France Tourist Traps

  • The gorgeous Petit Palais is free
    The gorgeous Petit Palais is free
    by Beausoleil
  • Long queues to get fleeced!
    Long queues to get fleeced!
    by adelinemmc
  • Pl, St. Michel is free and fun
    Pl, St. Michel is free and fun
    by Beausoleil

France Tourist Traps

  • Montmartre - Sacré Coeur

    Paris Tourist Traps

    NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! One million times NO! I went to the romantic square of Tertre and couldn't believe what I saw: the artists, expelled from the square by a dense esplanade! No! I can't believe that the good old Tertre was killed! It was the effect of the rain! It only could be! I hope! I will never go...

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  • Car Parking

    Strasbourg Tourist Traps

    Many of the street level car parks in Strasbourg are occupied by men (unofficial) hussling you for money to look after your car. They will normally tell you not to put any money in the machine, but to give it to them. I have used these car-parks twice, and both times the men where still there when I returned to get my car, and there was no...

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  • Moulin Rouge & Clubs

    Paris Tourist Traps

    If ever there was a place that was living off past glories, it is the Moulin rouge. It does however still have a steady trade, relying on hoardes of rich tourists to fill up the theatre seats. For about 150 euros each they get a somewhat average meal from Seven O'clock and then a show from Nine O'clock, always featuring a bunch of East European...

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  • Shops around the Cathedral

    Strasbourg Tourist Traps

    Anyone who knows Strasbourg and particularly te Petite France area will know that it has become a bit of a honeypot for tourists and the tourism hub of the region, providing plenty of income for the Alsace. The local economy must benefit hugely from the immense number of wandering tourists who seem to end up in the profusion of trinket/souvenir...

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  • Street Artists

    Paris Tourist Traps

    We chose to visit Montmarte as we read about the artists' village at Place du Tertre which sounded absolutely charming. When we arrived at the little enclave I was immediately met by an artist with a clipboard easel who started to sketch my portrait without my consent or agreement. He struck up a conversation while he drew. Another did the same...

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  • Encountered nothing

    Strasbourg Tourist Traps

    I did not encounter any tourist trap...But the sign inside of the Cathedral said 'Beware of Pick Pockets' I was also told not to leave my car on the street..which I did and was lucky..no break in or damage..I would use good judgment on parking..I did notice in some areas there were hustlers asking for money to watch your cars,,,

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  • Eiffel Tower

    Paris Tourist Traps

    Most newcomer insist in going up to the top of the tower - no objection, it's really high, and you'll feel in in your way up. But be prepared for a small disappointment: the views are generally better from the first level (much cheaper). Of course, you will have the pleasure of having been there, the post office and souvenirs to register it, but...

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  • Dining and Drinking

    Paris Tourist Traps

    It’s in the Richelieu section of the Louvre. €20 for “breakfast”. A cup of coffee. A wee orange juice. 3 minuscule pastries. I should have had a bread roll too, but I guess they wanted to push the boat out with their rip-off and “forgot” it. I wasn’t sure about that until I checked their menu online later. It explains why I was given butter &...

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  • Champs-Elysées

    Paris Tourist Traps

    We were taking pictures of Triumphal arch when suddenly a woman bend down and picked up something from the street. It was a ring like those wedding rings. She asked us if it was ours, but we said it was not. So she said we could stay with it and I said no, she could keep the ring herself. She insisted, so we kept the ring. Then she asked for money...

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  • Versailles

    Paris Tourist Traps

    Things can be bad in Paris and Versailles because there are too many visitors. Even I, a fan of Le Louvre, wrote a tip about a bad experience there "Bad luck at Le Louvre" About Versailles a lot of tips have been written about avoiding the lines, about the fountains that are only working on week-ends "Dry fountains" , but strange enough some...

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  • Louvre

    Paris Tourist Traps

    This could be read to-day in the French newspaper "Le Figaro": "Le musée n'a pas pu ouvrir ce mercredi. Les agents de la surveillance ont exercé leur droit de retrait pour manifester leur exaspération devant les bandes qui s'attaquent à eux autant qu'aux touristes. Les visites reprendront jeudi matin. Agés de moins de 26 ans, ceux-ci s'introduisent...

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  • Taxis

    Paris Tourist Traps

    It's not a surprise Taxis are very expensive in Paris (also we knew we should avoid illegall taxi). The problem is that taxi drivers can make it even more costly for you. 1. Check the taxi price with the hotel, they usual know how much taxi to (from) airport will cost (check hotel webpage before your trip) and let driver know, that you have exact...

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  • Disneyland Paris

    Paris Tourist Traps

    Disneyland Paris My first warning, it isn't very clear what metro tickets to get to Disneyland. Expect to pay €15 for two people to get to Disneyland on the metro, if you pay any less you got the wrong ones. We were even advised wrong by the information desk assistant, and when you get to the other end, a lot of tourists are fined €25 each for...

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  • Gold Ring Scam

    Paris Tourist Traps

    I am unsure how best to describe this - other than young people (men and woman) are walking near to you, then bend down and ask if you have dropped a gold ring. It tends to be a gold band, thick, large and possibly heavy. I have never acknowledged that the ring could be mine, so after this the person seems to move on. If this happens to you, you...

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  • Seine

    Paris Tourist Traps

    I don't understand how the Seine can be listed among the tourist traps as long as you don't fall in the water and as long as you don't expect the river boats to serve a three stars Michelin dinner! A cruise on the Seine, especially at night, will reveal all the well lighted monuments. There are many. I'm not aware of any greater scenery than the...

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  • Paris Pass

    Paris Tourist Traps

    This isn't so much a warning as a comparison of the various passes available in Paris. If you haven't been in Paris often, the passes can be confusing. Some save money; some are for convenience . . . and unfortunately some are a complete ripoff. Here is a comparison of some of the different costs involved. Read it and you can make an informed...

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  • Souvenirs

    Paris Tourist Traps

    While traveling to any foreign country or city you will find that the shops selling souvernirs near any major tourist attraction will have higher prices than little shops along a non descript street. If you want to make a few purchases of the usual souvenir to take back to family or friends then have a small list of those items and be on the look...

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  • Notre Dame

    Paris Tourist Traps

    If you want to see Notre Dam, be sure to chose a time when there is lack of tourists. The ques can be awful and you be stuck for hours. Come back later or strategically chose another time or date. You don't have to get inside every history-building. Why don't buy a beer and a sandwich and have a pick-nick i the park in front of e.i. Notre Dam..

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  • Public Toilets

    Paris Tourist Traps

    When we were here in 2000, it was hard to find places to use the restroom. Since my 2000 trip to France, they have put in these coin operated toilettes on the streets. sometimes they are the only place you can find to go. We saw them in Paris and other large cities on our 2006 trip. You put 20 euros into the coin slot and the door opens. Once you...

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  • Catacombes

    Paris Tourist Traps

    We made our way to the catacombs hoping to find an extraordinary sight. Unfortunately it was nothing but rooms and rooms and rooms full of bones. I mean, it's interesting and all, but I would rather have seen photos of it... or at least been able to exit the maze once I decided I had seen enough. Unfortunately, you cannot and you are fed through...

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  • Père Lachaise Cemetery

    Paris Tourist Traps

    The most celebrity-filled but certainly not oldest cemetary in Paris. This is the place to find the last "resting" places (hard to rest with so many tourists around...) of artists like Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Frédéric Chopin and more. Enjoy the slightly disturbing experience of looking for famous graves with a map (maps available in the nearby...

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  • Dôme des Invalides

    Paris Tourist Traps

    The building is so massive that I would have thought that there would have been a really cool museum on Napoleon, like a comparison of his right arm bones and left arm bones. But nooooooo, there is this big porphery (looks like wood) casket, some uniform displays and some other dead guys. The nave, if that is what it is, was cool and the building...

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  • Centre Pompidou

    Paris Tourist Traps

    Maybe it is unfair to call this a tourist trap, but the day we visited we found very little appealing about the center. Granted, we did not visit the National Museum of Modern Art which I understand is a collection of great 20th Century art, but the center itself is purported to be a great gathering place. Maybe we hit at a bad time but there were...

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  • Driving

    Paris Tourist Traps

    I always look for free or cheap place to park a car and Paris is in my top worse 5 cities in Europe in this matter (hmm... the worst for me was Florence - but it's the best city in Italy). 1. Stay at one place and look for a car leaving a place - be first to take the place - the competition is big :-) 2. Drive around (recommended up to 1 hour), be...

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  • La Défense

    Paris Tourist Traps

    It is a big square and a bunch of office buildings. Other than a small shopping mall below ground it is just not worth the effort to go and visit. We were pretty dissapointed in it. Turn around and go back down into the Metro and go someplace else. Stop at Arc de Triomphe. At least you have some sights to see, brasseries to drink at and world class...

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  • Salvador Dali Museum

    Paris Tourist Traps

    The Salvador Dali Museum. If you have seen the one in St. Petersburg, FL (USA) you will be dissapointed in this one. A few bronzes which were nice, but mostly pencil sketches accounted for the "over 200 pieces" that it advertises. Go expecting not to see his master works. Saint Petersburg, Florida, USA - museum for his master works.

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  • Rail Pass - A BIG tourist trap in...

    Me and my wife bought 1st class rail passes for traveling around France for up to 9 travel dates. What we didn't know is that France rail system is REALLY BAD and that most long routes are covered by private companys. Well, I bet you can't see the problem yet... So here it is: private companys (all tgvs) reserve less than a handfull places for...

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  • Sneaky Cafe Pricing

    Cafes price their food/drinks differently depending on where you consume them. You'll get the lowest price at the bar. A table will come with a price increase, and sitting outside will bump you into the highest price range.

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  • The Mousia

    Whatever Disney call their theme park this week, (its variously been 'Euro Disney' 'Disneyland Paris' 'Disney Euro resort' 'Mickey's gaff' or whatever) it still remains the No1 tourist venue in France and easily the most over-hyped nightmare.the biggest complaint has to be in terms of price. A day ticket is a whopping 53 euro for an adult (there...

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  • Tourist cheeks kissing is NOT a French...

    Local custom or cultural alignement could be a bad excuse for some men trying to kiss the cheeks of tourist women (cheeks kissing: "la bise" in French...). This is clearly an abuse, without agreement - Cheeks kissing means a light kiss, usually given to a friend in greeting or before parting.- kissing should be sharedAll photos from Robert Doisneau...

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  • Pigalle Pigalle Pigalle

    if you come from a middle eastern country like mine, or are curious in general to see the sex culture of paris, then you will definitely go to 'Pigalle', it is known for being the sex center of paris where there are strip clubs, sex shops and cross dresser bars.It's landmark is the "moulin Rouge" , and its on the main street where most of the sex...

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  • Direct translation: common traps

    Seeing your hosts smiling, laughing or blushing is somewhere a good indicator of direct translation errors (identifed like bad friend below):- I'm hot = J'ai chaud ( Je suis chaud(e): I'm horny, looking for sex)- I'm finished = J'ai fini (Je suis fini(e): I'm dying)- Buffet = Buffet ( the english pronunciation = bouffer: to gobble, to eat like a...

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  • La bise: a trap also for the French

    I have already written a Local custom tip about la bise, the typical French cheek-kiss.However, I think that a better explanation is needed for some aspects of this gesture, so I thought I'd write a Tourist trap tip because la bise can be something hard to understand and to accept for peoples who don't know the cheek-kissing custom.1) People do la...

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  • Trains to CDG Airport

    The more I think about this the stupider I feel but I'm not alone I assure you.After a short break in Paris I bought a couple of tickets to go back to the airport. The trouble is I didn't specify airport I just bought standard Metro tickets without thinking (they are the same size and colour as the others - the only difference being the tiny words...

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  • Disneyland - Paris

    I cannot see, for the life of me, why anyone would want to go to Paris and waste their time at Disneyland, when there is just so much more better things to see in Paris?! If you want to see Disneyland, bugger off to America and see it! I couldn't possibly say, It would be miles too rude! LOL Go and see The Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, Sacre coeur;...

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  • French Customs

    As a member of Scheghen, there are no longer external border controls with other Scheghen member countries (Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, and Spain), however random customs checks still do occur and not necessarily at external frontiers. I was stopped twice by Customs on the Autoroute. They usually hang out around the toll booths. Therefore...

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  • High Prices

    In France, buying non-local food can be very expensive. A typical can of pop can cost up to 5 Euros in tourist areas, so avoid ordering American food and drinks in tourist areas. In fact Wine is cheaper than pop in France, so best to order that with your meal.

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  • Strikes

    Strikes grèves in France are quite common. In fact, they seem like France's national pastime. The right is guaranteed in the French constitution, with the public sector having the highest frequency of walking out. Every year in France has one public sector strike, usually lasting one day. It is not uncommon at the national or local level for...

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  • BEWARE Strip clubs near Moulin Rouge.

    Strip clubs around the Moulin Rouge offering a drink and a lap dance for a few euros. If (like I was) you're trapped in Paris, bored out of your mind and it's late at night and you end up in one of these places do not buy champagne. It will be cheap and nasty and most probably over 100 euros a glass.Also the strippers are pretty awful. Sure there...

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  • High roller meals

    Our friends went into a Restuarant by the Airport in Paris, picked up the menu and started to order as if they were still in North America. Little to be known each item was seperately priced and at the end of the evening they ended paying about $100. for 2 orders of meal of Hamburger, Fries and Pop along with some icecream. They should have checked...

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  • Marseille, hold onto your bags!!!

    Marseille, or most big cities are rife with opportunists who will grab an unattended bag, wallet, anything.And just becoz youre in your vehicle, doesn't make you safe. LOCK THE DOOR, we've seen tourists getting robbed ...the thieves just reach into vehicles and take the bags, that easy!anyhow, that advice was not to make you paranoid and cancel the...

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  • Tipping

    The bill states "service net". Since we were used to seeing "service compris" (meaning tip included) on bills, we assumed that service net meant that the tip was not included. Wrong! We asked the hotel and they said that the tip is included in "service net". We left way too much tip.

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  • 2,5 Tones baby!

    So the goods of the trade of Abdel from Dijon, passing from the south of France to Rennes, was exactely : 2,5 tones!Thanks for using my force and musclesI know I was payed, but I was squeezed like a lemon!

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  • Get polishing

    If you do thiss type of holiday you have to accept that you lovely motor pride and joy just might get damaged, rolled over or at the very least scratched. We had a guy with over 50k`s worth of vehicle that accepted this but did have to decline from one or two of the tracks because of possibilty of damage.If you have side steps on they will...

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  • Come Prepared

    Ok folks you know with this sort of adventure that many things can go wrong and preperation certainly lowers the odds of this happening. As you can see from the photo one of our group had a serious problem with over heating....we improvised and got round this and they sucesfully completed the journey thanks to the bottom of a washing up bowl and a...

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France Tourist Traps

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