Paris Like a Local

patricia issa

I’ve been to Paris before, more than once… And I’ve already developed all the good habits of a typical Arab tourist in Paris. Except that… cities become really interesting when you get to see them like locals do; and when you get to discover little gems here and there; gems that are usually hidden to tourists. This is why, I counted on a couple of friends this time, to show me Paris like a local.

Now before sharing with you the top tips to experience a country like a local, let me confess that I did actually behave like a tourist half of the time. Oh and definitely shopped like one!

So, let’s get to the core!!

How to experience a city like a local versus a tourist? And how to capture the true soul of an old city like Paris? Here are some tips based on my latest Parisian experience, after many “tourist-like” previous trips:

-Take the metro! But make sure you have a local with you because it can get complicated, especially when you have to catch many metros to your destination!

-Hit the supermarket, even if you don’t have anything to buy. Just watch what people are buying and how is their daily consumer behavior.

-Go for a morning run in the city… (Not that I did it .. Well I tried, for 2 minutes!)

-Talk to strangers: This one I definitely did. A lot! (Make sure you catch some French people by the way, if you can)

-Go to houses of worship of different religions, during the time of local activities.

-Find an active park, and visit it on a Sunday. That was nice for me, except that it rained!

-Hit a coffee bar early in the morning, before people get to their jobs. Doing that in Paris means meeting a lot of interesting avid readers!!

-Chat with bartenders at pubs! They tend to be very interesting people (I guarantee that!)

-Shop during sales season; that’s when the locals shop.

-If you have the luxury of time (which I didn’t have), stay a bit longer in every place you visit so you get to watch the local dynamic.

-Visit food places tucked in small backstreets. Pick places that are locally renowned but not targeted by tourists.

-Try street food, at every chance you have!

-Check local boutiques, local brands and local designers… A local shopping spree might end up truly interesting.

-Try to stay at a hotel that is not centrally located, but rather in a dynamic yet non-touristic part of town. I wish I could’ve done that!

Now what do you get from “not” being a tourist? In short, the true cultural experience of a country, whether you visited it before, or not.

I’ll leave you with a few shots of my last visit to Paris… But I did behave partially like a tourist so… I warned you!

travel blogs arab


travel blogs arab
The original Angelina Paris!


patricia issa
Look of the day!


travel blogs arab
A perfect chocolatier …


patricia issa
Last minute shopping!


travel blogs arab
A Galerie Lafayette kind of Christmas Trees!


patricia issa
Christmas decoration!


travel blogs arab
Hidden corners…


travel blogs arab
RIP Azzedine Alaia


patricia issa
Paris by metro for the first time!


patricia issa
Well…. Of course!


travel blogs arab
A classic stop!


patricia issa
Trying out local food!


patricia issa
A night in Montparnasse


Glamorously Yours;