Tips on Visiting Paris for the first time-7First Timers guide to Paris- the no bullshit way


Paris is such a magical city full of good food, stunning architecture, and did I mention carbs?? I practically ate my weight in cheese and bread.

You can’t avoid it. It comes to every breakfast, lunch and dinner table…with UNLIMITED REFILLS.

See? Magical!

It’s a good thing we walked everywhere in Paris… I’m talking about 8+ miles a day. That’s how you gotta do it. Walk everywhere (to not gain weight lol), get lost within the streets, admire the architecture, stop into any patisserie for a croissant, take a gelato/ ice cream pic and continue walking.

If it’s your first time to Paris and 1) You’re not into museums/history 2) But you still want cool pics 3) You love good, affordable food…. then this post is for you.

Here’s my guide to Paris… the No Bullshit Way

Tips on Visiting Paris for the first time-10First tip when walking by restaurants: avoid all the touristy places, you know… the huge corner restaurants on a main road with TONS of tourists. Go for the real deal, hole in the wall spots. There’s practically a good bistro everywhere.

Here are some cheap eats: (I’ve added the Trip Advisor link to each place)

Urfa Durum

Urfa Durum– serves up some of the best Kurdish wraps for 6-10 euros. Everything is homemade and baked to order- you can even see them preparing the flatbreads through the window. Oh, and this is Anthony Bourdain approved!

How to get there: Walk or by Paris metro (Station: Château d’Eau)

L’As du Fallafel – This is a fallafel on crack (6 euros). Usually you’ll see a huge line, but don’t worry- the lines move fast if you order take out. If you’re from SF, then it pretty much shits on Oasis grill, doesn’t even compare!

It’s in a really cute neighborhood called The Marais, with little shops and creperies.

Breizh Cafe– Come here for some of the best crepes you’ll ever have. It’s inexpensive, delicious, and in a great location. You’ll thank me later.

Desserts- Check out Pierre Herme and Laudree for macaroons!

Bistro Paul Bert– For a classic French bistro experience, come here for dinner and get the filet. (Anthony Bourdain approved). PS. have your concierge call to make reservations in advance.

Where to go in paris for a classic french bistro experience-1

Monsieur Bleu– For a more upscale dining experience with views of the tower, go to Monsieur Bleu located right on the water. This is where I tried escargot for the FIRST TIME (Fashion by Ally made me do it) and it was soooo BOMB (the thought of eating snails always freaked me out, hah). Everything we had was amazing, and it’s quite frankly one of the best meals I’ve had in Paris, but also on the more pricier side.

Where to get the best Escargot in Paris- Monsieur Blue-1

Du Pain Et Des Idees– Arguably one of the BEST bakeries in town and their chocolate filled croissants are mind-blowing. Try going in the morning when everything is the freshest. Side: I didn’t get to try the escargot here, but everyone RAVES about it (if you try it, let me know how it is!)

Iconic Monuments

Tips on Visiting Paris for the first time-1

They’re great to see… take in… admire…

But they’re also surrounded with TONS of tourists. Go take your photo and move onto the next one- especially if you only have a few days in Paris. I’d recommend making a list of places you want to see, and spend a day checking them off your list.

Here was mine:

Montmartre–  Here, you can overlook the whole city of Paris and the view is stunning! Try to come here during golden hour. It’s located in an area with a bunch of cute cafes and artists… so definitely take some time to explore this part of town.

Btw: there’s a tram that takes you up to the top  for a fee. Don’t be lazy… just walk up. It’s not a long walk, I swear!

Arc de Triompe– It turned out to be just a really big arc lol. But if you’re with someone who’s a history buff, this is actually a cool place where you can go to the top (for a fee) and get a quick history lesson.

Tips on Visiting Paris for the first time-3

Trocadero– This is a MUST visit. It offers great views of the Eiffel Tower and is a great spot for pictures  aka selfies with the tower.

Notre Dame– Pretty cool to see from the outside. PS. If you go here, walk to the falafel place! It’s pretty close by.

Louvre– Also worth seeing from the outside. If you’re into museums, this is probably the one to go in (home of the Mona Lisa painting). If not, take your picture… stare at the massive architecture and wonder what kind of pokemon you can catch here. lol.


Have a picnic with a view:

Picnic in Paris-10

This was honestly one of my favorite things we did in Paris. If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I’d be sitting on a grassy knoll or by the water with a bottle of wine, cheese and bread (obv).

Oh and lets talk about the wine! A glass of wine in Paris is actually cheaper than water…

:: sips Pinot ::


Tips on Visiting Paris for the first time-11

Omg the shopping. When it comes to anything “designer”, its almost always cheaper in Paris. You can get an LV or Channel bag for $800 less than what it would cost in the U.S.

Make sure you get your tax refund at the airport. There’s a kiosk machine where you scan your receipts and get ~10% back to your card (or cash). #winnnnn.

Lastly… watch out for pick-pocketers and gypsys:

Tips on Visiting Paris for the first time-4

Hold your bags closely. If you’re wearing a backpack, wear it to the front. I’ve heard stories of people cutting bags open in the back when you’re not looking.

And if anyone approaches you with a clipboard to sign a petition to support worthy causes, don’t do it! While you’re distracted, they’ll have someone with their hands in your bag! Just pay them no mind, and they’ll leave you alone.

Lastly, for more places to eat at, check out this thread with SO many great recommendations. Shout out to every one who commented!

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