15 Non-Touristy Things To Do in Paris

  • March 17, 2022
  • All things Paris
  • Faith Hotchkiss and Victoire Groz

Are you looking to visit Paris without looking too much like a tourist? Lucky for you we have put together a list of our 15 favorite things to do in Paris that will help you discover the city like a local. This will help you stay out of the crowds and experience all the culture Paris has to offer.

1. Bask in the Glory of the Sainte-Chapelle and Classical Music

Discover the orchestras of Paris at an evening in one of the most famous churches in Paris, the Sainte-Chapelle. This magnificent church is located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris and has much to offer you. Numerous celebrations are held during the week and even on Sundays. So don't wait any longer, come and admire the magnificence and listen to some of the most famous masterpieces in music history!

Buy my tickets to a performance at Sainte-Chapelle!

2. Discover the Different Flavors of Ladurée Macarons

Spread out throughout Paris, the Laudurée macaroons have been a fan favorite amongst the locals. If you find yourself in the Jardin des Tuileries, be sure to stop by the nearest Ladurée and do a tasting with your friends in the garden. There are flavors ranging from pistachio to mimosa to even Marie-Antionette tea. With Spring coming this is the perfect activity to enjoy a weekend in the Parisian sun and all while eating decadent macaroons.

3. Learn about French culture through very Parisian comedy

If you're looking to learn about Parisian culture from the masters, we know exactly who you need to see! The one-man-shows How To Become A Parisian in One Hour and Oh My God She’s Parisian will take you through a crash course for all things Paris! Julie, a long-time Parisian and stand-up comedian will take you through life in Paris post-covid, from social distancing on metros to bicycle traffic jams. You’ll be sure to leave with a new, funnier, perspective on Paris. Alongside that, Olivier Giraud has been teaching visitors How To Become A Parisian in One Hour. During this show, you’ll learn how to dine, date, and almost everything in between. It’ll be sure to leave you in stitches. If you’re looking for a night out full of laughter, look no further!

4. Take a walk down the Grands Boulevards of Paris to discover the Belle Époque

There is no better way to discover the area around the Grands Boulevards district of Paris then by starting at Place de l’Opera. If you arrive from the metro station Pyramides and walk towards Place de l’Opera you are met with a magnificent, flourishing view of Palais Garnier, the famous Italian-style opera house. Take yourself back to the Belle Époque in Paris by walking through these boulevards and seeing cafes, boutiques, restaurants, and theatres adorned with 18th and 19th-century architecture. If at the end of the day you wish to end your night like a true king or queen, book your tickets to see one of the many famous operas playing in Paris.

Book tickets to the opera in Paris!

5. Join the Crazy Horse Cabaret for an exclusive dinner and show

The Cabaret Crazy horse Paris offers packages in partnership with famous Parisian restaurants that serve nothing but the best typical French meals. You can choose between visiting the restaurant before or after the performance and if you’re really feeling up to it, include an exclusive tour of the cabaret! Click on the link in order to book in advance to spend a Parisian evening full of class, sass, and memories that last!

Enjoy dinner and a show with Crazy Horse!

6. Picnic in Buttes Chaumont park

Situated in the northeast of Paris in the 19th arrondissement, Buttes-Chaumont Park is one of the largest green spaces in Paris. As you waltz through the park you will have the privilege of seeing the myriad of trees and birds that call this park home. This hilly park offers beautiful views of the city and even a small basin making it a perfect setting for picnics, reading, or even just basking in the sun.

7. See Cabaret Burlesque on one of Paris’ famous riverboats, La Nouvelle Seine

Sit back and relax on the Seine as you enjoy Cabaret Burlesque, a cheeky and comedic burlesque show. This show breathes new life into the age-old Parisian tradition! Immerse yourself in the Parisian life you’ve always dreamed about by diving into this unbeatable retro cabaret show while drifting down the Seine and drinking a glass of champagne to celebrate.

Spend a night watching cabaret on a riverboat!

8. Have tea and croissants in the garden of The Museum of Romantic Life

This quiet, hidden garden is sure to take you back to the 19th century period of Romanticism. After strolling through the Musée de la Vie Romantique, or Museum of Romantic Life in English, be sure to stop in the garden and have some coffee, tea, or a croissant from the patisserie. Sit, read, or even meditate in this garden made for relaxing and enjoying the company of your friends, family, or even your own!

9. Take advantage of the international side of Paris and visit one of the famous jazz clubs

Looking for jazz in Paris? We know two perfect places for you. Visit Sunset Sunside Jazz Club, A two-level jazz club, for a collection of musical genres to explore. On the ground floor, you’ll find Sunside devoted to acoustic jazz while underground you'll find Sunset, a cozy cave-life club, dedicated to electro-jazz and other international music. If you’re looking for a little more niche vibe head to visit Baiser Salé to see the world's up-and-coming new Latin artists as well as some musical veterans from all around! Get ready for some rock, Latin rhythm, and Caribbean jazz and be a part of this growing international movement of jazz and rock with a Latin flair.

Go out for a Parisian night of jazz!

10. Eat at the Bouillon in Paris and see if you make their Instagram story

Grab a bite to eat Bouillon in Paris. This affordable restaurant is part of the culinary history of the capital and is continuously growing in popularity. Regardless of where you are in Paris, there is most likely one of the Brouillon restaurants fairly close to you. Whether it be the Bouillon Pigalle, the Bouillon Chartier, or the Bouillon Julien. Beautiful plates are served and meals with meat as a specialty are particularly recommended. Before you stick your fork in, don't forget to take a photo and try to make it on their Instagram story!

11. Check out the famous markets at Aligre, Duhesme, Ordener, or Lena

A specialty of Parisian life is to go to the market to buy good fresh, high-quality, local products, whether that be fruits, vegetables, meats, or even flowers. There are several markets in Paris such as Aligre, Duhesme, Ordener or Lena. If you were looking for the perfect way to dive into the life of a Parisian and see how daily life is, this is the activity for you!

12. Go to Place des Batignolles and listen to the musicians on the terrace

The Batignolles district is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Paris. You can go for a walk in the small streets filled with beautiful stores but also sit on the terrace of the Place des Batignolles to have a drink in the evening. This small square has a charming church surrounded by a multitude of small bars which breads the most energetic atmosphere. In addition, there are often musicians who come to share their music with anyone in the area making this place even more of a hidden gem!

13. Visit the small, hidden passages of Paris

The beautiful city of Paris is full of unusual little passages. There are hundreds of them such as the Passage des Soupirs, the Square Montsouris, the Cour du Bel-air, the Passage de l'Ancre, the Cité des Fleurs, or the Cour Damoye. Get lost in the city and find all of the hidden passages that create the perfect ambiance for a Parisian photo shoot!

14. Watch and be amazed by the puppets of Jardin du Luxembourg

Since 1933, the Puppet Theater of the Jardin du Luxembourg, or Luxembourg Garden in English, has been offering theater performances for families and children of all ages. Different plays such as tales or traditional stories are performed there mainly on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and during the summer. Discover this magical place full of familial opportunities in the Luxembourg garden on the side of the rue Guynemer!

15. Take a rowing lesson on the Seine

Discover Paris straight from the Seine! The Val de Seine Nautique Rowing Club offers you the opportunity to learn how to row like in a classic movie. This sporty ride will not only allow you to work on your teamwork skills, but also allow you to discover the wonderful city of Paris from the Seine and away from the crowds!

What kind of experiences in Paris have you had?

If you’ve been to Paris before, are planning a trip, dream of visiting one day, or live in Paris we would love to hear about your experiences in the city through taking our survey! On top of that, we would love to see what kind of knowledge you have about the theatre and events industry. If you would be willing to take the time to help us learn more, click the button below!

Take the survey!