My 15 French Quotes About Paris (Instagram Ideas)

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| By : Christine
I’m a retired 65 years old and I live in western Paris. Born in Alsace, I have always lived in this beautiful region of eastern France. Passionate about travel, culture and literature. Find me on Linkedin.

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Bonjour les amis!

If you’ve already read some of my articles, you’ll know that I’m originally from Alsace, but live just outside Paris.

In fact, if you’d like to discover a pretty corner of my beloved region, you can read the article on this little village called Riquewihr.

But today, it’s the literature and culture fan who’s going to share with you a selection of quotes about Paris.

And if you want to visit a neighborhood that inspired many of the authors of these quotes, you can read my posts about the Latin Quarter:

Enjoy and don’t hesitate to share them on Instagram or on your networks 🙂


Read Also : 21 French Quotes About Travel

French quotes about Paris

Here is my list of 15 french quotes about Paris:

1. “Paris n’est pas une ville, c’est un monde.” – François 1er roi de France

Translation in English: “Paris is not a city, it’s a world.”

My personal interpretation: This quote encapsulates the rich cultural, historical, and social diversity of Paris. It suggests that the city is so vibrant and full of life that it could be considered a world in its own right, reflecting the unique experiences and opportunities it offers to its inhabitants and visitors.

2. L’être qui ne vient pas souvent à Paris ne sera jamais complètement élégant. – Honoré de Balzac

Translation in English: “Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.”

My personal interpretation: This quote emphasizes the connection between Paris and elegance, suggesting that the city’s culture, fashion, and lifestyle are essential for a truly elegant demeanor. In other words, regular visits to Paris refine one’s taste and style.

3. “Respirez Paris, cela conserve l’âme.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Translation in English: “Breathe Paris in, it feeds the soul.”

My personal interpretation: Victor Hugo implies that the essence of Paris, its atmosphere, and its spirit, are nourishing to the soul. The city’s ambiance, culture, and beauty inspire and invigorate those who take the time to immerse themselves in it.

4. “Paris vaut bien une messe.” – Henri IV roi de France

Translation in English: “Paris is worth a mass.”

My personal interpretation: This quote is attributed to King Henry IV at his conversion to Catholicism to secure his accession to the French throne. The phrase implies the significance of Paris, equating its worth to that of a religious ceremony. In a broader sense, it underlines the lengths to which one might go for the love of this city.

5. “Sauver Paris, c’est plus que sauver la France, c’est sauver le monde!” – Victor Hugo, Pendant l’exil

Translation in English: “To save Paris is more than saving France, it is saving the world!”

My personal interpretation: Victor Hugo expresses the importance of Paris not just to France, but to the entire world. This could be a reference to the city’s cultural, historical, and intellectual influence, suggesting that the preservation of Paris is vital for global heritage.

6. “Dieu a inventé le Parisien pour que les étrangers ne puissent rien comprendre aux Français.” – Alexandre Dumas

Translation in English: “God invented Parisians so foreigners wouldn’t understand anything about French people.”

My personal interpretation: Alexandre Dumas humorously implies that Parisians, with their unique lifestyle and idiosyncrasies, add to the complexity and mystery of the French culture, making it intriguing and sometimes difficult to comprehend for outsiders.

7. “La Côte d’Azur est la serre où poussent les racines. Paris est la boutique où on vend les fleurs.” – Jean Cocteau

Translation in English: “The French Riviera is the greenhouse where the roots grow. Paris is the shop where the flowers are sold.”

My personal interpretation: This metaphor by Jean Cocteau contrasts two different regions of France. The French Riviera is portrayed as a nurturing ground (a greenhouse) symbolizing the natural and raw aspects of French culture, while Paris represents the showcase, where the refined and cultivated results (flowers) are presented to the world.

8. “Oui, j’ai vu Paris ; c’est comme toutes ces espèces, c’est un chaos, c’est une foule où chacun cherche les plaisirs et où personne ne les trouve, du moins il me l’a semblé.”

– Voltaire, Candide

Translation in English: “Yes I have seen Paris; it is like all those kinds, it’s chaos, it’s a crowd in which everyone seeks pleasure and in which no one finds it, at least so it appeared to me.”

My personal interpretation: In this quote, Voltaire describes Paris as a bustling, chaotic place where people are constantly in pursuit of pleasure, but ultimately finding it elusive. This suggests that despite the city’s vibrancy and allure, it may not fulfill everyone’s expectations or desires, reflecting the complexities and paradoxes inherent in urban life.

9. “Ajoutez deux lettres à Paris : c’est le paradis.” – Jules Renard

Translation in English: “Add a couple of letters to Paris: it’s paradise.”

My personal interpretation: Jules Renard plays with words in this quote, as adding the French letters for ‘d’ and ‘i’ to ‘Paris’ forms ‘Paradis’, which means ‘Paradise‘ in English. This cleverly implies that Paris is akin to a paradise on Earth, filled with beauty, charm, and delight.

10. “Être parisien, ce n’est pas être né à Paris, c’est y renaître.” – Sacha Guitry

Translation in English: “To be Parisian is not to be born in Paris, it is to be reborn there.”

My personal interpretation: Sacha Guitry emphasizes that being a Parisian is more about the experiences, lifestyle, and culture you adopt while living in the city, rather than simply being born there. The process of immersing oneself in the city’s life can be so transformative that it’s akin to being reborn.

11. “Paris le jour, Paris la nuit, sous soleil ou sous la pluie, Paris sera toujours… Paris!” – Jules Renard

Translation in English: “Paris by day, Paris by night, under sun or rain, Paris will always be… Paris!”

My personal interpretation: This quote by Jules Renard underscores the unchanging charm of Paris, regardless of the time of day or the weather. It implies that the city’s appeal and unique character persist through all conditions, making Paris perpetually enchanting.

12. “Les secrets voyagent vite à Paris” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Translation in English: “Secrets travel fast in Paris.”

My personal interpretation: Napoleon Bonaparte’s quote suggests that in the lively and interconnected society of Paris, information, particularly secrets, spreads quickly. It reflects the city’s dynamic social scene where news and gossip travel at a swift pace.

13. “Le vrai parisien n’aime pas Paris, mais il ne peut vivre ailleurs.” – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Translation in English: “The real Parisian doesn’t like Paris, but he can’t live anywhere else.”

My personal interpretation: This quote by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr captures a paradoxical sentiment often attributed to Parisians: they may express dissatisfaction with their city, but they also can’t imagine living anywhere else. It suggests a deep, enduring connection that Parisians feel with their city, despite its faults and challenges.

14. “Du dôme du Panthéon, la reine des villes, Sainte Geneviève, protège Paris. Vive Paris!” – Théophile Gautier

Translation in English: “From the dome of the Panthéon, the queen of cities, Saint Geneviève, protects Paris. Long live Paris!”

My personal interpretation: Théophile Gautier’s quote references Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, suggesting her protection over the city from the dome of the Panthéon, a famous mausoleum in Paris. This quote celebrates Paris as the “queen of cities,” emphasizing its significance and calling for its prosperity.

15. “Paris, la ville des maigres, la ville des gros.” – Jules Renard

Translation in English: “Paris, the city of the slender, the city of the fat.”

My personal interpretation: This quote by Jules Renard seems to emphasize the diversity and contrast within Paris. The city accommodates everyone, regardless of their size or shape, and this inclusivity and variety are part of what makes Paris unique and vibrant.

Paris is an inspiring city, a city that has always evolved and breathed art, History and culture through the centuries.

Many men and women have sought inspiration in Paris.

I hope you find yours, and if you do, please feel free to share your comments.

A bientôt, les amis!


People also ask about French quotes about Paris:

What is a famous French quote about Paris?

Maybe this quote is the most famous quote about Paris:

La vie, c’est Paris! Paris, c’est la vie”

But it was writing by a non-french individuals and, you know, I’m a chauvinist 🙂

The author is Marie Bashkirtseff, an Ukrainian-born artist who achieved posthumous fame for her published journals.

Her work offers a fascinating glimpse into the late 19th-century art world in Paris.

Translation in English: “Life, it is Paris! Paris, it is life!”

My personal interpretation: This quote expresses the inseparability of life from Paris. It implies that Paris embodies all the aspects of life – its joy, struggle, love, culture, and that to truly experience life, one must experience Paris.

What is a famous quote with Paris?

I wrote down these 5 famous quotes writing or speaking by non french-individuals but famous persons who loved Paris:

  1. Ernest Hemingway, American author: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

2. Gertrude Stein, American author and poet: “America is my country, and Paris is my hometown.”

3. Audrey Hepburn, British actress, in the movie “Sabrina.”: “Paris is always a good idea.”

4. Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and playwright: “When good Americans die, they go to Paris.”

5. Natalie Lloyd, American author: “I like The Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace.”

What is a fun quote about Paris?

Here’s the fun quote about Paris (for me):

“Avec des si, on mettrait Paris en Bouteille.”

In reality, it’s a proverb.

Translation in English: “With ‘ifs,’ one could put Paris in a bottle.”

My personal interpretation: It suggests that hypothetical situations can make anything seem possible, but they don’t necessarily reflect reality.

What is the slogan for Paris France?

The slogan for Paris is (for me of course):

“Paris est une fête.”

Ernst Hemingway

In fact, it’s a title from a Hemingway book I really liked: “A moveable feast.”

These were originally Hemingway’s notes, forgotten in 1928 in a Vuitton trunk at the Hotel Ritz in Paris.

Found by the author in 1956 and published posthumously in 1964 by his widow Mary.

This book offers a nostalgic and evocative portrayal of Paris as a city of art, culture, and inspiration.

Discover French Culture :

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