As the world reawakens, we’re all excited to travel. But the thought of being caught in a thick crowd of strangers? Not so appealing. Here’s how to experience Paris away from the throngs of tourists.
Sit for an Artist Sketch in Montmartre
Paris is a city known for its art museums, so bring home the ultimate souvenir: a portrait of yourself painted by one of the many incredible artists living in Montmartre. Wander the neighborhood, peeking at the various artists and their work, then choose the style that most appeals to you.
People-Watch at a Sidewalk Cafe
Take a note from those chic Parisians and wile away the hours at a sidewalk cafe – bonus if it’s summertime and the weather is lovely. Pull up a chair at one of the teeny tables and watch as authentic Paris life unfolds before you. No matter what the time, coffee and wine are always acceptable here and, of course, you should enjoy a pastry (or three) while you’re there.
Have a Picnic in Tuileries Garden
Grab a jambon-beurre sandwich, cheese and wine (don’t forget a box of bonbons or macarons for dessert) and head for lovely Tuileries Garden for a pleasant picnic. Imagine yourself as royalty as you set up a blanket on one of the expansive lawns with views of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay and the Champs-Élysées.
Take a City Tour in a Sidecar
Discover Paris’ hidden treasures on a retro sidecar tour. With an expert “sidecarist” at your side, you’ll feel the charm of the city as you zip around, from Montmartre’s cobbled streets, the Place Dauphine and the famous flower market, to the Latin Quarter, the Sorbonne and the Roman amphitheater of Lutetia.
Visit the Paris Flea Market
Spend all day at Les Puces flea market, the largest of its kind in the world. For the best antiques and vintage treasures, get there early on a Saturday or Sunday. Browse the endless and colorful stalls for clothing and jewelry, household objects, furniture, decorative pieces and more. Expert tip: Take a tour of the market with an expert vintage shopper who can help you hunt out that perfect antique piece for your home!
Enjoy Rooftop Views
Want all the vistas you’d get from the Eiffel Tower, but without the tourists? Well, from atop the Galeries Lafayette (the flagship department store of the Galeries and one of Paris’ “Grands Magasins”), you’ll be able to see the Tour Eiffel itself, as well as Palais Garnier opera house and the rooftops of Paris. Head on over to the Galeries’ location at 40 Boulevard Haussmann and make your way to the seventh floor. The “Terrasse” is open daily, weather permitting.