Parisianism, a New Religion

Paris is so much more then visiting the Louvre museum and standing in long lines for the Eiffel tower. Sure if this is your first visit to the city of lights, you should probably have a “must see” list to cover the basics, but this is not what this post is about.

You can easily google all the touristy typical things to see in Paris, or just pick up a travel guide in a store close to you. My aim here is to get the real Parisian magic, understand why people go crazy about it and try to nail down some less common recommendations, so you can see the true Paris like a local would.

First thing first, what does Parisianism mean?

For me it stands for the Parisian attitude& lifestyle. You see, it’s not just about the great food, beautiful architecture, amazing cloths and tremendous richness of cultural life; it’s the way the Parisians go about all of those that makes this city unique.

So here are my top tips to embark on Parisianism:


1. La Parisienne – not a day goes by that I don’t admire random French ladies passing by. The secret of the Parisienne is all about being “casual chic” – looking put-together without being overdone. For the ladies making their way around the city it’s about embracing some inner contradictions – super high heals and a designer coat, but no makeup and messy hair; nother example would be combining a designer top with layback yoga pants and boots. The idea is mastering this elusive look is all about zeroing in on a few key pieces that work together to create a smashing but low key. Whatever you do, no logos on your outfit.

2. Le Pic-nique – yes the city offers almost an endless variety of restaurants and bars, but no gastronome experience in Paris would be compete without the traditional picnic in one of the many beautiful city parks. When it’s warm and sunny, or at least when it’s not raining, you will find the true Parisians enjoying themselves outside. So pick a location (the city is full with parks in all the areas, my personal favorite picnic locations are: Jardin du Luxembourg, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and Bois de Boulogne. Try to avoid the supermarket, instead go to the specialty stores. You can play around with ingredients (veggies, fruit, drinks), but there are two musts on this list: baguette and cheese, lots of it. Ask for “Baguette Traditional” and only buy this from a Boulanger. If you are buying it from a supermarket you get a big Paris fail.

3. Les Macarons – don’t fill up on street crepes covered in Nutella, or the delicious pain au chocolate, save some room for tea and macaroons. The intricate confection is characterized by smooth, squared top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the “foot” or “pied”), and a flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth. Whether you visit Ladurée or Pierre Hermé, you simply must sample some of these famous French delicacies
4. Les brocantes –  The flea markets are a lively encounter with everyday French culture, an exciting way to spend a few hours, and a chance to pick up a unique souvenir. Official statistic suggests that there are more than 15,000 flea markets and garage sales in France. True Parisians like their vintage touch, adding a unique antique to be combined with their Ikea furniture (don’t kid yourself, even the French enjoy affordable clean and easy to set-up shelves). The three main Paris flea markets are the Marche aux Puces de Montreuil flea market in the 20th district, or arrondissement, to the east; the Marche aux Puces flea market de la Porte de Vanves near Montparnasse to the south; and the massive Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market, just outside Montmartre to the north.

So there you have it, my start guide to experience a more hidden and magical Paris, to tap into the true feel and lifestyle of a Parisian and embark on your own journey to Parisianism.