After spending 4 days in Paris, me and my family sure have seen all the begging tricks in the book!
There are a lot of "Gypsie girls" running around asking if you speak english or wanting you to sign a paper. As you talk to one of the girls, another one will try to steal your belongings and then both of them will run away.
Another thing we encountered were "games" by the Eiffel tower. You will bet money on that you can find a pea under one of three cups. You may see that someone bets a lot of money (We heard that someone bet 100 euros) and then wins the double amount. This person is really in on the scam too and just bets a lot and wins to make you play as well. The person is also there to distract you so that the pea can be removed while you're not watching. You can never win at this game, and even if you do win a small amount, it is just to make you bet larger amounts and then you lose it all!
Also, don't give money to beggars who have pets lying next to them. The pets are on drugs so that they will lie still and make you feel bad for them. To give the beggar money will encourage him/her to torture the animals even more!
Just a warning that at the Trocadero, you will find dozens of touts trying to sell much of the same souvenirs. They aren't expensive, but if you don't want them, well, it doesn't really matter.
Not all pester you, but many do, so put on your "grumpy" face, or one that says to them, "Leave me alone" - You will be surprised how well this works!
If you look a little interested or gullible, they will be onto you before you can say "jack robinson!"
Before travelling to Paris on our honeymoon I read a few tips on virtual tourist and glad that I did. On our first day after arriving the coach company we travelled with had taken us on a panoramic sightseeing tour of Paris.. Then they dropped us off at arc de triomphe having only been of the coach for two minutes as I was taking photos of the arc my husband was walking behind me and I heard him say something I turned round and a man was showing him a ring .. I knew what was going to happen .. My husband held his hand out to take the ring .. I shouted at him not to.. He looked at me as though I had gone mad .. This man was trying to get my husband to take it .. I shouted no again . My husband came over and I explained what it was about,, again it happened near the river seine but my husband was ready for it this time . . The rest of our honeymoon went fairly well and I felt safe enough until we got to the sacre coeur there was about 12 of these men on the steps up ready with their bits of string to try put on your fingers I made sure my husband held one hand and the other was in my pocket.. (one unfortunate lady had a man tying one of these bands to her already) on the way back down there was men selling bags but these men were not as pushy as the ones right at the bottom.. By the time we got back down there was double the men we had to squeeze through them.. Paris is a beautiful place to visit and if you keep your wits about you , you will be fine.. Thank you virtual tourist for all the tips !!
My husband and I were outside Notre Dame when two girls came along and shoved papers on our face for donations to an orphanage. We were actually prepared for gypsies/scammers. Mid conversation, the girl next to me tried to open my purse (it was zipped up)...I felt her try - I grabbed her hand. She struggled a bit, but her and her friend ran off.
Too bad there was no cop around. :/
A person comes to your table at a restaurant in Paris, they beg for food. They have a piece of paper in their hand and they shove it in your face as if they are trying to get food or money from you. Typically, they shove it in front of you so you cannot see what is below. They are very smart and have likely seen that you have a wallet, purse, or iphone, or cell phone on the table. They put the paper over the item they are going to steal. Typically, you are stunned that anyone could be so bold and you either tell them to get away or give them food. They leave not only with your food, but also with anything valuable that might have been laid on the table.
Best way to combat this is to make sure that you are prepared. Keep your phone and wallet and keys in your pocket or in a safe place. Never leave it on the table or in plain view. If someone walks up to you, just walk away or move your valuables close to you and call for help. Call attention to them will put other people on alert and they may try to get away.
These people are very good at what they do. You need to have a mindset already set that you how you are going to deal with these people. They are brazen, well trained and fearless. They pray on people who are tourists and who are good natured, naive, and have a soft heart. They also pray on people who don't have the guts to look them in the eye and tell them to go away. Prepare yourself, and don't feel guilty telling someone to go away.
Watch out for girls ages 7-20 wearing old-baggy clothing (sweats) who usually have their hair tied back. They travel in packs. Don't respond to anything they say, if they shove papers into your face walk away.
Mid-April break, a group of Americans including myself visited Paris for a week or so. We were not rowdy and did not present ourselves as if we were tourists. However, a group of aggressive girls approached our group and managed to steal one of our iPhones.
Don't look into their eyes, don't fight back, and definitely don't take out expensive objects such as cellphones, iPads, iPods, money, etc.
It's not so common as in other places, but beggars may appear in touristy areas.
Sometimes they are pushy, some other they are shy and discreet, and most times they are "professional", taking advantage of the ambiance.
Will it be difficult to you to guess why did Victor Hugo come to my mind, when entering Notre-Dame?
There are many beggars in Paris.
Many operate round the churches, and other tourist destinations.
Apparently in Paris it is illegal for the beggars to approach people, they risk imprisonment if they do, so they are no where as aggressive as in other countries, but they can be off putting if you are not aware of the situation.
Many have their pets with them as bait.
I had read about the fake deaf girls who distract tourists with petitons while their chums pick their pockets but didn't think I'd actually see them in action! We were on our way to the Pompidou Center and while at a street corner (with a red "do not cross" man illuminated) a group of rowdy teenage girls just blasted their way through the crowd. Cars were coming, mind you, and one of the girls banged her hands on the hood of a car as it screeched to a stop. She was shouting quite colorful expletives, it was bizarre. So we finally get to the museum and who should we see but the loudly swearing teenager, playing like she was deaf, with her petition out to an unwary tourist with her little gang poising to swarm the poor bloke. As we walked by I said to the guy that we just heard her cussing up a storm down the street. He dropped the "petition" to the ground and stomped towards the queue. Truly quite gutsy and very sad...they probably have some kind of "pimp" they have to pay, too. If you see these girls or women (and we saw them at all the major sites) just say "No" and keep walking. They didn't keep after us or follow. I wish I would've taken a snap or two!
Beware peddlers boasting of trinkets in areas near main attractions. Sometimes you are offered a fantastic deal only to be hounded to make more purchases afterwards. I bought 5 adorable keychains to distribute among my friends for only 1euro total, but then had to make a fast getaway from a peddler who just would not take "no" for an answer.
Usually an angry, firm "no" will send these peddlers away (making a scene is bad for their business), but if you're timid and polite like I am, you'll be followed down the street with cries of "25 euro, 20 euro, 15 euro...please, for the pretty lady, 10 euro."
5 Reviews and 726 Opinions The Four Seasons George V is truly one of the world's great hotels. I really, really love to stay...
Saint James Paris Paris
1 Review and 160 Opinions Saint James is a beautifull place, oase of silence in the middle of Paris. Quietly good service,...
Hotel Relais Bosquet Paris
8 Reviews and 902 Opinions I know Hotel Relais Bosquet for a long time and it always been a very satisfying hotel. The care of...