16 Questions You Should Never Ask In Paris

03/30/2014 07:00 am ET | Updated Apr 01, 2014

Ahh, to visit Paris in springtime.

Before you head to that refined, sophisticated land of cheese and Champagne, it's crucial to make sure you won't embarrass yourself. If you know what's good for you, you will NOT ask those feisty frogs any of the following questions:

1. Where is Note-er-dayme? For the last time, it's Note-reh-dahm. This is an 800-year-old cathedral we're talking about, not the Division I football university.


2. Can I get this to go? Eating on the run isn't entirely unheard of in Paris, but it's generally uncommon and considered a no-no.



3. Where can I buy a love lock?
Parisian locals despise love locks so much that they have allegedly tried to cut them off of bridges, saying the locks ruin the city's original architecture, pose an actual safety hazard, and go against the idea that love should be a feeling of freedom, not lockdown. One Parisian waiter was especially vocal in his opposition: "“The fools! They haven’t understood a thing about love, have they?” Don't be a fool.
pont des arts



4. Can I swap those for egg whites? Can I get dressing on the side? Can you make that latte a skinny?
French cuisine is a hallowed practice. Waiters will not react to your nimwittery the way they do in America.



5. What's Impressionism?
Paris was the birthplace of this movement, which included such big names as Monet, Cezanne, and Renoir. Not ringing a bell? Study up so you'll know a history-changing painting when you see one.
monet louvre


6. Where's the Eiffel Tower? Firstly, it's the city's most heavily-visited attraction so you should know where it is. Secondly, you can just look upward.



7. Is the Tour de France in town right now?
Any Parisian local knows the Tour de France takes place once per year, in July. When the cyclists hit Paris, you'll know: they typically circle Rue de Rivoli, Tuileries Gardens, and the Louvre before an epic finish on the Champs-Élysées.
tour de france finish



8. Can I have a croissant sandwich?
Croissants are the tentpole of French pastry tradition. Do not so much as hint they be reduced to a mere vehicle for cold cuts.



9. Where can I buy a beret?
This trip is not the sequel to "European Vacation," you are not Clark Griswold, and you are not wearing a beret.



10. Can I have a bread plate?
In Paris, bread is broken, never cut. And you rest it on the tablecloth next to your meal.
bread placemat


11. Your drinks don't come any bigger than this? On average, French soft drinks are about half the size of American ones. Savor, don't complain.



12. OMG is THIS the cafe they ate at in "Inception?!"
This is just annoying from any tourist, anywhere. If you want to be a discreet paparazzo, try looking for the Pont de Bir-Hakeim, that under-the-radar bridge from your favorite Leo movie.
inception paris



13. Why is the subway so sketchy?
Here, it's called le métro. And it's been running since 1900, so it's allowed to be a little rickety now and then.
paris metro


14. What perfume are you wearing? As a notoriously demure and sultry group, French women like to maintain an air of mystery. Thus, asking about their secret weapon is très impolite.



15. Taxi? Taxi?? TAXI WHY YOU NO STOP FOR ME?!
French do not come to the taxis; taxis come to the French. One should visit a taxi stand instead of trying to hail one in the street.
taxi stand paris



16. Can you take one more photo... while we jump?
Firstly because French people don't jump, and secondly because the jumping pic is completely and totally overdone.
jumping eiffel tower

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