Cool Spots in Paris That Are Not the Eiffel Tower
Don’t get me wrong, the Eiffel Tower is great. If you haven’t yet been to the top, it’s definitely worthwhile. But there’s so much more to Paris! Here are some things I would recommend people check out when they go to the city of lights!
1. Check out the bookstores in Paris
Okay, so this may seem a bit weird because if you are traveling from the US or Canada, you may not be able to speak French- so why would you go to a French bookstore? Well, don’t despair! There are some great English bookstores to visit. The first is the Galignani bookstore at 224 rue de Rivoli. It’s in a touristy part of town so you shouldn’t have trouble finding it. And the bookstore sells both French and English books.
Second, you’ll want to check out Shakespeare & Company. This bookstore is also an English bookstore in Paris and has a very famous history. It’s a spot where Hemingway and many other famous writers gathered. My recommendation is to plan to spend only a few minutes here. It’s crowded. It’s neat to see but it’s not great for browsing as there’s just so many people in and around the bookstore. Either way, it’s on the left bank, which is a neat part of town.
2. 59 Rivoli
If you need to get away from people (as I often do when I’m in a big city), check out 59 Rivoli. It’s a 6 story art studio. Anyone can walk through the studios, watch the artists work and check out their work. Most of the time the artists ask that you not take pictures, which makes sense. There is plenty of opportunity to buy the art though. And all of it is amazing!
3. Jardin des Tuileries
Paris is such a lovely city. Each neighborhood in the city is special in its own way. The last few times I was in the city, I found myself spending some time in the Jardin des Tuileries. There are so many gardens and parks around the city, I recommend you find the one closest to you and explore. Be prepared to sit around for some great people watching. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon in Paris!
4. Bike the city
A final activity I recommend in Paris is to rent a bike and get yourself lost! Like many other big cities around the world, Paris has bike rentals you can use at your leisure and drop them off at a different location. Paris is a great city for these bike rentals because it’s a mostly flat city and there is so much to see that you are almost guaranteed to find a photo op at every corner. And you can plan to drive by the Eiffel Tower too. It is an amazing structure!