By Liberty Ip (@tslip_)
What do you think of when you hear “Paris”? The Eiffel Tower? The most romantic city in the world? For many, it’s the place for all things luxurious, chic and fashionable.
But take a stroll on the streets of Paris like a local and you will find there is not only so much more to the City of Light, but truly something for everyone.
While the Tour Eiffel and Louvre are essential to a first visit, how do locals really spend their time? Here are a few things you should do, as the Parisians do:
Enjoy the Jardin du Luxembourg
Grab one of the public seats by the fountain to soak in the soleil. For a classic fountain-side lunch, bring along a freshly bought baguette, selection of cheeses & bottle of wine.
Explore Le Marais district
For a taste of Parisian history, stroll through the winding cobblestone streets of Le Marais. Pop into the art galleries and boutiques, or recharge at a crêperie, brasserie (or even vegan pizza spot).
Have tea at the Grande Mosquée de Paris
Surrounded by colourful intricate architecture, the Grand Mosque is a change of scene for most Parisians, who stop here for a chat over mint tea instead of the classic coffee.
Wander through Fondation Louis Vuitton
Take some time to breath out of the city at this stunning museum. Displaying exhibitions of the highest quality and neighboured by the Jardin d’Acclimatation, this is suitable for all ages.
Follow the Seine by foot or bike
See the heart of Paris by following the pedestrian road beside the Seine ( Vélib’ bikes are also available for hire at many locations). Enjoy the sights and sounds with a lover, friends or your children.
Tips to live like a local:
If you can walk there, do.
While most people use the metro for practicality, walk from place to place at every opportunity. You never know what you might find.
Feeling tired, thirsty, or hungry? You deserve a coffee pause. Stop in one of hundreds of cafés. Sit outside, face outwards, and observe passersby like a true Parisian.
Learn to at least say hello (bonjour) and thank you (merci)!
A common tip but one particularly important in Paris. Learn and use pleasantries at every opportunity - even if it doesn’t sound quite right, your effort will be recognised and appreciated.
Part of luxury and the key to living in Paris is enjoying small pleasures. Sip your coffee or cocktail slowly. Taste every bite of that fresh pain au chocolat you just bought. Treat yourself to that macaron and those chocolates.
Where the locals dine & drink:
Pink Mamma - a beautiful interior, freshly sourced Italian ingredients, fresh pizza and a separate bar. What more could you want?
Breizh Café - for a taste of the best savoury and sweet crêpes.
Café Hugo - a classic brasserie with luscious desserts, all next to the former home of Victor Hugo.
Moonshiner bar - a secret gem, hidden at the back of pizza joint Da Vito.
Le Perchoir bar - a relaxed, open-air rooftop bar above Paris.
Photos By: Libery Ip