Paris. One of the most charming cities in the world. It would be even more charming if tourist scammers weren’t out and about at every major site trying to get you to hand over money. The Eiffel Tour, Montmarte and even Gare du Nord are swarming with these scammers on unsuspecting visitors so without further ado, let us go throw the ones I have encountered or been told about.
1. Gypsies asking you if you speak english and whether you can sign a petition.
This is a petition you sign to say that you will hand them money and once it seems like you won’t be paying up, more gypsies appear around you so there is no escape.
2. The bracelet test.
These scammers will appear lovingly to you and will try to tie a bracelet around your wrist. They will tie it so tie, oops will you look at that, it’s stuck on your wrist so you’ve technically bought it, so please, pay up now. They don’t tell you any of that by the way.
3. Let me show you how you can win money by guessing where my ball is.
You will see a group of men standing around a towel on the floor and metal cups trying to guess which cup the ball is under. If you think this is what the elderly play in France, i am afraid you are wrong. These men are working together and once you hand over your minimum bet, it will be IMPOSSIBLE for you to win. Magicians or not, the game is most likely rigged and not in your favour.
4. Crowds around an entertainer
I think this is standard in major cities. Just watch out for your pockets and bags because who knows what group of thieves are working together.
Like any major city, if you do your research and know what to avoid, you can avoid it. A simple no, thank you or non merci and walking away will usually do the trick. Paris is an amazing city so don’t let the scammers put you off! I hope this has been useful information!
A Paris lover,
Paris. Swoon. Paris is one of my favourite cities and how can it not be, just LOOK at the buildings! This was my third time in Paris and I still had things to see. On the list this time were Musee D’Orsay, Musee d’Orangerie, Versaille and to go into Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
My favourite of my main attractions list was Musee D’Orsay which is housed in an old train station. The museum has some great paintings as well as other things such as sculptures and furniture but the paintings were my favourite. The line is long so you should think about pre-purchasing tickets online OR go to Musee d’Orangerie first and buy a combo ticket (and can be used on 2 consecutive days).
The attraction that I found the most frustrating was Versaille! My tip is to go early. And then go earlier. By the time I arrived at 10:30am, there was already a gigantic entry line to pass security. By gigantic, I mean it took me 1.5 hours to make it inside which put me in a bad place to really get to enjoy the palace. The trip to Versaille is a whole day out. The gardens are magnificent but be warned, it is really big so bring some good comfortable shoes.
This picture above is from the Palais de Justice (where you can also buy a combined ticket for Saint Chapelle located next door). I found this pretty meh. It was where Marie Antoinette was held in her last days but the original prison cell no longer exists. It give you a peep into a handful of cells for the different types of socio-classes. I would say to save this for the bottom of the Paris list. Saint Chapelle however, is gorgeous. I imagine it would be spectacular on a sunny day with light pouring inside across the mosaic windows which are ceiling to floor high.
This last picture is the interiors of Galeries Lafayette which is in great contrast to the seemingly ordinary exterior. I just went in for a wonder and to shelter from the rain.
Have you been to any of these places and what are your thoughts about them? I’d love to hear about them.
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Eiffel Tour Paris is pretty architecturally and there is nothing more quintessentially french than Le Tour Eiffel. Named after engineer Gustave Eiffel and opened in 1889, Le tour stands at 324 metres high and has about 7 million visitors annually. As a France lover, climbing the Eiffel tower was on my bucket list. With everything […]
I want to ride my bicycle.
Due to increasing levels of pollution in Paris, the French Government earlier this year imposed bans on driving by having only odd or even number plated cars allowed on roads on certain days. Exceptions were of course, granted for taxi’s, hydbrid cars and any car carrying more than 3 passengers.
And now France has added it’s name to the list of European countries who are paying workers to ride bikes to work in order to reduce pollution, increase health and cut fossil fuel consumption. Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Britain already have these schemes in place.
Denmark and in particular it’s capital city- Copenhagen, is an example on how cycling can still be a convenient and hassle free way to travel by their extensive bike lanes (which are seperated from the cars) and the promotion of cycling and cyclists in positive campaigns. On a side note, cycling in Denmark goes back a few decades and is very much instilled in their way of life.
Here are some of the stats for 2012:
– About 52% of Copenhagen residents cycle to work or place of education everyday.
– For the ~550,000 inhabitants of Copenhagen, there are 650,000 bikes and 125,000 cars which works out to be 5.2 bikes per car.
Will these other countries succeed in their missions for cleaner air and residents willing to cycle? Only time will tell.
From the lady still reminiscing about my beaded bike spokes from my younger days,
Picture: This pic was suppose to be an early morning bike lane picture but I didn’t focus it properly but it turned out to be an awesome picture anyway. If you can get a window seat at a cafe with a busy bike lane in front, it’s the best people watching you can do. Very well dressed, business suits and heels are all on bikes. And they look every bit the glamour.
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First semi-couch surfing experience. For those who don’t know, couchsurfing is all about fostering international exchange by having the opportunity to meet and stay with locals when traveling. You can surf, open up your couch and host surfers or attend events in your city organised by other local couchsurfers. The whole essence is to share […]
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My first Christmas without family. Last year I was in Paris hunting for my future french husband for a personal holiday alone and spent Christmas without family members for the first time in my life. Whilst we don’t celebrate Christmas, it has always been family time to me and the only time of the year […]