Non-Touristy Things to Do in Paris

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Paris
Paris is one of the most famous cities in the world. As a result, it is also one of the most tourist-filled locales on Earth. Not to fear, there are plenty of activities for the non-touristy visitor to enjoy, you just need to know where to look.

Rent a Bike

Like many modern cities, Paris is trying to decrease the number of drivers on the roads. One way the city is working to do that is through the installation of easy bike rental stalls throughout the city. The Velib rental program allows you to rent a bike with any major credit card for a day or a week. The bike can also be checked out for an unlimited number of half-hour intervals and then must be returned to its stall or you will face additional fees for usage. Fortunately, most of the best attractions in the city are within a half an hour of one another and there are hundreds of bike rental stalls in the city for your convenience, usually no more than 300 meters apart.

Velib rental program

Explore The Catacombs

When you return from your trip to Paris, your friends and family will always ask if you saw the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Imagine their surprise when you instead tell them about walking among an underground collection of bones in the Paris Catacombs. The catacombs were created in the end of the 18th century when local cemeteries, filled to the brim with almost 1000 years of corpses, began to create a health hazard for those living in the city. In 1785, the government ordered the cemeteries be emptied. A collection of quarries under the city were selected to be the new home for the excavated bones. Visitors to the catacombs can now traverse dark underground tunnels filled with the remains of more than six million bodies, many arranged in artistic compositions. Inside the mile-long walk through the quarries, there are mini-cathedrals where guests and ancestors can pay their respects.

Catacombs of Paris
1, avenue of Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
75014 Paris
01 43 22 47 63

Blading Through The City

Roller blading's popularity might have waned in the United States, but the sport is still alive and well in France. In fact, blading on Friday nights in summer is a bit of a tradition for local outdoor enthusiasts. One such group meets at the Esplanade of Gare Montparnasse at 9:45 on Friday nights and enjoys a three-hour long trip through the city streets. The course changes every week, but you can find a copy by visiting the website for the group, the Pari Roller, every Thursday night before the gathering.

Place Raoul Dautry
75015 Paris, France‎

Hit the Beach

Sunning on the beach in Paris might sound crazy, but every summer between July and August, the city creates its own artificial beach along the river banks of the Seine. More than 3,000 tons of sand is brought in, along with palm trees, hammocks, umbrellas, lawns and even WiFi.

Along the Seine banks by Pont Neuf, Notre-Dame and Pont au Change
75014 Paris, France‎

Swim on The River Seine

While no one would actually want to swim in the Seine, the many swimming pool barges allow visitors to imagine they are swimming through the classic, romantic river setting. Swimming on the barges is a great way to relax and cool off during a hot summer day. The most famous of these swim boats is the Josephine Barker, which features an 82-foot-long pool that can hold up to 375 swimmers. The ship also features a cafe, a sun deck and a gym for your non-swimming needs. Best of all, the sliding roof on the ship allows for a pleasurable swim in any weather.

Josephine Barker
Port de la Gare Quai François Mauriac
75013 Paris, France‎
33 1 56 61 96 50‎

Article Written By Jill Harness

Jill Harness has written on a variety of subjects for more than 10 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "San Diego City Beat," "Mental Floss," Rue The Day! and Neatorama. Harness has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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