Alternative things to do in Paris

During our anniversary trip to Paris we didn’t want to overwhelm ourselves and we really just wanted to go with the flow. But there has to be some kind of flow to go with, right? The regular touristy stuff can be great, though, usually crowded, and we like to get a little bit outside the box. Can you get more out of the box than visiting the bones of six million Parisians under the city? I’m sure you could, but there has to be a weirdness line somewhere!

Catacombs Paris

Catacombs in Paris

If you haven’t watched Cities of the Underworld, you should. It’s filled with interesting facts of places that you probably didn’t know had a whole world underground. Just in case you haven’t guessed yet, Paris is one of those cities! There is a maze of paths under the streets and buildings of Paris that contain the Catacombs. The pathway was narrow in some places and wider in others as it snaked its way under the city. Each area showed which cemetery the people were from, so they stayed together. Some bones were put in various designs instead of just piled into one space, which was both beautiful and a little creepy. The amount of people buried under Paris in these Catacombs is over 2.5 times as many people that live in all of Paris today! That seems like such a crazy thought.

Place du Tertre

Place du Tertre

We enjoyed finding the lesser known gems in Paris, too. There’s a square, Place du Tertre, filled with artists behind the Sacre Coeur who were showcasing their work. Their work showed many different styles of Parisian scenes, some landscapes, and more. Many were even painting while they were there! A bonus is that there are many gelato places and a great macaron place nearby to satisfy any sweet tooth you might have.

Jessica and Eiffel Tower

Sunday really felt like our last day since it was our last full day and was able to enjoy the Eiffel Tower and walk around nearby neighborhoods. They were nice, quiet, and looked like the Paris you visualize. On Monday, Sean went photo-hunting while I got my haircut for free at the Toni&Guy Academy. That was quite an experience in itself. We really made this trip tailored for us which is what we would encourage everyone to do! For us, food is always a priority, so we found some great spots thanks to Yelp (a top FREE travel app you should have!) that really made a positive impression on us.

Each neighborhood has its own personality to experience, and hopefully enjoy. Don’t be afraid to go off the regular tourist maps and find your own piece of Paris. There is plenty of it to go around! And don’t feel like you have to squeeze in all the “must-see” stops in one visit. Even if you only visit Paris once in a lifetime, make it a visit that you love, not one that everyone else expects you to have. If you need some tips on how to really get the feel for a place, we have you covered!

Have you been to Paris? What was your favorite spot that is off the regular tourist track?

Jessica Cutrufello wearing a green floral dress, glasses and pink lipstick

Hi! I’m Jessica, an American who made Amsterdam her home in 2014. I share European gems through food and memorable experiences. Want to know more? Head to my about page or check out my YouTube channel.