It’s your fourth trip to Paris! At this point, you’ve seen the main sites, gone a step deeper for your second visit, and started to explore a few offbeat Paris highlights.
Now what? Below, we’ve collected ten activities in places where you’ll find fewer tourists. All excellent choices, but perhaps not the typical choices for things to do in Paris.
Let’s get into it.
1. Visit the Petit Palais
A true wonder of Paris, maybe one of the wonders of Europe. This palace has free entrance to the permanent art exhibition, which is incredible enough (and features famed artists like Monet and Delacroix)… but just the building itself is a show stopper. Those mosaic tiles, that entrance, those staircases… Any yet, the Petit Palais rarely gets a look-in when people list their top Paris museums. @petitpalais_musee Address: Av. Winston Churchill, 75008
More to find in the 8th arrondissement.
2. Admire Napoleon’s tomb
Wanna see a French Emperor’s Tomb? Add Les Invalides to your list. Napoleon’s tomb is rather gobsmacking, an enormous marble structure in an enormous domed building. It’s perhaps even more impressive inside than outside – and that’s a big call – the outside is coated in gold! The dome was built in 1677 and was the tallest building in Paris before the Eiffel Tower came along. If you’re a fan of military history, be sure to explore the Invalides museum attached next door (and included in your ticket price).
3. See the National Library of France
This library is freshly reopened to the public after ten years of renovations and the result is exquisite. Explore the glorious interior or grab a chair and a book, and stay for a while. Address: 5 Rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris
More to find in the 2nd arrondissement.
4. See the view from the Montparnasse tower
Sure the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower is impressive, but it’s missing something. You can’t see the Iron Lady herself. Enter the Montparnasse Tower. While the building itself may be quite controversial (it is rather ugly, to be fair), you just can’t beat that view. The restaurant at the top serves ordinary and overpriced cocktails, but it’s worth booking a spot just for the photo op alone. Or, if the weather is good, there’s a viewing platform at the very top that you can visit for 18 euros.
More to find in the 14th arrondissement.
5. Have a drink at Le Meurice hotel
If you’re going to treat yourself during your Paris trip, here’s how to do it. Go and get a cocktail (or a coffee, perhaps) at the renowned 5-star hotel Le Meurice. From the lobby and onwards, each room seems more elegant than the last. Snoop around a little, look at the restaurant and some of the dining rooms. And if you can get to the bar when they’re playing live jazz you’re in for a treat.
Here’s what one of their best rooms looks like!
6. See the Moulin Rouge show
Alright it’s time for a spectacle, one with all the frills (and more!). One of the best is at the Moulin Rouge, a place that is absolutely steeped in history but doesn’t come across as old and stuffy at all.
Here’s our interview with one of the lead dancers.
7. Stroll Rue Mouffetard
Rue Mouffetard was supposedly so-named because of the mouffle, Old French for stink, that came from the river Bièvre at the foot of the hill. Nowadays, you’re much more likely to get a delightful scent from the many cheese shops, fruit stands, and bakeries on one of the lovelies and liveliest streets in all of Paris.
More to find in the 5th arrondissement.
8. Explore the Buttes Chaumont park
It’s time to leave central Paris and delve into one of the true treasures of the 19th arrondissement. The Buttes Chaumont is perfectly lovely, a huge hilly expanse that’s the playground of picnicking Parisians. Great views of the city from certain spots, a waterfall, a lovely pond, a suspended bridge, and an unusual Indiana Jones-style temple at the very, very top. Cool history too, it used to be a massive quarry. Address: 1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris
9. Try classic French food at a Bouillon restaurant
Time to eat where the locals eat. You’ll find several “bouillon” restaurants all over Paris, often with a queue of Parisians out the front. This is where people will go to grab dinner with friends after work, although tourists are clueing on too. It’s simple, classic French food, it’s very reasonably priced, and to top it off, you’ll likely be dining in an Art Nouveau wonderland. It might not be the best meal you’ll eat during your trip but it will be an excellent experience. Note: There are a range of restaurants connected to this theme, some good ones: Bouillon Chartier Montparnasse (pictured below), Bouillon Julien, or Bouillon Grands Boulevards.
10. See the Pigalle night life
Even if you’re not a Disco King or Queen, even if nightlife isn’t your thing, even if all you want from Paris is long walks and museums… you’re not truly getting the full Paris picture if you don’t see where it’s all happens after sundown. Go and grab dinner or a drink somewhere in one of the hippest Paris neighbourhoods. From cheap and cheerful Le Mansart (pictured below on a summer evening) to elegant and expensive at the Maison Souquet.
More to find in the 9th arrondissement.
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:
5 thoughts on “Ten things to do on your FOURTH trip to Paris”
6/10 … need to get back obviously !!!!
Great picks as usual. We’re in Paris (4th time) in late March for a month and might finally get to Moulin Rouge.
We’re doing the Paris marathon, which goes through Buttes Chaumont, so there’s one ticked off, without the relaxing picnic!
Your lists are great! I’ve taken tips from each list to make my own list for our next trip in September. Unless I can talk David into an earlier trip.
The picture of the bouillon is above not below.
Looks like it is above and below. We’re both right 😉