At INSIDR, we deeply care about giving tourists an authentic Parisian vacation and helping tourists avoid the many tourist traps in Paris. Let us help you, and read on to learn about everything to avoid in Paris and what can be done as a less-touristic alternative!
If you are looking for a cabaret show in Paris, you should avoid the Moulin Rouge all together. Although it was once a hot spot during the belle époque era, today the Moulin Rouge is more of a touristic experience and does not provide the true Parisian cabaret experience.
Alternative: Paradis Latin
The best Parisian cabaret is at Paraids Latin. The clientele is mostly French and the performances happen in a gorgeous belle époque room.
The Champs-Elysées is full of tourists, and big brand name stores you can visit anywhere in the world.
Alternative: Azzedine Alaïa
For a more glamorous shopping experience in Paris, avoid the tourists at Azzedine Alaïa. After ringing into this shopping space via a gold doorbell, you will then see the many haute-couture outfits and shoes Alaïa has created.
Open Monday- Friday: 10am- 7pm
7 rue de Moussy
LE CAFÉ OZ
Le Café Oz is a cheap bar with many Anglo-Saxon tourists and expats. You will probably have fun after going here, but there are much better bars in Paris where you can enjoy a night out.
Alternative: La Bellevilloise and the bars at Ménilmontant
La Bellevilloise and the bars at Ménilmontant is where Parisians go to drink artisanal beer in the 20th arrondissement, in places such as Fine Mouse. Here you can dance, listen to live music and avoid the drunk tourists.
RUE DE LA HUCHETTE AT SAINT-MICHEL
This street is without a doubt the worst tourist trap in Paris. Fake crêperies, fake brasseries, fake Greek restaurants. Although the area is historic, it is best to avoid eating on this particular street.
Alternative: Sentier quarter
The trendy Sentier quarter today is home to many good restaurants and shops.
FRENCH BRASSERIES AT OPÉRA
Avoid all “traditional” French brasseries in the Opéra area.
Alternative traditional French brasseries:
Instead, try Richer: 2 rue Richer, 75009- Serving traditional dishes in a cozy environment.
LES BATEAUX MOUCHES
While you should definitely take in the views from the Seine, riding down the Seine on a commercialized boat is not the best way to take to the sea in Paris.
Alternative: Hire a boat on the Marin d’Eau douce
A boat on the Marin d’Eau douce will still allow you to take a scenic ride out on the water, but away from the tourists. At Villette park you can hire a fun electric boat and go around the canal at your own leisure. For more information, check their website.
LA PLACE DU TERTRE
While there are many places to visit in Montmartre, La Place du Tertre is not be one of them. This square is filled with knock-off artists and souvenir shops, leaving little behind from the historic Montmartre that was once home to some of the best artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Alternative: Musée de Montmartre
A site that should definitely be visited in Montmartre is the Musée de Montmartre. This museum is very charming, overlooking a vineyard, and full of unique art from this Parisian neighborhood. For more information, check out INSIDR’s article on the Musée de Montmartre- a true hidden gem.
JARDIN DU LUXEMBOURG
For picnic spots, the Luxembourg garden is filled with tourists and rangers pulling you off the grass at certain times of the year.
Alternative: Buttes-Chaumont park
Buttes-Chaumont park is a true Parisian secret in Northeast Paris. Enjoy a picnic here and the green oasis!