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Unique experiences for 4 days in Paris, please?

I am very excited to be returning to Paris this fall! We will end our road trip part of the vacation traveling through Bretagne and Dordogne with four nights in Paris.

I’ve made a reservation to stay on Ile St. Louis thanks to Susan’s and others’ recommendations here. However, I still want to explore some other options in hopes we can save a bit of money, and maybe have an apartment. I’m not sure if there are apartment choices on Ile Saint Louis for less than a week’s stay.

We’ve been fortunate to visit Paris in the past and have seen many of the main tourist attractions. This time I’m looking to revisit some of our favorites, and also do a few things that are new to us. We plan to have ample time to wander, and just sit in cafés and watch the world go by. So I’m seeking recommendations for unique experiences to add to our days.

Wish list so far:
* attend a concert in Sainte Chapelle
*enjoy some hot chocolate at Angelina or Jacques Genin
*revisit the Impressionist Gallery at Musee d’Orsay
* Perhaps take a Citroen night tour around the city?
*Take a great walking tour - looking for specific guides/tours if possible, please

Thanks for any recommendations!

Laurie :-)

Posted by
115 posts

This was something cool and unique I did once. Really enjoyed it. Used to be much harder to get on a tour there (took me several attempts during different trips to finally get on one years ago), but they seemed to have broadened their access to individual visitors now.

https://arts-forains.com/en

Also, if you've never visited Père Lachaise that interesting and beautiful in the fall.

Posted by
1337 posts

If you Google "AIRBNB Experiences Paris" you will pull up a list of all their offerings. You might find something unique there.

Posted by
76 posts

If you haven't done it, a stroll through Parc Butte Chaumont is great and head to Canal St. Martin and to the Pavillion des Canaux for a fun cafe experience.

Posted by
317 posts

Thanks for the great ideas and links! I had missed that thread from May - what a treasure trove of ideas!

Any other recommendations for apartments on Ile St. Louis would we appreciated - the Cobblestone ones looked lovely, but weren't available for my dates, sadly.

I'd really like to do a Paris Walks tour - so more info about good ones would be great.

What markets are especially nice? We will be there late Sunday and leaving Thursday, so that wipes out Friday/Saturday/Sunday markets.

Thanks again!

Posted by
169 posts

Way many years ago we did a tour of the sewers of Paris. It was very interesting. Of course, you know about the famous Paris sewers already.

Posted by
8401 posts

I really like the market at La Motte Picquet-Grenelle also. The one at Bastille is just as good, and bigger.

The Vanves flea market is really enjoyable (and i am not normally a flea market fan). It’s small and not overwhelming.

My favorite place on the planet is the Luxembourg Gardens in the 6th arrondissement.

Renting e-bikes is a lot of fun. The street along the north side of the Seine is closed to traffic on Sundays which is a nice ride. If you stay off main streets it’s quite safe to ride around Paris. You can also ride along the roads right next to the Seine.

I’ve rented 2 apts on Ile St Louis through Paris Attitude and had a good experience with that agency,

Posted by
115 posts

Guest Apartment Services has many apartments on Île St. Louis. Email them with your requirements and they will send what is available for your dates. I stayed in one of their apartments that wasn't on the island and it was amazing. They're a good, long-time reputable company.

https://www.guestapartment.com/

PS - I agree with Susan above that Vanves is a great market, but it is only open Saturdays & Sundays. (OP stated they're arriving late Sunday and leaving Thursday)

Posted by
18 posts

I HIGHLY recommend taking a Citreon car tour in the evening. We did this on Friday night and it was a blast! Got to see some parts of the city we hadn't ventured to during the week. Worth every penny!

Posted by
5513 posts

One of my favorite unique visitor experiences in Paris is a visit to the Pasteur Institute where you can explore the original labs and the apartment where Pasteur lived. You can even visit his very fancy crypt.....

They currently don't offer individual tours, but if you can get a group of 10 together and have 3 months notice, you can tour. You can see that it would take a bit of effort, but the effort is worthwhile!

https://www.pasteur.fr/en/visitor-information

Posted by
8401 posts

BJL, oh, i’ve read many dumb replies here over the years, lol.

As to Bustronome, a regular poster here often recommends Bustronome so i assume it is good.

Posted by
8401 posts

We did a Fat Tire Bike Tour in Paris, it was just ok. Too much stopping, waiting for others to catch up, listening to the guide talk… i like to just ride around as i suggested above.

Posted by
29 posts

Montgolfieres does hot air balloons over Fontainebleau. My husband vetoed it since we're both scared of heights, so no personal experience.

Posted by
21 posts

Friends in Paris have suggested the La Nuit aux Invalides and we have decided to go! Light show at the Cour d'Honneur. She also recommended getting the audio guide. Unfortunately this year you cannot to in the Dome Church after (if you read the FAQs it is usually offered).

Posted by
317 posts

Thank you all for such interesting ideas and links! I think we will be staying a little longer in Paris now, so this is a great resource for us as we plan!

I appreciate the apartment references, too - especially since we will have 6 nights now. Can't wait!

Laurie :-)

Posted by
1858 posts

hey hey laurie
cross-pollinate.com/ paris
don't know your budget, see what they have if interested. the couple that own this website started the beehive hotel/hostel in rome
tripadvisor.com/ vacation rentals
put in your filters, read fine print, what floor (lift/elevator) steps/stairs to climb with luggage or bags, arrival/depature time for apts may not be great without luggage storage, unless early check in or rent day before/day after and let owners know
we have rented from both, like having kitchen, washer/dryer, unless hang clothes around place to dry, pack light
52clichy.com
check out the apartment
patiosdemarais.com
apartments in paris
discoverwalks.com/ paris
parisgreeters.com
register and they are volunteer residents that introduce you to what you tell them you'd like to tour
lacuisine.com
cooking classes or food tours
eatwith.com/ paris
food tours, cooking/baking classes, lunch/dinner offered by residents in their homes,
solosophie.com/ 10 pretty french towns near paris
gpsmycity.com
put in your city and click what part of city you want to plan your own walk
arts-forains.com
a museum off the beaten track
o-chateau.com
wine/champagne tasting, wine bar, champagne cruise on seine
oldtimersparis.com
secret paris tour in high class vintage car
love souffles, had a passion fruit one, friend had grand marnier on at la cuisine de philippe. it was so yummy. small hole in the wall behind luxembourg gardens, check hours and days restaurants are open.
airbnb.com/ experiences
see if anything suits your fancy. friends did this and they were not staying with airbnb. hope that doesn't change
have a great trip, so many things to do and see, love paris. got my novel going for you LOL
aloha

Posted by
317 posts

Thank you, everyone! My wish list is growing! Princess Pupule, I agree with your soufflé comment - we went to La Cuisine de Philippe years ago, and my pistachio chocolate soufflé still shines in my memory as a wonderful and remarkable dessert. I want to go back there again this trip!

I'm glad we will have more time now to stay - and thinking 6 nights in an apt. as a home base sounds lovely. Here's hoping I can find one for our dates! I appreciate the apt. recommendations.

Thanks again,
Laurie