Paris is always a good idea…or NOT!
People will never bring this up publicly, unless you do it first and even so, they will never ever agree 100% that Paris is not always a good idea.
I am one of those people that felt amazing once I stepped down from the plane in New York, but really knew Paris is not my kind of city in the first 10 minutes from my arrival.
I always get that question – “but why you don’t like Paris? It’s the best city in the world!”. Well, I tell you why: I think Paris is incredibly overrated. I have been there a couple dozen times and I never understand why people like it so much. The food? Some of it is fantastic, but most of it is bland. Fashion? The whole dress like a French girl thing is absurd. The average French girl is nothing special. I do love high-end French department stores because the quality and design is so much better. Living there? I think it’s even worse, because the metro smells like piss, people are always grumpy and the general attitude to life and others who think outside of the box is pretty bad. Parisians like to think of themselves as outspoken and rebellious (monarchy was overthrew a few hundreds years ago, but yeah, who counts!?!?) but they behave as judgmentally as if they are still part of Louis XVI’s court. There are living on a reputation and that’s it. I feel like an asshole complaining when Paris is such a fixture on most bucket lists. It just isn't my scene.
On the other hand, Paris will never lose its magic. You need to appreciate the city for its architecture and charm, for certain museums (anything but Louvre – for sanity sakes of course!) Visiting Pere Lachaise cemetery will give you a certain peace of mind but I would also make time for a 2 hour walk along the Seine. Getting lost on the small streets of Le Marais or St. Germain it’s another option if you want to say: I DO appreciate Paris.
Of course Paris will always have its magic because of its history and beauty, but sometimes (or for some people) that's not enough to have a pleasant experience in a city; then just remember that Paris is unfriendly, Paris lacks modern trend, or Paris is dirty - fair enough, just have a coffee,a croissant and go back to explore the historical places.
This is not meant as an attack to Paris at all, but rather an exploration of how we as human beings turn places and things (like cities or fashion) into symbols through which we try to give meaning to our lives at that moment.
Paris is a big, sprawling city, and it can be just as cruel or beautiful as any other. It does have a reputation I think it doesn't deserve. Which one it actually is? It is up to you.