I'm of the opinion that you can visit #Paris over and over and over again... always discovering something new. On the blog today, I'm going to share a few "secret" places that the average tourist may overlook, especially if you are booked on a group tour or only there to hit the highlights. The best part: these activities are FREE (or almost free, I should say), so all you need to to is keep reading and plan some time into your next Parisian adventure for exploring the #SecretsOfParis
The River Seine
At first glance, the above image looks like... you guessed it... nothing more than the Seine River. BUT... there's an important French word associated with the river - guinguette. According to @hipparis, "a guinguette is an establishment located by the water that serves up simple food and ample drinks (traditionally white “guinguet” wine, which led to the name #guinguette), accompanied by lively music, and thus dancing." Sounds fun, right? Although most Parisians head away from the city during summer months to the coast, there are those who hang behind and who are in search of some cooling water, thus the Seine. Check out the HipParis blog for some great photos fo the guingettes of Paris. They mainly occur during warmer months, but hanging out by the Seine sounds awesome to me any time of year. All you need is a little cash for food and drink and a lively spirit! Or BYOB, bring your own #baguette :)
#IMHO, the best souvenirs are ones that are truly authentic and practical. One of my favorite things to bring home from Paris is something from #Fragonard. The Maison Fragonard is a longstanding perfume company in France, and the have a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L museum in Paris that offers FREE visits and tours. It's located near the Opéra and Galeries Lafayette, so adding this stop into your itinerary is easy and adds a touch of elegance, leaving visitors to feel "in the know" about a bit of French history and perfumes. Not only will you learn a ton about their products (everything from recipes to labeling, and of course "the nose"), the space is just pristine. I also like that if you do the tour and purchase a souvenir, you can provide some background knowledge about your gift to the recipient. Visitors can also pick up souvenirs in the boutique located within the museum, bien sûr.
More info at: https://musee-parfum-paris.fragonard.com/en/
Passages de Paris
Let's be honest, you want to come back from your Parisian vacation with some drool-worthy (and memorable) photos. The #PassagesDeParis will check off so many boxes!
Rainy day? Visitez les passages.
Need souvenirs? Or just like shopping in adorable, French boutiques? Visitez les passages.
More shots for Instagram required? Visitez les passages.
Hungry? Visitez les passages.
Hot, cold, or want a break from street traffic? Visitez les passages.
Most of the #Passages date from the 19th century and are known for the beautiful, glass roofs and rows of shops that give off an arcade-style architecture and feel. They typically run through the center of other buildings, so there's more to explore once you are inside the passage. Most of them are home to shops, tearooms and restaurants, and you can find about 20 of them around the Grands Boulevards of Paris.
Find the perfect passage for you with this guide published by the Paris Visitors Bureau.
So, now you are in on the secret! You have learned three of mes petits secrets for visiting the "real" Paris, and you won't need to spend or plan for too much extra with these sweet, easy, and economical stops during your visit.
Bon Voyage et Belle Balade!
Autumn in Paris
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