Sometimes, nothing beats the excitement and anticipation of going on a short holiday to one of the world’s most iconic cities, and for many of us Paris is the most iconic of them all.
With a wide range of tourist attractions, familiar landmarks and historic buildings to offer the visitor, it’s no great surprise to discover the city is one of the world’s most popular metropolitan destinations.
If you, like many other travellers, don’t particularly like looking too much like a tourist, you might want to consider acting like a Parisian. Residents of this fine city are lucky enough to live in a superb location, and to even the most casual observer they are extremely different from the visitors.
Here are four ways to act like a local.
Dress to Impress
If you have ever heard whispers about the stylish and elegant way most French people dress, you will know these stories are true within an hour of arriving in the country’s capital. Everyone, young and old, male and female, seems to take great care about what they wear and how they wear it, so if you want to blend in you will need to bring your best clothes and to be ready to think and act stylish from the moment you set foot out of the door.
Relax When Necessary
The centre of New York is always full of hustle and bustle, but in Paris the locals are quite happy to stop and watch the world go by when they feel the need to. The pavement cafés offer the perfect opportunity to settle down and enjoy a rich, flavoursome coffee and a delicious croissant when the need arises, so you should set aside enough time in your daily routine for a little rest and relaxation.
Savour your food
The rumours about the French enjoying their food are completely true. Cooking is nothing short of a passion in this country, and eating the end result is done in style. You never see Parisians desperately wolfing down an instant burger because they are in a hurry; in France, you will be expected to savour your meal, to enjoy every mouthful and, especially in the evenings, to wash it down with a glass or two of a good wine.
Enjoy a Walk
On a summer afternoon, especially at the weekends, Parisians love to make the most of their city. In France, the word ‘boulevard’ is just as much a verb as it is a noun, and the locals like nothing better than enjoying a stroll through the public parks or along the swish avenues in and around the shopping districts. The streets around Montmartre are highly recommended if you’re a first-time visitor.
David Showell lives in the UK and is a regular visitor to France.