When I think of other places I could live, Paris comes to mind almost immediately. It has a charm about it — whether it’s views over the Seine or getting endlessly lost in Le Marais amongst boutiques and cafes.

Recently, I’ve found myself looking for a few new places to add to the rotation in addition to the iconic places like the Louvre, and dining at the historic spots like Cafe Flores.

Take a look at my alternative guide to Paris.

Seen the Louvre? Try…

  • Musee National Gustave-Moreau: A museum centered around the life and works of Symbolist painter, Gustave Moreau.
  • Palais de Tokyo: a few rooms to visit, this modern museum offers experimental art and a wonderful cafe.
  • Villa Savoye: For the architect-lovers, this Corbusier house is located on the outskirts of the city.
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs: A museum right next to the Louvre dedicated to the ins and outs of fashion and design.

A few shops to check out:

  • Merci: Redefining the department store, this multi-level destination offers the best of in local designers and more.
  • Marche aux Puces de Saint Ouen: A grand flea market ripe for the picking.

Eat here in Paris:

  • La Fontaine de Belleville: A traditional brasserie for a quick bite.
  • Au Passage: A choice of small or large plates, this hard-to-get-a-reservation restaurant brings a lot to the table. Creativity and French ingredients are staples of the chalkboard menu.
  • Les Cocottes: After eating here, it will be on rotation. Each dish  is made in a cast-iron — it seems whatever Christian Constant touches turns to gold.
  • Papillon: Where innovative cuisine and decoration blend into a fine dining experience.
  • Holy Belly: One of the best brunch spots in Le Marais.
  • Clamato: Seafood done exceptionally well.
  • L’Eclair de Genie: The modern take on eclairs packed with flavor.
  • David Toutaine: French food done with a modern twist — be sure to splurge on the truffle menu.

Take a drink at these spots:

  • Septime Cave: A beautiful wine bar with charcuterie boards galore.
  • Candelaria: Cocktail bar and a Mexican restaurant blended with a lot of flavor.
  • La Buvette: A tiny wine bar in with a fine collection.
  • Telescope, Boot Cafe, Loustic, Merci Cafe, and Fragments are the go-to coffee spots.
  • Le Mary Celeste: A very happening bar with a fresh menu serving small plates to share.

Skip the lines at the Arc de Triomphe and go here for a view:

  • La Rooftop Lounge at Shangri-La (open 4pm- 11:30 pm): Grab a glass of wine and take in the view.
  • Parc des Buttes Chaumont: On one of the highest hills in the city, the views are stunning from here.
  • Printemps: The shopping mall boasts great views over the sprawling city (P.S. it’s free).

Seen the Jardin du Luxembourg? Try these gardens:

  • Gardens at Albert Kahn
  • Parc de Bagatelle
  • Parc Monceau
  • Places des Vosges
  • Les Serres d’Auteuil
  • Jardin Saint-Gilles-Grand Veneur

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  1. This is a good list of things to do.I went to Paris when I was in high school, and now I’ll be going back again next summer (almost 12 years later!) I’m excited to get to do more grown-up activities while I’m there, such as sipping wine at some of the locations on the list.
    Your photos are beautiful!

  2. In Paris last year when the bus was not running on Sunday we visited the Decorative Arts Museum next to The Louvre – it was so fabulous – truly worthwhile!

  3. La Chaise Longue is another shop with offbeat items. It used to be really unique–there was just one little store in the Marais. Now it’s bigger and has locations around France. But still offbeat.Another park is the Arènes de Lutece–a small Roman amphitheater behind the Parthenon. You get park plus ruins!

  4. paris as a tourist is much nicer than actually living there – i tried :Di still love coming back regularly… it’s just such a beauty!

    • Please explain. Because before the madness that happened last year and that has been happening since November last year, I have wanted to live there again. I lived there for a year back in 2002. But the city has definitely changed since then.

  5. Great recommendations to try in this wonderful city, whether a resident or a tourist! Recommend eating in L’Ami Jean for some fun, four- letter words, and wonderful food!

  6. Amazing list. There are a few places I wouldn’t mind visiting during my November trip. I did the more "touristy" stuff last summer, but I wanna go off the beaten path a bit this time around. Thanks for sharing.
    xx Menellia//www.nothingbutvelvet.com

  7. Jessica Wright Reply

    I couldn’t agree more, there’s never enough time in Paris.

  8. I haven’t been to Paris in such a long time! This has made me want to go even more than before. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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