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6 min.

Living Paris like a Parisian

Visiting and living Paris is something I wish to anybody as, like stunning Audrey used to say, Paris is always a good idea! After ten years of Parisian life and countless business trips before and after, I would suggest some different itineraries in town.

So, this post is for those wishing to spend a little more time living like a local in Paris or for those already knowing the tourist sites in town and wanting to discover a bit more.

Living like a local in Paris: useful info a Parisian tips

Breakfast in Paris

Living in Quai de Valmy, I prefer the Sésame, which directly overlooks the Canal Saint-Martin and features a selection of cakes and, if desired, freshly cooked eggs.
Tasty alternatives depending on the area: the Pain Quotidien of rue Montorgueil, the Café on Bastille square, Marriages et Frères in Saint Paul and for a chic breakfast or quick snack, La Durée on the Champs Elysées.The Sésame and the Pain Quotidien are also excellent for weekend brunch!

Lunch in Paris

I love the Bar à Soupe in rue de Charonne and the world recipe section. You’ll find some ideas for soups inspired by those I tasted in this tiny restaurant. It offers an excellent daily selection (from carrots-coconut-mint peas etc.), each coupled to a different type of bread. The restaurant is small but well organized and super cheap.

For those who like Japanese food, my “canteen” has long been the Sukiyaki at the beginning of rue de la Roquette (practically on the Place de la Bastille), with a full menu from 10 to 20 €.
My most recent passion (for a couple of years now) is the total store with a corner dedicated to a small bistrot, Merci, on boulevard Beaumarchais. They serve very simple dishes, ideal for a snack served in the middle of huge shelves of books (novels on the left side of the room and art books, travel, etc. on the right side) to borrow during the meal.

Merci a Parigi
Other good options for lunch in Paris: the cafe of the Centre Pompidou, La Tete d’Or (just behind the Théatre du Chatelet), Aux Petits Carreux and the Rocher de Cancale in rue Montorgueil and, if it’s not freezing, sandwiches and quiches at Paul’s (the bakery chain) to eat along the Seine or in the gardens and parks of the city (place de Vosges and the banks of the Ile Saint Louis are my favorite picnic corners – for those already in the area, the Bois de Boulogne or the fields near the village of Marie Antoinette in the park of Versailles are also amazing spots for a cool picnic).


I love to go to Mon Oncle in Montmartre (just a few steps from the metro Abessess), the Cave Saint Gilles (behind the Place de Vosges, on boulevard Beaumarchais’ side), the Cambodge III in rue Marie et Louise (Canal Saint Martin), Au Verre Volé in rue de Lancry, at Camille in rue des Archives, the Café Marly in the Louvre (medium-high prices … of course), the Fumoir (opposite the metro Louvre-Rivoli, line 1), where the colonial style, great music and cocktails are fantastic and finally Chez George on rue du Mail.


My “mandatory” shopping stops in Paris are Antoine et Lili on the quai de Valmy (there are also two other boutique in the Marais, but with little choice and only with the women’s line), Merci, Muji in rue des Francs Bourgeois or floor -2 de Les Halles, Lafayette Maison, the Bon Marché (I love everything in there, from the supermarket on the ground floor up!), virtually all of rue des Francs Bourgeois and rue des Archives, the Cour Saint Emilion (metro Bercy, line 14), boutiques in the Carrousel du Louvre (Nature et Découverte in particular) and the narrow streets behind Orsay.
Shopping a Parigi

Women leisure in town

The turkish bath at the Paris Great Mosque is aesthetically fantastic, but unfortunately always crowded and a bit noisy. Not to miss the hammam, but to enjoy a complete relaxation, I recommend that in the Marais at 5, rue Montorgueil (best to book in advance and count at least 3 hours!).
A viable alternative is the Thai Spa in rue Mandar, although the positive effects on the skin are not the same …For a cut or a fold or even a color in Paris, do not miss Tony and Guy in rue de Chaconne (amazing relaxation massage chairs!).
Finally, especially if you are among friends, the various Nail Bars are an excellent opportunity to take a break of half an hour having a drink, chatting and getting to draw a veil of impeccable nail polish of your favorite color (choice among hundreds of colors! ).

Walking itineraries

…, but also by bike or with rollers…

  • Bastille – Saint Paul – Ile Saint Louis – Ile de la Cité – Hotel de Ville – Louvre 
  • Saint Michel – Cluny – Rue Monge – Rue Mouffetard – Pantheon – Luxembourg    
  • Bastille – République – Canal Saint Martin – Marais – Rue Montorgueil – Les Halles         
  • Louvre – Rue de Rivoli – Avenue de l’Opéra – Garnier/La Fayette/Printemps – Bld des Capucines 
  • Les Halles – Beaubourg – Marais – Place de Vosges – Beaumarchais                                       
  • Louvre/Tuileries – Pont des Arts – Bourse – Rive Gauche                                    
  • Butte Montmartre (dietro al Sacre Coeur e alla Place du Tertre!) – Pigalle                   
  • Canal Saint Martin – Butte Chaumont – La Villette/Cité de la Musique          
  • Bastille – Rue de Lyon – Bercy – Cours Saint Emilion

I also recommend my favorite walking route in Paris, the one above the metro line 8. Perfect to discover Paris!

Monuments you shouldn’t miss 

Obviously in my opinion …     
  • Louvre, if you can go on Wednesday or Friday for the not crowded late night opening  
  • Orsay, same suggestion: try to go on Thursday for the late night opening  
  • Centre Pompidou 

  • Versailles, with park, Trianons and the village of Marie Antoinette (if you go in summer, the evening shows on the Grand Bassin de Neptune are lovely – you can book from home on FNAC’s website or at the entrance of the castle)
  • Les Invalides                                           
  • Conciergérie & Sainte Chapelle
  • Palais de Tokyo      
  • Musée Rodin e Musée Picasso
  • Palais Garnier, where I left a bit of my heart…
  • The Passages Couverts
a little out of Paris, for those who have time and a car:
  • Fontainebleau
  • Chantilly
  • Rambouillet

It is not a site of cultural and historical value, but I can only recommend a stop at Disneyland Paris!

Silvia's Trips a Parigi

Useful links

To organize potential movie nights (always in original version with subtitles, the UGC are ideal for those who have not yet chosen the film because there are always a dozen ongoing from 9:00 to 22:30), to the theater or to attend performances or concerts, I recommend some sites to check, maybe even before departure:

I stroll around Paris all day long and truly love to walk along its tiny street discovering details (last week I bought a carnet of tickets for the underground, but I’ve used only two …) and I recommend anyone to do so, but for those who want to use mainly public transport, you’ll find all the details in this post: Getting around Paris

Last advice for people under 26 years and for students: always carry your ID or passport because many monuments are free or discounted.
A reduced price is also applied to almost any concert and theater or opera performance, as well as to train tickets.

In the meantime, I wish you all

un excellent séjour à Paris !

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Silvia's Trips

Hi there! My name is Silvia and after 15 years between the Paris Opera and the Palau de les Arts in Valencia I now run a boutique hotel in Cinque Terre, deal with tourism management and blogging, sail, horse-ride, play guitar and write about my solo trips around the world. For more info about me and my travel blog check my full bio.