Hold on to your horses, we’re going much deeper into Paris now. You’ve ticked off all the main things by now. You’ve surely picked up a few French phrases. You know your favourite neighbourhoods, maybe you have a go-to cafe and bakery.
But let’s leave the comfortable familiar places and go off-road. Here are ten things to find.
1. Find the animals at Deyrolle
If you’ve never visited Deyrolle taxidermy shop, then you have been missing out. It’s delightful collection of ethically preserved animals and pinned butterflies. It’s part-museum and part-shop, and if you think you recognize it, you’re probably right: It features in the movie Midnight in Paris. The head of the shop Francine Campa, featured on our podcast episode all about the 7th arrondissement.
2. See unicorns at the Cluny Museum
Also known as the National Museum of the Middle Ages, this is an exceptional and recently-renovated museum. The Roman ruins are the dream of ancient history fans, while the tapestries (especially The Lady and the Unicorn) will get your imagination racing. Address: 28 Rue du Sommerard, 75005
3. Admire the Water Lilies at l’Orangerie
It’s time for some seriously jaw-dropping art. Check in at the Musée de l’Orangerie in the Tuileries Garden to admire their art collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works. But the show stoppers are the eight enormous Water Lily murals by Claude Monet. Remember, Monet painted his water lilies at his Giverny home many, many times (250 plus times, in fact) – but this collection at the Orangerie is the grandest. Address: Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris
4. Find the statue of Liberty on Île aux Cygnes
This has to be the most underrated stroll in Paris (loads of lovely pics here). To find it, go beyond the Eiffel Tower to the Bir Hakeim bridge, cross halfway along, then go down the stairs. Then, simply walk to the other side. If you make it to the far western edge, you’ll be rewarded with the biggest statue of liberty in Paris. Fun fact: She is staring off into the distance in the direction of New York. Another fun fact: There are seven more statue of liberty replicas in Paris, here’s where to find them. Address: Île aux Cygnes, 75015
5. Eat a crepe on the go
You really should have done this already, but it’s important to mention: Find a crepe stand and order one for a snack – or get the filled one with cheese, ham, mushrooms, even eggs, and call it a lunch.
6. Discover the catacombs
Time to go underground to see the tunnel network with the bones of six million people. The catacombs definitely aren’t for everyone, especially if you’re extremely claustrophobic. But it’s a pretty awesome part of the city that deserves an exploration. There’s also a deep, dark, illegal-to-enter section if you really want to explore. Here’s what happened when I did it. Address: 1 Av. du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris
7. Take a boat ride in the Bois…
In both the Bois des Vincennes and the Bois de Boulogne you can find picturesque lakes with rowboats for hire. Both are perfectly pleasant options for whiling away an hour. These massive parks are both on the very edge of town, pick the one that’s nearest to you and get over there.
8. Seek the hidden passageways of the 11th
The 11th is full of old alleyways which were once teeming with artisans. Furniture makers, frame fixers, handymen and more. Nowadays, the passages are still there, but it’s often residents or office workers inside the buildings. If you know where to look, you’ll find stunning oases of calm and sometimes an artisan from today plying their trade.
A good one to start at is Passage de l’Homme… we visited about ten of them with the photographer. Here are our full findings and many more pictures. If you’re a Patreon member, here’s your link to watch the replay video showcasing these passages.
9. Dine at the Brasserie Lipp
There’s no messing about in this beautiful restaurant, a classic spot just across the road from Cafe de Flore. Waiters zip around with traditional French dishes for their customers, putting on a show that’s perhaps more impressive than the meal itself. @lippbrasserie Address: 151 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006
10. Jazz at the Le Caveau de la Huchette
You may recognize this jazz club from the smash hit film La La Land. This place is a fun surprise and full of energy. Go through the front door, past the bar, and then down, down, down to the cave with the lively jazz scene and the dancers putting on a show. @caveaudelahuchetteofficiel Address: 5 Rue de la Huchette, 75005
And that’s it!
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: