Hidden Gems of Paris

Megan Wilson
May 4, 2018

Well, this is it. Four months in Paris have come and gone in a flash. I'm filled with so many emotions (and croissants) I don't think I'll be able to fully digest them until after I get home. All of these feelings also made it really difficult to decide what I should write my second to last blog post about. I have so much left to say! How can I condense four months of life abroad into a few blog posts?

And I realized that the truth is, I can't. And that's okay: first, because no one would ever want to read every detail of my life in Paris, and second because everyone’s time abroad is different. I could give someone all the advice in the world, and it wouldn't make a difference. Even within the same program, people have wildly different study abroad experiences (as I witnessed daily in my IES Abroad classes). You just have to go out and experience life for yourself.

That being said, I do have many, many, many recommendations for things to do, see, and eat in Paris. So I thought I’d share some that are off the beaten track! Here’s a list of just a few of my favorite hidden gems of Paris.


If you're partial to impressionist painting, you need to visit the Musée de l'Orangerie. Monet's massive water lily-covered canvases are like being immersed in another world.

The Musée d'Orsay is on every art lover's list, but make sure you take the time to visit the wing on paintings of Northern Africa. Absolutely stunning and unique.

Yes, the Mona Lisa is a must-see, but by far my favorite part of the Louvre is the Greek sculpture gallery. 


The French toast (aka pain perdu) at Big Love. Life changing.

If you're looking to spice up your breakfast routine, the smoothie bowls at Love Juice Bar are the way to go!

Now, you can find a crêpe almost anywhere in Paris, but the La Droguerie du Marais makes some of the best. Expecially good during a night out.

Le Refuge des Fondus is an awesome place for a dinner with friends! Cheese fondue for dipping, and so much bread, meat, and potatoes. They also serve their drinks in baby bottles! 


If any of you guys love Target as much as I do, Hema is a godsend. They have cheap but adorable essentials, and it's defintiely my favorite chain store by far in Europe.

Lidl is a grocery store situated in the same building as the IES Abroad Paris BIA Center. And it's one of my favorite things ever. Cheap, good selection, and I'm obsessed with their chaussons aux pommes.


The Jardin du Luxembourg is one of my favorite places to relax in the city, especially as the weather starts warming up.

The Centre Pompidou isn't just a zany-looking modern art museum, but also a library. It's a great place to get out of the house and study.

Spring in Paris is beautiful. A spring picnic in Parc de Sceaux is extraordinary.

One of my favorite experiences all year was going to the Salon de l'Agriculture with my French class. Like a farmer's market on steroids, the French showcase and sell their regional products and livestock, and have numerous educational booths to teach visitors about the French agricultural system. It's not at all a tourist spot, so if you go you'll not only see adorable farm animals, watch baguettes being made, and eat some of the best ice cream ever, you'll also feel like a true Parisian.

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Megan Wilson

<p>I was born in Melbourne, Australia and moved to the United States&nbsp;eight months later, and I've loved to travel every since. My favorite way to document my travels is through something called a bullet journal, which is like a combination of an agenda, a journal, and a scrapbook.</p>

2018 Spring
Home University:
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Pulaski, WI
International Business
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