Paris: Doing it Right (or Left)

Welcome to Paris thru my eyes.

You've been coming with me for 6 years on our trips to the City of Light. I never get tired of it.

There is no right or wrong way to see this city. Each neighborhood (arrondissement) is unique and has its own special beauty.

Right or Left bank, it matters not.

However, people were put off last year when Anthony Bourdain told visitors to Paris to "skip Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. Walk by, take a picture and move on", he said.

Go take a look at the beautiful Arc de Triomphe, climb the 288 steps like we did (you can reward yourself with an extra croissant later!), the views are spectacular. Check out the Eiffel Tower and all the other historical sites, click your camera then move on. There is just too much to see and do in your precious week in Paris.

Get off that double decker tour bus and move your derrière.
Take a walk instead, maybe a 5 mile walk. You will see more by foot than by tour bus.

Avoid the Champs Elysees at all costs (it's like Times Square but worse), and take a side street, away from the fanny packers.

I know I sound bossy (because I am!), but see Paris like the Parisians do.
(I don't go to Times Square and I don't go to the top of the Empire State Building either, except on my 7th grade field trip).

Go to the Louvre on Wednesday or Friday nights, when it is open until 9:45 pm, to avoid the 2 hour lines to get in during the day (no thanks).

Sit at a cafe where only French is spoken and watch the scenery go by.

Try not to go to Starbucks (which are popping up all over Paris), instead, go into a real French cafe and linger on your cafe creme (and do not ask for a decaf cappuccino!).

Go to a small museum in a funky neighborhood, and eat something you would never try at home.

Sit on a green metal chair in the Jardin du Luxembourg and watch the people go by (and the magnificent floral displays!).

Go to a classical concert (the posters are plastered all over the city w/ schedules) in one of the many magnificent cathedrals.

Go grocery shopping and buy a bottle wine and some cheese and tote it to a park and relax.

Take the metro to a cool neighborhood and visit a small church.

At sunset, every building (including the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe!) can be seen in the distance.


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Fabulous advice Stacey. Every word of it including staying off the main drags filled with tourists and see the city from the Parisian point of view. Soak up the culture and come back speaking a little French. What more could you want from a holiday.
mil said…

Your post should be in an "Advice for Travelers to Paris" book.
Pictures and suggestions are fantastic as always.
Have a safe trip.
If I ever go to Paris, I will be calling you.Gorgeous pictures! Going to a Starbucks in France sounds very funny to me.
Anonymous said…
What are you wearing on your feet during those 5 mile+ walks, Ms. Snacks? I like when you give us tips about fashionable/comfortable travelling footwear.
Stacey Snacks said…
I am wearing a new pair of naot shoes. However I confess I have a blister on two toes! And am wearing band aids!!!
Today it is raining so I am wearing my comfy rubber sole Pikolinos boots.

mil said…
What you need are a pair of New Balance sneakers.
You won't have sore feet or blisters.
Never mind how you look.
Advice you won't take of course but maybe next year you'll listen to your old
Dana said…
I agree with everything you said here. I love that city so much and probably won't be able to go back for a couple years. So jealous that you have your yearly trip. Eat and drink it all (and keep walking!) and report back to all of us. xo
Ciao Chow Linda said…
The out of the way neighborhoods, the art, the concerts, the cafes, the foods - it's all so wonderful and you are there to enjoy it. But new pair of shoes on a trip is a big no-no and now you have blisters to prove it. I've got to go look up naot shoes now. never heard of them.
Lisa Nickerson said…

I fell in love with the Marais. Sorta funky mixed with old school. Go to Jacques Genin's place for THE best chocolate ever. And his carmel made me blush. Never mind the pastry.

133, rue de Turenne

I won't be going to my most favorite city this year because I'm going to Tanzania for safari (with three days on Zanzibar before coming home). And as much as I'm so excited ... I have to admit, I could go to Paris every year too.

Enjoy and look forward to following.
Natalia said…
Sounds like you are having a fab time, which is how it should be in the greatest city in the world (at least in my book). Great photos by the way - one can really see what you are describing through them.

I've been to Paris a few times and actually both times we stayed in an arrondissement out of the way, which I find kind of cool. This way, we tried to live the way Parisians do.

A funny story - the first time I went to Paris not speaking a word of french, not bothering to look in my English/French translator book, I ordered beef tongue - imagine my surprise! And no, I did not eat it. But I did have Frogs legs in my favorite arrondissement - St. Germain. Have fun Stacey!!
I don't care if you're bossy or not, I love seeing Paris through your eyes! xo
Oui Chef said…
I love your Paris trips, they're always a trip down memory lane for me. Enjoy!