10 ways to spend a Sunday in Paris, including stopping by at historic English bookshop Shakespeare and Co.

I always know I’m in New York when, on Sunday, everything is buzzing and churning as if it were any other day of the week. Does no one in this city ever rest?! It makes me pine for Sundays in Paris, when the city retreats into its secret corners and everyone does their own thing.

But if you’re new to Paris or simply passing through, Sundays can often beg the question: now what do we do?

Never fear. Though the city’s pulse has slowed, its heart is still beating, and Sundays have their own unique array of activities to be uncovered. Here are a few of our favorite weekend activities.

1. Linger over brunch. Brunch has most definitely become “a thing” in Paris, and there’s no shame in passing your entire day partaking in the act. Check out some of our favorite Brunch spots in Paris.

10 ways to spend a Sunday in Paris, including going for brunch.

2. Shop in the Marais. While many boutiques (and even the big department stores) are closed on Sunday, you can still get your shopping fix in the Marais. Begin on rue des Franc-Bourgeois and rue Vieille du Temple, and explore from there.

10 ways to spend a Sunday in Paris, including shopping in the Marais where most of the shops are open on Sundays.

3. Hit the rue des Rosiers. Paris’s Jewish neighborhood is at its most lively on Sundays, when people line up for falafel or pick up the signature sandwiches at the renowned Sacha Finklsztajn bakery.

10 ways to spend a Sunday in Paris, including stopping at Rue des Rosiers for a falafel sandwich.Rue des Rosiers

4. Relax and recharge. A little pampering is the Parisian’s prerogative, especially on Sunday. Splurge at a hotel spa (those at the George V and the Plaza Athénée don’t look too shabby) or head to a hammam for an earthier experience.

5. See a movie. Hunker down at a little art-house cinema, hang with the cool kids at MK2 Quai de Seine, or retreat to the magical La Pagode for a cinematic escape.

10 ways to spend a Sunday in Paris, including relaxing by the water on the Canal de l'Ourcq.10 ways to spend a Sunday in Paris, including relaxing on the Canal Saint Martin by the water.Quai de Seine by Mk2 Cinema

6. Browse the stacks. Indulge your inner bookworm at one of Paris’ historic bookstores.

7. Hit the market. Fuel up for the week at one of the many markets that are open on Sunday. There’s a great energy at Bastille, or you can browse organic products at Raspail or Batignolles.

8. Try a small museum. Most museums are open on Sunday, but the biggies tend to be mobbed. Try going further afield to the Musée Jacquemart-André, the Musée Nissim de Camondo, or one of these picks.

9. Work out. Or find ways to work out without really trying. For instance, you can just stroll around, ideally on the Promenade Plantée.

10. Flee the scene. If Paris feels too sleepy, take a day trip to nearby Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte (which predated Versailles), the forest at Fontainebleau, or Monet’s garden in Giverny (open from April through October).

10 ways to spend a Sunday in Paris, including taking your bike for a ride.katphotos

And never forget that on Sunday, you are well within your rights to do absolutely nothing, wherever you feel like doing it.

Related links:

  • Clever Sunday fun, shopping, culture & beauty options open ‘le dimanche’ from Do it in Paris
  • Spa Therapy & the Hammam scene in Paris
  • All the spots to go to listen to live music in Paris

Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. All images, except where noted, by Dave Bloom. Dave Bloom is an American photographer based in Paris. Contact: www.flickr.com/photos/davebloom. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


Tory Hoen

Tory Henwood Hoen has been published by New York Magazine, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Fortune, and others. She was Creative Director of Brand at M.M.LaFleur, where she founded the brand’s digital magazine, The M Dash. Her debut novel, The Arc, is available in bookshops near you and online.


  1. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting tired of Wordpress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  2. We have a love affair with Paris and always try to visit at least once a year. Always trying to do new and exciting stuff. Although just being here is great.
    Many thanks for the great ideas 🙂

  3. Very useful suggestions. I personally like to go to the market and buy “spéciale” oysters then eat them accompanied by a good Sancerre. After that, a siesta and a walk around the neighbourhood or further afield.

  4. Tory so many fabulous ideas, and I cannot wait to put them to use!!

    Come and enter to win my Spring “Green” Gift.

    Art by Karena

  5. Sunday in Paris?!?! Are you kidding? Full day at the marche aux puce in Clingnancourt! I plan my trips to be in Paris over the weekends because of this–and even my Paris-based cousin never set foot at the puces until I dragged her to it! Ahh, what the locals take for granted…

  6. My favorite Paris Sunday activity is a pot luck brunch with a bunch of friends where everyone brings their favorite home made dish and we all hang out and eat and talk and relax! I also love to go to Mk2 Quai de Seine for a movie and a stroll along the canal and then dinner or a drink.

  7. Great article. I remember my Sundays in Paris back when we still lived in France. We did a lot of the things you mention here. On a nice day, like a lot of Parisiens, we could be found in Le Jardin des Tuileries or Le Jardin du Luxembourg. La Promenade Plantée is a fun stroll too. — French Girl in Seattle

  8. Too many Sundays, I end up doing what you last suggested , doing nothing 🙂
    I have lived in Buenos Aires for 4 years now and I tend to avoid the areas where the tourists will gather on Sunday, but I should start “playing ” tourist and go out with them. I think this would be even more interesting if I were in Paris though 🙂
    chau~ C

  9. Love this article and the tips. Dying to try one of those movie theatres. I wrote a simliar article on how to solve the french sunday blues and head to Champagne!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *