Paris Syndrome is often defined as elevating a place or thing beyond comprehension only for it to never live up to the hype placed on it in the first place.

Otherwise passed off as a damp-squib, anti-climax or even just disappointing, you'll know the deep dissatisfaction when a place fails to deliver on all levels. That, it was first recorded and acknowledged in Paris doesn't mean it is confined to the capital of love.

Wise Traveller walks you through a number of ways to manage your expectations when visiting new destinations.

How to Combat Paris Syndrome - The Wise Traveller

Managing expectations

Rather than having a dreamy romanticized version of your next destination, you need to get realistic and pretty quickly as you land.

If you're visiting a city, then be prepared for the grime, the scammers and tourist tat sellers, the choking traffic, locals that don't have English as a second language and other tourists that crowd out the perfect image you want as a memory.

You can easily manage expectations by accepting that even the most beautiful cities - Istanbul, Paris, Rome, New York, London or Kuala Lumpur - will have their blemishes and it's a case of realising a city does not pander tourist expectations. If anything, the landmarks have always been there, but you're expectations have grown beyond their limits.

Plan ahead

As a regular traveller, the best option I always fall back on when heading for a new destination is to expect to get lost. But armed with a map, research already planned and noted, expectations in check, getting lost can be an ideal way of seeing different parts of a destination you may not have considered. Planning will also help you factor in the time needed to soak up a landmark and move on. Too quick at a famous place and Paris Syndrome could kick in.

How to Combat Paris Syndrome - The Wise Traveller

Consider the seasons

When you're planning a break, consider when you travel. Are you likely to in the height of the tourist season, or vacationing at a resort when it's all closed down? Assess what you want to achieve and how you want to go about achieving it. Too many tourists could spoil the view or experience - think Venice and the tourist-choked canals.

Get a feel for the locale

If you're time limited, then it might be best to prioritise your visits rather than try to cram everything in the shortest possible time. Cities, such as Rio or San Francisco, shouldn't be a checklist, but an experience. So get local, check out the museums and landmarks and research the best times to visit.

Dress appropriately and wear good shoes

If you intend to head to a Muslim country or a landmark that is renowned in Islam, then be sure to dress as the local culture dictates. If you're seeking your kicks in Paris, then be prepared to wear good shoes as there is a lot of walking in a confined area to reach the places you want. Equally, taking in the likes of Ephesus, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey, during the summer, it is de rigour to take head cover as there is no shade at all.

How to Combat Paris Syndrome - The Wise Traveller


It happens everywhere, but stay alert, stay vigilant and don't do anything a right-thinking local wouldn't. Stay away from potential scammers and give over-priced and over-hyped restaurants a wide berth, if you are on a budget. Also be sure to keep valuables within reach, and everything zipped up.

Respect others

One of the things that will win you over with locals in a foreign country is to respect them and to try to speak their language. Speaking English and being arrogant will be met with stony silence and people walking away from your hour of need. So try and strike a balance with learning some words of the country you are landing in, and by being polite, may well limit the chances of being given short shrift and encountering Paris Syndrome.

Andy Probert - The Wise TravellerAndy Probert left the British rat race after a 25 year journalist and PR specialist to live in Turkey and now Cyprus, a compulsive traveller his favourite places include Vietnam and India among many. Among the travel Andy continues to write freelance and still maintains a PR client base.