The meeting’s over. You’ve got a little time to explore. It’s your chance to get out of that hotel room, get off the beaten path, and experience the culture, the flavor, and the people of Paris.
We’ve pulled together some of our favorite activities and places in the City of Lights, the ones many travelers never have a chance to experience. Of course, since it’s Paris, we’ve included more gastronomic delights than usual on our list. Next time you’re in town with a few free hours, check out the list below and go home with your best stories ever.
1. Start your day with the famous African hot chocolate and sinfully rich pastries at Angelina’s Salon de Thé in the first arrondissement. Get there before 11am to beat the lines — locals and travelers alike are magnetically drawn to the irresistible fragrance.
2. Wander the narrow, historic streets of Le Marais, Paris’s arrondissement of aristocrats. You’ll see medieval and Renaissance architecture plus loads of artisan boutiques, galleries, lavish squares, and unique French character.
3. Refresh yourself with a plate of andouillette, pommes frites, and a glass of silky Morgon cru Beaujolais at Ma Bourgogne, a wine bistro cherished by Parisians. You’ll find it on the elegant Place de Vosges, one of the loveliest squares in Le Marais.
4. Visit the recently built Museé du quai Branly to see a treasure trove of non-Western indigenous art of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. The buildings and gardens are architecturally fascinating, too.
5. For dinner, stop in at Le Florimond, a warm, welcoming, neighborhood bistro in the seventh arrondissement that serves up mouth-watering traditional French food. Be sure to call ahead to make a reservation.
6. After dinner, you must try the best ice cream in France, so hop on the Metro, take a taxi, or walk off your dinner and head to Berthillon on the Ilê Saint-Louis. Watch the boats go by on the Seine as you lap up a scoop of completely natural ice-cream goodness.
We’ll be doing regular roundups of trailblazing travel-experience tips for more destinations around the globe, so check back often. Bon voyage!
Photo attribution (Le Marais): Bolshakov
Photo attribution (Musée du quai Branly): Paolo Rosa