The first you think about Paris is the Eiffel tower. However, there is much more to experience that may not emerge conspicuous at first. You need to first change your expectations from the glitzy Parisian equivalent of fifth avenues of New York. Although the proliferation of chain stores has increased over the years making nice places difficult to locate, my experience here has helped me made a network of contacts. I have sampled some the best places to visit in the time I have spent here as a resident that I am sure you will not be disappointed seeing.
If you are one of those people who like to visit places with fewer tourists, you need to research the best lonely spots before travelling. Paris offers both popular and quiet places that will support your privacy. Find out what suits you so will not spend time and money on a place that you are not happy with.
Palais de Tokyo
There are many museums in this city and tourists are fond of the Louvre. They flock the popular place making it crowded in and out of season. It is reputable of important art, including the timeless Mona Lisa. You will probably meet a consistent group of tourists blocking your view with selfie-sticks or long queues on every gate all day long. You may not have the enjoyment you need.
The Palais de Tokyo is among the most spacious museums within the city that is often overlooked. Unlike the crowded Louvre museum, it does not have the crowds. It also houses two of the most reputable restaurants in the city. The French President frequents the Monsier Bleu as a favourite and then there is the latest Les Grand Verres.
Apart from the Palais de Tokyo, other museums under the radar in Paris include the Foundation Louis Vuitton. This one is known for a variety of contemporary art. Other generally quiet museums include Musee Jacquemart, and Musee d’Orsa for more classic pieces.
La Cave de Bellville
Swap your wine tasting tour for the La Cave de Belleville. It is among the cheapest places that do not compromise on class.
It is one of the hippest joints in the city that does not play host to crowds of curious tourists. This means that you will have space to breathe and enjoy some private moments. It is the latest favourite place for the Paris’ locals. Some of the offers include cheese and meat platters as well as wine on special Thursday evenings. You may roam the suburbs after the wine experience to discover the neighbourhood. Parc de Bellevile is the nearest neighbourhood that offers a good view of a large portion of the city.
Instead of a crowded popular joint, find a spacious place to enjoy your time. For example, places such as the Boullon Chartier are popular but mostly crowded unlike the B.O.U.L.O.M. Most Parisians avoid the Chartier too because you will be finding all sorts of people from school kids and foreigners frequent.
The B.O.U.L.O.M on the other hand, is a well-hidden place. It is a new favourite place for locals who pick up delicious, affordable French cuisine. It has come to replace the congested places in the city, and you will be lucky because it has not been discovered by most shoppers yet.
The appearance is appealing too. With a plain old boulangerie exterior design, the B.O.U.L.O.M is attractive and spacious for your private needs.
For tea, avoid overpriced places like Laduree macarons at the airport and find some Place within the city. If you want the same standards of service at a lower price, then A Palace is the place to find. Other places include the Peninsula Paris with a reputation for high tea and buffet on weekends.
It also doubles up as a bakery and restaurant. It offers a warm, cosy space that will give you the deserved peace of mind. It is an inspiring environment at the A Palace. Do not forget to get a sample of the best and legendary cookies here. They have the widest variety for you to pick from. For example, they have coconut, miso, and tahini, which happens to be my favourites.
This should be the first joint when you need to take your first lunch in Paris.
The Hood Paris
There are overpriced restaurants right at the entry at the airport that you are likely to be lured in. Avoid the urge of getting into the overpriced places just because you are a clueless tourist and find the Hood Paris in the suburbs. For example instead of the Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots right at the airport, get inside the city for equal service at affordable prices. It is among the most creative places you will sit for a cup of coffee.
The Hood Paris has frequent exhibitions and live music sessions. The staff and policies of the places are also accommodative to foreigners and locals alike. For example, you can work for a reasonable length of time without the possibility of being kicked out. They have a group of genuinely friendly baristas and staff. Their food cannot be disappointing; it is innovative, fresh, and affordable compared to the most places in town.