18 Things to Do In & Around Paris That Aren’t Visiting the Eiffel Tower

Paris, the capital of France, is one of the most populated and visited cities in the country. It was founded in the third century BC by Celts known as the Parisii and by the twelfth century, it was one of the largest cities in the world. To this day, it is still an important center for fashion, science, cuisine, and arts.

Since we have family in Paris, M and I go back almost every year to visit the City of Lights and we’ve explored quite a few fun things to do in and around Paris over the years. Here are 18 things to do in and around Paris that aren’t visiting the Eiffel Tower (plus a few vocab words in French for each of the activities).

Things to Do In & Around Paris

1 // Enjoy macarons at Ladurée

Established in 1862 on Rue Royale in Paris, Ladurée is definitely a must-visit for those craving the delicious taste of the double-decker macaron. We stopped in at the Champs Elysées location and while the line was long, the macarons were definitely worth the wait. Read more.

French English
les macarons macarons
les pâtisseries pastries
faire la queue to stand in line

75, avenue des Champs Elysées
75008 Paris

Laduree, Paris, France | Eurolinguiste

2 // Go champagne tasting at La Veuve Cliquot 

A short drive out to Reims, France will take you into champagne country, but more notably, to the cellars and tasting room at Veuve Cliquot, the champagne maker established in 1772. The tour takes you through a small museum, the chalk mines where the champagnes are stored, and finally back up into the gift shop/tasting room for a glass of bubbly. Read more.

French English
le champagne champagne
dégustation de vins wine tasting
les caves cellars

1 place des droits de l’homme
51100 Reims, France

La Veuve Cliquot France | Eurolinguiste

3 // Eat both sweet and savory crêpes at Breizh Café 

I love eating crêpes, and while I lean towards savory as my preferred choice, I won’t say no to a sugar crêpe. Breizh Café arguably has the best crêpes in Paris, and so it’s definitely worth stopping in. Just don’t forget to call ahead and make a reservation! Read more.

French English
les crêpes crepes/pancakes
salé(e) salty
sucré(e) sweeet

109 Rue Vieille du Temple
75003 Paris, France

Breizh Café Crepes and Cider Paris, France | Eurolinguiste

4 // Check out one of the best views of Paris at Le Printemps 

After a quick trip up the escalators in Le Printemps, you find yourself up on the roof with one of the best views in Paris. The Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur and Madeleine are all within sight, and while you admire the view, you can sip on a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. Read more.

French English
le toit the roof
une vue a view
une terrasse a terrace

64, BD Haussman
75009 Paris, France

The Best View of Paris France | Eurolinguiste

5 // Stroll through La Galerie Vivienne 

Les Galeries, or covered passages, are something that are tucked away all across Paris, and La Galerie Vivienne is one of my favorites. I love the old shop façades and window shopping in this center. Plus, there are quiet places to sit down and enjoy a bite to eat or to indulge in a coffee. Read more.

French English
promener to stroll/to walk
flâner to stroll/to saunter
lèche-vitrine window shopping

6 Rue Vivienne
75002 Paris, France

La Galerie Vivienne | Things to do in and around Paris, France | Eurolinguiste

6 // Take a drive through the French countryside 

You don’t have to go far to enjoy the countryside when visiting Paris. In fact, just 30 minutes to an hour by car will do! Read more.

French English
le paysage the landscape
la campagne the countryside
des tournesols sunflowers

Most directions about 30min-1hr outside of Paris

The French Countryside | Eurolinguiste

7 // Visit a Château in Chantilly

After an hour drive outside of Paris, you emerge from the coverings of the forest on the road through the French countryside in Chantilly, you are greeted with a beautiful château that sprawls across a green landscape. It snuggles up to a small lake and just beckons you to come and wander its grounds. Read more.

French English
chantilly whipped cream
un café chantilly a coffee with whipped cream
un château a castle

9030F Le Château
60500 Chantilly, France

Chateau de Chantilly in France: A Guide | Eurolinguiste

8 // Visit Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet

This is one that I haven’t yet personally made it to, but it has been on my list for quite some time! Located within Versaille, The Queen’s Hamlet has an entrancing, rustic appeal. Built in 1783 for Marie-Antoinette, the hamlet soon became a veritable farm, providing food to the palace’s kitchens.

French English
un hameau a hamlet
une reine a queen
un échapatoire a getaway

Place d’Armes
78000 Versailles, France

By Moonik (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

9 // Visit Alexandre Dumas’ Home 

While Alexandre Dumas never lived in this home long (his fortune ran out and he was forced to sell the property), the Chateau de Monte Cristo is a fantastic visit for fans of the well-renowned author. Read more.

French English
un écrivain a writer
un auteur an author
perdre sa fortune to lose his fortune

Square des Ormes
78560 Le Port-Marly, France

The Home of Alexandre Dumas | The Chareau Monte Cristo | Eurolinguiste

10 // Enjoy a walk through the Marais

The Marais is a lovely place to take a stroll with its crooked streets and stone walkways. The Place des Vosges is definitely a stop to make if you head out to the Marais and it is also where you can get a glimpse of the former home of Victor Hugo. 

French English
balader to stroll
une cour a courtyard
être caché(e) to be hidden

Place des Vosges
75004 Paris, France

Doors & Doorways in Paris France | Eurolinguiste

11 // Take a self-guided tour down nearly any street to admire the beautiful doors in Paris 

I love photographing doors and there’s just something about the character of doors in Paris that always captures my attention. Read more.

French English
les portes doors
le caractère  character
capter to capture

Most anywhere in Paris

Doors & Doorways in Paris France | Eurolinguiste

12 // Eat in a 500-year old abbey 

I’m not totally sure if this location is still open, but if it is, M and I enjoyed our meal there. The restaurant, while it doesn’t look like much from the outside, is actually an abbey built more than 500 years ago. Read more.

French English
une abbaye an abbey
dîner to eat dinner
sortir to go out

14 r Lombards
75004 Paris, France

La Table Des Gourmets in Paris, France | Eurolinguiste

13 // Enjoy any one of the beautiful gardens in Paris 

Paris is filled with beautiful gardens, you won’t be hard-pressed to find one (either free or paid admission), within which you can take a pleasant walk. Read more.

French English
les jardins gardens
se détendre to relax/to unwind
la nature nature

Most anywhere in Paris

Flowers in Paris | Eurolinguiste

14 // Eat kouignettes at Maison Georges Larnicol 

This location only needs one word to explain why it’s worth a visit: kouignettes. Read more.

French English
une patisserie a pastry shop
des chocolats chocolates
un gourmand a foodie

132 boulevard Saint-Germain
75006 Paris,France



A photo posted by Shannon Kennedy (@eurolinguiste) on

15 // Enjoy cocktails on a boat at La Passerelle

La Passerelle is a dining experience popular amongst the 20-something crowd and is unique in the fact that the restaurant is located on a boat docked along the Seine. We went for an apéritif, indulging in a glass of wine and a cheese board.

French English
une brasserie a bar
sur un bateau on a boat
mettre à quai to dock

52 Quai du Point du Jour
92100 Boulogne


A photo posted by Shannon Kennedy (@eurolinguiste) on


16 // Visit a boulangerie and indulge in pain au chocolat or chouquettes (or anything else really)

One of the things I miss most about Paris are the various boulangeries just a quick walk from most anywhere in the city. Each time I go back to Paris, I eat my fill of pastries and croissants to make up for the rest of the year I’m back in California.

French English
une boulangerie a bakery
kouign amann a delcious, buttery, Breton cake
clafoutis a baked dessert with fruit
brioche sweet bread
financier a cookie-sized sponge cake

Most anywhere in Paris



A photo posted by Shannon Kennedy (@eurolinguiste) on


17 // Enjoy dinner on a boat tour along the Seine 

The first time M and I visited Paris together, he took me out to celebrate my birthday on a dinner cruise along the Seine. Seeing Paris lit up from the river at night is truly an incredible experience. Read more.

French English
les bateaux mouches tourist river boats
romantique romantic
célébrer to celebrate

Port de la Bourdonnais,
75007 Paris, France


A photo posted by Shannon Kennedy (@eurolinguiste) on


18 // Visit the Maille mustard boutique 

When it comes to mustard, there’s nothing better than enjoying a jar of Maille poured freshly from the tap. Plus, it helps that you can taste a nice selection of mustards with small breadsticks within the store before taking home your selection! Read more.

French English
la moutarde mustard
la vinaigrette vinaigrette/salad dressing
les cornichons pickles

6 Place de la Madeleine
75008 Paris

Maille in Paris, France | Eurolinguiste

And, of course, you can always visit Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Pantheon, Sacre Coeur, the Louvre or any of the other famous monuments dispersed throughout the city.

What about you? Have you been to Paris? What are some of your favorite things to do while you’re there? If you haven’t been, where is somewhere in Paris that you’d love to visit? I’d love to hear your answers in the comments below!