25 Things Only Tourists Do in Paris
Not a judgement, just observations. In Paris, the following activities are firmly in the tourist category. Sometimes you just have to embrace being tourist, but know these 25 points are dead giveaways you’re a visitor.
- Take selfies with the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, and then leave.
- Put a “love lock” on anything.
- Tip — gratuity is included in everything in France.
- Spend hours searching for the “best” croissant, baguette or macaron.
- Go to dinner in shorts, yoga pants, sweats or otherwise inappropriately dressed.
- Believe “No Go Zones” exist in France.
- Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower and wait in line for hours to do it.
- Eat at any restaurant along the Champs-Élysées, or go to the Champs-Élysées at all really.
- Take pictures of themselves holding a baguette.
- Spend the whole time taking tour buses or taxis — walking is THE best way to experience Paris!
- Pay for water at a restaurant. Simply asking for water will get you a €5 bottle of water, so learn the phrase “une carafe d’eau” to get the free stuff.
- Take a dinner cruise on the Seine. The food is no good, so take a Bateaux-Mouches or the Batobus to get between sights, and then eat at one of Paris’s excellent restaurants.
- Eat while on the go — walking, on the metro, etc.
- Ask for a doggie bag at a restaurant. Though this is slowly becoming more common for locals.
- Pronounce Notre-Dame like the university in Indiana.
- Have your portrait drawn by a street artist in Montmartre.
- Drink Starbucks (especially iced coffee, which is not a thing here).
- Step in the dog poop that is everywhere on the streets of Paris.
- Not say “bonjour” when entering a shop.
- Go to a show at the Moulin Rouge.
- Speak loudly in cafes or on the metro.
- Fall for scams — never sign anything, don’t engage with people who come up to you in the tourist areas, don’t buy metro tickets from anyone, don’t play any of the “games” and don’t hold anything someone tries to hand you (including souvenirs, papers, even babies). Just say “no, merci” as many times and as sternly as necessary.
- Say excusez-moi when stopping someone in the street. That means you did something wrong. Use bonjour when first approaching people.
- Take a double-decker bus tour.
- Stay only in the tourist areas. Search for things to do in Paris based off your interests, not off the “top things to do in Paris” lists. You’ll find some great spots that get you off the normal tourist track!
What would you add to this list? Leave a comment below and share.