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The ‘instead of’ guide à Paris

Paris has long been one of the world’s most visited cities, so the chances you’ve already ascended the Eiffel Tower are, like the landmark itself, pretty high. For those wishing to discover the city without huddling up with the other tourists, here’s an alternative guide.

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Instead of the Eiffel Tower – Parc de Belleville

Visit the heights of parc de belleville In Belleville, you’ll discover 
a Parisian neighborhood with a long history as a multicultural working-class enclave with a thriving art scene. You’ll want to climb the hill to the park at sunset for panoramic views of the Paris skyline, including the Eiffel Tower. And all of this wonderment involves no entrance fee 
or waiting in lines.

Parc de Belleville

47 Rue des Couronnes, Paris

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Instead of steak frites – Try japanese cuisine

Try japanese cuisine on rue sainte anne The area around Opera, more specifically the vicinity of a single street – Rue Sainte Anne – is often referred to as Paris’ Little Japan. Here you will find every Japanese specialty, from an array of noodle soups to sweet pastries, some of the best of which can be found at Udon Bistro Kunitoraya. However, consider yourself warned about the long lines in front of the more popular eateries. My best advice is to opt for a late lunch or early dinner.

Udon bistro Kunitoraya

1 Rue Villedo, Paris

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Photo: Epices Roellinger

Instead of a Michelin-starred restaurant – Visit a spice shop

Instead of dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant visit the spice shop epices roellingerEveryone knows Paris is filled with Michelin-starred restaurants. But one of the truly great gourmet destinations is Epices Roellinger, the spice shop owned by the French chef Olivier Roellinger. Back in 1982, he opened Les Maisons de -Bricourt, a restaurant in his childhood home in Brittany. 
In 2006, that restaurant was awarded three Michelin stars. But only two years later, Roellinger renounced his stars in exchange for a quieter life. He now dedicates his time to hunting down precious spices from around the world. The results of his journeys can be found at Epices Roellinger.

Epices Roellinger

51 bis Rue Sainte-Anne, Paris

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Photo: Gautier Salles / Unsplash

Instead of Chatêau de Versailles – Visit the village of giverny

About an hour and a half outside Paris, along the River Seine, lies Giverny, a little village that contains the impressionist painter Claude Monet’s home and gardens. It was here that he painted his famous -Water Lilies. Visit during springtime and immerse yourself in Monet’s signature vivid blue and lilac hues. Visit in autumn and you’ll experience equally vivid yellows and oranges. Should Paris’ pompous gray buildings ever bore you, this is an easy escape to the world 
of nature.

Fondation Monet in Giverny

84 Rue Claude Monet, Giverny

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Instead of Tuileries Gardens – Stroll in Bois de Vincennes

Why not try another park beloved by locals? In a city with plenty of parks, your best chance for finding a good vantage point and stopping spot is to visit the largest one. Take the Metro east to discover the Bois de Vincennes. Make a detour at the Bruno Collet Cheese Shop by the station. There, you can pick up picnic staples. If you feel -adventurous, rent one of the boats at Lake Daumesnil, in the heart of the Bois, and row your feast onto the little island of Reuilly. There you can picnic at the island’s Temple of Love.

Bois de Vincennes

46 Route de la Pyramide, Paris

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Instead of Galeries Lafayette – Shop at marché aux puces de saint-ouen

Dating back to 1885, the name literally translates to the Flea Market of Saint-Ouen, but it’s probably the chicest flea market in operation today. You will find close to 2,000 vendors selling everything from bric-a-brac to Mid-century modern design and fine antiques. Marché aux Puces is only open Saturday to Monday and as many stalls are closed on Monday, your best 
bet is to visit early in the weekend. This is the place to find a unique souvenir at a price that will please your wallet.

Les Puces de Saint-Ouen

Saint-Ouen, Paris

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