In Paris for a short stay of 2 or 3 days or a week? Check out these things to do (mostly) do not, and the alternatives that we recommend.
1. Don’t see … la Joconde.
25,000 people visit the Louvre every day, and most of them rush to the famous painting once entered the museum
Although the Mona Lisa is undoubtedly a sublime masterpiece, its small size and the tens (if not hundreds) of people in front of it will prevent you from enjoying its beauty.
Do… See the orther works in the museum.
The Louvre, it’s more than 35,000 works exhibited. Enjoy for example the apartments of Napoleon III, the sumptuous Egyptian gallery, the jewels of Kings of France … While strolling through this magnificent palace, originally built as a fortress to protect Paris.
2. Don’t… take bateau-mouche.
Yes, the Seine is a mythical river, and wanting to discover it by boat is understandable. But there is nothing like a long and romantic walk on the banks to feel the unique atmosphere of the Seine. Do not forget, Paris is a city that is best explored walking…
If you really want a cruise on the Seine, opt for a dinner cruise. A friendly and sometimes gourmand way to discover Paris at night.
From the Alexander III bridge to the Ile de la Cité, enjoy a 2 hours walk that cross some of the most beautiful places in Paris. Jardins des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, the Louvre, Pont Neuf … Be free to move as you want, and take time to contemplate …
3. Don’t … Climb Tour Eiffel.
Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece is not the most visited monument in the world for nothing. And it is normal for any visitor to want to climb it up…. At the risk of spending hours in the queue, as in the floors to enjoy the view.
Do… discover unique views
In addition to the Eiffel Tower or the Montparnasse Tower, beautiful (and free) views of Paris can be enjoyed througout the city.
From the Trocadero to Montmartre, but also – and it is less known – from the heights of Belleville and its garden. Better, walk in the quiet Butte Bergeyre. A bench is waiting for you to contemplate Paris.
4. Don’t… visit Bastille.
Not because you should not, but because you can’t.
Mythical heart of the French Revolution, the ancient fortress of La Bastille had been destroyed. Tourist that come today to find it only discover busy traffic intersection …
Do… Walk in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine
If Revolution remnants are no longer visible, history still exists in the nearby passageways of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, where you will stroll along ancient wood workshops that have made the reputation of the Faubourg until the 20th century
5. Don’t… do Da Vinci Code Tours.
Take a tour in the footsteps of the hero of Dan Brown’s novel is, if not an insult to Paris, the best way to learn mistakes. But since we are lenient, ok for you to discover – by yourself ! – a few places mentioned in the book, as the Saint-Sulpice church.
Do… a real Paris tour.
Unusual stories, history of Paris, unknown places and neighborhoods as Monceau or Buttes-Chaumont, our guided tours will make you discover an off-beat Paris. Another reason to definitely put the Da Vinci Code in a box.
6. Don’t … sip coffe in a famous café.
Café de Flore, les Deux Magots… Names that are mythical intellectuals places of the 20th century, reminding amongst other people Jean-Paul Sartre or Simone de Beauvoir. Or the Café des Deux Moulins,famous for the movie Amelie.
However, you will see today nothing else that customers trying to capture the glorious atmosphere of yesteryear, and left with the only memory of an exorbitant price paid for a single café.
Do… Stop in next door
Although it might be harder to find today a real Bistro Parisien, they still exist. So, prefer to famous café a nice neighborhood bar. The best way to “vivre à la parisienne !”