Paris is a city for everyone—the romantic, the art lover, the culture vulture, the foodie, the nature lover and the ones who don’t need a reason. My personal favourite ? The one who sits at a café and watches life go by. Paris offers the best of everything, be it beautiful museums, landmark monuments, international fashion brands or Michelin-star food experiences.
Outside of these ‘must-do’ highlights, however, is a Paris that most people walk past. Streets lined with the most beautiful trees, architecture, local cafés, interesting doorways and even the most funky street art. It’s all there, that is, if you’re looking for it. There’s a reason why a true Parisian takes his time walking these streets, baguette in hand, soaking in these lovely little bits of the city that no travel guide will mention. And, of course, a pitstop at a café for a quick coffee or an evening aperitif before heading home, is part of a Parisian’s daily ritual.
Paris wasn’t always this vibrant, well-planned city, though. George Haussman, the man appointed by Napolean III, transformed the city giving it the quintessential Parisian style of 19th-century architecture—a heady mix of design influences. He was the man behind those broad boulevards, stone façades with ornate wrought iron balconies, beautiful parks and squares, an opulent Opera House and the Palais Garnier, that gave the place a facelift, turning it from a grungy, overcrowded city into one that the world has come to love.
So the next time you visit this beautiful city, skip that long queue to go up the Eiffel Tower, avoid walking down the touristy Champs Elysée and instead discover Paris like a local. That is what will make you fall in love with this magical city even more than the smile of the Mona Lisa.
curated by KUNAL BHENDÉ