Love Paris like a local: tour the city with an insider guide

July 3, 2016

Want to find the cradle of French cuisine, the former brothel of Edward VII or where Napoleon lost his virginity? A network of locals in Paris, and cities worldwide, is guiding tourists to secret spots

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Georges, a retired French gendarmerie general, is waiting outside the metro station in the Parisian district of Le Sentier, eager to show off the finer – and less refined – points of an area he knows “like his pocket”, as the local expression goes.

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Le Sentier is a curious mix of shabby and chic that stretches from the grand boulevards of Napoleon III’s architect Baron Haussmann to the aristocratic Palais Royal, via the colourful and notorious Saint Denis district, with its prostitutes and rag trade sweatshops.

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