Paris insider tips!

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Follow these Paris insider tips for the perfect stay in the city of love. There are hundreds of guidebooks, top 10 lists and highlight blog posts about Paris out there and you know the most famous sights of the city of love for sure, like Tour Eiffel, Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Champ de Mars. That’s why I want to take you to my favourite places in Paris apart from crowds of tourists.

 

Watching the sunset in the green: Coulée verte

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

On a former railway track which was closed down in the 60s a green oasis in the middle of Paris was created, the promenade plantée or coulée verte. If you fancy a little walk away from the hustle bustle the green 5 kilometres track is the perfect getaway. Ten meters above the ground represents a welcome alternative to the overcrowded parks in Paris and gives a new perspective on the city.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

A real insider tip is to watch the sunset which takes places in the crossing of the Promenade Plantée and Rue Ledru-Rollin. Bring some snacks and a bottle of Chablis and enjoy the evening on a bench in the green watching the sunset there.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Afterwards few bars are waiting in the arches under the track for another drink or dinner.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

How to get there:
Bus 21 or 61 to Daumesnil – Ledru Rollin or Metro to Ledru Rollin
address: 69 Rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris

 

Stroll through the „Berlin of Paris“: area around Canal St. Martin

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

For me personally, the area of Canal St. Martin feels like Berlin Kreuzberg: various ethnical groups, shabby-chic atmosphere, a mix of Kebap stores, fancy coffees, street art and trendy vegan restaurants.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

I love to stroll around in this area and discover new places to eat. Find some of my favourite restaurants and cafés here:

IMA Vegetarian Restaurant and coffee shop

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

IMA is a trendy hipster spot along Canal St Martin. Its interior is fine, contemporary with an oriental mosaic and its menu is heaven for vegetarians. The meals are inspired by Mediterranean cuisines.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

How to get to IMA:
39 quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris

Le Sésame

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

This is a cute coffee place directly located at the Canal. Cool, stylish interior, good coffee, a decent breakfast choice, bagels and light lunch meals are waiting for you. A comfy bench with many pillows and some books available for reading invite for a relaxed afternoon.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

How to get to Le Sésame:
51 Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris

Jules et Shim – pique-nique Coréen

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Enjoy traditional Korean finger food and bowls. This place is mainly to take away food, however, there are few seats available in and in front of the little shop.

How to get to Jules et Shim:
22 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris

 

Chez Dom

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Another stylish café and restaurant. It is small, cosy with familiar atmosphere – perfect for a relaxed brunch or lunch. The food is fresh, healthy with a good choice of vegetarian dishes but also great soul food like my favourite carrot cake with cream cheese topping. Enjoy!

How to get to Chez Dom:
51 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris

 

Discover the remaining of the ancient Paris: Old passages

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

In the area of the 9th and 12th arrondissement stretch some pretty passages (little alleys with roof) in Osmanian Style. The prettiest is Galerie Viviene with it’s impressing colourful mosaic floor and the beautiful roof out of glass. It is especially worth going there during Christmas time due to thousands of sparkling lights. But Galerie Vivienne is also worth to go for a coffee or snack at Bistro Vivienne or for some souvenir shopping as there are many little shops of original, good quality souvenirs and fancy postcards. It is perfect to visit on a rainy, cold day.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

How to get there:
Bus 29 to Bibliothèque Nationale or Metro to Bourse
address: 4 Rue des Petits Champs, 75002 Paris

Further passages in the surrounding are Passage des Panoramas, Passage Verdeau, Passage Jouffroy or Galerie Colbert, all worth to stroll through.

Passage des Panoramas:

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

 

Passage Verdeau:

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Passage Jouffroy:

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

 

Feel the pomposity of old Paris: Palais Garnier

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Stop! Don’t scroll further down, only because you read „opera“. Opera Garnier is open for visitors and a very worth a stop. The whole interior resembles a  wonderful castle and may make you feel like in former times in Paris. The opera was built by order of Napoleon III  in the 18th century and counts as one of the most beautiful theatres in the world. The interior is exceptional opulent in Neo-Baroque style and unique in Paris. Big stairways, high painted ceilings and rich decoration with gold and velvet represent the characteristic baroque style.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

The highlight of the Opera is the Grand Foyer, a long opulent hall dominated of gold and a big painting of Paul Baudry on the ceiling telling about the history of music. Mirrors and many little details create the sumptuousness of the Grand Foyer. On the ground level is a small exhibition about the opera as well as fancy costumes of past plays.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

How to get there:
Bus 20, 21, 27, 29 or 95 to Auber or  Bus 42, 68, 81 to Opera or RER A to Auber
Address: 8 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris

 

Film set of „Amélie“: Canal St. Martin

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

The canal represents the connection between Canal de l’ Ourcq and the Seine. It draws a shabby-chic clientele and various restaurants, cosy cafés and international cuisine can be found. The border of Canal St. Martin invites to stroll along, enjoy the sun or even to have a run through the city. It might be that some places ring a bell in your head – yes, some scenes of „The fabulous life of Amélie Poulain“ were filmed at the quays and the iron bridges.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

In the northern end of Canal St. Martin is Parc de la Villette which hosts some music and science museums. In summer an open-air cinema is built up in the park and you can have a picnic in the grass while watching a movie.

How to get there:
Metro 2 or 5 to Jaurés or Colonel Fabien or Bus 46 to Canal Saint-Martin
For Parc de Villette: Metro 7 to Porte de la Villette or Metro 5 to Porte de Pantin

 

Street Art in Paris? Check out Salvador Dalí’s sun clock

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

You can find free art from Salvador Dalí, almost not visible and located at a not at all spectacular corner in Paris. Only some meters away from Notre Dame at 27 Rue Saint-Jacques street hangs a sun clock created by Dali. It was installed in 1966 within a ceremony with Dalí himself. Some say the clock which has the shape of a head represents the pilgrimage of St. Jacques de Compostella after whom the street is named. Others claim that it is a self-portrait of Dalí. Unfortunately, the clock doesn’t work. However check it out, it is probably the only free street art by Dalí of the world.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

How to get there:
Metro 10 to Cluny – La Sorbonne or Bus 24, 47, 63, 86, 87 to Dante
Address: 27 Rue Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris

 

Point Zero.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Every Paris tourist probably passed it, maybe even stepped on it without realizing its meaning: a little bronze spot on the square in front of Notre Dame. It is the measuring point for all distances in Paris and serves as the most central spot in the city. Many traditions came up in the past about this spot: Jumping around on one leg is for good luck or kissing your beloved on the spot which is supposed to bind you together for eternity.

How to get there:
RER B, C or Metro 4 to Saint Michel – Notre-Dame or Bus 47 to Cité – Parvis Notre Dame
Address: Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris

 

Enjoy a cool summer night at Square du Vert-Galant on Ile de la Cité

This is a real inside tip of Paris for warm summer nights. Instead of pic-nicing with the crowds at Champ de Mars or Parc de Luxembourg, go to the front peak of the little Parc Square du Vert-Galant with a great view on the Seine, however far away from the hustle bustle of the city.

How to get there:
Metro 7 to Point Neuf or Bus 27 to Pont Neuf – Quai des Orfevres

 

Dinner on the island of Bois de Boulogne

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

In Paris, I’m always happy about a calm break at a spot away from the hustle bustle and the heat in Paris – especially in summer. Bois de Boulogne which does not only have a positive reputation offers a welcome break away from the crowds. A huge park located in the 16th arrondissement with some lakes (not for swimming), little waterfalls, a botanical garden and two horse raising tracks and many more amusement things which were created by Napoleon III. The biggest lake, Lac Inferieur is perfect for a walk or a run around. In summer you can rent rowing boats and cruise along the lake.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

But my personal highlight, which does not represent the typical Paris at all, is a restaurant called „Chalet des Iles“ which is located on a little island in the middle of the lake. A boat will bring you there. Take a sundowner here or spoil yourself with a fancy (a bit overpriced) dinner while enjoying the relaxed view on the lake with its many swans and ducks. Also, it feels way more chilly here than in an over-crowded brasserie in the city centre.

How to get there:
RER C to Avenue Henri Martin or Metro 9 to Ranelagh. Then follow the way to Lac Inferior.

 

Spot celebrities of Paris at La Closerie des Lilas

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

You probably read about Café Le Deux Magots or Le Café de Fleur where Parisian philosophers used to eat in former times. At weekends tourists queue in front of these places in order to take pictures or even spot celebrities. Don’t go to these overcrowded cafés and force yourself to drink an overpriced coffee in a busy atmosphere. Instead if you really desperately want to hunt celebrities in Paris go to Closerie des Lilas, an expensive but high-quality restaurant. It is where the intelligentsia hung out in the beginning of the 20th century and is still a pretty spot to be nowadays. Separated from the hustle bustle of the street by big green plants and located at an unimpressive corner of Paris this place feels more exclusive and is way less touristy than the typical other philosopher cafés.

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

How to get there:
Metro 4 to Vavin or RER B to Port Royal
address: 171 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris

 

Best views of the Eiffel Tower

Check this blog post: Best, free views on the Eiffel tower

And my last tip:

leave your guidebook at home, switch your phone off and just wander through the streets. I promise you will be rewarded by beautiful facades, cosy coffees and unexpected views at the Eiffel tower around a surprising corner!

Insider tips Paris! Don't miss these secret places in Paris - my personal Top 10 things to do in Paris

Never stop exploring! #Maria

 

One thought on “Paris insider tips!

  1. Thanks for taking me along on your trip through Paris with your words and photos! I have some new places to visit the next time I’m there.

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