Nail It Like a Local: Paris for the Curious Wanderer

Updated on 10 Aug 2023

You’re not just another tourist, and Paris isn’t just another city. So, let’s get you off the beaten path and mingle with the locals, all while soaking up the authentic Parisian lifestyle. Sounds exciting, right? Well, buckle up, we’re about to take a deep dive into the unspoken rules and traditions of this charming city.

Paris is like an intricate dance – a little intimidating at first, but once you learn the steps, it becomes a beautiful experience. So, to help you get the hang of this dance, here’s a casual guide filled with handy do’s and don’ts. Stick to them, and you’ll feel right at home among the locals!

Eating Like a Pro in Paris

Do's and Don'ts in Paris
Source: Condé Nast Traveler
  • Do take time to savor your meals. It’s not just about eating; it’s a social affair.
  • Avoid dining near big attractions. They’re often overpriced and don’t offer the best quality.
  • Leave the laptop at home when you’re heading to a café.
  • Keep the phone off the table during mealtime. It’s a respect thing.
  • Don’t rush the waitstaff. Mealtime is leisurely and unhurried.
  • Skip asking for menu substitutions. Trust the chef’s original vision.
  • Don’t go waving your arms for attention. A little hand raise does the trick.

Fashion and Shopping: Keep it Cool

Do's and Don'ts in Paris
Source: Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Do hit up local stores like Merci, APC, and Le Bon Marché. Check out the vintage shops in Marais and South Pigalle too.
  • Dress casual-chic, with minimal accessories and good shoes.
  • Jeans are cool, but ditch the athletic shoes for stylish flats or heels.
  • Say no to shorts and berets. They scream “tourist!”
  • Remember, looking good in Paris is all about effortless chic.

Chit-Chat and Socializing: The French Style

Do's and Don'ts in Paris
Source: Babbel
  • Do pick up some French phrases. It’s a nice way to show respect.
  • If your French is rusty and they speak English well, switch to English.
  • Skip the small talk. It’s not a Parisian thing.
  • Use the French cheek kiss as a greeting in social settings. Handshakes for the guys.
  • Be polite and use phrases like “Bonjour,” “Merci,” and “Au revoir.”
  • Keep it down. Parisians like their peace and quiet.

Discovering Paris: The Local Way

Do's and Don'ts in Paris
  • Do explore the city on foot. There’s no better way to experience Paris.
  • Avoid tourist traps like the Champs Elysées or Place due Tertre in Montmartre.
  • Don’t just head straight for the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. There’s so much more to see.
  • Admire the Eiffel Tower from a distance. You don’t always need to climb it.

Savoring Paris’ Food and Drink Scene

Do's and Don'ts in Paris
  • Do try the local wine and cocktail scene, but remember, moderation is key.
  • Skip overhyped spots like Café de Flores or Les Deux Magots in Saint-Germain.
  • Try less known but amazing brunch/lunch spots and dinner restaurants.
  • Don’t expect to rush your dining experience. Take your time and enjoy it.

And there you have it! With these handy tips, you’re all set to immerse yourself in the real Parisian lifestyle. So go ahead, explore, respect, and above all, enjoy Paris as the locals do!

Bidding Au Revoir

And voila! With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’re ready to rock Paris like a true local. Remember, the Parisian charm isn’t about mastering every nuance of their lifestyle; it’s about respecting and appreciating their traditions.

So, keep it cool, take it slow, and let the magical vibe of Paris sweep you off your feet. Every corner of this city has a new story to tell, a new secret to reveal. Your job? Simply listen, explore, and soak it all in.

And hey, don’t stress if you don’t get everything right on your first visit. Paris is a city of endless surprises. Each visit will peel back another layer of its charm. So keep this guide handy and look forward to discovering a whole new side of Paris on your next trip.

From experiencing the Parisian art of dining to blending in with their fashion scene, every moment is a step closer to truly understanding and appreciating this beautiful city. Here’s to your unforgettable Parisian adventure! Au revoir and bon voyage!

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