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What Not to Do in Paris

(Photo: Guillaume Speurt via flickr/CC Attribution)

Feeling like you’re being judged by locals every time you visit Paris? You’re probably right. But know this: Every time a Parisian shoots you a dirty look for talking too loudly or wearing shorts to dinner, they are doing you—and everyone else who loves Paris—a favor. Of the three most-visited cities on Earth, Paris is by far the smallest in size, making it possibly the most tourist-dense city of them all. With visitors often outnumbering residents, it makes sense that Parisians fiercely defend the etiquette and language that defines the very culture so many travel so far to see. So why not play along?

From your choice of clothes to how to enter a shop, here are 10 tips to help you move through the city with grace and confidence. So next time you’re in Paris, don’t make any of the following mistakes.

To delve into some of the most common mistakes of North American travelers to Paris, I spoke with Penny Bernier, a born-and-raised San Franciscan who has spent nearly four decades living in Paris; Marika Prince, a longtime American expat in Paris; and the gang at Atout France, the France Tourism Development Agency.

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