When you think of Paris, your mind probably goes to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, streetside cafes…Let me tell you, those streetside cafes were the best of all! Paris’ tourist spots are must sees but make sure you leave some time to go the less crowded neighborhoods of Paris. That’s where we found the true magic of the city.
This park has an awesome playground and an awesome view of the city. It’s located in the 20th arrondissement anThis park has an awesome playground and an awesome vd is a great place to have a picnic. This wasn’t the nicest park we saw in Paris, but it was definitely nice to hang out with the locals. There was a nice vibe, people chattering, music playing, couples dancing.
Also in the 20th arrondissement, about a ten minute walk from Belleville, is the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. We LOVED this park. It was so beautiful! It had a pedestrian bridge over the lake, a playground for the kids, a restaurant overlooking the lake, waterfalls, streams, caves….must I go on?? It is a pretty large park so it didn’t feel too crowded. It was just our speed.
We stayed in the 9th arrondissement on Rue Victor Masse in Pigalle and we loved it! It was a bit far from the city center, but a quick metro ride got us anywhere we needed to be. We found the KB Cafeshop right down the street from the hotel and they were so nice there. They mostly spoke English and even had drip coffee (which is incredibly hard to find in Paris!). Their scones were to die for! We also found the most charming Boulangerie Patisseries and ate our fair share of baugettes, croissants and other tasty treats. There were dessert carts and fresh fruit and the most delicate desserts! I just fell in love with our little neighborhood. We also walked down to Square du Anvers which had a nice little playground. Little Big Guy got to run around with the French kids and it was so awesome to see them play despite the language barrier.
Jardin des Plantes
This was one of our all time favorite spots in the city. The Museum of Natural History is here, as well as a zoo and beautiful gardens. It was not very crowded and didn’t feel touristy. We strolled through the gardens and then went to the zoo. The kids loved the animals! Then we got some crepes and hotdogs and picnicked by the playground. This place is definitely worth the trip!
This was another favorite place. We got crepes, Little Lady played around next to the fountains with her daddy. During the summer months, they have boats the kids can play with in the fountain which is pretty cool! There is also a playground and in-ground trampolines which we didn’t make it to. It was our second day in Paris and we were still getting adjusted. The sculptures and fountains in this park are just simply stunning! We would go back in a heartbeat!
Chateau de Vincennes
This lesser known castle is just a short 15 minute ride from Paris. There is a park nearby with a ton of attractions. You could definitely make a day trip here. Though it’s not as extravagant as Versailles it’s still a castle and the kids were thrilled. You can pay to see the chapel and the keep but to walk around the grounds is free. We explored the courtyard of the castle and then we stepped outside and let the kids play on some grass. Little Big Guy was thrilled that we found some he could play on!
Square du Temple (L’as du Falafel)
Another one of my favorite days in Paris. This square is located in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris and had the most beautiful gardens and a very cool playground. We saw locals doing tai chi with the waterfall from the pond murmuring in the background. It was such a lovely place to relax. They also had checker tables which I thought was pretty cute. After we played at the playground and strolled for a bit, we walked to the close-by L’as du Falafel. This restaurant is famed for it’s fallafel sandwich. What a delicious sandwich!! It’s surrounded by lots of cute shops as well on a road that’s closed to cars during the day. What a lovely place to eat a sandwich and stroll!
The places that we went off the beaten path were so much more memorable and enjoyable than the touristy places for me. I’m missing the little cafes and the sweet people who were so quick to stop and help if we were lost. It was so nice to get lost in Paris for the time we were away!