It is the most extraordinary place in the world!”
#1 They compare it to other European countries. If you are touring multiple cities while you are there, remember that each one is unique! Each one has it’s own history and buildings are made from different materials and are influenced by different artistic styles. Learn to appreciate each one and don’t compare! Italy has beautiful white marble buildings, but France has stunning gray sprawling Gothic style cathedrals and buildings. Both absolutely beautiful in their own way!
#2 They don’t know any of the history. How can you expect to appreciate one of the most historically rich cities in the world (after all, it was spared in the bombing during WWII), if you don’t know anything about it before you go?! You’ll miss so many things if you aren’t familiar with any of the culture and history. At very least, download Rick Steves app when you tour things so you have a little bit of an idea of what you are looking at!
#3 They don’t know any of the language. While many people in the city speak English, most people in outlying towns do not speak English (there are still many in Paris who do not as well). So learn basic phrases and download apps to help you on your way (ordering, numbers, directions, etc.). Even just trying to speak the language can earn you some points with the locals. When foreigners come to the U.S. they don’t expect all of us to know their languages, so don’t think that the French all can/want to speak English!
Hopefully you will take these tips into consideration when visiting France. I can honestly say my trip there was life changing! It brought history to life and I’ve never seen so many beautiful pieces of art and architecture in one place. It was a trip I will never forget and I can’t wait to go back.