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When you’re after a more local, secret Paris rather than the one pushed by top-10 lists in conventional guidebooks, it’s necessary to step off the dusty old tourist circuits and go in search of a quieter sort of beauty.
I recommend donning some decent walking shoes and setting out to explore the 5 neighborhoods shown in the short video below.
How did I choose them? Well, they’re all prized by locals for their haunting streets, artistic and cultural originality, excellent restaurants, bakeries and bars, historic legacies that don’t quite make it into your average guidebook, rocking nightlife and leafy spaces–or all of the above.
Watch now for a dose of inspiration– and check back here soon for a complete feature on this topic.
See my in-depth guides to some of the neighborhoods mentioned in the video, and a couple others worth exploring:
- An Insider’s Guide to Belleville, A Haven for Artists, Intellectuals & Revolutionaries
- Exploring the Oberkampf District, Past & Present
- Wandering Gambetta-Ménilmontant, for Leafy Lanes & Cool Nightlife
- Why Rue Montorgueil Will Always Feel Like Home
Postscript: Why the “Tried & True” Doesn’t Have to Be Dull…
Of course, if you’re about to embark on a debut trip to Paris, you shouldn’t hesitate to spend some time visiting more “iconic” sites and places.
And as I point out in my full guide to what to see in Paris on a first visit, even incredibly popular attractions like the Louvre, Notre Dame and Seine river boat cruises can offer interesting perspectives and experiences– as long as you’re willing to dig a bit more deeply.
All of these harbor historic, artistic and architectural details that– once gleaned– will firmly push away any two-dimensional, caricatural ideas you might have picked up about them.
It’s simply a matter of changing your perspective and realizing that even “postcard” Paris has plenty of complexity and depth just below the surface. It just takes a bit more work to find it.