Non Touristy Things To Do In Paris – I’m willing to bet that even if you’ve never visited Paris, you can name at least five of the most popular things to do in the City of Light. There are some Parisian experiences that can’t be replaced, like seeing the Eiffel Tower light up for the first time and taking a photo in front of the Louvre pyramid. However, if you’ve visited the city before or simply want a more local experience, I’ve rounded up my picks for 10 non-touristy things to do in Paris. These items are certainly not tourist-free, nor are they entirely unknown. However, they are more unique alternatives to the typical tourist route.
The wide dirt road that runs through the center of the Tuileries, from the Place de la Concorde to the Carrousel du Louvre, is well-trodden by star-crossed tourists. The locals know that if you go to the Tuileries it is best to keep the outside parameter. Otherwise, a selfie stick in the eye is a real risk.
Non Touristy Things To Do In Paris
, a stone’s throw from Parc Monceau. This is without a doubt my favorite park in Paris. The black and gold gates, the surrounding private houses and the abundance of eclectic statues and architectural elements make Parc Monceau absolutely majestic. It has the regal charm of the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens, but on a smaller scale. And since Parc Monceau is in a mostly residential area, tourists should seek it out. What I love most about Parc Monceau is that you can sit on the grass, making it a perfect place for a Parisian picnic.
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I’m not going to sugarcoat this: the Champs-Élysées is the most overrated experience in all of Paris. With the exception of the Arc de Triomphe, a few Paris hotels, Publicis Drugstore and the Louis Vuitton flagship, there is no real reason to set foot on this iconic avenue. Of course, this makes me sad. What was once revered as the most beautiful and stylish street in the world has been reduced to Zara, H&M, Four Guys Burgers and Fries, Swatch and the Disney Store. The Champs-Élysées still lives up to its historic reputation, but when it comes to shopping, it’s about as interesting as a suburban mall.
In stark contrast to the Champs Elyées, Marchés aux Puces is like diving into a history book. Often misidentified as a “flea market,” the vendors at the Marchés aux Puces don’t sell Nikes or second-hand children’s clothing. In contrast, the fourteen submarkets located north of Paris in Saint-Ouen are full of treasures from the past. Whether it’s 19
Century crystal chandeliers, mid-century modern chairs, or a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk, you won’t find any of that at your local strip mall. Since the merchandise rotates often, I return regularly, even if I don’t intend to buy anything. This is the place to look for memories with a story, but only on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. The rest of the week sellers are at auctions, estate sales and otherwise looking for stock in Europe.
Angelina is amazing; I won’t lie. The original stand on Rue de Rivoli is perfectly pretty and the African hot chocolate is legendary. Simply put: it’s sin in a cup. This past winter I longed like the sun. BUT, there is absolutely no way I’m going to spend more than five minutes standing in a line that sometimes stretches a block. If you are bound and determined to try Angelina, come when it opens or try one of their other six locations in Paris. Sure, the ambiance isn’t the same, but the diabetes-inducing hot chocolate is. However, if you’re more into pastry, skip the line at Angelina and head next door to Le Meurice.
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Le Meurice is not a place where you necessarily just show up. Instead, you’ll likely need a reservation during tea time. Of course, Le Meurice is a bit more expensive, but what do you expect from a palace hotel? One of chef Cedric Grolet’s cakes is worth the price of admission. The talent and innovation of the young chef is rivaled only by his modesty and good looks. If you don’t believe me, check out her Instagram. Combine the editable art with the stylish Le Meurice setup and you have a winning combination. Dress smart. Book early. Thank you later.
Who doesn’t love Île Saint-Louis? Come on, it practically screams ‘Paris’. Street musicians, picturesque terraces and specialty shops make this a dream location. Once the temperature rises, the banks of the Île Saint-Louis river are packed with picnickers, both Parisians and out-of-towners. One of my favorite places is behind Notre Dame. Stay long enough and you’ll see the sun set behind the cathedral. It really is an Instagram-worthy photoshoot, but sometimes it’s too crowded for my taste.
However, head a little further east along the left bank to Quai d’Austerlitz. This is probably a place that most tourists never see, so full of non-touristy things to do in Paris. Located at 13
Arrondissement, Quai d’Austerlitz is home to the futuristic-looking Institut Français de la Mode, Art Lique and houseboats converted into bars. Day 13 is an up-and-coming area, home to some interesting modern art and architecture projects. Once the working day is over, the banks of the Seine fill up with people who live and work in the area enjoying dinner, listening to music and watching the sun set behind the Viaduc d’Austerlitz.
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Right next to the Quai d’Austerlitz is the Quai Saint-Bernard, where dance reigns. From Wednesday to Sunday evenings, Parisians descend on the banks of the Seine to dance the tango. Whether participating or simply watching, it’s a lively and unique experience in the city. The surrounding stages also include salsa and jive dancing.
Hermès store on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. This historic street is filled with the most luxurious brands in the world: French, Italian and American. It’s a street where your credit card is going to die. When I walked into Hermès, walked into Prada, and ventured into Versace, I was reminded that tourists rule St. I honored I usually only visit this area on Sundays when the shops are closed. It is practically empty and therefore much nicer. If you’re looking for designers without all the traffic, head to 8
And Avenue Montaigne. Gucci, Pucci and Dior, oh my! This elegant avenue in the heart of the Golden Triangle is lined with the who’s who
. If I’m going to drop four figures in a dress, then Avenue Montaigne is where it’s going to happen.
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Place de Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris and considered one of the most beautiful in all of France. Located in the popular Marais, Place de Vosges receives a lot of traffic from locals and tourists alike. On a sunny day, I challenge you to find a bench or green space to sit. Thus, I suggest the second oldest planned square in Paris at 1
Actually a triangle, this treasure is carefully hidden near the center of Pont Neuf at the western end of the Île de la Cité. Passers-by rarely stumble upon Place Dauphinie, making it a little hideaway in the city center. Here you will be surprised by real estate envy, but if you don’t have a few million euros to spare, settle for a bottle of rosé on one of the café terraces. on a sunny day
Games are plentiful. I’ve even heard that some restaurants will lend you a set of balls with the purchase of some adult drinks.
I love a Seine cruise and think it’s one of the best ways to see the city. After all, all the major landmarks are on the river, except for the Arc de Triomphe. But, if you’ve already sailed on the Seine or just don’t want to be surrounded by other tourists, check out a canal cruise. Departing from Port de l’Arsenal or Bassin de la Villette in eastern Paris, the ship sails along the modern Canal St. Martin, as well as through the Canal de L’Ourcq and Canal Saint-Denis interconnection. The 2.5-hour journey passes locks, swing bridges, under the Bastille vault and up to Place de la République and Parc de la Villette. It’s a side of Paris you’ve probably never seen.
Non Touristy Things To Do In Paris
If the Champs-Élysées is the most overrated experience in Paris, then going to the top of the Eiffel Tower is a close second. Both places are the most non-touristy places in Paris. As I’ve written in the past, I love the Eiffel Tower. If you simply look at my Instagram account it is obvious. However, my favorite thing about the Parisian skyline is seeing the Iron Lady. If you’re in the tower, you can’t see it. Of course, it provides a different point of view which is pretty sweet. However, climbing the Eiffel Tower is more trouble than it’s worth. The crowds and the wait add up to all the enjoyment for me.
For an equally great experience without the crowds, take a tour of the Musée du Quai Branly and head to its rooftop for lunch at Les Ombres. Madame Eiffel is basically sitting on your desk. Glass walls and ceiling provide an unobstructed view