Learn The Language
The first thing you have to do to experience Paris like a local starts long before you set foot in the city. You’re probably going to have to start this one as soon as you find those cheap flights to Paris. You’ve got to learn a bit of the French language! Although most people in Paris can speak English, it doesn’t hurt to try and converse in the local language; don’t just rely on 'Parlez vous Anglais'. At the very least, you should be greeting shopkeepers with 'Bonjour' as you walk into their store. It doesn’t have to be an entire phrasebook but at least pick up a few phrases that will help you get around town, which will be very important because the next step to getting the true local feel of Paris is to explore the city on foot.
Take A Walk Around Town
There’s a lot to see in Paris, but if you truly want the local experience you have to set aside some time to explore the city on your own two feet. Whether you’re taking a romantic stroll with a partner, or dragging your bestie to the next croissant stop, there’s always something to see when you’re walking through the city. Take your time and duck into the smaller alleys and see if you can find your way to a little French bakery, or boulangerie, and grab yourself a fresh baguette, and while you’re there treat yourself to something sweet as well! Don’t be afraid to follow your heart, your eyes, or in most cases your nose. They’re going to lead you to your own piece of Parisian culinary magic.
Tastes Of Paris
Paris is a city of markets from the Tang Freres Chinese food market in the 13th arrondissement to the traditional Pyrenees Market that only opens on Thursdays and Sundays. Ask any local and they will tell you that the best way to get quality ingredients is to get them fresh from a local producer, and it’s not going to be hard to find what you want in this city. An early trip to the markets is an easy way to get everything you need for a picture-perfect Parisian picnic lunch! And make sure you grab a bottle of wine on the way to your picnic location, Parc de Belleville. It’s almost a local custom to bring all your own ingredients, make yourself a baguette sandwich, enjoy a bottle of wine, and looking onto the Eiffel Tower in the distance. There’s plenty of time to climb the famous tower, but you need to make time to appreciate it as well.
Do A Little (Window) Shopping
Speaking of appreciating the beauty of the city I think it’s time we had a peek through some very expensive windows. Many of the boutiques you’ll find in Paris will not be hidden away in alleys - it is one of the fashion capitals of the world. But some of the most breathtaking shops will be off the beaten track. Galerie Vivienne is a 176-metre-long stretch of luxury fashion boutiques, but the most impressive part of Galerie Vivienne isn’t going to be what you see through the windows. The entire building is a historical monument to what Paris would have looked like 200 years ago. The roofs are mostly glass in order to let natural light illuminate the intricate mosaic floors below under your feet. So remember to keep your eyes on more than just the beautiful pieces of clothing behind the glass.
Sounds Like You Need A Drink
After all your trekking through Paris, you might just be wanting to take a seat and have a drink. You could seek out one of the many rooftop bars offering picturesque views of iconic Paris icons. But, don't get too comfortable because there’s a bar that does things a little differently. It might help you work off some of those croissants as well! Gossima Ping Pong Bar was Paris's first ping pong dedicated bar, as hard as that is to believe. Ping Pong world champ Jean-Philippe Gatien co-founded the bar, taking an empty garage space and the hair salon next door to make a dual-level, ping pong table filled bar! Grab a drink, some pub food, a paddle, and get going!