Things to do in Paris
My original plan was to live in France for a year and explore various cities, learn French, eat loads of French pastries, French cheese and learn baking the Parisian way. But as the events unfolded, I had to cut short my visit. I compensated my shortened stay with the visit to other European cities including Amsterdam, Istanbul, and Prague.
I am certain you have come across millions of beautiful touristy pictures of Paris. During my visit, I have tried to cover the non-touristy beauty of Paris too. These are things to do in Paris my way, by blending touristy and non-touristy things.
I managed to take a ton of pictures and sharing some of them on this blog, more pictures would be in the upcoming photography section.
These pictures are my way of paying homage to the local artists and the people who run the stalls on the sidewalks and it’s ubiquitous. I invite you to walk with me on the streets of Paris.
I certainly think it helps showcase the real characteristics of the city. It helps to convey the wholesome feeling of being there in the moment.
There are green colored roadside stalls by the river Seine. I saw some stalls were open and some closed. I believe they are open on allocated days. I love the intrinsic details of how they showcase the souvenirs, keeping the vintage feel intact. The beautiful oil paintings in a varied range of season from spring, summer, fall and winter and the postcards, magnets, coasters with live music being played, all these together brew up a most magical moment of being in Paris.
Paris flea market is huge and great go to place for treasure hunters. They carry vintage toys, cutlery, utensils, crockery, furniture, newspapers, comics and chandeliers among other items. They run Saturday thru Monday, timing varies.
Traveling in off-season works out very well as it helps to get best deals with Hotels and you spend less time waiting in line for the tourist sights. The best off-season times to visit Paris are spring and fall, the only catch is to pack more layers.
Be aware of pickpockets, throughout Europe.
One of the favorite things to do in Paris both for the locals and the tourists, is to enjoy a picnic with their loved once at various picnic places like Pont Neuf.
Sacre Coeur, Montmartre -The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris has a panoramic city view. Hillside park is engulfed with groups of tourists and locals enjoying their picnic and musicians playing live music on the steps. To avoid the crowd, utilize the back side to climb the hill up to the cliff railway and then join the main steps to Sacre Coeur.
Regular metro ticket can be utilized for cliff railway.
I opted for Airbnb for the accommodation, it worked out well. I stayed near Rue Saint-Joseph, Paris, France.
Spring calls for rainy days, be sure to bring along an umbrella or rain coat and some layers for the cold weather.
If you can get your hands on Amorino ice cream, don’t miss. Even though I was visiting in early spring I dabbled with few scoops of ice cream. The best of what I tried was pistachio sorbet. They layer it beautifully to make rose shape ice cream. After all, Paris is all about the art.
I did indulge in some shopping for myself, Repetto and Chanel.
You can claim VAT on the airport before you leave the country. Remember to have the goods along with you at the airport. Procedure for claiming VAT is:
- Fill up the Tax free form.
- Make sure to have enough time at the airport. Only stamped or Pablo validated forms are accepted.
- You can get Cash or Credit card.
- Incomplete form or goods not in hand luggage, equals to no refund.
Trocadéro – Palais de Chaillot, has the best possible view of Eiffel Tower across the river Seine. It is always packed with tourists, musicians playing live music, singing, dancing and merrymaking and the clink of the souvenir sellers. The sensational aroma of chocolate crepes being made on the stalls around the corner and a local rose seller, the concoction gives you the most romantic evening with a sparkling Eiffel Tower view. You will wish to hold the moment still and hope the night never comes to an end.
Its unusual at first but you get acquainted with the idea that all tourist areas are surrounded with high security. Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris and many other tourist sights has military or police presence along with an ambulance and at times fire-brigade.
Rue Montorgueil comes to life in the evening, all the restaurants and bars are packed and the beautiful chaos adds to the vibrant Parisian lifestyle.
I usually don’t opt for Indian food when traveling, but the aroma from Bollynaan was irresistible. The fresh naan is a must try if you enjoy the north Indian food.
Hot mulled wine or as said Vin Chaud is a warm soothing drink, infused with winter spices.
Thank you for stopping by. Do read more on my experience in Paris on the links below:
- Le Compas, Paris Montorgueil
- Amorino – Gelato Al Naturale
- Tax-Free Shopping in France
- Bollynaan at Rue Montorgueil
- Camera : Nikon D5300 and iPhone 6 Plus.
I would Love to hear your experience of the beautiful city and your favorite things to do in Paris.