You’ve heard about ‘Paris Syndrome’, but I’m here to tell you that it’s dumb.
On the Eurostar to Paris one sunny July morning, I wasn’t expecting much when I arrived. I didn’t have my hopes up. I heard that Prague was the new Paris, and seeing as I didn’t like Prague all that much, I had low expectations.
Boy was I wrong.
When we rolled into the city, we passed through the typical grimy train station area. That’s to be expected. It’s the same literally everywhere in Europe you go, fact. I was staying in Belleville, which isn’t the prettiest of suburbs. But I was calm. I was expecting this. People had described Paris as ‘dirty’ and ‘overrated’.
Well, y’all were WRONG!! That evening, as the sun set, I walked in to the centre and ended up in Marais. Talk about picturesque AS FUCK. I mean, I felt like I was in a movie. Yeah sure, like any city, there were a few dirty streets and sketchy alleys. But you can literally say the same about almost any other major European city. Except probably the ones in Scandinavia.
So here are the reasons why you should ABSOLUTELY go to Paris because IT WILL be the city of your dreams, and how to enjoy it like you mean it.
Like sure, the Louvre is huge and stressful and it SAYS there are toilets on the map but their AREN’T, but man, have you seen the paintings? I mean one of the more fun things to do in art museums for those who don’t like art is to at least walk around and try and come up with the best captions for each ridiculous face you can find.
2. The food
Bread. The bread. Bread and jam. Pastries. More bread.
3. The Eiffel Tower
How to enjoy the Eiffel Tower to the max? Go at sunset. Bonus: go on a sunset river cruise. Extra bonus: Go on a river cruise that ends at the Eiffel Tower just as it lights up like a phallic Christmas tree.
Brothels and burlesque aside, Montmartre is reminiscent of a small French town. If cities aren’t your thing (first check yourself because how did you end up in Paris), then Montmartre is the place for you. It’s surprisingly quiet once you get into the back streets behind the Sacre Coeur, plus probably the most quintessentially French you can get in Paris. Bonus: walk around a bit, then head straight to L’Orangerie Art Gallery and see all the places you just went on canvas.
5. The French
I was forewarned that I would hate France, and that England’s somewhat salty history would sour my impressions of the French. But you know what guys? I fell over in the metro and the woman I landed on apologised TO ME. I think maybe the reason we’ve fallen out historically is that we’re TOO alike.
6. The districts (or arrondissements)
Don’t like where you are? Great, get a metro for 5 minutes and go somewhere completely different. There’s somewhere for everyone, whether you like small artsy hipstery areas, high end shopping & dining, cool cafes, parks & countryside, history or anything.
I’m running out of things to say and getting emotional because I think Paris might be one of my new favourite places ever, so I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures to convince you further.
Have you been to Paris? What was your favourite part?