Everyone raves about Paris, France. But after spending a month in Paris at Christmas, we really did not find it all that enjoyable. It has been 8 months since our time there and I have been trying to figure out why we did not like Paris. I mean, who wouldn’t love Paris? The obvious answer is that we were there in the wrong season.
Winter in Paris is depressing. There is absolutely no color except the red taillights on passing cars. The buildings are grey, the streets are grey, the skies are grey, and the people dress in black. The only stretch of grass in Paris is in front of the Eiffel Tower, but you can’t walk on it. There are no evergreen trees or bushes, so the trees and gardens look lifeless and ugly. The only positive thing was that there were not a lot of tourists, for obvious reasons.
We have seen the museums, famous artwork, and the monuments, but I think we missed out on the real Paris. There is so much to see and do in Paris when the weather is better. So, I think we will need to return to experience Paris in a different light.
The typical ideas for activities on a holiday to Paris include trips to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. While it would be nice to see those again, I think it would be nicer to see some of the other sites.
We took the train to visit the Palace of Versailles when we there in December and found snow on the ground. The inside of the palace was amazing, but Versailles is also famous for its gardens and fountains and we missed seeing their true beauty. I think going back to Versailles in the spring or summer would be amazing!
Dining at an outdoor café in Paris sounds really romantic. Dining outside in winter is crazy! If we returned it would be nice to enjoy a meal at an outdoor café and just enjoy the moment.
I have heard people discuss how nice it is to take strolls through Paris. I suppose it would be if the temperature was above freezing, it wasn’t raining, and the trees had leaves. I bet if we walked through Paris in the late spring or summer we would see the city in a whole new light.
We considered going to one of the most visited attractions in France while we were there in the winter, but just couldn’t convince ourselves to go with the freezing weather. So, if we return when there is better weather we are definitely going to Disneyland Paris. Our daughter would love that place, and I think we would have a lot of fun as well.
I’m surprised to hear that Paris during Christmas wasn’t that great. I’ve never been there so I have no real baseline, but I guess I kind of imagined it like New York during Christmas, all bustling and lively. Then again though, the weather really can affect your mood and when the weather is grey, it’s easy for everything else to turn grey too…
Eva Cooper says
You have to give Paris a second chance, but go in summer!! I have to say Paris is definitely one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited, and I travel a lot. Thanks for sharing your experience, I really enjoyed reading it
Di Patel says
My family and I spent 2 weeks in France this summer of which 1 week was in Paris and we were NOT fans. The streets were jam packed, the lines where awful and EVERYONE was so rude which was a stark contrast to our experience in Marseilles, Dijon and Lyon. I feel Paris requires a trip in either Spring or Fall when she is vibrant and quiet. I def plan to go back b/c I am in love with France and it’s non Parisian life.