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7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Paris (Travel Guide)

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Paris (Travel Guide)

Paris is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and we will tell you the tourist traps to avoid in Paris for your next trip.

Paris, known for its beauty, history, and culture, also has its share of tourist traps. Being aware of these can help you enjoy a more authentic and memorable experience in the City of Light. Here’s a guide to common tourist traps in Paris and how to avoid them.

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Tourist Traps to Avoid in Paris

1. Eiffel Tower Restaurants

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Why to Avoid: The restaurants in the Eiffel Tower, such as Le Jules Verne, can be incredibly expensive, and while the views are spectacular, the food might not always justify the high prices.

Alternative: Enjoy the Eiffel Tower from the ground or the viewing platforms, and then dine at less expensive but highly reputable restaurants nearby where you can still enjoy great French cuisine without the premium price.

2. Montmartre’s Place du Tertre

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Why to Avoid: This small square near Sacré-Cœur is famous for its portrait artists and caricaturists, but it can be overly crowded and the artists often charge high rates.

Alternative: Wander the back streets of Montmartre instead, where you can enjoy the artistic ambiance of the neighborhood without the crowds. There are many charming cafés and lesser-known galleries worth exploring.

3. Souvenir Shops on Rue de Rivoli

Why to Avoid: These shops often sell mass-produced souvenirs that are overpriced and not unique to Paris.

Alternative: Seek out smaller boutiques and local markets for authentic Parisian goods. The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is an excellent place to find unique and authentic French items.

4. Champs-Élysées

Champs Elysees

Why to Avoid: While iconic, the Champs-Élysées has become very commercialized and crowded, with many shops and eateries that are found elsewhere around the world.

Alternative: For a more unique shopping experience, head to areas like Le Marais or the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. These areas offer a mix of boutique shopping, historical sites, and less commercial atmosphere.

5. Latin Quarter’s “Greek” Restaurants

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Paris (Travel Guide)

Why to Avoid: The Latin Quarter is known for its “Greek” restaurants that sell cheap gyros and other fast foods. These are often not authentic and cater more to budget tourists.

Alternative: Explore deeper into the Latin Quarter to find authentic bistros and brasseries that offer genuine French dishes or even authentic international cuisine.

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6. River Seine Dinner Cruises

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Paris (Travel Guide)

Why to Avoid: While they offer picturesque views, these cruises can be very expensive, and the food quality may not meet expectations for the price.

Alternative: Consider a simple boat tour without a meal, or enjoy a picnic along the banks of the Seine for a similarly romantic but more personal and less costly experience.

7. Overpriced Café Terraces

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Paris (Travel Guide)

Why to Avoid: Cafés in very touristy spots like those around major landmarks often charge a premium, especially for seats with views.

Alternative: Walk a few blocks away from major sites to find cafés where locals go. Prices are usually more reasonable, and the experience is often more authentic.

By avoiding these tourist traps, you can explore Paris with a fresh perspective, enjoying what the city truly has to offer beyond the typical tourist experience. This way, you’re more likely to create lasting memories of Paris’s true charm.

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