The best way to experience Paris is to live it like a local: wander off the beaten paths, sit down at one of the many Paris cafés and bistros around the city, have a picnic along the river Seine, cycle along Canal Saint-Martin, hunt for a bargain at Porte de Clignancourt flea market, have a drink in bustling and multicultural Belleville… there is so much to do in Paris once you get away from the tourist spots! Here are three non touristy things to do in Paris to feel like a true Parisian.
It comes as no surprise to me that Paris is one of the world’s most visited cities. After all, it’s Paris. It is the location of countless films, novels and songs; it is seen as the most romantic city in the world, the centre of sophistication and class. If you love travelling; if you love fashion; if you love food; if you love beautiful architecture and if you love amazing history – you are bound to love Paris.
Why is Paris so popular still? Part of the reason is that it has barely changed. Paris’ architecture has been preserved by the French so that it resembles the Paris of the early 20th Century, when poets like T. S. Eliot roamed its streets, and the artistic Modernism movement was born.
There is plenty to do in this beautiful city. So how can you make the most of your visit? In my opinion, the most beautiful things about Paris are the tiny corners nobody knows about – except the locals.
The city’s exquisit little alleyways and quaint side streets are what make it the magical mystery which just keeps on giving. Here are a few places to visit which let you see the wonders of the city, without being caught in the crowds.
Walking from the Jardin Du Tuileries to the Trocadéro
This stunning stroll takes you down the River Seine, stemming from the stunning Tuileries gardens and l’Orangerie, a small museum which contains iconic, huge Monet artworks. These are both well known spots, not exactly ‘non-tourist’, but the walk you embark on will take your breath away. Amble down the Seine, and you will soon stumble upon Pont Alexandre III, the magnificent bridge which connects two hugely popular regions of the city; take in its gold trimmings and stunning views over the water. Finally, you will reach the Trocadéro, a stunning garden and monument which lies directly opposite the Eiffel Tower. See this stunning monument from a new perspective.
Visit the Panthéon in the 5th Arrondissement
If you want a taste of little-known history, make your way to the 5th Arrondissement. Not only is this location home to the gorgeous Jardin des Plantes and is home to some of the quietest, quaintest streets in the whole of Paris, the Panthéon is truly a sight to behold. Visit the neoclassic mausoleum just adjacent to the Panthéon metro stop, for a breathtaking architectural view! The surroundings are also gorgeous as the area, known as the Latin Quarter, is filled with cute cafés and plenty of quiet corners to explore.
Eat Falafel and Tagine in Le Marais
Le Marais is one of the most fascinating parts of Paris. Although it is now home to some pretty bourgeois shops and hotels, it remains central for two important communities in Paris: the Jewish community and the LGBTQ+ community. This neighbourhood is home to a vibrant Jewish community since the 13th century and countless incredible falafal restaurants. I always return to Le Marais whenever I am in Paris!
My foodie explorations usually begin at le Marché des Enfants Rouges. It is the oldest market in Paris, established in 1628 and still very popular among locals. There are stalls selling fresh produce and others serving ready-to-eat dishes from around the world. I loved Le Traiteur Marocain, perfect for an inexpensive meal of Couscous Merguez with Vegetable Tagine and mint tea. This part of the city will present you with interesting food combinations and a great shopping experience for good measure.
Paris remains one of the most stunning cities in the world, no matter what you choose to visit and do there. But there is no doubt that, being in such a world famous tourist destination, it is often overcrowded and overpriced. Plan activities that will give you a more authentic Parisian experience. I hope you will get more out of your next trip to Paris with this helpful tips.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.