How you gonna keep us down on the farm once we've experienced quirky Paree?
January 24, 2012 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for unusual travel experiences (not just places) in or near Paris?

There are been some awesome recommendations in past AskMes for unusual places to visit in Paris, like the taxidermy shop and Sewer Musuem. I'd love to get some suggestions not just on cool places to go, but quirky and unique things to do... things that are more participatory.

Do you have any suggestions for things like:

- truffle or escargots hunting
- cheesemaking (or perfume-making or winemaking or macaron-baking etc.)
- glassblowing or stained-glass assembly
- absinthe tasting
- gold-leaf-applying lessons (at first I wrote "gilding" but it looked too much like "gliding," though gliding would be cool too!)
- operating the lock on a waterway
- ringing a church's bells
- topiary-shaping lessons
- visiting a silkwormery
- driving on the Le Mans racetrack
- drawing/painting/scultpure lessons
- watching stonemasons or other artisans at work
- "secret"/behind-the-scenes tours

We're totally open to day (or even overnight) trips outside of Paris, too. Thanks!

Merci beaucoup!

[anonymous in hopes this might be a surprise!]
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I realize you're asking anonymously, but it would help to clarify: how far outside of Paris are you willing to go? Because many of those just aren't going to be possible in Paris or the environs itself. Truffles just don't grow in Paris, for example.

But I add a vote for: the hammam at the Mosquee de Paris, and then having tea and sweets in their cafe.
posted by Liesl at 9:54 AM on January 24, 2012

From the list you give this might not meet your threshold for unusual, but I really enjoyed a cycling day tour to Giverny.
posted by jacalata at 11:17 AM on January 24, 2012

Maybe arrange a dinner at one of the private/secret supper club locations in a Paris apartment? This times article discusses the phenomenon and gives some links at the end.
posted by kaybdc at 11:25 AM on January 24, 2012

les catacombes!
posted by keasby at 6:47 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I second the catacombes, which are memorable.

For absinthe tasting, you can try La Fée Verte, at 108 rue de la Roquette in the 11ème. It's a fun bar/restaurant.
posted by indecision at 12:15 AM on January 25, 2012

The catacombs were the only thing I cared for in Paris. I wish I had thought to ask this question before I went; it's great! I'm more of a do-er than a see-er and I did a lot of "seeing" in Paris. However, the catacombs really were great - set off a whole interest for me in urban exploration and cataphiles - even though it was basically a museum.
posted by k8lin at 7:17 PM on February 20, 2012

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