Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Friday, December 11, 2009

What Not To Do In Paris: The Top Five Tourist Mistakes

by JetSetCD

Ahh Paris, City of Lights, city of stinky cheese, and city of a million tourists. As much as we love you, we know to be cautious around certain things while visiting. We have been to Paris many times, but for this feature on what not to do, we consulted with a friend who not only lived in Paris, but also studied art and photography there for years. Yes, someone who truly learned what it was to spend an evening in Montmartre and walk by Notre Dame daily.

So without further ado, here is the Jaunted guide of What Not To Do In Paris: The Top 5 Tourist Mistakes.

Check them out, after the jump.

5. DON'T try to see the Louvre in 3 hours or under
You've come all this way and we know you might have other places on your itinerary, but dashing through the Louvre Museum is just robbing yourself. It really deserves an entire day, especially considering how much you spend on the entrance tickets (14 Euro per person, for the whole place) and how long it'll take you first find the Mona Lisa and then wait for the crowd to part enough so that you can get a picture with it in the background.

4. DON'T don a beret, striped shirt, red neck kerchief, grow out a thin mustache, or do any combination of those things.
This is what is called "perpetuating a stereotype." You don't drive to Texas and throw spurs on your boots and the biggest 10-gallon hat on your head, do you? A trip to Paris is not Halloween. Regardless, there will be those who violate this rule, and we have no doubt that they will also try to wear kimonos in Japan.

3. DON'T forget to purchase an RER ticket for the train to the airport
Many tourists are tripped up on this since they believe that the initial entry ticket to the Metro will get them out to Charles de Gaulle airport. Alas, no. There are RER police that come aboard to check ticket, making sure you have a full fare ticket for the airport. If you're caught lacking, then the fine is at least 20 Euros—it'd be a shame to lose your airport coffee and baguette money before even reaching CDG.

2. DON'T go to Paris with the belief that luxury goods will be cheaper
Because they won't. Brands, especially French luxury brands, have their images to uphold. Just because they are headquartered in Paris or their goods are made in France doesn't mean that they'll give you a proximity discount. Fine things take so much to manufacture, and because so many tourists come to Paris with the dream of purchasing a Chanel jacket or a Louis Vuitton bag or an Hermes boot here, that's all the more reason to keep price high (or higher!).

1. DON'T order a la carte at dinner
Going out to a mid-price or fancy restaurant is a dream, when you're in France and looking for the best wine and unpronounceable cheeses. Instead of racking up an astronomical bill by picking and choosing, better to go with a prix fixe menu, a more economical way to enjoy a variety of courses. Most restaurants have prix fixe menus that change daily, but beware of any outright labeled as "tourist menus," since those will often skimp on the portions or offer up blander choices.