My thoughts on Paris after spending 3 days there

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,793
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I'm on a train headed back to Spain after my first time in Paris and was thinking about how I was feeling about it. This is my conclusion of what I learned here.

1. It is a lot safer here than I thought it would be, at least it felt that way. We would walk around and take the subway late at night and felt just fine.

2. The metro system completely owns any thing I've used in the us, especially the dc metro. It's faster and much cheaper and goes everywhere. I don't have much experience with nyc metro though.

3. People are much nicer than I expected based off what people told me prior.

4. The people trying to sell you shit like selfie sticks and junk souvenirs is the worst I've ever seen even worse than Nicaragua or poor Caribbean locations, and they are everywhere. As soon as it started raining we had guys basically throwing umbrellas at us lol. To go along with #3 they were not pushy thoigh once you tell them no they typically backed off.

5. A lot of Paris looks the same. We did a lot of random exploration and while the architecture is cool a lot of it looks very similar.

6. Eiffel Tower was a lot cooler than I expected. A lot of the sight seeing I did was cooler than I expected.

7. It was a lot more crowded than expected especially since August is there slowest month. I couldn't help but think about how crowded areas were and how there was such little security in those areas. Hell the train I'm on now I didn't even go through s scanner or anything and have my luggage with me right now. They didn't even check if I had a ticket.

That said, I'd take a White sand clear water vacation on the beach 10 out of 10 times over Paris. It's cool and I really enjoyed it but I don't care if I never come back.
 

brainhulk

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2007
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454
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How's the french fries, french dip, french toast and other french cuisine?

I went to eastern Europe and was let down by the fare. Beer was excellent though

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Nov 8, 2012
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People are known for being dicks in Paris. Note: I didn't say France, I said Paris. In general, they aren't the nicest towards clueless tourists that just want to know something simple like which metro to take.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
7,412
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People are known for being dicks in Paris. Note: I didn't say France, I said Paris. In general, they aren't the nicest towards clueless tourists that just want to know something simple like which metro to take.
Perhaps they would be nicer if your mother was not a hamster and your father did not smell of elderberries?

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,656
687
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I'm on a train headed back to Spain after my first time in Paris and was thinking about how I was feeling about it. This is my conclusion of what I learned here.

1. It is a lot safer here than I thought it would be, at least it felt that way. We would walk around and take the subway late at night and felt just fine.

2. The metro system completely owns any thing I've used in the us, especially the dc metro. It's faster and much cheaper and goes everywhere. I don't have much experience with nyc metro though.

3. People are much nicer than I expected based off what people told me prior.

4. The people trying to sell you shit like selfie sticks and junk souvenirs is the worst I've ever seen even worse than Nicaragua or poor Caribbean locations, and they are everywhere. As soon as it started raining we had guys basically throwing umbrellas at us lol. To go along with #3 they were not pushy thoigh once you tell them no they typically backed off.

5. A lot of Paris looks the same. We did a lot of random exploration and while the architecture is cool a lot of it looks very similar.

6. Eiffel Tower was a lot cooler than I expected. A lot of the sight seeing I did was cooler than I expected.

7. It was a lot more crowded than expected especially since August is there slowest month. I couldn't help but think about how crowded areas were and how there was such little security in those areas. Hell the train I'm on now I didn't even go through s scanner or anything and have my luggage with me right now. They didn't even check if I had a ticket.

That said, I'd take a White sand clear water vacation on the beach 10 out of 10 times over Paris. It's cool and I really enjoyed it but I don't care if I never come back.

A couple things:

1. August might be their slowest month in the summer, but there are much less crowded times to go. Best time to go is the shoulder season or fall/early winter. We went in May a couple years ago (technically shoulder season) and I thought crowds were really bad; we've gone in November and December and it was great.

2. Souvenir hawkers and scammers are pretty bad around all the major tourist sites in Europe and I really wish they would clean that up because it is annoying. If you make it to Rome, they're even worse there if you can believe it.

3. Paris metro does rock.

4. I'm the opposite - beach vacations don't do it for me and I prefer places with history, good food, and nice scenery. The biggest thing is that I despise hot weather - I definitely don't mind the water. :D

I've been to 8 countries so far in Europe, and it is really hard for me to pick a favorite right now. However, I will say this - we spent 2 weeks in Ireland in July and I was blown away. I never really wanted to go to Ireland, but my wife did and convinced me and boy, was I wrong in my initial reluctance.
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,456
854
126
I love traveling Europe by high speed rail and I had one of the best ham sandwiches anywhere on a train from Madrid to Seville.

Everyone should travel to Europe for at least two weeks once in their lives. If nothing else, it opens your eyes to what life is like in other parts of the world and it helps you relate to different cultures and peoples.
 

rcpratt

Lifer
Jul 2, 2009
10,433
110
116
We never used the metro in Paris, for some reason. Did a lot of walking.

I still think the Parisians are dicks.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,793
5,668
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A couple things:

1. August might be their slowest month in the summer, but there are much less crowded times to go. Best time to go is the shoulder season or fall/early winter. We went in May a couple years ago (technically shoulder season) and I thought crowds were really bad; we've gone in November and December and it was great.

2. Souvenir hawkers and scammers are pretty bad around all the major tourist sites in Europe and I really wish they would clean that up because it is annoying. If you make it to Rome, they're even worse there if you can believe it.

3. Paris metro does rock.

4. I'm the opposite - beach vacations don't do it for me and I prefer places with history, good food, and nice scenery. The biggest thing is that I despise hot weather - I definitely don't mind the water. :D

I've been to 8 countries so far in Europe, and it is really hard for me to pick a favorite right now. However, I will say this - we spent 2 weeks in Ireland in July and I was blown away. I never really wanted to go to Ireland, but my wife did and convinced me and boy, was I wrong in my initial reluctance.

I couldn't imagine being around the Eiffel Tower or in the louvre if it was more crowded than it was now. It's was really annoying how crowded it all was. Although when we went up the tower it was earlier in the day and a lot less crowded than other days we were around it.

Weather was perfect temp wise though, a bit cooler after it rained. Like 70 ish with no humidity and a nice breeze.

Last night we went to Jardin de tossi where they just dance salsa along the water front. We had no clue about it until we took a boat cruise our first evening. Even though I am not into salsa at all but my wife is, I thought it was so cool these random people all go and dance there and it's all free. There were the Indian dudes selling beer for like 1.5 euro too so we sat and drank too. It was like some scene right out of a movie but was awesome. Then walking to the metro 10 minutes after midnight to catch it home with another 15 minute walk felt extremely safe.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,793
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People are known for being dicks in Paris. Note: I didn't say France, I said Paris. In general, they aren't the nicest towards clueless tourists that just want to know something simple like which metro to take.

Yeah that's what I heard too but did not experience it at all. The woman who owned the restsurant we ate at last night was one of the nicest people we met too. She helped translate the menu cause they didn't have an English one and we were not in a tourist area. Good was amazing too, then at the end there bathroom was brown so she walked with us to another restaurant down the street to ask the owner of we could use it there since hers was broke.

The people in Barcelona were noticeably more rude than Paris. They were assholes there for the most part.

And the other best thing about Paris and Europe in general is no fucking tipping. I loved it. I did tip twice though because we had exceptional service. And damn service is way slower than the states for sure.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
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And damn service is way slower than the states for sure.

That's cultural. Europeans in general view meals as social occasions and don't want to feel rushed, so service is pretty slow in order to meet those demands and not seem rude. They figure a meal will last 2-3 hours sometimes.
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
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I always wanted to see the Louvre myself, but doubt I will in my lifetime.

We used to travel a lot, not so much these days.

Your own actions seem to dictate how people treat you a lot of the time, but YMMV. I've even ran into a lot of dicks locally, there are a lot of transient people in Pinellas County.

Was funny we go to Clearwater Beach just down the road from the house for grins and giggles occasionally, a lot of the locals do not even go there much. My Grandfather used to walk in a few places and was recognized in the past and was given the Royal Treatment, he still has many murals he painted on the beach front down there, and was a bit of a war hero.

The waitress asked were we were from and we said have been here for 25 years, and we were offering her tips on where to hang out, etc, as she had only been here a few months. She was very nice and was another transplant.

A lot of the stories you hear about Florida involve revent transplants from out of state, we are not considered locals really, and have been living here half our lives and I've been visiting since 1964.
 
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K1052

Elite Member
Aug 21, 2003
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That's cultural. Europeans in general view meals as social occasions and don't want to feel rushed, so service is pretty slow in order to meet those demands and not seem rude. They figure a meal will last 2-3 hours sometimes.

This. American expectations are basically to get in and out as quickly as possible. I suppose this pacing is how we end up drinking two bottles of wine with every dinner in Paris heh.

Also the service I get in Paris is better than I get in the US most of the time. The key I've found is basically not to be an asshole tourist and at least try to start in French before asking if they speak English (they almost always do). I've watched a fair number of other tourists, usually Brits, get themselves into trouble by doing the opposite with usually not great attitudes. If you're courteous people working hospitality in Paris will bend over backwards for you...if not they do an admirable job of pretending you literally don't exist.

I'm going back in two weeks for my 4th time on the tail end of a Barcelona trip. Looking forward to taking the high speed train from Barcelona to Paris though southern French countryside.
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
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I just like relaxing and taking my time myself, there is a pretty nice place locally we go to and just hang out on the patio and have appetizers and drinks now and then and watch the sun set.

The dining room is usually packed and busy, buts it's a big nice fenced in patio and the food is good.

The wife doesn't drink a lot, so shes the designated driver, I just like going down and getting some Calamari and a few Martini's now and then and listening to the guitar player on the porch, they never rush us.

We've been going there awhile now, so i guess we are locals to the place.

It's still not Paris, but I like it :)
 
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Skyclad1uhm1

Lifer
Aug 10, 2001
11,383
87
91
Paris is a more international focussed city and people are therefor more social towards foreigners than in a lot of the rest of France. I used to have a French colleague who, if she went on vacation in other parts in France would be told 'Go home, you don't belong here!'. A lot of French outside of Paris are extremely nationalistic, and even 'regionalistic'.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
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This. American expectations are basically to get in and out as quickly as possible. I suppose this pacing is how we end up drinking two bottles of wine with every dinner in Paris heh.

Also the service I get in Paris is better than I get in the US most of the time. The key I've found is basically not to be an asshole tourist and at least try to start in French before asking if they speak English (they almost always do). I've watched a fair number of other tourists, usually Brits, get themselves into trouble by doing the opposite with usually not great attitudes. If you're courteous people working hospitality in Paris will bend over backwards for you...if not they do an admirable job of pretending you literally don't exist.

I'm going back in two weeks for my 4th time on the tail end of a Barcelona trip. Looking forward to taking the high speed train from Barcelona to Paris though southern French countryside.

Yeah I know it's cultural it's just different. The dinner time in Paris vs Barcelona took us a day to get used to also lol.

And I agree about the key. We always started out with bonjour and end with mercer. We didn't run into any assholes. We ran into a cafe with the stereotypical high energy loud French server which was fun too. He was having a good time with us.

My wife is Nicaraguan and she had heard Barcelona people don't like people who aren't from there, and we got that vibe from quite a few people there.

And the high speed train is how we got to Paris from Barcelona. It had some cool scenery.
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
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I remember in 1980 I ran into a guy in the Marines from Rochester who had done a Brit Pass thing in Europe and traveled around just exploring a few weeks living in B&Bs that had washed out of OCS.

The OCS thing was irrelevant, we were pretty good friends for a long time, but you used to be able to just bomb around on the transit system pretty cheap in Europe once upon a time.
 

K1052

Elite Member
Aug 21, 2003
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My wife is Nicaraguan and she had heard Barcelona people don't like people who aren't from there, and we got that vibe from quite a few people there.

I have heard of this being an issue. One of my friends is basically, self described, the whitest Mexican you've ever met but once they heard his accent (northern Mexico) they were very standoffish.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
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2. Souvenir hawkers and scammers are pretty bad around all the major tourist sites in Europe and I really wish they would clean that up because it is annoying. If you make it to Rome, they're even worse there if you can believe it.

Not sure if its just Madrid vs Paris or its getting worse but I saw much more of that in Madrid last week than I did in Paris last year (and Paris was worse than it was previously). I actually got physically grabbed twice by different people and had one guy walk up to us sitting outside a cafe and rattle his cup about 2 feet from my face. They're getting more organized too. We don't tend to sleep much on our trips so we were up early enough to see the beggars clustered around who we assume to be their handler and my wife overhead two of them being told what streets to work.

then at the end there bathroom was brown

:eek:
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
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People are known for being dicks in Paris. Note: I didn't say France, I said Paris. In general, they aren't the nicest towards clueless tourists that just want to know something simple like which metro to take.


TBF to Parisians (and thats not something I normally am) they arent any worse than the dwellers of any other major city.

I bet if I went into a cafe in NY and started asking questions in Welsh or taking ages in the subway it wouldnt go well either.