Discovering Paris is an art form in itself. I have now been to the City of Love plenty of time and each time I visit the scenic city I find out something new. Of course, there are the obvious tourist attractions. People who have never before visited the city will want to go see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame. Whilst these attractions are gorgeous and cultural, they are not half as thrilling as you might expect. The fact is that people always hype up these attractions, so when you visit them you expect fireworks and get matchsticks.
For those of you who want to experience a real taste of the Parisian lifestyle, I have some secrets to share with you. As a lover of travel and tourism, I have picked up a thing or two on my French travels. If you are willing to wander away from the tourist-centric areas of the city, you will find so many new, exciting things. Paris is not all about Disneyland and croissants, you know. In fact, this city has so much more to offer the curious mind. Here are some secret tips for making the most out of your Paris stay.
Tip One: Visit Musée Marmottan-Claude Monet
Culture vultures and fans of the impressionist movement must visit the Musée Marmottan-Claude Monet. The museum is home to some rather exclusive art pieces from the impressionist era. The Claude Monet exhibition is a permanent fixture at the museum and is one of the most-popular attractions there. You must take the time to look around this exhibit so that you can appreciate the genius of Monet’s art. The work here is spectacular. It surprises me that so few travellers opt to go to this museum. I suppose that people often overlook the place in favour of the more-prominent Louvre. If you can though, you must take the time to visit this unique art gallery.
Tip Two: Star Gaze In The Meudon Observatoire
Between sightseeing and eating (of which you will do a great deal in Paris), you will need to take a break. The Meudon Observatoire is an ideal escape from the busy Parisian streets. The observatory allows tourists to gaze at the stars and learn about the universe around us. Exhibits are in both English and French, so you should have no trouble understanding the language. This attraction is the largest research center for astronomy in France and the expert team there are world class. You will need to set aside a few hours to enjoy this bizarre attraction.
Tip Three: Hire A Luxury Apartment
The first time I visited Paris I was a proper traveller and so stayed in a hostel. It was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. Paris is a stylish, up-market city, and if you want to experience it, you need to do it in style. I have found that the best way in which to live the Parisian lifestyle is to hire an apartment for my stay. An apartment gives you the freedom to relax in the city and explore the streets like only a true Parisian would. You can find apartments with Housetrip, which offer short-term lets in the city. When choosing an apartment make sure that it is close to the city center for that inner-city vibe.
Tip Four: See The City From Above
If you want to see the city from a new perspective then you must look into Ballon Air de Paris. You can take a balloon ride above Paris and see some of the most spectacular views of your life. I have taken a balloon tour myself once and got some of the best photos of the city I could have. Of course, this attraction is not advisable if you fear heights. If you can stomach it though, the attraction will give you a ride like no other.
Tip Five: Experience The Cuisine Of Michi
Whilst in Paris you must try all the food available. Of course, there are the traditional Parisian cuisines you should try. Taste everything from snails to seafood if you should get a chance. Classic food in Paris takes inspiration from the old-fashioned canteen style cooking of the city. These dishes are simple and taste beautiful. Once you have had your fill of Parisian delicacies, it is time for something a little different. A growing trend amongst high-society in Paris is a love of Japanese food. The style of cuisine is now en vogue in the city and many people go out of their way to try the finest sushi. When you stay in Paris, you must try the cuisine from Michi. Michi is a tiny Japanese restaurant on the city streets of Paris. The place is something of a secret success, as from the look of it you would not imagine that it’d be so popular. The sushi here is fresh and delicious though, and the place attracts many celebrities.
Tip Six: Take In Some French Cinema
French people adore cinema. Paris is at the heart of French art and cinema. While you are staying in the city, you must take the time to visit Le Grand Rex, where you can catch a movie. If you don’t speak French then, many of the films are also shown in English for tourists. The cinema shows many mainstream, blockbuster films that you can see anywhere in the world. It also shows a few art-house movies, which are much more cultural and exclusive than Hollywood films. Make sure that you catch an original French film, rather than just seeing another Julia Roberts flick. You will be so glad that you made the extra effort as French cinema is just gorgeous to watch. French people take true pride in the way that they shoot movies, and so the film will not disappoint.
Tip Seven: Shop Like A Parisian
When you are in Paris, you are going to want to shop. I can’t visit this city without bringing back twice as many things as I took. There are plenty of places to choose from when shopping in Paris. You can pick up some original pieces from Les Puces de Montreuil in eastern Paris. The district is home to a flea market where you can find many antiques and original French pieces. Remember, in France people don’t haggle. Trying to bring the price down of an item will get you many dirty looks, but no discounts.