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Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

I'm doing an 11 day Paris/Barcelona trip in August with a friend. We are doing a day trip to Brussels one day while in Paris and a day trip to Costa Brava one day while in Barcelona.

I've just started researching things to do a few days ago, and while I know I've barely scratched the surface of things to do in the areas, it seems most things that are "top rated" are all things to see rather than to do (such as monuments and museums). Now don't get me wrong, I have a few of these things I'd love to see too - but call me crazy, I don't want to spend my whole trip traveling around just to look at things.

What are some cool things to DO in these areas? I like tours because of the interaction and being able to ask questions. We love great food and will try almost anything (why we picked France and Spain for our first Europe trip!). All other trips I've been on in the past, I remember the cool experiences I did more than just the sites.

What was the most memorable thing you did when you were there?!

24 replies to this topic
California
Level Contributor
8,533 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

Cooking classes. La Cuisine offers good ones.

Do some research and make reservations at several great restaurants while you're in Paris for memorable meals rather than passable food that you'll forget.

There are many walking tours. We've done many with Paris_Walks. Places like Paris By Mouth do foodie tours, market tours, etc.

In August there won't be any ballet or opera, so that's out.

Take a Seine river cruise.

Hundreds of people gather at night for Tango, Swing & Salsa dancing along quais of Seine by parc Tino Rossi, starting about 8 pm from April–October—fun to join in or just watch, great music

Take a 2CV tour, or go on a Segway tour

I'll keep thinking ;)

Pjk
New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
Level Contributor
38,507 posts
121 reviews
2. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

We shop for and then have a picnic, and I think the former is more fun than the latter ---> https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

Pjk

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
245 posts
169 reviews
3. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

Wonderful suggestions here! I would add that there are lots of self-guided walking tours, too. This site features 103 of them: https:/…. In college I spent an afternoon wandering around Père Lachaise Cemetery. It's a really beautiful space built in the early 19th century that is park-like and quiet.

Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
1,213 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

One of the most favorite things I've done is a perfume class where I made my own personal fragrance. I've done it twice and love it.

http://en.abcduparfum.fr/perfume-workshops/

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1,364 posts
42 reviews
5. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

My suggestions are:

A cooking class at either La Cuisine Paris or Cookin with Class. Their websites have detailed descriptions of their offerings. I did the morning market class and a tour of the King's Potager at Versailles with the former, and the dinner class with the latter. Both are hands on and instruction is in English.

Le Food Tour is a "passport" of coupons allowing sampling of a variety of different food artisans. The coupons are not site specific, so you get a list of shops, their offerings, addresses, and a map to create your own food tour. It is a great way to explore different neighborhoods, sample different food items, and interact with locals. I really enjoyed conversing with the shop owners at the tea and fois gras shops, and tried frogs legs for the first time. A passport is available for either 6 or 12 tastings for 35€ or 45€ repectively.

Finally, Paris Greeters is an organization of volunteers who offer walking tours. You sign up online, indicating your interests (neighborhood, architecture, history, etc.) and they match you to a guide who contacts you with a proposal. If you accept the proposal, you arrange an meeting place, date and time. These are free tours, though the website will give you the opportunity to make a donation, and the guides do not accept tips, but appreciate the offer of a coffee or glass of wine. I did a three hour tour of the Marais with a knowledgeable English speaking guide.

Have a great time.

Bensalem...
Level Contributor
57 posts
1 review
6. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

Thank you SO much everyone- this is exactly what I'm looking for. (I am the OP - was signed into the wrong account and was going to erase and repost, but there are so many excellent suggestions already!).

Keep the suggestions coming. Now I'm getting excited.

Bensalem...
Level Contributor
57 posts
1 review
7. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

Cooking class sounds perfect! Is it always a similar menu or does it change? What is pricing like?

No ballet or opera?! Oh man I was really looking forward to that. Any other suggestions for shows?

I definitely want to do the boat tour of the Seine also! Is that better at daytime or at night?

Thank you! What great suggestions!

Bensalem...
Level Contributor
57 posts
1 review
8. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

Oh wow a perfume class sounds so unique! Was the class all women or are men able to make cologne? My travel buddy is my male best friend - and I think I could get him to agree to join if cologne was an option.

Toronto
Level Contributor
115 posts
9. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

We went for dinner hosted by a local couple. We were joined by another couple, 3 elderly German women and a film crew who was following them. Ended up being filmed for a German tv show! We used the vizeat app. It was a ton of fun. They offer all sorts of things, meals with locals or being taken on a food tour by a local to markets.

I found it when I was searching for unique experiences

I suggest checking it out :)

Pjk
New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
Level Contributor
38,507 posts
121 reviews
10. Re: Favorite Things to DO Rather Than See?

Here you go (89 euros) ---> https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-…

Pjk

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