Myth or Fact: Paris Edition

Ian Johnson
February 10, 2015

This past Friday I woke up at four o’clock in the morning, said goodbye to Barcelona, and headed off to Paris for a weekend with the French. I had never visited France prior to the trip, so it was time to find out for myself — is the Louvre really overrated? Are the French a friendly bunch? Is French food worth the price?

No. The Louvre is not overrated. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. A group of friends and I visited the Louvre the first night we arrived in Paris. Helpful tip: if you are traveling to Paris on a budget, admission to the Louvre is free during the first Sunday of every month; however, it is also free on Friday evenings from six to ten o’clock in the evening. We were determined to get the most out of our free four hours at the Louvre, yet this proved much more difficult than we anticipated. The Louvre is enormous. We learned that if you spent just ten seconds looking at every piece of art that is currently in the Louvre, it would take you three months to finish! Aside from its size, the glamour of the museum and its artwork proved astounding.

Yes. For the most part, the French were very friendly. I met a lot of locals who were incredibly helpful when it came to obtaining information about the city. However, we obviously don’t live in a perfect world. With that said, here’s another piece of pertinent advice when visiting Paris. Do not throw away your metro ticket until you have fully excited the metro station. Our second day, we ran into a bit of trouble right inside the metro station near the Eifel Tower. One of our friend’s had thrown out her ticket before we excited the station and was stopped at the exit by metro personnel. Long story short, she was charged an erroneous 35-euro, even though she had paid for ten metro tickets earlier that morning!

Yes — for the most part. Paris truly does have some great restaurants that you can visit without completely breaking the bank. Similar to Barcelona, we discovered restaurants that, in a similar fashion to Barcelona, offered specials that included an entrée (which actually means appetizer in Paris), a plate (the main entrée), and a beer or wine for 12.50-euro. On our last day, I ordered a French-style risotto with roasted duck, which was out of this world.

Paris was an amazing experience. However, as I stepped off the airplane back in Barcelona, I experienced an incredible feeling. I felt as if I had just arrived home. After just one month in this beautiful city, Barcelona has formed a special place in my heart. I have found my second home — and that, my friends, is a truly special feeling.

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Ian Johnson

<div>I am a junior undergraduate at Indiana University&rsquo;s Kelley School of Business, majoring in Marketing &amp; International Business. I am also a member of the Kelley Consulting Workshop &mdash; a program geared toward building analysis, presentation, and teamwork capabilities for a competitive career in consulting. I am currently pursuing a career in Marketing Strategy and Brand Development. As a value-driven individual passionate about holistic health and well-being, I continue to search for new opportunities to contribute to the health and longevity of our people and planet.</div>

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