You are done with strolling around romantic Paris, the City of Lights. Or perhaps, you are on your second or third visit to the city, and you would really want to explore beyond the Louvre, the Montmartre, and the Eiffel Tower. Well, the city is much like any other big metropolis around the world and has several faces to itself, something for the shoppers, something for the culture explorers, some for the foodies, and then some more for the romantic. What better than to explore the other, authentic side of Paris. Take a stroll or hop on to a Paris taxi like Beauvais taxi and see some of the wonderful places that can really be seductive.
The alternate museums
Perhaps you can name an interest and Paris will have a museum. The popular ones are of course the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay but then there are others themed around anthropology, natural history, perfumes, police, erotic art, and even fairground rides! For interesting presentations on science, do visit the Musee des Arts et Metiers. The metro station below is as exciting. Natural history buffs could visit the Museum National d’HistoireNaturelle that is located right next to the Botanical Gardens. Fragonard’s Musee du Parfum is a fragrantly sweet one. Until the point you visit it, you would never perhaps get to know that fragrances can be made not only out of flowers but leaves, herbs, and mosses too.
The Catacomb and the Sewer Museum
Doesn’t sound appealing? Well, the Catacomb is an unusual tourist attraction, but a fascinating one at that. It is a fantastic maze of tunnel piled with skeletons or somewhat remains from skeletons, the bones. In the 1780s, when Parisians were running out of burial grounds, the skeletons of six million people were moved to this place.
Staying underground still, why not explore what goes on beneath the city. Again unusual, but significantly different, the Sewer Museum is an engineering marvel. It provides you a glimpse of how the city’s sewerage system was built in the 1800’s mirroring the exact pattern of the streets above ground. And, it isn’t smelly, so you could take an interest in engineering and spend some time down in the cool on a hot day in Paris.
Paris’s famed markets
The traditional markets are where you can catch the true pulse of the city. The markets are lively and each one of them unique. The Marche d’Aligre is a covered food market and the fabulous stalls selling cheese and flowers should never be missed. While there, bite into some nice, crunchy baguette. The Rue Mouffetard is known for its artisan bakers, the sweet shops, and fromageries. If you are lucky to be there on a Saturday, when the market is closed and replaced by a massive food market, you could be fortunate enough to bite into some wonderful savories. While on the topic of food, the Le Marche Bourse is for ethnic cuisines. It opens twice a week, but the aromas and the taste are simply irresistible. Of a different variety altogether, the Le Marche aux fleurs et aux Oiseaux is an astonishing one and caters to nature, birds, and gardening. If you are hunting for bargains, the stalls at Le Marche aux puces de Montreuil offer real deals. But, if you want to have a feel of the old times and the French countryside, hop on to a taxi and travel the Le Marche de la place des Fetes for local produce.
The gardens and the canals
These are great places to give a rest to your tired knees, enjoy the covered walkways and the pristine gardens. The Luxembourg Gardens and the Tuileries are where you would find most of the tourists. However, for the ones that do not get those touristy crowds, take a taxi and head to the Promenade Plantee, which means the planted walkway. Curiously, it is built upon an old railway track that was closed down in 1969. A wide array of trees, beautiful old viaducts that now house art shops, archways, and benches, it is a nice place to rest at after some hectic tours.
Now, never miss this! All of those travel guides would have advised you a cruise on the Seine. Do definitely go for it as it offers you a fleeting glimpse of Paris’ most famous sights. But, definitely take a walk down or a ferry along the canals. They provide you an authentic experience of city life, of trendy cafes, of lively markets and bistros. The nearest one to the city is the Canal St Martin. You could also take a lazy stroll along the shady banks that can become packed with localities in the evenings.