Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, home to some of the most famous and iconic landmarks, and on the top of almost everyone’s travel wishlist. You would think that at this rate all the streets would be overrun with tourists, all cafés empty of locals, and a nightmare for someone looking to feel at home in a city full of travelers. While you will bump into a few confused tourists every once in awhile, when you get to know the city it’s easy to avoid the bustle and experience the intimacy of the quiet parts of Paris. In my 6 weeks in the city I have gathered a few quiet places that have made me feel more like a local student.
The gardens of the Palais Galliera, the city’s fashion museum.
This place happens to be just a block away from my homestay and it is one of my favorite places in the city, I visit it a few times a week and I don’t see myself getting tired of it anytime soon. The actual museum is a must-see when you’re in France, with pieces from Marie Antoinette’s closet and a history of fashion that makes you realize the power that fabrics and materials have to tell a story. What I love the most though, is the garden. Despite it being right next to a busy city street it remains quiet and serene with plenty of benches to sit on while you read a book, do some homework, or eat a pain au chocolate and a jus d’orange.
I found this place after I attended an event at the Unirvesité de Paris. A large park with a lake, art, and kids riding around on donkeys. You’ll see university students, elderly couples, and families but not many tourists walking around enjoying the nice weather and nutella crepes.
There are many of these scattered around Paris and essential if you’re the type to get little work done at home. I needed a place to concentrate and feel productive but instead of going to a library my friends found an amazing café that fed them, provided wifi, and a quiet place to work all for a flat rate. After paying you’re allowed to eat and drink as much as you want from their kitchen, making it a good deal.
Those are just a few of the hidden parts of Paris that I have loved and have helped me feel like a local, even if it is for only a few months.
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Alexandra Hall Rocha
<p>Hello! My name is Alex and I am originally from Colima, Mexico, the fourth smallest state in Mexico. I moved to California when I was four and have switched between the two places throughout my life. I have been surrounded by palm trees and good weather my entire life and now I will be in Paris, with 50° weather and not a palm tree in sight and I honestly couldn't be more excited. I cannot wait to explore the unknown territory and immerse myself in the diverse culture that exists in Paris, all while enjoying the sights, the people, and of course, the food!</p>