France: The Alternative Guide to Paris

France: The Alternative Guide to Paris

Whether you’ve been to Paris before or this is your first time in the capital of love, you’ll want to make the most of your experience.

Granted, Paris is home to the Louvre, Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower, to name a few of its attractions, but it’s also got so much more to offer you.

With that in mind, here are some of the exciting things you could discover on your next trip to Paris: 

Pull On Your Dancing Shoes

If you head to the left bank of Port St. Bernard on a warm summer night you’ll discover people enjoying picnics, a romantic stroll and a spot of ballroom dancing. From the beginning of June right through to the end of August, you’ll find dancers gathered on the side of the river in a bid to perfect their swing, waltz, tango and salsa moves.

Uncover Some Hidden History

In Paris, there are a number of other museums you can visit, which are well off the beaten tourist track. For example, if you want to find out more about 19th-century science, you’ll love the Museum of Comparative Anatomy and Palaeontology, which boasts rows upon rows of animal skeletons. Or, if you’re more of the green-fingered type, this museum’s also home to the Jardin des Plantes where you’ll find a botanical garden as well as a zoo. There are also a few other natural history museums here, too, so you can enjoy a whole day here.

However, if you fancy more of an adventure, you might want to explore the covered passages that you’ll find around Paris. Even though less than 30 of these remain, they’re still the perfect way to get around Paris, especially if it’s raining! Some of the best ones can be found behind the Palais Royal.

Dive into Trendy Neighbourhoods

Venture further afield and discover the produce stands and flea markets of Belleville, which are filled with merchants, colourful products and savvy shoppers. Or, if you like your food, you’ll want to take a stroll down rue des Martyrs, where you won’t just discover up-and-coming restaurants and cafés but market sellers with delicious cheeses and home-baked goodies, too.

While you’re at it, why not book a hotel to match? There are some gorgeous and uniquely designed hotels popping up like CitizenM offering unique accommodation, you can make sure this is a boutique holiday in every way possible.

Unwind by the Canal St. Martin

If you’re visiting Paris in the warmer summer months, you might want to take a bottle of wine (French, of course) to the Canal St. Martin. A lot of visitors to Paris are yet to discover this treat, but it’s always on the top of Parisian’s to-do lists. Therefore, you’ll find a crowd of artists and other creative types here, which adds to the wonderful, vibrant atmosphere.

Don’t worry if you’re heading to Paris in the cooler months, though, because you can discover some of the most charming areas of Paris by using the paths of Canal St. Martin as your walkway.

Furthermore, this location is the best place for discovering some free street art, especially if you journey to the 10th arrondissement. There’s a lot going on here, which means it’s full of artistic shops and wonderful restaurants, as well as great graffiti. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the finest works of art, or opt for a specialist tour that will show you some of the best sights.

Whatever your taste, whether it’s history or modern culture, you’re sure to find something to suit in Paris, while also getting yourself out of the hustle and bustle of other tourists in the process!

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  1. May 16, 2017 / 5:06 pm

    Hi from Jane of @2emptynesters at . Loved your Parisian post –especially the bit about dancing! I’m just back from there too–my youngest daughter Alice is working as a languages intern and so it was a great excuse to visit, and sample a few crepes, pastries and cafes au lait! We loved browsing Le Marais ….falafel city! 🙂 I’m delighted that Alice is blogging about her 3 months in Paris, too…find her at

    • May 18, 2017 / 8:10 am

      Thanks for your comment Jane 🙂 hope you had a great time visiting your daughter, I’m sure you did. And what a great reason to visit Paris and indulge in what it has to offer. I imagine it won’t be your last visit whilst she’s over there? Oh to be young and live in the City of Lights, I’ll certainly check out her blog and read about her adventures – thank you for sharing the link!

  2. May 16, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    Yeah. The city has many faces to it. Some like the “glamorous” side, others the shopping side…time for a refreshing way to see the city!

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