Least Traveled Paris for the Solo Traveler
It is said that the City of Lights has attracted visitors from all over the world for centuries, and it’s easy to understand the reason. The smell of freshly baked bread, beautiful Haussmanian architecture, streets with cobblestones, and historical monuments and museums create a unique attraction. While there are famous sights, there are plenty of less-known local spots to see in Paris that you can experience on your own and still enjoy all that the city has to offer.
Pastries at Le Grenier a Pain
Start your day by having a coffee and a pastry at the Grenier Pain. This boulangerie-patisserie is world-renowned for its many award-winning traditional French bread and pastries…even billing itself as the “best baguette in Paris.” You’ll find freshly baked bread here with apricots, hazelnuts, figs, and nuts. Taste an eclair, tarte Tatin, croissant, or “pain au chocolat” here. Make sure you have some macarons or madeleines to take away! This shop is on many a Paris Travel Guide but is very much loved by the locals.
Stroll Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Visit the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, located in the 19th arrondissement. The park was one of the first green spaces in Paris with over 60 acres to explore commissioned by Napoleon III. This is the Paris, that is often not found on the average Paris itinerary. While New York City has Central Park, the Parc des Buttes with its lake, suspension bridge, and the Temple de la Sibylle is someplace to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the locals. The park provides some stunning views of the city from the top of the old quarry and a great jumping-off spot to explore the local neighborhoods around it.
Shop at the Pyrenees Market
In Paris, on either a Sunday or Thursday, take a stroll through the Rue des Pyrenees and check out the Pyrenees Market. The traditional market for food, located just behind the famed Pere Lachaise cemetery, home of Oscar Wilde’s tomb –offers everything organic. It’s among the top local activities to take part in within Paris to enjoy nontouristy things.
Picnic at Parc de Belleville
Continue your trip around Paris as if you were a local by taking in the Parc de Belleville. It’s the ideal spot to enjoy a picnic. There is nothing more “Parisian” than cooking your own baguette sandwiches and sipping a glass of wine while taking in the views of the Eiffel tower. It’s one of the customs that are common in Paris. However, don’t worry if you are unable to bake your bread as you can find so many extraordinary bakeries around the city.
Explore the Marais
This is the neighborhood, Le Marais, the 4th district in Paris. Situated on the east bank of the Seine River it is the artsy area of Paris where you can wander the streets and take in the street art. If you’re looking for a second snack, make your way into Marche des Enfants-Rouge and sample the Moroccan cuisine at Le Traiteur Marocain. You’ll be unable to resist after taking a look at the menu!
You should try the tagine of lamb. Succulent lamb served with vegetables and sometimes plumbs, cooked in traditional Moroccan cooking. You can say whatever you’d like here, even if you don’t know French.
Enjoy a meal at La Coupole
If you’re looking for authentic french eating cravings; La Coupole is your destination! There is no Paris guide to dining that could be complete without this one. Since 1927, the charming small brasserie has served Parisian dishes like seafood platters, pepper steaks, and the famed Indian lamb curries. It is located on the far side of the Luxembourg Garden from the Latin Quarter.
With its contemporary décor and top-of-the-line food, it is reasonably priced. French dinners are elegant, and I would suggest arriving around 7 pm for a relaxing meal in authentic French fashion.
Have a Nightcap at the Marais
Paris becomes lively at night, so get together with people from the city for late-night drinks!
Le Marais has plenty of choices for bars with a lively atmosphere. If you prefer a more tranquil atmosphere, I suggest the bars near Saint Germain des Pres. It’s nearly impossible to pick because they’re all incredible.
But, some of the top choices can be found at Chai Antoine because of its 2.5 Euro Happy Hour (6 until nine midnight) or Les Caves Allies. (You get the feeling of being in a hidden cave after the moment you enter!) Monsieur Le Zinc offers a calmer and less dark version.
Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral
A visit to Paris, the world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral (“Our Lady of Paris”) is the top priority for most visitors’ bucket lists. The problem is the crowds. What is the best method to get around them? Begin early in the morning, when you’ll take it all to yourself. Since the fire, the cathedral has been closed since 2019 and is expected to open to tourists again in time for the Paris France Olympics in 2024.
When the tourists have arrived and left, you can visit less frequented sites. You can also take a combo ticket to Sainte Chapelle (the famous Gothic royal chapel) to get a good discount or go to Place Dauphine, one of the most romantic and best places to visit in Paris.
Visit The Catacombs At Night
The catacombs of Paris might appear strange to some, but seeing them is one of the activities you could do when visiting Paris at night. In the early 1700s, prior to the French Revolution, the city’s population surged dramatically, and as a result, was the absence of space for burials. Cemeteries were bursting, diseases quickly spread, and authorities struggled to find enough space to bury the dead. The most sensible solution was to put the dead beneath the city, and then the Paris Catacombs were formed. It is believed that the remains of around 6 million Parisians are interred inside the Catacombs. Save some headaches and book Catacombs Paris Tickets ahead of time to avoid the endless lines and maximize the horror of your night-time visit to the Catacombs.
Pierre Herme Paris
Breakfast is an important event. If Le Grenier a Pain pleased you, then certainly go back there. However, consider La Parisienne Saint Germain or Pierre Herme Paris for artisanal pastries, too.
Nothing is more Parisian than watching people. That’s why the tables are set up to encourage this popular leisure activity. Sit back and enjoy watching the world go by as you sip your coffee and your pain au chocolat. It’s the perfect and relaxing tourist activity to enjoy in Paris.
The library is so stunning that I’m sure no one can concentrate on their work in it! (It’s an example of the most hidden activities to enjoy in Paris.) The names of scholars and philosophers are inscribed into the façade. Inside are rows of turquoise lamps that light long tables and floor-to-ceiling books.
Tip: It’s easy to visit the famous Pantheon and Saint-Etienne-du-Mont (the church containing the shrine of St. Genevieve, patron saint of Paris) as they are located just next to each other here.
Enjoy the sunset at Galeries Lafayette
We are not here to buy anything from this high-end department store in the 9th arrondissement, but to take in the stunning panorama of Paris from the roof! The warm, golden hues of the sunset create a stunning backdrop while The Iron Lady poses for your camera.
Paris is a well-known tourist spot with the Eiffel Tower, Louvre museum, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and the famous Champs Elysee, but you can see that whether traveling alone or with friends, there is so much more to see. Bon Voyage!