Paris is a rather challenging city to come up with Must Do’s. You’re experience can either be: “One of a kind unforgettable” or “Disappointing and didn’t live up to the hype” type visits. Mine was a little bit of both as this is a very easy city to get caught in tourist traps. Thanks to the website, http://www.LikeALocalGuide.com, I help support, the writers of Paris gave me great perspective. In this order:
Live Like A Local With Anto
Anto is software developer by day and a local celebrity among tourists by night, afternoon, days off pretty much anytime he can make for you. He puts together local experiences (like yours truly does- but thats another article) takes you out for dinner, shows you a quaint rooftop with an amazing Paris view, will take you to his favorite spot by the Sienne River, or try and dance tango while you are getting drunk high from the wine and cheese that he’s selected. If there were an Anto in every city, I would be content booking the affordable tour (under $30/person) and my trips would be complete. At the end of the tour he will shoot you an email for the remainder of your trip in Paris and give you a list of excellent local food places. The following is from his list. He can be found at http://www.likealocalin.paris.
Au P’Tit Grec
Another Anto recommend. The most authentic Crepes I have had. Pictures say it all so here they are. This place is a walk in restaurant, and conducive for take out or a quick bite, they have bar stools and it is wise to order one savory crepe take a few bites and order one sweet crepe and take a few bites.
For equally authentic crepes with a different presentation visit this spot. This was my find and I will actually pat myself on the back for this because it was the best crepes Ive had in my life. The line of locals was horrendous during the lunch time rush. It is a 5 star rating, affordable, and it was so stereotypically tiny of Paris restaurants that they had to carry out tables to let you in on the other side of the table and then drag the table back into place. This is more of a sit down place. Full of Parisian culture and character and the perfect crepe place that works to compliment Au PTit Grec.
Eiffel Tower Stairs at Night
I hate waiting! But enough negativity. The stairs if your legs can take it is a priceless alternative to waiting in line, paying a painful price for the elevators. The line to the stairs move rather quickly. We stood in line at 8PM were in the doors by 8:15PM and at the last level with the elevators by 8:45PM, we took the elevator to the top cause you can’t climb stairs past that and that is where the stall happens we were up by 09:30PM enough to see the sun go down and the lights come up and the Eiffel Tower burst into sparkles at 10PM. We got downstair via elevator by 10:20PM. The same time on the elevators you would still be waiting in line.
Have not found another place for macaroons but this place was my favorite. They are available at the airport terminal area so strategically better to pick them up there if you are taking them home.
This tour is free and I think it one of the best ways to see each major city. The other way being a Greeter Tour. However Paris is the only city I know of that charges for Greeters (goes against the principal of being Greeter but hey when in Rome)