An off-the-beaten-path guide to Paris

by Elizabeth Jones
Stripes Europe

Paris is a city that people from all over the world dream of visiting. A typical trip includes eating your bodyweight in croissants and macaroons, going to the top of the Eiffel Tower, placing a lock upon the Love Lock Bridge, visiting the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, touring the Louvre to lay eyes on the Mona Lisa and the list goes on and on. While all of these things are definitely a must do, it can get a bit boring if you have the chance to visit this remarkable city more than once. As I made my way through the Parisian streets for the third time this year, I told myself I’d seek out the hidden treasures of the city and that’s exactly what I did. Here is a list of  off the beaten path things to see and do in the city of love.

Put the croissants and macaroons down and pick up:

Capture the best views of the Eiffel Tower from:


© Francesco Bucchi

The Love Lock Bridge isn’t what it used to be, so cross these romantic bridges instead:

  • Pont Alexandre III is known for being the most elegant bridges in Paris.
  • Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge that crosses the Seine River that also holds a great view of the Eiffel Tower.

Skip the Luxembourg Gardens and stroll along in:

  • Parc Monceau, a 17th century park with an intricate, golden iron gate entrance, with néoclassique buildings, forest green trees and blooming flowers.
  • Parc de Bagatelle, which contains an extraordinary rose garden holding more than 10,000 rose bushes.
  • Jardin Saint-Gilles-Grand Veneur, which sits far away from the touristy parts of Paris where many locals go for some peace and quiet from the continuously buzzing city.


© Lembi Buchanan

Over the Louvre? Tour here:

  • Musee National Gustave-Moreau is a museum that revolves around the work and life of Gustave Moreau, a symbolist painter.
  • Villa Savoye is a museum for all the architect lovers out there who want to marvel in one of the world’s top architect museums.
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs is a museum for the fashionsitas looking to tour every aspect of fashion designing. Fun fact: this museum is neighbors with the Louvre.

Don’t miss these hidden gems:

  • The breathtaking, pearly white Basilica du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre stands tall in the Montmartre district. The large hill that leads up to the Basilica is the perfect spot for picnics and photo opps. Once you climb to the top of the basilica’s steps, take in the mesmerizing view of Paris.

  • The Catacombs are a maze of skulls and bones that lie beneath the sparkly streets of Paris. The skeletons belong to almost six million Parisians from the late 18th century. Graffiti from the French Revolution cover the walls throughout the Catacombs. Safe to say this labyrinth is ideal for history lovers and those who get a kick out of eerie circumstances.

Pull away from tour guides, overrated restaurants and mile-long lines at every tourist hot spot. Take the road less traveled and push yourself to wander through overlooked side streets, eat at the places local foodies classify as the best joint in town and see iconic landmarks from a different point of view. Next time you find yourself in Paris, I challenge you to go off the beaten path.

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