Top Non-Touristy things to do in Paris 2018

If this is your second time in Paris or you’ve done all the touristy things that this beautiful city has to offer, you might want to check out some local activities that the Parisiens and Expats partake in. After spending the past two years here, I’m still amazed at how many new exhibitions open up and fun cultural events that are available to the public.  It truly is hard to be bored in Paris and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite picks.

Here is a list of some on-going events that will make you feel like you are a part of the Parisien culture. Don’t worry, you don’t have to speak French to enjoy the activities!

Lost in Frenchlation

Lost in Frenchlation, Volontaire film, cinema, Paris, France
Introduction to the Movie

Interested in watching a French movie like a local but your French is far from being a native? Why not come to a Lost in Frenchlation event where you can mingle with other expats during cocktail hour before you enjoy a French movie together with English subtitles. Movies are shown year-round in various cinemas in Paris and reasonably priced at €9.50 per ticket.

*There will be a special event on Aug 24th with a free outdoor screening of Queen Margot in the 11th arrondissement at 9pm. For more information about Lost in Frenchlation, click here.

Inside Opera

Escape Game, Inside Opera, Paris, France
Escape Game

Love to join an interactive Escape Game and roam around the Opera Garnier in Paris? Follow the clues provided by the Phantom of the Opera and solve riddles before you partake in an interactive final performance. Don’t forget to bring a pen to note down the clues. You can participate in the game alone or with a group of friends. The game is available in English and French. For more information, click here.

Les Grands Voisins

Graffiti Art, Les Grands Voisins, Paris, France, Hospital, Public Space
Graffiti Art

Former hospital turned into public art space, there are special concerts and events that happen year round at this cool outdoor area. Drinks and food are available for purchase as well as tons of interesting graffiti art to view. Mostly a college hangout spot, come mingle with the local French students anytime during the week. Click here for more details.

Martin Margiela : The Hermès years

Martin Margiela, Haute Couture, Hermes, Paris, France
Evening Wear

If you’re a lover of high end fashion, come check out this great exhibit running at Musée des Arts Décoratifs until September 2nd. Designer Martin Margiela was known in the 90s for his timeless classic pieces during the Avant Garde period and the Creative Director for Hermès during that time. Known for his use of older models between 25-65, Margiela created everyday pieces that are still worn everyday in Paris. For more information and a photo review of the exhibit, click here.

Atelier Des Lumières – Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt Atelier des Lumières, paris, France, art installation
Gustav Klimt

Marking the 100th anniversary death of the infamous Viennese Artist Gustav Klimt, you will find a beautiful light show displaying his works dating back to the late 19th century. Loft-style setting with plenty of space to sit anywhere you like, you can enjoy the show from any angle. This art exhibit is unlike any other you’ve seen in Paris. Book your tickets online to avoid the long lines. Click here for more details.

Outdoor Cinema – La Villette

Open Air Cinema La Villette, Paris, France, Cinema en Plein Air
Outdoor Cinema

Grab a towel and a picnic basket and check out some blockbuster hits like Mars Attacks and Promised Land in the beautiful La Villette park. Similar to the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival in NYC, you can spread out on the big lawn and arrive just an hour before the film starts. Beach chairs and blankets are available for rental. Movie starts at sunset. Check out here for more info.

La Tour Saint- Jacques

View from La Tour Saint Jacques, Paris, France
View from La Tour Saint Jacques

Hidden behind Rue de Rivoli across from the shopping district of Chatelet, you will find a beautiful Gothic tower dating back to the 1500s. Former Church, this Tower is the only standing structure in the area after the French Revolution. Perched at 54 meters high, you will climb up 300 steps to stunning views of Paris. Group tours are available until November. For more info, click here.

Hope you enjoyed my post! For more ideas on what to do in Paris and France, check out my instagram here


64 Replies to “Top Non-Touristy things to do in Paris 2018”

  1. Wow, these are such great suggestions! I’ve been to Paris a few times already, so I’ve done most of the touristy stuff. I love the first two suggestions the most! Maybe we’ll go back there again soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SHUT UP!! I have to do Inside the Opera! I love escape rooms, and I especially love Phantom of the Opera!!! Dying over here!


  3. I had no idea there was so much going on in Paris! I’ve only been once, but been thinking about a second trip. I’ll definitely keep this in mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These all look like awesome options for Paris. We didn’t hit any of these sites when we were there last year but I see several I’d love to add to my list for a return trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What great ideas for my next trip to Paris! I’ve been there twice and have already done all of the touristy things, so your suggestions are really awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Paris so much! I’ve only been once, and it was for like, 3 days – so we didn’t have time to do anything non-touristy but I have HIGH expectations of going back, and I will add these things to the itinerary!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Absolutely loved this post, Rachel! I, too, am a former native New Yorker. It has been awhile since I’ve visited Paris, so I found the links to each venue especially helpful.

    The City of Light is a very popular port of departure for cruises along the Seine River to and from Rouen on the Normandy coast. Since most of my cruisetour clients seek authentic off-the-beat path experiences, many will appreciate your recommendations as alternatives to the more “touristy” activities included in a typical cruise itinerary. With so many culturally enriching experiences to be had, I always recommend that they extend their already fabulous cruisetour vacay with a pre- and/or post-cruise stay in Paris so they may enjoy a more immersive experience and live like the locals.

    I’m now following you on Instagram. After I share your article in my Facebook travel group, I’m sure many of my followers who are planning a Seine River cruise will too. Thanks for making my job easier!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dallas. Really glad you enjoyed my post and found it helpful for your clients. I love exploring Paris and sharing my findings with others.

      Your cruise sounds amazing, perhaps we could collaborate one day on a post =)

      I just followed you back on Instagram. Looking forward to your adventures!


  8. I’ve been to Paris 8 times and have only heard of 1 of these things – what a great list! Can’t wait to try a few more on my next visit.

    Liked by 1 person

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