MEET: local guide Maya Dorsey
Maya is a California-bred, adopted Parisienne and proud citizen of the world. She runs La Vie Locale - an online resource for people visiting or planning a move to Paris. Maya truly enjoys sharing her knowledge to help make people’s experience in Paris unforgettable.
Maya generously shared with us her favourite spots in Montmartre and her recommendations for unique experiences in Paris.
What makes Montmartre so special?
I’ve lived in several neighbourhoods during my time in Paris and Montmartre is by far one of my favourites. Montmartre used to be considered a village outside of Paris in the 18th and 19th century, so it is cool to walk around the streets today and still feel some of the countryside charm. It is a great place to visit in Paris that is a bit removed from central Paris but has a lot to offer such as: the Sacré-Coeur, museums, quaint cobblestone streets, artist studios. It also neighbours lovely areas like Pigalle (where you can find the Moulin Rouge), La Goutte D’or (Little Africa).
What’s your personal fave stop in Montmartre?
Besides going for random walks, I really enjoy the view all the way from the top of Basilica Sacré-Coeur. Most people take in the view from the steps, or visit the church, but there is also an entrance to visit the Dome of the beautiful basilica. After walking up 300 plus steps in a narrow staircase it leads you to a beautiful 360 panoramic view of Paris, which is hands down one of my favourite.
Maya is an awesome resource for all things Paris, and through her trip planning consulting business, she helps people coming to Paris organise their trips to get a more local experience beyond the classic monuments. Maya has shared with us three unique experiences you can enjoy during your next trip to Paris:
Taste french wines at Galeries Lafayette
Did you know that Galeries Lafayette has more to offer than shopping? They also offer a 1.5-hour wine tasting class every Friday where you travel through different regions of France through 6 different wines. I was surprised to find a cute apartment set up amongst the showroom floors of the store, where we tasted a nice selection of niche wine.
If you want to try for yourself feel free to book using Discount Code: LAVIELOCALE for -10%
Make your own perfume
Musée du Parfum – Fragonard offers free visits of their museum where you can learn about the perfume making process. If you would like to go home with a special souvenir from your trip and create your own fragrance, everyday Saturday they offer Perfume making workshops.
Explore a local neighbourhood
Canal St. Martin is one of my favourites. When in the area make sure to stop by Du Pain et Des Idées, the best bakery in town only open weekdays, grab a bite to eat at Holybelly, walk along the Canal, take a coffee at your choice of specialty cafes like Ten Belles, Caoua, Radiodays, or a drink at Le Comptoir Général, and check out Artazart, a concept bookstore great for souvenirs.