Paris is a city on many people’s bucket-lists, but does the expectation meet reality? Or is Paris overrated? Check out the following 11 things to consider when planning your trip to Paris! This will help you to have a realistic understanding of the city.
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Is Paris Overrated? 11 Things To Consider
There are many things to consider when planning a trip to Paris, and it’s important to have a realistic expectation for the city in order to avoid disappointment.
While some may say that Paris is overrated, there are lots of insider tips that can help you to avoid having this feeling. This will allow you to truly experience Paris at it’s best!
Is Paris Dirty?
Yes, Paris can be dirty, in the same way that London or New York City can be dirty. Paris is one of the largest, and most densely populated cities in Europe. Due to the large number of people there will of course be issues with trash and liter.
In my experience, popular tourist areas such as the Latin Quarter can get quite dirty. This is especially true in the summertime and later at night as tourists irresponsibly throw their trash on the ground.
Although the busier streets can get dirty, there are still places in Paris that are beautiful and clean. Some of the best places to visit include the magnificent gardens, such as the Luxembourg Gardens.
Tip: If you are an early riser, a 7am walk can be a great way to experience the city in a cleaner, more peaceful atmosphere.
Why is Paris Overhyped? Is Paris Overrated?
Paris can definitely be considered an overhyped destination as it attracts millions and millions of visitors and tourists each year.
Many people come to Paris because of it being a bucket-list destination. Others visit because they aren’t as familiar with other destinations to visit in France or in Europe. Just because Paris is popular, doesn’t mean that it is the ideal European vacation for everyone.
Paris is a great city, but there are lots of amazing places in Europe. If you plan to visit Paris, make sure that you have a reason or interest in seeing something specific. Having an idea of what you plan to see in Paris will likely make the trip more enjoyable.
Tip: Spend only a portion of your time in Paris. Then, venture out to smaller towns and villages, such as Bruges, Belgium. This is a great way to get a break from the crowds!
Is Paris Crowded?
Paris can be very crowded. In addition to the 2.14 million people that live in Paris, the city attracts around 22 million visitors each year! The large number of tourists can definitely add to the “Paris is overrated” feeling.
Paris is especially crowded during the summer months, as this is the high season for travel in most of Europe. If you don’t like crowds, I’d recommend visiting in early spring, late fall, or winter.
Tip: Did you know Paris is full of hidden gems? These are places that are less well-known and therefore are a great way to escape the crowds.
One great way to escape the crowds is to visit the hidden gems of Paris on this bicycle tour. This 4 hour guided tour will ride around Paris via electric bikes and take you to all the hidden but must see spots to truly experience Paris.
Another great way to explore the hidden gems in Paris is on a walking tour. This private hidden gems walking tour is well priced with over 100+ 5 star reviews. On the tour, a local Parisian will take you to around Paris and show you the main sites as well as some hidden gems. It’s a great way to see Paris!
Looking for hidden gems in Paris to visit on your own? Check out this guide on 25 Hidden Gems in Paris, for a list of some off the beaten path spots to visit!
Is Paris Expensive?
Paris is located in Western Europe. Therefore, it is more expensive than in comparison to cities in Eastern Europe, South America, or Southeast Asia. However, it is typically less expensive than cities in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, or Norway.
In my experience, Paris prices were quite similar to what I would pay in some of the larger US cities.
To keep Paris more affordable, try to visit in the off-season, use the metro, and take advantage of all the free or low cost activities.
My biggest tip is to try to visit Paris in spring, fall, or winter. Summer time in Paris is expensive.
Where to Stay on a Budget in Paris
So yes, Paris can be expensive, but it really depends on the person. As with any destination, there are always ways to stay on budget in Paris.
Looking for a budget friendly, yet comfortable and clean hotel in Paris? After traveling to Paris several times, I have the following recommendations. I have personally stayed at each of these hotels and would recommend them.
📍 Budget Friendly: Hotel Korner Eiffel
This hotel is located in the 15th arrondissement, and is in a beautiful, yet quiet neighborhood. It is walking distance to the Seine River and Eiffel Tower. You can easily access other sites via the metro.
It is a boutique hotel, with basic amenities but I highly recommend it if you are looking for a clean, modern boutique hotel. This was the first hotel I ever stayed at in Paris, and I fell in love with the beautiful Parisian style architecture in the neighborhood.
📍 Mid-Range: Hotel De Seine
This hotel is located in the center of Paris, in the 6th arriondesment. Located just outside the hotel are restaurants and cafes, and you’ll be walking distance from major sites like the Seine River, Notre Dame, Luxembourg Gardens, the Louvre, and much more.
The rooms have that classic Parisian feel to them. Also, the hotel offers air-conditioning which is important in the summer months. We stayed here in July and it was a great experience. I especially recommend this hotel for first time visitors to Paris as it’s in a great neighborhood.
Why do People Love Paris?
While some may think that Paris is overrated, there is truly something magical about the City of Lights. From the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night, to the gorgeous Haussmann architecture, to the picturesque streets of Montmartre, there is just something so unique about Paris.
There are so many reasons to fall in love with Paris. The city is full of rich history, art, culture, and French flair.
There is high end shopping for fashionistas, museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay for art enthusiasts, historical sites such as the Notre Dame and the Musée de Cluny for history buffs, beautiful outdoor spaces such as the Luxembourg Gardens for nature lovers, delious French and International foods for foodies, and picturesque neighborhoods like Le Marais and Montmartre for culture enthusiasts.
People fall in love with Paris because even with the negative aspects of the city, it is a unique city that offers something for everyone.
Is Paris the Most Romantic City in the World?
Paris is often referred to as the City of Love and can be a very romantic city. There is something quite romantic about seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night while taking a stroll along the Seine.
Some of the most romantic spots in Paris include the artsy Montmartre district, the banks along the Seine, the Luxembourg Gardens, the Notre Dame, and of course – the Eiffel Tower.
However, it is important to keep in mind that Paris is not a small, fairytale village. It does not look exactly like the how the movies or popular TV shows make it appear. There are many romantic areas in Paris, but it is also a large city that faces the same issues with cleanliness and crowdedness that other large cities face.
Are People Rude in Paris?
There is a common stereotype that Parisians are rude, however this has not been my experience in Paris. In fact, the Parisians I have worked with and met while traveling have been incredibly kind and helpful.
There are certain cultural differences that may contribute to the stereotype of Parisians coming off as rude. The first is that many Parisians tend to be more reserved and it isn’t as common to smile or start talking to random strangers as it is in parts of the US. This doesn’t make Parisians rude, it is just simply cultural differences.
Tip: Always say “Bonjour” before ordering something or starting a conversation. It is considered rude in France to not say “Hello” before speaking to someone. If it is evening time, you will say “Bonsoir” instead. It is also a great practice to add in a s’il vous plaît (Please) when ordering or asking for something.
Is Paris Safe?
Yes, Paris is a safe city to visit. I have traveled as a solo female to parts of Paris that are outside the tourist areas and not exactly the nicest areas, yet still felt safer in Paris than I have in some of the bigger cities in the US. However, it is always important to use common sense when traveling, such as avoiding walking by yourself late at night, etc.
The biggest thing to know about safety in Paris is that pickpockets are unfortunately quite common, especially in tourist areas and on the metro.
Its important to not leave your phone or wallet in your back pocket or a backpack, as this makes you an easy target. Pickpocketing is a crime of opportunity, and so keeping aware of your surroundings and not making it easy to take your wallet will make it less likely.
It is also important to know that scams can be common in Paris. These include things such as trying to get you to sign protests or putting a bracelet on your wrist and insisting you then pay an absurd amount for it. Many of these scams are to distract tourists while their partner pickpockets you.
To avoid scams, say no and keep walking. Don’t let someone confuse you or hold your attention. Also, do not let pickpocketing and scams make you nervous about going to Paris. I have travelled to Paris many times and have not experienced any issues, it is just something to be aware and cautious of.
Tip: Do not carry around a lot of cash. Credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere. If by chance your wallet is taken, credit cards can easily be cancelled, where as cash is lost forever.
Comparing Paris: Is Paris Better than London? Is it Better to Visit Paris or Italy?
London is another major international city in Europe, and is often compared to Paris. Deciding which one to visit really depends on personal preference.
In my experience, London felt larger and less walkable than Paris. London also felt more like a “modern city” and Paris, while still a large, modern city had a bit more charm to it with the Haussmann style buildings and other beautiful architecture.
London still has a lot to offer, and can definitely be worth checking out. Luckily the Eurostar train offers an easy way to get from Paris to London, making it possible to see both cities.
Italy is another popular European travel destination. Rome, Italy is a large city that could be compared to Paris with all it’s historical significance, while Florence, Italy can compete with Paris in the areas of art and culture. Again, it depends on personal preference and what you are interested in doing.
Both Paris and Italy have incredible food scenes, historical significance, and beautiful architecture. Depending on the amount of time you have on your trip, you could consider an open jaw flight that allows you to fly into Paris, spend a few days in the city and then take a short, cheap flight to the city of your choice in Italy to experience a bit of both.
The Weather in Paris
Although Paris has a considerably mild climate, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the weather.
The average summer temperatures are around 65-77F, however, especially in the last few years Paris has been experiencing intense heat waves in which the temperatures reach 90-100F.
The issue in Paris is that there are not many places to cool down. Restaurants, shops, museums, and many hotels do not have any air conditioning. There are also no real “beaches” in Paris, and so it can be hard to find a place to keep cool.
Coming from the United States, this can be quite a culture shock. The hot weather in the summer paired with the high crowds can certainly make Paris feel overrated. I highly recommend visiting Paris in the fall, winter, or spring as the crowds are lower and the weather is more mild.
Why Paris May be Disappointing
Paris is a city that is often overhyped up to be one of the most beautiful, romantic places on earth. In reality, it is a beautiful but large city that experiences over tourism, especially in the summer months.
The large crowds, dirty city streets, and high expenses can leave people feeling disappointed in their trip to Paris, and feeling that “Paris is overrated and overhyped.”
The overhype of Paris being this fairytale, romantic place has even led to some tourists experiencing Paris Syndrome. Paris Syndrome refers an extreme form of culture shock in which an individual is so severely disappointed in Paris that it causes a mix of psychological and physical symptoms.
Paris Syndrome happens when people have very high expectations for Paris to be a romanticized, highly glamourous city, and instead find themselves in a big city that is full of crowds, expensive, and not always very clean.
Is Paris Actually Worth Visiting? Or is Paris Overrated?
Yes, Paris is worth visiting, but it is important to have realistic expectations for your visit in order to avoid disappointment.
Paris is full of crowds, the hotel rooms will be tiny, the streets can be dirty, pickpocketing is a concern, the weather can be very hot in the summer, and it can be very expensive.
However, Paris is also full of unique and beautiful architecture, delicious foods, a café culture that allows for relaxation while enjoying a glass of wine, picturesque walks along the Seine, beautiful gardens, some of the best art museums in the world, a plethora of historical sites for history buffs, entertaining shows and nightlife, and of course views of the famous Eiffel Tower sparkling at night.
Therefore, while Paris has its downsides, Paris is not overrated and is worth visiting at least once. For some people, a few days in plenty in Paris while others will fall in love with the city and want to come back again and again.
Conclusion: Is Paris Overrated?
No, Paris is not totally overrated. It is a city that has downsides, like any other major city. However, Paris still has a lot to offer and is worth visiting at least once.
It is a great idea to spend a few days in Paris, but then move on to spend some time in smaller towns or more off the beaten path destinations. To do this, it is important to plan a trip based on what you enjoy and are interested in and to visit smaller destinations that match that.