Paris' history-lined streets with museums, classical bistros and boutiques have a classic charm that makes the city a timeless centrepiece of the travel hotspots in the world. It is amplified with the new wave of multimedia galleries, creative wine bars, design shops and tech start-ups. While you explore the wrought-iron wonder Eiffel Tower, the broad Arc de Triomphe on des Champs-Élysées and the refurbished Notre Dame cathedral, here are some ways to explore Paris beyond its recognizable emblems. Explore with Encompass Experiences to see the city in a new way, including essentials but peppering the trip with some un-footed places.
1. 59 Rivoli for art lovers
The 19th-century building was an artist pad for years before being renovated by the city and returned to a collective of artists. A group of artists called “KGB” (standing for Kalex, Gaspard, and Bruno) claimed the building in 1999. Despite the deteriorating structure, the group was soon hosting exhibitions and performances under the name “Chez Robert, électrons libres.” It gets 40,000 visitors a year, making it the third most visited centre for contemporary art in Paris. If you have a taste for the offbeat contemporary art scene, swing by 59 Rivoli for an afternoon.
2. Gourmet Meal
Book Le Jules Verne, one of the Eiffel Tower’s most exclusive restaurants, where you can dine on a three-course meal of contemporary French cuisine. You’ll also have three glasses of wine and one of Champagne to sip. Apart from the food, you have the company of the best views in town. The city sprawls under you in full glory, adding to the experience.
3. Shakespeare and Company
George Whitman opened a bookstore with the hope of creating a literary hub in the heart of Paris. Whitman decided he would open the place for all writers needing a place to stay in Paris as his own personal guests at the bookstore. Painted over an inner door is the bookshop’s motto “be kind to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.” Guests who are known as “Tumbleweeds” must write a biography and help out for an hour or two a day around the bookstore, in return for a bed concealed as a bookshelf during the day.
4. Oldest Patisserie in Town
Stohrer, the oldest patisserie in Paris, was founded in 1730 by King Louis XV’s pastry chef, Nicolas Stohrer. It stands on rue Montorgueil and is now listed as a historical site. The lavish décor of the bakery was designed by a student of Paul Baudry, who decorated the Opéra Garnier. Everything is prepared in-house, including Rum babas (invented by Nicolas Stohrer himself), puits d’amour, old-fashioned religieuses, and exceptional vol-au-vent – go here to indulge in sweet and savoury delicacies.
5. Shop at the Most Premier Stores in the World
If by Paris you mean ‘shopping’, we understand. The Champs-Élysées is the address of leading designer brands like Chanel, Céline, Gucci and Prada. We do suggest you give those feet some rest and stop for a Champagne brunch at Ladurée. Rue du Fabourg Saint-Honoré is also iconic for luxury shopping, with major international brands at your disposal.
Explore Paris differently with us, if you are on a celebration trip with family, or just on an annual holiday. Call us to help you plan something different for your next vacation.