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Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Paris
(and how to avoid them)

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Young women in Paris

ABOVE: Look back when you leave, and remember to return.

Mistake #11: Saying "Adieu" instead of "Au revoir"

  • Adieu: Farewell.
  • Au revoir: Good-bye (until we meet again).

To its admirers, Paris is more than a city--it's also a habit, or even an addiction. You can see this in the Paris guidebook section at your local bookstore:

  • General-interest guidebooks such as Rick Steves' Paris, Frommer's Paris from $95 a Day, and Fodor's Paris target the first-visitor.

  • More experienced visitors can explore areas or topics that whetted their interest on a previous trip with tools like Walking Paris: Thirty Original Walks in and Around Paris, the City Walks: Paris card series, or Born to Shop Paris.

  • By the third or fourth trip, the traveler is likely to be reading esoteric books like Markets of Paris, Café Life Paris, Paris by Bistro, or Métro Insolite (an historical and present-day guide to the Paris Métro, in French).

The point we're trying to make is that Paris isn't the kind of place where travelers come only once. Many visitors--especially those who live in Britain or on the Continent--come again and again, and pretty soon they're fantasizing about buying an apartment in Montmartre or a pied-à-terre on the Left  Bank.

Our advice:

  • Travel to Paris whenever you can, and for as long as you can.

  • Rue de Steinkerque signIf you're coming for a week or longer, consider renting a holiday apartment in a neighborhood that you know. By staying in a flat or studio, you'll have a chance to live your fantasy of being a Parisian--at least for a short time--and you may save a few euros in the bargain.

Back to: Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Paris (Introduction)

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 © Eric Hood.