Alone in Paris - Not Necessarily a Bad Thing
by Andrealuft on July 21, 2011
The idea of being alone in Paris may seem a bit overwhelming. But, Paris is actually one of the best places to travel to alone. Not, of course, if you are looking for a romantic vacation, the wine and roses kind you see in the movies. But if you really want to get to know the city, alone is the way to go.
Paris has so many great things to see and do. When you are traveling in a group, it is almost impossible to decide where to go, and everyone ends up missing out on at least one of the things on their must-do list. It is best to plan some alone time in the city of romance to make sure you experience the Paris you want to experience.
Very few people know the story of how Paris was an inch away from being destroyed in the Second World War, and very few people know that there is actually a Canadian Pub in the heart of the city. Everyone knows about the great food and the great wine, but that is virtually impossible to miss in Paris. So, mix up your life and go alone. You will catch more of Paris's nuances and still experience the stereotypical joys as well.
Surprisingly, there are actually a lot of people traveling to Paris alone, so don’t be afraid that the hostels will be full of couples. This simply will not be the case. Backpacking attracts a very diverse group of people, some of whom are definitely confident enough to do Paris alone because they refuse to miss the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower. So, do not let the fear of a lonely night at the Eiffel Tower discourage you.
Speaking of the Mona Lisa, life is often romanticized. People expect perfection at every turn. Another reason why travelers should conquer Paris on their own is because it is far too easy to expect more than any one big tourist city can offer, especially when it has been played up in every romantic movie to ever have been made. Paris is beautiful and breathtaking in its own right, and in no way should its splendor be downgraded. But travelers need to have realistic expectations, and traveling alone is a great way to maintain realistic expectations and to ensure more of a go-with-the-flow attitude, which the French mentality caters to very nicely. The Mona Lisa is, yes, small. Couples often march up to the Louvre expecting a 20' x 20' giant, but there is no way these couples will not be disappointed. As a single traveler who has all the freedom in the world to spend as much or as little time at the Louvre, you are much more likely to genuinely appreciate her petite, but nonetheless, breathtaking beauty.
Managing expectations is perhaps more important advice for junior versus veteran travelers. But in a city like Paris, it is a helpful reminder for everyone and just good advice in general.