Traveling like a local is not only the trend, it’s the best way to experience the authenticity of a place. Good or bad, the tourist traps are called so because they are often expensive and less than what you expect. They are not meant to create lasting memories of a place or person who touched your soul. And yet, you are sucked in nonetheless because they are often iconic images that you want to post on Facebook. Of course when in Paris, you’re going to want to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Seine, and eat a crepe in the French Quarter.
But — getting off the beaten path a bit, without breaking the bank, and getting to experience a place as a local is the sure was to create lifelong memories. If going to the gorgeous, romantic city of Paris in the near future, here is a lengthy list of local hotspots and hidden gems courtesy of my Parisian friend, J.F. Fasquel, who runs a couple different France-based blogs and businesses. Follow him on twitter @JefLive.
“I’m a little bit influenced by the place where I live,” Jef says. “My Paris is in the north east, the popular area, which actually is less and less ‘popular,’ meaning people who don’t have so much money, because more and more people like me (around 30, with a good way of life, who like to drink, experience culture, etc.) come to live here.”
To have a drink (or eat a little bit):
> Rosa Bonheur (19ème) To have a drink (un apéro) at the end of the day this is the best place, in the parc des buttes Chaumont.This place is a bit trendy so expect it to be busy and have a 30 minute wait. Come before 6 PM to get a place to sit.
> Le six huit (on the Seine, at Notre Dame)
> Café de la ville (Grands Boulevards – 10ème)
They have a great terrace on the Grand Boulevards where all the Paris of the XIXème go to get out at night. This bar is in an old whorehouse but for famous people, so the decor is gorgeous.
> La Vénus noire (near Saint Michel – 6ème )
A hidden gem! Incredible bar. Rimbaud, Gainsbourg used to come…
> FALQ (4ème)
In the center of Paris, just near Pompidou Center. Sometimes they feature art exhibitions. Good drink and food (Italian).
> Bulle Saint Sabin (near Bastille)
Great Champagne bar.
> Café de l’industrie (near Bastille)
Good French food in a great “bistro” atmosphere
> L’été en pente douce (Montmartre – 18ème)
A really lovely place on the east side of Montmartre, there are some tourists but the food is good and ambience is terrific
> Place Toudouze
Great place, good restaurant (in the 9th district, which is super trendy). There are 3 or 4 restaurants in this lovely place.
> Le cru (in “Le Marais”- 4ème)
Great terrace in a really quiet area and very Parisian.
Place you can go to eat, drink, and have a good time, any time:
> Place Stalingrad (19ème) : Canal de l’Ourcq + Canal Saint Martin
La rotonde has a great terrace.
> 25 Est
Great to have a drink or eat just near the canal.
> Le Point Ephemere
They sometimes have a good little concert or DJ set here.
> Cross rue Descartes and rue de la montagne Ste Genevieve (5ème)
Good bar, good restaurant and great atmosphere.
> rue Oberkampf (11ème)
One of the places to be for the parisian locals to have a good time at night.
> rue Montorgueil (1er)
THE street of the little parisian trendy star, it’s fun to have a drink there.
For a great view or look at Paris that is not so known:
> 28, rue piat 75019 (There is a good bar called O’Paris nearby)
> quais de Seine: buy a sandwich and a bottle of wine and go there
> stop at Metro Pont Marie and cross the Pont Marie, go down on the docks of l’ile Saint Louis
Some lesser-known cultural places:
> le 104 (19ème)
An open place for artists who wants to create, good things to see, to listen… the place is special: it’s the old morgue of Paris.
> le Palais de Tokyo
Contemporary art, they just reopened.
To get a live concert free:
> le Pop in (11ème)
> L’International (11ème)
> ALG (11ème)
> La mécanique ondulatoire (11ème)
Andrew Harper’s Paris is a FREE app that recently launched and already has over 4,000 users. They made a short 1.5-minute video showing what the app has to offer and its easy-to-use navigation–http://www.andrewharper.com/paris. The app is designed for the sophisticated traveler and offers more than 350 of Andrew Harper’s favorite hotels, restaurants, shops and walking tours.
Harper is the publisher of Hideaway Report, a private monthly publication for sophisticated travelers featuring an independent selection of hotels, resorts and restaurants. In fact, Andrew Harper LLC pays full rate for all meals, lodging and travel expenses to prevent any bias and both he and his editors travel incognito to write candid and unbiased travel reviews for its members. The company also provides personalized travel-planning assistance, bespoke tours and valuable travel privileges to its members.
We checked out the app and found Andrew Harper’s Paris to be full of great resources and best of all, it’s free!
Lindsay Taub is an LA-based writer/editor who covers travel, lifestyle, culture, music/arts, food, wellness, and more. She calls Los Angeles home when she's there, but prefers to leave the city for the mountains and open spaces as often as possible. She loves cooking, gardening, live music, hiking with her three rescue dogs, and rustic luxury. Follow her on instagram/twitter @lindsaytaub and follow the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch or email email@example.com. Learn more at www.lindsaytaub.com and www.voyagevixens.com .***