10 Lesser Known Things to Do in Paris

Tired of the typical Eiffel Tower pics and eating pastries in Paris? Or maybe you’re over waiting in long lines at the Louvre museum? No worries, there’s way more to see and do in the city! Paris is packed with super cool spots that’ll make you feel like you’re living in a romantic movie.

Instead of just hitting the famous landmarks, you can check out artist’s graves, historic sites, and peaceful, quiet places to relax. There’s all kinds of stuff that’ll totally blow your mind and give you an experience beyond the regular tourist traps.

So, if you want a unique Parisian adventure, forget the crowds and clichés. Paris has so much more to offer than just the typical stuff you see in the guidebooks. Get ready for a trip you’ll never forget!

1. Montmartre Cemetry

Montmartre Cemetery is in Paris’ 18th district, near Montmartre’s old town, under a railway bridge. It holds the graves of over 20,000 people, including famous figures like Adolphe Sax, Edgar Degas, and Alexandre Dumas. The cemetery has a romantic layout with unique sculptures and tombstones. Its park-like setting, with winding paths, fountains, and trees, gives it the feel of a secret garden.

2. Musee Curie

Musée Curie, in Paris’s 5th arrondissement, is located in Marie Curie’s final laboratory and office. This intriguing museum showcases exhibits on scientific ideas, radium and radioactivity history, and the Curie family’s contributions to science. Visitors can explore the museum’s collections, archives, and the historic laboratory where the Curies did groundbreaking research. It provides a unique chance to learn about Nobel Prize winners’ pioneering work.

3. Atelier des Lumières

Atelier des Lumières is an art space in Paris that’s like no other you’ve ever seen. It’s set up in this old factory building in the city’s 11th arrondissement (district), but inside, it’s transformed into this mind-blowing digital art experience.

The whole place is set up to surround you with these insane digital art installations projected onto the walls and floors. It’s a 360-degree experience that just immerses you in these crazy visuals and trippy animations. The art is so visually stunning, but it also makes you think and feel something deeper, you know?

It’s not just a bunch of pretty lights – the Atelier des Lumières exhibits are also intellectually engaging. You leave feeling inspired, and like you’ve had this profound artistic experience, even if you’re not normally into that kind of thing.

It’s just a unique and special place, unlike the typical art museum or gallery. If you want to have your mind blown in the most awesome way possible, you have to check out the Atelier des Lumières.

4. House of Nicolas Flamel

In the heart of Paris, this antique building on Rue de Montmorency is connected to a legendary alchemist named Nicolas Flamel. It’s basically a real-life historical site that gives you a peek into Flamel’s life and his search for the Philosopher’s Stone, which was said to turn regular metals into gold and give immortality.

Visiting the House of Nicolas Flamel is like stepping back in time to uncover the secrets of alchemy and Paris’s wild history. Even if you’re not into that kind of thing, it’s a totally fascinating place to explore. You get to see where this legendary alchemist actually lived and worked and learn more about the mysteries and legends surrounding him.

It’s the perfect spot for anyone who’s intrigued by the occult, magic, or just super intriguing historical figures. You can almost feel the history and mysticism in the air as you wander through the old building. Plus, you get to say you visited the home of a real-life alchemist.

5. Flame of Liberty

Back in 1986, the International Herald Tribune newspaper gave this giant golden flame statue to the city as a gift. It’s a life-size replica of the iconic torch on the Statue of Liberty, but it’s set up right at the Pont de l’Alma bridge.

The Flame of Liberty is massive – it’s 12 feet tall and made out of real copper that’s covered in actual gold leaf. So it shines and sparkles in the sunlight, making it an epic sight. But it’s not just a statue; it also has this deeper meaning behind it.

The Flame of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and hope, just like the Statue of Liberty itself. So when you visit, you can feel this powerful, almost spiritual vibe coming from the monument. It’s a place to reflect on those universal values of freedom and inspiration that the Statue of Liberty represents.

Plus, the Flame of Liberty is also connected to a memorial for Princess Diana, who tragically died nearby. So it’s this really meaningful spot with a lot of history and emotion behind it.

6. Paris Sewer Museum

If you’re looking for a unique and totally unexpected experience in Paris, you’ve got to check out the Paris Sewer Museum. It’s right by the Pont de l’Alma bridge, and it’s basically a whole museum dedicated to the city’s underground sewer system.

Now, we know what you’re thinking – sewers? Really? But trust us, it’s way cooler than it sounds. This museum takes you on a journey through the history of Paris’s sewer infrastructure from ancient Roman times until today. You get to see how they’ve built and maintained this hidden network of tunnels over the centuries to deal with environmental issues and keep the city running.

The coolest part is that you actually get to walk through a real, working sewer section as part of the museum tour. How crazy is that? It’s like stepping into this whole other world underneath the streets of Paris. The museum uses a mix of modern multimedia displays and historical artifacts to bring the sewer system to life in a super engaging way.

Sure, it’s not your typical art gallery or cathedral, but the Paris Sewer Museum is seriously worth a visit. It’s such a unique and educational experience that you definitely won’t find anywhere else.

7. Abbey Bookshop

Tucked away in the 5th arrondissement (district) of Paris is an independent bookstore called the Abbey Bookshop that you’ve got to check out. It was started back in 1989 by a Canadian dude, and it’s become this hidden gem for book lovers from all over.

The Abbey Bookshop is stocked with over 40,000 English books – everything from academic stuff to popular bestsellers. So whether you’re a hardcore bookworm or just looking to browse, you’re guaranteed to find something awesome. And the best part is they’ll hook you up with free tea or coffee while you explore.

It’s just this cozy, welcoming little oasis for bibliophiles in the middle of Paris. The vibe is super chill and inviting, with comfy chairs and shelves packed floor-to-ceiling with books. You could seriously spend hours in there, getting lost in the different sections and discovering new titles.

For any book lover visiting Paris, the Abbey Bookshop is an absolute must. It’s the perfect spot to escape the crowds and chaos of the city for a while and really immerse yourself in the world of literature. Where else can you find such a huge selection of English books in the heart of Paris?

8. Petite Ceinture

Petite Ceinture
Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

In the 1800s, Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann built a railway line around the city. They called it the Petite Ceinture, and even though it’s not used as a train track anymore, it’s now this awesome green space that Paris locals love to hang out in.

The Petite Ceinture is a 200-meter-wide walkway that winds through parks, gardens, and all these hidden nature spots right in the middle of the city. It’s honestly kind of mind-blowing how much green and wildlife you can find snuggled away in Paris if you know where to look.

As you walk along the Petite Ceinture, you can stumble across bars, restaurants, and even some cultural events and venues. So it’s not just a nature trail; it’s a vibrant community space where Parisians hang out.

9. Ballon De Paris Generali

A romantic date in Paris wouldn’t be complete without a ride in the Ballon de Paris Generali hot air balloon. It’s literally a magical journey that’ll make you feel like you’re living in a movie.

The balloon is located in a park called Parc André Citroën, which is right near all the major sights like the Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower. So, combining your balloon ride with other romantic activities around the city is convenient.

And the best part? It’s actually pretty affordable, especially for couples on a budget. Tickets are only €15 for adults and €8 for kids, and the whole flight lasts around 10 minutes. That’s way cheaper than a fancy dinner, but it’s a way more epic and wholesome experience.

Imagine floating high above Paris, taking in all the iconic landmarks and beautiful city views with your partner. It’s like something straight out of a fairytale. The Ballon de Paris Generali is just such a unique and special way to create that perfect Parisian romance.

10. Grand Mosque of Paris

In the 5th arrondissement (district) of Paris is an important mosque built in 1926. It’s called the Grand Mosque of Paris, and it’s become a significant symbol of France’s Muslim community. But it also has this crazy, little-known history from World War II that makes it a total must-see.

During the Nazi occupation, the mosque’s underground tunnels and rooms were actually used as safe places for Jewish people to hide and escape from the Nazis. Can you imagine? This place of worship basically became a secret network of safe havens, helping to connect the French government with Muslim citizens during that dark time.

So when you visit the Grand Mosque of Paris, you’re not just seeing an incredible example of Islamic architecture but also uncovering an important piece of history. It’s a place that represents the bridge between different communities and the power of faith to protect the vulnerable.

Featured Image : Unsplash.com

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