Off the Beaten Track in Paris
If you're craving a last minute weekend away, Paris is one of the best-value city break destinations to visit in Europe - and at just an hour away you'll be ordering a pan au chocolat in a Parisian cafe quicker than you can say Bonjour! While the tourist landmarks are held in high regards by visitors (with high prices to match), theres plenty more to see in this enchanting capital beyond the bucket-list attractions. Discover the City of Love's hidden gems with our guide to exploring Paris off the beaten track...
If you want to whisk your loved one away for a romantic escape, browse our amazing Valentines breaks in France.
Best Breakfasts in Paris
Liberté Ménilmontant is a venue with a view, thanks to its huge bay window, traditional oven and authentic wooden-log shelves. The cosy space, located on Rue de Ménilmontant, serves up French favourites including charcuterie, crêpes, pastries, fresh fruit and a variety of delightful egg dishes. Check out the chic fine-dining spot Les Enfants Perdus on Canal saint-Martin, for a unique brunch menu including tasty sharing platters with a selection of cured meats and cheeses. The best part? The menu changes every six months so you can visit over and over. Le Cosy, located in the 12th district of Paris, isn't atcually cosy, but it does have a knockout menu - with savoury and sweet plates featuring fried potatoes, goats cheese, bacon, eggs and flaky pastries, fruit and a variety of cakes.
If you're more of a sweet tooth, take a look at our tasty afternoon teas around the world and head to the Four Seasons Hotel George V, for the finest Parisian pastries!
Shopping in the capital
If you're looking for a bargain, the fashion capital of the world has wonderful bohemian quarters full of one-off boutiques and stalls that sell, just about everything. Rue des Abbesses has plenty of independent boutiques, shops and ateliers where creative designers sell their handywork. In Montematre, quirky bookshops, al-fresco cafes, trendy bars and cool music shops rule the roost, it's also the most famous hub for artists and writers to mingle. Even if you don’t buy much, wandering through these colourful market stalls is a great way to sightsee.
Make time to visit one of the city's flea markets or brocantes while you're here. Village Saint Paul, with its narrow line of shops and ateliers selling vintage souvenirs and bric-a-brac is a good spot for those who love markets and second-hand buys. Au Bon Usage, a showroom specializing in vintage furniture and home décor items, is a magnet for those looking for classic pieces of French furniture to send back home. Marché Aux Puces de Saint Ouen and Marche Paul Berte are well-known flea markets on the map, too.
Dance along the Seine
Paris has long since been a magnet for artists and musicians, and it's classy music venues (which are among the top Paris attractions), showcase just about every genre throughout the week. The Corsican Bar and Nightclub and Cave du 38 are filled with locals and tourists alike, featuring DJs on the weekends. For a more unique experience, step aboard Le Batofar and discover a quirky bar, nightclub and concert hall, floating on the famous Seine! Jazz lovers can grab their dancing shoes and head to the city's Latin Quarter, where you'll find Caveau de la Huchette - one of the oldest and best Jazz bars in town. And if you're travelling between June and August, the left bank of Port St. Bernard is bustling with people wandering along the Seine and ballroom dancing! Dance lovers congregate in the Jardin Tino Rossi, to perfect their steps.
There are no shortage of museums in Paris, with the famous glass-domed Louvre being the most visited (and largest) in the world. Among the best museums in Paris is the Musee d’Orsay, a trove of French treasures, plus the National Museum of Modern Art, which you’ll find inside the architecturally stunning Pompidou Centre. If you want to catch sight of free street art, and discover the urban art scene up close, the Canal St. Martin in the 10th arrondissement is the go-to hub, also boasting a line-up of cool restaurants and shops. Why not mix up your museum experience with a creepy selection including the Museum of Carnival Arts, the macabre History of Medicine Museum, the Vampire Museum or the Museum of Taxidermy and Skeletons?