Five things to do in Paris
1. Just walk. Long queues at the Louvre, crowded boats on the Seine, restaurants with tourist menus - who wants to hang out with other tourists when you can see the real side to the city? Discover charming shops and great food and get a sense of the unique Parisian lifestyle.
2. Paris Off Beat. Walk around one of Paris's many hidden corners with Ludovic Yken. There are many great local tours. Let Ludovic show you his favourite cafes, bars and patisseries. He will even customise your tour to suit your tastes and budget. He gives you plenty of tips for the rest of your journey. 27 euros ($43) for a 90-minute walking tour.
3. Share a meal with locals by booking with vizeat.com. Choose a meal and talk to your host. All cuisines, dietary requirements, organic preferences are available. From 7 euros. Or join Jim Haynes, who has been hosting Sunday night dinners to connect people from all around the world for 30 years. See Jim-haynes.com.
4. Stay in an Airbnb property. Paris has 10,000 Airbnb hosts. I recommend staying in one of the classic Haussmann buildings, shopping at the markets and avoiding the obscene cost of Parisian hotels. I found a quiet studio in St Germain with a tiny kitchen and hospitable neighbours.
5. Jardin du Luxembourg. Take your book and sit in the 17th century gardens just off the Latin Quarter. On the weekends Parisians leave their apartments for time in the park. Drop in at Paris's first art museum, the Musee du Luxembourg, opened in 1750.