10 tips to discover Paris from an actual Parisian
Forget all the cliches, Paris has so much more to offer than this
With the anxious climate surrounding the upcoming French elections as well as the recent attacks that burst in the heart of Paris, France’s cred on the street is a little limp. I’m sure you’ve seen ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver‘ about the French elections, adding more reason to think France is actually going batshit crazy.
But… we all have to remember that France still remains one of the most beautiful countries in the world, if not the most – this is the French talking – and I deeply encourage you to come and visit once (or even during) the exams will be over. A trip to the City of Lights is only a couple of hours away by train, so too many people go to the beautiful monuments now to even get a peek, but I promise to take you places that no school groups would even hope to see.
Have a coffee in a Café Parisien
If you have not spent at least a couple of hours sitting with friends at the terrasse of a Café in Paris, you can not pretend you have lived the Parisian way of life. Head to any Café and enjoy a – very – bitter expresso or an overpriced Coke while gossiping and criticizing about everything you can think of. Even light a cigarette if you really want to feel like a real Parisian.
(No need for an address, just honestly find any quiet terrace anywhere)
Go tan in a park
Every time there is a sunny spell, the Parisian will go – with his book or his friends – in a park to enjoy the light and try to get a tan. If the temperature exceeds the 20°C, he will even put out his clothes to show his new bathing suit wearing his sunglasses.
(Go the the Parc Monceau or the Jardin des Tuileries, but hide)
Run on the Quais de Seine
The Parisian tries to keep in shape. For so, he jogs every bit of the city. My favourite spot to run remains the Quais de Seine – the river’s banks. Running along the Seine will offer you the best viewpoints on the most beautiful places and monuments in Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower or La Concorde, without having to face the queues.
…and chill there at night with your friends and a bottle of Rosé
After sport comes comfort, or even when you’re on the run, drink the wine! Whether you want to have fun for free in a beautiful place with your friends or go on a bar, here is a perfect location to appreciate the Parisian architecture.
The Pont Alexandre III is especially outstanding for its perfect beauty.
The Parisians have their own student ‘quarter’, bloody love France
Parisians do not only do apéro and drink some wine, they also sometimes have to study. The Quartier Latin is where you will find some of the most famous universities – such as La Sorbonne or the Ecole Normale Supérieure – and probably the most beautiful Parisian Library: the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève.
Have some Japanese food rue Saint-Anne
If you are having a shopping day near the Opéra de Paris, hanging around the Galeries Lafayette’s stalls, delight your mouth with a tasty ramen on rue Saint-Anne – the heart of the Japanese neighbourhood for the sushi goals Parisian style.
Shop second-handed clothes in Le Marais
Tired of the Grands Magasins? Lacking a bit of money to afford the new Chanel collection? No worries! Just head to vintage shops where you will find unique pants and tops. Lots of them are located in the Jewish/Gay area, most commonly know as Le Marais.
Go for a ride in a rowboat after a picnic in the Bois de Boulogne
When you are sick of the noise, you can easily escape for a day in nature. Paris is host to the famous Bois de Boulogne (also infamous for its numerous prostitutes showing up at night) where having a picnic with friends will make you feel like being part of some Monet painting. If you feel energetic enough, you can even rent a rowboat by the hour and sail the lake. If you want to behave like an authentic Parisian, don’t forget to bring a bottle of wine.
Party with the Frenchiest of French tunes on rue Princesse
The rue Princesse is known for its numerous bars. There, you’ll be able to dance all night long on the French and international most popular songs. Let go, have some fun, and crawl the pubs with your friends!
Live the authentic market life at the Marché des Enfants Rouges
Outdoor markets are all over Paris and Parisians love to go there to refill the fridge for the week. If you feel like combining the vibes of a Parisian market with a lunch in a hipster place, you should go to Marché des Enfants Rouges. A mix of delicious and affordable restaurants offering food from all over the world stand alongside traditional stalls of fruits and vegetables – and cheese of course.
My last tip is, don’t think about it, just do it. You’ll thank me later.