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An insider's guide to Paris | Insight Guides Blog

An insider's guide to Paris

Welcome to the city of lights! Insight Guides trip planner and local expert Emilie shares her favourite ways to see the French capital city like a local
How to see Paris like a local
Paris: An Insider's Guide

Insight Guides trip planner and local expert Emilie shares her top tips on how to fully enjoy your trip and make the best out of your stay in Paris

It's safe to say Paris can please all types of people all of the time, wherever your interests lie. That's a pretty bold claim, but with outdoor activities, festivals, art and culture, world-famous gastronomy, and beautiful architecture there's something to suit everyone. Where to begin?

For theatre lovers:

I would recommend Le Théâtre de la Ville where a whole, dramatic world is concealed behind the building's beautiful, classical façade. Situated in the heart of Paris, this historic theatre offers its guests a large variety of the most innovative performances, musicals and plays, and all in a magnificent setting.

For culture vultures: 

Not a big fan of theatre? Have no fear, there are other ways to contemplate art. Musée de l'Orangerie, for example, is a museum inside Tuileries Gardens next to Place de la Concorde. You can admire large wall-to-wall paintings, the best of Monet's work, Paul Guillaume's collection of Impressionism and much more.

If the sun is shining, take a stroll through the streets of Belleville and admire the street art decorating the neighbourhood's walls.  Art or Vandalism? You can be the judge of that!

Insight Guides' local experts can help you plan the perfect holiday to France. Request a customised trip

Musee de l Orangerie in Paris. Photo: ShutterstockMusee de l Orangerie in Paris. Photo: Shutterstock

For the keen foodies:

One does not visit Paris, without tasting its exquisite cuisine. For all gastronomy and gourmandise fans, I recommend La Fermette Marbeuf, where you can enjoy to-die-for French food accompanied by fine wine a breathtaking interior.

If you're tired of having classic cuisine, try Elmer. A chic Bistrot run by chef Simon Horwitz is the perfect place for relaxed dining. Chef Simon has travelled around the world and offers inventive cuisine combining French, Australian, Peruvian and Asian tastes.

For the musicians among us:

After a hearty meal, what could be better than a good music session? First choice is La Cité de la Musique or Philharmonie, a cool location in the 19th district of the city, which combines several genres of music. Enjoy magnificent performances from jazz to  classical.

The second option would be taking a stroll along the rue de Lappe, where there are many live performance bars featuring rock, electro, jazz, pop and folk music. The hardest part is deciding which one you prefer.

Insight Guides: Paris City Guide reveals more local secrets and little-known attractions for your trip

La Fermette MarbeufLa Fermette Marbeuf

For the outdoorsy types:

If you appreciate the great outdoors, I recommend renting a kayak or canoe in La Villette. You can paddle your way along the canal to admire a different and serene side of Paris.

A hot air balloon ride is another way to see a different side of the city, showcasing a panoramic view from way up in the sky.

More tips for visiting France's capital city: 

Grab a bargain: Where to shop in Paris

Where to sleep: Top 5 boutique hotels in Paris

It's not too late for a trip this summer: France features as one of our places to travel in June, July and August

How to find the city's best food: 7 unmissable restaurants in Paris

Explore further afield than Paris: Where to go in September, October and November