Across the world, it seems like everyone has their own opinion about the city of lights. Whether it is the capital of love, great food or influential art, it doesn’t matter; Paris is a city that has it all, constantly evolving to meet the tastes of its diverse locals. If you’re planning a visit to the French capital any time soon then you’re in for a treat; thanks to a blossoming local business and arts scene, there are more new places to try than ever in the city. All it takes is a little investigation.
Do you want to experience the city like a local and discover its hidden gems? You’ve come to the right place. Hold on tight; we’re about to journey to the other side of the city of lights.
Over the past few years, the food and drinks scene in Paris has exploded and where native dining used to be about lashings of butter, cream and cheese, now, the food is as experimental as it comes. Across the city, there are a huge number of cocktail and food bars which are growing in popularity by showcasing some of the best of France’s diverse local produce. If you’re looking for some of the most incredible out there, then you need to head to Gravity. Having opened towards the end of 2015, the bar is still relatively new on the scene, but that hasn’t stopped locals flooding there in their dozens. Home to an impeccable cocktail menu, the most delicious small plates you will ever taste and a sweeping, curved ceiling, Gravity is a nightlife experience unlike anywhere else in the city.
While Paris is known for its rich cultural and arts scene, it is doing a great many things for the contemporary scene, too. Although you might be tempted to head to some of the city’s major museums and galleries – which are certainly worth a visit – you can also try sourcing out a few lesser known spots, too. Gallery Le Bal sits just inside the 18th arrondissement close to Place de Clichy and is a real cultural find. Showcasing the most cutting edge artists and filmmakers, the tiny gallery always has something worth viewing that might just change your perspective on the world. The famous cafe also serves up a killer brunch that is worth hanging around for.
Located far in the north of Paris is a place that is completely changing its surrounding environment. The Halle Pajol is situated right next to the city’s train line and is a project that hopes to change how locals live in and use the space. Constructed out of wood and steel, the open plan building boasts and blooming botanical garden on one side, in which you are likely to find locals reading, chatting and enjoying the sun. Enter from the street side and you will be met with a entire set of new restaurants, cafes, shops and a youth hostel. It might be far from the city’s center, but Halle Pajol is transforming what Paris means to many people.
A building that is as renowned for its interior architecture as its impressive film list, the Louxor cinema is worth visiting at least once in your life. Decked out in Egyptian-inspired art-deco design, the building itself is a sight for sore eyes and is unlike any other place in the city. While you can expect to find a number of new releases at the cinema, it is also renowned for its screenings of movie classics, which draw in the crowds from across the city.
If you’re in Paris on a Sunday, then you do brunch. Partaking in the meal is not even a point of question for most locals and if you want a real Parisian experience, then you too will take part in the feasting. Searching for the best brunch in the city might be a challenge but for many locals, there’s no question that Holybelly tops the list. Located next to the city’s trendy Canal St. Martin, the cafe serves up a whole range of brunch and lunch foods that are guaranteed to get your tummy rumbling. The menu often changes each weekend and the specials are always worth paying attention to, so make sure you ask before you order.
Experiencing Paris like a local can really show you an entirely new side to the city and completely change your presumptions about the French capital. Away from the cultural center, there are a great deal of new and underground things going on; all it takes is a little extra searching and Paris can be yours for the taking.