Top 5 Tourist Traps to
Avoid in Paris

Paris is one of the most popular and visited cities in the world, but it also has its share of tourist traps that can ruin your experience and waste your time and money. In this article, we will reveal some of the most common tourist traps in Paris and what you can do instead to enjoy the authentic and charming side of the French capital. Whether you want to avoid long lines, overpriced souvenirs, or scam artists, we have some tips and alternatives for you. Read on to find out how to make the most of your trip to Paris.

The Champs-Élysées

This famous avenue is lined with luxury shops, restaurants, and cinemas but is also very busy, noisy, and overpriced. You will find mostly chain stores and fast food outlets, and not much of the authentic Parisian charm.

What to do instead?
Explore some of the more quaint and historic neighborhoods in Paris, such as the Marais and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

The Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay

These two museums are among the most visited in the world, and they house some of the most impressive collections of art and history. However, they are also very large, crowded, and overwhelming. You might spend hours wandering through endless galleries, only to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa or the Starry Night.

What to do instead?
Visit some of the smaller and less crowded museums in Paris, such as the Musée Rodin, the Musée de l’Orangerie, or the Musée Picasso.

If you still want to visit the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay, make sure to book skip-the-line tickets in advance — your future self will thank you.

The Sacré-Cœur and the Place du Tertre

The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur is a stunning example of Romanesque-Byzantine architecture, offering a panoramic view of Paris from its dome. However, it is also surrounded by hordes of tourists, souvenir vendors, and street performers. The nearby Place du Tertre is a square where artists sell their paintings and sketches, but most of them are overpriced and clichéd.

What to do instead?
Explore other parts of Montmartre that are more authentic and charming, such as the museum dedicated to the local artists, the vineyard that produces wine every year, or the trendy area known as SoPi (South Pigalle).

The Eiffel Tower

The most iconic landmark of Paris is also one of the most crowded and expensive. You might have to wait for hours in line to get to the top during the high season and pay a hefty fee for the privilege.

What to do instead?
You can admire the tower from afar or visit one of the many other viewpoints in the city, such as the Montparnasse Tower, the Pantheon Dome, the Pompidou Center, or the Arc de Triomphe.

If you still want to visit the Eiffel Tower (and we totally understand you), you can make the most out of your experience with an audio tour from a local expert with included tickets.

The Moulin Rouge

The Moulin Rouge is a cabaret that was once the center of the bohemian culture in Paris. It is famous for its can-can dancers and extravagant shows. However, it is also costly, touristy, and tacky. You might end up paying hundreds of euros for a mediocre dinner and a cheesy performance.

What to do instead?
Enjoy some of the other nightlife options in Paris, such as the jazz clubs in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the opera houses in Bastille or Garnier, or the comedy clubs in Montparnasse.

More unique experiences in Paris
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