Oh sweet Paris, the city of love that attracts up to 40 million tourists each year! It’s fair to say that everyone is familiar with the iconic landmarks of Paris – the Eiffel tower, Le Louvre, Notre Dame and Arc de Triomphe. Today we are going to share the top 6 unique things you can do in this gorgeous city.
- VISIT A LOCAL MARKET
Experience the markets like a local and explore stalls that don’t sell overpriced touristy knick-knacks. Visit Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves for unique second hand goods and antiques. If it’s delicious fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and specialty foods you are after, then head on over to the covered food market, Marché Saint Quentin.
- PICNIC ON THE BANKS OF THE SEINE
Grab a fresh crusty baguette, some cheese, olives, strawberries and pastries for dessert (of course!), and enjoy a relaxing picnic by the banks of the Seine where you can people watch and soak it all. Our two favourite picnic spots are around Ile St Louis near Notre Dame or around Pont des Arts. Bon appetit!
- GO INSIDE THE PALAIS GARNIER
A lot of visitors love taking photos outside Palais Garnier but not many actually enter the building. We strongly urge you to do so! You will be greeted with majestic staircases, golden pillars, sparkling chandeliers and a ceiling painted by Chagall – this building is so romantic, so magnificent, so French! It also happens to be the setting of the famous novel, The Phantom of the Opera.
- VISIT THE CATACOMBS
This is an underground ossuary that was created at the end of the 18th century. Over the years, more and more human remains were brought here from overcrowded cemeteries to make room for the city's development. The series of long and winding pathways lined with skulls and bones of Parisians stretches for kilometres. We know it might sound eerie but it’s actually quite a fascinating and unique experience.
- VISIT THE ROOFTOP OF GALERIES LAFAYETTE
Shopping at the famous Galeries Lafayette is no secret but few people know that you can access the rooftop to relax, enjoy a beverage and take in the most spectacular 360 degree views of Paris. The rooftop undergoes constant transformations from housing rooftop igloos to pop up vegetarian restaurants. No two visits to the rooftop are ever the same!
- DITCH THE TOURIST MAP AND WALK OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
OK, maybe don’t ditch the map (or GPS) as we want you to return to your accommodation safely, but so much of the beauty of Paris is hidden away in the cobbled streets. Explore the gorgeous boutiques, delicatessens, bakeries and unique stores that you simply won’t find on the main drag. Walk off the beaten track and explore the real Paris like a local. Watch your bags though, as beautiful as Paris is, pickpockets are always on the lookout for tourists.
Everyone we know has a beautiful story of Paris. What is yours?