Bonjour, y'all! My name is Brita, and I blog at the Christian feminist lifestyle blog Belle Brita. Once upon a time, I lived in France, but I fell in love with an American. We recently moved from Ohio to Georgia, so now I'm exploring a whole new state! At Belle Brita, I blog about a little bit of everything, but mostly relationship advice and feminism. Oh, and you might have seen me on The Huffington Post! In my pre-blogging life, I lived and worked in France for the better part of two years, first as a live-in au pair and then as an English Teaching Assistant. These jobs gave me plenty of time to explore Paris and to discover some of the lesser-known highlights of the most beautiful city in the world. Are you planning a trip to Paris? Do you want to see more than the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa? Consider visiting the following lesser-known Parisian attractions!
See the painting that launched Impressionism
If visiting l'Orangerie and the Musée d'Orsay doesn't quench your thirst for Monet and other Impressionist artists, then you must visit the Musée Marmottan Monet. This museum owns the largest collection of Monet paintings in the world. As a huge fan of Impressionism, I particularly enjoyed finally seeing the Monet work that gave name to the movement. Early Impressionists weren't exactly appreciated during their time. One art critic reviewed a show that included Impression, Soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise) and works by Degas and Renoir, among others. In his mocking review, he called the show Exposition des Impressionnistes (The Exhibition of the Impressionists). The name stuck!
Discover a natural oasis amidst the city of Paris
I spent countless Saturdays exploring the lush green landscape of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Other lazy Saturdays involved a picnic, a book, and a best friend by my side. Features include the Temple de la Sibylle, a grotto and waterfall, and beautiful bridges. Views from the temple are incredible! You could easily spend an entire day here and not get bored. If you're in a hurry to see everything in Paris, this is a great place to stop for a picnic lunch for just an hour or two.
Enjoy a romantic stroll
I didn't actually have a romantic stroll along Canal Saint-Martin when I lived in France. I was very much single during those two years, so all strolls were just with good friends. Still, visiting Canal Saint-Martin is a great alternative to walking along the Seine with all the other tourists. Canal Saint-Martin is home to quirky boutiques, fun bars and restaurants, public gardens, and charming bridges. It's also another great location for picnics.
Shop at one of France's famous outdoor markets
Rue Mouffetard is a charming French street in the Latin Quarter. Many of the shops are basically expanded market stalls. The fresh market is open six days a week, closed Sunday afternoon and all day Monday. If you've never visited a French market, you're in for a treat! An amazing selection of cheeses, a huge variety of produce, both raw and salted meats, roasted chickens--any fresh food item your heart desires. Rue Mouffetard also features a variety of bars, cafés, and restaurants. My friends and I spent many a cold winter afternoon nursing drinks at Student Bar, which boasts a generous happy hour.
Admire the famous unicorn tapestries
I couldn't resist including just one more museum. Museums are among my favorite Parisian attractions, but most of them are too famous for this list. La Dame à la licorne (The Lady and the Unicorn) is a series of six tapestries on display at the Musée de Cluny in Paris. Sure, the museum displays all sorts of other cool medieval art, but the tapestries are my favorite.
Have you ever been to Paris? What were the highlights of your trip? I would love to hear what other people love about my favorite city! As a big MERCI to Casey's readers for making it this far, I'm giving away 2 months of ad space on my blog, plus $10 in PayPal cash. Bonne chance! P.S. Even if you don't feel like entering the giveaway, you can keep up with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Bloglovin!