Hi, I'm Mara. A former Parisienne turned New Yorker, who comes back to visit her family every year. Enjoy!

TIP: Don't forget to say "Bonjour" every time you interact with a French person in a store, and pretend to "try" to speak French if you want to be treated nicely 😚 Ex: "Bonjour! Uhm... je pe... croissant? see-vou-play?" -> Warms their hearts. Vs. "How are ya. I'd like a croissant please." -> Makes them very mad.


Area 1. Le Marais

walk / culture / shops / cafes – locals

Can start from anywhere but you can get off Metro République on top, and walk down to Ile Saint-Louis and finish at Notre Dame. It's a full area to visit and great streets cross each other. From République, go down Rue Charlot and get lost along Rue Vieille du Temple, etc.

 

Food

Marché des Enfants Rouges – Grab a quick lunch in this no-chichi hip/local food court.

 

Shops

French labels
APC, Maje, Kooples, Sandro, etc.
Rue Vieille du Temple, Rue des Francs Bourgois, rue des Rosiers...

 

More shops
Broken – clothes, cafe/food
Merci – clothes, decor, cafe
Colette – clothes, gadgets/gifts, food

 

MUSEUMs

1. La Gaîté Lyrique – museum of modern media (animation, interactive...) – see website

 

2. Centre Pompidou "Beaubourg" – museum of contemporary art – kind of like Moma. Site here

 

île saint-louis

Cross the small island and have a stop to get some Berthillon ice cream. The line is always crazy so I've never done it but it's seems to be a "thing" for visitors :)

 

NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS @ Saint-michel

Finish by the Notre-Dame cathedral and walk along the "quais" towards the Pont des Arts.


Area 2. Latin Quarters

walk – tourists & locals

This is a continuation of the previous one. Start from Place Saint-Michel, get lost in the tiny streets.

 

Walk towards Odeon and find this little historical cute street and get lost a bit (like rue Mazarine, rue Jacob...).
Then go to Jardin du Luxembourg.


Area 3. Montmartre

walk / MONUMENT / cafes – locals & tourists

This used to be the artist quarters of the end of the 19th century (Toulouse Lautrec, etc.)

 

Start at Metro Blanche, walk up Rue Lepic (where Amelie the film was shot), turn right to rue des Abbesses up to the Metro Abbesses (art deco masterpiece). Walk north and get lost in the small streets, get the Place du Tertre (this Place is packed and touristy but worth seeing once), finish at Sacré Coeur, and go down the garden to arrive at Metro Anvers.

 

bar

Le Très Particulier – Kind of a mini-adventure to get there (which is fun), but a real Parisian experience with a low-key bourgeois entrance with a buzzer, you walk in the dark and stumble on this pretty hotel and garden. The bar is at the back of the hotel. They do brunch too but it's more on the pricey side - you pay for the view and garden experience.
 

 

Food

Avoid restaurants on Places, they're overpriced and mediocre. The better restaurants are in the little streets. Try rue des Trois Freres, or check this list.


Area 4. Champ de Mars

EIFFEL TOWER

Get off Metro Ecole Militaire or LaMotte-Picquet-Grenelle.

 

Food

Les Cocottes – One of my favorite restaurants
Concept is only cooking in "Cocottes" and the Chef is Christian Constant who has a few Michelin-star restos on the street and opened a more laid-back version. Good quality food and cooking but in a more modern vibe.
MUST have "La fabuleuse tarte au chocolat de Christian Constant”. 
No reservations (back then) but as long as you're there at 7-7:30 pm you shouldn't wait too long. (since French have dinner from 8 pm)

 

MUSEUMs

Palais de Tokyo (the most contemporary art museum / big space / can eat and drink)
Musee d'Art Moderne (right next to the Palais de Tokyo, modern art like Moma)


Area 5. Canal Saint-Martin

walk / bars / food – locals

Start from Metro République and go up the Canal towards the north.

 

Drink and food

From the bottom of the map to top
Comptoir Général (unique "Berlinesque" place for food, drink and shop – you can just enter and take a look)
Bar Ourq (have a picnic with a bottle of wine, or order from the bar and bring outside and play pétanque)
Pavillon des Canaux (food and drink)


Area 6. From Louvres to Arc de Triomphe

Louvres Museum – tourists

Go if you dig old art from 18th century and earlier. Seeing it from outside is enough for me personally.

 
 

gardens and museums

Tuileries Gardens
Musée de l'Orangerie – small museum with classics like Monet
Musée d'Orsay – modern art classics like Manet, Van Gogh, Cezanne

 

Grand Palais – There aren't exhibits all the time but the space is historical and amazing. Check out the website.
Petit Palais – same.

 

champs elysees and ARC DE TRIOMPHE


Other cool places for locals

Pavillon Puebla (drink & park)

North-East of Paris. Go before 7/7:30 pm or there will be a line from Thurs-Sat. It's in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont that is definitely worth a visit. Check out the lake, hang out on the grass and finish at the Pavillon.

 

clamato

North-East of Paris. Seafood, great vibe. 

 

Bistrot des dames

North-West of Paris. Simple French comfort food (nothing fancy) but it's more about nice romantic vibe with a very Parisian cute back patio. Make sure you sit there and not inside which feels more normal.

 

Péniches (house boats)

Drink, food, concerts, culture
Timeout top péniches
French blog top 5 péniches

 

WanDerlust

South-East of Paris. I've never been but one of the happening places in the past years. It's a space on the Seine that has a restaurant, night club, yoga, concerts, workshops...


Good links

LeFooding – Best restaurant recommendations for locals

MyLittleParis – To do in Paris for locals


That's it for now.


Did I miss anything? Get in touch.

Also, check out New York from kind-of a local, or Philippines from kind-of a local.