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Trip List by camasgirl

Avoiding tourists in Paris

30 Aug 2008  Recent visit during tourist high season
2.5 of 5 bubbles based on 2 votes

A few ideas for enjoying the City of Light that many visitors miss

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Paris
  • Category: Recent trip
  • 1. Buy a few good books about Paris history and neighborhoods
    Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, Paris, Ile-de-France

    Visit Shakespeare & Company Bookstore, a Left Bank landmark, and pick up a book or two about Paris history, especially the influential reign of Louis XiV as well as the French Revolution and the following Terror, so you can better appreciate the city's monuments and neighborhoods. Better yet, get a walking guide and take a self-guided tour of the areas beyond the big tourist attractions

  • 2. Master the Paris metro

    Yes, Paris is a totally walkable city, but when you want to get away from the hordes of fellow Americans and other tourists, the metro is your ticket. Pick an interesting-sounding place and take a ride. We went to the end of the line to Issy-les-Moulineaux and discovered a delightful Paris suburb with an array of good restaurants, an interesting musuem on the history of playing cards, and nice residential streets to wander through. Just a short 20 minute ride from the Paris city center, but a world away from tourists.

  • 3. Mix with the locals at a real French bistro
    Le Rubis, Paris, Ile-de-France

    Le Rubis is a fabulous authentic and affordable bistro in the heart of an upscale neighborhood. Be prepared to bump elbows with the devoted lunchtime crowd of Parisians in the tiny upstairs dining room. By contrast we also ate at Brasserie Lipp, an overhyped place if there ever was one, and was sorely disappointed. by the food and prices.

  • 4. Go underground

    For an unusual view of the city, take the Catacombes tour. Not for the faint of heart , tall people or those with creaky knees. You will get a glimpse of how 19th century city managers dealt with cemetery overcrowding. It's the final anonymous resting place of many Revolutionary figures like Danton and Robespierre. Warning: it's a long walk through cold, damp, low-ceilinged tunnels and ends with a challenging circular staircase back up the surface. For the best experience, let your fellow visitors go on ahead and drink in the atmosphere of this unusual burial place in quiet. If you're bringing kids, remind them to be respectful please.

  • 5. Eat cheaply: picnique in secret garden

    Visit a boulangerie and assemble le picnique, or order ethnic takeaway and eat in a nearby park. For example, in the Marais, order falafel on the Rue de Rosiers and take it to the quiet park across the street from the Musee de Carnavelet Pick up a cheap beer in a corner grocery en route and you're all set. The trick is to find a nice off-the-beaten-path place with a park bench. Good food is all around you!