Oct 7th, 2018, 12:48 PM

One day in Paris: A Local's Guide

By Alejandra Lopez
Sunset at Pont des Invalides. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez
Here's what you should do if you ever find yourself in Paris for just one day.

While in Paris, you have probably lost track of how much time you spent in lines and unnecessarily bumping into tourists. Want to avoid the lines, the loud Americans, and the constant hassle of the street vendors trying to sell you on the charm of an Eiffel Tower keychain? Follow this day guide for the ultimate Parisian experience. Be more like the locals, and avoid unnecessary waiting. 

Rue de Buci

Located in the heart of the sixth arrondissement of Paris, Saint-Germain des Pres is known for being a lively area, because of its young population and chic spots. This narrow street full of cafés and bars is nearly devoid of cars and a perfect place to relax and start your morning. You will find anything from Tapas to Chinese, or seafood to French cuisine and it will make you feel like a true Parisian. The live music that plays on the weekend will make you feel like you are living in your favorite movie. Maison Sauvage is also one of the prime spots to visit around this area for its mouth-watering breakfast dishes. 

Sunday Brunch at Maison Sauvage. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez.

Marche des Enfants Rouge

This market is located in one of the main streets in the famed Le Marais district and has humble origins as the first covered market. It gets its name from the former orphanage that used to be here where the kids would wear red. After your early coffee, explore the diverse foods of the market, where you can find anything from Moroccan couscous to the best French wine, bread, and cheeses. It might be hard to get a table, especially on the weekend, but make sure to swing by and grab an exquisite bite to eat. 

Musee d’Orsay

This is probably one of the most underrated places in the world. This former train station does not get the attention it should, so take advantage of that. Going to the Louvre may sound like something fundamental, and yes, it probably is, but some people don't have the time it takes to queue here. Take advantage of this immersive experience. Where else in the world will you be in one of the most famous former train stations surrounded by works of fascinating painters like Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Corbusier?

The View from the inside, top floor of the Musee d'Orsay. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez 

Jardin du Luxembourg

If you really want to go where the locals are, this is the place for you. This gated park houses the Palais de Luxembourg, tennis courts and parks for public enjoyment, a fountain in the middle of the park where on the weekends' kids are able to sail little boats here, and the enchanting Fountain Medicis with exquisite floral arrangements. It is the perfect place to breathe the fresh air and enjoy the unique inner city gardens. Parisians usually gather around these fountains and settle on the green chairs to enjoy the charming atmosphere of their surroundings. For other Parisians, this is the top destination for a run. 

The Medici fountain at the Luxembourg gardens. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez

Au P'tit Grec

If you're in Paris and you're not craving a crepe, then maybe you shouldn't be in Paris, because honestly who here isn't? And don't give in and buy the first crepe you see on the corner. It might be good too, but it's not Au P'tit Grec. By coming to this stand on Rue Mouffetard, you will be killing two birds with one stone, since you will be seeing Paris' oldest street and getting the best crepe in Paris and also seeing the heart of the Latin Quarter. They have any combination for crepes and galettes - the savory version of the Crepe - here, so make sure you have an empty stomach. Stop in here for dinner after your long day, as it will not only be the best crepe you've had, but also the biggest. 

The Sunset at Pont Neuf

Watching the sunset at the Eiffel tower sounds great, but why not watch it where you can actually see the sunset with a more general retrospective of Paris? The Pont Neuf is the oldest standing bridge in the City of Love. From this vantage point, you will experience the most unique and underrated sunset of your life. It is one of the breathtaking spots in Paris where you can see so much like the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d'Orsay, Notre Dame and more. 

Sunset from the Pont Neuf. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez 

Les Refuges des Fondus

After your long day out in Paris and romantic view of the sunset, if you're still looking for a fun time out with a group of friends, this is the place for you. Located in the heart of Montmartre, this fondue spot will give your night a crazy turn. You can order a cheese and meat fondue and choose between red or white wine in a baby bottle. There probably isn't a better dinner plan. This toasty and loud atmosphere will really add the cheesiness to the City of Love. On your way there you will get a chance to see Sacre Coeur illuminated at night.

Something out of the ordinary always happens here, starting with the fact that to get on the booth side of the table you need to climb over the table, so you can imagine after a couple of baby bottles of wine what a task this will be.

Baby bottle wine at Le Refuge des Fondues. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez

And remember, the best way to experience Paris like a local is to immerse yourself and freely explore wherever you're going. If you can, walk because this is the best way to fall in love with the City of Love.