Too high expectations can lead to culture shock. Have you heard of the Paris Syndrome?

A blogger from San Francisco named Angela recently tearfully shared her emotional pain on TikTok isolation during a visit to the French city of Lyon.


Solo traveling in France is such an isolating experience. Do not recommend for solo travelers and people who do not speak French. #la France #lyon #lyonfrance🇫🇷 #lyonfrance #solotraveler #solofemaletraveler #solotravelwoman #frenchculture #frenchcultureshock #fyp #fyp シ

♬ original sound – RealPhDFoodie

She doesn't speak French and regretted visiting the city in the first place and spending money. She arrived with the intention of learning and exploring, but the experience was ultimately unpleasant for her.

Since its publication, the video entitled 'France made me cry' has been viewed 7,6 million times, and the public is divided on the issue of cultural etiquette when traveling abroad. However, Angela is not alone in her city break culture shock - especially when it comes to France, reports the portal Croatian Tourism.

Notre-Dame Cathedral, Author: Stefaan Van der Biest

Paris syndrome is an increasingly popular name on social networks for tourists in love with the city of love and light or another popular destination.

This syndrome is often defined as "a state of severe culture shock". Physical and psychological symptoms when Paris fails to live up to expectations include hallucinations, rapid heart rate, dizziness and nausea.

Asian tourists

The disorder was named by psychiatrist Hiroaki Ota in the 80s of the last century, and the victims of the syndrome are almost exclusively Japanese. Namely, expectations of Asian tourists are great because the media in their countries they idealize European places, especially Paris, which is presented as a city of romance, love and glamour.

Photo: Pixabay

However, instead of the cinematic portrayal of peaceful and romantic streets and models wearing high fashion, they are greeted by traffic chaos, dirt, overcrowding, frowning residents and unfriendly tourist workers who they refuse to speak English.

Since the early 2000s, several Japanese tourists have been admitted to psychiatric clinics for treatment. These are extreme cases.

In an article he published 20 years ago, Ota states that between 1988 and 2004, more than 60 Japanese patients were referred for treatment. Among them, 48 patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, and 50 percent of them were between the ages of 20 and 30.

Is the syndrome real and exclusive to France?

About 20 Japanese tourists get sick every year, so even though it's rare, it's real. Unconfirmed reports even state that the Japanese embassy in Paris has a 24-hour emergency telephone line for those suffering from true shock symptoms associated with travel trauma.

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Photo: Vladimir López/Pixabay

Two syndromes are famous in psychiatry at least as much as the cities after which they are named. Similar psychiatric symptoms are known to affect visiting tourists Jerusalem.

Fueled by the proximity of holy sites, a psychotic state of paranoia can strike travelers and pilgrims in this city, and is often associated with intense religious experience.

In the second place, in Florence, tourists mesmerized by the art and architecture of the Italian city can experience Stendhal syndrome – paranoia and heart palpitations caused by the historical significance and beauty of what they see before them.

Jerusalem syndrome

Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and a place of interaction of three monotheistic faiths. Every year, it attracts millions of pilgrims from all over the world, and the beautiful buildings and relics delight tourists.

However, the unusual behavior of some visitors has prompted psychiatrists to study the special state they can fall into. This syndrome most often refers to pilgrims who identifies with one of the supreme figures of the religion to which they belong.

It is believed that the very arrival in a city charged with historical weight and religious meaning can be a trigger for the appearance of symptoms.

The disease is based on delusions and is classified as psychosis. The person begins to believe that he is 'chosen' and behave messianically. Sick of imagining that they are prophets, reincarnations of deities, saints and the like. They often scream, shout and sing psalms or read passages from the Bible out loud.

It is also known that in Jerusalem it is not rare to come across a person on the street who announces 'good news' and expects to be followed, or a person who falls into a trance, saying that he is Saint Peter or Jesus.

The syndrome was first described in 1930 by the Israeli psychiatrist Heinz Herman. After it was registered for the first time, psychiatrists noticed historical traces that it also appeared in the Middle Ages.


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