Sorry teetotalers, this experience isn’t for you. Everybody else, welcome. So, the concept of this tour is pretty simple: meet a guide in Bastille; go to cool local bars and bistros that you wouldn’t have found on your own; eat and drink with gusto. Beyond the basics though, this tour shows off a different, more authentic side of the city, giving travellers a chance to get amongst the culture and nightlife scene that thrives in Bastille. Drinks are number one on the agenda, but along the way you’ll taste lots of local fare too. As nice as snails are, the best thing about this tour is the friendships that are made and the great (at the time, at least) chats that are had.
About your guide
On Paris Urban Adventures tours, city sights come with a side of personality. The company’s guides have joie de vivre by the bucketload, and it’s catching. Whether it’s exploring secret sides to Paris or sampling snails at a local bistro, you’ll have a grand old time with this crew by your side.
Here’s the plan…
Meet your guide at Place de la Bastille. Today it’s a chaotic roundabout but this patch was once the epicenter of the French Revolution, and crowds still gather here to see the site in person. After a brief history lesson – and we do mean brief – the group trots along to the first watering hole: a charming French bistro decorated to look just as it did a century earlier. This joint serves up some of the finest drink and food in Bastille, and they specialise in escargot. (You can see where we’re going with this…). After a wine and some snails, it’s time, sadly, to move on – you’ve got a lot to get through.
Next up is a local wine bar in the working class turned artsy neighbourhood of Faubourg Saint Antoine. More than serving a good drop, this bar is really about community. It’s one of the few places in Paris where locals can still come by with an empty bottle and help themselves to wine straight from the barrel for just a few euros. Here you’ll enjoy wine and charcuterie (delicious pâtés, rillettes and smoked hams), both of which come highly recommended by the bartenders.
Then, you’ll swing by the historic Marché d'Aligre – a true locals’ market – to check out a fromagerie known around town as one of the best. Your guide will talk you through the different cheeses and you’ll leave with a hefty cheese platter, along with a classic baguette, to bring to your next destination.
Your final stop is a quirky-cool beer bar. They serve over 300 different beers here, and you’ll be tasting three of the standouts. While all French-produced, these beers are widely different in taste and texture. Your guide will explain why. Beer and cheese isn’t the most celebrated combo, but on this tour you’ll throw caution to the wind and give it a go. And you’ll be glad you did. Depending on your stamina, your guide will either leave you and the gang in amongst the action or walk you back to Bastille Square via a peaceful park, converted from a former elevated railway line, to show off some beautiful views of the neighbourhood below.
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