Of course there’s a million fun things to do in Paris (well that might be a slight exaggeration) but here are three with slightly naughty overtones that you might want to try:
1. Buy a lock and key combination (bicycle or locker type lock). Have it engraved with the name of your significant other, make a wish and attach the lock to the Pont des Arts* or any one of the other dozen or so bridges and monuments in the city. You’ve contributed to the lovelock overpopulation! A bridge is the traditional place to fasten your lock as the key is to be thrown into the river to bind your love for eternity. Why is this practise slightly naughty? The city authorities in Paris want to discourage this fad as it is unsightly to locals and damaging to the structure of the bridges and monuments. In fact they have now made it illegal (see update)*, but it is Paris and so romantic a gesture to discontinue, n’est ce pas?
2. Buy tickets to attend a performance at the Moulin Rouge. Think the can-can, the original chorus girls and the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec. The hour and a half show is also accompanied by your dinner, and you have two performances per evening from which to choose. The Moulin Rouge has been around for a hundred years and is located in a converted windmill in the traditional “red light” district of Paris. Mind you this revue is only slightly risque and therefore low on the naughty scale as – believe it or not – children’s tickets are available.
3. Stay up past your bedtime, enjoy French cooking and drink after midnight and before the sun rises. One particular restaurant never closes: it is Pied de Cochen, an establishment in honour of everything pig but they have other menu items as well : think oysters and other seafood, steaks and more. This establishment opened in 1947 ( and boasts it has never shut its doors since so has no keys!) and has had many famous patrons over the years. It is quirky but welcoming. With pigs in the décor everywhere, – even a bronze statue dedicated to the one time mascot Oscar who was, of course, a pig – comfortable banquettes, and professional service it is a place to linger, drink the local brew or wine, and eat heartily. With the fun atmosphere, friendly clientele and delicious food, you will revel in the small hours of Paris. Just don’t be surprised if a handle your reach for in this brasserie is in the shape of a pig’s foot.
Participating in out-of-the-ordinary activities that takes you slightly out of your comfort zone often become your best memories of a holiday. So shake up your plans a bit, perhaps skip a few tourist crowded must-see attractions wherever you travel and opt for the unusual fun stuff.
* Note: This practice is not only naughty , it is now illegal ( as of 06/01/15) to attach a lovelock to the Pont des Arts!
Visit Paris as a pre or post stay option on many French river cruise itineraries. Ask your travel professional for advice.