Alternative Trips to Paris

Posted by on Monday, October 11, 2010

The capital of France and a city of more than fourteen million people, Paris is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world. However, in part because of its notoriety, Paris is often reduced to a handful of iconic monuments when seen through foreign eyes.

The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are impressive sights. But metropolitan Paris has so much more to offer than these attractions. If you’d like to get the most out of your visit, we have some great suggestions that will take you to a less traveled, and more authentic, Paris.

Visit a Museum

While the Louvre contains one of the most famous art collections in the world, it presents only a small sampling of the amazing sights to be seen in the galleries of Paris.

Stroll Through a Park

The Jardin du Luxembourg is, despite its name, at the heart of Paris. It is also one of the most beautiful and well-renown parks in the world. Take time here to launch a model sailboat on the Grand Bassin, explore the ruches (bee hives) that have occupied the park since the 19th century, or just relax among the chestnut trees.

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Visit a Paris Neighborhood

Montmarte affords beautiful views of the city, but that’s only if you can see over the shoulders of the tourists that flock to Paris’s highest hill. Instead of struggling with the crowds, visit the far less-overwhelmed Belleville. As Paris’s second-tallest hill, the view is fantastic and the cobbled streets host a multicultural blend that bears hints of Algeria, China, and France all at once.

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Take a Yoga Class

Traveling can be stressful, but there are few better ways to unwind a tense back or strained legs than a good yoga class.

Visit a Spa

While a good yoga session can restore balance to your mind and body, deeper travel stress demands something more like a coma. If you’re feeling the need to recuperate after some devastating jet lag, check out these Paris spas.

Eat a Great Meal

Paris is known for many things. Near the top of this list would undoubtedly be its incredible culinary culture.

Drink Some Champagne in Champagne

As a major metropolitan city, Paris lacks for vineyards. However, the city is surrounded by some of the best wineries in the world. It’s a mere two-hour trip from the city, so hop a train to the home of bubbly and explore.

Some of the better-known houses include Vueve Cliquet, Dom Perignon, and Moet Hennessy. However, these brands are so popular that a visit can be as hectic and harrowing as the most tourist heavy sites in Paris.

These major wineries aren’t the only ones around, however. If you’re looking to explore more subdued locations while still tasting high-quality wines, try Laurent Perrier, Henriot, or Nicolas Feuillatte. Or, if you’re feeling even more adventurous, visit growers like Gaston Chiquet, Pierre Peters, and Gimonet.

In future posts, we'll examine some interesting alternatives in London and Berlin.

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