Not the best quality picture considering we were at a nice restaurant and didn’t want to be THAT GIRL
[wp-svg-icons icon=”thumbs-up” wrap=”i” size=”30px” color=”#efb3e3″] The Metro
Every city in the world needs a sophisticated metro system. Atlanta could definitely use one that went out farther than just 10 miles. It was pretty easy to learn and saved us so much time and money. Once again, the Paris Pass came through, so we never had to pay for tickets. Our flat was only a stones throw to the nearest station as well, making it easy to explore without the hassle of an expensive taxi or Uber.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”thumbs-up” wrap=”i” size=”30px” color=”#efb3e3″] The People
Contrary to what everyone says, I adored the French! I heard that they were stuck up and set in their ways…well imagine them coming to the US, not learning any English and demanding things. I think the Americans that go to Europe, don’t learn some key words and start demanding is why they seem so rude. I took french in school, but not enough to have conversation. I did however learn the necessities so I could ask for things politely, and always said please and thank you. You might not believe it, but a smile goes a long way. Smug people are in every country…you just have to ignore them and treat the others with respect.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”thumbs-up” wrap=”i” size=”30px” color=”#efb3e3″] Off the beaten path activities
Did you know Paris had a zoo? Me either! No more boring art museums for us. It was cool to see a zoo outside of the US.
Wine is always a good idea. With the Paris Pass, we got a free wine tasting at O’ Chateu which included interactive games, tube taster games and a very knowledgeable staff. AND, you get personalized bottle of wine afterwards for no extra charge! Probably one of the better “free” items included with the pass.
So this one might not be actually in Paris, but we had to get the hell out for a day. Reims, France. Champagne capital. If you have been following along on social media, I claim myself to be a Champagne Connoisseur. It is my absolute favorite beverage (besides Sweet Tea) and I was lucky enough to get accepted to go visit Dom Ruinart. It was the first established House of Champagne dating all the way back to 1792. I bet those people sure knew how to party.
Fun Fact I learned while here: When you see bubbles fizzing from the bottom of your glass, its not necessarily the carbonation. It means that your glass has imperfections. Where those imperfections are is where the bubble will come from. At first I was mind blown. Then about a couple months ago, I was sitting at a nice restaurant drinking champagne and realized they purposely etched 5 dots into the bottom of their glass so the bubble would be in a perfect round sync while floating to the top!
Lastly, it might not be the one in London, but Paris does boast an impressive collection of wax art. Grevin Paris is the wax museum of many accredited athletes, singers and celebrities in general. It’s fun to waste some time here. We went pretty tipsy too, which made it even more fun.
There you have it folks. My experience and opinion on Paris. I know I’ll get some major backlash from this…”you aren’t a real traveler”, “learning about history is what makes a trip so special” and blah blah blah. Congrats on opposing me, but this is how me AND my boyfriend feel, as I’m sure some people also feel the same just too scared to say it. The point of my opinion is give you details about my experiences so you can make your next experience that much better!! We’re all friends here right? 🙂
Have I missed something?? Do you dislike Paris? Maybe you love it and want to toss a flaming ball at my head? Let me know!
xo Bonvoyage Bitches
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I wanna hear about Belgium and all the beers!!!! 🍺 Another great post!
I was only in Brussels for like a day 1/2 so I didn’t get to fully learn/taste/get wasted on them!! 🙁 I need to make a trip back strictly for the alcohol!
it’s refreshing to see a blog with content written in such a way that is like no bullshit kind of way. I enjoyed reading about your Paris trip! Have you been to the Seine river? Been wanting to try and order in Pink Flamingo, they deliver your pizza in Seine, they will give you a pink balloon as a “ticket”. Sounds fun yea?
I heard about that actually! That’s where we did the sunset cruise is the Seine River, but we did not do the pizza thing! I must go back just to try it out!!
This is a really informative article. Thanks for your efforts 🙂
We haven’t been to Paris but have always wondered if it was overrated. Truly, this is one of the most honest reviews of a city I’ve read and I appreciate that honesty! Definitely don’t know if we’d spend a week there, but it might be better for a stop over.
Well thank you! I know not everyone agrees with my opinion but my main goal is to inform people so that they can learn something from my experiences. We will definitely not be returning anytime soon. A long layover or even a day or two would be good enough!
I’ve come across a lot of people who have held your views. You are right, to a degree. My approach is to always arrive without any expectations.
I know I know, I always have that little back emotion of a place, especially such a big and well known city like Paris. The city of love, the city of lights etc, so it was hard going there for our anniversary without any little expectation. I know better now for next time! 🙂
A lot of pros and cons and in most cases I agree with you on the points you made. I think that Paris is one of the most overpriced destinations in Europe but most of the western countries are becoming more and more so. There are things that I like about Paris, as you said the food but for me, the beauty of France is further south on the Riviera.
It is terribly overpriced but sadly you are right…Europe is becoming such a popular destination that the whole region is becoming over saturated with tourists which are driving up prices everywhere. I won a ski trip to the French Alps in January so I won’t hate on France as a whole, I’m sure the mountains and countryside will make me fall in love with it…but as for Paris, eh I’ll stay away for a while.
Thanks for giving your no-bullshit opinon about a place that everrrrryone says to go! It’s actually refreshing to read about it so thanks! I still will visit Paris someday and get to experience it myself and then form my own opinons. But I appreciate reading about the good and bad about places to travel. 🙂
Of course girl! That’s the whole reason I started my blog in the first place, I am all about the no bullshit! I would love for you to visit and explore with open eyes, I just want to help people who HAVEN’T visited yet to learn a little something from my experience so theirs can be great!! 🙂 thanks for the love!
It’s great that you can express how you feel about a destination. Next time, maybe try to reach out before you visit a place and ask what were people’s favorite things that they did. Vayable.com is a good place to have locals offer to take you to do something special. Virtual Tourist also has some good suggestions. I really like Paris and each time I go it is a different city. Enjoyed reading your post; keep up the fresh attitude.
I reached out to some friends who have been before but I never looked at any of those sites!! Seriously, thank you for the recommendation because I never knew about sites like that!! I will definitely check them out next time I go somewhere!
Hahah, believe it or not my fiance keeps telling me the exact same things about Paris :). Good to read a honest post on Paris. I visited Paris a couple of years ago, it was nothing out of the world experience but kind of liked the city mainly because of Disneyland, shopping and yes, the desserts :).
I actually wanted to go to Disneyland there because I use to live in Orlando and thought it would be cool to visit all of them. Problem is, I’m sure the one in Paris is very expensive so we opted out considering I had two more weeks of traveling Europe at the time. Desserts are definitely my favorite!! Glad you appreciate the honesty 🙂
I love that you were so honest about your trip because all we ever hear bout Paris are the “amazing” stories, nothing else. It’s a goal of mine to visit Paris as I took French for way too many years and feel like I need to put it to use at some point,ha. I don’t know what to expect from it other than I know I want to enjoy lots of carbs!
Yeah I know I only heard amazing stories before I went as well. I guess that’s why I expected so much more. I’ll learn not to go anywhere with such high expectations next time. French is a beautiful language though and I would love to speak it, I took it in high school!
I used to live in Le Vésinet (a suburb of Paris), so I definitely disagree. But I also double-majored in history and in French, and I absolutely love art museums. So of course I would love a city with arguably the world’s greatest collection of art.
Also, compared to other European cities I’ve visited, Paris isn’t that expensive. Compared to Atlanta, sure, absolutely. Compared to anywhere in Norway, no. Compared to London, no. Madrid was a bit cheaper. Vienna was about the same. Prague was definitely cheaper (although I visited before the Czech Republic joined the EU, so YMMV).
I think it’s cool that you and your boyfriend do a big trip each year. I’m not sure what books/websites you reference before making plans, but I recommend Rick Steves for European destinations. I bought his book on Paris before I studied abroad in Versailles. Not only did it help me then, the advice was still accurate when I moved to France a few years later. It helped me choose the best days/times to visit all my favorite art museums for minimal crowds. I was sometimes one of only ten people in a gallery at the Musée d’Orsay. He also has great advice for non-touristy city walks.
Well I really appreciate your opposition. For someone who used to live there, obviously there was something amazing that drew you to Paris, otherwise I don’t think you would of stayed. Just like you said however you double majored in history and French, very very impressive I wish I could speak french fluently! History is the absolute death of me in school, I majored in Forensic Science so Chemistry and Engineering was my passion, which is total opposite. I think for me I thought it was so expensive for what it was. Switzerland was way more expensive but it was worth it because of the scenery and the activities that were available ya know? So no matter where I go in the world, if the city is worth the money in my eyes, then it doesn’t matter how much I have to pay!
But yes instead of buying each other something for our anniversary we take a trip…brings us closer and gets him out of the chaos of his job (he owns his own business). I have looked in to Rick Steves but can’t say it was enough to remember so I will definitely check his stuff out! Thank you so much for your honest opinion. I love hearing everyone’s take on a city! xox 🙂
I’ve been to Paris a couple of times. I hated it the first time, for many reasons that you listed and more (getting groped on the Metro wasn’t exactly a highlight). I returned a few years later and still couldn’t get into it. I doubt there’ll be a third time. It’s a city people seem to love or hate – I’ve not ever met anyone who has fallen in between these two emotions where Paris is concerned!
Many people ask Is Paris Worth all of the Hype ? I did not hold out hopes that I would find Paris as fabulous or as wonderful as nearly everyone that I know and everything that I have read have stated. I was sure that I would find that it fell short.