A Local’s Guide to Visiting Paris

There is no denying it, Paris is one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Home to a plentitude of history, romantic charm, mouth-watering cuisine and architectural splendour beyond compare, it’s no wonder Paris is still the number one destination for tourists to visit. As a result, the city has been overrun by tacky souvenir shops, long queues to see attractions and overpriced restaurants resided exclusively by tourists.  Nowadays, experiencing the genuine charm of Paris like a local is a lot tricker than it once was. Fear not! I’ve teamed up with Paris local, Bouchra Benhalima, founder of BouBouTeaTime, to bring you the insider’s guide on how to see and experience this city like a true Parisian local.

paris like a local (15)

Breakfast:

Head to the bakery and supermarket and pick up chocolate croissants, slices of baguette, strawberry and orange marmalade, and fresh orange juice to wash it all down! For a sit down breakfast, Le Caféothèque is a great place for a traditional Parisian breakfast with very good coffee, and is a popular local hang out.

paris like a local (22)

Lunch:

Have a picnic in the park in true Parisian style! Instead of opting for the clique spot beneath the Eiffel tower, try Parc des Buttes Chaumont for a place with a very unique view. Sit back and enjoy the striking cliffs, shimmering lake and an incredible centrepiece of the Temple de la Sibylle, perched on top of the hill. Don’t forget the baguette, cheese and wine- if you want to experience Paris like a local, you’ve got to get your Parisian picnic food right!

paris like a local (1)

Dinner:

For a romantic evening meal out in Paris, head to the restaurant at the Hotel Particulier Montmartre or the Restaurant l’Oiseau blanc in Peninsula palace hotel. Parisians do everything with an air with elegance and class, and a visit to either of these restaurants will give you a taste of local sophistication. Put on your best dress and enjoy French cuisine at its absolute finest at either one of these two outstanding restaurants.

paris like a local (25)

Evening Drinks:

Avoid the spots overcrowded with tourists and head to the local bar for a drink where all you can hear are those beautiful French accents.  For a very classic Parisian spot for a drink with a view of the beautiful Louvres Museum, head to Le café Marly. Alternatively, head to Le Georges or Les Ombres.

Markets:

Le Marche des Enfants Rouges is the oldest food market in Paris. Located in the chic northern part of the Marais, this authentic local market has many stands selling fresh, delicious food that you can eat on any of the tables that have been set up throughout the market. Marché Bio Raspail Market is an organic market where you can find magnificent fruits and vegetables from local gardens and beyond. It is not unusual to spot celebrities, wicker basket in hand, squeezing melons or tomatoes.  Nearly forty vendors are on site with some of the finest products around Paris.

paris like a local (24)

Shopping:

The Champs Elysees may be a popular shopping destination among the masses, but Les Petites outlet are the places to go if you want a true Parisian shopping experience! Not only will you be surrounded by locals, you alsowon’t burn such a large hole in your wallet. You will find designer brands at half the cost, and avoid the hordes of tourists whilst you’re at it.

Best vantage point:

paris like a local (19)

A favourite among locals and tourists alike, don’t leave Paris without soaking in the fantastic view over Paris from the Arc the triomphe terrace, where you can see everything from the Eiffel Tower to the magnificent Champs Elysees!

 

 

Places to avoid:

Certain parts of the Rue St. Denis, a few blocks from the Centre Pompidou can be a bit dicey. You should also avoid walking at nighttime on the Barbes Boulevard, the Forum des halles and the Seine banks (by the river; up the street is fine).  Most Paris suburbs are safe enough, but don’t go to St Denis, La Courneuve, or Mantes-la-Jolie unless you want to see what a French ghetto is like.

Museums:

If you’re in Paris for the romance, there is no lovelier free place than the Musée de la Vie Romantique, a museum dedicated to two artists active during the Romantic era: writer George Sand and painter Ary Scheffer. Squirreled away at the end of a film-worthy cobbled lane, the villa originally belonged to Scheffer and was the setting for popular salons of the day, attended by notable figures like Delacroix, Liszt and Chopin (Sand’s lover).

paris like a local (13)

Click here to see the full photo diary of my time in Paris.

A big thank you to Paris local Bouchra Benhalima for teaming up with me to put together this post. Follow BouBouTeaTime on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more insider knowledge!

Have you got local knowledge to share? Drop me a line at hello@polkadotpassport.com to become a local insider for Polkadot Passport!

Nicola Easterby Bio Image

HEY THERE, I'M NICOLA!

I am on a mission to discover the BEST destinations & dishes from around the world. In fact, I’ve visited 54 countries and cooked 196 cuisines in this very pursuit. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or into the kitchen, come join the adventure!

CURRENTLY TRENDING:

Biscoff Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Biscoff Carrot Cake Cheesecake

This is a dessert mash-up made in heaven. Moist spiced carrot cake is layered with a creamy biscoff no-bake cheesecake then topped off with more biscoff spread, lotus biscuits and pecans. You know those things you eat and dream about years later? The carrot cake...

The BEST 23 things to do in the Catlins NZ in 2022

The BEST 23 things to do in the Catlins NZ in 2022

The ultimate guide to visiting the Catlins in 2022, including the best things to do, where to stay and how to get around the South Island of New Zealand's most overlooked destination. The Catlins is one of New Zealand’s most underrated gems. The region, located in the...

The TOP 6 North Island Glamping Spots in New Zealand

The TOP 6 North Island Glamping Spots in New Zealand

If you are looking for a spectacular place to go Glamping on the North Island of New Zealand, look no further. These 6 NZ glamping spots each feature luxurious safari tents, idyllic outdoor baths, and jaw-dropping views. With its endless lush countryside, unique...

READ NEXT:

31 Best Desserts in Paris to Try in 2022

31 Best Desserts in Paris to Try in 2022

If you are visiting Paris and wondering which sweet treats to try, look no further. Here is a list of 31 of the best desserts in Paris in 2022 and where to try them. It is no secret that Paris is home to some of the best restaurants, patisseries and boulangeries in...

read more
Los Angeles Itinerary: How to Spend 2 Days in LA

Los Angeles Itinerary: How to Spend 2 Days in LA

Visiting L.A on a time crunch? Follow my ultimate Los Angeles itinerary to ensure you make the most of 2 days in la la land! I must admit, the first time I visited Los Angeles, I was not very enamoured by the city of stars. Getting around was difficult, everywhere I...

read more

READ NEXT:

31 Best Desserts in Paris to Try in 2022

31 Best Desserts in Paris to Try in 2022

If you are visiting Paris and wondering which sweet treats to try, look no further. Here is a list of 31 of the best desserts in Paris in 2022 and where to try them. It is no secret that Paris is home to some of the best restaurants, patisseries and boulangeries in...

read more
Los Angeles Itinerary: How to Spend 2 Days in LA

Los Angeles Itinerary: How to Spend 2 Days in LA

Visiting L.A on a time crunch? Follow my ultimate Los Angeles itinerary to ensure you make the most of 2 days in la la land! I must admit, the first time I visited Los Angeles, I was not very enamoured by the city of stars. Getting around was difficult, everywhere I...

read more
Healthy Vegan Anzac Biscuits Recipe

Healthy Vegan Anzac Biscuits Recipe

These anzac biscuits, made with rolled oats, desiccated coconut and golden syrup, are soft, chewy and so delicious. I promise you wouldn't know that they are a healthier vegan and gluten-free take on the typical anzac biscuit! Every year on April 25th, we celebrated...

read more