An Anti-Tourist’s Guide to Paris


This is a contributor’s blogpost …


There are few cities so utterly deserving of their reputation than Paris. Paris has all the romance and charm you might expect from watching Jean Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie, and yet Parisians will most certainly not suffer fools gladly. If you rock up expecting a Metro ticket to Pigale yet ask the booth attendant in English, don’t be surprised if they don’t take great steps to mask their disdain. At least attempt to engage them in their mother tongue, however, and you’ll find that they become much warmer, very quickly. Staying and living in the city can be expensive but Paris is simply one of those places where you get what you pay for. However, while Paris in many ways conforms to a lot of stereotypes it’s completely possible to have a unique and personal experience with this gorgeous city that eschews the touristy cliches.


If you’re sick of the sight of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe despite never having actually been to Paris, you’ll want to take a look at some gorgeous and quintessentially Parisian attractions which are a little further off the beaten track.


Live like a Parisian, stay in an apartment


Paris has a wealth of luxurious hotels as well as a great many more budget-friendly alternatives. If, however, you’re looking for a better value and more authentic experience check out Glamour Apartments for some beautiful and eminently reasonable rentals, which are available for longer terms should you decide to extend your stay. Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure it’s a great way to enjoy the real city.


Go for brunch at La REcyclerie


Dine within spitting distance of the Champs Elysees or Notre Dame and you’ll find yourself spending a small fortune on food that’s mediocre at best. These businesses get regular customers from tourists, most of whom would happily sacrifice quality for convenience. When they don’t have to worry about appeasing repeat customers, you can’t really blame them for not going the extra mile.


Turn up for brunch at La REcyclerie, however, and you won’t find many tourists… Just one of the most unique eateries in Paris. Equal parts cafe, farm and community centre, it truly is the taste of Paris.


More of a night owl? You can also visit in the evening for tapas and cocktails.


Browse for bargains like a local at Porte de Vanves flea market


Many bargain hungry tourists will flock to the flea markets of Clignancourt but you don’t have to join the herd to grab a great deal. Instead venture a little further south to the flea markets at Porte de Vanves. If you’re allergic to other tourists, the more diminutive market offers a much more authentic local experience.


Enjoy dinner and drinks on Riverbanks at Bibliothèque in Metro Quai de la Gare


You might expect the national library or Bibliotheque to be swarming with tourists, yet down by its picturesque riverbank you’re likely to find mostly locals. You’ll find a wide array of wonderful cafes, bars and restaurants as well as some sea vessels that double as bars, restaurants and clubs.


If cliches give you the hive, Paris is such a diverse yet idiosyncratic place that you can avoid them all while still having an authentic Parisian experience!



Author: Urban Ponder Writing Team

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