For those of you looking for an authentic Parisian experience, I recommend you check out Maya’s amazing /incredible/insightful/inspiring (..should I go on?) blog La Vie Locale. From things to do and see, Maya shares her local knowledge to help you fit in like a true Parisienne.
stalking reaching out to Maya, I was able to convince her to share her insights to some burning questions I had that I thought you’d be interested in before heading over to the city of lights.
WHERE’S ONE PLACE TOURISTS FLOCK TO IN PARIS, AND WHERE SHOULD THEY HEAD INSTEAD?
That a difficult question to answer. Tourist will obviously want to see the main sites like the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, and the Louvre, so I wouldn’t discredit making time to see those things. BUT, I also recommend if you have the time to explore different neighborhoods. Some of my favorite neighborhoods to just walk around and get lost exploring are Belleville, Canal St. Martin, Montmartre, and the Marais.
For drinks… La Chambre Noire– Natural wine bar with amazing homemade tapas
For coffee or tea… Artefact– Tea salon located in the Marais, that has a lovely gallery space and a great collection of design books.
Mon Oncle le Vigneron
For food. Mon Oncle le Vigneron– located in Belleville, small épicerie/restaurant that serves family style meals. There are only about 3 tables, reservation only, and the chef prepares the same meal for everyone.
To hangout… La Recyclerie (this place is unique because you can do pretty much everything, drink, eat, hang out, explore their urban garden, and they often have fun events)
WHERE CAN WE FIND THE BEST CROISSANTS IN PARIS?
I would definitely recommend checking out Du Pain et des idees. It’s one of my favorite bakeries, there is always a line, but totally worth it. It is only open during the week, so make sure to stop by before the weekend. Another bakery that has really great croissants is Pain-Pain. It’s located in Montmartre, and all the pastries in there will make you want to try everything.
WHAT’S ONE THING A TOURIST SHOULD NEVER SAY TO A PARISIAN?
I would say always approach someone by speaking French, even if you can only manage to say Bonjour or S’il Vous plaît, or Parlez vous anglais. Don’t automatically start speaking to someone in English. Parisians really appreciate it when you at least try to speak in French, and they are most likely speak to you in English and help you with whatever you need.
WHAT’RE THE TELLTALE SIGNS OF A TOURIST VISITING PARIS?
I can spot a tourist a mile away when I see people with selfie sticks, walking around with their cell phone in hand and a long portable charger cord, and walking around with a camera around their neck.
THE BEST WAY TO CELEBRATE SUMMER IN PARIS?
Summertime in Paris is one of the best times of year. The weather is usually nice and the days are long, so you have more time to enjoy doing things outside. Typical Parisian summer activities often include:
Having a drink on a Terrace. People love having a drink outside on the sidewalk terraces, rooftop bars, or pretty much anywhere that will give you a chance to be outside.
Picnicking is also a routine summer activity. Gather some friends, everyone brings things to eat, and you just spend the day hanging out eat, drinking and enjoying the company of your friends. Some of my favorite spots to picnic are Buttes des Chaumont park or along one of the canals like Canal de l’ourcq or Canal St. Martin.
During the month of August, Paris is the best because all the Parisians head out of town for holidays. The city is pretty much empty, so you feel like you have the city to yourself. So August is the perfect time to take advantage of doing things that are often packed with people.
Canal St. Martin