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!

 

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A perfect chocolatier …

 

patricia issa
Last minute shopping!

 

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A Galerie Lafayette kind of Christmas Trees!

 

patricia issa
Christmas decoration!

 

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Hidden corners…

 

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RIP Azzedine Alaia

 

patricia issa
Paris by metro for the first time!

 

patricia issa
Well…. Of course!

 

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A classic stop!

 

patricia issa
Trying out local food!

 

patricia issa
A night in Montparnasse

 

Glamorously Yours;

Patricia 

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