Heading to Paris? Slip on a beret, pick up a couple of baguettes, learn to flaneur and treat waiters’ with respect. We’ve got five tips to become a real Parisian (or at least pretend to be one).
The ‘city of love’ has never been more relevant with tourists flocking to the French capital all year around to indulge in the city’s culture, architecture, food and shopping.
If you’re visiting the French capital and want to feel just as très chic like a true Parisian, we’ve listed five ways to fake it:
Navigate the coffee minefield
Similar to the South European countries the French don’t drink milky coffees after breakfast. A latte after lunch is a big no-no!
So to get your coffee order right adhere to:
A strong crème café, petit or grand (avoid the too milky café au lait) or a noisette (macchiato) for breakfast.
Always drink a Parisian espresso after lunch or dinner known as ‘un café’, never white coffee.
For extra Parisian-points make sure you sit for a few hours over a black coffee people watching through your Thierry Lasry sunglasses whilst pretending to read the local newspaper Le Monde, or your favourite fashion magazine.
Waiters are not garcons
When in Paris it’s important to remember that Parisian waiters are professionals, not students or unemployed actors looking to earn some extra money, and they expect to be treated with respect.
Order in French (when in Rome..), look confident and smile.
It is not really expected to tip in French restaurants, as mentioned in the bill and on the menu, the service is included.
Learn to flaneur
The translation of flâneur is to stroll aimlessly which is something the Parisians are masters at given the city is built for pedestrians.
Stroll along the boulevards, cafes and the river Seine but make sure to avoid Champs Elysee.
Don’t commit a fashion faux pas
Parisians are well known for their immaculate dressing sense and they would never even in the most sweltering days of summer think about wearing a pair of shorts in the city, so to avoid being treated like a tourist, you shouldn’t either.
And if you’re getting rid of the shorts you might as well toss the running shoes too since the Parisians detest looking like they’re just about to ‘go on a hike or to the gym.
5. Parlez-Vous Francais?
You can slip on a beret and carry around baguettes under your arm, however, unless you speak French no one is going to take you for a true Parisian.
Start off with the basics phrases and watch French movies to get the pronunciation right.