Paris is full of glitz and glamour and you can easily feel out of place while in this city. No one wants to feel like a bumbling tourist when all they want to do is to not draw attention to themselves while they explore. Here are some ways that you can fit in while in Paris no matter what ethnicity you are.
Learn The Language
If you can only do one thing to fit in while you are in Paris, you must learn some French. Try to learn the basics as well as a few conversational phrases. You will find that a lot of the locals do speak English, but it’s always a good idea to know a few French words.
Get Up To Date On What’s Happening
Parisians are well informed when it comes to culture and what’s happening in their city. Before going to Paris, learn about the newest films that have come out and some of the latest news. Grab a copy of the Le Monde, which comes out around 3 p.m. each day. You don’t have to read through the whole thing, but definitely skim through the headlines. If a local strikes up a conversation with you, you will have plenty to talk about.
Don’t Let Your Coffee And Pastry Give You Away
No matter how long you are in Paris you will probably find yourself with a cup of coffee in your hand quite a bit. The type of coffee that a patron orders is often a dead giveaway whether or not someone is a local. In the morning order either a macchiato called a noisette or a petit. If you need a little afternoon pick me up, choose a black coffee called “un cafe”. As far as pastries go, despite the common misconception, not all of them are great. Be picky about what you order and if you want to act like a local, skip them all together.
Treat You Waiter Nicely
In Paris, many waiters aren’t just students or someone looking to make a little extra pocket change, but are actually professionals. Don’t ever treat them as a servant or the hired help. You will find that waiters in this city are full of confidence, like to engage in some witty banter with their customers and are very good at their job.
Dress The Part
It’s easy to spot a tourist in Paris simply based on the way they dress. You don’t need a flamboyant outfit to look like a local. Women usually wear neutral colors during the day & black or dark clothes in the evening high end shoes and accessories. Men finish off their look with a black coat or jacket. Leave the sweat pants and flip flops at home and exchange for a scarf and stylish sunglasses.
Don’t Talk About Money
The subject of money is taboo for Parisians. Don’t talk about how much a meal costs at a restaurant or check the bill to make sure it’s the right amount. It’s also not a good idea to ask a local about their salary or how much their house or car costs.