from €50.00 p/adult
By Katie Lundstrom
With so many things to see in Paris, how can you make sure you see the very best of the city? During your stay in Paris, you’ll want to see the best of the French capital and experience les trucs français - french things - like a local. So here’s a guide to some of Paris’s hidden gems so you can make the most of your time!
This cozy venue just down the rue from La Sorbonne––popular among students––is a great place for a reasonably priced pint and some gypsy jazz. Rodolphe Raffalli leads the band most Mondays and Wednesdays (check their Facebook page for upcoming events) with music that’ll transport you back to the Paris of the 1930s.
Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont is a favorite for enjoying nice weather in Paris––and Rosa Bonheur, located on the eastern side of the park near the Botzaris metro stop, will take your picnic game to the next level. Grab a bottle of wine at a Franprix on your way (I always find that any chilled orange-tinged rosé is best in the heat, and I’ve never been disappointed by a bottom shelf Cotes du Rhône when you need red), and then pick up the top-notch tapas-style picnic supplies they’ve got for sale at the back of the restaurant. Then wander the park ‘til you’ve found your spot, slurp your wine, and wander some more.
This stunning mosque is worth seeing whether you’re up for a gommage or not––but I’d highly recommend it, as would half the ladies in Paris. As you walk in off the corner, just across from the Natural History Museum and the Jardin des Plantes, the open courtyard features a fraction of the beautiful architecture and mosaics that the building holds. So while you could merely sit at a table with a tea and appreciate a fraction of the mosque, completed in 1922, it’s best experienced from within––in the hammam. It costs 18 euros for an entry into the steam rooms, but a package including a massage and gommage is the way to go. The women there will treat you with a firm, but caring touch, and you’ll emerge feeling like a brand new person.
Similar to New York City’s High Line, the Promenade Plantée is an elevated walkway, flanked by gardens with decorative ponds, trellises and sculptures. What used to just be an abandoned 19th century viaduct was converted in 1993, and it’s become a welcome and peaceful, green respite from the busyness of the streets below. Accessible by stairway or elevator, the path starts near Bastille and traverses three miles to the Bois de Vincennes––a large park just outside the périphérique (the highway that goes all the way around Paris’ city limits) to the east.
While Paris isn’t known for its beer, there are certainly some excellent connoisseurs in the city, and La Fine Mousse houses the best of the best. With 20 different beers on tap at any given time, the bartenders are always excited to nerd out about beers from all over the world, and recommend libations for a wide variety of palates. Their restaurant across the street pairs the beers with specialized multi-course menus that change regularly, and if you’re willing to splurge a little, it’s certainly worth the visit.
Although having wine along the Seine is lovely, the canal up in the 10th takes you a little further away from the bustle of the city center. Lined with shops, cafés and bars, the canal has a slightly more hip vibe on summer evenings than the city’s main waterway, and it becomes a lively meeting spot for an apéro en pleine air.
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