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-   -   How not to look like a tourist! (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/how-not-to-look-like-a-tourist-320022/)

parksie923 May 23rd, 2003 09:09 AM

How not to look like a tourist!
 
Hi! This is mine and my husband's first trip to Paris and Cannes/Eze Village. Does anyone have any specific instructions they can share with us about trying to blend in? We are going to be there June 29 - July 8th. Any extra help anyone can offer about what the usual weather is during this time would be great! We also don't want to over pack either, since it's a 10 day trip. Thanks!

ron May 23rd, 2003 09:17 AM

I cannot comment on Cannes, but in the case of Paris, the answer is easy. If you want to blend in with the hundreds of thousands of other tourists, wear casual tourist clothes and visit tourist sights. If you want to blend in with Parisians, wear conservative business clothes and visit office buildings.

ben_haines_london May 23rd, 2003 09:29 AM

Plenty of donts, I am afraid. To avoid looking a tourist you should
Wear no hat
Cover your arms
Wear long trousers rather than shorts
Avoid bright colours
Carry no camera or videocamera
Consult maps and guidebooks privately, not stood in the middle of the sidewalk (=pavement)
Talk quietly
You will wonder: is it worth that price ?

[email protected]

aubergine123 May 23rd, 2003 09:35 AM

Two basics for not looking like a tourist in Europe are - don't wear any sort of Tshirt with any sort of logo on it. The Europeans don't seem to do that. And - don't wear sneakers or tennis shoes. Luckily there are some nice slip on options now that are just as comfortable but not as american. Sandals also work pretty well and don't look excessively touristy. On another note - some other post said that you can now wear jeans in Paris - that the locals are. I'd say that it doesn't really matter - don't take jeans on the trip - they are bulky and take forever to dry if they get wet. Hope this helps.

humboldt84 May 23rd, 2003 09:46 AM

You are a tourist, deal with and have fun.

cigalechanta May 23rd, 2003 09:51 AM

Dress for Paris as you would for New york and for Eze as you would to any chic resort(no hoochy look)

Christina May 23rd, 2003 09:51 AM

Cannes and Eze are mainly tourist/resort places to begin with, aren't they? So most people are tourists and you won't be able to blend into being a local resident that easily at all, and most people around where you are will be tourists.

As for Paris, I've been wearing jeans in Paris for many years since I first went there as a student in 1988. Younger people who live around there, even just relatively young (meaning less than age 50) have been wearing jeans in Paris all that time, really.

Weadles May 23rd, 2003 09:53 AM

Wear what you're comfortable in during the day and dress for the heat in Cannes. Daytime temps in that area can reach into the 90s, and nights can be humid. You'll find people wearing everything from shorts ( during the day) to dressy/resort wear at night. No one's going to be all that focused on you anyway. I'm not trying to be rude, just the way it is.

Have fun!

Erin May 23rd, 2003 09:55 AM

I think it comes down to plain common sense. Wear clothes that look nice and neat, comfortable shoes and be considerate of those around you- that is the best way to blend in. If there is a definite no, I would say do not wear a fanny pack. A nice purse that is big enough to carry your camera, guidebook and a bottle of water, as well as your standard purse stuff will work. Have fun!

IsisMnroe May 23rd, 2003 09:57 AM

When I was in Barcelona, European tourists wore shorts and tennis shoes.

HowardR May 23rd, 2003 10:04 AM

This whole subject has been so overblown and exaggerated here and elsewhere.
Europeans wear jeans.
Europeans wear sneakers.
Europeans wear shorts.
Europeans wear t-shirts.
Europeans do NOT wear pink warmup/jogging suits.
Further, let's face it: No matter what you do, you'll probably look like a tourist. So what! There's probably more of you than of them in most places you'll be visiting!

uncle_sam May 23rd, 2003 10:05 AM

In Paris smoke a lot of Guittane cigarettes and skip the under arm deodorant and ...you'll fit right in.

US

Dori May 23rd, 2003 10:08 AM

Amen HowardR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

jor May 23rd, 2003 10:12 AM

Don't wear the Canadian flag and don't quiz people aboot Canadian history and celebrities. Everyone already knows that Peter Genings is Canadian.

EnglishOne May 23rd, 2003 10:13 AM

Thanks Howard, I was trying to put what I thought in words and you beat me to it. My thoughts exactly. I think everyone will know you are a tourist the moment you speak its not the clothes. I can never tell an american from a brit from anyone else most of the time. Its all 'western' taste after all (and I'm not talking cowboys)

What gives me away is my camera and guidebook and Im not dispensing of them for anyone!

John May 23rd, 2003 10:14 AM


Well said HowardR. Parksie923 go and have fun. In spite of what you heard the fashion police will NOT arrest you for wearing jeans etc.
Wear what you wear at home !!!

Carolred May 23rd, 2003 10:22 AM

Very very few Europeans wear sneakers, shorts, baseball caps, and t-shirts, but most NA tourists do.

Wear black and look bored. Wear long sleeves and long pants even if it is 40 degrees. That should do it.

wemr May 23rd, 2003 10:24 AM

I'm a loud American who wears jeans and tennis shoes. Especially in Germany, I fit right in. The ones who are unsuccessfully trying to fit in are Americans with scarves wraped around their neck and don't speak. They are total boars.

sunandsand May 23rd, 2003 10:31 AM

Carol, Sounds to me you havent even been to europe!! Thats great stereotyping! open your eyes girl - or grow up

wemr May 23rd, 2003 10:41 AM

Well said, sunandsand. Most NA tourists Do Not wear basball caps. Maybe one in ten do, at most.

BTW, in my earlier post I failed to mention that I have taken German lessons in the past and I speak limited German. I have made losts of German friends and I am a loud American.


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