Culturefish! Tours offers a new take on visiting Paris. The company combines visits of historical sites and monuments with anecdotes that share cultural insights about French culture.
Anyone who has ever visited Paris has probably said or heard the following sentence: “I love Paris, but I hate Parisians.” But what if Parisians aren’t nearly as rude or snooty as they’ve been portrayed? What if a lot of the negative images outsiders often have of Parisians come down to cultural misunderstanding?
Tour participants not only see the sights and learn more about the city’s history, but they also gain insight into the inner workings of what makes Parisians so…well, Parisian. The bonus is that the tour works on a pay-what-you-want system. Visitors can pay according to their budget or what they think the tour is worth.
After hearing about Culturefish!, I decided to test one of their tours myself. I went on the “Heart of Paris” tour, which was led by Pierre, one of the company’s three founders. Here are three things I loved about the tour and why I think you should check it out the next time you’re in Paris.
1. Something for everyone
I’ve lived in Paris for over five years now and was pleasantly surprised to discover new facts about the city that I hadn’t heard before. For those who aren’t very familiar with French history, the tour provides a crash course that spans the early days of Paris to today. Thanks to the delivery, it was never overwhelming or too information heavy.
2. Cultural Insights that make you think
I found myself nodding along to much of what Pierre said about the aspects of French culture and interactions in Paris that could be frustrating for foreigners. Some of the culture shocks I experienced during my early days in Paris could have been avoided if I’d had access to the cultural lessons that are seamlessly woven into the Culturefish! tour.
The other visitors seemed to also benefit from the tips. I even overheard one study abroad student say “I hadn’t thought of that before…” to his friend after one of Pierre’s explanation of the possible causes of a frequent culture clash.
3. A human approach to the tourism industry
Many travelers may avoid city tours because they often give a big business vision of the city that is removed from the reality of the locals living there. This is definitely not the case for Culturefish! Tours. The company was founded by three siblings who grew up as “third culture kids” and have seen first-hand how cultural differences can be a source of conflict and misunderstanding. With Culturefish!, they’re on a mission to help bridge the culture gap, while giving visitors a better understanding of the city they love.
Check out the Culturefish! Tours website for information about upcoming tours.