Paris – unarguably one of the best known and most photographed city in the world. Known as the city of love, the fashion capital, home to the world’s best-known sights. For many, it is the ultimate dream destination for holidays. Many people are simply head over heels about the city and whenever you hear a conversation where Paris is mentioned, you cannot avoid hearing someone sigh how amazing the city is, and how much they love the city, or how much they’d love to visit it.
I’ve been to Paris twice in my life. The first time was some three years ago and the second time in October. The first time, I was more than excited about the holiday in advance. I had a great weekend but did not get that WOW-feeling. On this second trip, I was excited too, not really because of the destination but mostly because of the upcoming weekend with a good friend who I had not traveled with in ages.
I honestly thought that this would be a second chance to the city. I thought I’d see it a bit differently now that I’d already seen all the main attractions, and could focus more on the other things instead of running through the attractions like a maniac. But no, I did not feel different about the city after this time either.
It is true that the city is beautiful and offers a great variety of world famous sights and activities. The Eiffel-tower is awesome, especially at night. The streets are beautiful. The riverbanks of Seine is a perfect setting for a little romantic walk hand-in-hand with your loved one. There are tons of lovely little cafes to stop in. Based on the credit card bill I got after the first trip, I could also say that the city is a perfect destination for a little shopping spree too. I have nothing bad to say about the people and I’ve only had nice experiences in restaurants. So when you think about it, there is really no reason why I, or you, shouldn’t love the city. You can easily spend days in the city without getting bored, just sightseeing, shopping, or sitting in the lovely cafes just watching all the people passing by. There are several lovely little markets, parks, and museums to visit.
Somehow, despite all this I just felt like the city just wasn’t for me. It was crowded even if it was not the peak season for all the tourists, the traffic was heavy and loud so that sometimes you could not even hear your own thoughts. There were cars, motorbikes and scooters everywhere. It was dusty and noisy and crowded. I’d want to join the crowd praising the city, but I just can’t. I just could not help but think that there are so many places that are better than Paris. To me at least.
There is no arguing about the fact that Paris is one of the few cities that everyone should visit once in their life and that nor the fact that the city offers something for everyone. Based on these two visits I could still say that the city would be one that I’d include in my favorite cities. In fact, it does not even make it to the top 10-list. There are lots to do in the city, lots to see and there are so many reasons why you could love it. However, for me, it is just too chaotic, too noisy, too crowded, too big and too busy to love it. The Funny thing is that this all applies to New York too, which, on the other hand, is my all-time favorite city.