Paris is one of the most famous and visited cities in the world, but there’s always something else to discover, from side-street creperies to Parisians’ fondness for New York Yankees gear.

Paris is one of the most famous and visited cities in the world, but there’s always something else to discover, from side-street creperies to Parisians’ fondness for New York Yankees gear.

Parlez-vous francais?

Don’t worry if your entire French vocabulary is “bonjour” and “merci beaucoup.” If you make an effort to communicate in French, even with a guidebook in hand, most Parisians will appreciate it – and most likely shift to English to help you out. (At least for a while.)

Tour d’Eiffel

Built by architect Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair, the iconic tower was initially opposed by many. Now it’s a beloved landmark – and in a city that has no New York-style skyscrapers, visible from almost every direction. Fireworks frame the tower at 11 every night.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Even amid streams of photo-snapping tourists, the other iconic Paris landmark is a moving place to visit. If you don’t stay for a Mass, light a candle and slip into a side seat for a moment of private meditation.

Built in the 13th century by Louis IX, the city’s oldest existing church features striking Gothic architecture and dazzling stained glass windows. The line to get in can be long.

Nearby: Sainte-Chapelle, Boulevard du Palais

Brasseries

Sure, you can spend hundreds of euros on top-flight, expensive restaurants, but you don’t need to. The smaller brasseries, bistros and creperies are all you need.

Not to be missed: Brasserie de l’Ile St-Louis – just across a walking bridge from Notre Dame and the Ile de Cite. Pleasantly crowded, with one of the best-located outdoor dining spots in Paris. Basic and good, from sole to cassoulet.

If you time it well, you can watch the sunset above Notre Dame’s flying buttresses – and if you’re lucky, the accordion player will be on the bridge, serenading passersby with “La Vie en Rose” and other French classics.

Walk this way

Forget the tour buses. Paris is a great city for walking – what the French call “flaner,” or strolling. Everything is within reach, from the Louvre and Tuileries Gardens to the narrow streets of the Marais, the old Latin quarter and, before World War II, the Jewish quarter.

Walking also brings the small discoveries that make for a richer sense of the place – a Rodin bronze statue of novelist and playwright Honore Balzac at an intersection on the Boulevard de Raspail, and on the Boulevard Saint-Michele a building still pockmarked from fighting when the Free French Army recaptured Paris in August 1944.

And then there’s the Rue de las Quatre Enfants in the Marais. You can see a plaque dedicated to the Jewish children deported to Nazi concentration camps from 1942-44.

The Metro

Between walks, hop on. The Metro is extensive, efficient, and you never have to wait long for the next train. It’s easier to navigate than the New York City subway.

Unless you’re on an extended visit, don’t bother with Metro passes for trains and buses. Buy a carnet (book) of 10 tickets.

Yankees caps

American pop culture pops up in unexpected places, and not just at the occasional Starbucks. French TV airs dubbed versions of “Desperate Housewives” and other shows. But Yankees caps? Yankees motorcycle helmets?

It’s a hard sight for Red Sox fans to take, but no, the City of Lights is not filled with Yankees fans. It’s a fashion brand, like Yves Saint Laurent is for Americans.

“Some of them don’t even know the Yankees are a team,” one young Parisian said.

If you go
Hotel le Sainte-Beuve: One of the city’s best small hotels. Well-located near the Luxembourg Gardens. Great breakfast with omelettes, croissants and strong coffee. 9 rue Sainte-Beuve, 75006 Paris; (33) 01 45 20 07; parishotelcharme.com.

Brasserie de I’Ile de Sainte-Louis: 55 quai de Bourbon; (33) 01 43 54 02 59; closed in August.
  
Creperie Saint Andre des Arts; Small, funky art on the brick walls. Dinner crepes, not dessert, and every one is named for a European composer. 56 rue de Saint Andre des Arts (Marais); (33) 01 46 33 92 00.

Angelina’s: The grande dame of Paris tea salons, once frequented by Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel, among other celebrities. Famous for the African hot chocolate. Ideal for a meal before or after a visit to the Tuileries Gardens or the Louvre. 226 Rue de Rivoli; (33) 01 42 60 82 00.
  
Ice cream:
Berthillon: Maybe the best of the “glaciers”; 31 Rue Sainte Louis en I’lle (Metro-Pont Marie); closed August.

Amorino, 47 Rue Sainte Louis en I’lle and 31 Rue Vielle du Temple (Metro-St. Paul, Hotel de Ville)

Reach Lane Lambert, a writer for the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., at llambert@ledger.com.