Do Parisians live up to their stereotypes? The Economist says NO! Parisians are not impolite at all but simply misunderstood!

“Everyone thinks that people in Paris are impossibly rude. The longer I spend in the city, the more I realise that this is untrue. In fact, they are impossibly polite.

Understanding this is the secret to an effortless life in the French capital. Mastering lift etiquette is a good case in point. I arrived in Paris a few years ago from London, where even colleagues would rather stare blankly at the closed doors than venture a greeting. In Paris, by contrast, there is a tightly observed ritual. When the lift doors part, you step in and say “Bonjour”. Everybody says “Bonjour” back. Whenever anyone steps out, you wish them a “Bonne journée”. They do the same. And that’s not all. If later in the day you bump into anyone again, you start all over again with (I’m not making this up) “Re-bonjour”. “

(Sophie Pedder, Paris bureau chief of The Economist)


So what’s the verdict? Is The Economist correct in their observations or are they missing something? Should this particular image of parisians be put to rest or is it still alive and well? Tell us your stories!