Phallic Symbols In Paris (A Free Walking Tour)

Posted by:     Tags:      Posted date:  June 28, 2011  |  20 Comments
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I decided today that it was time to do some obligatory touristy stuff. I’ve been here for days and I hadn’t even seen the Eiffel Tower yet. (I just thought it would be more interesting to build up the anticipation.)

I turned up at 1pm, in front of the St Michel fountain for the walking tour. I’d done one previously in Berlin and loved it.
I highly recommend doing walking tours in any city you get a chance. It’s a brilliant idea where you pay what you like at the end (you should pay something). I was with Shauna, a friend from Toronto who happened to be in Paris as well. It was great because I hate doing touristy things by myself. What’s the point if you can’t share the experience with someone else. I’m bored of being that solo traveler who has to be a huge extrovert, so that no one notices he has no mates with him.

Anyway, the walking tour was not only interesting and educational, but hilarious. Our tour guide was a brilliant comic, who I wasn’t sure if I loved because she was funny or hated because I was jealous and wanted to be like her. I learnt lots of interesting stuff like there are at least 370 official cheeses in France. That’s like one for every day of the year and 5 bonus cheeses for when you feel like going wild. Also Napolean was apparently a huge kleptomaniac and stole loads of art, including an massive 3,300 year olf Eygptian oblesik called “L’aiguille de Cléopâtre” and placed it in Place de la Concorde. There was other cool factoids which I wouldn’t have known even had I read Wikipedia. The tour lasted 4 hours, which is just fantastic value in my opinion. It’s like comedy, education and exercise all rolled into one. Unbelievable value.

Unfortunately, given my poor sense of direction I was lost at the end of the tour. So I decided to just walk around until I found my way back to my hosts. It was just like that Woody Allen movie Midnight In Paris , except that I didn’t get to meet any famous people. I did however bump into the Eiffel Tower, which is not what I can say every day.

Turns out, the Eiffel Tower was just a brown tower. It’s not even that big. So I guess size doesn’t matter as much as perspective! But really, nothing spectacular. I just don’t get the fascination of towers, in general. Okay, so the Eiffel Tower is a massive phallic symbol that sparkles at night.

If that’s considered romantic, I need to start buying myself glow-in-the-dark condoms.

Have you ever seen the Eiffel Tower?

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I'm a wanderer, couchsurfer, writer, illustrator, uncoordinated dancer, unwitting minimalist, party enthusiast, free hugger and now a crewman. Follow me @roymarvelous .................................................................................................................... Also, find out how to work on cruise ships. Or check out the new T-shirt & Card store.

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20 Comments for Phallic Symbols In Paris (A Free Walking Tour)


Uhhh hahah sounds like you picked up some of the tour guide's humor 🙂 I don't see the novelty of towers either. Just big fat symbols of unnecessary "progress"… Man, that bike share program though, that sounds amazing. THAT is progress. I wish San Francisco would do something like that.

Cheers Roy, always a pleasure to read about your adventures.
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    I know! I still can't over the Velib…

Robyn Jacqueline

I've seen the Eiffel tower twice, went up it once. I'm 100% for free walking tours. I took one in Berlin and two in Munich (the city tour, then Dachau) and loved both of them. The people who do the walking tours are always the best comedians.


    Oooh i took the one in Berlin and loved it too.


I've been up in the Eiffel tower before 😛 But that was before I knew skyscraper cities… I don't even think a lot of tall buildings in Paris were around at that time (I was like 14 years old),, so it looked relatively big to me 🙂
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Did you go up the tower? The view is fantastic…
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    Nah, not really my thing!


I haven't seen it – only in photos- but like any towering object with a sharp tip I can see how it would look phallic.


    exactly 😉

Tiphaine Quignon

Napoleon didn't steal the obelisque of La Concorde, it was given by Mehmet Ali in 1830 to the king Charles X as a gift to thanks Champollion and all his translation work (it was political as well, of course). For the record, and the funny part, Charles X also got a giraffe which made quite a sensation and became the Parisians' best friend


    Thanks Tiphaine, interesting to hear. During my tour we were given the impression that the Egyptians were "forced to give it as a gift".


Yay for Free Walking Tours! I did one in Berlin and went home with my head over flowing with knowledge (spiked with humour!). Love your artwork for this post..! 🙂 Im heading to Paris at the ned of August- might try to check out this tour!
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    Highly recommended! I did one in Berlin too and loved it. I should see if there's one in Riga…hm.


My friend and I gave 5 euros total. I saw people giving between 1-5 euros. Depends on the size of the crowd too I guess.


I guess I'm a different kind of romantic. I find Prague is romantic because of the cheap and delicious beer 😉

Caanan @ NVR

> If that’s considered romantic, I need to start buying myself glow-in-the-dark condoms.

Cause nothing says sexy like having your junk sparkle like champagne bubbles (which is the intended effect on the Eiffel Tower, I believe).

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    Oooh, the Eiffel Tower did look like champagne at night. Not sure if I could pull that off though…

Cheap & Free Things: 5 Ways To Enjoy ParisCruisesurfingz

[…] even have to enter a museum to see art, it’s everywhere from classical to street art. The free walking tours in Paris are also definitely worth doing, to get an additional insight to each landmark. 4. Cook Some […]


Yeah the title definitely built up the anticipation. You know the obelisk shaped monument is historically credited to the penis. At least that is what they taught us in Anthropology of Art. There are numerous books written on the subject. Men honoring themselves by erecting giant penises in the centers of towns. Typical. ;)-
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    Roy Marvelous

    I knew it!!