About 2am last night, I finished up Netflix’s brilliant new series Emily in Paris. Not only was I hooked straight away but I definitely binge watched it all in one sitting. Typically this type of programme isn’t actually my cup of tea. I don’t usually follow on with popular series like this, as Korean dramas are my guilty pleasure (sorry!) So getting hooked on this one was quite surprising to me. There is just one problem with programmes which are featured in very famous cities like Paris, the rose tinted glasses. So, let’s talk about it.
Still from Netflix’s new show, Emily in Paris
Emily in Paris (The Back Story)
Emily in Paris is based on an American woman from Chicago (played by Lily Collins) who got the opportunity to stay in Paris for 1 year with her marketing department, instead of her manager (who accidentally got pregnant). Written by the same creators of Sex and the City, this programme follows a 20 something Emily going through the trials and tribulations of Parisian men, work place drama (including a mean boss), not being able to speak French, finding her feet (and new friends!) and the huge cultural difference.
If you’re on this blog post, the chances of you having watched it already or about to watch it are quite high. I won’t give too much away, but there was a reason I was hooked.
Photo taken before the fire.
Those Rose Tinted Glasses for Paris
Paris is one of those destinations that really every movie or TV show romanticises. Not only that, but countries romanticise it too. A fine example of this, is the fact that there is a crisis centre for Japanese tourists in Paris and even an official diagnosis of “Paris Syndrome”. The truth is, Paris is a little bit of a disappointment (and a little bit smelly). Don’t get me wrong, there is a reason the great poets call it the city of love. The architecture and the food are incredible too. There is also so much to see and do, that I’m not sure if you’ll ever run out of things.
I’ve been to Paris so many times now that I’ve lost count (I think I’m actually in the 15+ visit range at this point, I think Euro Disney is to blame…) but I do have an advantage, it’s just a two hour train ride away for me, as I live in London. As to why I love it? I couldn’t tell you. I just do (as unhelpful as that is!)
Me, in Paris.
You Need To See It How It Really Is
The truth is, Paris still a big popular city. Which means there is litter everywhere, there are people who harass you at the Eiffel tower (read: 8 things not to do in Paris here), it will probably rain a lot and yes, you will get ripped off in cafés for just speaking English. Unfortunately, there is also a big homeless problem in Paris too.
For my first trip to Paris, I actually skipped past the city and straight into DisneyLand Paris, so it doesn’t count. However, my first real trip to the city, it was covered in purple blossoms, absolutely jam packed and hot (and surprisingly rainy too!) I really didn’t enjoy it at all. In fact, I would go as far to say that I hated it (maybe hated the person I was with too) but I visited again on a whim and I fell in love with the city for what it was and is. A city break. Not the city which has beautiful people floating around in dresses, dropping rose petals wherever they go, reciting poetry and falling head over heels in love everywhere. I actually just asked Twitter how to describe Paris, and someone responded with “Cliché” and I think that fits it quite well.
Confession, I’ve never been to the top of the Eiffel tower because I’ve been told time and time again by numerous people, it’s not worth it. As my partner says, it’s better to have a view of the castle than see the view from the castle.
Emily in Paris, played by Lily Collins. Still shot from Netflix’s new show.
Emily in Paris Review
Of course I loved it and it made me miss the city entirely. I’d actually give it a 4 out of 5 and hope they make a series 2. But, it does give you massive amounts of unreal expectations of the city and how to meet people there (if I hadn’t cleared that up already! Haha). Emily in Paris depicts that everyone there is incredibly rude because she doesn’t speak French, but then also has random people approach her and become friends with her instantly (or dare I say it, in love with her). It’s hard to get a balance. Some reviews online say that Paris is in fact a rude city, but as I worked in Central London and people tut if you even breathe, it’s just the way it is.
Things To Do In Paris
If this blog post hasn’t put you off entirely and you want to give Paris a chance, here are a few things to do off the main big tourist hotspots that I recommend, once it’s safe to travel again:
Address: 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
If books are your cup of tea, I definitely recommend a stop over to this shop. Although not the original, browsing the shelves of this magical place is definitely worth it. Shakespeare and Company is open from 12.30pm daily and also has some English books too. The outside is quite photogenic, so it makes up for the lack of photos permitted inside.
Café Hopping (but make sure they’re good ones)
Something I like to do in any city is find a few cafés, soak up the atmosphere and rest my achy legs. With no specific cafés in mind, my general tip is to avoid those jam packed with tourists. As well as, those with an English only menu outside, and keep an eye on the prices should you get handed an English menu automatically when seated. Oh! And try and stay away from the places who have a tourist attraction across the road.
Address: 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France
I said that I wouldn’t list any main big tourist attractions, but I feel like the Catacombs were different. Originally I waited a long time to go inside, but once inside I felt like it was never crowded. I believe that they limit the amount of people in at one time, so although quite a popular place, when you’re down there it doesn’t feel like a tourist hot spot. I recommend that you book your tickets in advance, so you don’t have to wait a long time like I did.
Lily Collins actually, in fact, in Paris.
That concluded my truth attack of a blog post on Paris. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you’ve seen Emily in Paris! If you agree with it or just agree with me in Paris in general, I’d love to know.