3 Ways to Avoid Looking Like A Tourist in Paris

May 16, 2013 | Travel Tips


“My sister went to Paris and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” If you have ever bought a tacky shirt like that while traveling then you should have your passport revoked because you scream embarrassing tourist. We’ve all seen those travelers that stick out with their fanny packs and travel books… heck we’ve all been that tourist at some point. It’s hard not to when you’re in a foreign place and wondering around confused yet excited. However, if you haven’t been to Paris or you’re going back there in the future then let us help you reduce your touristy look by telling you things NOT to do while there. (Also check out our must see places to visit in Paris.)

Beware of the Beret

When you think of a French person do you picture an elegant fashionable individual with a beret gracefully placed on their head? The truth is when you’re in Paris you will see no one, we repeat NO ONE, wearing a beret. You will see them sold in every tourist shop and you may want to buy one just for fun. However, if you do that doesn’t mean you can wear it your entire trip because then everyone that sees you will automatically know that you’re a tourist. Trust us, if you wear a beret around Paris you will one day look back at your photos and regret it. Therefore don’t do it, even if your friends tell you it looks good and thanks to the wine you believe them (we might be speaking from experience).

Tourist Jump for Joy

We’re not exactly sure why but it seems like tourists love to jump for joy in photographs – probably because they’re so excited and we can’t really blame them for that! When you’re in Paris, if you take a photo jumping in front of the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame or any major attraction you will instantly stand out as a tourist. In fact, any cheesy photo opps like pretending to touch The Louvre Pyramid or drinking from the fountains in the Gardens of Versailles will let everyone around you know you’re a tourist, especially if you do so while wearing a beret.

Love Locks Ruined

One of our favorite places in Paris is the Love Lock Bridge. Lovers go there to place a lock on the bridge and then throw the key into La Seine so that their love will stay in Paris forever. We highly recommend you visit this bridge, however, when you are there be aware of other couples. If you see a couple sharing the special moment of placing a lock then don’t ruin it! What tourist may not realize is that many couples have someone close by filming the special moment. If you get too close you could block the view and be that tourist that ruins the special moment (again we may be speaking from experience and would like to take the time to apologize for interrupting that couple’s proposal).

There are plenty of other ways to look like a tourist. From using your map in the Louvre to buying overpriced champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower or not being able to figure out how your Metro card works. If you want to fit in and look like a Parisian then just try to avoid these things. However, we do completely support all tourist activities. We’ve been there and we don’t care how silly we look because it’s fun and acting super touristy makes for great (by great we mean embarrassing) stories after your trip.

What things do you think make tourists stand out?

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  1. [...] Please, while you’re there, don’t act like a tourist… [...]

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