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Pickyourtrail’s Paris Picks – Travelling beyond the tourist trail

As much Paris is seen shelling out love in gallons, it could sometimes get noisy and crowded. These two adjectives have in fact been associated with the City of Love for some time now. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hold back any of the ever-enthusiastic travellers who just want to get a sight of Paris and leave. If you’re one of those people who want the whole scene, the grand design of Paris, without being involved in the rut of mainstream tourists, this one is just for you. Here is a list of all the offbeat places in Paris that the locals love. Go on and get a taste of what the real Paris is like!

1. Moulin Rouge Show Paris

 

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Paris’s Moulin Rouge show must be no stranger to you. After several books and a movie, it’s pretty much a picture registered in your head. Inside the red arena, it is completely wild, almost Great Gatsby-esque. Champagne is bubbling in glasses strewn about like room decor. Music is at a sweltering tempo. Girls in long gowns go about doing the can-can dance, the ones in sultry costumes are an entirely different matter altogether.

2. La Campagne à Paris

 

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Right in the middle of Paris, perched on a silent side of La Seine is La Campagne. It is a sleepy town full of quaint little houses that give you a glimpse of what the older Paris would have looked like. Chic shops and houses prop up in unexpected places. It’s such a delightful place to be!

3. Sunset/Sunside Jazz Club

This is one of those street-best clubs that has been overshadowed by the biggies of the city. Nights here are guaranteed to be the highlights of your stay in Paris. So if you’re the lone traveller who looks forward to musical and artsy hours spent in a foreign land, head straight to this Jazz bar. The crowd inside the small cave could sometimes be overpowering, so book your visits beforehand, but take my word for it…the bands and the contemporary artists that the club picks will imbibe a good sense of Jazz music even in amateurs.

 

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I talked about the mellow nights that you’ll witness at the club. Now here are the crazy nights with wind instruments on full blast and dancing string playing hands-

 

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4. Shakespeare & Co

 

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What if a cafe wanted you to read a piece of writing to be able to stay there, or maybe even encouraged you to write and stick them amongst the hundreds of stories sprawled across the walls? If you absolutely love the sound of that, Shakespeare & Co is a must visit. Not even Ernest Hemingway was immune to its charms!

5. 59 Rivoli

 

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Paris has a street-style artist’s den hidden away from the mainstream art galleries. With a unique history of its own, this house turned art-palace is a must visit for art lovers. Every floor houses 5-6 artists who take up residence for months at stretch and transform the place into their liking. Every floor and segment is vastly different and contains displays of lifetimes of artists, not to mention the spiralling street art on the walls.

6. Le Louxor Palais Du Cinema

 

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If off-beat means catching a movie in a Paris’s hidden world of cinematic art, this should be your pick. Does the fact that it is the oldest cinema in Paris help? It still has all the same vintage vibes!

7. Printemps

 

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Printemps is a great departmental store/shopping centre. But that’s not what we love it for! It is the one singular terrace that gives an unparalleled view of the entire city. If you’re tired of the crowds and overrated tourist spots, just get yourself a glass of champagne and get to the top of the terrace and you’ll have it all.

8. Musée de la Vie Romantique

 

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The museum of the romantic life was once a house that belonged to a famous Dutch painter. It is now open to visitors. You could spend a lazy afternoon scrolling through the various works or for the name, explore all the works of the romantics of Paris. The very house is very pretty with it’s green panelled everything. There’s a greenhouse, a scenic courtyard and obviously, galleries. It rises right at the foot of the Montmartre hill.

9. Ladurée

 

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Since I was going on and on about offbeat things to do in Paris, let me give you a bonus. Laduree sells Paris’s best macarons. I think that has been established seeing the number of pictures I put up. They are a work of art. Best given as gifts, sometimes gifted to self too! I mean, look at those cute boxes that they give these buttons of joy out in. Aren’t you in love already? Now go and make those dreams yours, there’s a joint in every other neighbourhood.

10. Du pain et des Idees

 

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The baker, a connoisseur of French pastries is one of the choice few Boulangers remaining in Paris. They’ve take home-made pastries very seriously and have restricted themselves to the tiny bakery in a lone part of the city. The joy of hunting it down gives us all the thrill, so people from all over the world, upon coming across reviews of the place, come all the way down to get a taste of Paris’s true bread. The items on the menu are limited, it’s all fresh and it’s classic French bread through and through. The owner and prime-breadmaker of the bakery, prides himself saying that people spend hours ‘ooh’ing and ‘aah’ing over what is known the indisputable best croissants of Paris. He also lists the Chocolate Pistachio pastry or the snail in his bakery to be the one must-try before getting to the croissants.

What are you waiting for? Book your next trip to Paris right now! Or, pick from these itineraries.

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