To honour the magic of the City of Lights, today we're publishing an article written by long-time ToursByLocals guide Pamela. Pamela has been a guide with us since 2009, and wrote this piece about the joys of exploring Paris before the terrorist attacks. Every word is as true today as it was two weeks ago. Bienvenue à Paris!
Hello, I am Pamela B. I am one of ToursByLocals' long-time Paris guides and I love my job every day, more and more. Why? Because I get to discover more and more great things about my fantastic city! I didn't even realize when I made the decision to become a guide... I think I've always been a guide in some form, as I love to show my friends the new things I've discovered wherever it is I live. But when I first arrived in Paris, seven years ago, there was so much to discover and show that if I didn't make this my full time activity I knew I was going to miss so much of the wonders of this city.
In Paris for example, we have amazing historical monuments, perfect for anyone to admire and get a "selfie", like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame cathedral, the Opera Garnier, the Louvre, the Pantheon, and so many more. But Paris has so much more to explore beyond these sights! We have very fun and interesting neighbourhoods: Le Marais, the Latin Quarter, St. Germain de Prés and Montmartre, just to mention the most famous ones. And that's not it... we have fantastic food markets, where anyone would get inspired to become a Chef! Also walking the many narrow streets from the oldest parts of the city one can find endless boutiques to shop for everything from the most chic and trendy clothes and accessories all the way to éclairs, chocolates, wine and more.
I always recommend to try some of the local restaurants like "Le Tambour" (41 Rue Montmartre, 75002) where travellers might struggle a bit with their lack of French but will remember the easy going ambience and food, mostly the experience of feeling like a local on a Saturday evening. And to grab a coffee and relax after walking the whole day around Paris I would recommend "Le Café Livres" (10 Rue Saint-Martin,75004) very central and cozy.
I also found this wonderful "fromagerie" or cheese shop called "La Crémerie" (76 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île, 75004) at St. Louis island. In this little shop you'll find the best and a wide variety of cheeses and the owner will be happy for you to try his cheese before you make any purchase.
To get the best photos I recommend to go to the middle of the Alexandre III bridge; there are beautiful statues decorating it and the Eiffel Tower glowing in the horizon is just the best! And of course I would recommend to go to the terrace of Galeries Printemps, easy and with free access, it offers a wonderful view over the city, especially towards Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur!
I think any traveller coming to Paris shouldn't miss walking along the river Seine and drinking a glass of Champagne or wine, while watching the boats passing. Doing this at sunset time makes it even more magical!
I hope these ideas make your visit a wonderful one, and that Paris captures your soul like it did with me.
Merci, Pamela! Those travellers making the trip to Paris in 2016 (or to catch the city in all its festive glory at Christmas time) can book a tour with Pamela via her guide profile page: Pamela's tours.