When it comes to travel, freestyle discovering the city is the best way you can feel the local vibe of your destination and find real gems – authentic food places, farmers markets, artsy corners, best points for city views and non-touristy shopping spots. With this post I want to finish my Paris travel topic and share with you my 5 TO DO’s to discover Paris like a local, till the next time.
1. Sightseeing. Well, it’s an ultimate part of the travel and important to figure out what places you really want to visit and what you can easily skip without receiving touristic overdose. I usually feel qualmish in tourists crowded places with groups, speakers, non-stop selfies (yes, you should be sorry) and pushy guys trying to sell you Eiffel towers (who actually buys them?!), all this seriously annoys, don’t you agree? So, things you SHOULD visit in Paris :
– Tour Eiffel – ok, you can’t really skip this. Best view you can get if you take a metro till Trocadero Metro station. If you are lucky to have a friendly weather while in Paris, enjoying a wine-and-cheese little picnic on the grass of Champ de Mars in the shadow of the Eiffel would be a better idea though.
– Basilique de Sacre Coeur – buy a ticket and get 300 stairs up high to the Basilica to spot the best panoramic view on Parisian landscape from the heart of Montmartre. Be ready for shaking knees session afterwards.
– Notre Dame Cathedral – I must say I was truly impressed by the size and gothic feeling this Parisian MUST SEE spreads around. Views from the other side of Seine are amazing, the closer you get the more impressed you are. I was lucky to see it twice during our 5 days stay, both times was raining and it only enlarged the dark spiritual atmosphere I could feel from the Notre Dame.
– Jardin du Luxemburg – relaxed atmosphère inside a beautiful green garden leading to Luxemburg Palace, locals are jogging, playing ping pong and kids are running boats in a lake behind the Palace. Everyone looks relaxed and happy here, even the ducks.
2. Food. Ultimate french experience include fresh baget from street patisseries (bakeries), tasty cheeses and cheap domestic wine. That’s a basis, go for more with my tips.
To discover Paris food subject like a local, you MUST visit :
– Laduree, for best macaroons you ever, EVER, have tried. Besides macaroons, their deserts are to die for, seriously. I had Divin raspberry desert, and a box of macaroons, Marie Antoinette taste is my favorite. 6 macaroons in a pretty box can be a good souvenir to bring for your dearest ones from Paris, by the way.
– Huitrerie Regis, for raw oysters dinner, local french experience as is. We googled this place and saw a lot of reviews how good it is, and we only agree. Succulent, dreamy oysters, great wines selection and cozy place to enjoy your romantic dinner. Even if it is your first time with oysters plate face-to-face, don’t fuck it up, give a try.
– Cafe de Flore, for the faith of great european literature and feminism, you can’t just skip this cafe in St. Germain. Yes it is pretty much touristic, but you can find a quite corner to enjoy Cafe Au Lait, onion soup and finish it with an eclair.
3. Street art. Collect graffiti works from around the city by Nemo, Space Invader, Nick Walker and other famous parisian street art names.
4. Canal St. Martin. Loved by parisians, this area is full with young parisians and hipsters, design shops, book stores and authentic cafes. Yes, and a canal, where you can see people chilling on the bank.
5. Shopping. In spite of Paris is known for “best shopping place”, I haven’t bumped into any specifically cool shopping places , only if we are talking luxury brands, so your destination point will be Rue Saint-Honore, where all the high fashion brands are placed in a long row. I spotted there colorful Chanel window display while my personal window-shopping tour, and visited &Other Stories store. We’ve eventually missed Saturday’s Puces de Vanves, which is an outdoors flea market mostly for vintage clothes hunters, but have visited Porte de Clignancourt Les Puces Flea Market, which is huge, partly indoors, and offers a wide selection of vintage together with a feeling you are visiting not just an ordinary flea market, but almost time traveling.
but you can always shop flowers in Paris:)!
Hope you enjoy my non-touristy guide to Paris, feel free to leave a comment or contact me by any request you might have, or just to say hello (or Bonjour).
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