We long for Paris in all seasons. The most popular destination in the world is the French capital. By an average of 20 million tourists visit Paris in a year. The Japanese are also happy to travel here. According to some surveys, at least six million (!) of them per year. Several of them arrive in the city with excessive expectation, and the romanticising souls eventually leaving in a state of shock.

What is Paris syndrome exactly?

The Paris syndrome is a sense of disappointment, when ones are visiting Paris. Who feel that the city was not what they had expected. The condition is as a severe form of culture shock.

The disease is taking its toll primarily among Japanese tourists. Paris syndrome occurs in those who cherish some sort of overly romantic and idealised image of the place they are visiting. They want to see the City of Lights as they did in Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain.

The syndrome has a number of psychiatric symptoms such as acute delusional states, hallucinations, feelings of persecution, perceptions of being a victim of prejudice, aggression, and hostility from others, de-realization, de-personalization, anxiety, and also psychosomatic manifestations such as dizziness, tachycardia, sweating, and others, such as vomiting.

While the syndrome has been particularly effecting the Japanese tourists, it has also affected other travellers or temporary residents from eastern Asia, such as those from China, Singapore and South Korea.

Let’s lower our expectations!

Well, these expectations are worth unpacking from your suitcase early in the trip. Paris is a bustling big city. Where there are conflicts on the roads, the waiters are occasionally rude. Not to mention that sometime it is impossible to get to the Eiffel Tower, and the subway is often almost unbearably nasal.

The difference – between the cherished, overly romanticised picture and the real image – can cause shock and then leads to collapse.

After all, Paris is not what they hoped for. The city is a real city, besides all the beautiful sites, there are lot people around, it is dirty and noisy. Where the women don’t even dress according to the latest issue of Vogue. And men don’t run in striped t-shirts, with fresh baguettes under their armpits.

Best experiences in Paris that won’t disappoint you!

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16 responses to “About the Paris syndrome”

  1. usfman – South Florida – I accomplished a rewarding career as a teacher and professor for 28 years.No more daily lesson plans now frees my curious mind to experience life on my own terms now.

    I find the idea of a Paris Syndrome absurd and can relate it to a similarly romanticized version of Hollywood, California. People should look to themselves more to conquer their biases.

  2. cindamackinnon – cindamackinnon.wordpress.com – Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon grew up in Latin America (plus a few years in Europe). Her experiences and love for the people, culture and natural setting of Colombia and Costa Rica resulted in her award winning novel, A Place in the World…..her background enables her to weave in details on tropical nature and geology, as well as Latin American society, into her writing. She lives in northern California with her husband and their golden retriever. Blog posts range from writing, multicultural topics, the expat experience and nature.

    What are the huge manicured garden in the first photo left – with the avenues branching out from it?

    1. annaczuczor – Traveler 🗺

      Champ de Mars Champ de Mars

  3. da-AL – Happiness Between Tails blog/podcast speaks to and from the heart. It connects lovers — of pets, authors, reading — and of my still-unreleased novels. “Flamenco + the Sitting Cat” and “Tango + the Sitting Cat,” are my love letters to all who fear they're too odd, too damaged, too old, too whatever to find love and happiness with or without a partner. HappinessBetweenTails.com • ContactdaAL@gmail.com • BuyMeACoffee.com/SupportHBT

    interesting and great analogy to life in general. when I visited Australia a few years ago, I met a young woman who had such outlandish ideas about Los Angeles, in terms of making money, lifestyle, etc. I wonder if Parisians are disappointed in Paris?

    1. annaczuczor – Traveler 🗺

      It’s indeed an interesting question!

  4. 100 Country Trek – Hello. Nice to meet you. My journey to cover as much of the world as possible began in Costa Rica in 2003. This is a story in itself, but for now I'll tell the short version . On a hike around Manuel Antonio I started chatting with a fellow hiker from Belgium. He told me he had a trip planned to visit Borneo within a few weeks of his return home. He then went on to say he had been to at least fifty different countries. That was when the travel bug bit me. I haven't stopped going since and the journey has been so incredible . It is here that I will share some of the incredible travel experiences .
    100 Country Trek

    Such a great article about this.we loved our visit there.

    1. annaczuczor – Traveler 🗺

      Thanks so much ☺️

  5. Rupali

    Wow! I have never heard of this syndrome before. I love Paris the way as it is 😀

    1. annaczuczor – Traveler 🗺

      Yes, so we do, but it’s a very interesting topic 🙂

  6. Starling Fajãzinha

    What a beautiful blog you have here! I’m not much of a traveller but I do enjoy to read about travelling, especially when recounting their experiences so, you have a new reader to this blog. Sorry for the off-topic comment but that cover photo, where was it taken? It looks so much like my home islands of the Azores…
    all best!

    1. annaczuczor – Traveler 🗺

      Yes, the profile picture was taken on São Miguel island, in Mosteiros 🙂🙂 We were there in January 2020! It is lovely there! ☺️ http://besidestheobvious.net/2020/01/24/one-week-on-the-green-island-sao-miguel-acores/ Thanks for following and reading us! 🙂

      1. Starling Fajãzinha

        Great report from S. Miguel! I’m from Flores Island, the westernmost of the archipelago and Europe. It also has a lot of lagoons and it’s a bit like the Furnas and Sete Cidades valleys mixed together 🙂

      2. annaczuczor – Traveler 🗺

        Thanks a lot for sharing! ☺️ We hope to visit Flores one day too! ☺️

  • Rebecca Cuningham
    Rebecca Cuningham

    Thanks for deflating the Parisian bubble a bit. I went to Paris thinking it couldn’t live up to my expectations. Then, the food, the sights, and the Eiffel Tower swept me away. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed myself very much.

  • nsnunag – I am Nathanael Nunag, currently juggling work, masters on asian studies and my passion– writing travel blogs! Every journey is a hope to inspire readers to discover the world.

    Nice to read about this article ❤️

  • Asif Balouch – Asif Khan Balouch is an inspirational Speaker, to be Physics Specialist, a Freelance Writer and Blogger. He is a best-selling author of books and a famous radio host.
    Asif Balouch

    I enjoyed reading this and
    I appreciate your hard work!. I know You have an impressive grip on this topic!.

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