Anthony Bourdain got it right. The best way to experience Paris is by doing nothing. Or almost. (I'm not a big TV watcher, but I can't resist a good travel show about Paris. So this weekend, I tuned in to "40 Hours in Paris," with Bourdain.)
I'll explain… The idea is, if you have a limited amount of time in the city, don't waste it waiting in lines to climb monuments and visit museums. Forget about the typical travel guide Paris. Instead, take a stroll along the Seine, have coffee at a café, sit in a park to people watch or write down your thoughts, go to an open-air market, and of course, EAT!
That's how to capture the essence of Paris and make it your own.
As someone who lives here, I still enjoy…
Getting a dose of Paris monuments by walking along the Seine (east to west) from the Ile Saint-Louis. I can see Notre Dame, the Paris city hall, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower… and many of the lovely bridges that cross the river!
Browsing through American books at Shakespeare and Company or French books at the bouquinistes by the Seine.
Enjoying a drink or meal at my neighborhood café, far from the busy streets of central Paris.
Going to open-air markets, buying bread and cheese, and digging in!
What's not-to-be missed for a visitor to your city?