Don’t go to the Louvre, forget the Champs-Élysées and definitely ignore the Eiffel Tower. Ok, I’m exaggerating, however there’s definitely far more to this stunning city than these iconic landmarks. They’re staggered with history and beauty, and they’re most certainly worth a visit but don’t let them consume all your time, the rest of Paris is just as wonderful and seeing it will go hand in hand with your new flair for being more spontaneous. More after the cut.
On top of restaurant and attraction suggestions, the free Travel Guides on the Booking.com app contain City Secrets, insider tips from members of the local Paris team. It was at the suggestion of a born Parisian that I found myself exploring Le Marché des Enfants Rouges, “a food marker to suit any taste. There are many different stands, including Lebanese and Italian. I personally fell in love with the colours and vibrancy of this unique environment.” She couldn’t have been more right, not only did I tuck into the Lebanese food, I explored every lane of the market, taking in all the smells and sights.
My other trusty tactic for seeing more is to walk everywhere, just as I did when I was Solo In Stockholm. On foot you can gawk at every little detail of a city that would just whizz by if driving or go completely unseen if underground on a train. You get to see the areas in between the hot spots that with a little observation, can be just as interesting.
Walking also leaves you open to spontaneous changes of plan, last minute decisions that can only be made at the sight of an interesting piece of street art, a funny sounding road name or intriguing smell. Again, transport networks can be interesting too and shouldn’t be left out completely. I rode the Metro twice while in Paris, train stations in any part of the world are often beautifully designed and a train ride is always an experience. Give your legs a rest on the long distance journeys and not the two minute ones, like I see some tourists do in London to get from Leicester Square to Covent Garden!
Confidence is key, if you want to see what others don’t then you have to be brave enough to walk down the creepy but interesting looking alley or if you’re by yourself and want to try eat great food, you’ll need to be confident enough to ask for a table for one. You’ll feel weird but you’ll get over it pretty quickly, I’m sitting in a restaurant by myself right now while I write with a glass of wine. Zero ducks given! If you want to see what others don’t, then you can’t be like everyone else. Be bold and the world is your oyster.