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  • Writer's pictureJulie Prusak

Experience Paris Like a Local

Paris, the city of lights, is a timeless destination that captivates travelers from around the globe. While visiting iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum is a must, truly immersing yourself in the Parisian experience requires embracing the city like a local.

So, put aside the guidebooks and embark on a journey to discover the hidden gems and cherished secrets of Paris. Here are some invaluable tips to help you unlock the authentic Parisian spirit and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Wander through Neighborhoods:

Step off the beaten path and explore Paris one neighborhood at a time. Start with Le Marais, a trendy district filled with narrow, winding streets and beautiful old buildings. This area is renowned for its chic boutiques, art galleries, and vibrant nightlife. Stroll through the Latin Quarter, where you can indulge in the intellectual ambiance of the city's oldest university, the Sorbonne. Don’t miss Montmartre - its bohemian charm and artistic heritage make it a must-visit neighborhood.

 

Embrace the Café Culture:

Parisians have perfected the art of café culture, and it's an essential part of their daily routine. Find a cozy café, grab a seat at an outdoor terrace, and savor a café au lait or a freshly brewed espresso while people-watching. The café is not just a place to enjoy a beverage but also a social hub where locals gather to engage in lively conversations, read books, or simply relax.

 

Picnic by the Seine:

One of the most enchanting experiences in Paris is having a picnic by the Seine River. Visit a local market, such as Marché Bastille or Marché d'Aligre, and gather some fresh bread, cheese, fruits, and pastries. Find a spot along the riverbank, spread out a blanket, and indulge in the flavors of France while enjoying the mesmerizing view of the iconic landmarks lining the river.

 

Visit Lesser-Known Museums:

While the Louvre is undoubtedly a treasure trove of art, Paris boasts several lesser-known museums that offer unique cultural experiences. The Musée de l'Orangerie houses Monet's breathtaking Water Lilies series, while the Musée Rodin showcases the renowned sculptor's masterpieces. Take your time to appreciate these intimate venues, which often have fewer crowds and allow you to immerse yourself in the art without feeling overwhelmed.

 

Explore Local Markets:

For an authentic taste of Parisian life, visit the city's bustling markets. Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris, offers a delightful array of food stalls, where you can sample cuisines from around the world. The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, Paris's largest flea market, is a must for antique lovers. Engaging with local vendors, sampling fresh produce, and finding unique souvenirs are experiences that reveal the true essence of Paris.

 

Take a Leisurely Stroll:

Paris is a city made for walking, with its picturesque streets, hidden squares, and charming gardens. Wander through the enchanting Jardin du Luxembourg or stroll along the charming Canal Saint-Martin. Don't be afraid to lose yourself in the labyrinthine streets of Le Marais or the artistic ambiance of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Exploring on foot allows you to stumble upon unexpected delights and fully appreciate the city's architectural beauty.

 

What’s New in Paris?

 

A number of palaces and museums have reopened, some completely anew, other undergoing major renovations. This includes several incredible sites which are quickly joining a seemingly endless list of Paris must-sees. Did you know you can experience the magic of Versailles in the heart of Paris now at Hotel de la Marine right off the Place de la Concorde? Or that the completely renovated Musee Carnavalet hosts more objects than the Louvre? And let’s not forget that Notre-Dame de Paros cathedral is scheduled to reopen on December 8, 2024.

 

Unveil the true Paris by exploring it like a local. Venture off the beaten path, savor the café culture, indulge in neighborhood charm, and discover hidden gems. Embrace the city's essence, create your own Parisian experiences, and let the authentic spirit of Paris come alive. Paris awaits, ready to be discovered by those who dare to explore beyond the surface.


Click here for a sample itinerary for 5 days in Paris.


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