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 spots here.
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.
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.
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.
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 “work out.” Or fine, 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).
And never forget that on Sunday, you are well within your rights to do absolutely nothing, wherever you feel like doing it.
- 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.