A few extras that not everyone experiences while in Paris…
1) My favorite Parisian cathedral is Saint Eustache. It is massively beautiful but not on most tourist maps. One of my favorite details is the gorgeous heart-shape of the windows. An excellent place to pray and ponder.
2) I enjoy a good street vendor crêpe, but if you want authenticity, try Ty Breiz, a charming sit down restaurant in the Brittany style.
3) The Jewish quartier in Paris is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. For the best fallafel you’ve ever tasted, go to L’As du Fallafel!!
4) France is known for its outdoor open air markets year round. There are many to choose from, but for a short metro fair, go to the one in the small town of Anthony, just outside the city.
5) A smaller, less crowded museum I like is the Musée de l’Orangerie. It has some works of Monet that stretch around an entire circular room.
A final few suggestions to get the true French experience…
6) Go into the nearest pâtisserie and buy three things: croissant amande, pain au chocolat, and something you’ve never eaten before that looks incredibly tasty.
7) Even if you don’t speak French, say “bonjour” (but don’t pronounce the -r) and “merci” at restaurants, shops, etc. Who cares if the French look at you like you’re an tourist. You’re in Paris! And they’ll respect you a little more for your effort.
8) Take at least a day trip outside the city. Contrary to the belief of most Americans, France ≠ Paris. And vice versa. There is so much more to this fabulous country! So pick a destination and hop on a train. It’s easier than you think.
9) Enjoy the adventure. Embrace the challenges that come from a different culture. Try something new. Don’t plan everyday. Paris is a vibrant city. Choose to wander without a destination and see where she takes you. You just might discover some of her secrets for yourself.
10) Celebrate your victories of navigating the métro with a decadent French meal. Bon appétit!
For more secrets, from a girl who knows this city well, visit Seven Paris Secrets.
For main tourist sights check out Ah Oui, the Sights of Paris.