Paris is always a good idea. And one can never tire of a city like this. There are so many ways to fill your time in Paris, so many neighborhoods to explore, so many pastries to eat. And yet tourists quite often limit themselves to just the main sights in Paris (like these). The touristy parts of Paris are beautiful and historic and wonderful and definitely worth the space in your schedule. But once you move past them, to the non-touristy things to do in Pairs, well that’s where the fun really begins!
I’ve been lucky to visit Paris many times and I always find new parts of the city to explore. The next time you’re there, be sure to check out these non-touristy things to do in Paris, and I promise you’ll feel like a true Parisian in no time! Allez-y!
Non-Touristy Things to do in Paris
1 | Petit Palais Museum
The Petit Palais Museum is a hidden art gem in a city obsessed with all things art. Originally constructed for the 1900 Exposition Universelle, the impressive façade of this grand building now houses a collection of fine art you won’t find anywhere else. And the best part? It’s free admission!
2 | Jazz at Le Duc des Lombards
There’s nothing more Parisian than enjoying some live jazz music with a glass of wine in hand. The jazz scene in Paris is rich and vibrant and pervasive. With so many jazz joints to choose from, you may be overwhelmed, but start at Le Duc des Lombards and you’ll be treated to some of the city’s finest musicians.
3 | Vintage shopping in Le Marais
French culture is the basis of our love of France, and it has been that way for a very long time. Shop for relics of France’s culture in the vintage markets of Le Marais and head home with some treasures. Go in with an open mind and some cash, and you’ll find some unique gems! Start with these.
4 | Fashion Show at Galeries Lafayette
What could be more Parisian than attending a fashion show! Don’t worry about waiting for fashion week though, because every Friday the Galeries Lafayette hold a fashion show. Check out the latest trends, and enjoy this perfectly French experience for free! Book ahead here.
5 | Free concerts at the Conservatory
Great classical music, performed by France’s finest, in a massively impressive hall, and all for no entrance fee. This is the unique opportunity offered by Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse. Since the seating is on a first-come first-served basis, plan to arrive an hour before showtime to ensure you get to see these wonderful concerts. For details and showtimes, check here.
6 | Picasso Museum
Famous artist Pablo Picasso spent a great deal of his life in Paris and throughout France. There are museums in his honor all around the world but the one in Paris is especially important and impressive, as it contains 5000 piece of his artwork, as well as his own art collection and archive. Go on Sundays for free admission.
7 | Dine at Les Deux Magots
What was once the rendezvous of choice for Paris’ intellectual elite, is now a historic and popular café. Go to Les Deux Magots in the Saint-Germain neighborhood for coffee and conversation at this award-winning café.
8 | Dancing by the Seine
Join hundreds of Parisians who congregate on the Left Bank of the Seine River during the summer evenings for a picnic and dancing. Enjoy the music, the joie de vivre of the Parisians around you, and the romantic energy of this beautiful city. It’s free to join in on the fun, get more details here.
9 | Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore
About to celebrate 100 years in business, the Shakespeare and Company bookstore has been a gathering place for some of the world’s finest writers as they were at the beginning of their careers. It’s an historic and important bookstore that continues to operate independently. But it’s so much more than just a bookstore, S&Co deals in secondhand and rare books, houses aspiring writers, and serves as a free reading library to the public. Go to browse the book collection or attend a free book talk.
10 | Free wine tasting
If you really want to be Parisian, you must know and love your wine. Go for a free wine tasting at La Derniere Goutte, where you’ll be able to sample some wines, learn more about the wines and grapes, and ask lots of questions to better understand your drink. Wine is one of those magnificent treats that you can always learn more about, and which is actually enjoyable to learn about. Start your terroir training here.