Yes you read that right.
I don’t like Paris. It’s actually one of my least favourite cities that I have visited.
Now, before you start grabbing your pitchforks and torches, let me explain.
As a general sentiment, I don’t really like cities at all. It’s amazing to see the monuments and museums and architecture, but in all honesty once you get past that, most cities in the western world seem to be the same to me. (The only other city I have been to outside of the westernized world is Accra in Ghana) There are millions of people, metros, taxis, buses, people yelling, over-priced well… everything, and McDonald’s.
I’ve been to Paris twice. Once, on a trip with fellow exchange students for a couple of days, and the second with another friend on a day trip. The former was fine until we got to the city, and the latter went horribly wrong right from the start. I realize that my opinions are all because of my experiences in Paris, and it might take another trip to change my mind, but I don’t have that trip planned. At all.
First of all, Paris smells horrible. Like terrible. As in you walk down the streets and all you smell is sewage, urine and garbage. The Seine smells absolutely awful. I did a boat tour down the Seine at night, and I could barely breathe. Then again, I do have a sensitive nose.
I have also found Parisians to be extremely rude to Canadians who can’t speak French. This is from my own experiences in asking for directions, where to eat, to change monies, where the washroom is, which train to take etc. They have walked away from me, sworn to me in French, called me a lazy Canadian, and even gone as far as given me wrong directions. I do not expect everyone to speak English, and I have a translator on my phone for such occasions, but do not expect me to speak French either. Canada is huge, and I live on the complete other side of the French-speaking part.
Lastly, Paris is expensive. Western Europe itself is extremely expensive as a backpacker to explore, but Paris goes over the top a little. Here are some prices to contemplate:
Visit the Eiffel Tower – 15€ for an adult to climb to the top ($21.30 CAD)
Visit Le Louvre – 16€ for a combi ticket (if you are not in the Euro Zone) ( $22.72 CAD)
Visit Palace of Versailles – 18€ for a Passport (the palace, gardens, Marie Antoinette Chateau) ($25.56 CAD)
Cost of an average hostel with good reviews Booked 4 months in advance, over a weekday to weekend, at the Three Ducks Hostel booked over Hostelworld.com – For an 8-bed mixed dorm room on a weekday, $28.95 over the weekday ($41.11 CAD) and $32.95 over the weekend ($46.80 CAD) per night.
Now, to end this post I need to express that I disliked the city of Paris. I loved Le Louvre, but I have to say I liked D’ Orsay Museum better, I enjoyed running down the Eiffel Tower at night, and the Palace of Versailles was absolutely beautiful. The architecture was amazing, and the history behind the City of Paris was amazing to learn about, especially regarding World War I. After seeing all of these attractions though, I feel no ambition in returning because of my lack of love for the city.
What are your thoughts on the City of Lights? Have you ever had this experience with a city everyone else seemed to adore?