1. Where you stay determines how you will experience the city. Either as a tourist or a worldly traveller. Try a classic traditional homestay B&B guesthouse from Petite B&Bs Women where you will feel like you are coming home to family each day rather than a concierge. Just think old-world family-style service with breakfast served to you daily, afternoon teas, daily room cleaning and wonderfully intimate and warm hospitality from locals who love to share their home with independent travelers. Understandably staying with what is essentially a stranger in there home can seem uncomfortable or daunting for some, especially or the first timer, but a classic Bed & Breakfast will give you the richest experience beyond that of a hotel or even an empty apartment rental. In a Petite Paris B&B or Petite B&B in Portugal you will connect with a local, get valuable insider city guidance from them (who better than to advise about where to go) and city tips too, and in insight into the everyday life.In Paris - Stay in Petite Paris B&B Brigitte - a historic 17th B&B guesthouse offering 2 private entry guest suites each with private ensuite bathrooms, right on the Seine river banks on the left bank. Brigitte is a historian and lover of meeting travellers and chatting to them about Paris in her home. She loves to share a drink with her guests and take them out to a local bar - from ONLY 99euro per night, click here to view full details on the Petite Bed and Breakfast website and to check availability - https://www.petitebnbs.com/paris/bb-brigitte
In Lisbon - From only 30euro per night B&B Anna is our Lisbon accommodation or choice for a real authentic family experience living and staying with a local host who will make you feel right at home, in an authentic residential neighbourhood 10 mins walk to the centre - full details and bookings - https://www.petitebnbs.com/lisbon/bb-anna
2. Dive fearlessly into local cuisine. Expand your palette, for example in Paris or France, try the slimy escargot, the dry duck pate, the sliver liver, the cold cured meats that look alive on le assiette. Why travel to Petite Paris just to eat what you know?
- PARIS: Best authentic French fare that is not for the faint-hearten or weak-stomached is: Bistro Paul Bert. Address: 18 rue Paul Bert, 75011 - MAP
- LISBON: Best authentic Portuguese food in an authentic Portuguese neighbourhood is Restaurant Tollan. Address: R. dos Remédios 134, 1100-081 Lisboa, Portugal - MAP
3. Real life sits at the ‘dingy’ tabac: Don’t only stick to hyped shiny cafes; they’re pretty but safe and limiting. Besides glamorous or trendy is not all what Paris or Portugal is about. With a little relaxed and courageous discomfort, try a local less-than pretty dark tabac (in France) or Tasca (in Portugal) or with ordinary locals. The most extraordinary people, food and experiences come from the most ordinary ‘real’ places. No specific location or chic destination, instead we recommend getting beautifully lost wandering the streets and selecting the most ordinary looking restaurant with the most amount of locals hanging about.This is what spontaneous travel is all about, no necessarily ticking off a list of the coolest places that have been recommended by timeout Magazine, but creating your own list of places, just follow your nose.
4. Don’t be entertained; be informed: Parisians and the Portuguese love to learn, love knowledge and to discuss, debate and deliberate. Politics, culture, history, are hot topics. Learn something about Paris’ history while in Paris. Visit the Carnavalet Museum (Museum of history of Paris) and gain some knowledge about the city and arm yourself with the tools to engage with Parisians. 16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris, France - MAP
In Lisbon visit the Museu de Lisboa, the History of Lisbon Museum- Campo Grande 245 - MAP
5. Watch how it’s done: Market life is an important part of Parisian life. Watch how Parisians do it, pay attention to the process of the transaction, then imitate. Interact and be part of the scene. If something is misunderstood have faith, smile and allow your self to be guided. Petite Paris’ new eGuide book ‘Markets of Paris’ has a list of local and real Paris markets with market TIPS HERE
In Lisbon go to the Feira da Ladra - the most famous antique flea market in Lisbon and watch the locals at their best! This market has been around since the 12thCentruy and the traders here offer everything from junk to unexpected treasures, around the Campo de Santa Clara, a square by the National Pantheon. The market is held every Tuesday and Saturday, from dawn to the early afternoon. MAP
6. Say yes to Invitations: If given the opportunity to attend a Parisian or Portuguese party, GO! Like all dining experiences, they offer a wonderful insight into the local culture, etiquette, values, customs and dynamics. Though a whole new set of rules open up for such an occasion. Having basic awareness of customs and ‘social rules’ are important here.
So how do you get invited you ask? Here are some tips on how to make friends while travelling.
Here are some things to do:
- Learn the Langauge – people will want to talk to you if they feel comfortable speaking to you in their own language. Look into classes with the Mairie or Alliance Francaise in Paris or find a chatting partner on craigslist.
- Do the stuff you love – Sign yourself up for a Meet-Up or Facebook group, activities with people with similar passions transcends language and cultural borders. For example Yoga folks love to hang out with other yogis and go to a events.
- Find the Expats – If all of this fails, do what most of us expats do. Just hang with a group of other expats! This is a sure way to meet many interesting people not just french or Portuguese and also the French and Portuguese folks you’ll meet here who hang with these people are often more open minded. See meet-up also there is a strong likelihood that there is some Facebook groups.
8. Make time for no time: Allow for serendipitous moments. Set aside a day or chunk of time to lose time ... and yourself. Be open to meeting people and places. A spirit of adventure, curiosity and flexibility of time will inevitably lead you to authentic travel experiences. The City is truly yours!