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Exploring Paris and its Hidden Delights: Unique Destinations for the Adventurous Traveler (2023)

To make the best of your trip to Paris, make sure to explore these five distinctive areas that offer a diverse range of experiences.

From charming cobblestone neighborhoods to renowned landmarks and museums, delectable pastries and Jewish delicacies, as well as prime shopping districts, Paris has it all.

By following this guide, you'll gain an authentic local experience and truly immerse yourself in the essence of the city!

1. Montmartre

Montmartre is known as a little Bohemian Village on the hilly northern side of Paris. The cobblestone streets and alleyways, with their cute little brasseries and boutiques, give the area a cozy and village-like atmosphere. Montmartre is also known for the artists that found their home here more than a century ago. Around the famous Basilica, Sacre Coeur, many street artists, Cafes, and souvenir shops exist. Montmartre is also renowned for its lively nightlife and, of course, not to forget, Moulin Rouge for its shows.

Recommended Walking Route to Montmartre

Arrive at the Metro Station, Blanche, which is located right in front of Moulin Rouge. Head into Montmartre by following the street, Rue Lepic, up the hill. Head into Rue des Abbesses, which leads you along a street with shops, boutiques, cafes, and bars.

Recommendations in the area:

Les Petits Mitrons - pastries and cakes (26 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris)

Maison Aleph - modern pastries (63 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris)

L'Atelier d'Amaya - cute jewelry shop

2. Fifth Arrondissement & Latin Quarter

The 5th Arrondissement and the Latin Quarter are known for their prestige high schools, colleges, and universities, such as Sorbonne University. You will also come across monuments, such as the Pantheon, excellent museums, and beautiful gardens. The 5th arrondissement is also renowned for its oldest districts inviting many visitors to its lively neighborhoods.

Recommended Walking Route

Start at the Metro Station, Gobelins, and walk towards Rue Mouffetard Street.

Rue Mouffetard is a hidden gem that locals enjoy spending their weekends at. You find many gourmet shops such as Italian delicatessen, cheese shops, seafood stores, fruit stands, and many gift boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Au P'tit Grec is a famous crepes place.

Continue walking towards Pantheon. Next to Pantheon, there is a beautiful library called Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève.I recommend walking to Jardine du Luxembourg, a beautiful garden where you can relax on green chairs surrounding a fountain. Next, walk towards Notre Dame. In front of Notre Dame on the other side of the river there is popular English Book store called Shakespeare and Company. Inside the bookstore, you have a beautiful view of Notre Dame. Besides the bookstore entrance is the cafe Shakespeare and Company Café, where you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee in the sun or walking along the Seine River.

Recommendations along the way:

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève - (10 Pl. du Panthéon, 75005 Paris)

Jardin du Luxembourg - beautiful park to relax

Shakespeare and Company - english bookstore (37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris)

Shakespeare and Company Café - coffee next door to the bookshop

Ha Hoi 1988 - delicious Vietnamese restaurant in the area (72 Quai des Orfèvres, 75001 Paris, France)

3. Jewish Quarter Marais

Le Marais is home to the best Jewish bakeries and restaurants, as well as beautiful boutiques, cute shops, and historical buildings. The Jewish Quarter is also known for being the most tourist-friendly place in Paris.

Recommended walking route:

Start at Notre Dame and walk towards Hôtel de Ville, a massive building. Once you pass this building, you enter the Jewish Quarter. If you continue walking straight, you pass by BHV Marais, a big department store in Paris. You can spend a few hours shopping inside the mall or just outside along Rue de Rivoli Street.

Recommendations in the Area:

Kilo Shop - Second Hand Shop (69-71 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris, France)

Birdy - Bijoux et Accessoires - gemstone jewelry (5 Rue des Lombards, 75004 Paris, France)

Pralus - delicious Brioche with pink sugar-covered almonds (35 Rue Rambuteau, 75004 Paris, France)

Maison Aleph - cute pastries (20 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris, France)

Chez Marianne - best falafel sandwich (2 Rue des Hospitalières Saint-Gervais, 75004 Paris, France)

Florence Kahn - best pastrami sandwich & Jewish cakes (24 Rue des Ecouffes, 75004 Paris, France)

Eataly - Italian food, gourmet items & gifts (37 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France)

4. Louvre, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Galeries Lafayette

Did you know that the Louvre is the most-visited art museum in the world and was once a fortress to protect the city?

Right in front of the Louvre, you find the Arc de Triumph du Carrousel, which was once built to celebrate Napoleon's victory of 1805. The original intent of the monument was to represent the entrance to the Tuileries Palace (which used to be a royal palace in Paris located on the right of the River Seine, directly in front of the Louvre).

Behind the Arc de Triumph du Carrousel, you find the Tuileries Garden, which invites a pleasant stroll through the area.

Recommended walking route:

Start at Louvre Museum. From there, you will find the iconic glass pyramid and the famous monument, Arc de Triumph du Carrousel. You can head into Tuileries Garden to stroll in the greenery or walk towards the Opera. In front of Place de l'Opéra is a big stair entrance inviting a quick pit stop or coffee break.

From the opera, walk towards the most beautiful mall called Galeries Lafayette. This mall is known for selling luxurious items. However, there are also affordable items, even second-hand and vintage items, available. (I believe on the 3. or 4. floor) And, if shopping is not your thing, head to the rooftop inside the mall for incredible views of the city.

My favorite cafe in the mall is EL&N (pictured above), which sells really aesthetic and delicious food, such as Avocado toast, beautifully decorated smoothies, pastries, and cakes. You can also see the Basilica Sacre Coeur in the distance when dining inside the restaurant.

Recommendations in the Area:

Kintaro - Japanese restaurant (24 Rue Saint-Augustin, 75002 Paris, France)

Hanoï Cà Phê Opéra - Vietnamese restaurant (30 Bd des Italiens, 75009 Paris, France)

Grand Café Capucines - French restaurant (4 Bd des Capucines, 75009 Paris, France)

5. Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees

Recommended Walking Route:

Start at the Eiffel Tower. You can explore the big area around the Eiffel Tower to get incredible photo spots. Tower and the River in one picture is Port Debilly Eifelturm Lookout.

I also recommend bringing your picnic basket and a little blanket and relaxing in the Garden of the Eiffel Tower. In spring and summer, many locals have breakfast or birthday celebrations here.

A walk from the Eiffel Tower to Arc de Triomphe takes approximately 30 mins. From here, you can head straight into Champs-Élysées, where you find many great shopping locations, macarons, and souvenirs.

Miss Kô - Sushi Restaurant (49-51 Av. George V, 75008 Paris, France)

Ladurée - Macarons (75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France)

Other recommendations for eating and shopping in Paris

Du Pain et des Idées - beautiful bakery (34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France)

L'Appartement Sézane - trendy French brand (1 Rue Saint-Fiacre, 75002 Paris, France)

Catacombs of Paris - underground tunnels (1 Av. du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France)

La Galerie Dior - Dior Fashion Expo (book tickets in advance)


Thats it! I hope you enjoy your trip to Paris! Let me know In the comments below what was your favorite part of the city!


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