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8 Underrated but totally French things in Paris

sein river and a picture of the eiffel tower from afar

How often would you hear a girl say, “I was French in another life” or “Paris is my ultimate dream destination.”

Yeah, I have about tons of girl friends who say this on Facebook or Twitter mulling over how to save to finally get on a plane and head on over to Paris. For many others, Paris just so happens to be one of those destinations you have to go to.

Paris was never really a priority for me as I’ve preferred to go to Rome or Barcelona instead. But I suppose that’s why I was totally caught like a deer in headlights when my mother announced the first leg of our trip would be in the City of Lights. I was hesitant to land on French soil.

Paris is a world on its own. You have culture, sights, and elegance everywhere you go. It’s the city for writers, poets, romantics, and cynics alike.

And so, instead of the usual post or bucket list destination about Paris, I wanted to share with you what it really means to be “French in another life.”

statue blue white gold in paris france

1. The French love Blue, White, and Gold together

Upon landing in Paris and taking a tour of your own around the city, you’ll later realise there’s no lack of blue, white, and gold as a combination anywhere. It goes well beyond their rooftops and the pretty skyline but in their cafes, pastries, and stores too.

books spread out with signboard at shakespeare and co bookstore

2. The French love to read. And to read a lot.

Obviously, the world would be a much better place with books. But in Paris, people love to read while dining by themselves and having lunch. Shakespeare and Co. at the Latin Quarter has been crowded for days with tourists and locals alike buying a book to read and maybe have a cup of coffee afterwards in its extended cafe shop.

yellow gold old building academie nationale de musique opera house paris

3. The Opera House in Paris is magnificent

My favourite building in all of Paris would have to be the Opera House or in other words, Academie Nationale de Musique. It’s all gold and white, a startling contrast from Gallerie La Fayette, where all the designer brands are located.

fruit stand in paris with fresh stuff

4. The French love their fruits

Straying away from the common tourist areas in Paris, you’ll be able to find a more…distinct taste for the French. What I mean by this is that you’ll have a better idea of their supermarkets and stores that are intended for locals.

healthy burgers vegan pizza found in paris france

5. Similarly, the French are also fans of eating healthy

As opposed to the typical junk food places you’ll find everywhere in the world, Paris gives you a selection between pastries, desserts, and bread. In fact, many of their sandwiches are for vegetarians and I also later realised they didn’t particularly serve fried food.

woman walking in Paris neighbourhood

6. Small neighborhoods are as interesting as tourist areas

Ever the optimist, when my mom booked us a hotel at Tour de Eiffel instead of the city centre, I made the most out of it by roaming the streets to find stores, coffee shops, and even bakeries to visit. There’s honestly not much to see or do at the Tour de Eiffel neighborhood except to see the Eiffel Tower — but if you ever find yourself booking a hotel there, make the most out of it. There are nice, cheaper places to have a meal or indulge in French culture without succumbing to tourist traps.

inside the cathedral notre dame with interior and chendelier

7. They know their love for history and beauty. And they know how to show it well.

This shows in Paris’ architecture, streets, and even the fashion scene. I find this extremely underrated as many tourists prefer to see Paris as a beautiful piece without understanding its history, the poverty, and how it came to be what we know today. It’s very subtle in a sense that you know it’s beautiful without overpowering anything and you’ll be left wondering if you missed it.

man walking in tour de eiffel neighborhood shadows

8. When in Paris, you walk

Like many countries in Europe, you’ll be encouraged to walk while in Paris. Honestly, I’m not 100% certain why I find this underrated except that walking isn’t a thing in the Philippines.

You may take the taxi, the metro, or even a tour bus but getting lost walking around in Paris despite the cold (been there, done that) will be an experience for the books.

As a tourist and traveler, it’s amazing to see what you’ll find when you give a city a chance. By experience, it wasn’t the Eiffel Tower or even Gallerie de La Fayette that attracted me to Paris. It was the way people lived their lives full of knowledge, art, and everything in between. All these go waaay beyond striped t-shirts, berets (that no one wears btw), and ciabatta bread.

building with restaurant doina in paris

Over to you:

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