OK so your first Paris trip is done and dusted (if not, click here for our first Paris trip recommendations). By now you already know how to get into town, where to stay, and you can order a croissant like a pro.
So let’s delve deeper into the city. Let’s avoid a few of those other tourists you were crowded in with last time. This list contains the best things we (purposely) left out last time, and a few things a little bit off the beaten track.
P.S Need help planning your trip? Click the contact button at the top of the page to send us an email to learn how we can help you with your itinerary or take you on a walking tour.
The podcast episode
This podcast explains all the tips (and a few more) in greater detail, with special guest and tour guide Paris Kay. Subscribe to The Earful Tower for more every week.
The interactive map
Here’s an interactive map of everything we are about to recommend, to help you find it all easily.
The Checklist: Your second trip to Paris
OK, let’s tick off some checklist items. How many have you done? (Remember, the third trip to Paris will be on the blog next week).
1. Explore Montmartre
We know, we know, it was a crime to exclude Montmartre from the previous list. But we needed to give you a reason to come back to Paris!
Montmartre is one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Paris. It’s a lively area home to many artists (old and new) and has some of the most photographical streets in the city. Make sure you go to Place du Tertre to embrace your inner artist and to explore the art scene. You can get your portrait done, buy some art, or just watch it all happening.
Here’s a full story and many more pictures about when we got our portrait done (and how you can do one too). Don’t forget to head around the corner to the Sacré-Cœur and one of the best views of Paris. Address: Pl. du Tertre, 75018 Paris
2. Visit the Musée d’Orsay
A world-class museum with an exquisite collection of impressionist art. Remember: It’s open late on Thursday nights, so you can avoid the crowds and get up close and personal with famed pieces of art (and don’t forget to go to the top level for the view over Paris through the clock face.) @museeorsay Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007
3. Spend a day in Versailles
OK so technically this isn’t in Paris … but with a royal palace only a car or train ride away, Versailles makes for a wondrous day trip. Each room in the palace is more spectacular than the last and the gardens are truly a masterpiece. Click here for our full blog and podcast on spending a day in Versailles.
Address: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles
4. Marvel at Sainte Chapelle
This 13th century gothic chapel is right in the centre of Paris on Île de la Cité. It was built with the intent to house Christ’s crown of thorns and is now a popular spot for tourists to admire its history and glorious stained glass windows. Address: 10 Bd du Palais, 75001 Paris
5. Stroll the Jardin des Tuileries
Such a lovely park, the Tuileries can’t really be faulted. It even has goats on hand for keeping the grass in check in the hard-to-reach places – although they’re very hard to find. This park is an ideal place to while away an afternoon and if the ferris wheel is running, be sure to hop aboard. Address: Pl. de la Concorde, 75001
6. Buy cheese at a fromagerie
Go into a fromagerie (a cheese shop) and get yourself a few delectable slices to take with you to the closest park and picnic away. While you might have to work up the courage to ask the cheesemongers for recommendations, you’ll be guaranteed to leave the store a few minutes later with a scrumptious cheese platter that will make it all worth it. And if you’d really like to impress the other picnickers, click here to learn how to properly cut cheese. If in serious doubt, a comté hard cheese is a sure-fire hit every time.
7. Have a Ladurée macaron
Treat yourself to delicious macarons and decadent hot chocolate in the tea rooms of Ladurée. This is also the ideal place to get picnic snacks or a present for your friends and family back home… that is, if you can resist the temptation to eat the macarons on the way back. @maisonladuree Address: 21 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 (but there are also many other Ladurée shops around the city)
8. Browse the Bouquinistes
The bookshops along the Seine are iconic. They’re particularly prevalent in the sixth arrondissement, but you can also find them on either side of the Paris islands. Sift through the books, but also the photographs, postcards, and vintage-styled artwork.
Want to know more about the bouquiniste booksellers? I interviewed one of them in 2019, more info here.
9. Shop at Printemps Haussmann
One of the two department stores in the ninth district, Printemps offers upmarket shopping options, but even if you hate shopping it’s worth a look for the glorious domed ceiling (pictured below).
@printemps Address: 64 Bd Haussmann, 75009
10. Get a book at Shakespeare and Company
This bookstore may look small from the outside but brimming with books, charm and quirks. You’ll find both new and secondhand books (you can even find our own books there), quotes painted along the walks and staircases leading you up to their quaint reading library. @shakespeareandcoparis Address: 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005
Want to go behind the scenes of Shakespeare and Company? Listen to our podcast here.
And that’s your second trip done!
If you liked this blog post you should check out our 2023 PDF guide to the city, which features hundreds of tips just like these ones. You can buy it via the icon below, or you get it free on signup to The Earful Tower’s Patreon member page.
Our other Paris checklists:
Photos: Augusta Sagnelli