Word of Mouth - Paris Locals Tips

By Salmah Shahnawaz | 27, Oct, 2017
Word of Mouth - Paris Locals Tips
Ah Paris. The Eiffel Tower rising up to meet the sky, French being spoken in double time all around, the scent of pastries wafting from the bakeries… Ah Paris, the city of love. You can’t holiday in France and not visit Paris. One cannot be at a loss wondering what to do in Paris as it is one of the most iconic tourist cities in the world. There is plenty that Paris has to offer to eager foreigners – sights, smells and sounds to drink up for however short a time you are there for. Beyond the top-rated tourist attractions in Paris, however, lies a city that is dear to locals for different reasons. Reasons that make it home. Here they give you plenty of things to do when traveling in Paris, France.
If you want to know what to do in Paris in 3 days, or unique things to do in Paris that the typical tourist wouldn’t know of, here are our locals’ tips for this incredible city:


Places to see

The first thing you need to be prepared to do is to be on your feet a lot. Walk, walk, and walking some more is one of the main activities in Paris. The only way to truly experience a city is to be a part of it. That being said, let’s dive right in.


Le Jardin de Belleville

le jardin de belleville

Image Credit: www.parisjourney.com

Le Jardin de Belleville is a beautiful place to walk through and appreciate the annual flora on display as well as the view of Paris. It is located on the hill of Belleville, making it the highest park in Paris, and the summit displays a panoramic view of the city: Paris from the top. Parc de Belleville sports a 100-metre-long waterfall fountain, an open-air theatre, ping pong tables, and a playground for children. Want to get away from city congestion? Take a breath of fresh air here.

Le Quartier de Montmartre

le quartier de montmartre

Image Credit: www.infrancia.org
Le Quartier de Montmartre represents the typical Parisian quarter and is home to the beautiful church, Sacré-Coeur, a grand imposing structure that looks rather like a grand mosque! You can visit it during its opening hours and try the funicular to carry you to the top rather than opt to climb all 300 plus stairs. Montmartre is located in the centre of Paris and is known for its artistic history with many renowned artists like Picasso, Monet, van Gogh, Modigliani and more working in studios in or around the area. You don’t want to miss walking on history itself!

Le Pantheon  

Take in more history and fabulous architecture at Le Pantheon, a mausoleum now housing late distinguished French citizens. Walk through the student quarters of La Place Monge and absorb the atmosphere, or take a peaceful stroll through Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont or Parc de la Villette. The latter has plenty of events going on and is home to Cité des Sciences et des l’Industrie – Europe’s largest science museum which is worth a visit. You can also find La Géode at the Parc: a giant steel sphere that reflects the city, the sky and the park, and contains an Omnimax theatre and 400 seats that is an experience in itself.

France Miniature

If you want to see all of France in one go, try France Miniature – a miniature representation of all the major monuments in France. That way, you can skip all the main sights and holiday like a local instead! (No, we’re kidding. Please make the most out of your French holiday!) Visit Les Catacombes de Paris at night for an eerie vibe – it’s like going to a graveyard as this ossuary holds the remains of over six million people. If you’d rather be surrounded by beauty, however, take in La Tour de Montparnasse at night. It is truly a sight to behold.

Les Quais de la Seine

Les Quais de la Seine
Image Credit: Léonard Cotte on Unsplash

Les Quais de la Seine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a lovely walk along the river. The Seine’s banks are also home to major attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, so it’s worth the walk. It is also a great place for a picnic, the two best parts of the banks found around the islands of Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Loius.

Food to eat…

food to eat

Image Credit: Keriliwi on Unsplash

It’s not hard to have a Halal vacation in Paris as there is actually plenty of Halal eats available. A must-have food when you’re in France is crepes and you can find them in mobile crêperies or in the Montparnasse Quarter. Similar to hot dog stands in New York, fast food crêpes serve up “Fête à Crêpe” – sweet and savoury version of the local delight. Select a signature crêpe or custom-make your own to dine there or take away, as it is one of the must-try Halal dishes in Paris.
Rue Saint-Anne is a Little Tokyo for anyone craving sushi or the like. Probably one of the most ethnically diverse regions of Paris, it is an interesting sight to see, with Japanese restaurants and waiters, immigrants, locals and tourists all intermingling in the area. If you really want amazing Japanese food though, your vacation in France will, ironically, not be complete without a visit to Makido, a fusion food speciality with Japanese burgers.
The first restaurants in Paris by Turkish immigrants can be found in Saint Michel. Known as “Grec” in French, these Greek restaurants serve up kebab fast-food, with mouth-watering meats, friendly service, and good value for money. La Table Lebanese, Val’s Delights, Maison de Gyros, Restaurant Istanbul, and Restaurant Patcha are just a few examples. Restaurant Istanbul located in Saint Jacques is one of the best Turkish restaurants in Paris. Assanabel located in Rue d’Alésia is a must-visit restaurant in Paris with amazing Lebanese food.
Indian and Pakistani cuisine is plenty available in Paris at Restaurant Sahil – popular but cheap food – and New Jawad, to name a few. Pizza Poplare located by Metro Bourse has you waiting 15 minutes in the queue for their speciality pizza but it is definitely worth it. With pizzas as good as those found in Italy, you can understand why people line up for it!
If you’re looking for something different, O’tacos is your place. A novel idea, these French tacos can be found almost everywhere. Sugar and Spice caters to your juicy-burgers-and-large-fries cravings, as well as Le Butcher at Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré near Champs- Elysées; while L’Atelier located in Ivry-sur-Seine sports a little fine dining and buffet option. Le Confidential has authentic Halal French cuisine, located at Rue Robert Estienne.
For those with an insatiable sweet tooth, rejoice, for there are plenty of dessert options. Ice-roll located in Beaugrenelle mall serves rolled ice cream – the latest trend in ice cream. You can’t go to Paris and not have gelato, so drop by Grom Gelato for some delights; and of course, don’t miss out on Häagen-Dazs. Princess Crêpe puts a Japanese twist to a French speciality, with Japanese flavours to tickle your taste buds.
Some of the biggest Paris attractions are French patisseries from the stores of famous chefs. They might be a bit pricey, but if you’re in Paris, you might as well get the whole experience! La Patisserie Cyril Lignac is located almost everywhere, Patisserie Michalak has some incredible delicacies, and Patisserie Pierre Hermé’s speciality is macarons – delicious to consume immediately as well as a great gift to take back home.

Things to do…

eiffel tower
Image Credit: Chris Karidis on Unsplash  

While there are many fun things to do in Paris, it is most known for its history, culture, and incredible ancient architecture. So walking is your best bet to absorb as much of the city as possible. Cycling is an option too, but not for those who aren’t used to Parisian drivers! Paris offers gorgeous man-made structures as well as natural scenic beauty, so go get those museums, theatres, and operas, and enjoy a walk along the Seine and in its alluring parks.
With so many top things to do in Paris when you travel to France, it’s hard not to fall in love with this city. A culture like no other, one of its major attractions is the food at hand. Add these local tips to your touristy itinerary to have a wholesome incredible experience.

Salmah Shahnawaz is an avid reader, travel enthusiast, and a busy body in general. Mostly you will find her daydreaming about her next getaway, nursing a mug of coffee; or with her nose in a book when she can spare the chance.

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