Paris, known worldwide as La Ville-Lumiére, or literally, the Light City, encompasses a 19th century architecture and romanticism that makes it a hot-ticket destination for couples, travelers, and explorers from around the world. Known for landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the 12th Century, Gothic Notre-Dame Cathderal, Paris is also full of café culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
Everyone around the world knows about Paris’ grandiose offerings and lit up beauty marking every hour of the night. But, what about Paris’ not-so-known gems and activities that skirt millions of visitors’ radar?
Paris has quite a few hidden secrets. Here is our top 5 recommended activities to discover in Paris when you visit:
1. Ballon Air de Paris:
Forget exploring the city by foot. You can take in the exquisite Parisian architecture from the air – in a hot air balloon. Thanks to Ballon Air de Paris, visitors can rise to an altitude of 150 meters in a helium-filled balloon that is attached to the ground by a cable. The balloon changes color depending on air quality and pollution levels, giving viewers insight into the status of the air that day. It’s open daily starting at 9AM.
2. Parisian Catacombs:
Not as family friendly as the hot air balloon excursion, the Catacombs of Paris contain the remains of up to six million people. Located right beneath the Parisian street, you are free to tour the infamous catacombs, something that was founded to help with the decreasing availability of cemetery space. It is recommended to go in the morning, or else risk waiting in line for 2-hours.
3. The Montmartre Vineyards:
Situated in Paris for over 800-years, the Montmarte Vineyards is now the last active vineyard in the entire city. Grape picking season kicks off in October, with the vineyard hosting an annual Féte des Vendanges for those in attendance. It’s an absolutely breathtaking vineyard, with classic old-century architecture and cheeky aesthetics.
4. Bois de Boulogne Boating:
Fancy an afternoon on the water? Once a hunting ground of the Kings of France, Bois de Boulogne is a key destination for those wishing to relax in Western Paris. As one of the largest parks in the Western portion of the city, the park plays host to Lac Inférieur, where guests can get in a boat and explore the calm, tranquil fauna and scenery around the natural escape.
5. Boutique Hotels:
If there’s one thing Paris is really known for, it’s a commitment to boutique establishments. It is absolutely recommended to book a boutique hotel in Paris instead of a commercial booking or one with Airbnb.
Some of Paris’ most cherished boutique getaways include: Hotel Providence, Le Roch Hotel & Spa, Hotel Daniel Paris, Maison Souquet, Hotel La Belle Juliette, Saint James Paris, L’Hotel, and the list goes on. Each one of these neoclassical establishments can be booked online, over the phone, or through their social media channels.
The City of Lights
Home to a temperate climate, visiting Paris is always a good idea, no matter the time of year. Check out these secret adventures and recommendations the next time you visit, or you can find more infomation from “Lonely Planet Discover Paris 2017” .