If you want to experience Paris less like a tourist and more like a true Parisian, you've come to the right place. Don't feel bad if you can't hit up all these places in your first visit. Paris is chock-full of things to do and see, so you may want to find an excuse to visit twice.
Get up before the sun rises and go to the Louvre
It's an absolutely magical experience to be in the first arrondissement when no one else is around! You'll have the chance to watch the sun rise above IM Pei's inverted glass pyramid, which is an underrated experience that everyone should have!
Have a picnic in the gardens of the Jardin des Tuileries
This is perfect for those traveling solo, as a couple or with a family. If you’re feeling the need for a break, purchase a sandwich and go to the first arrondissement for a relaxing picnic in the grassy area between the Louvre and the garden fountains. Hang out for an hour like a local. Bring a blanket and a book and stay even longer!
Rent Velib bikes in the early morning
Touring the side streets around St. Germain, St.
Warning: you can use the bus lanes, but you'll have to share the space! Keep a keen eye out!
Wander the Rue St. Andre des Arts in the evening
Get off at the St. Michel metro
The Ile St. Louis in the fourth arrondissement is right in the center of Paris, and
Have lunch at the A Priori The cafe
Walkable from the Louvre in the third arrondissement, there's a gorgeous covered walkway called the Passage Vivienne-- walk through it to have lunch or tea at this charming cafe. You could also go for Sunday brunch, but you'd need a reservation. And there’s a wonderful little toy store just around the corner from the café!
Get comfortable - you can speak your native tongue
If you're not ready to order your dinner in French, that's okay, most restaurants near major attractions are used to speaking English to customers and will often have English menus. If you want to go somewhere a little more 'off the beaten path', try Moustache in the 6th arrondissement or use Trip Advisor for recommendations. But remember, many French restaurants don't open for dinner until 7 - 8pm!
How To Have a Unique Experience in Paris (an insider's guide) by @calzico #travel
Spend some time at the parks
Most parks open
You can even find a playground and miniature boat races for kids in the Jardin du Luxembourg in the sixth arrondissement. There's a public toilet option in some of the parks, but be prepared to pay a €.50 fee.
No, I don't mean leave Paris. Many notables have said that the city is best experienced by simply wandering around it, so feel free to get a little lost-- there will always be someone nearby to help you get back on track.
Some of the best wandering turf options are near the Pantheon (fifth arrondissement), the Latin Quarter (also the fifth arrondissement), the Louvre (the first arrondissement), or Montmartre (18th arrondissement).Remember that Paris weather is likely to change from windy to rainy to sunny to cool at the drop of a hat, so it's best to wear something versatile. Bring items that layer well or reverse so you can pack less and leave room for the unique treasures you find while wandering.
Visit the Bouillon Chartier Restaurant in the ninth arrondissement
This is one of the most historic restaurants in Paris. Don't worry too much about the long lines, it's a huge place so they move quickly. But if you don't want to wait in a queue that extends around the block, arrive before 7pm.
The menu is simple, diner-like, even, but the atmosphere will never disappoint. You'll be seated close to other tables and their patrons, and it's loud, but it's oh so fun!
If you truly prefer well-cooked meat, you MUST order it
Image source: author's own and pexels.com
Are you planning a trip to Paris? Were any of these activities already on your list? Let us know in the comments! 🙂