Secret Spots in Paris: Visit the roads less travelled

So you’ve been in Paris for a while and you feel like you’ve seen all there is to see as far as major monuments. It’s time to explore the roads less traveled in Paris, find spots that you can call your own and assert yourself as a true Parisien. We don’t claim to know every spot in the city, but here’s a list of must-see places to get you started.

 

Amazing Architecture

IMG_9450

Richelieu Library

Built during the height of the Industrial Revolution, this beautiful library showcases a seamless blend of the newest technology of the time and classical architecture. The library can only be accessed by graduate art history students studying in Paris but a little sweet talking with the security guard will get you a peek.

 

IMG_7256 

               IMG_8167

Petit Palais

An amazing art museum with an eclectic collection in its own right, the Petit Palais has one of the most beautiful interiors in Paris, in my opinion. A spectacular example of Rococo turned Romantic architecture, walking through the building feels like floating. Don’t miss the Roman-style courtyard complete with a small cafe, perfect for sunny days in Paris.

 

IMG_2477

Galerie Vivienne

One of the first indoor shopping malls in Paris, Galerie Vivienne is a great place to window shop or catch artisans in the middle of their craft. During Christmas, the Galerie is strung up with dazzling lights and wreaths, making it a happy surprise when one turns the corner into an unexpected winter wonderland.

 

Best Views in the City

IMG_0232

Galerie Lafayette

One may say the best place to see Paris is the Eiffel Tower, but then you can’t see the Eiffel Tower! The Galerie Lafayette is one of the highest points of the city and offers spectacular views of all your favorite monuments. During Christmas, the mall is decked out in twinkling lights and a huge, decorated Christmas tree. Don’t miss out!

Musée d’Orsay Balcony

On the fifth floor of the Musee d’Orsay lies a secret gem. The balcony off of the fifth-floor cafe offers stunning panoramic views of the city, stretching all the way to Montmartre. It’s a great way to end the day at the museum.

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 4.03.50 PM

Notre Dame Tower

Another great alternative for stunning Paris views is to climb the towers of Notre Dame. It is free for people under 26 to climb up the 422 steps for breathtaking views of Ile de Cite and the Seine.

Gardens

IMG_4092

Rodin Museum Gardens

The Rodin Museum is a great alternative to the crowded Musee D’Orsay and the Louvre. It has a stunning collection of Rodin’s works as well as other sculptors from the 19th century. Complete with an outdoor sculpture garden, the Rodin Museum is a perfect location for a sunny afternoon and some light reading.

Park at Pont Neuf

Fun Fact: Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris, despite its name meaning “New Bridge”. At the base of the bridge is a small park that looks out over the Seine. It’s a very popular spot for local young people to bring wine and snacks for a picnic, especially in the evenings.

Parc Bercy and Village 

If you are really looking for places off the beaten path, head to the 12th arrondissement and check out Parc Bercy. Built in the 90s to incorporate more green space into Paris, the eclectic park consists of three small gardens connected by footbridges. Next to the park is the Bercy Village, a cute shopping and dining area created out of old wine caverns.

FullSizeRender-1

Place des Vosges

 A popular rest spot for local Parisiens, this park is a great place for a picnic and a nap on a sunny day. Place des Vosges is one of the only parks in Paris where people are allowed to go on the grass, so take advantage of it. Located in a former palace courtyard, the park offers views of stunning architecture and great people watching.

What if you could discover the French “savoir-faire” with a local craftsman “artisant” ?

This is what the website Lebonatelier proposes. Spend a day or 2 learning about french crafts like making a ceramic bowl or weaving your own art wall. And get you a real souvenir from France!

Check out this article for more secret spots in Paris. Happy exploring!

Need furniture for your Paris flat?

Moving to a new apartment in a foreign country is hard enough without having to worry about furnishing it from scratch. Buying furniture can be expensive, but not if you know where to look. Read this article for our recommendations for affordable places to buy furniture in Paris.

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 10.48.13 AM

New Furniture

Tati

Tati is a great source for cheap household goods in Paris, with many locations across the country and in Paris. See a full list here. The store is a one-stop shop for everything you could need, from appliances to utensils, to even clothing.

 

Maisons du Monde

This store is a great option for the stylish decorator, known for its cute decor and modern furniture. They are frequently having sales so check them out for some bargains on quality furnishings. See all locations in Paris here.

 

Ikea

Everybody’s favorite build-it-yourself store, Ikea is always a good option for affordable goods. Unfortunately, there is no location in Paris but one is coming soon, hopefully by Summer of 2019. Otherwise make the trek to the branch outside the city, accessible by the bus stop at 77 Boulevard Saint-Jacques or by car. I do not recommend this if you do not have a car, as the bus can be unreliable and it can be difficult to transport all your furniture back by yourself. Ordering online is your safest bet. 

New location: 15 Boulevard de la Madeleine, 75001 Paris

 

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 10.49.52 AM

 

Used Furniture

Le Bon Coin

Le Bon Coin is a French online trading site for anything from used furniture to hand-me-down shoes. You can find some great deals here so don’t miss out. I would recommend being a good French speaker or at least having one nearby in order to successfully complete transactions. This site is also a good option for selling furniture when you leave Paris.

 

Emmaus

The equivalent of Goodwill for you Americans out there, Emmaus is a great option for second-hand items of all shapes and sizes. An NGO and donation-based, Emmaus will be your cheapest option for household items. It is also a great place to donate your furniture when you leave Paris. Check the website for all store locations in Paris. 

 

Happy bargain hunting!