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Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Paris

(and how to avoid them)

passport waiting for  pickpocket

ABOVE: Paris is a paradise for pickpockets and purse-snatchers, partly because so many tourists are ready to accept the role of victim.

Paris is one of the world's great travel destinations, and you're likely to enjoy your visit even if you don't plan your trip perfectly--or even if something goes wrong.

Still, why subject yourself to more stress, cost, and inconvenience than necessary?  By looking at other travelers' mistakes, you'll avoid replicating their problems, and you'll get more enjoyment--and value--from your Paris vacation.

On the following pages, we discuss 11 frequent mistakes or lapses in judgment by travelers who visit Paris. But we don't just focus on the negative: We offer practical and positive travel advice, often with links to related articles or other Web sites.

To get started, go to Mistake #1 or click any of the numbers in the navigation table below.

Next page: Mistake #1: Here today, gone tomorrow

Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Paris:
1. Here, today, gone tomorrow
2. Arriving in high season
3. Staying in the wrong arrondissement
4. Commuting from the suburbs
5. Lugging overloaded bags
6. Sightseeing by the numbers
7. Booking unnecessary tours
8. Driving in Paris
9. Overspending on local transport
10. Being easy prey for pickpockets and purse-snatchers
11. Saying "Adieu" instead of "Au revoir"

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for About.com, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (including Paris for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

For more information, see About our site, press clippings, and reader testimonials.

Top photo copyright © Alistair Scott.