Imperfections of Paris

Paris, by Packing my Suitcase.

Every place has its dark side, every place has its flaws and its imperfections, after all nobody is perfect, nor is a place. That perfect image people tend to have of Paris often leads to disappointment, or the very least, to unexpected surprises when arriving there for the first time.

Since my first visit to Paris in 2003, I hear many people saying that they fell instantly in love with this well-known romantic city. Meanwhile, others needed to give it a second chance in order to fall in love with it, and many others still haven’t felt this love.

I was one of those people who instantly fell in love with Paris. However, it was only after I lived there for a few months that I discovered and noticed things that the vast majority of tourists don’t, or at least don’t want to. Maybe because they prefer keeping the good image of the city.

Well, for those of you who so far have only seen the perfect side of Paris, I am sorry, but I am about to show you the reality I have experienced throughout the years in the city. Don’t get me wrong, I love Paris and always will, I already introduced all the reasons that make me go back again and again to the city of lights on my post Why is Paris always a good idea? Now its time to tell you what I find to be the imperfections of Paris.

Too expensive

This is not a surprise to any of you that ever planned to visit the city. Not only hotels and food are expensive, but if you ever lived in Paris or ever met someone who did, will know that they have even more reasons to complain about this problem.

A small studio of 18 square meters in the city center may cost between 700 – 1000 Euros per month. The average price of an apartment per square meters in the city center costs 10,000.00 Euros, just in case you want to buy one. A monthly pass for the public transportation costs around 60 Euros. A regular cappuccino may cost you up to 4 Euros. So yes, Paris is really expensive, not a “conventional” expensive.

Paris, by Packing my Suitcase.


Of all cities I have been to in Europe, Paris is by far the most insecure one. I have seen victims of violence on the streets, cars being burnt during protests, and have been a victim of one of the innumerous scams that happen every single day around the city. So be careful when stopping by the Eiffel Tower to admire it and take a selfie without paying attention around you. Be careful and don’t accept help from strangers, unless you request.

Public transportation infrastructure

Whoever says that the Paris metro is organized, efficient and with good infrastructure, has never been to London, Munich, Madrid or even to Budapest. It’s not only because of the fact that it is dirty – once I witnessed 3 consecutive trains with poop spread in its wagons – but also because it is incredibly tiring, there are endless stairs and it is rare to find an escalator, good luck if you need to carry your luggage around. If you are a disabled traveler, forget it; there are no elevators, maybe in the new stations.

I lost count of how many times the metro I used to take to go back home was blocked at some point in the middle of the way, because of an “accident”. Not to mention that sometimes to make a connection you need to walk around 2Km to 3Km from one train to the other – I am serious!

Paris, by Packing my Suitcase.


Pickpockets are probably the worse nightmare for tourists in Paris. Whether you are admiring the Eiffel Tower, taking pictures in front of the Arc du Triomphe, watching one of those street presentations, talking to a friend in the metro or walking on the Champs ElysΓ©es… they are there! Observing you, waiting for the perfect moment to steal your phone, money, wallet… and you will only notice it when it’s too late. Be careful!

Horrible apartments

Calm down, let me explain! Paris is a luxurious city, and as tourists we only pay attention to the beautiful buildings and its stunning faΓ§ades. What we don’t know is that behind that “post card” image, there might be an awful, tiny and weird studio.

When I was living in Paris I wanted to move to another apartment, ideally the cheapest possible, and at the same time to a “normal” and comfortable place. So one day I signed up to visit a possible option – along with other 30 people. Arriving at the building – in a very nice neighborhood and looking amazing on the outside – I was chocked to see a room of 17 square meters where the bed, kitchen, toilet and shower shared the same space… THE SAME SPACE!

Can you imagine cooking while your boyfriend is using the toilet right beside the oven?! Oh, did I forget to mention that it cost 700 Euros monthly to live there? Eww, no thanks!


If you ever been to Paris you have noticed peddlers selling trinkets by the Eiffel Tower, or nearby the Basilique du SacrΓ© Coeur. I don’t know about you, but I have had bad experiences with them. Especially if you are a woman, be careful when they come to offer you something, they can be very persistent and persuasive, most of all annoying and aggressive if you insist on saying no!

Thanks to W, one of the guys stopped pestering me and my friend for putting some kind of wrist bands on our hands, even after we said no about a 1000 times. Though, the guy’s friends weren’t too happy about W telling him to leave us alone, so they threatened him saying: “be careful, we are too many”. Well, I don’t like them, and I avoid them as much as I can, they make me really uncomfortable.

Paris, by Packing my Suitcase.


No doubt, Paris is a stressful city for those living there and also for tourists. There are always too much noise, too much traffic, too much people running in every direction bumping into you or asking you to step out of their way, too much signs, to many lines… but too less people willing to help you find your way.

Music in the metro

Of all before mentioned imperfections of Paris, this is the least one you should be concerned about. However, it is an imperfection I hate, and one that many other big European cities have: people playing an instrument or singing loud in the metro and asking for money. I seriously hated that when I lived in Paris. Listening to these people early in the morning already made a bad start on my day, not that I don’t like music… I just don’t like BAD music, especially if it’s too loud and in the morning. Sorry!

Paris, by Packing my Suitcase.You may or may not agree with all I said; these are all my personal experience and opinion. If you do have any other imperfection of Paris to add, please share with us. If you do or do not agree with me, please do share your thoughts too πŸ™‚

Post part of the blog link up All About France

Lou Messugo

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • Looking at Paris in pictures and videos, it does look like a romantic city. I’ve always wanted to visit but it’s never on top of my to-visit list – I’m not much of a romantic πŸ˜€ Anyway, a few months ago one of my friends came back from a trip to Paris and she said exactly all of what you said here! All the time she felt insecure, that she was being watched and there was rubbish everywhere. There were homeless people sleeping everywhere too, she said. She also said London had much more charm than Paris – even the architecture in London was better.

    That is a very unpleasant encounter you had with those guys trying to sell you things. At least W looked out for you, but I’m sure you would have been okay on your own πŸ˜€ It seems like many people who are into fashion and like spending like Paris, I don’t know, that’s my perception.

    Great photos, always, Allane πŸ™‚

    • Yes, I guess most people see the same thing.. but most only mention the good part. Your friends are right, there also a lot of homeless people there too, everywhere. London is no doubt more organized than Paris… the architecture is different, I love both πŸ˜€

      Thank you, glad you always like my photos πŸ˜€

      • I wonder why people mention only the good part. Good on you for mentioning the not-so-good parts. We can all learn something from them too. Of course, no city is perfect. You are very observant around you, picking up every detail. So much energy there πŸ˜€

        Of course I always like your photos. They are good photos and you always capture the action. Always feel like I’m on holiday with you πŸ˜€

        • True Mabel… maybe because sometimes the truth hurts πŸ˜€ but I like knowing the truth, it can spare us from a bad time.

          I am so happy with what you said! That is really my intention, to make you feel like you are traveling with me πŸ˜€ you are so sweet πŸ™‚

          • The truth does hurt sometimes. But you are right. The truth can protect us for our own good and safety. Better to be safe than sorry πŸ™‚ And knowing the truth, we learn.

            You are always so honest, I like that πŸ˜€

          • Better to be safe than sorry, I like that πŸ˜€

            Thank you, I like to be honest…. I also think you are very honest in your posts, and fearless to say what you think πŸ˜‰

  • I must say, Paris is one of my favourite cities! But you are right. It is sooooo expensive, the cab drivers drive like crazy people and there are a lot of beggars (Can I call them that?) We were literally hounded by them when my husband and I went. They wouldn’t take no for answer.

    On one occasion, a guy asked if we wanted our picture taken in front of the Eiffel tower (with our own camera) we naively thought, “Yeah, why not!” …he took the picture then charged us 50 euro’s for the pleasure. My husband was reluctant to pay at first, but the man started walking off with our camera…so he finally coughed up the money!

    Oh…and one last thing, in the winter it is bitterly cold. I froze my a*** off on that Eiffel tower!

    So yes! Paris…not the picturesque place we see in the media!

    • hahaha oh my Amanda, thank you so much for sharing your experience!!!
      I am so sorry for what happened with the guy in front of the Eiffel Tower… this is one of the famous scams in Paris, there are so many smart people there taking advantage of tourists! I hate that, very unfair way of earning money.

      And up in the Eiffel Tower during winter is very cold indeed!!!

      πŸ˜€ I hope you have a great weekend!! Thank for replying to my e-mail… I will reply back soon πŸ˜€

  • Despite its many imperfections, it still allows for some beautiful photography πŸ™‚ nice post!

  • I’ve never felt in love with paris (despite many visits) but I never had the chance to live in this city, maybe my opinion would change πŸ™‚

    • Hmmm… probably not! When I lived there I hated it… I only made peace with the city again after I returned to being a tourist πŸ˜€ I love visiting it, despite the negative things…. but I would never live there again, not by choice at least.

      • What I really dislike about Paris is how disgusting the town is. It’s smelly, it’s not clean. I don’t like the atmosphere in general. Even if I LOVE “les jardins du Luxembourg”, it’s so peaceful !

        • Its true that it is smelly and dirty πŸ™
          I also love les Jardins du Luxembourg πŸ˜€

  • I’ve been to Paris twice and was never super impressed. Nice in the south is much more friendly and better weather! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Danika, thank you for the comment and for stopping by. You are right that in Nice people are more friendly and the weather is better πŸ˜€ people in smalerl cities in France are way more friendly than Paris.
      Have a great weekend!

  • I had my purse stolen in Paris a few years ago and when we visited this year my friend’s phone was stolen. It’s pretty to look at, but way to crowded and there’s SO MUCH theft!! Obviously you have to look out for pick pockets in any big city, but Paris has always struck me as being the worst.

    • OMG really? πŸ™ sorry to hear (read) that!!
      I couldn’t agree more with you… there is too much theft and its most probably the worst place when it comes to pickpockets πŸ™ which is pretty sad, because the city is definitely beautiful.
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience!! πŸ™‚

  • Completely agree with all these imperfections – you have them spot on. Despite this though, I too do still love Paris.

    • Its a shame these problems exist, because Paris e such a beautiful city! I hope it won’t get worse in the future πŸ™

  • Guess there are all these little things that every country has. Looks good when you are visiting but the truth only comes out when you live there πŸ™‚ .

    And trust us – we are one of those that talks about Paris Metro efficiency and if you see Sydney train system you will totally understand why. We’ve experienced London, Budapest and Switzerland public transport and we think they all blow what we have out of the water LOL

    We were one of those people that fell in love the second time around. The first time, we didn’t really see it for what it was and this time, we just felt so at home walking around… Don’t know if we could ever live there but we managed to “feel” and obviously look like a local because we had tourists asking us where to find certain metro stations and streets…. heheheeh…

    • Ohhh my is the Sydney train system so bad? πŸ™ I would never guess that!!
      Im happy you fell in love at the second time πŸ˜€ I think every city deserves a second chance! Paris is beautiful, stunning… its sad that these problems exist… but I also know many great cities with similar problems.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences guys, means a lot. Its good to know you had a great time there πŸ˜€

  • Good to know! Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    I think the popularity of a touristic place does invite a lot of nuisancers as well :/

    • I agree with you!!
      The media also contributes a lot to mask a few things that you only notice when you are there. Its good to know about the bad things too, so we are aware of what we should be careful with.
      Glad you liked the post πŸ˜€ have a great weekend!

  • Sha

    If there is one consistent thing that I keep reading about paris, it’s the pickpockets. I’ve read so much about it that I got quite paranoid when I was researching for a trip there (which I didn’t end up going cos of other reasons). Nevertheless, small and expensive apartments are nothing new to me, it’s pretty common in Japan and getting an apartment in singapore is literally signing your whole life away.

    Anyway, thanks for the introduction to the dark side of Paris. I will keep these in mind if I ever get to visit Paris..

    • Yes Sha, pickpockets are a serious problem in Paris πŸ™ so are scams. I think its important to know the bad things too so we can be careful and avoid problems, we dont want our holiday to be ruined.

      Ohh my hahaha “sign your life away”, I loved that… I know the feeling from when I was living in Switzerland… my pockets hurt πŸ™

  • I agree with you, a lot of people only see Paris the way it’s pictured in travel magazines. The first time I’ve visited, it was my first trip abroad and I’ve loved it. This summer, I went for the second time and I’ve still liked it but I kept wondering if the metro was as dirty then as it was now. Mom, however, could go there every month and she still wouldn’t get tired of it. πŸ˜‰

    • hahaha I think I am also a bit like your mom Vlad… even though there are things that irritate me in Paris. Its beautiful, but its that it is so unsafe… when Im there Im always watching out, because there are many smart people there waiting to take advantage… in Brazil people already come with guns, so you already know how it works… in Paris you just don’t notice when it happens hahaha big difference.
      But anyways, the metro is really dirty πŸ™ and I think it got worse along the years!

  • Haha can I disagree πŸ™‚ ?

    I have lived here since -99 (a lot of traveling in between) and I am not French. I have had ups and downs with Paris and France (and with the Parisians and the French!), but I am pretty happy here at the moment.
    First of all, France is a very old country/nation/combination of ethnic groups and it takes time to understand the mentality. Many ppl (foreigners) have this love and hate relationship but many times it is due to a lack of understanding….

    I think a lot of the things you mention apply to certain extent to all big cities…

    I have never had a security problem in Paris and I feel much safer here than in Helsinki, Finland, or London, or Brussels… None of my friends or family who have visited us has ever had a pickpocket or harassment problem… Not saying it doesn’t exist, but in general it is always a good idea not to hang around too much around touristic monuments and talk to strangers… I never respond or even look at any of the guys selling mini Eiffel towers and other souvenirs… This applies to wherever I travel.

    Re: prices. Paris is cheaper than e.g. London and New York and once you know places, you eat really well for not that much money! I have lived all over the world and I am quite impressed how well one can eat here. BUT: I choose places according to good & simple food, and don’t go to trendy places to eat! Rule number one!
    If you eat in front of the Eiffel Tower, it will be expensive, but so is eating in front of the Central Park or that main square in Milan… or Rome!
    And at least in Paris there aren’t two menus (one for the locals and one for the tourists, something certain other countries do).

    If you get a quick coffee at the counter (there are many old cute places left), “un cafe” costs 1€10 – 1€20 πŸ™‚

    We were inbetween flats recently (before buying this one) and rented 45 sq meters for 1100€/ month near the Eiffel tower and Unesco…. not bad! It was from the agency, not through friends or connections.

    Yes buying in expensive, but compared to London and New York (that’s the level I compare Paris to), Paris is affordable.
    And our flat is the most beautiful one πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 1km from Notre Dame but in such a quiet neighborhood!!!!
    You will hopefully see it one day πŸ™‚ We renovated EVERYTHING, lots of money and time yes, but no cold air coming in from the windows and heating works…
    But unfortunately many owners don’t want to invest in the maintenance (universal problem) and as many students come here and are forced to rent something quickly, many landlords take advantage πŸ™ But again, this is a question of supply and demand, and the demand is higher here as it is in almost any major first world city…

    What else… πŸ˜‰ ? Sorry to disagree, hope you don’t mind πŸ™‚
    I have been here for long enough to have my own ups and downs, as I mentioned in the beginning, but I think by now I have accumulated enough experience and knowledge that enable me to look at things from a different angle, so I thought it would be fair to give an other perspective to your post!

    Ciao & have a great weekend, Miia

    • Of course you can disagree, and I am very thankful for that!! You are the expert, you know Paris really well, and I was actually waiting for you to comment on the post so I could see your perspective πŸ˜€

      I totally agree with you about understanding the mentality, I have experienced this here in Germany and many of my old thoughts about the country changed.

      And I also agree with you that one should avoid be around the famous touristic places, the only problem is that that is exactly where the tourists will want to be when in Paris. Of course that when I lived there I wasnt all the time around the landmarks, so no problem at all. And when you live there you are aware of scams, and where to go and not (especially for eating)… but on a tourist perspective it is hard… I know that because when people tell me their experience in Brazil I have to understand that they didnt have a friend there or a family to show around and bring awareness regarding dangerous places or recommending a good place to eat of visit…

      I agree with all you said, and some of these things I didn actually know, which is good to know now and see your perspective. But unfortunately not everyone knows, and most dont even have time to know, as they only spend 3 or 4 days in the city then, gone!

      I think it would be awesome if you write a post giving tips of Paris as an insider, tips to make life easier for tourists πŸ˜€ I would love to read it!

      Thank you so much for taking your time and share all these insider’s informations, its priceless πŸ˜€ I already know that next time Im in Paris I will have someone to trust and recommend me things πŸ˜€

      • Hahah maybe I should write a post “My response to the post written by AM” πŸ™‚
        Yes there are some things I’d like to say and part of my list is ready (remarks I have accumulated by listening to tourists), but I haven’t written anything down yet. One day!

        I have really no reason to defend the French -I am not even one of them!- but it does often irritate me when ppl say things that are just not right, or based on misunderstandings (not talking about you now!).

        On another level, France is a country of such a long, old, complicated and strong identity that it often creates extreme reactions in ppl.
        E.g. look at the British press, always trashing France hahaha (ok now someone will hate me saying this!!)

        Going back to your post, I’d just like to add that the more the person travels, the more he/she learns common sense “how to behave” things and therefore avoids being treated (and cheated) as a tourist…
        Anywhere in the world, never walk into a restaurant that has the menu with photos, translated into 15 languages πŸ˜‰ Or in Paris, I always tell ppl not to eat in the Quartier Latin, that area of tiny streets full of Greek restos…. such a tourist trap.
        And I even tell ppl to avoid Champs Elysees.. and if they really insists on going, I tell them never to order anything as it is ridiculously expensive.. The only reason ever that draws me to that street is the Louis Vuitton gallery (great views by the way). Otherwise it has become a playground for rich Russian and Arabs.

        Remind me, where did you live here? When was it?

        It is tough being in a foreign city. If you don’t know anyone, who do you ask? You can ask the hotel reception but can you trust them to tell the truth…?

        So, when are you returning to your favorite city πŸ˜‰ ?

        • Yess please do write this post soon πŸ˜€

          But keep in mind that when you live in the city is totally different than when you are just visiting… most people come to Munich and all they do is spend 1 day here in have a beer at the HofbrΓ€uhaus… for this means nothing, its not enough to cause any impression. So imagine when you go for the first time to Paris and has no idea what actually goes on there… pretty hard! Same things applies to Rio de Janeiro and many other famous cities in the world. Thats why I think having help or support from a local its totally different πŸ˜€ I wish a could visit every country with helps from a local friend, its really does make a huge difference.

          I was there for 3 months between December 2008 and February 2009, I used to work at the Brioche Doree at the Gare Saint-Lazard πŸ˜€ and at that time I didnt have much help from people, so I discovered things on my own.

          I dont when Im visiting you and your new apartment πŸ˜€ but when I do you will be the first to know πŸ˜€

          • Haha, maybe that beer thing in comparable to a tourist walking up and down Champs Elysees where there are practically no Parisians… and then no wonder everyone says Paris is expensive when they pay 10€ for a coke! But to me this is kind of common sense, avoid as much as you can the tourist traps. Nobody forces you to eat in the proximity… e.g., walk 200 meters away from Louvre and there are wonderful places, just don’t stay right in front of Louvre. The same in every capital and touristic city.

            This morning my husband went to buy bread and an Italian man in a car stopped him asking for directions. He wanted my husband to GET INTO HIS CAR (nobody in his/her right mind does that anywhere in the world!!), which he obviously refused, and then he started selling “design” jackets… My husband left quickly and no harm done. So, again, an example of common sense saving you πŸ™‚

            Gare St Lazare area, like many train/RER station areas are not particularly nice or charming… Did you live nearby?

          • hahaha yes probably!!
            After living there I also avoid eating nearby touristic places, but of course that if I compare the prices even in hidden nice places in Paris, its way more expensive than Munich, but still way cheaper than in Geneva πŸ™‚ Switzerland was the most expensive place I have ever been so far. But dont take me wrong, I said that Paris is expensive because it is, I didnt say it is the most or the only one… Ive also been to NY and London and they are also expensive, and if I wrote a post about them I would say the same πŸ™‚ though I would say the same to Munich for example, unless I compared it to Berlin (which is cheaper).

            The common sense is something very important in this kind of situation, but many people dont have that… me as a Brazilian, I would do the same as your husband did! In Brazil we have a lot going on so we dont trust anybody! Here in Germany things work veeery differently, things are so safe that I find it hard to trust hahaha

            I lived in the Beaulieu, in Aubervilliers. It was where the agency found me a shared apartment. I dont even have to say that I hated it do I? I must say that for a woman, its not the best place to be. Thats why I wanted to move to a more central location and closer to work since I spent most of my time there anyways πŸ˜€ but I ended up staying there for the whole 3 months.

          • I now remember that you had told me where you lived. I don’t blame you and I now understand better your experience here! I have always been lucky to find reasonable places right in the center, but yes, Aubervilliers sounds and must be awful…. My husband grew up in the southern part of Paris in a nice and bourgeois (but so boring) neighborhood and swears never to go back, so we prefer to have a small place in the center of Paris (we have a two bedroom apartment, 60sq m) than a house in one of the depressing suburbs… Moreover, I grew up in a small town in Finland, which I hated too, so no desire whatsoever to move anywhere more far way than 1km from Notre Dame πŸ˜‰ (sorry for being such a snob!)

            Did you come here to learn the language?

            I think it is difficult to compare cities.. First of all, capitals are always more expensive, they are in their own category, so maybe comparing Munich and Paris is not really justified?
            But comparing Paris and Berlin is not good either, bc Berlin is an exception (a “cheap” capital). I have artist friends living there and it is impressive how low the living costs are!!

            Also re: real estate prices of Paris, one must remember that historic European capitals attract a lot of investors that push the prices up too. So it really is a whole new game for Paris, London, Rome, Madrid…

            PS Do you think someone would actually get into the car of that Italian? I cannot believe someone could do that….! But maybe we are an exception: you have your instinct that is crucial in order to survive in Brazil I think, and I have gained my personal security experience elsewhere..

            Have a great week πŸ™‚

          • Yeahh I totally understand… I also prefer living in the center city, with everything close. I also grew up in a small city then moved to big ones. I think I found the perfect place to live, because at the same time that Munich is a big city, it is still not so big compared to Brazilian cities, and there are so many nice quiet neighborhoods to live, its safe and all… but here the prices are also high in terms of real estate, you would be surprised… but Berlin is indeed very cheap, though their salary is lower than here in Munich.

            I went to Paris to practice my French and do something different during my University’s vacation in Brazil πŸ˜€ It was great, I learned a lot, but of course it could have been better if I lived in the center city. But that doesn’t mean I would think different of the city πŸ˜€

            Anways, thank you for the nice and very constructive discussion πŸ˜€ dont forget to write your post about Paris πŸ˜€ Have a great week to!

  • I have visited Paris 4 times and until today, still cannot bring myself to fall in love with it. I love its rich history and its beautiful buildings but in the end, it is just another big city. I much prefer the French countryside. Everything is so expensive in Paris that you can only look , but cannot taste, touch or wear!

    • Awwn really Helene?! Yes it happens… I know many people that dont like Paris, and others that love it. I guess you said exactly what I think… you can only look, because there are so many expensive things there… too much luxury, Im also on the simple side, I like things I can afford and also calm places πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!! I wish you a great weekend!

  • Interesting take. Good to know. I’m interested in your thoughts on how it compares to NYC.

    • Hi Amanda!! I find NY very expensive in terms of renting or buying an apartment, more than Paris; but I honestly think that as a tourist NY is more affordable… I dont find taxi or food expensive in NY, but in Paris I do… In Paris is much more difficult to find an affordable nice place to eat, and in NY you can find it easily, you find both very expensive and affordable, I like that about NY πŸ˜€
      In terms of security I believe its different, in Paris you have “smaller problems” and in NY you also have terrorism risks… but both cities are dangerous, even though in NY I felt much more secure than in Paris.
      Are you planning to visit both? Or ever been to one of them or both?

      • Thanks for your thoughtful response. I’m a born and raised nyker bit is love to visit our live in Paris one day. I wanted to see if your gripes with the cities are similar. I like the musicians in the subway here but the nyc subways are confusing and dirty. I love them anyway. πŸ˜‰

        • You’re welcome Amanda! It was just a little bit of my experience in both cities… and I must say, I love NY too πŸ˜€ I’ve been there 2 times and hope to go back again soon.

          Well, I hope you can visit Paris or live there someday so you can experience it… and share your thoughts πŸ˜€ I can only say that the thing these cities has in common the most is that they are huge cities πŸ˜€

  • Yeah, actually Paris never left a first good impression on me and I blame Hollywood for that! πŸ™‚ The streets are dirty, too much hype about “love” on top of Eiffel Tower, too many touts. The very few places I enjoyed were Montmatre and while I’m inside the Museums. But…there are a few gems in the city, so at least I can say that I have seen both the good, bad and the ugly. LOL!

    • hahaha you made a great point Kath… there are good, bad and ugly things in Paris. And you are right, the media really does make a whole romantic and amazing thing about Paris. It is an amazing city, and I love it, especially Montmartre, but we cant deny that its not that perfect thing we see in movies and on the media. And there are thing tourists should be aware about Paris, in order to make the most of it.
      I appreciate a lot your thoughts, for taking your time to read and to share your opinion, it means a lot πŸ˜€

  • I was in Paris for the first time his summer and I didn’t like it all that much. I think it could be beautiful but mainly there were too many tourists during the summer and I agree that the metros could be horribly inefficient. I can’t imagine finding poop in the trains… Ewwww!!! We thought about staying in Paris for a month actually, but all the apartments we saw were like what you described, so no thanks! I’d like to visit again though and see if I could like it more :).

    • Hi Anna, thank you very much for sharing your experience and also for sharing the post on your Twitter, I appreciate it πŸ˜€

      So, yes… Paris has many amazing things that could make it a perfect city. But as you said there are always too much tourists (especially during summer)… well, the population is already huge in the city, and where there is too much people its very hard to control security and also how clean the city is…. its a shame. I guess Paris was an amazing place to live decades ago.

      I hope you go back there and experience new things, maybe you will love it πŸ˜€ Despite the bad things, I like Paris, but nowadays only to visit, not to live.

      And there are indeed many bad apartments to live, I was impressed when I was living there and also disappointed, as a tourist you have no idea these things exist, and when you see them you get very disappointed πŸ™ its a shame.

      Thank you so much once again πŸ˜€ I wish you a great weekend!

  • I must say this is a very interesting post.

    Yes, we all get swayed by the glamour and glitz, we get carried by beauty and bounty, we get lost in the history and historical monuments…we see one side of the place when we visit a tourist spot and we are always biased by what we have read and hear…

    It is always better to have a balanced view of life and things in life…it gives a tinge of surprise to talk of imperfection in the same breath as Paris…as we have built a different mental image of the place…

    These are darker sides which get eclipsed in the illumination of brighter side of the beautiful place…

    The pictures are wonderfully captured…love it!!!

    • Your words are always wonderful Nihar, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      I couldn’t agree more with you! And this happens not only with Paris, but with many other places too… and no doubt it is always good to know the good and the bad side of things.

      Thank you for the compliment too, Im glad you liked my photo πŸ˜€ have a great week!

      • Thanks…It was definitely a different idea and it was very interesting and enlightening…I did really enjoyed the thoughts…Hope you are having a great weekend!!!

        • Thank you Nihar!! My weekend was great, I hope yours was too. I wish you now a great week ahead πŸ™‚

  • All the reasons that make it almost impossible for me to like Paris. I’ve been there a few times and I’m always looking forward to leave. Unfortunately.

    • Ohh no, really Andre?? Well that happens, I know many people that share the same feeling as you and I don’t blame it. Thank you so much for sharing your opinion here πŸ™‚

  • The pictures in the post are truly lovely πŸ™‚ Having lived in London, and now living in New York, I totally agree that once you live in a place, you fully see the good and the bad parts, something that a tourist would naturally not appreciate :)) This post reminds me of the misadventures we had when we were looking for a “flat” to rent in London πŸ™‚

    • Hi Shikha! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. How awesome that you lived in London and now in NY… it is true that as tourists we don’t see how life really is in a place, I have been through this experience a few times and in some places today I just want to be a tourist, in others to live πŸ˜€ no place is perfect, we will always find something to complain about I guess haha
      I can only imagine how was your experience looking for a flat in London haha πŸ˜€

  • Anna

    Well, Paris will always be my favorite city! I agree with pickpockets/chance of getting robbed…20 years ago someone almost grabbed my mum’s bag while we were eating in Les Halles area, my parents went after him, he got scared and dropped the bag! I agree with the metro, it is dirty, but also old and so vast and I’ve seen the state of London’s metro too (which I’ve visited far to many times) so I’m not surprised. Also in London there are no elevators and when commuting to the airport you have to carry your 20+kg suitcase up and down the stairs.
    As for the prices, I’ll have to disagree. Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities I’ve visited and London comes a close second.
    What I like in Paris that I don’t find in London is the openness and the spacious Boulevards!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience Anna!! Its always great to know someone else’s thoughts and views. Well, Paris is for sure not the most expensive I have been to… but I had to mention how expensive it is… so far the most expensive place I have been was anywhere in Switzerland (I lived in Geneva) and Sweden. I still havent been to Copenhagen so far, but most probably I will go next year. I often hear people saying how expensive it is there, I can already imagine that it really us, because hotels are very expensive :O
      Oh I miss London! Thank you so much for the comment πŸ˜€ I wish you a great week.

      • Anna

        Well i don’t remember the hotel being ridiculously expensive in Copenhagen but food definitely is. I dined at a pretty little restaurant with gourmet pizza and each pizza (enough for one person) costed around 14€!!

        • I managed to book a hotel with good price, so Im already happy about it… its more or less like Paris I think. Food seems expensive, still not as much as Geneva, I used to pay 30 Francs for a pizza in a very normal place πŸ™ but today I find 14 Euros expensive for a pizza too, Munich is a much cheaper place! Thank you for the tips!

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  • I like the imperfections of a city or a place – that makes it a memorable and unique one πŸ™‚ I have been visiting Paris few times and yep, it is crowded, busy but beautiful at the same time…Yes, it is expensive, but there are places that actually surprisingly cheap and affordable – but usually not nearby to tourists attractions. The peddlers were annoying indeed – and few of them speak basic Indonesian language – kinda weird – but after scamming experiences in New Delhi (which later on I found them as amusing travel experiences), it feels okay.
    Yes, the subway is dirty, compare to subway in Rotterdam which is modern and clean, subway in Paris feels like being forgotten by its government…
    Honestly I am not sure if I love, like or hate Paris. It is a city that I keep visiting but has no feelings attached to it…

    • Loved your comment!! The combination of your thoughts, experience and comparison makes it just perfect, you said it all!
      Funny thing is that Brazil is a very dangerous country, but scams dont work there, so no one does it… sadly we have other problems. So, Paris thought me that scams exists … and I must say that hearing so many stories and different cases I am impressed of how creative they are! I better stay alert when I visit India πŸ˜€

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and personal experiences Indah, some new things to learn from you! πŸ™‚

  • Everything you say is pretty much true. And yet, Paris, DESPITE all you mention, is still a brilliant city. To be honest, it’s the premiere city of Europe still ahead of Rome, London and Prague to this day.

    • I agree with you! Despite it all, I still love Paris. I’ve discovered amazing things there as well, and every time I go I leave wanting to go back again.

  • For me it’s the tourism, in and of itself. I lived (studied) in Paris for 5 months, during which I seemed to run into hordes of tourists in nearly every part of town, any hour of day and night. It really destroys the feeling of “authentic Paris” or “authentic France” that I think most of us have been conditioned by the movies to expect from it. I was always thinking, how much of it is real, and how much – for the crowds?

    • I couldn’t agree more with you Anna… there are tourists everywhere, and in the summer is even worse! It really does hide the feeling of the authentic Paris, I always thought that the Parisians dont really appreciate the amount of tourists around… I think I wouldn’t like it, always crowded!

  • I didn’t get the chance to live in Paris, but I had already imagined all these things, and now you confirmed them. It sucks, how capital cities become so corrupt so easily…

    • Hi Lily! Thank you for your comment. Yes its sad, I guess it happens in every big city in a way or another πŸ™

  • Wow, hardly any people in some of the pictures. You are still one of my favorite blogs and I’m sad I am not able to keep up with every post. I’ve got one foot in the working world and one foot in the travel lifestyle. Trying to find balance. Keep up the awesome blogging.
    Jessica, Turquoise Compass

    • Awnnn thank you Jessica!! Your compliment means a lot to me πŸ˜€ Its great to know that… your blog is also one of my favorites and also one of the first ones I followed πŸ˜€

      Don’t worry about keeping up with my posts, I know how hard it is to do keep up with everyone else’s blog in addition to ours. plus personal life and work! Come whenever you can πŸ˜€
      I wish you a great week!

  • Great photos! πŸ™‚ I love them all. You are a travel blogger as well?

    • Hi Katarina!! Yes, I am a travel blogger too πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for the compliment, still nothing compared to your photos πŸ˜€
      Thank you for stopping by!!

  • Looks like you have a lot of conversation going on this one! I have not been to Paris so can’t really comment. As far as security I think when traveling in big cities you have to be cautious no matter where. The Rome train station would be a prime example.

    • hahaha yes, lots of discussion around here! Paris is always a hot topic I guess πŸ˜€
      Ohh yes, the train station in Rome is no doubt an example. That’s the problem with big cities… I guess it is hard to control. I don’t even need to mention my own country (Brazil) do I? Especially at the moment, security is a great problem, not only in big cities. πŸ™

  • I am one of those people who didn’t fall in love with Paris the first time I went. Now I’ve been 3 times and just returned. The scammers weren’t the biggest annoyance to me. My friend and I vowed not to get scammed and counted the number of times we avoided it: 5 times in 3 days!!! Be alert. It’s crazy.

    • Ohhh wow, 5 times in 3 days?? That is really a lot!!
      Yeah, being a tourist in Paris isnt so easy… we really need to be alert of things and avoid to fall for them!!
      I hope you enjoyed your last trip to Paris πŸ˜€ I liked your post about the padlocks!
      Have a great week!

  • Yeah, I can agree with you. I love going back to Paris but you need to be mentally prepared for the shock. I have considered booking a tour agency and let them worry about all of those things, but we’ll see where this wanderlust of mine take me next πŸ™‚

    • Yes its true!! Its an amazing city, but as tourists we need to be aware of many things πŸ™
      Ohh yess, there are so many places you can visit, Paris can always wait a little πŸ˜€ hahaha

  • Completely agree Allaine!! I’ve heard of tourists returning with a deep shock as Paris does not exactly live to the “romantic” city it is made out to be!

    • Yes me too πŸ™
      But I hope you are enjoying your time there πŸ˜€ its not the easiest place to live, I guess it takes a little time to get used to some things, but I hope you make the most out of it πŸ˜‰

  • hahaha the dog poo, good point!!
    About the pickpockets it’s something that really bothers me there, you always need to stay alert.
    And of course, as you said, all big cities has its problems. I come from Brazil so I sadly know exactly what that is πŸ™
    I have recently read that the police arrested a huge gang in Paris who were earning over U$ 4000 per day with pickpocketing! Crazy isn’t it?
    In any case, I still love Paris, and always will!! But sometimes is good to bring the bad side too, so people are aware πŸ˜€

  • I completely agree with you!!
    And people do that because they think the city is perfect, but in the end it has the same problems as any other big cities.
    I guess over expectation can be a problem for any place… sometimes the places we least expect are the ones that most impress us πŸ˜€

  • Thank you dear πŸ˜€

  • Ohhh no really?? πŸ™ sorry about that!
    So far I had no problems in Rome, but in Paris I always experience something like this… and as you said it is indeed very tiring having to be watchful all the time… you can’t even relax πŸ™

  • Hi Luke. Not at all. I lived and worked in Paris and I never had a bad experience with them in English. What I noticed is just that many people are afraid to speak English because they think they can’t speak it properly.