Paris for Locals: 16 Travel Tips

Heading to Paris? Here are some tips from a local, on special things to do in Paris that are off the tourist routes.You'll eat, play, and learn about a different side of Paris.


Museums have free admission on the first Sunday of each month. There are also a lot of museums that have free admission all year round to their permanent exhibits.


Have a tea or lunch in the private garden of the Musée de la Vie Romantique


Musée de la vie Romantique

Musée de la vie Romantique 



Take the navette boat (shuttle) that is FREE with a metro ticket or Navigo between Gare d'Austerlitz and Charenton le Pont.


Try to spot the "stations fantômes" (closed down metro stations) on the metro.


Buy tickets in advance to the Louvre and take the metro getting off at Palais Royale-Louvre. There is an entrance there and hardly ever a big line if you already have your tickets.


Pick up picnic essentials at the Place de la Madeleine (Fauchon, Hediard, Nicolas, etc.) and head a few blocks to the Tuileries for a picnic. Unlike the Luxembourg gardens, you can usually find a chair here.







Try some private dining experiences in real Parisian's homes such as Lunch in the Loft (


Cheese tasting at Chez Virginie.


Passage du Grand Cerf: a covered passage filled with artisan shops and handy-crafts makers' shops (10 Rue Dussoubs 75002 Paris), totally off the beaten path.


Eat out at some of Paris's best Michelin starred restaurants for lunch - saving yourself 100's of Euros!


Take a cooking class which includes a market tour - you learn, see and then get to enjoy the food you prepared (with sone wine, of course). My favourite is with a friend of mine, Eric of Cook'n With Class (


Wander the covered galleries in the 2nd arrondisement, Galerie Vivienne (between rue des Petits Champs and rue Vivienne): stop for lunch at A Priori Thé or do a wine tastings at LeGrand Wine Shop.


Galerie Vivienne

Galerie Vivienne


If you are in Paris for a special occasion, have a photo shoot done. I just did one with my boyfriend and my daughter through a friend, Sophie Le Berre. Her prices are very reasonable and the results were great! ( 


Transportation -  a taxi is a lot more economical than people think ! Even from the airport - If you take the RER/Metro from CDG, you pay just over E9 per person so that is almost E40 for a family of 4. A taxi, which gets you right to where you are going, costs around E45, depending on traffic so much easier and hardly a big price difference.


The Velib (bike rental) is definitely a very economical and fun way to travel around the city but not for those who are nervous !!



Want to read more about Paris?

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10 Things to do in Paris when it's cold!

Hungry for Paris

Happy Bastille Day: 10 Best Books on Paris

Visiting Paris: Crème Brûlée on a Shoestring

Perfectly Paris

Paris Insights

Ten Free - or Almost Free - Things to Enjoy in Paris

Paris Greeters - a unique way to experience Paris

Paris: Made by Hand

Book Review: Paris Encounter





Gail Bosclair runs Perfectly Paris, a Paris vacation apartment rental service. She's got the inside scoop!





All photos used courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons:

Feature - Louvre:

Musée de la vie Romantique


Galerie Vivienne