Things to do in Paris that aren’t the Eiffel Tower
Paris, France. It’s considered the city of love, and a popular choice for those travelling Europe – and for good reason. While some areas naturally dingy or dirty (it is a major city, after all), this is a city of intricate architecture, a fascinating history, and a touch of class that many other places seem to lack.
First-timers to this city will naturally gravitate towards landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe, but what do you do if you’ve done this already?
I’ve just returned from my third visit to Paris, and this time I did things a little differently.
Visit a perfumery
France is big on style and beauty, and they pride themselves on their perfumes. If you’re interested, you can book a tour of a local perfumery where you learn how the floral scents are produced and what goes into making the bottles.
Paris is a modern city, meaning there are plenty of ways to get around. This is handy considering how spread out it is. Dotted around the city you can find a number of electric scooters. Download an app and you can take one out for a spin, but just make sure you keep track of the time as you pay by the minute, and practice a little before hitting the busy roads, as Parisian traffic is kind of insane.
Seek out the best macarons
A staple sweet treat of Paris, you can find macarons at almost every turn. These balls of flavoured goodness are truly tasty and you can say you’ve officially eaten French food, even if you’re too afraid to try the escargot or frogs legs!
See free views overlooking the city
Climbing the Eiffel Tower is something with appeal, but for scanning the vista you can do it without the price tag, and so that the tower is in view as well. Free vantage points include atop the steps leading to the Sacre Coeur and the rooftop level of a department store such as Galeries Lafayette.
Attend the Moulin Rouge
While tickets may appear a little pricey for budget travellers, the Moulin Rouge is certainly an experience. Sitting amongst the ornate decor is mesmerising, and you can sit back and sip on genuine champagne whilst watching the dancers and other performers flaunt their stuff on stage – just keep in mind that many of the dancers will be topless, and that animals could be used in certain acts.
Take a cruise
Taking a river cruise along the Seine, you can get some idea of what’s around the city. It’s a good way to see some areas that you might not necessarily venture to on foot, but you also get to see more notable buildings such as the cathedral of Notre Dame.
Shopping is a huge part of Parisian culture. The Champs Elysees is packed full of designer stores for avid fashion fans or window-shoppers, but if you’re looking for souvenirs, you should generally avoid this more affluent area. You can pick up reasonably priced gifts for those back at the office from mobile street sellers, and there are some cute shops in the Monte Marte area as well – also worth a visit regardless to see street artists dominating the main squares behind the Sacre Coeur.
Spend a day at Disneyland
Disneyland isn’t far from the city, easily reached by local Metro. If visiting in the winter months, you should find less crowds and therefore shorter queues, but if this is the case come prepared for wet weather.
What are your favourite things to do in Paris?