By Expedia Local Expert, on February 21, 2017

Off the beaten path in Paris

You’ve watched the high kicks at the Moulin Rouge and you’ve ordered steak frites at a brasserie. But, have you blasted around town in the sidecar of a vintage motorcycle? Have you investigated paranormal activity in the City of Light after dark? Have you watched falconers on horseback in medieval villages? Even when you think you’ve explored all the things to do in Paris, you’ve only scratched the surface. Venture off the beaten path and you’ll find that the French capital is capable of showing you its quirky side if you’re up for a bit of adventure.

Sidecar Sightseeing

Tour group on motorcycles with sidecars in Paris

Pop on a pair of goggles and tighten your helmet strap as your leather-clad guide fires up the engine of a vintage motorcycle and you climb into its snug sidecar. Zip around town uncovering often-overlooked corners of the city hard to reach by car or bus. You might swing through the eclectic streets of Bohemian Montmarte, cruise past the gargoyle-studded tours of Notre Dame, or buzz through the Latin Quarter’s medieval architecture. Along the way, your guide from RETRO TOUR shares engaging commentary over a convenient headset system in your helmet.

Nosey Business

Couple mixing their own scent at the perfume-making workshop in Paris

In a land where high fashion is an essential part of everyday life, your scent is a signature that can’t be overlooked. Unleash your inner Nose as your outer nose learns to know the ins and outs of the perfume biz. On a tour with RendezvousCheznous, learn how a professional perfume maker (called a Nose) blends together aromatic oils and natural ingredients to create unique fragrances that last. Then, sit down at a perfume organ, the name given to a Nose’s workstation, and design your own scent to take home as one-of-a-kind souvenir whose smell will always remind you of your time in Paris.

Spooky Stroll

Venture out after dark to explore the City of Light’s darkest shadows on a spooky walk through its lamp-lit arrondissements. With a guide from Travel Like a Local to lead you between sites, learn about Paris’ conspiracies, assassinations, ghosts, and lost treasures. Chat about the Holy Grail from beneath the grinning gargoyles of Notre Dame, look for ghosts in alleys beyond the Louvre, and keep an eye out for paranormal activity that might interrupt your group’s eerie outing.

Scavenger Hunt

View of the CityBox Paris

Break out of the typical mold with a sightseeing adventure that demands a bit of detective work. Carefully planned out by the experts at City in my Bag, this clue-led foray into Paris’ streets leads you around town to scope out major landmarks while looking for hints that guide you to your next destination. Spread out along 12 points scattered around town, each find will unlock tidbits about the city’s history and include delightful gifts sure to keep you focused until you’ve sleuthed your way to the finish.


Vacations often mean a break from your workout regimen, but if you’re looking to keep up with your cardio, RendezvousCheznous wants to help. Bag visits to Paris’ iconic landmarks on a morning jog with a fitness-focused local. Loop around the Louvre’s glass pyramid, pass under the bell towers of Notre Dame, and run along the River Seine racing boats as they pass under centuries-old bridges. At the end of your session, cool down with some stretching and chat with your guide about the city’s history and culture to add on some insight to your morning routine.

Medieval Fun

Falconry Show in the medieval city of Provins

Head out of town and step back in time in the medieval village of Provins, where 12th-century ramparts and towers rise out of the rolling hills of the French countryside as a testament to the days of old. When you arrive, let a guide from PARISCityVISION lead you around this UNESCO-listed city to show you sweeping views from the top of the Tour César and share a bit about the town’s history. In the afternoon, enjoy a meal fit for kings and queens and take in a show where falconers in period garb ride horses while commanding their winged companions to take flight.