It’s no secret that the capital of France is a popular tourist destination. From the city’s charm to its historic sights, Paris has much to offer. The latest season of the Duolingo French Podcast gives listeners a local’s guide to Paris through the views, sounds, and tastes of their city. Here are four spots fans will uncover this season!

The hidden network of the Catacombs

Known as a “city” underneath the city, hidden under Paris is a network of tunnels and burial grounds called the Catacombs. This mysterious labyrinth gives a glimpse into the city’s history, with secret chambers dating back as far as the 13th century. While most of the tunnels are forbidden from public entry, visitors can take an official tour through spine-chilling sections of the Catacombs… if they dare.

The Catacombs entrance is a dark-colored wall with a warning sign above a door opening that reads “Arrête! C’est ici l’empire de la mort.” This translates to “Stop! Here begins the empire of death.” Photo Credit: Gaspard Duval
The Catacombs public visitors entrance has a warning that translates to “Stop! Here begins the empire of death.” Photo Credit: Gaspard Duval

Patisseries fit for kings and queens

French pastries were originally made for royalty, until former royal pastry chef Nicolas Stohrer opened the first Parisian pastry shop on la rue Montorgueil in 1730. Today, Patisserie Stohrer is a must-visit for pastry-lovers, but there’s more where that came from! Sweet tooths will have to tune in for a few other favorite spots, guided by a French pastry chef herself.

The Stohrer storefront is a dark blue awning with gold lettering that says “Stohrer” in the center. Photo Credit: Justine Hagard
Photo Credit: Justine Hagard

The vibrant communities of Le Marais

The cobblestone streets of Le Marais are lined with historical sites, trendy boutiques, and bustling nightlife, creating a vibrant blend of the traditional and the modern. Over the course of its history, many groups of refugees and marginalized communities have called Le Marais home. These communities stand strong today with cultural landmarks and businesses that have gained loyal followings—and you can visit a few this season without ever leaving your couch!

A group of people walking down Rues des Rosiers surrounded by black lamp posts and colorful storefronts. Photo Credit: Justine Hagard
Rue des Rosiers in Le Marais. Photo Credit: Justine Hagard

La forêt of Notre Dame

The Notre Dame cathedral is a historic landmark loved by tourists and locals alike, but it’s currently closed to visitors while being rebuilt from a devastating fire in 2019. This season, an expert gives an update on the restoration, and takes listeners on a special insider tour of the cathedral and its famous rafters—where Victor Hugo’s Quasimodo once called home.

Notre Dame building under construction for restoration after the fire. Photo Credit: Justine Hagard
Notre Dame restoration in progress. Photo Credit: Justine Hagard

Next stop, Paris!

Join Parisian locals on a tour of their city on the latest season of the Duolingo French podcast! Find it on or wherever you listen to your podcasts!