Life in Paris

Things I Would Never do in Paris

1. Use the public toilets

The public toilets in Paris are are really quite unpleasant. 

My advice: Always know where a nearby toilet is. Big department stores like BHV and Galeries Lafayette have toilets. Big train stations such as Montparnasse, Saint Lazare have toilets but you need to pay 1 euro to use them. Totally worth it because they are really clean.

2. Go for a stroll on the Champs Elysees

The Champs Elysees might seem idyllic when you’re a tourist. You have seen pictures of this beautiful avenue all lit up, trees lining each side, shops seems magical. The reality is that the Champs Elysees is full of people and pickpockets. The shops and restaurants are far more expensive than the same chains in other areas of the city so wherever you go you are overspending. Pickpockets are rife because they know tourists are always on this avenue so phones, purses and even shopping bags aren’t safe. There are so many more beautiful places to see in Paris, I recommend you try somewhere else.

My advice: head to one of the many shopping centres or Rue de Rivoli or shop at the big department stores near Opera

3. Have lunch at Place du Tertre

It may look beautiful and you may fall under the spell of the square when you walk across its cobbled streets, but try to keep your wits about you. Picasso may have lived there at one point in his life but I haven’t once had a decent meal there and I’m not alone. Other friends have also mentioned that “You must visit Place du Tertre, it’s so pretty! Just avoid the restaurants.” It is a stunning place to visit and on a Sunday when the painters are out in the square it verges on magical. However the food is touristy, of poor quality and overpriced.

My advice: Walk ten minutes down the hill and find Le Basilic, a great traditional French restaurant with very reasonable prices!

Le Basilic 33 , Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France

4. Eat on the metro

Try to avoid doing this where possible. French people do not eat in the metro, it’s just part of the metro etiquette here in Paris. It’s also generally not very clean in the metro, so I’d advise you to eat outside.

5. Make no effort to speak French

This goes for both people living in, working in or just visiting this beautiful city. If you make zero effort to speak the French language you will definitely leave the city believing the stereotype that ‘all French people are rude.’ A huge amount of French people do speak English but you should never presume they do. You will see that if you make the effort to speak, even if your French is far from perfect, they will treat you in  an entirely different  and much more positive way. 


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