In Review: The Grand Pigalle Hotel in Paris

      Situated in South Pigalle, a formerly seedy Parisian district that’s recently been colonized by hipsters, foodies and fashionistas, the Grand Pigalle Hotel has only been open since 2015. Yet it’s quickly become […]

    Inside La Coupole, a Montparnasse Brasserie Haunted With Artistic History

      Referring to the legendary Parisian brasserie on Boulevard de Montparnasse, French historian Georges Viaud once remarked: “If the tables [here] could talk, they would tell the story of La Coupole’s role in […]

    Belleville Artists’ Open Studios: Get a Glimpse of Local Creation

    Belleville artists' studios open house days/ Ateliers d'artistes de Belleville Portes Ouvertes

    Every year in late spring, over 200 artists working and living in Paris’ northeastern Belleville neighborhood open their studios for a few days to the general public. The Portes Ouvertes (open doors) event takes place […]

    Paris Boat Tours & Cruises: Are They Worth Your Time?

    Bateaux Parisiens dinner cruise on the Seine, with Notre Dame Cathedral in the background.

    Most “top attractions” lists for the French capital, including my own, suggest a boat tour of the Seine or Paris’ other waterways. But since these sorts of cruises are so commonplace– and hardly […]

    Inside the 104 (Cent-Quatre), a Vibrant Contemporary Arts Hub in Paris

    A fascinating and important branch in the Parisian culture scene, the 104 (Le Cent Quatre) is a vast communal art center in Paris’ remote 19th arrondissement. This sprawling artistic hub and community center– […]

    The Best Spots for Picnics in Paris, From Parks to Riverbanks

    The best places for picnics in Paris, from parks to riverside quaysImage from a service that allows you to order complete picnic baskets in the city.

    Like they do with pretty much everything else, Parisians make a true art of the spring or summer picnic. It’s not just a quick meal on the grass or a bench– it’s an […]

    A Short History of French Macarons, From Saint-Emilion to Paris

    The history of French macarons is a disputed, and fascinating, one.

    On a recent trip to the fortified medieval town of Saint-Emilion, my partner and I stayed in a lovely B&B plunged in the middle of the vineyards, outside the city walls. Our amiable […]

    Paris Airport Taxis: How to Use Them (& Avoid the Bad Ones)

    Never get in a Paris taxi without a meter and an illuminated rooftop sign.

    I still remember my first bad taxi ride from Charles de Gaulle Airport. I was returning home from a visit with family in California, lugging around suitcases so heavy I thought I might […]

    Paris Loves Vinyl: The Coveted Collectors’ Event Returns in February


    Do you routinely lament the poor sound quality of MP3s and other digital music formats, as your spouse or friends groan at your predictable rant? Do you pine after the smell, touch, and […]

    6 Tips for Avoiding Tourist Traps & Scams in Paris

    AVoid these tourist traps and scams in Paris

    As one of the world’s most-visited cities, Paris relies on tourism to thrive economically. While that’s generally a mutually beneficial thing, it has its downsides. For one thing, certain areas can seem devoid […]

    In Review: Lapérouse, a Romantic Paris Restaurant With History Galore

    First opened in 1766 as “La Maison Lapérouse”, this distinguished restaurant and bar situated smack on the banks of the Seine is a favorite spot for well-heeled literary and artistic types. It’s a place […]

    Why Paris’ Quirky Parc de la Villette is Worth a Visit

    One place in Paris where you aren’t likely to see as many tourists wandering around? The sprawling, quirky, modern complex in the far northeast known as the Parc de la Villette. Most people […]

    Do You Really Need Travel Insurance for a Trip to Paris & France?

    pharmacy and green sign in paris france

    For this first article in a new series of practical tips I’ll refer to as “Paris Trip Planning Q&A”, let’s tackle a boring, but entirely necessary, question. Readers have often asked me this: […]

    The Paris Book Fair (Salon du Livre): Why to Visit & Details for 2019

    An author signs a book for a reader at the Salon du Livre in Paris (Paris Book Fair)

    One of the rare trade shows in the French capital to attract both the general public and professionals, the annual Salon du Livre/Paris Book Fair brings dozens of renowned authors and thousands of […]

    The 10 Best Things to Do in Paris on Your First Visit

    It would take centuries to complete the stunning Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.It would take centuries to complete the stunning Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

    At Paris Unlocked, we tend to focus coverage on lesser-known corners of the French capital, and encourage readers to look well beyond the obvious and the wildly popular. But when you’re visiting Paris […]

    Paris in November: Why to Embrace the Short, Cozy Days

    By Valerii Tkachenko [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

    Many tourists don’t even consider visiting Paris in November, fearing that they’ll be “regaled” with icy rain, miserably dark days and grumpy locals. But while it’s certainly not for everyone– and you occasionally […]

    Back to Top