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

Continued from: Previous page


ABOVE: A laissez-faire approach to traffic control in Paris.

Mistake #8: Driving in Paris

If you're intimidated by the thought of driving in Paris, consider yourself lucky:

You'll save money, time, and stress by taking the Métro or bus and leaving the driving to Gus.

photoDriving is hard enough if you're a Parisian who knows the local streets.

If you're an out-of-towner, having to cope with a road system that incorporates medieval lanes, angled avenues and boulevards, and frequent roundabouts without lane markings (see photo above) will put you, your passengers, your car, and other road occupants at risk.

But avoiding crashes is only half the battle:

When you've had your fill of Parisian traffic, you'll need to find a place to park your car.

That can be a nuisance, especially if you lose a side mirror or you're obligated to pay damages to your car-rental firm after you've made the mistake of parking on the street.

Below: Note the squashed parking bollards between the minivan and the car behind it.


Next page: Mistake #9: Overspending on local transport

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"

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Top photo copyright © Sean Randall.
1st inset photo copyright © Jean Schweizer.