I Heart My City: Lindsey’s Paris

Bonjour city-lovers! Welcome to another Wednesday edition of I Heart My City. Today’s insider guide to Paris, France comes from Lindsey Tramuta, an American expat, writer, photographer, and baker who shares tales about the City of Light on her Lost in Cheeseland blog. Read about Lindsey’s favorite places to eat, drink, dance, and play in Paris, then tell us what you love about the French capital in the comments section below. For more Parisian insights (and mouthwatering photos of cheese, pastries, and other delectable French foods) follow Lindsey on Twitter.

Paris is My City

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is my neighborhood, the 11th arrondissement– an instant view of the way locals live and an introduction to some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and bakeries.

When I crave juicy burgers I always go to Drôle d’Endroit Pour Une Rencontre on rue Montorgueil.

To escape the busy city streets I head to one of the capital’s many parks, usually Place des Vosges or Luxembourg Gardens.

If I want to feel like I’m in a different city I go to Montmartre which seems more like a small village, than part of Paris.

For complete quiet, I can hide away in my apartment where I can shut out the sound of bustling cafés, honking and (frequent) yelling on the streets below.

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with the fishmongers on rue Montorgueil, they won’t bite.

Parisian Café (Photo: Lindsey Tramuta)


If you have to order one thing off the menu from Pain de Sucre it has to be the Tarte au Citron.

La Vaissellerie is my one-stop shop for great kitchen knickknacks.

Locals know to skip Brasserie Lipp and check out the Christian Constant restaurants (especially Les Cocottes and Café Constant) instead.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go for Falafel on rue des Rosiers or my local bakery for savory tarts under 3€.

For a huge splurge I go Le Bon Marché and/or La Grande Epicerie, its gourmet supermarket right next door.

Photo ops in my city include the Eiffel Tower, l’Arc de Triomphe, Ladurée (not joking) and the best vantage points are from Sacré Coeur in Montmartre and the top of the Montparnasse Tower.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Gerard Depardieu– a lot of talent and passion with a little bit of rebelliousness and bad judgment thrown into the mix.

The most random thing about my city is the hours at which garbage is collected and how expensive the shoes are.

Ponte des Arts, Paris (Photo: Lindsey Tramuta)


My city has the most eclectic men.

My city has the most insecure fashionable women.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves walking or biking to go eat or drink!.

My city’s best museum is the Musée d’Orsay. Even if you’re not a fan of art you will appreciate the museum’s building, a former railway station.

My favorite jogging/walking route is along the banks of the Seine toward the 7th arrondissement and rounding out at the Champs de Mars.

For a night of dancing, go to L’Alimentation Générale. Or, for live music, check out Nouveau Casino.

Al Taglio is the spot for late-night eats (in the 11th!)

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read “A Nous” in French, distributed for free in metro stations or GoGoParis.com for an insider’s English guide to what’s happening in the city.

You can tell a lot about my city by people-watching

You can tell if someone is from my city if they have a cigarette in one hand, a Diet Coke in the other.

Paris in Spring (Photo: Lindsey Tramuta)


In the spring you should grab a spot and relax on one of the city’s many sun-drenched café terraces.

In the summer you should picnic along the Seine in the evening and watch the sunset (it gets dark between 9-10 p.m.!).

In the fall you should walk through the Buttes Chaumont park.

In the winter you should go ice skating in front of Hôtel de Ville (city hall).

A hidden gem in my city is Chinatown in the 13th arrondissement, often just as overlooked by locals as by visitors.

For a great breakfast joint try Pain et Chocolat.

Don’t miss the outdoor film festival at La Villette park, which takes place every summer for a month. Old and somewhat recent movies are shown on a giant screen, and people come equipped with picnic blankets and snacks for the evening.

Just outside my city, you can visit Chantilly which has gorgeous gardens, a Château, museum, and horse racing.

The best way to see my city is by foot or by bike.

If my city were a pet it would be a beautiful but prissy cat.

If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live somewhere near the ocean.

The best book about my city is Almost French and Paris, Paris.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is “La Foule” by Edith Piaf.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the motorboats at the Luxembourg Gardens and Le Jardin d’Acclimitation.

Transit strikes during the holidays could only happen in my city.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because it’s Paris! Who doesn’t love it?

Tell us what you love about Paris. Leave the details in the comments section below.

Want to see your city on Intelligent Travel? Copy and paste our list of fill-in-the-blank questions into an e-mail, fill in your answers, and send your responses (with any photos, videos or links) to IntelligentTravel@ngs.org.

Top photo: Lindsey Tramuta




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  5. Mathilde
    July 17, 2013, 3:31 am

    Thank you Lindsey for this article and all those suggestions! When I went to Paris and I experienced some of them and I was not disappointed. But I also found other very good addresses thanks to a native guide! I didn’t want to join a tour but partner wanted to, so I finally accepted, and that was such a surprise! I really recommend you the walking tours of Discover Walks (www.discoverwalks.com), during one hour you have the feeling to walk around the city with an old friend, so much fun !

  6. […] I heart Lindsey of Lost in Cheeseland and I love the I heart my city post she did, “I heart my city (Paris)” on National Geographic, yes, National Geogrpahic! It is a wonderful post on my favorite […]

  7. […] Lindsey’s Paris (France):  The Musée d’Orsay. Even if you’re not a fan of art you will appreciate the museum’s building, a former railway station. […]

  8. Munzy
    June 21, 2012, 4:59 am

    LOL @ ‘My city has the most insecure fashionable women’ That was a good one. Really refreshing article on Paris btw. I absolutely loved my time in paris, and if I could give a suggestion. Choose to stay at a serviced apartment instead of a hotel. It makes the whole experience so much better! i stayed at Fraser Suites Paris and it was brilliant. The comforts of home away from home :)


  9. Sarah
    Angers, France by way of Lawrence, Kansas
    January 29, 2012, 12:20 pm

    I absolutely loved reading this! I’m leaving tomorrow to study in Angers for the semester and this got me even more excited (if that’s even possible,) about my trip.

    And I just now realized that you’re the author of my favorite French blog, so thanks for the American insight into Paris and French culture. Keep up the great work!

  10. Single Travel Trips
    December 12, 2011, 2:50 pm

    Wow, Paris is such a fascinating city! And you are very right that you can learn a ton about Paris and the French culture from just people-watching.

    At SoloMate Travel, we are offering a wonderful trip for single travelers to visit France’s Southern Coast. The trip includes staying in the elegant city of Montpellier. For more info about our single travel trip to France’s Southern coast, visit http://solomatetravel.com/trip/frances-southern-coast-country-side/.

  11. Sharizad Sulaiman
    December 12, 2011, 6:19 am


    I miss everything about Paris, but what I don’t miss is the unbelievable sight and smell of dog poo! Je t’aime Paris

  12. Lee
    East Coast
    December 10, 2011, 11:53 am

    This is an absolutely wonderful love letter to Paris! I have traveled to Paris twice with my children, and we can’t wait to go again. Lindsey lists some of my favorites, (for example, le arc de triomphe, musee d’ orsay), along with other other places we look forward to visiting in the future.

  13. Stephanie Klein
    Yeosu, South Korea
    December 8, 2011, 10:45 am

    Isn’t this a delightful idea! I would love to hear the take on my new home in Yeosu, South Korea, which is currently getting all dressed up for a big date with the World Expo in just a few short months! Until then, you’re invited to get a taste through the eyes of Yeosu’s newest expat writers and photographers at http://www.everythingbutkimchi.wordpress.com

  14. Alexander
    December 8, 2011, 4:25 am

    Paris – what a beautiful city! My favorite site is Eiffel Tower- this is exactly that place which along with Field of Mars are first associates with Paris. Field of Mars is a great place to escape the city’s asphalts, because it is a big green area, a bit looks like a park on its sides. A great photos from Field of Mars are guaranted! Find more places worth to visit in Europe at http://travel-europe-eu.blogspot.com/

  15. PeggyCoonley/SerendipityTraveler
    December 7, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Enjoyed your diverse listings…… i would add Laudree Macaroons and St. Sulpice for an organ concert!

  16. Risamay
    Oakland, CA
    December 7, 2011, 12:55 pm

    Fantastic read and suggestions. I love Lindsey’s blog, and her take on Paris. Magnifique!