I have always wanted to go to Paris for their culture, the Eiffel Tower, and everything wonderful about it, but is it so wonderful as it seems?
In a word, YES!
To be in Paris is to be surrounded by beauty. There is barely a street in Paris that does not have something beautiful about it, and there are so many small places to discover, such as the charming magic of Montmartre to the corners of the Quartier Du Marais. The Eiffel Tower is just as breathtaking as you could imagine. I have lived in Paris for more than two years now, and can say that if you let yourself be caught up in it, there is a romance and tangible history that permeates every street, building and garden.
As Valerie mentioned, I felt a little the same as her when I first arrived - coming from Sydney, I felt there were so many people about, and while you will probably not find the people as open and friendly as in other countries, they are usually polite enough, particularly if you try to speak some French with them.
But don't come for the people; come for the chance to feel that special something that Paris has which is good for the soul. There are plenty of beautiful cities in the world, but Paris herself - her buildings, grace, history and culture - and yes, food! - is all as alluring as her reputation, and there's no city like her in all the world. If you arrive with an openness to beauty and a willingness to search out her many treasures, you are sure to love it.
Mentioned in this answer:
The answer depends on your background, the country you're coming from, your interests, your personal perspective and your vacation budget.
For me as a non-Parisian French person, I would never use "wonderful" to describe Paris. I'd use "busy", "overcrowded" and "tiring".
If you're into museums and Art, yes, Paris is the place to be, no doubt about that.
But beside this, everything is just very expensive and overrated compared to other French cities.
Parisian people are often in a bad mood, there's a kind of "negative vibe" about them. They tend to take tourists for granted and don't see what foreign visitors are bringing to the city. To fight against this reputation, the Paris Tourism Office has even launched a campaign against rudeness :-)
It's a mecca for art lovers and foodies, there's no denying that.
I've stayed there several times and never found anything (outside of a gallery) to be attractive or pleasant.
Inside the tourist areas, you'll see the same pattern over and over again: The locals are rude, the pickpockets are GOOD and the prices are crazy.
I'm sure that if you live in the city and know it well or have a local guide, most of these problems will go away outside of the tourists areas. But for the average visitor, this is what you'll experience.
Take your hard earned vacation time and money somewhere else, you deserve it.
Yes, yes, yes!
Well... at least for me.
Paris is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it also combines great architecture, incredible museums, breathtaking sights with streets full of life. That is what I love the most. You may visit the museums and the palaces but, for me, Paris is all about the streets. When you see a parisian dress for work with a baguette under his arm buying a peace of cheese in a street market just bellow Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, you know this city is special.
I stayed there for three weeks once and had the oportunity to visit not only the turistic neibourghoods but the "normal" ones and I was blown away because all the streets were beautiful, all of them! It's incredible.
I do think Paris is amazing. I am a museum and gallery lover so it definitely fills that bill. But just walking around the buildings are lovely, flowerscapes, shop windows, cafe chairs, vegetable and fruits displayed at store fronts.
If you make a purchase say it is,"un cadeau", a gift, and it will be beautifully packaged.
It is the little things that make it charming. Parks with pony rides, unexpected green spaces, chocolate displays that take you breath away with their cleverness.
Yes,you will run across aloof Parisians and it has the big city traffic and dog poop but it is elegant and quaint at the same time.
I've been going to Paris every couple of years since 1989 and it is probably my favorite city in the world. I don't remember meeting anyone that was rude. People in Paris are reserved ans some of them are very busy, as they are in any major city like New York, but they are generally very polite if you are polite and follow the way they do things. Of course Paris is more expensive than smaller cities and towns in France, but it is in line with other major cities. I was just there in June, after coming in from London, which to my mind is much more hectic than Paris and more expensive. I think Paris is also a very beautiful city, especially the areas around the river. The city has first class museums from the The Louvre to the Musée d'Orsay to my personal favorite, the Musee Rodin. There are many fine restaurants in all price ranges, wonderful cafes and wine bars and many quaint streets to explore.
Mentioned in this answer:
We have visited Paris over 50 times and have never been lost for something to do! Even day trips outside the city is a cinch!
Paris can be what ever you whant. You just have to have an open mind. Learn a few opening phrases such has : "bonjour, messieurs, dames" (pronounced bon-joor, may-siu, dam) it means litteraly Good day, gents and ladies. You use this phrase when entring a small café, not necessaraly directed to someone specific even if onely men are present. It is a form of politness. Parisan aften think " tourist" what ever there from have no " savoir vivre" ( knoled of living) because they don't simply say hello!
Try it ! It wooked for lost of my friends.
From boutiques to cafés and museums you may find many attractive ideas for encouraging yourself to visit Paris. Enjoy..:)
Rue Auber L'Open Tour à Paris
The LouvreMusée du Louvre
9. Vaux-de-Cernay Abbey
who could say this vitrine (store) is a patisserie?
Mentioned in this answer:
Skylar, this might be my favorite question about Paris yet! I will admit, I didn't find Paris beautiful on my first visit. It was November, it was cold and rainy, and nobody was very friendly. I swore of Paris--I said I would never go back until I learned French so they couldn't be so mean to me!
Paris is wonderful for the culture--yes. I would highly recommend the somewhat overlooked Musee de l'Orangerie where you can spend time among Monet's water lillies if you want to take a moment to understand how art makes Paris special... while The Louvre is cool because of how much art there is, l'Orangerie is more subtle, and I found it much easier to appreciate.
Paris is wonderful for the food--yes. My favorite meal was at Brasserie Les Deux Palais on Île de la Cité, not because it was anything fancy--I just had onion soup and a croque monsieur and a glass of wine, but because I could sit and watch the other people eating and listen to them speak in French and feel lost in the moment.
Paris is wonderful because you will always find things you want to go back and do. Some of mine include eating at L'as Du Fallafel (EVERYONE recommends this place, and it's always closed when I go by) and paying to go into Sainte-Chapelle, which will make you love architecture even more (especially if you've seen nearby Notre-Dame de Paris).
Now, I would say that Paris is the most beautiful city in the world. I can't guarantee the people will always be friendly, but it's the kind of city I always want to visit. I think the rumors must be true, or at least they are for me! (I'm already planning my next trip!)
Mentioned in this answer:
Thank you for all the answers! I am heading there in a month and frankly, as a resident of Maui, never thought of Paris as "beautiful" as several of you have described! My brain cells are re-tuned and I look forward to adding this new awareness to what will be my third trip.
Yes. And more.
To paraphrase Samuel Johnson about the city across the Channel: "To be tired of Paris is to be tired of life"