The Most Beautiful Places in Paris -- That Only Parisians Know About

Published On 06/01/2016 Published On 06/01/2016
Flickr/Eric Parker

Hôtel de Sully


Everyone knows the regal 17th century Place des Vosges, but not everybody’s aware that a little doorway in the southwest corner leads to the courtyard and garden, which lets you out just behind the Hôtel de Sully. Secluded from traffic -- and free from tourist groups -- this place is lovely to behold, and also to hear; birds sing in the vines that creep up the courtyard’s walls, filling the space with their songs.

Flickr/Jean-François Gornet
Wikimedia/Benh LIEU SONG

Galerie Vivienne

Palais Royal

Among the most sumptuous of the 19th-century covered passages, the Galerie Vivienne still hasn’t reached the status of a tourist destination… not yet, anyway. Parisians, however, know that this gorgeous passage, with its mosaic floors, natural light, and decadent stores, is worth a trip. Stop in at Le Grand Filles et Fils, where you can sip wine at a table in the passage and feel smug -- you know, like a local.

Flickr/Christophe Bitton

Galerie Véro-Dodat

Les Halles

Another striking example of 19th-century architecture, the Galerie Véro-Dodat is good enough for Louboutin and his ridiculously beautiful shoes -- but tourists don’t seem to wander through it that often. Parisians, however, know that it’s a quick and charming way to walk between Les Halles and the Palais Royal. Feel free to browse the shops, but unless your bank account has been begging for some punishment, best to keep an eye on all of the pretty decorations overhead.

Flickr/Antonio Ca' Zorzi
goga18128 /
Les Chouettes

Les Chouettes

Upper Marais

Pretty cafés are a dime a dozen in Paris, but there’s something about Les Chouettes that stands out from the crowd. It may be the lack of tourists... or it may be the three floors of tables and bars flooded by natural light. It’s got nothing on the other most beautiful bars in Paris, but it’s a local favorite. Oh, and the food’s pretty good, too.

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

Le Bon Marché

Saint Germain

Buses of tourists at the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores detract from the fact that these shops are so beautiful. At the Bon Marché, however, we’re free of such nonsense. Paris’s oldest department store, tucked away at the south end of the Saint Germain district, is truly striking -- whether you’re in the fashion department, or in their massive Grande Epicerie gourmet food hall.

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