Local Expert Tips When Visiting Paris

Local Expert Tips When Visiting Paris

Hi there! I’m Lucile from www.lucileinwonderland.fr, and I’m guest blogging on Rémi’s site today! I moved to Paris 5 years ago and thought it would be a good idea to give you a few insider tips if you’re planning to visit the French capital anytime soon.

So here are my five tips when visiting Paris. Let’s get started:

  1. Go for a stroll around Paris

Every time I’m asked for my best « Parisian tips », this is the first thing that comes into my mind: go for a walk. Paris is not a big city in terms of size and it is so easy to do everything by foot if you are well organised. This is honestly the best way to discover the city. Imagine all the cute places and streets you could miss if you just take the subway!

There are tons of hidden spots in Paris such as La Cité des Fleurs, la rue Crémieux, small yards in Le Marais, Square Rapp or Avenue des Camoens (both with a super nice view on the Eiffel tower), and all the Parisian passages (especially la Galerie Vivienne!). Believe me, you don’t want to miss these spots!

Also, you should wander around the parks, or go for a walk along the Seine, especially during sunny days.

The Seine
The Seine
  1. Find a spot with the best view over Paris

Who doesn’t like to enjoy a nice view? It is so easy to find a nice place to observe and photograph the city from above in Paris!

Of course there’s the top of the Eiffel tower (but you don’t see the Eiffel tower so that’s a shame – logical, right?), the top of the Arc de Triomphe or the top of Montparnasse tower (but that last one is very expensive!)

My personal favourite: I love to go on top of Le Sacré Coeur – it’s around 6 euros and you have an amazing view on Paris! The top of Les Galeries Lafayette or Le Printemps also have a great view – and it’s free!

If you want to pleasantly end your day after a long day of walk, you can also grab a drink on a rooftop. Here are a few recommendations: Le Perchoir (in Le Marais), Terrass Hotel (in Montmartre), 43 cocktail bar (in the 6th arrondissement) or Lounge Bar View (in the 15th arrondissement).

View from the top of les Galeries Lafayettes
View from the top of les Galeries Lafayettes
  1. Indulge in French food in Paris

This one is obvious, right? Paris is known for its food, and you will quickly come to understand why.

You will find something to eat pretty much everywhere in Paris, but my recommendation is to stay away from tourist spots if you want to stop for lunch or dinner.  It is usually poor and expensive. I’m thinking of Saint Michel especially, just walk across the Seine and you’ll find a nice restaurant in Le Marais.

I won’t tell you that you have to try French bread and croissant, or macaroon, I think it’s on the “to do list” of everyone coming for the first time in Paris!

If you want to try it all, just go to Rue des Martyrs (near the Sacré Coeur). There are tons of cafés and restaurants, small shops selling Madeleine, jams and local food.

What I would recommend, however, is to try Parisian “brasserie” with typical French food. My two personal favourites: Le café du commerce in the 15th arrondissement (the place is so beautiful and amazing!) and Le Ptit Canon in the 17th arrondissement.

French breakfast at the Caféotheque
French breakfast at the Caféotheque
  1. Don’t spend too much time on tourist sites

While it is very tempting to do all the museums and tourist spots when in Paris, it is usually crowded and you won’t get to see much and feel rushed.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do touristy things, of course you should! If it’s your first time in Paris, of course you should climb on top of the Eiffel Tower. But plan your trip thoughtfully and try to go to these places at opening hours so you have the rest of the day to wander in the city or explore smaller museums for instance.

When visiting Le Louvre, you will obviously want to get a glimpse of La Joconde, but don’t take to much time to do so, there’s so much more to see in this museum!

Le Louvre
Le Louvre
  1. Sunday = brunch day

There’s been a rapid expansion of the brunch scene in Paris during the last few years, and I feel like it has now become a Parisian “thing” to go for a brunch on Sundays.

Most of the restaurants are offering a brunch option nowadays; some offer special menu, some buffets, and other “à la carte”.

My recommendations are to try one of the following places:

  • Marcel: there are three restaurants in Paris, you should make a reservation, it’s always crowded (but it’s worth it!)
  • Season: you can also go for lunch or dinner, it’s super fresh and healthy.
  • OFFParis-Seine: you will also need to make a reservation; it’s a buffet in a hotel where you can eat by the pool on the Seine.
  • Biglove Caffè: you should go quite early, the restaurant is really successful but you can’t make a reservation.
Brunch at Biglove Caffe
Brunch at Biglove Caffe

Well, that’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this article and that it will be useful if you’re planning to visit Paris. If you want any more details or ask me something, feel free to pay me a visit on my blog!

See you soon!

Lucile