Unique things to do in Paris
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Travel like a local
To know Paris is to walk its arrondissements until your feet tire, making time along the way to linger over un café, tuck into a quiet corner of a bookstore, or indulge in an hours-long dinner. The city’s joie de vivre is ever present, whether you’re standing before the Eiffel Tower, or visiting the Pigalle neighborhood for live music. For unique things to do in Paris, learn to make macarons; discover art on bike tours; and see famous monuments in unexpected ways, among other activities, with locals on Airbnb Experiences.
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Your guide to Paris
What do locals do in Paris?
There’s more than one way to experience the French capital’s 20 diverse districts. Here are some of the best things to do to experience the local culture. Something to note: A simple “bonjour” and “merci” go a long way as you get to know the people who call Paris home.
Hit the markets
Paris is a shopping destination, and while designer brands are big here, locals often find the best threads and wares in their markets across the city. Vintage and antiques are hot commodities in places such as the beloved Saint-Ouen flea market.
For fresh produce and flowers, head to the open-air Marché Bastille in between the Bastille and Richard Lenoir metro stations from Thursday to Sunday. Always check days of operation ahead of time, but most of the established markets run on a regular schedule.
Dine in the 11th arrondissement
The Parisian food and wine scene is having a moment with a more diverse set of cuisines (think African- and Asian-inspired dishes, natural wine cellars), and one of the best areas to experience that firsthand is in the 11th.
Savor art and coffee in the 3rd arrondissement
This district, which makes up part of Le Marais, bustles most hours of the day. Its central location makes it perfect for starting a day, and with many cafes and art galleries lining its old-world streets, you may end up here longer than you expected getting lost in its charm.
Relax along Canal Saint-Martin
Locals and visitors alike can be found in the 10th arrondissement, but in-the-know residents of Paris can point you in the direction of the best boulangeries for fresh goods, noodle shops, and street food.
What are unique things to do in Paris?
See the famous sights in new ways
Whether you’ve lived here all your life, or you’re a first-time visitor, the city’s famous monuments will always strike a chord. Experience them in new ways such as a comedian-led tour of the Louvre, on bike tours to see hidden sights, yoga under the Eiffel Tower, during a scavenger hunt in Musée d'Orsay, and an indulgent food tour of Montmatre.
Take a cooking class
Home to some of the most delectable baked goods on the planet, try your hand at making croissants or macarons with professional chefs there to teach you the techniques.
Discover speakeasies and wine bars
Nightlife buzzes in the 9th and 10th arrondissements, where you can find some of the best cocktails in town. For hidden speakeasies and rich stories of famous poets and artists, go out with local experts to places such as Montmatre, Le Marais, and Pigalle. No matter where you end up, there’s nothing like seeing famous monuments such as Arc de Triomphe, Palais Garnier, and the Moulin Rouge illuminated at night.
Go deeper into Parisian culture
Get past the stereotypes of berets and baguettes, and you understand that Paris is far more diverse. Experience Black history on fashion and art tours that celebrate the large populations of North Africans and sub-Saharan people who settled in areas such as the 18th arrondissement in the 1970s.