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8 things to do in Paris that aren't total tourist traps

INSIDER Logo By Melissa Kravitz of INSIDER | Slide 1 of 9: Climbing the Eiffel Tower, seeing the brushstrokes on Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, tearing apart a baguette and drinking wine straight out of the bottle on the Seine - the images of a trip to Paris are clear to anyone who has only seen the City of Light in guidebooks and movies.And yet, real functioning, tourist-saturated cities are rarely as they appear on the big screen or glossy pages. Just as with any major city, Paris, though packed with inexplicable charm, is laden with tourist traps."Being a tourist isn't inherently a bad thing '- the city welcomes them!" said ex-pat and current Parisian Lindsey Tramuta, author of"The New Paris." She said she diligently avoids any restaurant hawking a menu in several languages, won't buy souvenirs from peddlers outside major tourist sites, knows to avoid the waste-of-meal dinners on the exclusively-for-tourists Seine River Cruises, and admits that the Mona Lisa "is perhaps the most disappointing and over-hyped piece of art in any museum."Stop wasting your precious time in Paris pushing past selfie sticks to get a view of something arbitrarily famous and enjoy the sights and tastes that make the French capital truly worth visit.

Climbing the Eiffel Tower, seeing the brushstrokes on Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, tearing apart a baguette and drinking wine straight out of the bottle on the Seine - the images of a trip to Paris are clear to anyone who has only seen the City of Light in guidebooks and movies.

And yet, real functioning, tourist-saturated cities are rarely as they appear on the big screen or glossy pages. Just as with any major city, Paris, though packed with inexplicable charm, is laden with tourist traps.

"Being a tourist isn't inherently a bad thing '- the city welcomes them!" said ex-pat and current Parisian Lindsey Tramuta, author of"The New Paris." She said she diligently avoids any restaurant hawking a menu in several languages, won't buy souvenirs from peddlers outside major tourist sites, knows to avoid the waste-of-meal dinners on the exclusively-for-tourists Seine River Cruises, and admits that the Mona Lisa "is perhaps the most disappointing and over-hyped piece of art in any museum."

Stop wasting your precious time in Paris pushing past selfie sticks to get a view of something arbitrarily famous and enjoy the sights and tastes that make the French capital truly worth visit.

© Unsplash/Ilnur Kalimullin
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