Parisien d’un Jour is a group of local Parisians that lets tourists have the chance to experience Paris in a very natural and local way. Forget the long lines in the museums and the tourist maps, with Parisien d’un Jour tourists will be personally toured through the city by the local people of Paris who take pride in their culture and enjoy helping tourists experience Paris the way they spend their daily lives in the famous city.
Through the Parisien d’un Jour, tourists can experience Paris, know about the secret alleys in Paris, where the best wine and food are served, and all the other places a regular tourist won’t be able to experience. Another advantage in spending time with the Parisians themselves is tourists can practice their French with the local people.
Parisien d’un Jour association
The tours around Paris usually last for two to three walking tours and the Parisians that are part of Parisien d’un Jour share certain parts of their neighborhood and city. Currently, the group has 160 local volunteers that spend a few hours with tourists and help them experience Paris the way a real Parisian lives. These tours include walking tours in different places often overlooked by maps and tourist books, an experience of the local lifestyle and culture, artisans and artists.
Joining in the Parisien d’un Jour is also free, one just needs to book beforehand. However, tourists often give donations to the Parisian that guided them though the city. The members of the group are also very diverse–from born-and-raised Parisians, to students, retirees, ex-pats, artists, and more. Most of the tourists that experience Paris also gets treated to local shops that have the best deals, to bars, and to hidden courtyards. The minimum number of people in a group that could experience Paris through Parisein d’un Jour is six at a time and those who speak the same languages can also go together and experience Paris even if they registered separately.
Walk tours enable tourists to know about local bars, restaurants, shops, and hidden courtyards.
The local Parisian who would give tours to the tourists and help them experience Paris is called a “Greeter” and he or she would be the one to coordinate with the tourists through phone and mail. Also, as much as possible, the organizers of the tours try to provide the tourists with a Greeter that share the same interests as them, although the tours are not just limited to the particular preferences of one tourist. Before the walk, the Greeters are required to send a proposal of his or her walk and the tourists have the option of accepting it or not.
For the volunteers, some of the things encouraged by the Parisien d’un Jour are knowing the city well enough and having a deep love for it: suggest unusual routes to the tourists; be open to tourists about areas like where they live, study, or work; do not make any discrimination, be keen on meeting people, preferably speak several languages, and dedicate time to the association at least 6 walks a year.
Tourists can experience Paris as a local, meet new friends, and practice their French.
The Parisien d’un Jour is not just about touring the city of Paris, although that is one of the important aspects. It is also about being able to experience Paris as it really is, by listening to the stories a local Parisian would share, meeting other tourists and new friends and exploring the city not through the glasses of a wide-eyed tourist but through the keen eye of someone who already spent a long time living in Paris.