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Expat Spotlight: Elizabeth's Top 3 Tips for France

Elizabeth is a relatively new expat living in Paris. Originally from Boston, she ventured to France to follow a man (and every travel girl’s dream!) and see what it was like to live in the land of croissants, fromage, and the Eiffel Tower. From France, Elizabeth blogs about her adventures (and mishaps) as she finds her way in her new home. You can find her at Another Américaine in Paris as well as on
Inspirelle.com as a regular contributor.

Top 3 Favorite Restaurants in France?

1) Chez les Anges – This is a great spot with a cool vibe. It’s not tiny (great for getting seated even on busy nights) and is excellently located for a post-dinner walk by Les Invalides or the Champ de Mars. And the food is delicious!
2) Bacco – Bacco is a cool little place tucked away on a side street in the 15th. It’s French & Italian fusion, which makes for some interesting dishes that are familiar, but not overplayed.
3) La Récréation – This is a popular lunch spot not far from Motte Picquet. It’s long and narrow, and the food totally hits the spot at lunch time. But be sure to let them know right when you sit down if you want a slice of their coveted meringue of the day!

Top 3 favorite foods in France?

1) Comte cheese
2) Moelleux au chocolat
3) Wine!

Top 3 tips for new expats in France?

1) Research, research, research – there are always complications and questions you don’t anticipate. Best to be as prepared as possible before facing the bureaucracy!
2) Practice your French as often as possible, but don’t be discouraged when they speak back to you in English. They’re just trying to be helpful, and to practice their English!
3) Walk everywhere. No matter what new city you’re in, I always find that you learn the place best on foot. Get familiar with your new home by walking wherever you’re trying to go – and reward yourself with a stop at a cute café you never would have found if you were on the Metro!

Top 3 tips for travelers in France?

1) Put the phone/camera/selfie-stick down and look around. Some of the best sights are the things you see when you sit down on a bench and just stare at the architecture or art or even the streets. Take a few minutes to just sit and watch daily life happen and it’ll be far more memorable than your 800th Instagram food pic.
2) Don’t take it personally when people seem rude. They’re not rude (necessarily), they’re just French, and the French just don’t expect or give the same gentle, friendly demeanor you may be accustomed to. They just get right to the point.
3) But don’t be rude to them! Always say Bonjour Monsieur/Madame when entering a shop, when approached by a waiter, when passing in a hallway… always. For a distant people, they very much appreciate polite greetings, and it can go a long way in your favor if you need something.

Top 3 tips for what to pack for France?

1) Comfortable shoes – that aren’t sneakers. The French don’t wear gym clothes out on the street. Contrary to the chic image, they also don’t really wear high heels. They walk far too much for that. French fashion is all about subtle sophistication that’s still practical for navigating the bustling sidewalks of Paris.
2) An umbrella. It does rain quite often here, but you won’t see Parisians grabbing their neon rain jacket. Black umbrellas are standard issue, along with a nice trench that will keep you covered from the drizzle.
3) A blazer. The French do live up to their reputation for being generally more dressed up. For women, a black (or other dark neutral) blazer is the silver bullet. Instantly boosts a simple outfit into something that looks polished and put together without being overdressed. Also, it’s reusable! Efficient packing.

Top 3 favorite places in France

1) Paris
2) Deauville
3) Provence

Top 3 neighborhoods in Paris

1) le Marais
2) Ile St. Louis
3) le 6eme (it has the Jardin de Luxembourg!)

For more tips on France, watch for upcoming posts on the
France blog and go to her blog, Another Américaine in Paris.

Interested in contributing? Contact erin {at} insidersabroad {dot} com!

Published January 5th, 2016 by Elizabeth Vincent
Posted to Inside Secrets to France

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