I need to have a basic itinerary wherever I travel.
Whether it’s New York City or somewhere in New England, I always research the things to do and places to go. I prefer blending must-see destinations with favorite local spots instead of looking for the hottest tourist spots.
What’s different about exploring Paris, France is that I’m building a life here for the long-term, which is on a whole different level than simply moving from place to place in little New England. I need to familiarize myself with cultural norms in another country, finally become fluent in another language and find ways to make this city feel my home through it all.
Over the past two months, I’ve been connecting with other women living in Paris. I’ve met some incredible women from all over—Brazil, Norway, Turkey and West Coast of the United States, to name a few places—and their stories of how they came to the City of Light are really inspiring. Even though everyone I’ve met has had her own personal journey, everyone has Paris in common.
I’m happy with the discoveries I’ve made in Paris so far, but meeting locals and expats has made me realize that there are so many cups of coffee to try, so many happy hours to chase, so many places to watch the sunset…
“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” – Aristotle
That pretty much explains how I feel about exploring Paris at the moment.
Through all of the Google searches and wanderings, there are a few links that have been particularly helpful to find new places to explore in Paris. I happened to do some of these things before I even read the articles, so I take comfort that I’ve been enjoying the City of Light more as a parisienne than an American tourist in Paris.
Check out these destinations if you’re staying in Paris for a few weeks, a few months or just looking for something to different to shake up your Parisian routine:
For Digital Nomads
WiFi Cafés in Paris by TimeOut Paris
Anyone who works in digital marketing or can work remotely lives and dies by having a high-speed, well-functioning WiFi connection. Coworking cafes are a great option for people who plan on working the whole day—there’s an hourly or daily rate, but customers enjoy endless food and snacks during their stay. I’ve only tried Anticafé Louvre and Café Craft, but have had positive experiences at both. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be Café Craft, hands down.
For the Intellectual Architect
Notre Paris (un peu) secret by AD France
You don’t need GoogleTranslate to understand these buildings selected by Architectural Digest France are absolutely stunning. I went to see the Balenciaga exhibit at Musée Bourdelle in Montparnasse and fell in love with the museum’s gardens.
If you like this slideshow of suggestions, AD France has more suggested places to check out under their Carnet d’Adresses section.
For the Shopaholic
Stocks de grandes marques à Paris (aka outlet shopping) by evous
Yes, outlets exist in the middle of Paris! Known as “stockages,” you can find discounted clothing from Parisian brands. Honestly, this list can be a bit of a toss-up. I went to The Kooples stockage in Levallois-Perret, but I think it’s now a full-price store. I went to the Jonak footwear stockage, loved it, but the selection can be challenging if you’re a size 38 (between size 7.5-8 for Americans). I also checked out the APC outlet in Montmartre and think it’s a good find for anyone looking to upgrade their minimalist pieces. I’m still scouting the different locations listed.
On another note, I had a great experience at Sissi’s Corner, a secondhand store in Le Marais—I found the most amazing Isabel Marant Etoile jacket!
For a Local
A Complete List of Recommendations by The Glittering Unknown
I came across Emily’s blog through Instagram and different Facebook groups for bloggers. There are a lot of bloggers in Paris, but it’s hard to come across a blogger who is willing to share their real lifestyle with an Instagram account that’s not inundated with sponsored posts.
If you’re impressed with her recommendations, check out the resourceful material she’s written for expats like how she got a visa vie privee et familiale with a PACS. Granted, her posts shouldn’t be your only guide to obtaining official documents to live in Paris—it might be a good idea to check out the French government website—but they definitely help make sense of the confusing French bureaucracy.
For the Student
Living the Ideal Lifestyle in Paris on a Budget by Inspirelle
This article does a great job of covering sharing a short list of inexpensive bars and restaurants, as well as some hot spots in Paris worth checking out. For the record, the author is right when she says it’s all about picnics, picnics, picnics in the warm weather!
For the Adventurer
What to Do in Each Arrondissement by The Local France
The Local France does a great job of sharing quick-hit information, but I really enjoyed this interview with American tour guide Corey Frye—his cafe suggestions stood out from other blogs I’ve read. Checking out the cafe inside Petit Palais is my favorite suggestion of his so far. The cafe isn’t anything crazy fancy, but the tea and pastry is excellent and it’s reasonably priced considering the location.
In a city like Paris, there are always more suggestions and new places to explore. Updates will be posted to include additional articles that may be helpful while staying in the City of Light!