Things not to do in Paris – Every country is different, every culture has its ways and every town has its secrets. Paris is for me one of the most wonderful place in the world but it is also one of the most touristic. If you are not from Paris and just here to visit for a couples of days, you probably want to see as much as you can and get a real feeling on what Paris is all about.
However there are some tourist traps (they are not dangerous do not worry), but if you are able to get around them, you will save time, money and you will get to have even more fun. So here my top five of things not to do in Paris from a Parisian to you.
The first thing not to do in Paris is to go to the Eiffel Tower without a ticket. You can actually buy tickets online in the comfort of your own home. Not only will you avoid a one hour and a half long line but you will also feel like a VIP because people who already have tickets have their own line which is ten time quicker than the other one.
An other thing not to do in Paris is to go on top of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Do not get me wrong you should go visit Notre Dame, it is very beautiful, it is free of charges, and despite the appearances the line will go by pretty quickly. However to go on top of Notre Dame, the line is slow as they let only a couple of people go every 10 minutes, you will have to climb 422 stairs to get to the top, and when you will finally get there you will not really enjoy it as there are very little room for you to stand or even to take an ok picture of the view.
What I advise you to do instead if you want to enjoy a good view, is to go the Georges Pompidou museum which is 8 minutes walk away from Notre Dame. There,for only two euros, you will be able to enjoy some of modern art finest pieces and if you take the elevator to the top, get to see a breathtaking and unique view of Paris (pictured above on your right).
My third tip on things not to do in Paris from me to you is about restaurants. I understand that after a day of visits around town you want to find a place to eat very quickly. But there are a few things you should not do when it comes to eating in Paris. First, if the restaurant is only 200 meters away from a very touristic site, I know that it is tempting because you are tired, but try to avoid those, they are tourist trap and you can find way better food.
The second thing to do in Paris when it comes to restaurants is to go where the menu has more than 10 main dishes, it means that the food was probably frozen. If you go to a restaurant with only a few dishes on the menu you can be assured that the food is fresh and that the cook is actually specialized in these dishes and that they are going to taste delicious.
The next thing not to do in Paris is about one of my favorite thing ever : bread and more specially baguette. No it is not a cliché, we love baguettes and we are very proud of it. We love it because it is traditional that we know that the baker started to make them at 4 am this morning to prepare a delicious dough, to shape them and then to bake them at the perfect temperature.
If you are an early bird you will probably see people waiting in line in front of their neighborhood bakery to get their warm baguette. However some places sell baguette but they are not real bakery, do not go there, their baguette was made industrially. If you want to know if a baguette was homemade or not, you need to check the front of the store, if « boulangerie » which means bakery is written, go for it, otherwise even if the shop makes it look authentic, try to find an other place if you want to taste an authentic handworked baguette. Bon appétit!
My last advice to you on things not to do in Paris is about one of world most famous avenue. The Champ Elysée. A lot of songs have been written is this beautiful avenue, it is the place where the french people gather to celebrate the 14th July which is Bastille day. It is an unavoidable must see as it is so beautiful and one of Paris most famous site.
However, as much as it is a gorgeous avenue, you should not plan on staying an whole afternoon there, I personally think that one hour is enough and I am going to explain you why. First there are no chance that you will get to meet real Parisians on this avenue except maybe for the people who work in the shops, this whole avenue is now actually made for tourists. The second reason is that all the shops on the Champ Elysée are very expensive like Louis Vuitton for example.
But even if the shops are not as prestigious the price are still above what you could find in the same shop somewhere else in Paris. The last reason why you should not spend too much of your time there is because tourists attract pickpockets, and I personally do not think that paying extra attention to my belongings at all times is what a fun time is about. You should check it out of course but there are a lot of other more fun things to do in Paris and you should try them out for sure.
This is this the end of my top five of things not to do in Paris, however there are a lot more things to do in Paris than not to do so do not worry, just enjoy and have fun, you are in one of the most beautiful capital of the world after all. I hope to see you soon!