Nov 302019

Everyone will memorize something personal about Paris. I thought it would be a rich idea to start writing a brand new series of articles in which I would offer each time a motley of ideas: obscure sites to see, off-the-wall museums to visit, quaint shops to shop at, and other things to do (for free or for money) in Paris. Starting now!

Here is another article in this series.

Organ Music Anyone?

Notre Dame Cathedral is not just an awesome medieval work of art. Every Sunday at 4:30 PM the official organ player of the Cathedral sits at his keyboard, and fills the enormous structure with sounds from outer space. Anyone who attended these concerts will tell you that religious music takes a whole new meaning in this sanctified place. Goosebumps guaranteed. Notre Dame Cathedral is located on the Cite Island, at the Cite metro station. There is more about it on my Paris guide

Get Me a Couscous for Free

At the “Les Fontaines” bar, the owner opens his kitchen and serves free couscous to all on Fridays and Saturdays. You are only required to order one drink per person, which is anyway desirable when you stuff yourself with semolina. “Les Fontaines” sits at 153 rue Saint-Maur, in the 11th district. The closest metro stations are “Belleville” and “Rue Saint-Maur”.

British and Celt Rock in Paris

In 30 years from now, people will talk about the Guinness Rock Tavern as this mythic British bar where to listen to live rock music while downing a Guinness Stout. A new band every night will entertain you from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am. I am still so thankful I didn’t live right above the place! Take the subway to the “Chatelet” station, and walk northwards to 31 bis rue des Lombards. That’s the place where it’s loud.

The Green Miles

That’s something so peculiar you won’t want to miss it. On top of the remnants of what used to be an inner railroad line, the City authorities have developed a 3-mile walkway which links the Bastille square to the Vincennes Woods, along the Daumesnil Avenue. Halfway between Bastille and Vincennes, the Reuilly Gardens offer a nice halt. There is no such walkway in any city I have ever visited. Access it from the “Bastille” subway station. You can see a few views of it at

Where Queen Marie-Antoinette Spent her Last Night

Queen Marie-Antoinette was beheaded during the French revolution in 1793. It is said her hair turned entirely white during the night before her execution. She was held captive at the Conciergerie Museum, a royal palace built on the Cite Island in the early 13th century. The medieval atmosphere penetrates your very soul along a visit which will lead you through the castle and its infamous cells. Free admission, and you keep your head on your shoulders. The address is 2 boulevard du Palais, on the Cite Island. The nearest metro station is “Cite”.

Each of these Parisian spots will spice up your trip to Paris. I often recommend the subscribers of to get out of their comfort zone to soak in uncommon sights and bring them back home. Paris is best visited in a free-spirited way, outside the ‘channels’ built by travel guides. Not that the circuits they offer are uninteresting. But having lived some 25+ years in the French capital, I personally believe (and my friend photographer Angel Sanguinetti is of the same opinion) that there is a lot more to Paris than just the regular course served by reference guides. I urge you to try and dare new things. It will be more rewarding, and you will be in a position to recommend your own friends new best ways to discover Paris!

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