Paris Tourist Trap Tips by CALSF
Paris Tourist Traps: 437 reviews and 339 photos
The Place du Tertre in Montmarte has alot of artists who will draw your portrait or paint scenery. This is not cheap mind you. But walking around as they can't afford a place in the square are various portrait artists or caricturists. They charge quite alot too. And they will try to get your attention by approaching you outright. Sometimes they use compliments about your looks to get your attention. Don't bother unless you really want to.
Unique Suggestions: Just walk on by.
The huge 35 storey office building complex in the 15th district is-in my opinion-not worth a visit. From the Champs Elysees you can see it in the distance at one end. It's a tremendously large square-shaped building. You take a high-speed elevator up and come down and that's about it. That's what we did as part of our sightseeing tour a few years after it was built (1985).
Unique Suggestions: Don't even bother to visit. It's not worth the 7 euro admission.
Fun Alternatives: Visit the other more typical and scenic sights.
Legitimate Taxi Parisien driver
Once you exit the immigration/customs at CDG you will be bombarded and pretty much accosted by rogue taxi drivers. You will definitely know them as they will walk with you trying to get your attention. Do NOT arrange any ride with these guys. They will rip you off as there is no set rate.
Instead go through the airport exit doors to the taxi line. The line may look long and daunting when alot of passengers deplane, but it goes fast. The legitimate taxis work for Taxi Parisien.
I don't mind souvenir vendors at all. Everyone has a living to make and this is their livelihood. However, I have to admit that there is an overkill of souvenir vendors leading to and in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower!
If you walk to the Eiffel Tower from the Palais du Chaillot, you will see so many sidewalk vendors that it will blind you. Each and every one tries to get your attention so if you're not interested in buying anything, please do not meet their eyes. Otherwise, you stand to become an object of their affections. :)
The souvenir vendors don't have actual stalls either. They put their goods on the bare sidewalks. So tread carefully too. I'm sure if you happen to accidentally squash their goods, you will pay for them. The sidewalks are large, but when there are lots of crowds (as usually is the case) space is at minimum. You have to be careful not to run into other tourists as well as to be careful not to step on the vendors' wares.
Prices are so-so and I'm sure you can bargain with them. Lots of Eiffel Tower keychains, scarves, mini monuments, etc.
Unique Suggestions: If you're not interested in buying any souvenirs keep walking and don't stare as you may be perceived as being interested in buying something.
Rue de La Huchette
Walking in the Latin Qtr. you will definitely not miss Rue St. Severin and Rue de La Huchette off of Blvd. St. Michel. They are two of Paris' medieval streets, cobblestoned, tiny. But they are loaded not only with the typical TT (tourist traps) but also another kind of TT: Greek restaurants. The guys stand in the doorways beckoning passersby to eat at their restaurants. And if they are not eyecatching, then out come the dinner plates that they smash at their feet. Hopefully by doing this your attention is theirs. Mostly the food is overpriced and not of the greatest quality.
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