Viva la France! Congratulations to France on bringing the FIFA World Cup home following their 4-2 win over Croatia at the finals. As always, whenever the topic of France comes up, most of us start daydreaming of traipsing around Paris. Thus, in honour of Le Bleus’ victory, here’s another listicle with places to visit in Paris. However, these aren’t your usual tourist traps. Instead, they’re alternative tourist spots that Vanessa Grall, author of Don’t Be A Tourist In Paris, recommends. Which of these unusual things to do in Paris would you be up to on your next trip there?
1. Sketch Models At Picasso’s Old Art School
Picasso, Manet and Cezanne used to sketch models at an atelier at L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière, an art school in Montparnasse. The school regularly holds art workshops for walk-in students at quite low prices (think €19 or so). You can also register for a series of workshops if you plan to be in Paris for a while.
Check out the website here if you’re interested.
2. Sip On Mint Tea At Dusk In A Moroccan Courtyard
The Grand Mosque of Paris is located in the 5th arrondissement and is a thing of architectural beauty. We mean, totally Instagrammable! It also houses a delightful cafe where you can savour Arabic pastries and fresh mint tea, perhaps after a full day’s jaunt?
3. Captain Your Own Boat On The River Seine
River cruises on big boats are so passe! Okay, not really, but driving your own boat down the Seine would truly make a memorable trip, wouldn’t it? According to Grall, you don’t need a license to rent an electric boat that can fit in between five at €40 an hour or seven people at €28 a head for the whole day. Find out more on this website.
4. Fill Up Your Instagram With Photos Of You At A Beautiful Abandoned Railway
Wild weeds are welcome at the train tracks of La Petite Ceinture, an abandoned railway that has transformed into a beautiful picnic spot. It was built in 1862, and has been closed since 1934. It seems unlikely that any train will be passing by here anytime soon. More about the abandoned tracks here.
For more quirky and unusual things to do in Paris, get Grall’s book from her website, available in both E-book as well as printed book formats.