Paris is a city that is easy to fall in love with if you have an appreciation for fashion, art, romance, food, history, music — the list is endless. While there are many well-known attractions in The City of Light, here are five not-so-obvious things to do in Paris.
1. Splurge on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. This is, in my opinion, the easiest way to hit all of the top attractions in Paris. Although I’ve heard the city’s underground metro system isn’t difficult to navigate, a bus tour allows you to actually see Paris and its diverse neighborhoods (instead of passing through them underground) on your way to the Champs-Élysées, The Louvre or Notre Dame.
2. Indulge in French cuisine. Croque-monsieur, escargot, macaroons, croissants, éclairs — when I visited Paris, I was determined to try them all. Parisian food is as delicious as it is sophisticated (but I have to admit I didn’t care for escargot). Two of my favorite spots were Le Grenier à Pain for pastries and Le Grand 8 for a French dining experience.
3. Visit the Eiffel Tour during the day and at night. I would rarely recommend visiting the same monument twice in one trip. The Eiffel Tower is an exception. During the day, it’s the perfect backdrop for your Paris-approved touristy photos. At night, it’s like a 989 feet tall disco ball (the photo above will never do it justice). Plus, a convenient food stand below the tower serves delicious hot chocolate. Need I say more?
4. Explore unlikely neighborhoods. While the top tourist attractions are important, don’t forget about the lesser-known districts in Paris, like Le Marais and Montmartre. The Le Marais neighborhood is filled with quaint coffee shops and vintage stores. Montmartre is home to the well-known Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and surrounding the church are several charming streets, like the one above.
5. Experience the department stores. While in Paris, we visited the Galeries Lafayette department store, and it was out-of-this-world amazing. From its intricate window displays to its grand interior, this Parisian department store is truly designed to give customers a unique experience even the non-shopaholics of the world can appreciate.