There are many places that do not hold up in real life. For me- this is often that in the movies large places are framed from a perfect vantage point.
Experiencing a place should be better, or perhaps richer with the addition of emotions, and tactile experiences.
However if your emotion is discomfort, or perhaps annoyance for large crowds that are riddled with incivility...
I have had both-I have my dear friend Theodore's company, his knowledgable help (he has been living in Paris for years) and wonderful conversation.
I loved exploring the gardens of Versailles, the grounds that were Marie Antoinettes domain. Also the 'temple of love' was refurbished and not surrounded by a gate this time.
However, the Chateau (read massive palace) was so crowded it was unbearable.
The Arc de triomphe was as bad as I imagined. If a person could go when the crowds are gone-the experience might be better. Also the wonder of the structure is a bit diluted by the vast amount of HUGE, structures everywhere.