Hi everyone! I meant to publish this post after getting back from Paris last September but hey better late than never right?!
So I wanted to share with you lovely people 10 ways to experience Paris like a local, ready?
- Practice speaking French is well appreciated with a ‘Bonjour’ and a ‘Merci.’
- No need to tire yourself climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower. Instead enjoy the view from a rooftop that serves drinks and food. Try les Ombres! If you are walking by Pont Neuf, go to Kong.
- Don’t waste money getting around in a taxi cab but instead experience the city by ‘flâner’ (meaning mindfully walk in the city). Or for the lazies, rent the Velib’ (free for 30 min) or even for the laziest, download the RATP App on your phone to get the metro itinerary straight and don’t bother asking the Parisians. Why? They get anxious around tourists!
- If you have limited time, don’t waste a whole day at the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay. Instead go to Musée Rodin or le Centre Pompidou (also catch the roof top view of Paris at Café George) or even le Palais de la Découverte. And for the real locals haha I’d even go to Musée de la Légion d’Honneur in front of the Musée d’Orsay (free).
- Don’t shop at the touristy Champs Élysées (too pricey!) but go for the quiet covered passages for shopping like one of my favorite ones is the Passage du Grand-Cerf where there are vintage shops I like. There is also the Jouffroy passage where the Musée Grévin is located. (2 birds in 1 stone, right!). There is also Gallerie Vivienne where there is the most beautiful library of Paris at the number 45. And Passage de l’Ancre is ever so romantic but not covered.
- When it comes to style please! A Breton top = French chic. Stop!!! I personally feel the most Parisian chic in fact is whenever I wear something that makes my personality stand out more. Let it be a red cool vibe bandana tied around my neck like here or the flashy red Converse on the lovely Parisian Valérie Tribes here, the podcast woman of Chiffon. And be warned that if you wear mini skirts, you may be considered a British Expat (according to Olivier Giraud haha here).
- If you are more like a bobo there is the Left bank like St Germain-des-Près for laying on the chaises vertes at le Jardin de Luxembourg and finding boutiques like Soeur then a break at Les Charteux for a drink. There is les Marais also where les Archives des Presses is a phenomenal place for finding fashion inspiration and also an eatery called Cru for a very light meal. For the cool kids, head over to Canal St Martin where there is Atelier Green Factory. I love the little plants in a bulb for giving an original gift to your hosting French friends 😉
- Keep in mind that stereotypes about French people are not always true but try to understand the local customs and you’ll have a better Paris experience to share.
- For instance, visit Parc des Sceaux instead of the busy Versailles or picnic and quietly relax by the Seine is always a good idea!
- On the other hand, go to a loud bistro for the lively ambiance instead of a fancy awkwardly silent restaurant, like les Parigots 😉
Let me know if you would like more these tips and even if you have already been to Paris before, any hotspots you would like to share 🙂
Also don’t forget to check out My Maps here I created for friends but sharing with you too!
On a side note, I recently discovered a funny you tube channel called ‘What the Fuck France!’ of an Englishman Paul Taylor’s pertinent mocking view of the French way of life and its cliché which I feel amused about. Check it out here!