How To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist In France

Travelling like a tourist in France is not safe and it can prevent you from seeing some of the best parts of the culture. Here are some tips for

France is one of the most culturally rewarding destinations in the world. It is a country that wears much of its rich history on its sleeve. For the tourist, visiting such places as the Eiffel Tower and Versailles can be incredible experiences, but there is more to France than grandiose monuments and long waiting lines. To truly experience France is it crucial to avoid looking and acting like a typical tourist. Besides, with heightened global tensions, you will be safer if you do not make yourself a target by looking British or American. This guide will cover the basics of blending in with the French, and it will cover clothes and attitudes you will need to bring with you to make your trip as safe and gratifying as possible.

It is commonly thought that the French are among the most fashionable people in the world. While there is a great deal of truth in this, it is no reason to go out and buy a bunch of expensive clothes for your trip. Instead, stick to the basics. Darker, more subdued colors will make you less conspicuous in the streets of any French city. They are easier to match, as well. Matching is essential; you are sure to be noticed (and probably laughed at) if you clash. You are better off sticking to grays, browns, and blacks for this reason. Blue jeans are considered acceptable during the day, but never out to a restaurant, and generally not at night. Oh, and leave the Hawaiian shirt at home.

When it comes to accessories such as bags, shoes, and watches, leather is the best choice by far, but don't go overboard on expensive leather or you will end up making yourself a target for pickpockets and thieves. Instead, find well worn leather bags and jackets, which make perfect attire for daytime walks and classier nighttime venues. Baseball caps of any kind are a definite faux pas, but if you do wear one, always remember to take it off when you go inside. Another tourist accessory, the camera, is an absolute must-have, but be discreet about it; keep it in your bag until you are ready to use it. Speaking of bags, shoulder bags are a good choice for anyone, since they are fashionable and difficult to steal when worn correctly.

Dressing to blend is fairly easy, but it is a bit harder to change your behavior. The French have a different way of doing everything. Their main complaint about Americans is that we are too loud. For many people this is true. Yelling across a crowded area is undoubtedly the fastest way to get yourself noticed, especially if you are speaking English. Learn to speak quietly to the people you are traveling with. It might even help to develop a couple of hand signals to use in places where you really don't want to be identified as an outsider.

Many people claim that the French are impolite. This myth stems mostly from the way they treat tourists, who are often very rude themselves. Remember to say please and thank you, even if you say it in English. Make no mistake; most of the French can understand English even if they do not speak it very well. If you don't speak French, it is acceptable to speak English when you need to, but always do so discreetly and politely. If you treat the locals with respect they are more likely to respect you in turn.

It is not difficult to have a great time visiting France, but to get the very most out of it, you have to be willing to accept these simple changes in order to avoid being the stereotypical tourist.

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