Ahoy! Bonjour! Today we’re going to talk about some things tourists do in Paris that really grind the gears of the locals. If you’re planning a trip to Paris and want to avoid dirty looks, frowns, and huffs, then you’d better read on.
Here are 5 ways you could upset the locals and how to avoid doing so.
Tour Groups: Blocking the Sidewalk
Are you traveling in a group? Great, but make sure you don’t block the entire sidewalk. The locals need to get to work too, and they don’t appreciate being pushed off the pavement.
Tour guides are infamous for not controlling their groups, so make sure you stand to the side and let the locals pass.
Taking Photos: Blocking the Sidewalk Again
Yes, Paris is beautiful, and you’re going to want to take lots of pictures. But for the love of baguettes, don’t stand in the middle of the sidewalk to do so. Move to the side, just like you would in New York or Tokyo.
Don’t stop the locals from going about their business; they have things to do, and they’re not impressed by your Instagram model poses.
Complaining about French Service: Patience is Key
The French may have given us the word “restaurant,” but that doesn’t mean they’re in a hurry to serve you. Service takes time in Paris, and that’s just how it is.
Don’t complain if it takes a while to get seated, to order, or to get the check. They’re not targeting you; they’re like that with everyone. Remember, “French” and “fast” don’t usually go together.
Driving: Not Recommended
Driving in Paris is not for the faint of heart. The weaving, the honking, the chaos; it’s not something you want to experience as a tourist.
Locals can spot a non-native driver from a mile away, and they won’t be impressed with your driving skills. Stick to public transportation, or walk if you can.
Not Saying “Bonjour”: Bad Manners
When you enter a store, a restaurant, or a bar, make sure you say “Bonjour.” It’s basic politeness in France.
Don’t be that tourist who ignores the owner or proprietor’s greeting. It’s considered rude, and you don’t want to upset the locals before you even order your coffee.
Parisians are not unfriendly or stuck-up. They’re just busy and don’t have time for nonsense. If you want to make a good impression, show respect for their culture, their city, and their time.
Avoid these five things, and you’ll be well on your way to having a wonderful time in the City of Light. Bon voyage!
Thank you for reading and have a nice day.