How to Avoid the Infamous Paris Syndrome

By: Samantha Steinhage, Trip Consultant 

Growing up our minds are flooded with movie screen images of lovers kissing under the Eiffel Tower, small poodles in diamond collars, and Mary-Kate & Ashley’s baguette fights and to us…this is Paris.

In reality, Paris is a city, a big ol’ urban city with all of the lovely things that come along with urban life. What we think Paris is and what Paris actually is has created this phenomenon called “Paris Syndrome”, a physical state of distress where starry-eyed tourists have actually been hospitalized due to the shock of their unmet expectations of Paris. SO SAD!

While Paris is romantic, lovely, and a place you need to see there are a couple of things you should do to prepare yourself!

  1. Parlez-vous français ?

It definitely won’t hurt you to learn a couple of key phrases in French. Parisians love their language and they hate when foreigners don’t at least attempt it. Believe it or not some Parisians might not speak English!

  1. Learn the ways of the metro

The Metro waits for no one. That thing is leaving with or without you on it. Don’t hesitate, dominate. Get a Metro map, keep your bag tucked close in front of you, and get ready to run.

  1. Always watch your belongings

Paris has some of the most skilled pickpockets in the world because of the high tourist traffic. Watch your belongings, watch your surroundings. Fanny packs are definitely making a comeback, don’t be ashamed to rock one.


  1. Paris is a CITY

Like any metropolitan city Paris is made up of people from all walks of life. One one hand you have homeless people, prostitutes, and stinky train stations, but on the other hand you have art, history, glamour & nouveau riche! It is very similar to New York City.

  1. Don’t stress, it is Paris!

C’est la vie! Try to relax and go with the flow. Paris can be overwhelming if you let it, rather enjoy the moment and take it all in, you’re in Paris after all, one of the most iconic cities in the world! Take a deep breath then stuff your face with cheese & bread & pretty macaroons.

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