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Hidden treasures in/near Paris


100+ Posts
Oh thanks, I hadn't had a chance to check yet. I think that's farther than we want to go, although I appreciate it being suggested.

I should have mentioned that our preference is to stay within an hour's travel distance. I'm curious to know what interesting small towns or villages lie outside Paris, that might make for a pleasant little excursion. Guidebooks don't seem to offer much besides the well known places like Versailles.
There is a very good book available called, "An Hour From Paris", by Annabel Simms, which details exactly what you are looking for. Perhaps your local library has a copy, or it is easily available online.


100+ Posts
There is a very good book available called, "An Hour From Paris", by Annabel Simms, which details exactly what you are looking for. Perhaps your local library has a copy, or it is easily available online.
Oh that sounds like a fabulous resource - thanks so much!
What about Chartres? On Fridays the chairs are all pulled off the floor and you can walk the labyrinth. RE Versailles gardens, certain Sundays in summer the water features are all turned on and I think accompanied by water. I’ve never been on a Sunday but I want to!


100+ Posts
Oh, thanks for the tip about the labyrinth. If we go, I'll definitely aim for a Friday. The water features sound very cool! We'll be there in Sept, but I'll check the schedule.
Still within Paris, what about the Parc de la Villette? A huge open space, but with assorted exhibitions and activities going on, and the Cité de la Musique and the Cité des Sciences. If it isn't too much walking, you could start at the Bassin de la Villette. Come to think of it, what about a boat trip up the canal to the Bassin - and I seem to remember boats running from there further up to the park, this last summer.



100+ Posts
In case anyone comes across this thread down the road, while looking for offbeat Paris ideas.....I'll share a couple other lists that have come my way, in addition to the great ideas you've all generously shared above.

A friend of a friend of a friend, who lives in Paris, offered these ideas (I speak only a little French, but google translate is helpful!):
- bar à vin assez ''st germain des prés » et vraiment chouette avec de bons vins : la compagnie des vins surnaturels (7 rue Lobineau dans le 6e)
-bistrots restos que j’aime dans le quartier : Café Trama, 83 rue du Cherche Midi (6e) ; Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, 19 rue des fossés st Jacques (5e)
- dans le Marais : le Marché des Enfants rouges, 39 rue de Bretagne (3e) il y a plein de stands pour déjeuner / Shopping : Merci, 111 bd Beaumarchais (3e) - à côté, magasin pour ENFANTS Bonton (ligne ‘’Bonpoint’’).
Il y a aussi un Bonton 82 rue de Grenelle (7e). Et le magasin pour enfants Bonpoint, 6 rue de Tournon (6e), en face du Sénat (jardin Luxembourg) est vraiment TROP BEAU!!!!
- macarons et patisseries : Ladurée (rue Bonaparte), Carette (place des Vosges 3e) are my best..
- passages très parisiens : galerie Vivienne (haut des jardins Palais Royal) ; passage des Panoramas (2e) ; galerie Verot Dodat (1er)

Also, Eden (longtime STer, who I'm sure must be a member here too?) posted a link on Facebook to "A Paris local's guide to the best under-the-radar sights in the French capital", which has some cool ideas (and probably lots of crossover with the tip everyone's given me above!)

Moira and I are very thrilled to have so many ideas. She's very excited about the idea of having "the least touristy first trip to Paris ever". What fun!
Ha, it sounds "uffy" (my dad's term for pretentiously high end) - we might have to go check it out now just for a lark!
I must admit I haven't been for a couple of years, but I think you're approaching it in the right spirit.

For rather more affordable, I often have a look at BHV (especially their hardware basement, but that may just be me), and La Chaise Longue.
I would also suggest St-Denis, but be aware of your surroundings! The Parc Monceau is very nice and not on the usual list of things to see in Paris. I would also strongly suggest you explore the many street markets, expecially Marché des Enfants-Rouges, where you can eat very well without spending too much. Marché Aligre is also very interesting (and multi-cultural) and finally, the one on rue Montorgueuil. Oh and Mouffetard, of course!!


100+ Posts
Christian, those street markets seem like the sort of thing we'll enjoy wandering around. And who doesn't like to eat well without spending too much?!

Mark, that does look like a great site. I notice a fairly extensive food dictionary, which will come in handy, I'm sure.

Thanks to you both!


100+ Posts
You are all making me want to visit Paris again! These sound like great ideas. Sorry I can't contribute - have only been there once for 3 nights back in 1999 - way too long ago now! Anne, very excited you will be visiting Paris with your daughter. Have a wonderful time!!


100+ Posts
Thanks Susan, I couldn't be more excited for this! I've been to Paris once before, for a week with my mom...what fun to go again on a mother-daughter trip but this time as the mother!


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