10 Fabulous Experiences You Need To Have In Paris

I love Paris.

I love wandering aimlessly through the Latin Quarter. I love breakfast in Montmartre. I love picnics and drinking wine sitting by the Seine at night. I love exploring the arrondissements far from the tourist grind.

Paris is so much more than the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe, although I do love them all.

Cafe in paris

Paris is a city that needs to be experienced. Rather than racing headfirst on a sprint through the monuments, slow down, stroll and breathe in this glorious city.

Instead of waiting in line for 3 or 4 hours to go up the Eiffel Tower or walking through the human crush on the Champs Elysees, both of which are time vampires and will burn valuable hours of your time in Paris, leave the tourist trail and try some of these options for a completely different and totally fabulous experiences in Paris.

Participate In Café Life.

cafe paris marais

Wander down any street that sits away from the tourist zones so that you can have a more authentic experience. Look for a café with no tourists, but with locals sitting there instead (they are literally on every street, so not hard to find), sit outside and enjoy a Parisian breakfast. Order a café au lait and a brioche or a croissant, and watch the world go by or read a book or newspaper. Breathe in Paris and for just a moment imagine that you live here, and this is your life!

 breakfast in paris

Read A Book In Place Des Vosges

Take some time out from the madness of the city and duck into the beautiful Place Des Vosges with a book. You will be surrounded by French families, French workers on their lunch breaks, friends and lovers takin time out from their day to enjoy this lovely square.

Lie in the grass or sit under the trees on a bench, either way relax and soak up this quintessentially Parisian experience.

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Shop For A Picnic On Rue Cler

The French truly appreciate le pique – nique, maybe more than any other people. Rue Cler is a food shopping street in the beautiful 7th arrondissement, where you find bread, meats, cheeses, fruits, wines – everything you need for a dinner party or brunch, or the perfect picnic.

rue cler paris fromagerie

If you tell the vendors that you are shopping for a picnic they will get involved and help you pair the perfect cheeses (one hard, one soft) with your choice of cold meat. They will choose a perfect wine, the right bread, the right fruits. On my most recent picnic shopping adventure on Rue Cler in each shop I went into the sales people wanted to see what was in my shopping bag, what I had chosen so far, and then would get into big discussions about what would be the perfect choice to go with it. It was hilarious and fun and wonderful. In one store they refused to sell me a baguette because they said theirs was inferior and would ruin the picnic! They told me to buy my baguette at the boulangerie down the street where the bread was much better. I can’t even tell you how much I enjoyed the whole process! And we had the most perfect picnic ever.

Related Post: How To Plan The Perfect Picnic In Paris

Have An Evening Picnic At Champs De Mars

picnic in paris

Now that you have bought your picnic items, head over to the Champ de Mars, a long narrow park at the foot of the Eiffel. If you plan it right you can get there and get settled in in time for the tower to light up. I always bring a table cloth and paper plates from home so that everything is lovely. I promise you, if you take the time to shop for a picnic and find yourself stretched out in the grass under the Eiffel with a glass of champagne in your hand as the tower lights up, you will be loving life and enjoying a slice of Paris that most tourists miss.

eiffel tower picnic

eiffle tower at night

Wander The Seine At Night.

To truly appreciate the beauty of the lights that begot Paris the appellation “City of Lights” you need to actually go out and see them. Walking along the Seine at night you will be overwhelmed at the beauty of Paris all over again. Sit on the bridges and take in the stunning views of the river lit up on either side, and the bateaux making their way through the water.

Seine at night

Rather than taking a dinner cruise, where you are either looking at your food and your companions and missing the view, or neglecting your meal and your companions to take in the view, just walk. You will see French couples smooching under the stars or enjoying a glass of wine with their legs dangling over the river walls. Others will be walking home from dinner, arm in arm. Paris is exquisite at night – make sure you go walk it, even in the rain.

Paris Hotel de Ville at night

Related Post: Where To Find One Of The Best Views In Paris

Explore Canal St Martin

Canal Saint Martin Paris

Canal Saint Martin Paris

From Place de Republique at the top end of le Marais, walk a couple of city blocks to the fabulous Canal Saint Martin. This 4.5 kilometer waterway has become a super vibey, cool area, lined with shabby chic shops and cafes. It is trendy but not touristy, the people you will see are Parisians going about their daily lives.

HP Commission

Once a working class area, Canal Saint Martin has evolved over the past 5 years into one of the coolest areas in Paris. Stop for lunch at one of the cafes, walk up and down all the little streets and be blown away by the gorgeous boutiques that you find tucked away far from the main roads. It is easy to lose yourself for an afternoon at Canal St Martin, and the experience is quintessentially Parisienne.

Canal Saint Martin Paris

Canal Saint Martin Paris

Have Dinner In The Marais

The Marais is one of my absolute favorite parts of Paris. Wander up to Parc de Temple and you will find yourself far from the tourist crowds, in a world that is distinctly Parisian. There are endless outdoor cafes and bistros, where you will sit shoulder to shoulder with locals going about their normal lives. Which, of course, is what makes it fabulous! You won’t see bottles of ketchup on the table and the menus probably won’t have any English, but the food will be amazing and the experience unforgettable.

cafe Marais paris

Take time to watch the locals. Parisians put their phones away and actually look at each other and talk. It’s just fantastic. I love watching the men out with their significant other (or maybe just a date). Unlike men in America the Frenchies’ eyes aren’t scouting around to see what else is out there, instead they look at and interact with the woman they are with. It is intoxicating to watch. In fact the last few times I have been to Paris both alone and with friends and my tour groups I have made it a point to tell them to watch. It doesn’t seem to matter where in Paris we are, the story is beautifully the same.

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 Explore new Arrondissements

The Paris Metro is super easy to use and is super efficient. For next to no cost at all you can open up the entire city to yourself and buzz around everywhere. Choose an outlying/higher numbered arrondissement on the map, jump on the metro and go explore! Paris is full of endless fantastic places to stumble upon.

Pigalle Paris

Pigalle, 9th arr.

Earlier this year I accidentally discovered the 20th, I recently visited friends who live in the 10th, a few years back I went to visit a pro makeup store in the 15th. Every time I find myself in a new part of Paris, a city I have been to too many times to count, I am awestruck all over again. Paris is like an onion with never ending layers to peel back. The more you explore, the more you will fall in love with this city, and I truly believe the best of Paris lies far from the tourist areas.

As you explore the different arrondissements you will find little shopping streets, courtyards and squares, delicious little pieces of history that the masses will never venture out to find.

Pigalle Paris

You are not likely to be disappointed if you venture away from the main tourist spots!

If the Metro feels too daunting take advantage of Uber. Uber is quite inexpensive in Paris and there are drivers everywhere.

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Shop A Flea Market

Perhaps the most famous flea market in Paris is Les Puces de Saint Ouen, know to everyone as Les Puces (the fleas). Les Puces is the largest antique market in the world and gets up to 180,000 people coming to browse per weekend.

Easy to find, Les Puces is situated in one of the poorer parts of the 18th arrondissement, metro stop Porte de Clignancourt on Line 4. Hilariously this is Fox News’ “no go zone” where they say police won’t go, but it’s actually a bustling market town!

The market is open on Saturdays and Sundays as well as Monday mornings. The best time to go is on a weekend morning. Have a coffee, watch everyone arrive and wander around. Chances are you won’t be shopping for antiques to ship home but you can find really cool souvenirs. A fantastic, low cost souvenir is the antique postcard. They average at 1 euro each and make for wonderful keepsakes.

As with any crowded place you need to hang on to your handbag and beware of pickpockets. The markets are huge so you may want to download a map of the markets before you go.

Make A Movie Tour 

So many amazing movies have been made and set in Paris. Rather than burn hours waiting in lines to see the main tourist sites, make a list of places from your favorite movies and go on a movie tour.

Louvre at night

Louvre at night

Paris is an easy city to find your way around, the metro and Uber making everything accessible to you. I guarantee you you will have far more fun exploring the streets where your favorite movies happened than waiting hours to go up the Eiffel! To get you started you could go to the pyramid at the Louvre from The da Vinci Code, Montmartre and Canal Saint Martin from Amelie, and if you want to find the steps where Hemingway picks up Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris, head past the Pantheon up Rue de la Montaigne to the church of St Genevieve, and walk around the back. Maybe Hemingway will come find you too!

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Fantastic Things To Do In Paris In Spring 2017

If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you already know that I’m in Paris right now with the first of the 2017 Glam Italia Tours. We are starting out in Paris for a week, then bouncing over to the Italian Riviera.

I flew here on Air France, one of the many times I have flown into the City of Light on Air France. In fact, my back and forth travel with Air France convinced me that rather than fly business class I should buy a premium economy ticket and be treated like royalty in the absolute luxury of their upper economy section. If you have never flown in the double decker Airbus A380 I have to tell you it is quite something. I don’t know how any plane stays in the air, but this giant aircraft is just incredible! It feels a little trippy when this giant flying machine is working its way along the runway, but somehow it takes off and then you are so busy being pampered that you forget the size and shape of the chariot you are riding in!

Return Flights from Los Angeles to Paris with Air France!

Air France sent me a list of exhibitions happening in Paris this spring. If you are going to be in Paris you need to check these out. We will be going to Balenciaga and to Dalida. Here is the article ~ enjoy!


The greatest exhibitions in Paris for 2017 have already been announced. Here is an overview of what you do not want to miss.

Paris always holds a fascinating cultural and artistic agenda. Early 2017, the offer is plentiful: fashion retrospective, exhibitions about the great masters of classical painting, travels around cinema. You just have to choose, or not…


Proper attire required: when clothes caused scandals

Three major themes make up the core of the exhibition: Dress Codes, Boy or Girl? and Provocative Excess. Les Arts Décoratifs Museum sheds a light on clothes of every shape or form, most especially when they turn out scandalous. Discover more than 400 garments and accessories, portraits, but also caricatures and other items that each contributed to the big changes in the history of fashion.

Until 23 April 2017. Admission fee: 9 EUR
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris.


Air France Best Offers & Promotions

Vermeer and the genre painting masters

You are bound to know The Milkmaid, or The Girl with a Pearl Earring. In February, the Louvre Museum offers an exhibition devoted to Vermeer, his inspirations, and the rivalry he sustained with other artists during the Dutch Golden Age.

From 22 February to 22 May 2017. Admission fee: 15 EUR
Hall Napoléon, under the pyramid, 75001 Paris


Balenciaga, art of black

Cristobal Balenciaga loved to play with materials, fabrics, light and shapes. And used the colour black like no one else. A hundred models in lace, embroidery, silk and velvet all sublimating the black colour will be on display at the Musée Bourdelle, in association with the Palais Galliera and the Balenciaga Archives.

From 08 March to 16 July 2017. Admission fee: 10 EUR
Hors les murs du Palais Galliera, Musée Bourdelle : 16, rue Antoine Bourdelle 75015 Paris.



To those who are eagerly awaiting the return of warmer weather, or strolls in the streets of Paris and picnics in beautiful public gardens…, in March, the Grand Palais offers a seasonal exhibition, “a garden promenade” around the masterpieces by some of the greatest masters. Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, Magritte and six centuries of garden representation are being exhibited.

From 15 March to 24 July 2017. Admission fee: 13 EUR
Grand Palais, 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris


Children of Cinema

The French Cinémathèque offers you a journey back into childhood. A selection of feature movies, animated films and documentaries will focus on various emotions: happiness, courage, anger or sadness.
On the agenda, masterclasses with filmmakers, conferences and an exhibition of drawings, most of them previously unseen, as well as mysterious totems for you to find out…

From 29 March to 31 July 2017. Admission fee: 5 EUR
La Cinémathèque Française, 51 Rue de Bercy, 75012 Paris.



Icon of the disco years and muse of the greatest fashion designers, Dalida is the highlight of Palais Galliera. Her incredible wardrobe stands out with a pronounced waistline and dizzying lower back. Dalida wore and dared everything. You will be able to admire her costumes, such as her famous Hollywood red sheath dress from April 2017 onwards.

From 29 April to 13 August 2017. Admission fee: 11 EUR
Palais Galliera, 10, avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie 75116 Paris.

Unusual Things To Do In Paris

Paris is so much more than the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees. Although you really do have to go see all the major sites in beautiful Paris you really should experience some other fabulous things that don’t necessarily find their way into the tour books.

Right now I am in Paris, the City of Light, starting out the 2017 Glam Italia Tours (week one: Paris), and we are doing some interesting, fun and fabulous things that you won’t find in any of the tour guides! Are you following me on Instagram? I’m posting new travel pics daily, so you can follow along with us. There will be lots of new travel posts happening over the next few weeks and then again when I get back home, so stick around!

Here is a cool article that I found on Harpers Bazaar.com about one of the places we are visiting this week in Paris. Enjoy!


This Extraordinary New Museum Doesn’t Actually Have Any Art


Grand Musée du Parfum, Paris, Exhibition, Perfume, Kyphi, Christian Lacroix, Marie-Antoinette

At the Grand Musée du Parfum in Paris, visitors smell their way through curated exhibitions of scent

In ancient Egyptian times, the first perfume known to mankind was called “kyphi,” incense made from myrrh, grapes and honey. With a recipe that dates back to 1500 B.C., it was used for sacred rituals and healings, thrown over hot coals so the scent would rise with smoke.

Kyphi has now been carefully brought back to life by a group of contemporary perfumers at the new Grand Musée du Parfum in Paris, so anyone can be taken back in time with one ancient whiff.

Showcasing over 60 different scents, the museum traces the evolution of perfume to its present day with odours in smelling bowls and artificial flowers which spray mystery scents.

“The museum is a tribute to fragrance, our sense of smell and how perfume is a symbol of French artistry,” said the museum’s CEO, Sandra Armstrong, whose favourite scent in the museum is kyphi, which she notes as “both spicy and sweet at the same time.”

Set inside an 18th-century mansion, formerly Christian Lacroix’s maison de couture, the museum opens with “Perfume Stories and Histories.” It shows couples who changed the game in perfume history, like the love story between Cleopatra and Marc-Antony alongside business partnerships, like Catherine de’ Medici and her personal perfumer who introduced perfuming to France.

“Perfume wasn’t always used for the art of seduction, nor was it always in a glass bottle.”

Perfume wasn’t always used for the art of seduction, nor was it always in a glass bottle. With a collection of pomander and potpourris, the museum shows how scents evolved in ancient Rome, where people used perfume in bath rituals, to the Middle Ages, where many carried scented sponges in small boxes.

It was Italian perfumer Jean-Marie Farina who drenched the French court in eau du cologne, which he invented in 1695, and here the museum has recreated his famed scent: the Tonkin musk.

Return Flights from Los Angeles to Paris with Air France!

The museum has an Alice in Wonderland-style “Garden of Scents” with artificial flowers, each of which spray obscure scents. “The fire of a chimney, fresh raspberries, basil herb or the sea landscape, it’s about the overlooked scents of everyday life,” said Armstrong.

There’s also a section which pulls back the mysterious veil of the perfumer’s process. “The Art of the Perfumer” traces the artist’s craftsmanship from raw materials to final product, including a historic perfume lab recreated from 1775, which is modelled after Marie-Antoinette’s perfumer Houbigant, who made the queen’s favourite perfume, a mix of orange blossom, iris and cedar.

Le Grand Musée du Parfum

It isn’t all dusty artifacts, either. The installation entitled “Scent Constellation” takes a traditional “perfumer’s organ” (their cabinet of scents) and makes it into an electronic music symphony.

“Perfumers are both artists and scientists,” said Armstrong. “We’ve connected fragrances to their ability to unravel the mystery of their composition.”

Le Grand Musée du Parfum

Some might also find their favourite modern perfumes lined up in the museum’s hall of fame, where over 50 perfumes are celebrated. Fragrances like Calvin Klein’s CK One is featured for bringing unisex perfume to the mainstream in the 1990s. “It was a milestone in fragrance because it paid tribute to social culture,” said Armstrong. “Perfume has no gender.”

This privately-funded museum, which cost $7 million to create, seems to have been built purely on the passion of the olfactory sense. “It’s about the sensation and enjoyment from our noses,” said Armstrong. “The sense of smell is the core of the museum experience.”

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Le Grand Musée du Parfum