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Paris - Something New

I've been to Paris a number of times and travelled the tourist trail. I'm heading back in March to visit a friend who is living there.

Any ideas of different things to do that are unknown or unique?

Posted by
881 posts

Your friend is probably more qualified to answer that question since they live there. Also, your friend's friends are a great resource as well. Come back and let us know of anything unique they recommend. Have a great trip.

Posted by
2033 posts

You might try looking through Annabel Simms' books, "An Hour From Paris" or "Half An Hour From Paris." We've found some great experiences looking through them. They were both available through amazon.com/

Posted by
8293 posts

It would certainly be a wonder if anything in Paris, after hundreds of years and millions of visitors, is "unknown". If you will settle for lesser known, visit the grave of Simone de Beauvoir in the Montparnasse Cemetery. Visit the Institut Arabique, if only for the architecture. Take the No. 42 bus for its entire route, from Tourist Paris to Parisians' Paris, or go to the Science Park at la Villette. The small Musee de Montmartre is not on the radar for most tourists, I think. As for "unique"? Ask your friend.

Posted by
4647 posts

Take a look at David Downie's "Paris, paris: Journey into the City of Light." It's a lovely book, and he writes about several off-the-beaten-path museums and other attractions.

Posted by
8293 posts

One more thing. If you are at all interested in Parisian city planning, the Pavillon de l’Arsenal , at Bastille, is worth a visit. Entrance used to be free but that may have changed since I was there. You will not have to deal with crowds. I think there were 20 others there when we visited.

Posted by
3525 posts

Access rules have changed, but I really enjoyed the Pasteur museum at the Pasteur Institute. Not only was there many interesting artifacts from the amazing range of scientific research done by Pasteur, but there was his apartment to tour which is very much a sort of "time capsule", and his highly decorated crypt.

After some of the attacks in Paris, I believe security was changed a few years ago to only allow for group tours instead of individuals walking in. If you could find such a group to join, you would enjoy this little known museum immensely.

https://www.pasteur.fr/en/institut-pasteur/museum

Posted by
3992 posts

I second the Musee Montmartre. Its a wonderful overview of the area and the artists that lived there. Also lovely views from their garden. I did the Montmartre Paris Walks and then went to the museum on my own. Montmartre was moderately busy, the museum was not. If you haven't done Victor Hugo's house that was interesting, and free!

Posted by
7694 posts

Agree with Jane--anything written by David Downie is a gem. Wonderful writer.

As for the Paris book, I read chapters aloud to my Paris born-n-raised husband. We both learned a lot about Paris from David Downie, despite our decades in the City.

Posted by
8293 posts

So, Cath from Oz ......... are any of the suggestions in the above posts interesting for you?

Posted by
7694 posts

Gotta wait a bit because it’s summer down there. CATH probably isn’t hovering over her computer indoors like us northerners.

Posted by
1076 posts

Check out the Van Gogh exhibit at thr Atelier des Lumieres. The Klimt exhibit this past year was stunning.
The Grand Mosque s pretty stunning and has a nice cafe.
Another idea is the Nissim de Camondo Museum ( if you like stately mansions) and the nearby Parc Monceau.

Posted by
9832 posts

As I am planning a brief 4 night return to Paris, I will share what is on my plan for those days as we have spent a total of 3 weeks there in the past 4 years. Only one item is a repeat from past visits.

  1. Walk the Promenade Plantee from The Bastille to Bois di Vincennes and visit Chateau di Vincennes
  2. Foundation Louis Vuitton Museum
  3. Basilica of St. Denis
  4. Musee d’Orsay (repeat but it has been 4 years and we loved it)
  5. Parc Buttes Chamont
  6. A Paris Walks tour we haven’t taken if it strikes our fancy

And of course, simply stroll and enjoy.

You might have a look at this article from CNN Traveler.

Posted by
1025 posts

On our recent trip we went to the Musee Marmottan. This museum contains the world's largest collection of Monet paintings, including Impression Sunrise.

We also enjoyed walking around Parc Monceau.

Posted by
4647 posts

A couple of the places people have mentioned are on my "maybe" list for this coming summer: Parc Monceau, the Nissim de Camondo Museum, and St Denis. I will also check out the Van Gogh exhibit at the Atelier des Lumieres. Funny, this is one of the things we talked about at our travel group meeting this morning: things to do in Paris that are a bit out of the ordinary. I'll pass it on to our group members. One also mentioned the Maritime Museum; I didn't know about that one.

I'm also looking at the Musée des Arts et Metiers - Arts and Crafts Museum.

Keep the suggestions coming, folks!

Posted by
640 posts

Cath, a few questions... what dates will you be there? What do you and your friend like to do (other than hours of catching up!) I have some thoughts but they’re date-specific. For example, the Salon d’agriculture is concluding the first weekend in March. All regions of France are represented: farm to table, including all the foods and wines, the animals, the crops, and the farm families. Three times the size of a state fair if the focus was food and gastronomy without the amusements and deep-fried everything. One of the best things I’ve ever been to in France.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everyone - I will be there in March.

I love the reading suggestions and will get onto that asap.

I also love the suggestions of some of the smaller attractions. Certainly some great ideas for lesser known places, as much as I lvoe the regular tourist spots - one can't go to Paris without a peak at Le Tour Eiffel.

Posted by
11266 posts

I haven't been in about 10 years, but I enjoyed the Museum of Counterfeits, near the Porte Dauphine metro. It not only has the expected things like fake designer purses, but more sinister things like fake medicines and car parts that have caused fatalities. As a bonus, the Porte Dauphine metro is one of the very few that still has an intact glass canopy. Website in French only, but you can use Google Translate: https://musee-contrefacon.com/

In 2018 the Gobelins museum had a great exhibit on 100 years of tapestries, featuring some that were done by famous artists. It was truly amazing to see how threads could be made to look like a watercolor wash, or like paint put on with a palette knife! I don't know what's on show there now, but it's worth looking into. Website in French only: http://www.mobiliernational.culture.gouv.fr/