- 23, Nov 2018
- All things Paris
- Rupert Comer
Get off the beaten cobble stones!
Welcome to Paris! Below is a curated list of the ten most unique, non-touristy things to do in Paris. If you're looking to have an eccentric and unforgettable stay, while blending in with the locals, then this is the list for you. Enjoy!
1. Walk with the Women of Paris
For a more unique and focused way to visit a city there is Women of Paris. They offer guided tours of Paris, exploring all of the city’s amazing and influential female figures throughout history. Get to know the lesser-known side of the city, from Gertrude Stein to amazing female pastry chefs in this expat-led tour, #girlpower! Read more about the Women of Paris tours, and book here.
2. Comedy night with local Parisians
Don't worry, it's in English! Humour may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Paris, but proving us all wrong are native comedians Julie Collas and Olivier Giraud, taking the Parisian stages by storm with shows like "Oh My God She's Parisian" and "How to Become Parisian in One Hour". Tickets can be booked in English here.
3. Take a tour in a classic French car
For a quick trip to see all the major sites, there’s no better than a journey down the Seine River on a tour boat, the Bateaux Mouches. But for a bit more of an adventurous view of Paris à la française, what better than to hit the streets in the most quintessentially French antique car, the 2 Chevaux, France's answer to the Volkswagen Beetle! Best picks: 2CVPARISTOUR and 4 roues sous 1 parapluie.
4. Visit a romantic Paris museum
If you're looking to avoid the bustling crowds at the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay, there are two more intimate alternative museums. The first that comes to mind is the Musée de la vie Romantique, where you can look at Romantic paintings in a charming house near Montmartre. There is also the Musée Rodin, a house and garden filled with works by renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin, most famous for his sculpture "The Thinker".
5. Discover a street art tour of Paris
You don't have to go to a museum to enjoy some of Paris' best art. Why not hit the streets, and try a unique street art tour? From tiled space invaders, to mysterious mirrors diamonds, the walls of Paris are alive with their very own art. Visit many different multicultural neighbourhoods of the city, and learn about their local charms through the artwork itself!
6. BROADWAY à la parisienne...
Broadway in Paris? From Grease to Chicago the Musical, the French actually adore dazzling musical productions - so much so that there's an entire theatre dedicated just to musicals. Sometimes the originals are respected and in English, and other times in French (easy-to-read translations provided, of course). So if you're looking to venture away from the cabarets...check out which musical spectacles are going on here.
7. Bake your own Parisian treats
Why spend a fortune on a macaroon gift box, when you can make your own! Dig your hands straight into French patisserie and take a cooking class. Not only do you get to sit down with the chefs and eat your delicious creations after the lesson, but you get to take home the recipes to make your new French dishes again and again! For French cooking classes in English, try: La Cuisine Paris and L'Atelier des Sens.
8. Visit the COmptoir General, a living museum and bar!
Avoid the overly-priced establishments close to the monuments, and venture into this unique bar/museum/flea market. Enter the treasure trove in the two rooms and bars at the Comptoir General, aptly self-titled the “Ghetto Museum,” and sip on exotic fruit cocktails on a brightly coloured velour couch. Perfect to continue the evening after a picnic on the Canal St Martin, beware, the Comptoir General can often get quite busy during the weekends.
9. Let a local guide you around Paris
The classic guidebooks are extensive and do usually have practical information, but not only do the writers usually not live in the places they're writing about, there's nothing quite like following in the footsteps of a local. Some local blogs we highly recommend (other than our All Things Paris blog, of course) are Je T'Aime, Me Neither (pictured), Secrets of Paris, and Messy Nessy Chic's don't be a tourist guide to Paris.
10. Get some classic French theatre
What if we told you that you could see a classic French play in a beautiful traditional theatre, with the aid of English subtitles? The world of French theatre is now being opened up to English-speakers, so you don't have to worry about the language barrier. From Molière to Hugo, many classics are available in theatres all across the capital. Grab your tickets here.
So there you have it, our list of ten unique Paris activities. If you're looking for more things to do in Paris over the Christmas holidays, then check out our December events calendar, with suggestions for shows, exhibitions and events in the city.