Enjoy Paris Like a LocalThere’s something about Paris and everyone seems to know it. It is one of the most popular European destinations, and for good reason. There’s lots of art, culture and cuisine to enjoy in every arrondissement (district). You can’t help but notice so many tourists, even French tourists from other regions, snapping photographs of the Eiffel Tower. But, if you want to be a little Parisian, follow these simple tips.
Enjoy French cuisine for less: Mention “French cuisine” and you’ll instantly feel your mouth salivating. Just imagine the restaurants around the world serving up succulent dishes and how much better they would be in Paris. Based on different regions, influences and ingredients, French cuisine is seen everywhere in Paris from simple French baguette and brie to a fiery crème brulée. Yet, imitating even the complicated French dishes is possible. Be like a local and shop for groceries, at supermarkets or fresh food markets. Most Parisians cook since they love fresh food and just the act of shopping and catching up with fellow locals is part of social interactions in Paris.
Find joie de vivre: There is a quintessential understanding to the simple translation of “joie de vivre,” the joy of living or life. This is especially vital to understanding French culture; it is all about enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Unwind and enjoy the city the way it was meant to be, without a care in the world. It may be easy to get frustrated at a busy, touristy city, but enjoy simple pleasures like a savory macaroon from a French bakery, or catching some sun and relaxing at Luxemburg Gardens.
Wine and Cheese yourself: Wine and cheese just seem to go together like Paris does with joie de vivre. There are probably just as many pairings and selections as there are cities in Paris, or at least almost. Follow your nose and your appetite for chic French living by checking out a wine and cheese tasting tour. Or, do your own tour at the local markets and try some samplings for yourself- with the cheese that is. It is not only typically Parisian to indulge in the gastronomical senses, but it’s a fantastic self-souvenir.
Be Fashion Savvy: For centuries, Paris has been one of the biggest fashion capitals of the world. From the days of French royals and aristocrats dressed in large dresses and ceiling high wigs to more modern styles seen right on the streets, there’s no stop to Paris being a fashion icon. Pay attention to fashion trends by simply being Parisian and window shopping along the major streets.
Speak a little French, s’il vous plait? French is a beautiful language and though tourists may not be able to master the language before a trip to Paris, it doesn’t hurt to at least try. Parisians appreciate simple gestures to recognize and practice a language they are very proud of. Always greet store owners with a pleasant “Bonjour!” and a friendly goodbye by saying “Au Revoir!” And of course, it doesn’t hurt to always say: “S’il vous plait,” otherwise known as: please.
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